Well, he didn’t ride onto the field on a white horse, and he didn’t hit three home runs, but Johnny Damon did play his first game for the Indians yesterday. He didn’t do so hot, going 0 for 3 (he did draw a base on balls, though), and leaving the game in the sixth inning due to “general cramping.”

But that’s OK, because the Indians beat the Chicago White Sox anyway, by a score of 6-3. Five of the Indians’ runs came via the long ball, thanks to a 3-run homer by catcher Carlos Santana in the fifth inning and a 2-run shot by DH Travis Hafner in the ninth. Hitting third in the lineup, shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera went 1 for 2 with three walks. Cabrera, Hafner, and Santana, numbers three, four, and five in the lineup, combined to go 5 for 10 with four walks, scoring five runs and tallying five RBIs. That’s the kind of production you want to see from your best hitters, and the Indians needed that kind of production last night, what with the outfielders (Damon, Shin-Soo Choo, Michael Brantley, and Shelley Duncan) getting only one hit, a single, in 14 at-bats.

But the timeliest hit of the evening came from third baseman Jack Hannahan, whose two-out double in the eighth inning scored Brantley from second, breaking a 3-3 tie. I know he doesn’t deliver each and every time, but right now, there’s no one on the team I’d rather see come to the plate in a clutch situation than Hanny.

Tribe starter Josh Tomlin pitched decently, allowing three runs, all earned, over six innings. MLB calls that a quality start. I call it a decent one. The Bullpen Mafia took over in the seventh and pitched three scoreless innings. Joe Smith, who struck out three in his sole inning of work (I refuse to say a pitcher “struck out the side” if he gives up a hit or walk, and Smith did give up one base on balls), got the win, his first of the season. Chris Perez pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his eighth save. Since his disastrous stint on Opening Day, Perez has allowed only one run in his last ten appearances, with an ERA of 0.96. I don’t know about you, but I can live with that!

As for Damon, he is expected to play in tonight’s game, and says he intends to take some potassium supplements to help prevent further cramping. Make sure you do that, Johnny, ‘k?

4 Comments

  • Kelly Shedlock says:

    Where would the Tribe be without Jack Hannahan? He has just been so solid and consistant both on offense & defense! We are very lucky to have him and see him play on an every day basis!

  • Benny says:

    Did anyone listening on the radio happen to catch Tom Hamilton talking about the umpires from last night’s game? I believe his exact words were “You won’t catch this crew officiating a World Series any time soon”. At one point Asdrubal Cabrera checked his swing and it was called a strike by the 1st base umpire. Cabrera went on to ground out and had an exchange with the 1st base umpire who, in Hamilton’s words “Wagged his finger at Cabrera”. The home plate umpire then proceeded to delay play because he was “staring down Cabrera in the dugout”. The whole episode concluded with Hamilton saying “This guy (the home plate umpire) needs to worry about calling the balls and strikes and not looking into the Indians dugout. Then again, he may have spotted a ham sandwich in there…” It was classic dry sarcasm from Hamilton.

    • Swift says:

      Yeah, I heard it and I loved it. Hamilton has always given his honest opinion about the officiating, both good and bad, which is one of many things I like about it.

  • Stan says:

    Good game overall by the Tribe. I was kind of surprised that the Sox scored 3 runs off Tomlin. He was throwing his breaking stuff for strikes and hitting 90 and 91 mph on his fastball — top end fot him. Tomlin also did a great job mixing up his pitch selection. Thankfully the team gave him enough run support that he didn’t take a loss. His performance could have easily earned a W. Now Ubaldo really needs to step up. He kind of blows at the moment. He’s pitching like a 5 instead of a 2. Find the strike zone, UJ. Better things will happen!