After struggling to find their way over the first five games following the All-Star break, the Indians broke free in a huge way on Wednesday to salvage one game with the Mariners. The 10-1 victory ended a two game slide and gives the Tribe something to hang their hat on as they head home to take on the Rangers this weekend.
Naturally when looking at the score of yesterday’s game the first thing that jumps out is the 10-run outburst. After the way the offense had performed over the previous five games it was refreshing to see them pound the baseball into submission. However, the offense wasn’t the only story from yesterday’s game. Perhaps even more important than the offensive explosion was the pure dominance of Tribe starter Scott Kazmir.
Over the course of eight innings of work, Kazmir looked like his old self and continued an impressive stretch of pitching over his past few starts. He allowed only one run while striking out seven Mariners. He also displayed pinpoint control by walking only two batters the entire game. With Kazmir pitching the way he has been, the Indians become that much more difficult to beat. With Justin Masterson at the top of the rotation, having another pitcher following him that is capable of shutting down the opposition’s offense is huge.
Moving on from the pitching, there were three huge offensive performances yesterday worth mentioning.
Carlos Santana went 3 for 5 with two doubles and two RBI. Asdrubal Cabrera, who has been struggling to find himself at the late, went 2 for 4 with a double, home run, three RBI, and four runs scored. Finally, Michael Bourn delivered the biggest blow of the game in the fifth inning. With the bases loaded, Bourn delivered with a grand slam to right center to put the Indians up 9-1 and blow the game open in the process. The Indians final run came in the top of the ninth when Mark Reynolds grounded into a double play to drive in the tenth and final run.
The Mariners scored their lone run in the bottom of the second inning thanks to Michael Saunders. The run scored when Saunders grounded out to Mark Reynolds at third. At the time, the run cut the Tribe’s lead in to 3-1, and provided the Mariners with some life, but from that point forward it was the Scott Kazmir show.
The Good: There was a lot to like from yesterday’s game, but the most notable performances came from the players I mentioned above. Carlos Santana, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Michael Bourn drove the offense yesterday afternoon. The there is Scott Kazmir, who threw eight spectacular innings and was virtually untouchable. The road trip may have been a failure as a whole, but yesterday’s victory may go a long way in helping the Indians get back on the winning track.
The Bad: Jason Kipnis took an 0-for on the day. He was the only Indian starter to not record a hit, but given how well he has hit as of late I think we can let yesterday’s performance slide.
The “Huh?”: Vinnie Pestano‘s struggles continued on Wednesday. He was brought in for mop up duty in the ninth and allowed a hit and two walks in 29 pitches. He didn’t give up a run, but it was still a far cry from the Pestano of years past.