Roster Moves: The Indians finally placed Ryan Raburn on the disabled list for his injured calf, a move that is retroactive to August 19th although it should have been made at least four days prior to that. Raburn has not played in consecutive games since August 8th, limiting an already shrunken bench even further. Had he been healthy, Raburn would likely have been made a starter after the release of Mark Reynolds. In an even stranger move, the Indians didn't bring up Jeremy Hermida, Ezequiel Carrera or Tim Fedroff for Raburn, instead going with the fourth best outfielder in AAA in Matt Carson. Since Raburn has to be on the disabled list until September, no further moves will need to made when he returns.
Player of the Game
Mike Aviles was pulled in a double switch late in the game, but before that, he was responsible for both Indians runs scored. He knocked in the first with a solo home run in the fourth, then tied the game in the eighth with a sacrifice fly. It was his fifth award on the season, but his first since the beginning of June.
The Indians set a new team record today when Mike Aviles hit his eighth home run, giving the Indians 11 players with at least eight. This isn't necessarily a good thing as it means the reserves are playing enough to hit eight home runs. Also, it doesn't mean that the team has a whole lot of power as the team leaders have only hit 16 so far this year.
Scoreboard Watch: The Tigers were pummeled again tonight, losing the series against Oakland and the A's will go for the sweep tomorrow. In general, Detroit hasn't even been close in any game this series, an interesting fact given that the Indians went 5-2 against the A's this year yet sit behind both the A's and Tigers in the standings. The Orioles lost to the Red Sox while Tampa beat the Angels, placing further distance between the two Wild Card leaders and the rest of the crowd. The Yankees also lost and while they aren't really a playoff threat, they are close enough in the Wild Card to pay attention to.
The pitchers actually factored into the scoring tonight after poor showings at the plate from both teams yesterday. In the second inning, with runners at second and third and two outs, Justin Masterson walked the pitcher, Paul Maholm, to load the bases. While Maholm didn't score, his walk extended the inning and allowed the Braves to score twice on a Jordan Schafer single. Justin Masterson also came through with a single of his own in his first at bat.
The Indians were absolutely terrible in the clutch tonight, blowing multiple opportunities to score in a close game. Nick Swisher and Asdrubal Cabrera each grounded into double plays with nobody out to ruin rallies, but the worst offense was in the eighth inning when Cabrera was on first with two outs. Cabrera attempted to steal second on a pitch that Michael Brantley swung at. Asdrubal thought he fouled it into the ground, so instead of completing the steal (he would have been easily safe at second), he stopped and started to walk back to first. The catcher caught the ball and Cabrera was tagged out to end the inning with the go ahead run stranded on third.
Joe Smith played with fire one too many times tonight, giving up two base runners in the 8th and 9th innings, ultimately leading to the Indians loss. With the game tied in the ninth, Smith allowed a single and intentional walk for runners on first and second. With two outs, Chris Johnson did something the Indians haven't done yet this series, got a hit with a runner in scoring position (Indians are 0-14) and Jordan Schafer scored from second base.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 2 - Atlanta Braves 3