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Game One Hundred Eleven: Indians 5, Rays 2



Highest WPA Lowest WPA
Cliff Lee .207 Ryan Garko -.073
David Dellucci .185 Andy Marte -.055
Rafael Perez .099 Jhonny Peralta -.034

On a team that's been a lost cause for almost two months, a Cliff Lee start is a most welcome escape from reality. Lee isn't the pitcher he was early in the season, but that makes these workmanlike starts even more impressive; he's not just successful when he has his best stuff. He struggled to get through 7 innings, and had several major jams to work out of, including his last inning of work. Getting out of that jam, which included facing the middle of the Rays' order for the fourth time, was impressive in how quickly it was diffused; after giving up two singles up the middle, he got both Carlos Pena and Evan Longoria to pop out, and then got defensive help from Asdrubal Cabrera on a Dioner Navarro grounder to end the inning.

Every time I see Franklin Gutierrez make a difficult outfield play seem routine, I think of how rare an all-around baseball player is to come by. Even though Gutierrez is probably one of the five best defensive outfielders in baseball, he's not going to start anywhere with the way he's hitting, not even as a center fielder. His defense should keep giving him chances to prove he can hit, but this season was his best opportunity to cement a starting job. Unless he goes absolutely nuts between now and the end of the season, he's a reserve outfielder no matter which team he plays for next season.