Roster Update: As predicted, Brent Lillibridge has taken Aaron Cunningham's place on the Indians 25 man roster. This continues with the Indians strategy of releasing a player every time they knock in the winning run in a game.
Player of the Game
Casey Kotchman hit a two run home run to score the first runs of the game for the Tribe. His final score was 4.38 and he was aided in winning today by the fact that five Indians had negative games. They were lead by Asdrubal Cabrera with a score of -3.28 mostly accrued from two unearned runs and two errors.
After a slight verbal altercation with Miguel Cabrera yesterday, Asdrubal Cabrera pushed the other Cabrera to the ground after tagging him out at second. This is exactly the type of aggression that the Indians need to show. Way to get after him little guy.
Casey Kotchman hit his 10th home run of the season to score Johnny Damon and put the Indians on the board. This makes him the 4th Indian to make it to double digits. The Indians now have 11 players with 4 or more home runs. Just for comparison, the Tigers currently have 5 players with 10 or more home runs and just 8 with more than four. Of course they also have Miguel Cabrera who has hit 24 compared to the Indians leader the other Cabrera (as well as Shin-Soo Choo) with a dozen.
Cody Allen, whose run to the Major Leagues can only be described as meteoric, pitched his third straight quality relief appearance tonight. This was his best game so far as he threw an inning and a third, striking out two. He is yet to allow a run as an Indian.
Tony Sipp threw his third straight positive game as well and has had good outings in 9 of his last 11 attempts. He seems to be back on track after an absolutely horrendous start to the season.
Going into this series if there was one game to lose it was this one. The matchup wasn't favorable and the Indians don't need to sweep to stay in the mix of things, just win the series. They will get another chance to do just that against last year's AL MVP, Justin Verlander.
Milestone Alert: When Johnny Damon flew out to deep center in his second at bat he passed Rusty Staub for 34th in at bats all time in MLB history.
And then that happened. Asdrubal Cabrera had his second two error inning of the season as he overthrew Casey Kotchman to allow Omar Infante to reach base and compounded the situation with a terrible throw to second trying to get Infante out on the next play. The two errors lead to two unearned Tigers runs.
For some unknown reason, Derek Lowe pitched through the sixth inning. Every time Lowe starts he proves that he can barely make it through 5 innings, let alone six, but for some reason Manny Acta keeps pushing him. This time Lowe wasn't as bad as he could have been as he only gave up single runs in each of the fifth and sixth innings, but it could have very easily been worse. Lowe needs to be removed from the starting rotation and placed in the bullpen or off the roster as soon as possible, even if it means the return of Jeanmar Gomez, David Huff or Kevin Slowey.
Play of the Game
Travis Hafner took a called strike three to end the 6th inning with a runner at third base. I don't know what he was thinking, but he has to know that it is up to him to knock in that run in that situation and he can't take close pitches.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 3 - Detroit Tigers 5