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Games Eight and Nine

Game Eight: Indians 4, Angels 3  


Highest WPA
Lowest WPA
Pronk .537 Jamey Carroll -.174
Jake Westbrook .173 Victor Martinez -.136
Asdrubal Cabrera .110 Franklin Gutierrez -.125

Jake Westbrook again pitched extremely well, and this time, he got the victory. Jake gave up three runs on seven hits, but threw nine innings on only 95 pitches. Only in the sixth inning did he face more than four hitters.

He was able to pitch the ninth thanks to Pronk's ninth inning two-run homer. Both Francisco Rodriguez and Scot Shields were unable to pitch, leaving Justin Speier to attempt the save. Speier got the first two hitters easily enough, but Asdrubal Cabrera coaxed a two-out walk, bringing up Hafner, who crushed one out to right field. If you're interested, that home run was worth .712 in WPA.

Game Nine: Angels 9, Indians 5


Highest WPA
Lowest WPA
Kelly Shoppach .082 Paul Byrd -.306
Grady Sizemore .023 Asdrubal Cabrera -.082
David Dellucci .014 Travis Hafner -.082

Compared to Jake Westbrook's performance the night before, Paul Byrd looked like an emergency callup. Byrd again couldn't spot his pitches, and was thrashed by the Angels. Byrd was brutally honest after his three-inning outing:

"I haven't had my command at all," Byrd said. "I haven't had very good stuff, either. To pitch up here, you have to have one of the two, for sure. I have neither right now."

Of course, Byrd's stuff isn't really that good, at least good enough to for him to get  away with it being in the wrong location. Fausto Carmona can miss his spot and still get an out or a swinging strike. If Byrd misses his location and the pitch usually gets hit hard.

The offense was much better, and actually brought the Indians back into the game for a time. The Tribe had 12 hits, which for early 2008 was an outburst. Kelly Shoppach and Jhonny Peralta both homered, and four Indians had multi-hit games. Travis Hafner followed up his heroics the night before with an 0-4 with two strikeouts.