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Game Forty-Five: Indians 10, Royals 3

Box Score
Win Probability Added @ Fangraphs

Highest WPA:

Jason Michaels .180
Ryan Garko .135
Jeremy Sowers .096

Lowest WPA:

Casey Blake -.041
Andy Marte -.032
Aaron Fultz -.005

To any that were worried about a sweep going into a brutal six-game stretch in Detroit and Boston, the Indians allayed those concerns, putting the game away in the first inning. Jorge de la Rosa didn't get a couple close calls early on, and he unraveled, walking three in the first inning. He still could have got out of the inning leaving the bases loaded, but a Ryan Garko two-run single and a Jason Michaels three-pointer made him pay for th wildness. De la Rosa walked seven Indians in the game; he had walked a total of 12 the entire season.

This early run support was a big help for Jeremy Sowers. He pitched around some early jams, then settled down in later innings. His seven innings were a big help to the Indians' recently releaguered bullpen, although that bullpen didn't seem comfortable that small a league. Aaron Fultz once again was called upon to get an out with the bases loaded, and once again he didn't throw a strike. I guess it says something when Mike Koplove, who was called up after Tuesday's game, has become an integral part of the bullpen already, diffusing the volatile mess left by the tag-team of Hernandez and Fultz.

I hadn't got much of a chance to see Koplove before tonight (he'd spent his whole career with Arizona), and I understand now why, even when he's getting outs, he's walking more than 3 per 9 innings. Against right-handers, he uses a below-grade arm slot, and his pitches have a lot of movement on them. He actually changes his arm slot against left-handers to a more conventional delivery, but he's easier to hit, and somehow his control gets worse:

vs. RHB: 613 PA, .238/.287/.322, 93 SO, 26 BB, 14 HBP
vs. LHB: 458 PA, .255/.386/.410, 80 SO, 75 BB, 5 HBP

I imagine he won't see many left-handed batters.

Next Up: An important three-game series in Detroit. Byrd vs. Robertson, 7:05 PM.