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Game 49: Cleveland 2, Tampa 1

The Indians need to win games now.  The Indians are suffering from numerous injuries, particularly to the starting rotation.  These two facts mean that the Indians need players who may not have been part of plans A, B, or C at the beginning of the season to step up and perform well.  They also need the guys who were counted on at the beginning of the season to do what was expected of them.  Suddenly, for four games in Cleveland, that is what has happened for the Indians.

The Indians came in to this afternoon’s game with a chance to extend their first legitimate winning streak of the season to 4 games and finish off a sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays.  David Huff, who is one of those people the Tribe needs to step up and help stabilize the starting rotation for the next month, had not made it to the fifth inning in either of his first two starts.  He didn’t today again, but this time it wasn’t his fault.  While looking far from over-powering, Huff worked four scoreless innings this afternoon before rain interrupted the game and ultimately ended Huff’s day prematurely.  After leaving a runner in scoring position each of the first two innings, the Indians managed to score a run in the third off a bunt single from Asdrubal Cabrera, a double from Grady, and then a groundball from Victor Martinez – good enough to give the Indians a 1-0 lead heading into the rain delay.

After the rain stopped, the Indians extended the lead to 2-0 thanks to a Kelly Shoppach double down the left field line and a two out hit from (you guessed it) Victor Martinez.  In the following half-inning, Jensen Lewis in for his second inning of relief allowed a solo-HR to Willie Aybar to cut the lead to 2-1.  If there was a negative in today’s game, it was that the HR was the 8th allowed by Jensen on the season – not a good number for a reliever in May.  Jensen was replaced by Matt Herges (1-0, 1.35), who again delivered a strong multi-inning outing, allowing just a single hit and striking out 3 in 1.2 innings.  Rafael Betancourt followed with his sixth consecutive scoreless outing.  And Kerry Wood followed with his fourth straight, good for his 8th save and a 2-1 Indians victory.

Next up: The Yankees come to town, Lee vs. Pettitte (7:05 pm)


Highest WPA Lowest WPA
D Huff .220 S Choo -.119
M Herges .183 L Valbuena -.079
K Wood .168 R Garko -.070