Game 22: Indians 9, Royals 4

The bullpen is starting to get a bit scary, but you certainly couldn't complain about the offense. The Indians hit five home runs in their return to Progressive Field, and won their eighth-straight game at home.

Jack Hannahan, who was just supposed to play defense, hit two solo home runs and a single. Jack has been teeing off on left-handed pitchers thus far, but had his big night at the expense of the right-handed Luke Hochevar. Jason Donald is playing again on a rehab assignment, so this was a nicely-timed outburst for Hannahan.

Matt LaPorta contributed a home run of his own, crushing a hanging breaking ball onto the home run porch in left. Matt came into the game hitting a decent .246/.347/.426, which in this pitching-friendly month is good for a 121 OPS+. He isn't living up fully to his potential yet, but the signs are good. His at-bats this month are much better than at any time last season; he's struck out 11 times in 72 PA; last season, he struck out 82 times in 425 PA.

Shin-Soo Choo join the home run party by jumping on the first pitch Louis Coleman threw. Coleman evidently thought that Choo would be taking with two on and one out.

The key point in the game, though game in the eighth. Tony Sipp started the top of the eighth, but he again couldn't find the strike zone, and he allowed the first three of the inning to reach. Vinnie Pestano was summoned to get the Indians out of the jam, and he had a tall order to overcome: Billy Butler, Jeff Francouer, and Kila Ka'aihue. Throwing all fastballs, he got Butler to pop out, whiffed Francouer with a high fastball, and got another pop out to end the inning.

Grady Sizemore capped the scoring with a no-doubt homer to center. Grady is now hitting over .400 in his first eight games, and looks nothing like the player who struggled in 2009 and early 2010.

Chris Perez came into the game to get some work in, and like Sipp, he struggled to find the strike zone. He allowed a run to score, and probably would have been pulled if Shin-Soo Choo hadn't made an outstanding diving catch on Alex Gordon's sinking line drive to end the game.

20110426_royals_indians_0_20110426210703_lbig__medium

via www.fangraphs.com


Highest WPA Lowest WPA
Hannahan .244 Santana -.168
Pestano .167 Sipp -.082
Choo .152 Granpabrera -.072

 

Recap to come...

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