There was a great deal of good (even great) things about tonight’s game against the Pirates. Despite the number of positive items, there are a few bad things to discuss; particularly a couple of noteworthy injuries.
First, the good: 1. Josh Tomlin. He really came back strong after his past four lackluster starts – in 6.2 innings he allowed 6 hits and 1 earned run as he struck out five. Of the 25 batters that Tomlin faced, he threw first pitch strikes to 20 of them. 2. Vinnie Pestano. In an inning and a third he was lights out with 2 strikeouts. 3. Carlos Santana. Dating back to last year, Santana has absolutely destroyed the Pirates. This trend continued this evening, as he went 3-4 with 2 RBI and a home run. I should note, Pirates starting pitching had not allowed a home run in over 60 innings prior to Santana’s shot. 4. Travis Hafner. In his return to the lineup, he went 1-3 with a walk and an RBI double. Overall, I was impressed with his performance – the double missed being a 3-run home run by mere inches. (Hafner and Asdrubal Cabrera would eventually score during the eighth inning anyway.) Hafner only played in two rehab starts, so it was great to see him put a charge into the ball in his first game back against Major League pitching. 5. Asdrubal Cabrera. Yet again, he had a strong performance as he went 2-4. Overall the offense got the job done, plus it was nice to see a little 8th inning magic at home. Side note: It was cool to see Kenny Lofton and Carlos Baerga visiting the broadcast booth during tonight’s game.
The bad: 1. Adam Everett. He came to bat twice with the bases loaded, the first time with 2 outs in the 6th inning as the Indians clung to a slim 2-1 lead. Everett grounded out to end the inning and the threat. He struck out when he came to bat in the 8th inning with the bases loaded. You have to imagine he’s going to see more playing time with Matt LaPorta out; we can only hope that he won’t look that terrible every night (I have my doubts though). 2. Grady Sizemore. He went 2 for 3 tonight, and once again, that is 2 strikeouts in three at-bats (he grounded out in his third at-bat). The only positive thing I have to say about Sizemore tonight is that he made a nice running catch in center – it was the first time in a while he didn’t appear tentative or awkward on a running play in the outfield (at least in my opinion).
The ugly: 1. Matt LaPorta. He got caught up in a rundown between second and third and injured his leg – it appeared that he was in a great deal of pain. The somewhat positive news is that x-rays were negative and he’s scheduled to have an MRI on Saturday. 2. Lonnie Chisenhall. When Jack Hannahan moved over to first base in tonight’s game, already there were whispers about the possibility that Chisenhall could be called up to Cleveland. Unfortunately, he went on the disabled list today. The other day he obtained a concussion and whiplash from a slide into third base. It looks like that means it may be Adam Everett filling in for a while. The other possibility – the Indians still have former Major Leaguer Nick Johnson (New York Yankees, Washington Nationals) at Columbus. He’s battled injuries, but if healthy, he may be able to help if LaPorta’s injury sidelines him long term.