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Game 83: Indians 6, Yankees 3

Just your normal Chisenhall-Duncan-Kearns home plate celebration
Just your normal Chisenhall-Duncan-Kearns home plate celebration

The Indians picked a great time to play one of their best games of the year. It was Independence Day, and Progressive Field was sold out with fans coming to see a double-feature of baseball and fireworks. Plus the Yankees were in town, and what's more American than seeing the Yankees lose?

Josh Tomlin was taken apart when he pitched in New York, but he made some adjustments, and for six innings, didn't allow a hit. This feat came despite having to deal with Greg Esterbrook's tiny and inconsistent strike zone, and New York's best lineup. The third time through the lineup, the Yankees got to him for two runs; Mark Teixeira ended the no-hit bid with a solid single up the middle, Robinson Cano reach on an odd-looking swinging bunt, and Nick Swisher drove both home with a double.Tomlin did set the rather obscure record for consecutive five-inning starts to begin a career, and would walk away with a win thanks to what happened in the bottom of the seventh.

A.J. Burnett matched Tomlin's zeroes for six innings as well, and like Tomlin, got tagged for runs in the seventh. Burnett's undoing was the walk. He walked Grady Sizemore with one out, and after a long battle, including a missed foul popup, he walked Lonnie Chisenhall with two outs. What followed went against probability. Shelley Duncan fouled off several breaking pitches before going the other way on an outside fastball, dropping a single down the right field line. The Indians cut the 2-0 deficit in half, and had runners on first and third. But Austin Kearns was coming to the plate, and was hitting .196/.287/.265 for the season, with no home runs. But he came through, hitting an opposite-field three-run home run to give the Indians the lead.

After Curtis Granderson cut the lead to 4-3 with a solo shot, Carlos Santana put the game away with a two-run homer on an absoutely beautiful swing. Like most pitchers who have been facing Santana lately, New York reliever Cory went after him with a mixture of curves and changeups. Santana sat on a curve, waited back on it perfectly, and mashed the ball over the left field fence.

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via www.fangraphs.com

 

Highest WPA Lowest WPA
Kearns(!) .477 O. Cabrera -.109
Duncan .097 Brantley -.062
Sizemore .078 Hafner -.047