Game Twenty-Three: Indians 6, Yankees 4

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via www.fangraphs.com

 

Highest WPA Lowest WPA
Jhonny Peralta .434 Paul Byrd -.143
Rafael Perez .169 Kelly Shoppach -.081
Franklin Gutierrez .111 Casey Blake -.060

Even with the offense recently waking up, the Indians' strength all season has been their starting pitching. Paul Byrd (ignore the WPA) continued that trend, limiting a full-strength Yankee lineup to four runs on six hits. Eric Wedge, who normally will not err on the side of caution when it comes to pulling a starter, has been very aggressive with Paul Byrd so far this season. Byrd had thrown just 77 pitches through 5.2, but after giving up a home run to Hideki Matsui, was hooked quickly.

The move paid off, as Rafael Perez bridged the gap between the sixth and the ninth, allowing only one baserunner and using just 23 pitches in his 2.1 innings, quite a feat against a finicky New York offense. Perez wasn't expected to go the distance, as Wedge had Masa Kobayashi warming behind Perez, but the Indians' manager changed his plans after he saw how Raffy Left looked.

The Indians' offensive upsurge hasn't been driven by the stars of the lineup, but by everyone else. Tonight it was the unlikely trio of Jamey Carroll (2 hits, 2 SB, 1 RBI), Jhonny Peralta (2 H, 1 HR, 4 RBI), and Franklin Gutierrez (HR) who accounted for the six runs scored tonight. Carroll has slowly been winning playing time over Asdrubal Cabrera, and while he's not the future at second, he's certainly been good enough warrant more at-bats in the present.

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