The Twins managed to win Monday night despite three blatant blown calls by the umpires late in the game. Tonight, in the top of the ninth trailing by a run, the Twins couldn't overcome another two iffy calls, as they were shut out 1-0 in Cleveland, ending a season high five game winning streak.
The Twins offense couldn't muster much against Indians starter Carlos Carrasco, who had his sinker ball working in a big way. Batter after batter pounded the ball into the dirt in front of home plate, as Carrasco recorded 13 ground ball outs and six strikeouts, giving up only three hits and a walk through eight innings. In the top of the ninth, Ben Revere slapped a one out single through the hole between third and short. Alexi Casilla followed with a slow hopper that second baseman Orlando Cabrera charged, bare handed and flipped to first just in time to get Casilla. At least that's what the umpire said, it sure looked to me in the replays like Casilla beat the throw by a hair. But to the umpire's credit, it was a bang-bang play. Michael Cuddyer came up and worked the count to 2-2, but he was called out on strikes on a Chris Perez fastball that FoxTrack and Pitch F/X showed was at least three inches off the outside corner. I'm not saying that Cuddyer would have been able to get a hit in that situation, but he deserved a chance with a full count and Revere off and running. In any case, it's a tough way to end a ball game.
Studs, duds and notes follow after the jump. Tomorrow, Carl Pavano faces Justin Masterson in the rubber game of this series.
Francisco Liriano: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R (unearned), 3 BB, 7 SO. Three walks is a bit more than I wanted to see from Liriano, but he was dominant tonight. He had only thrown 81 pitches when he was taken out, but I understand the coaching staff wanting to take it easy after Liriano's shoulder problems.
- The Bullpen: Chuck James and Phil Dumatrait combined for three scoreless innings, extending the Twins bullpen streak to 13 straight scoreless innings.
- Ben Revere: 1-4. The only bright spot of the night offensively was Revere extending his hitting streak to 10 games.
Delmon Young: His misplay was responsible for the only run of the game, as he booted a ground ball that bounced off the fence in foul territory, allowing Carlos Santana to get to third base in the bottom of the fourth. Santana scored on a ground ball to Casilla at short in the next at bat.
- The rest of the offense. Combined, the Twins were 3 for 29 tonight, with a walk and seven strikeouts.
Denard Span was sent back to Minnesota early after he experienced headaches and dizziness this morning. Considering the number of mystery "flu-like" ailments this year, I get the feeling this team is just plain jinxed.