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Game Forty-One: Indians 4, Athletics 2



Highest WPA Lowest WPA
Aaron Laffey .316 Franklin Gutierrez -.144
Masa Kobayashi .169 Rafael Betancourt -.134
Jhonny Peralta .119 Kelly Shoppach -.052

The streak is dead. Long live the streak!

Aaron Laffey gave up an unearned run in the second inning after he threw a ball past Ryan Garko into right field. So the run's really his fault, but it won't show up in his ERA, for a pitcher can't control what happens after he makes his pitch..even if he's the one fielding the ball.

As in the other two games in this series, the offense was sporadic, but when the starting pitching has been this good, sporadic is good enough. An inning after the Athletics tied the game, the Indians scored two runs on two singles. Grady Sizemore got hit with a pitch, and Jhonny Peralta took a walk. Ben Francisco singled in Sizemore, and after Ryan Garko popped out, Travis Hafner drove Peralta home.

Aaron Laffey made sure the Indians couldn't justify sending him down, pitching seven efficient innings. He struck out 6, a season high, and his out distribution was different as well (5 ground outs, 9 fly outs). Though Jeremy Sowers will start tomorrow against the Reds, Laffey will stay in the rotation.

The biggest development of today's game came at its end; Rafael Betancourt came on in the ninth to close things out, but was pulled  after loading the bases. The question "Would Wedge have done this if it was Joe Borowski?" came immediately to mind. Having no official closer has made Eric Wedge turn off the bullpen auto-pilot, going with the hot arm rather than the pre-printed script. Masa Kobayashi came in, quieted things down, and probably earned himself the honor of keeping Borowski's seat warm.