I am unsure exactly how many times a game like this comes along in a 162 game season, but tonight’s 6-2 victory over the world champion St. Louis Cardinals can definitely be classified as a group effort. In all, 8 of the 9 Indians starters had a crooked number in the hit column (only Choo was shut out) and Josh Tomlin pitched seven strong innings while only tallying one strikeout. The Tribe benefited from three St. Louis errors and extra base hits by Johnny Damon and Carlos Santana. Let us get to the breakdown, shall we?
1.) Brantley continues to rake– With a 2-5 effort tonight, Michael Brantley extended his current hitting streak to 16 games. During the hit streak, Brantley has hit .361 (22-61) with a homer, 14 RBI’s, and six stolen bases. Below is the heat map illustrating Brantley’s streak:
2.) You’ve Just been Damon’ed– Johnny Damon launched his second home run of the season tonight on a 84 MPH hanging slider. After a terrible start to his Indians career, Damon has since rebounded: He has six hits and four walks in his past six games, and has only struck out once. If the Indians expect to stay near the top of the AL Central, Damon is going to have to continue to thrive.
3.) Kipnis is Tough– Although it has nothing to do with the final score, I feel as if I must mention something that happened to Jason. During Jason’s first at-bat he fouled a pitch directly off of his kneecap; As soon as his swing was complete Kipnis hit the dirt in a lot of pain, causing me to wonder if he was significantly injured. After he was examined by the trainer and Manny Acta Kipnis decided to stay in the game and continue the at-bat, which ended with a line drive single to left. Watching Jason Kipnis play baseball at such a high level in 2012 has been refreshing, and I really hope to see him and Cabrera in this year’s All-Star Game. Everyone, vote for them now!
Photo of the Game: Courtesy of Jeff Curry/Getty Images, Michael Brantley gives Yadier Molina the stare down. You are allowed to do those types of things when you have a 16 game hit streak I guess.
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