The Indians went a long way to accomplishing two of their late-season goals by sweeping this day-night doubleheader:
1. Finish in second place. Now 3 games ahead of Chicago with four games to play.
2. Finish at or above .500. Now 2 games above .500 with four games to play.
It's hard to think of accomplishing these goals as anything special given that at the beginning of the month, the Indians still had a shot of winning the division and making the playoffs. But if you compare this season over last season, accomplishing these goals would be a major sign of progress. The Indians finished 2010 at 69-93, and in fourth place. If the Tribe finishes at .500, that's a 13-game improvement, and would be one of the biggest improvements in baseball.
In game one, David Huff looked much better, striking out seven in 5.2 innings of work. It must be said that this improvement came against one of the worst offenses in the league, but his location did look much better than in his previous two outings. Given where he started the season, he's had a successful year, though those two consecutive implosions did a lot of damage for his prospects for next season.
The Indians won going away thanks to a six run sixth inning. Eight Indians would reach base; the inning start with the bases loaded without a base hit (two walks and a hit batter), and the Indians made the Twins pay by collecting five hits after the bases were full. Jason Kipnis' two-run single sealed the win.
In game two, the Indians had one of their biggest comeback of the year, winning the game after trailing 6-0 going into the bottom of the sixth. The Indians scored five runs in the sixth, then took the lead in the seventh with Shelley Duncan's two-run double. Mitch Talbot, who was back on the 40-man roster, blew his second chance by giving up 6 runs to a AAA Twins lineup. In addition to the nine hits he gave up, he walked four more. The Indians are thin in starting pitching, but I don't think Talbot will last the winter on the 40-man roster. The Indians have options remaining with Huff, Gomez, and McAllister, but Talbot is out of options, and at this point probably is below the other three of the team's depth chart.
|High WPA||Low WPA|
|High WPA||Low WPA|