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Game Twenty-Four: Indians 4, Yankees 3



Highest WPA Lowest WPA
Masa Kobayashi .253 Casey Blake -.261
Victor Martinez .212 Ryan Garko -.123
Travis Hafner .156 Franklin Gutierrez -.106


Between FOX's sycophantic devotion to the NFL Draft and Tim McCarver's hysterics after watching Kobayashi's straight-leg windup, the Indians beat a reasonable facsimile of the Yankees to win their fifth in row and reach the .500 mark for the first time since April 8th.

Jeremy Sowers had the good fortune to face New York's B lineup, and although there were hard-hit outs, his velocity peaked around 90s and his pitches stayed away from the middle of the plate. With Jake Westbrook now out for at least another month, he's now competing with Aaron Laffey for a rotation spot.

After the Indians scored three runs against a young and frustrated Ian Kennedy, the game sped merrily along until the sixth, and then interesting things started to happen. Sowers ran out of gas in midway through the sixth inning, so his college teammate Jensen Lewis was called in to bail him out of a bases loaded jam. Lewis struck out pinch-hitter Robinson Cano, but pinch-hitter Jorge Posada cleared the bases by hitting a "triple" into the left field corner. David Dellucci had no business diving for the ball and should have at least prevented the runner from first from scoring.

Lewis stayed on another inning, staggering through the middle of the New York order in the seventh. He struck out an ailing Alex Rodriguez after a lengthy at-bat; the pitcher kept missing his location, and the hitter kept missing the mistakes.

By the time Masa Kobayashi entered the game, the lineup he was facing was filled with the usual suspects; each of the four starters who started the game on the bench were back in the lineup. But no matter, for the Yankees had not seen Kobayashi's bizarre windup, and it was obvious that even after seeing a couple pitches, the hitters swung not merely because they were fooled by his pitches but because of fear of what he was capable of...sorry, I got carried away, the hitters were actually just fooled by his pitches.

Joba Chamberlain wasn't available because of some obscure reason, so the Yankees elected to go with Ross Ohlendorf to pitch the ninth. Grady Sizemore and David Dellucci singled with one out, then Ohlendorf uncorked a wild pitch. Travis Hafner was then walked (thank you, Joe) to bring up Victor Martinez, who dumped a single into shallow left to win the game.