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.To read more or comment...
Final: Blue Jays 3, Indians 2
Lonnie Chisenhall led off the bottom of the ninth with a double. Bourn and Swisher then struck out before Kipnis and Santana walked to load the bases for Brantley with two outs. He grounded out to first base to end the game.
Through eight innings: Blue Jays 3, Indians 2
The Indians' bullpen and defense gave the lead right back to Toronto.
With a runner on first and one out, Marc Rzepczynski came on for Masterson (6 1/3, six hits, two ER, 9 Ks), and allowed singles to both hitters he faced, including the game-tying hit to Munenori Kawasaki.To read more or comment...
1. Cabrera LF
2. Kawasaki 2B
3. Bautista DH
4. Encarnacion 1B
5. Navarro C
6. Rasmus CF
7. Lawrie 3B
8. Sierra RF
9. Goins SS
SP: RHP Drew Hutchison (1-1, 3.68 ERA)
1. Bourn CF
2. Swisher 1B
3. Kipnis 2B
4. Santana 3B
5. Brantley LF
6. Cabrera SS
7. Murphy RF
8. Gomes C
9. Chisenhall DH
SP: RHP Justin Masterson (0-0, 5.87)
Notes: In the past two seasons, Masterson has gone 2-0 with a 1.30 ERA against the Blue Jays in four starts. It'll also be interesting to see where Masterson lands on the radar gun tonight. Last year he was averaging 93 mph with his fastball and hitting 96. This year, he said he's been taking a bit off, trading velocity for better location and on his sinker, better movement. It worked in his first outing against Oakland but he's been hit hard in his two starts since. That's something to watch tonight.To read more or comment...
Fourteen final thoughts for how many career major league starts Danny Salazar may have to his credit when he heads back to the minors.To read more or comment...