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Game Sixty-One: Indians 4, Tigers 2



Highest WPA Lowest WPA
Paul Byrd .211 Ben Francisco -.103
Casey Blake .152 Victor Martinez -.072
Ryan Garko .101 Asdrubal Cabrera -.039

Paul Byrd being able to outpitch Justin Verlander appears to break several laws of physics. But the guy who sits in the mid-80s and goes down from there was better than the guy who sits in the mid-90s and more or less stays there tonight. He got through 7 innings without really being in much trouble; the two runs he gave up were both on solo home runs. Normally Byrd is allowing a couple hits an inning, relying on high-pressure pitches to get him out of jams, but tonight the innings were stress-free.

Ryan Garko had his moment of the season in the eighth inning. After getting back on track in Texas with mainly opposite-field hits, Garko reacted on a pitch down and in, and jerked it out of the park, giving the Indians an important insurance run. The home run came after Garko fouled off several pitches that were on or just off the outside corner; that plate coverage kept him at the plate, and he didn't miss the mistake inside. The hours of frustrating batting practice suddenly became worth it.

Joe Borowski has also recovered his 2007 form. His fastball is back to sitting in the high 80s, and while he didn't have good control of his slider tonight, his velocity is now good enough to get by most nights.

The Indians are still in survival mode, with not a whole lot separating them from irrelevancy, but at least some players are finally turning things around. Hopefully the bottom has already happened.