Roster Update: Travis Hafner has been activated from the disabled list and was in the lineup for tonight's game. The Indians roster now stands at 35.
Player of the Game
Jason Kipnis was all over the Indians scoring effort tonight, winning him the Player of the Game. He had two hits, knocking in two runs and scoring another. Vinny Rottino had the best game of his career, earning a score of 2.58 with a double, walk, steal and two runs scored.
The first game of the play-in round of the World Baseball Classic is tonight in Florida. The two teams playing, Israel and South Africa, both feature Indians pitchers. They are Columbus Clipper Eric Berger, he of the magnificent mustache, playing for Israel and 2012 draft pick Kieran Lovegrove playing for his home country of South Africa. While the Israelis do have a few former Major Leaguers on the roster (Brad Ausmus is managing with Shawn Green as player/coach), Lovegrove is the first South African to make it as far as the minors so you won't recognize anyone else. I may be the only one, but I like the World Baseball Classic and wish more of the best players would play for their country of origin.
Vinny Rottino turned some great baserunning into a run in the third inning. Rottino walked and immediately stole second with a great jump. He then went to third on a ground ball to short, leaving second after the short stop had thrown the ball. Rottino came home on a Jason Kipnis single to left.
I'm sure when Travis Hafner was talking before the game tonight he was telling everyone that all he wanted to do was get hit by a pitch in his first at bat and that is what happened. At least he's back in the lineup.
The Indians have allowed 26 consecutive steals to the Twins this season. This is a combination of the pitching staff being to predictable and easy to time and Carlos Santana having a below average arm. It has more to do with the pitchers, though, as Santana hasn't really had a chance on most of these attempts.
After hitting a home run for one of the Indians only two hits, Asdrubal Cabrera was removed when he re aggravated his right wrist. At this point this seems like the kind of nagging injury they try to fix in the off-season with surgery, but never really gets better.
Travis Hafner came to bat in the 8th inning with the game on the line and struck out swinging on a ball in the dirt. Down by two the Indians had two runners on with two outs, in their best position of the game to take the lead.
Play of the Game
Vinny Rottino made a great diving catch to end the 8th after making an awful play to give up a double right before. The play was initially called a single, but was changed after Manny Acta came out to argue the call. Replays show the correct call was made in the end.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 4 - Minnesota Twins 6