With their 3-2 victory over the Tigers tonight, the Indians have assured that they will at least win the series. It seemed like a really, really long time since they won a three-game series, so I decided to see the last time they did so. It was July 24-26 against guess who? The Tigers. This has apparently become the only team that the Indians can beat with some consistency. I don’t quite understand it, but I’m certainly not going to complain about it. This will be only the third series the Indians have won since the All-Star break; the third one was when they took two of three from Tampa Bay July 16-18. (They also split a series, 2-2 with the Boston Red Sox from August 9-12). Tonight, the Indians scored their obligatory three runs, but fortunately it was enough.
First off, is there anyone else besides me that consistently mispronounces the name “Porcello?” I heard them say it approximately 300 times tonight, and I’m still now thinking “wait, is it Por-chell-o, or Por-sell-o?” As soon as I hear the correct pronunciation I should just write it on my hand so I don’t forget. Anyway, he did a decent job tonight but the Indians once again let him off the hook way too many times. They stranded 10 people on base tonight (although not all of them while Porcello was on the mound), four of which were stranded in scoring position. Every starter got a hit except for Lou Marson and Casey Kotchman. As you may remember, Kotchman was also the only starter to not get a hit yesterday. At this point, I’m a little curious as to why he’s still starting with regularity. I highly doubt they’ll be bringing him back next year, so they should be using this month as sort of an extended spring training. The Indians made another set of call-ups yesterday, which included infielder Cord Phelps, outfielder/infielder Vinny Rottino, LHP David Huff and LHP Scott Maine. With so many young guys up in Cleveland, maybe they should have Russ Canzler or Matt LaPorta at first so they can find a way to squeeze the rest of these guys in somewhere.
On the pitching end, Justin Masterson had a great game. He really only made one mistake to Miguel Cabrera, and Cabrera is not the type of guy to let you get away with it. He only allowed four hits, while Scott Barnes, Joe Smith, Vinnie Pestano and Chris Perez combined for three perfect innings in relief. I have to say though, with Victor Martinez on the DL and Alex Avila slumping this year, there are only a few guys in that Detroit lineup that scare me – Austin Jackson, Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. Sure, the rest can find a way to hurt you at times, but once you’re through those three (particularly Cabrera and Fielder) I tend to relax quite a bit.
In other topics:
– All I could think when I saw David Huff was called up was “uggggghhh.” If you’ve followed him this year at all, he hasn’t had a great season at Columbus. I guess they plan to use him in spot starts and long relief (I think we can count on him being a mop-up guy if a team puts up a crooked number against an Indians starter). It’s always the same with Huff though – he’ll maybe have a good start or two, then either he stops being able to locate his fastball, or teams figure him out (or some combo of both) and it’s a disaster from that point forward. It never seems to change…just keep putting him out there hoping for some other result, and there’s never really a different result. You may remember that Huff was another first round pick for the Indians in 2006.
– How about Baltimore?! I never, in a million billion years, would have thought they’d still be in the race in September, nonetheless in first. I know that has nothing to do with the Indians, but I lived an hour from Baltimore for six years and Camden Yards kind of became my home away from home (Jacobs Field) during that time. With the Indians playing the way they have over the past few weeks, I need to get my baseball-related happiness wherever I can get it!
– I also kind of don’t understand the Vinny Rottino call-up, especially when you do not call up Tim Fedroff. Don’t get me wrong, I’m kind of happy for a career minor leaguer like Rottino to get some major league playing time since the team is obviously going nowhere. At the same time, he’s 32. There’s no way he’s playing into any future plans for the Indians at this point, and as I mentioned above, they should probably be treating this almost like a second spring training at this point. I know the Indians seem to have this obsession with guys who can play 6,000 different positions, but how many of those guys do you really need? I just don’t understand this move.
– Chris Perez had a good night back from paternity leave. I kept joking that I could really see him wearing his baby out to the mound in the ninth in a carrier like the one Zach Galifianakis wore in The Hangover:
So tomorrow the Indians go for the series sweep, as Ubaldo Jimenez will face off against Doug Fister. We all know that Jimenez has been a pretty big disappointment this year, but Fister hasn’t been as sharp as last year either. The Indians have not swept a team since June 18-20 against the Cincinnati Reds, so I’m not exactly holding my breath.