Michael Bourn homered on the second pitch of the game from Yu Darvish. As it turns out, that would be all the scoring the Indians would need in order to edge past the Texas Rangers and their foreign import ace.
On a 1-0 pitch in the bottom of the first inning, Michael Bourn hit a laser to right. The ball hung up just long enough to clear the wall in right for a 1-0 Indians lead. The home run was the fourth of the year for Bourn and his second of the week. Can you say power surge? Perhaps Terry Francona should consider moving Bourn into the clean up spot. I got jokes.
From that point forward it was a battle of wills between Darvish and Indians ace Justin Masterson.
Darvish was superb. Over the course of six innings of work he allowed only that one run on three hits while striking out 11. He did walk four indians on the night, but not once did they put together any sort of substantial rally. It was just another dominant start from the Major’s leader in strikeouts.
Meanwhile, Justin Masterson did was Justin Masterson does. he made it through 7.2 innings of work and struck out eight while only giving up five hits and walking only one. He was fantastic, matching Darvish almost pitch for pitch inning after inning. As far as pitching duels go, this one was top-notch.
Both bullpens were also spectacular last night. They combines to throw 3.1 innings of shut out baseball in relief of Darvish and Masterson. Chris Perez pitched a perfect top half of the ninth to earn his 14th save of the season.
With the win, the Indians have clinched the series victory. In a surprising twist, they have also won four out of five games against the Rangers this season. Say what you want about the Indians record against teams with winning records or bound for the playoffs, but they have found a way to be successful against the Rangers.
The Good: Kudos to both Justin Masterson and Yu Darvish. Both aces were spectacular on Saturday and put on a dazzling display of pitching dominance. Also, Michael Bourn deserves some praise since it was his lead off home run that proved to be the difference.
The Bad: You could make a case that both offenses were horrifically bad, but that is only because the pitching was that good. No complaints here.
The “Huh?”: Michael Bourn hit another home run. He’s not typically known for his power hitting prowess, but the power display over the past week has been a nice turn of events.