Two wins and two saves in two games and the only CP involved may have been the late jazz great Cole Porter. Porter, who often visited Cleveland and even wrote a song about the city, was reportedly inspired by the Alcazar Hotel in Cleveland Heights to write his classic song Night and Day which begins, “Like the beat beat beat of the tom-tom”.

Today/tonight that beat and tom-tom belonged to the Indians’ bats and John Adams’ rally drum as the Tribe swept the White Sox in a day/night home doubleheader, 8-6 in Game 1 and 3-2 in Game 2.

First Game

— A 26 minute rain delay to start.

— Zach McAllister (6 IP, 2 ER) notched his first big league win and Nick Hagadone his first career save. A glimpse of the future?

— Unlikely hitting heroes: 3 RBI apiece from both Michael Brantley (8) and Casey Kotchman (8).

— Travis Hafner homered and later tripled high off the center field wall (his first in 5 years) to snap his way out of a recent funk.

— The Indians took control with 3 runs in the 2nd and 5 more in the 3rd. For the game, the Tribe went 4 for 10 with RISP (Brantley 2 for 2).

— Questionable managerial move to let Asencio work a third inning in the 9th. With a 4 run lead Acta obviously wanted to save the bullpen for a long week ahead and Smith, Pestano and Perez have been used hard. But Asencio (1-1, 6.32) faltered badly and eleven of his first twelve pitches in the inning were balls, including a wild pitch, before Alexei Ramirez doubled in 2 runs to make the score 8-6. Luckily, Hagadone closed out the inning. This was the kind of game where a longer, deeper bullpen would have paid off.

— The win reduced the Indians magic number to clinch the division to 134.

Second Game

— The Indians had but 1 hit until 2 out in the 5th when Marson (.059) walked, stole second on an aggressive call by Acta and scored on a single by Brantley who advanced to second on the throw home and scored on a base hit by Kipnis (team leader with 19 RBIs) for a 2-0 lead.

— With the Indians ahead 2-1, another rain delay (90 minutes) came with 1 out in the 8th inning and 2 runners on for Chicago. The good news: Wheeler was about to relieve Tomlin but never got in the game.

— After the delay Joe Smith yielded the tying run but escaped disaster with a runner on 3rd by inducing Dunn into a DP and the stage was set.

— Cabrera and Santana blooped singles to open the bottom of the eighth and Duncan drove in the game winner with a double.

— Tony Sipp earned his 2nd career save the hard way. He walked Konerko with 2 out in the 9th and Flowers hit a monster drive foul off the back facade of the Home Run Porch before striking out to end the game.

— Tomlin pitched well (7.1 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, career high 8 Ks) and took a tough luck no decision.

— Indian pitchers have quality starts (6 IP, 3 ER or less) in 10 of the last 12 games.

— Pestano and CPerez got the day/night off.

9 Comments

  • Mike says:

    I don’t think Manny Acta gets enough credit at times. That decision to have Marson attempt to take second was excellent. As far as criticism for leaving Asencio in, ok I guess, but he had just dominated the 7th and 8th. He left no indication that he was going to implode to start the 9th.

  • Will McIlroy says:

    I like Acta as a manager. My beef was Asencio is strictly a short (not middle) reliever and we saw what happened when he got a 3rd inning of work on Opening Day. Plus, he was clearly gassed yesterday and threw 11 of 12 pitches for balls plus a wild pitch in the 9th. The hook was slow.

    Thanks for the comment.

  • Brad Rockwell says:

    Can we get some credit? Taking 2 of 3 from the best team in the AL (or one of). After that sweeping the DH against a division rival.

    3 games up on the Tigers, the “lock-down” favorite for the division, and ESPN still ranks us behind them.

    Or, would we rather fly under the radar?

  • Patrick Sands says:

    How about winning a game with Donald, Marson, and Cunningham all in the same lineup? I think Tomlin would have gone the distance had it not been a downpour and the inconsistencies of the home plate umpire. Tomlin gets hit hard sometimes (probably once every 3 starts) but he has great accuracy and makes hitters earn it. Ubaldo could learn some things from the cowboy

  • Will McIlroy says:

    I doubt there will be many Believers outside of Believeland for a while, which is fine. I’d prefer to earn it with continued good play and, as you suggest, stay under the radar for the time being.

    Poor Lou. Last year it seemed whenever there was a rally brewing he came to the plate. End of rally. This year Kotchman gets that role, although he did muscle up for 3 rbi yesterday. Donald looks off kilter– he’s not hitting and his fielding is also poor. Santana bailed him on a bad throw last night and we saw several weak plays when ACab was out.

    As fans we all get anxious and fear the worst. It’s still very early and much remains to happen.

  • Swift says:

    “The win reduced the Indians magic number to clinch the division to 134″
    :lol

    I don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves, but I am feeling good about them. It even looks like Choo and and maybe Kotchman are climbing out of their holes, and it would be nice if Tony Sipp was too.

    There was a funny quote from Pronk in the PD article (last line below):

    It was Hafner’s first triple since May 29, 2007, at Boston — a span of 1,711 at-bats. The former triple jumper at Sykeston (N.D.) High School is now the proud owner of 11 triples in the big leagues.

    “I didn’t realize it had been so long since my last one,” he said. “After a while, they all start to run together.”

  • Will McIlroy says:

    We need Sipp with RPerez down. Hopefully Acta expands both Sipp’s and Hagadone’s roles to take some stress off the Big Three.

    We also need Choo to make the offense click over the long haul. I’d like to see him go to left center more to stay on the ball and take those breaking pitches he can’t hit rather than get himself out. The Law of Averages says Kotchman has to be better than he’s shown but I remain skeptical.

    Haf put it in gear once he looked up and saw 3rd base ahead. Another big piece of the puzzle.

    We’re winning so let’s enjoy it but we’re on a thin tightrope still.

    • Brad Rockwell says:

      Can’t agree more with Kotchman. Although he looks uneasy at the plate. He moves way too much and seems to have his mind set a lot of times that he’s taking all the way, which isn’t getting him walks like the rest of the team.

      I think Brantley is lost in all of this. Batting .239? That’s not him. He’ll get back up into the .270s and strengthen the bottom of the order (law of averages). He’s grounding a lot of balls to 2nd. Everyone should know what that means.

  • Will McIlroy says:

    One nice thing about the Indians the last 10 games is they’re winning without people on hot streaks (Kipnis and ACab hit well). Hopefully Brantley and Choo trend more to their norms and Damon gets his timing.

    Brantley has seen some bad luck on hard hit balls. However, I would like to see him more aggressive at times and not take so many hittable pitches and fall behind. His walk rate (8/113 ABs) is very poor.

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