Behind another strong performance from Scott Kazmir, the Indians once again found themselves putting another notch in the win column. Yesterday afternoon at Marlins Park in Miami, the Indians battled their way through nine innings against a surprisingly stingy Marlin bullpen to edge out a 2-0 victory. With the victory, the Indians managed to keep pace with the Detroit Tigers and still find themselves three games back as they prepare for a four game series against those same Tigers this week.
Scott Kazmir there six dominant innings Sunday afternoon allowing no runs to cross the plate while allowing only two hits and two walks. He also struck out seven, keeping the Marlins off balance for most of the affternoon. The performance continued an impressive run by Kazmir that has seen him reestablish himself as a legitimate member of the Tribe’s bullpen.
Offensively, the Indians did just enough on Sunday to ensure themselves of a victory. Despite out hitting the Marlins 11 to 4, they only managed to plate two runs. The first came in the top half of the second. A Lonnie Chisenhall single to right scored Yan Gomes and put the Tribe up 1-0. Later on in the eighth, Michael Brantley would have his moment. With Mike Aviles aboard, Brantley delivered with a single to center. Aviles came around to score and put the Indians up 2-0.
Overall, it was a relatively quiet and uneventful game. After Kazmir exited the game after the sixth, Bryan Shaw, Joe Smith, and Chris Perez pitched three innings of nearly flawless relief. Between them they allowed only three base runners. with Chris Perez working a perfect bottom half of the ninth to earn his 17th save of the season.
With the victory, Scott Kazmir improved his record on the year to 7-4. He also dropped his ERA to 3.89. Not too bad for a pitcher many felt was finished and was signed by the Indians essentially on a flyer. Not too bad at all.
The Good: The Indians bounced back after a horrific loss on Friday to win the next two games and take the series. It is very encouraging to seem them put such a bad game behind them, but also take care of their business. The Marlins are a lesser team. The Indians should beat them at least two our of every three games they play.
The Bad: The Indians had 11 hits on Sunday and were only able to score two runs. That is not an encouraging sign. The weren’t able to get much of anything going against Nathan Eovaldi. Give Eovaldi credit. He worked his way out of trouble over the course of seven innings and allowed only one run. That’s one heck of a start for a player who was the prized acquisition in the trade that sent Hanley Ramirez to the Dodgers.
The “Huh?”: Ryan Raburn batted cleanup yesterday afternoon. That’s not to say it wasn’t warranted. Raburn has ben spectacular for the Indians in 2013. The “Huh?” part comes into play when you consider the fact that if any of us were told that Ryan Raburn would be batting cleanup come August, we would have assumed 2013 was a failure. Baseball is funny sometimes.