When I stop to think about today’s game, the first thought that comes to mind is, “Wow, Travis Buck really saved the day in this one.” While he certainly saved the day from an offensive standpoint, to make that the sole focal point takes some deserved praise away from Josh Tomlin. Without Tomlin’s nearly lights-out performance, Buck is in no position to play hero in today’s game.
In addition to shutting down a potent Reds offense, Tomlin also reached a milestone today – he became just the fifth pitcher since 1919 to throw five or more innings in his first 21 career starts. Tomlin’s reliability and durability was especially important today, since the bullpen was taxed yesterday from Alex White’s third inning departure. If Orlando Cabrera was able to turn that double play in the seventh inning, it’s likely that the Reds never end up scoring off of Tomlin.
Homer Bailey pitched a gem for the Reds as well; the only hit the Indians had until the seventh inning was a single by Shin-Soo Choo in the fourth inning. I was worried that the Indians would leave Asdrubal Cabrera stranded at first after his lead-off single in the seventh inning, but Buck, back in the lineup following his toe injury, came through in a big way. Vinnie Pestano and Chris Perez held the Reds scoreless in the eighth and ninth innings as the Indians secured their seventeenth home victory of the year.
I feel like the only thing I’ve written about all week are players going on the DL and other assorted roster moves. There was another move again today as the Indians placed Alex White on the DL for his finger injury and called up reliever Josh Judy from AAA Columbus. White is scheduled to get an MRI, so I guess we’ll soon learn about the severity of the injury and how much time he’ll miss. I guess this makes the Mitch Talbot activation an easy decision, as the Indians will no longer have to choose between sending Alex White or Carlos Carrasco to Columbus. I really hope this is the last roster move I mention until people start coming OFF the DL!
As a side note, I must say that I love the Indians’ new pre-game scoreboard montage. They have a number of pre-season quotes from prominent sports entities about how the Indians won’t amount to much in 2011, that they’ll battle Kansas City for the basement this season, etc. Then they played “We’re Not Gonna Take It” by Twisted Sister as they showed some of the big plays and walk-off celebrations from the season thus far. One of the things I love about the Indians this season is that they continue to do their thing, no matter what anybody says about them. I like the implication that the players became tired of all the negativity and are fighting back against it…at least this image got me pumped prior to this afternoon’s game.
The Rally Cows improved their home record to 5-0 today…we’ll see how they do during the series finale on Sunday afternoon. As my friend Cathy pointed out, Buck’s home run landed dangerously close to where the Rally Cows (and I) were sitting today…