Player of the Game
Carlos Carrasco didn't get the win, but was the Player of the Game as he threw 7.1 innings, allowing just one earned run on four hits. The best part may be that he didn't hit anybody and in fact, only walked one. His 7.1 innings pitched were just one out away from matching his total for the season after his first two games. He also allowed 12 less runs this game than in those first two games, effectively almost halving his ERA.
Congratulations are due to both Jason Kipnis and Corey Kluber who co-won the AL player of the week award. Kipnis batted .521, 50 points higher than the next best player with at least 20 at bats. He also scored five runs and knocked in four with two steals. Kluber lead all AL pitchers with 16 innings pitched and allowed just a single run, while striking out 11. He was the only pitcher to have an ERA under 1.00 for the past week that threw more than nine innings. They become the 20 and 21st players to win the award for the Indians and the first to win the award in the same week. Ryan Raburn and Justin Masterson have already won the award this year, giving the Indians more Player of the Week awards in 2013 than any other season since the award was created in 2003.
Carlos Carrasco went further in tonight's game without giving up a base runner (4.1 innings) than he has went at all in any game this year. He ended up pitching 7.1 shut out innings in a start that can't even be compared to any other this season. He was successful by forcing the light hitting Royals to put the ball in play, pitching to contact and throwing strikes. Carrasco didn't allow a walk until the sixth inning and didn't allow an extra base hit until the seventh. His only earned run allowed scored after he left the game in the eighth inning.
Carlos Santana continued his hot stretch with a solo home run tonight to give the Indians a 1-0 lead. This hit extended his hitting streak to nine straight games during which time he has knocked in seven runs and scored three. Jason Kipnis ended his 10 game hitting streak, but walked once to extend his 20 game on base streak.
Michael Brantley made three above average plays tonight, one running, one sliding and one diving, each one outdoing the last. There haven't been a lot of amazing defensive plays for the Tribe this year, but these are definitely worth looking up if you didn't see them live.
Carrasco was pulled after just 90 pitches despite being almost perfect all night. His replacement was Bryan Shaw, who allowed Carrasco's runner to score and allowed two base runners to begin the ninth. Rich Hill then gave up a single that he should have fielded for an out and Matt Albers threw a wild pitch to give up another run. If Carrasco had stayed in at least for the eighth, he may have avoided all this and Vinnie Pestano could have been used for the ninth instead of Hill and Albers who have struggled much this season.
While the pitchers can be blamed, the go ahead run was scored completely due to pitcher defense. Rich Hill slipped while fielding a David Lough (attempted) sacrifice bunt then Matt Albers threw a wild pitch to allow the run to score. The run was earned because neither play was considered an error.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 1 - Kansas City Royals 2