Player of the Game
Zach McAllister took his second consecutive Player of the Game and his 4th win of the season. McAllister pitched 6 innings and struck out 5 while only allowing a single Tampa Bay run. His only weak point was his control as he walked 4 batters, but who didn't during this game. A few other players had games worth mentioning as Shin-Soo Choo, Jason Kipnis, Vinnie Pestano and Chris Perez all earned more than 2.00 Player of the Game points. McAllister finished ahead of every one with 6.16.
Rafael Perez threw his second inning of relief in Akron today and has only allowed a single hit in two outings thus far. He will need to throw a few more times in AA to be ready, but the Indians can definitely use him now that Nick Hagadone has gone and punched himself out of the big leagues.
Michael Brantley walked three times while Travis Hafner walked each of his first two times up. Shin-Soo Choo, Jason Kipnis, and Casey Kotchman all took bases on balls as well. Exciting baseball tonight at the Trop. Don't worry, no base runner scored for either team after getting on base via the walk.
A challenge on the first play of the game slowed things down and they never sped up as each pitcher dealt with a strike zone the size of a cantaloupe. Alex Cobb was pulled from the game in the 4th inning after walking 5 and throwing balls for exactly half his pitches. McAllister didn't have it any easier as he threw 6 innings and walked four as well, throwing 42 of his 99 pitches for balls.
McAllister held the Rays hitless for the first three innings, but that isn't as impressive as it sounds. Three Rays starters came into the game with batting averages below .200 and only two hitters were above .260. When they did start hitting in the 4th they started hitting Zach. McAllister took a hard line drive in the arm that allowed the Rays first run.
The Indians starting lineup was an odd mix today as Jose Lopez hit higher in the order than Travis Hafner and Carlos Santana. It's nice that Lopez has played better than expected, but on no planet is he better than either Hafner or Santana. In tonight's game he managed to line, ground and strike out into double plays after striking out his first time up.
The Indians had a lot of chances they weren't able to cash in on tonight, the most egregious one being a bases loaded no out situation in the 4th during which the Indians were unable to score. The biggest villain of the night was Asdrubal Cabrera who went 0-5 with 4 strike outs and 4 runners left in scoring position.
This may seem like a lot of negatives for an Indians win, but here's another. This game lasted almost four hours so I had plenty of time to write down every bad thing that happened.
Play of the Game
Jeff Keppinger hit a foul ball against Vinnie Pestano that landed about an inch outside of the line in the 8th inning. The play occured with a runner on second that would certainly have scored the tying run. Keppinger later flew out to center.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 3 - Tampa Bay Rays 2