Player of the Game
There can't have be any complaints about the Indians new ace, Ubaldo Jimenez over the past month and tonight was no different. In seven innings he kept the Astros to just a single run, while striking out nine (giving him 27 in his last three starts). He only allowed six hits and walked none, showing his control. His walk numbers have been especially impressive of late, as he has only walked three batters in his last five starts, a far cry from his 2012 season. He has now won the Player of the Game in four consecutive starts, giving him the team lead in POG wins with 13.
Ubaldo had some issues with BABIP in the second inning when Astros hitters lead the inning off with three straight bloop singles. Using the number one solution to a high BABIP, Jimenez made sure the next hitter didn't put it in play by striking out Brett Wallace. Houston did get one run across with a sacrifice fly before the inning was ended with a poor decision to bunt with two outs. The situation could have been much worse for the Indians, but Ubaldo showed how much he has changed in his time with the Indians by staying calm and keeping things under control.
Matt Carson came through for the Tribe tonight in a huge fashion with a two out, bases loaded, walk-off single in the 11th inning. It was the Indians tenth walk-off win of the season and it put the Indians in a prime position to take over the first Wild Card spot as early as tomorrow night.
Scoreboard Watch: Boston beat Baltimore, clinching a play-off spot in the process. The Red Sox are just one win away from clinching the East, which is an inevitability at this point. The Rangers beat the Rays to split their four game series, which was exactly what the Indians wanted, giving them the best chance to get the first Wild Card spot. The Yankees also lost, pushing them even further back as they now trail four teams in line for the second Wild Card.
The Indians offense didn't wake up tonight, despite facing one of the poorer starters in the league. In fact, it seemed only Nick Swisher could hit Dallas Keuchel, as he went 3-3 against the left hander, scoring the Indians first run. The non-Swishers in the lineup struck out seven times, hit into two double plays (both Jason Kipnis erasing Swisher after singles) and only hit safely four times.
The Indians sacrificed their designated hitter in the eighth inning tonight, when Jose Ramirez came in to pinch run for Nick Swisher and Carlos Santana switched from DH to first base. If they had been able to win it in the ninth this wouldn't have mattered, but the extended innings forced the Indians to pinch hit for the pitcher
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 2 - Houston Astros 1