Player of the Game
Justin Masterson showed why he's the ace yet again, winning tonight's Player of the Game, his team leading 14th on the year. Masterson earned 3.98 points from 6 innings pitched, only allowing two runs and four hits while recording the win. Chris Perez and Vinnie Pestano each had scores over one as well as they continue to match each other with 34 saves and holds respectively.
The Indians used a more relaxed opposite field approach tonight and it worked magnificently. Coming into the game Rick Porcello lead all pitchers in hits allowed and he didn't change that trend at all. The Tribe totalled 8 hits off Porcello in 6.2 innings. The Indians were still aggressive, but they didn't try to do to much on an individual level. Each batter went with the pitches he was given, leading to an unusually high number of hits by the Indians. It's almost like beating the Tigers yesterday reminded the players that they can beat the Tigers and everybody relaxed.
The head-to-head matchups in the Central Division tell a different story than the standings. The Indians have had the Tigers number, beating them 9 out of 14 tries, but the Tigers have beaten the division leading White Sox 10 times out of 13 games. Before getting too excited about the Indians beating the Tigers, know that they have gone 4-8 against Chicago. After all this it seems fairly obvious that the Indians are far superior to the Tigers, and the Tigers are better than the White Sox, but the Indians are worse than the White Sox. Make a staircase out of that M.C. Escher.
Milestone Update: Chris Perez's 94th career save ties him for fourth all time as a member of the Cleveland Indians with Mike Jackson.
The Indians continued their abuse of Matt LaPorta tonight, finding a way to start both Casey Kotchman and Lou Marson. There is no reason to believe that Kotchman will be an Indian past the last day of the regular season and they passed the point of trading him for something useful a long time ago. Now he is just stealing at bats from players who actually could be part of the 2013 team. This just shows the Indians hatred for LaPorta that they won't release him and give him a chance with another team or give him a chance with this one. Even if you are sick of seeing LaPorta struggle in the big leagues, then Russ Canzler could be used at first with Ezequiel Carrera allowed to continue starting in the outfield.
Play of the Game
Asdrubal Cabrera had an RBI hit in the third inning that was ruled a double by ball boy interference. The stupid kid sitting down the first baseline wasn't watching the umpire as he called the ball fair and fielded the routine grounder.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 3 - Detroit Tigers 2
What a crazy season it is for the Indians. They need to play the Tigers every day. Something gets that team up to beat the Tigers this year.
@USASports360 It mostly has to do with the fact that the Tigers offense is vastly overrated past Fielder and Cabrera and Indians pitchers know how to pitch to those two. The two starting staffs are fairly comparable after Verlander and the Indians bullpen in close games is far superior. Every game the Indians have beaten the Tigers this year has been close and they can't touch Pestano-Perez.