Game 134: Indians 5, Twins 2

After getting swept in Detroit, the Indians continued to help the Tigers' AL Central hopes tonight by defeating their closest competitor.

Jeremy Sowers pitched one of his cleanest games of the year, allowing 2 earned runs on seven base runners (6 hits, 0 walks, 1 HBP) in six innings. Jeremy's pitching this month for a spot on next year's roster, whether it be in the rotation of in the bullpen. The Indians can't option out Sowers any more, so that means if he doesn't make the 25-man roster next season, he'll probably be in somebody else's organization. Before the All-Star Break, it looked like there was no way Sowers would be part of the 2010 Indians. But since the break, Sowers has a 3.71 ERA in 7 starts (not including tonight), and for the first time since his initial stint in the majors looks like a viable major-league starter.

Before tonight's game, it was announced that Grady Sizemore would undergo season-ending surgery. Not only on his elbow, but also on his groin. The groin problem explains why Sizemore hasn't run much this season, and had to have an adverse effect on his defense. And frankly, that Sizemore managed to hit .248/.343/.445 while playing a very demanding defensive position is amazing.

Michael Brantley will fill in for Grady both in center field and the leadoff spot. Brantley, at least at this stage of his career, is a much different hitter than Sizemore, but he's impressed me all the same in his few major-league at-bats. In the sixth, he did a great job of inside-outing a Carl Pavano pitch to drive in a run with two outs. 

Kelly Shoppach, on the other hand, has looked terrible recently (.192/.302/.365 in August). He struck out three times tonight, all on swings and misses. He'll probably be losing playing time to Lou Marson after the AAA season ends, and although I think the Indians should keep him around another year, if they feel that Marson and Wyatt Toregas can hold down the fort until Carlos Santana is ready, then he's very expendable.

Next Up: Baker vs. Masterson, 4:10 PM



Highest WPA Lowest WPA
Jeremy Sowers .145 Kelly Shoppach -.076
Jamey Carroll .124 Matt LaPorta -.073
Travis Hafner .107 Andy Marte -.069
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