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Game 74: Indians 5, Reds 3

Mitch Talbot and Shin-Soo Choo brought an end to the Indians' seven-game losing streak, with Choo providing the run production, and Talbot the run prevention. Choo hit two home runs off Cincinnati starter Bronson Arroyo, giving him four home runs off Arroyo this season. Talbot allowed six base runners (three hits, three walks) in seven innings, allowing Manny Acta to transition straight to Chris Perez in the eighth, and Kerry Wood in the ninth.

Talbot has been a pleasant surprise, posting an ERA under 4.00 and going an average of over 6 innings per start. He has a nice four-pitch mix, and has a good grasp of how to use them. I do have a couple concerns, namely his strikeout rate (4.0/9 innings), which is well below the league average of over 6 per 9 innings, and his walks, which are very high for a pitcher who doesn't get many strikeouts. You could respond by saying that Talbot isn't giving into hitters, and he is walking batters instead of giving up line drives and home runs (only .8 per 9 innings). Still, his strikeout rates resembles Jeremy Sowers' career averages, so I'm waiting for other clubs to make their adjustments.

Carlos Santana hit his fourth home run in the eighth inning, giving him 10 extra-base hits in 15 games. That's more extra-base hits than Lou Marson (45 games), Luis Valbuena (49 games), and Trevor Crowe (39 games).



Highest WPA Lowest WPA
Shin-Soo Choo .417 Jhonny Peralta -.092
Mitch Talbot .255 Jayson Nix -.087
Kerry Wood .085