Player of the Game
Just two days after getting his first Player of the Game with his first RBI, Matt LaPorta knocked in his second and third runs of the year with his first home run on the season. Along with two singles, this gave him a POG score of 5.07, enough to beat out a great start by Zach McAllister (4.21) and the late inning hero Jason Kipnis (4.07).
Matt LaPorta hit a game tying two run home run in the top of the ninth, giving the Indians a glimpse of what they hoped he would be, just in time for the season to be over. The fact that his first home run of 2012 came in mid-September shows why he spent most of the season in Columbus.
Zach McAllister threw a fantastic game, going 6 innings and just allowing a single earned run. Over that span he struck out six batters and made up (at least a little bit) for his last three terrible starts.
The Indians finally got Chris Perez a save opportunity with a powerful 9th inning comeback. After six straight losses, Perez was able to pick up his 36th save of the season. Earlier in the year he was on an easy pace to break the Indians all time record for saves in a year, but he would need to save almost every single game for the rest of the year to get it now. The save does tie him for 9th all-time (Milestone Update) with his own 2011 season.
Ezequiel Carrera put down a perfect sacrifice bunt after the first two batters were safe to lead off the third. Unfortunately, a terrible lineup decision had Brent Lillibridge hitting second and he struck out to ruin the inning. Even with how bad this Indians offense is, there are still good players on the team, but they are not name Brent.
The Indians blew another scoring opportunity in the fifth when Carrera singled and Lillibridge walked. This time the blame goes to the middle of the lineup, where Jason Kipnis lined out (4 runners left on base tonight) and Carlos Santana popped out.
Brent Lillibridge had two separate two base errors tonight, the first allowing an unearned run for the Rangers on what should have been a double play. His second error allowed another two unearned runs to score, essentially losing the game for the Tribe. Both plays were easy throws, but Lillibridge made truly awful throws. Asdrubal Cabrera is still nursing a sore wrist, but Cord Phelps spent some time playing short in AAA and would be at least a better defensive option.
Expanded rosters allowed Manny Acta to use just three of this regular starters in tonight's lineup. This allowed the Indians to have three players in the lineup with batting averages of .200 or lower while every single starter ended the game hitting under .260.
Play of the Game
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 5 - Texas Rangers 4