Player of the Game
Drew Stubbs gave the Indians the victory in the 14th inning with a two run home run that won him the Player of the Game. Stubbs also walked earlier in the game while going 1-5. Danny Salazar came in a close second, despite pitching less than half of the game. He went 5.1 innings and gave up just three hits, although one was a home run that kept the game tied until the 14th.
Milestone Alert: Michael Brantley set a new team record with 214 straight errorless games as an outfielder during last night's game, surpassing the previous streak held by Rocky Colavito. He continued that stretch with an errorless game tonight.
Danny Salazar showcased a great change-up tonight after focusing mostly on his fastball during his first three starts. His fastball actually seemed to be a few MPH slower than in previous games, but his low 80's breaking pitches kept hitters very off balanced as he struck out seven in 5.1 innings. The Indians really seem to be coddling Salazar who was already bumped back in the rotation by a day and tonight was removed despite never pitching in trouble and being well under 100 pitches.
The Indians offense did a fairly decent job against a great starter tonight in C.J. Wilson. The Tribe consistently went deep into the count and needled Wilson with sporadic hits and walks. As the lefty tired, Carlos Santana was able to hit a seventh inning home run to tie the game. While it doesn't seem like much, it was enough support being the great pitching of Danny Salazar and the Indians bullpen, to send the game into extra innings.
Carlos Carrasco finished the game for the Tribe and pitched magnificently. He struck out the first two batters he faced and went two solid innings. While he did allow a couple base runners, a strike out and a ball back to the pitcher allowed him to keep the three run lead he was given. For his effort Carrasco earned his first win since 2011.
Scoreboard Watch: The Tigers lost to the Twins tonight on a rare poor start by Rick Porcello. Tampa Bay and Baltimore played each other again with the Rays coming out on top for the second day in a row. The only other team in real contention with the Indians, the Oakland A's also lost, making this night as good as possible for scoreboard watching. With everything that happened, the Indians moved ahead of the Orioles in the Wild Card race and gained a game on the Tigers (5.5 GB) and Athletics (3 GB).
Things didn't start out well for Danny Salazar as he allowed a lead off home run to the light hitting J.B. Shuck, who has hit just two total home runs on the season. This was the second game in a row that Salazar allowed a home run to the lead off batter. He didn't let this get him down, however, as he retired seven batters in a row including three straight via the strike out.
Michael Bourn has certainly seen better days than today. Overall, he went 1-6 with a walk, but his offensive issues run a little deeper than one bad game. Tonight, he struck out three times and failed to drop down a sacrifice bunt, laying down a terrible attempt that allowed the pitcher to get Drew Stubbs going to second. The strike outs have become a more frequent issue of late as Bourn has a streak of seven games with at least one and 15 total during that span.
The Indians bullpen played with fire in the 10th inning when Matt Albers started things off by loading the bases. Albers struck out the next batter and was replaced by Rich Hill. Hill faced just Hank Conger, possibly saving the game when he brushed him back on an attempted squeeze bunt. Conger lined out and Bryan Shaw was able to get the final out of the inning with a strike out of Grant Green. The whole inning was very tense as any wrong move would have ended the game.
In a 14 inning game, everybody gets a lot of work. The Indians used every single relief pitcher available including Carlos Carrasco who took over for the duration in the 13th inning. The Angels were in a similar predicament, using seven of their own pitchers, making use of usual starter Joe Blanton to finish things off. It is yet to be seen how this will effect both teams, but long starts will be integral to winning tomorrow night's match.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 4 - Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 1