The offense has been a smidge better over this five-game winning streak, but the key to the streak has been the pitching. In each of the five wins, the starter has gone at least six innings, and only once (Carmona) has the starter given up more than three runs. The Indians score a bit over four runs a game, so normally even those kinds of performances aren't enough, because the bullpen has been terrible. Not this week. The pen has given up a grand total of two runs in those five game, both of them in last Sunday's game.To top things off, in each game an Indians reliever recorded a save.
The pitching continued this trend in today's victory over the Blue Jays. Justin Masterson pitched into the ninth, and probably would have at least completed the game had Jason Donald gone to first instead of trying to get the runner at third. Masterson didn't walk a batter, an almost miraculous achievement considering how he was pitching in April and early May. I didn't see the game, but reading the play log, I'm seeing a couple little jams, but no real Toronto rallies until the ninth.
Matt LaPorta started the scoring in the fourth, crushing his third home run in as many days way over the left field home run porch. Shelley Duncan followed with a homer of his own, and then Jason Donald and Trevor Crowe finished off the scoring for the inning (and as it turned out, the game) by singling home runs in consecutive at-bats. Toronto starter Shaun Marcum, who had been cruising going into the fourth, was taken out after the inning, but the damage had been done, and the Jays wouldn't get on the board until the ninth inning.
As mentioned above, Masterson was pulled in the ninth after he loaded the bases with a run already in. It was a save situation, but one that had quickly developed, so it was Frank Herrmann who came in instead of Kerry Wood. He got his first major-league save in style, inducing Jose Molina to hit a game-ending double play.
|Highest WPA||Lowest WPA|
|Justin Masterson||.229||Travis Hafner||-.087|
|Matt LaPorta||.172||Jayson Nix||-.042|
|Shin-Soo Choo||.109||Andy Marte||-.023|