Player of the Game
Jason Giambi reached base three times today (an oddity for a player batting .190), the final time being on a three run game tying home run. Giambi also singled earlier in the game and scored for a final POG score of 7.18.
Mike Aviles picked up his teammates in the fourth inning with yet another two our RBI hit. After a wild pitch, Jason Giambi and Carlos Santana each sat in scoring position with two outs. Aviles was able to softly hit a ball just beyond the infield into left, allowing Giambi to score from second, bringing the Indians back to within two runs.
Jason Giambi came through again, using his home runs sparingly, only in cases of most dire need. Today, he tied the game in the eighth inning with a three run shot to right field. The bomb was his 437th in his career and knocked in his 1,433rd run.
After holding a tie score until the tenth, Carlos Santana lead off the inning with a solo home run to left field that gave the Indians the lead. This lead didn't hold up, however as Joe Mauer repeated the task for the Twins in the bottom of the inning. Luckily for the Tribe, Michael Brantley was able to come through in the 12th with a sacrifice fly to give the Indians the lead for good.
Carlos Carrasco may have set his fate for the rest of 2013 and possibly his career as he proved yet again to be mistake prone as a starter. His great five inning relief effort last time out had raised some hoped that he was ready to return to the rotation, but he allowed four runs on seven hits during his first two innings against the light hitting Twins. With the return of Josh Tomlin imminent, it is unlikely that Carrasco will be used as a starter again this year, although he could be used out of the bullpen where he could focus on putting a greater effort into each pitch with no worries of extended use.
It was a very curious decision by Terry Francona to allow Carrasco pitch beyond the third inning. With an off day tomorrow and an full bullpen, it seems that the Indians chances of winning this game were better with Carrasco coming out earlier. Carrasco gave up hits to the first two Twins he faced in the fifth, handing a difficult situation off to Rich Hill when he was removed.
Francona then stretched Hill to his limit, forcing him to pitch into the sixth inning, even after he loaded the bases with a walk. When you have seven pitchers in the bullpen, why use the worst one to pitch parts of two innings? Hill is just supposed to be a left handed specialist, facing one or two batters per outing. If he had been used in that role today, he would have ended his day with a good outing behind him. Instead, he allowed two hits and two runs while retiring just a single batter in his second inning.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 9 - Minnesota Twins 8