Here's nine final thoughts, in honor of baseball, for a game that was just so "baseball." And also a 3-2 loss for the Tribe.
1. Justin Masterson upped his velocity a bit today, regularly hitting 92 on his fastball. It's still slower than his 93-mph average from last year, but it's faster than where he's been. He said a few weeks ago he was taking off a bit for better control/movement, but was hit hard twice and it looks like he's amping things up a bit again.
2. Marc Rzepczynski and Cody Allen have been terrific this season, and in fact their numbers are still solid after tonight. But, sometimes, it's baseball and those things happen every now and then. Masterson said those guys will go out tomorrow and close the door, like always.
3. Carlos Santana entered the game in a 1-for-28 slump. He then started the game 0-for-2 to extended it to 1-for-30. The second at-bat ended with him popping straight up and slamming his bat on the ground. So of course, as baseball goes, he cranked a two-run HR in his next at-bat. He then struck out in another big situation in the seventh and walked in a bigger sitaution in the ninth. So it's a mixed bag. He also hesitated on a dribbler hit to him at third. Whatever's going on needs to be corrected if he has plans of staying in the No. 4 spot. He's getting on base, but not much else. Perhaps tonight was the first step in the right direction.
4. And, as baseball goes, Michael Brantley then came up short in the seventh and ninth innings with runners in scoring position. Brantley has been one of baseball's best hitters in those situations, so of course in one night he doesn't come through twice.
5. In the ninth, Brantley hit one on the screws to first baseman Edwin Encarnacion, who's not a great first baseman. He hits it three feet to the right or left and the Indians win and we're probably still in the clubhouse talking to him. But as baseball goes, he hit it right at him and Toronto wins.
6. Yan Gomes committed his fifth error of the season a year after committing three for the entire season. This error, which came in a huge part of the game but didn't necessarily cost the Indians, again came when he was trying to get a runner with a snap-throw. If you remember a few weeks ago Gomes tried to gun someone down at second base and threw it before anyone was at the base. This time, he had Kawasaki dead to rights at first base but bounced it again. He said he won't lose that aggressiveness, but it really looks like he's trying to make all the great throws every inning.
7. If he does nail him, that's the second out in a big inning and opens up first base to walk Bautista. That ended up happening anyway, which isn't the worst thing—Bautista and Encarnacion are both great hitters with a ton of power, but only Joey Bats has woken up so far this season, as he has six HRs to Encarnacion's zero. Because that's baseball.
8. Nick Swisher, who's been in a rut of his own, went 2-for-4 with two singles and a walk. Francona said that he and Santana swung that bat better tonight, "which bodes well for us." He also said before the game that he isn't worried about Swisher, and that when guys like that get hot, "they get really hot."
9. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains (as tomorrow's starter Corey Kluber knows all too well). Because that's baseball.