|Highest WPA||Lowest WPA|
|David Dellucci||.595||Ryan Garko||-.163|
|Jhonny Peralta||.317||Kelly Shoppach||-.125|
|Rafael Betancourt||.097||Fausto Carmona||-.116|
I guess it would figure that the Indians come back to win a game after the starter barely got through five innings.
Fausto Carmona's frequent walking spells, which would have sent a pitcher with lesser stuff to the minors by now, shortened his outing tonight. Even though the Yankee lineup tends to chew up starters before their normal finishing point, I don't really think it was their patience that forced Fausto out. It was Fausto's mechanics that acted up; like most of his starts, he'd be in the strike zone for several batters at a time, then his pitches would go off the radar. Carmona has now walked 30 batters in almost 40 innings, an astounding number, especially if you consider how low his ERA remains.
Victor Martinez was a late scratch, making Jhonny Peralta (.216/.276/.392) and Ryan Garko (.242/.361/.354) the #3 and #4 hitters. The scary thing is that those were the proper choices, unless you wanted to move Sizemore down. Ben Francisco was in the lineup, just up from Buffalo, not to mention one of Andy Marte's rare appearances. (Side note: If you throw out Jamey Carroll, every one of those in tonight's lineup either made their major-league debut with the Indians or still had rookie eligibility when they debuted with the Indians. And that includes all the pitchers who made appearances in tonight's game as well.)
But despite another shaky outing from Carmona, despite not doing much against Andy Pettitte, the Indians won the game. The offensive production came on two swings of the bat. The first swing was Jhonny Peralta's home run to right-center in the fourth. The second came in the eighth inning off Joba Chamberlain when pinch-hitter David Dellucci flew out to the short porch in right field. Dellucci's home run came after Ryan Garko seemingly let Joba off the hook by weakly flying out when ahead in the count.
For a game in early May, this win was pretty significant. The Indians haven't been the only team struggling early this season, and even with a below-.500 record, they are now just 1.5 games behind the first-place Twins. For all the trials and tribulations April brought, the Indians don't really need to make up much ground.