Series Result: Indians split series with Yankees 2-2
Game 1: New York 5 Cleveland 3
Game 2: Cleveland 5 New York 3
Game 3: New York 5 Cleveland 4
Game 4: Cleveland 9 New York 3
Get used to seeing this name a lot for the Indians MVP, Brantley has yet to slow down this season. The Tribe’s lone All Star representative went 8-for-18 in the series with a home run, 5 RBI’s, 2 doubles, and 3 runs scored.
Let’s pray to god that this DL trip does Masterson some good. On top of having his worst statistical season ever, Masterson has lost all trade value and is losing money every time he throws a pitch. In the series opener, Masterson went 2 innings, gave up 6 hits, walked 3, and allowed 5 runs. Over his last 3 starts, Masterson numbers look like this, 9 IP, 20 hits, 13 runs, 10 walks, 14 strikeouts, 13.00 ERA.
Game 1: Greene Thumb: Shane Greene shuts down Tribe in first career start
In normal Tribe fashion they let a pitcher making his first career start absolutely shut down the offense. Yankees starter Shane Greene went 6 innings, allowing only 4 hits and giving up 2 runs to get the win in his first career start. The Indians first hit didn’t come until the 5th inning, when Nick Swisher hit his 6th home run of the season to make it a 5-1 New York lead. The Tribe would score again in the bottom of the 6th on an Asdrubal Cabrera RBI single to cut the lead to 5-2. In the bottom of the 8th, with former Tribe pitcher David Huff on the mound for New York, Yan Gomes smashed his 11th home run of the season, to make it a 5-3 deficit and give the Tribe faithful hope of a comeback. Later in the inning, Jason Kipnis reached base on an error by Brian Roberts, the Tribe seemed to be in business, with only 1 out. Up stepped Asdrubal Cabrera, who on the second pitch of the at-bat popped a foul ball that was caught by the third basemen. Unfortunately, Kipnis was running on the pitch and did not realize that the pitch was a foul out and slide into 2nd base, only to realize that he needed to get back to first and fast. Kipnis couldn’t make it and the Yankees doubled him up to end the inning, just another mistake that cost the Tribe a chance to win a game this season.
Then there’s Justin Masterson, what happened? Ironically, Masterson looked back to form with a good 1st inning, then in the 2nd, he completely imploded. Masterson gave up a leadoff double to Brian McCann, then a double to Brian Roberts which drove in McCann. Ichiro followed with a single, but was thrown out trying to advance to 2nd. Kelly Johnson drew a walk; Francisco Cervelli was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Brett Gardener singled to drive in Brian Roberts, bases still loaded. Derek Jeter drew a walk and in came a run to make it a 3-0 game. Carlos Santana provided the saving grace with an amazing double play to end the inning. Masterson came back out to start the 3rd, but walked Mark Teixeira and gave up a single to Brian McCann and that ended Masterson’s night. Later Masterson was placed on the 15-day DL, hopefully he can use the off time to figure things out. If the Tribe plans on returning to October baseball, they need him to pitch well.
Game 2: Indians take down Tanaka
If Shane Greene was able to shut down the Tribe, what would arguably the best AL pitcher, in Masahiro Tanaka, do? Trevor Bauer took the mound for the Tribe in this one, and it started off a lot like game 1. The Tribe’s defense decided to take the first inning off, as Mark Teixeira hit a soft liner to leftfield, as Chris Dickerson tried to make an all-out diving catch, but came up short and knocked the ball into centerfield and Brett Gardner came around to score. Then Brian McCann struck out, as Jacoby Ellsbury stole second base, but Yan Gomes airmailed the throw allowing Ellsbury to score to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead. Thank god for Michael Brantley, because in the bottom of the 1st, Brantley doubled home Jason Kipnis to make it a 2-1 game. However, in the very next frame the Yankees got that run back to make it a 3-1 lead. Trevor Bauer settled down after the second inning and put in a strong start, going 7 innings, allowing 4 hits, 3 runs, while striking out 6. Bauer would throw 112 pitches and consistently in his start accumulates high pitch counts. This can be directly attributed to Bauer’s pregame workout, as odd as it may seem to everyone in baseball. In the bottom of the 5th, Michael Brantley struck again with his second RBI double of the game to cut the lead to 3-2. In the bottom of the 6th, Nick Swisher homered in his second straight game to give the Tribe a 4-3 lead. Then, in the bottom of the 7th, the man of the hour, Michael Brantley blasted his team leading 14th home run of the season to give the Tribe a 5-3 lead. Thanks to Bryan Shaw and Cody Allen, the score stayed that way giving the Tribe the 5-3 win. The big news came when it was later learned that Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka was placed on the 15-day DL with an elbow strain, but we talk about Cleveland sports, so I won’t go into any further detail.
Game 3: Bullpen taxed in 14-innings loss
The Tribe turned the tables on the Yankees early in this one as they scored 3 runs in the first, with the big hit coming from Nick Swisher (who finally looked the Nick Swisher of old in this series) who delivered a 2-run RBI single. Josh Tomlin started for the Tribe and pitched well, except for the two mistakes he gave up to Mark Teixeira. Tomlin went 7 innings, giving up 8 hits, 4 runs, and striking out 5. Just a quick fact on Josh Tomlin, in 77 IP, Tomlin has walked just 9 batters. I have heard people say that Josh Tomlin throws too many strikes which causes him to give up the hits and home runs; and that he needs to learn how to throw balls in certain situations. After Teixeira’s second home run of the game the Yankees had a 4-3 lead going into the bottom of the 5th inning, when Carlos Santana (who played a marvelous first base all series) lined a single to drive in Asdrubal Cabrera and tie the game at 4. It would then take another 8 innings before we would see another run, which unfortunately came off the bat of Jacoby Ellsbury, as his 14th inning home run off Vinnie Pestano, gave the Yankees a 5-4 lead. The big story in this game was the Tribe unable to get the big hit in extras. In the bottom of the 10th, the Indians loaded the bases after 3 straight walks and up stepped Nick Swisher, who anticlimactically struck out. Then up stepped David Murphy who laced the apparent game winner down the line only to have it go foul by about a foot. Murphy ended up grounding out and the game continued. Fast-forward to the bottom of the 14th, the game was on the line; Jason Kipnis singled with one-out and then stole second base. Michael Brantley stepped up to the plate and drove the ball deep to leftfield where Zoilo Almonte made a great over the shoulder catch to end the game. The Indians let another win slip away.
Game 4: Unlikely heroes help Tribe to unexpected rout
One week ago if I said the names Roberto Perez and Chris Dickerson, people in Cleveland would have no clue who I was talking about. Now everyone in Cleveland knows these names. These two players combined to go 5-for-7 with 4 runs scored and 2 RBI’s in the Tribe’s come from behind 9-3 win. T.J. House started the game for the Tribe needing to go deep into the game to save the bullpen after game 3’s 14 inning affair. Instead, House went 4 2/3 innings giving up 8 hits, 3 runs, walking 2, and striking out 5. House never got in a rhythm, looking good at some spots and not knowing how to pitch at other times. The Tribe was held off the scoreboard until the 7th inning when the flood gates opened. The Tribe led-off the inning with 3 straight singles by Dickerson, Perez (his first career hit), and Jason Kipnis. Up stepped Asdrubal Cabrera, who, as he normally does, swung at the first pitch, and drove it down the leftfield line for a bases clearing triple to tie the game at 3. A Michael Brantley sac fly gave the Tribe a 4-3 lead going into the 8th. In the bottom of the 8th, after a Nick Swisher strikeout, Chris Dickerson doubled. Roberto Perez, making his major league debut, stepped into the batter’s box. He just missed getting a base hit, when the ump ruled his hit foul; Perez didn’t realize it and ended up on second base only to have to walk all the back to the box. The very next pitch was hammered off the top of the wall; mass hysteria ensued as Terry Francona came out and asked to review the play. After review, it was determined that the ball hit the railing giving Perez his first career home run and a night he will never forget. Jason Kipnis followed with a single and stole second base; Brantley then drove him in with a liner hit so hard, it knocked Derek Jeter back to the 90’s. With the Tribe up 7-3, Carlos Santana delivered the knockout blow with a 2-run home run to make it a 9-3 lead. Nick Hagadone came on for the Indians in the 9th and struck out Brian McCann to end the game. In one of the most exciting games all year, it may be over looked that this was the last time Derek Jeter will appear at Jacobs/Progressive Field and the Indians sent him out on a low note.
Next Up: The Tribe face the White Sox to end the unofficial first half of the baseball season
— Chris Sladoje (@The_Doje)
Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images