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Game One Hundred Thirty-Nine: Indians 6, Twins 2

Box Score
Win Probability Added @ Fangraphs

Highest WPA:

Fausto Carmona .245
Rafael Perez .171
Travis Hafner

Lowest WPA:

Grady Sizemore -.077
Franklin Gutierrez -.075
Ryan Garko -.067

Fausto Carmona pitched into the eighth, and left with a tenuous one-run lead. Rafael Perez tidily finished the inning, and thanks to the Indians' addition of  three runs in the top of the ninth, recorded his first career save.

The Twins came to Cleveland 10 days ago 5.5 games in back of the Indians, a good series away from making the AL Central a three-team race. Today, Minnesota is all but eliminated from contention, 12.5 games behind the Indians and 9 games behind the Yankees. This series, the Indians beat Johan Santana and Scott Baker, and tied the third game on Joe Nathan's watch. On the road.  

There's no real sudden burst of success in baseball: it must come languidly, winning rubber games of series in extra innings, stealing a road series on a late home run. And even then you're at the mercy of games beyond your control. But the past two weeks have seen the Indians gain 6.5 games in the standings, an almost precipitous surge in baseball time.

Patrick DiCaprio at The Fantasy Baseball Generals takes a look at Eric Wedge's bullpen management. His take pretty much coincides with my view: Borowski is the worst of the three main relievers, but because of his defined role, pitches less innings and, in some cases, relatively low-leverage situations. Wedge's system may be efficient only by fortune, not design, but it's working all the same.  

Next Up: A tough four-game set in Greater Los Angeles.  Byrd vs. Escobar, 10:05 PM