I complain a lot about Travis Buck during an average week. Every time I see he’s been recalled from Triple-A, I moan and gripe and wait for what seems like the inevitable trip back to Columbus. However, during the Toronto series, Buck has been right in the middle of every major rally. In Thursday night’s amazing comeback, Buck led off the 9th with a single and eventually scored on Asdrubal Cabrera’s single to make it 4-1 Toronto (just prior to Hafner’s grand slam). Then on Friday night when the Indians scored 3 in the 8th to put themselves back into the game 9-6, Buck doubled in Lou Marson and Michael Brantley. Then tonight, he doubled home Austin Kearns to tie the game at 4 in the 9th. It was his only hit of the game, but it came when it counted.
The main question I have after this game is WHY DO THE INDIANS KEEP PITCHING TO JOSE BAUTISTA? I apologize for the all-caps, but seriously…WHY?! The game is tied in the 10th inning and Chris Perez just grooved one right down the middle of the plate. There are several Indians hitters that may waste pitches like that, but Bautista will not. I know you don’t want to risk putting the leadoff hitter on in an extra innings game, but when that leadoff hitter is Jose Bautista it’s a chance I’m willing to take. I swear that this isn’t even one of those “hindsight is 20/20” moments, because I say “just walk Bautista” almost every time he’s been up this series!
For me, the only positives to this game were the comeback to tie the game, and the fact that Josh Tomlin (yet again) pitched 5+ innings. He didn’t seem to have his greatest stuff tonight, but he still managed to give the team a chance to win. The offense was kind of blah tonight, particularly Michael Brantley (0-5), Jack Hannahan (0-4), and Luis Valbuena (0-4). Even though Valbuena was doing pretty well in Columbus, it never seems to translate to success when he gets called up to Cleveland. He may very well be back in Columbus again after the All Star Break.
I went to the Mariners-Angels game tonight in Anaheim. Seattle stranded tons of runners on base, and got thumped 9-3. Since Eric Wedge now manages Seattle (and took former coaches Jeff Datz and Carl Willis with him) it made me think about Eric Wedge’s last season with the Indians in 2009. There were times that I started to question how he devised his lineups each day; I had this theory that he just put everyone’s name into a hat, and the order he pulled the names was the order of that day’s lineup. Same with the field positions too – I said mid-summer in 2009 that I wouldn’t have been surprised at all to show up and see Fausto Carmona batting cleanup and playing shortstop. Wedge seemed like a nice man, but I don’t really miss him. I guess I shouldn’t complain too much; I follow the Pirates as well and there were times last season that I was convinced that their former manager John Russell had actually died. He never seemed to move or do anything; I just figured there was some kind of “Weekend at Bernie’s” scenario taking place and the players were just pretending that he was still alive. Enough ranting…hopefully the Indians take the finale on Sunday and head into the All Star Break maintaining their hold on first place.
And one more reason to celebrate – Derek Jeter opted out of the All Star Game, so Asdrubal Cabrera gets to start at shortstop!