Player of the Game
The third time is the charm as they say and today, Yan Gomes wins the Player of the Game for giving the Indians their third walk off win of the four game series. It was his second home run of the game that pushed him over the edge, giving him four RBI, two runs scored and single. Gomes also played well defensively, catching two out of three attempted base stealers. He did all this despite not playing every day. His fourth home run this year gives Gomes as many as Lou Marson has had in his entire Indians career (253 games).
The Indians have played very well with two outs this year, but generally that means that players get on throughout the inning and someone gets a two out RBI before the inning ends within the next two batters. Today's second inning was something else entirely. Carlos Santana doubled with one out and Mark Reynolds flew out to make it two outs. After there were already two down, Michael Brantley walked and Ryan Raburn and Yan Gomes followed with back to back home runs, giving the Indians a 4-2 lead. To finish the inning, Michael Bourn was safe on a bunt attempt and Jason Kipnis singled to center before Asdrubal Cabrera ended the inning by striking out. The Indians batted around in the inning with six batters hitting with two outs.
Yesterday the Indians scored six runs against the AL's best pitcher (according to ERA), pushing him back to fourth in the league. Today, they scored four runs in the first two innings off the new number two pitcher, Hisashi Iwakuma, pushing his ERA over 2.00 for the first time since April 18th.
In a most perplexing turn of events, the unhittable Tom Wilhelmsen dropped an easy toss from first baseman Justin Smoak with two outs, allowing Kipnis to score the tying run on a play that should have ended the game. This was his first blown save of the year although he did continue his streak of not allowing a hit to a right handed batter by striking out Mark Reynolds to end the inning.
It was a back and forth event all day, but the Indians ended up on top with the Yan Gomes three run, walk-off home run being the deciding factor. No matter how you do it, it counts as a win and the Indians have now swept the Mariners and guaranteed a winning record on the home stand. It also means that no matter what happens against Detroit, they will end that series in first place.
It was announced today the Justin Masterson has won the Player of the Week for being just filthy in his last two starts. He is the second player this season to win the AL Player of the Week (Ryan Raburn was the other).
Scott Kazmir was less than stellar for the second straight start. Kazmir struggled early on, throwing pitches that had far too much of the plate in pitcher's counts. He wasn't fooling anyone and the Mariners had no problem knocking him around to the tune of 7 hits in three innings. This was the second straight start that he allowed at least four runs in five or less innings. This comes right after a three game stretch where he threw 17 innings, allowing just five runs and striking out 21.
Despite the series win, this has been a generally bad series for the bullpen. The Indians have blown saves in three of four games with three different pitchers at fault. Today it was Vinnie Pestano in just his second game back from the DL. Chris Perez, who gave up the last blown save, gave up the go ahead run in today's game as well. Not to be outdone, Joe Smith gave up another solo home run in the tenth inning, giving Seattle home runs off of each of the Indians best three relievers.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 10 - Seattle Mariners 8