Player of the Game
This game was Swishalicious, Bro! With a sweet RBI double and monster home run to left, Bro-hio's own, Nick Swisher won tonight's Player of the Game, Dude. The award is his eighth of the season and his first in the Indians last 18 games.
Corey Kluber returned from the DL today, just in time to take Justin Masterson's place in the rotation. Despite having the same injury as Zach McAllister (a sprained middle finger), Kluber spent almost a month less time on the DL.
The Indians offense made Kluber's return a little easier by giving him a big lead early in the game. For the Tribe, the first five batters reached base safely (four hits and an error), before Asdrubal Cabrera popped out. With two already in and the bases loaded, Ryan Raburn came through with a bases clearing double that raised the difference to 5-0. Mike Aviles then hit an infield single before Drew Stubbs hit into a double play, but only after all nine batters had come to the plate in the first inning. The Indians have only averaged 4.4 runs per game on the year and they surpassed that today with just one out in the first.
Nick Swisher seems he may finally be heating up a little after playing the first five months like he was a former utility player than benefited from batting eighth in a very powerful Yankees lineup and was being exposed for what he really was. With an RBI double and solo home run tonight, he has knocked in runs in consecutive games for the first time in ten games. The home runs in consecutive games moved him from third on the team into a tie for first.
In his last two starts, spanning 29 games, Corey Kluber has thrown 12.1 innings, allowed 11 hits (all singles) and just one earned run. What makes this incredibly impressive is that he pitched his last start while injured and today's after spending a month away from Major League hitters.
Asdrubal Cabrera broke a streak of 19 at bats without a hit with a huge three run home run in the seventh inning to give the Indians bullpen some breathing room. In the opposite of massive hitless streak news, Matt Carson has hit singles in his past three at bats, which span three games. Including the two games before that, where he didn't receive an at bat, he has three hits, two runs and a steal in his last five games.
Michael Brantley missed last night's game as well as today's while on the paternity list for the birth of his first child. His wife should have had a little more consideration and had the baby on Thursday, when the Indians had an off day. Doesn't she know the Indians are in the play-off hunt?
A long span in AAA and a massive amount of time off between appearances didn't help Vinnie Pestano turn things around for this game. He came into the sixth with two runners on and allowed two hits, culminating in three runs, without retiring a batter. He got the first batter he faced, Justin Turner, down 1-2 quickly, but then threw two poor pitches, the second of which ended up bouncing against the center field wall for a two RBI double.
Scoreboard Watch: The Red Sox have been extremely helpful to the Indians of late and could be even more so in the coming weeks. They beat the Yankees for the third time in a row today and will look to sweep the four game series tomorrow. The Orioles just barely snuck by the White Sox, but have now won the first three in their series and will go for the sweep tomorrow. Oakland just beat Houston by one, but it counts just the same and it won't take many more wins for Oakland to secure a play-off spot for good, one way or another.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 9 - New York Metropolitans 4