I must admit, I didn’t get to see all of last night’s game.  I went bicycling over the Golden Gate Bridge, and we were pedaling our little legs off in order to get the bikes back to the rental place before it closed.  When I finally had a chance to put the game on my phone, it was in the 6th inning and the Diamondbacks were up 3-2.  I was so shocked to see Travis Buck come through for the Indians that I yelled out loud on the streetcar on our way back to the hotel.  (Yes, I received a number of odd looks).

This is how I was conditioned after the San Francisco series – Asdrubal Cabrera is on base.  There’s a slim chance Santana may do something (he walked).  After that, I had no hope until Lonnie Chisenhall’s scheduled at bat.  Even though Grady Sizemore popped up, I was pretty impressed to see Travis Buck come through in the clutch and tie the game at 3.

And how about Lonnie Chisenhall – that was a pretty impressive debut! (2 for 4, RBI)  It’s as if the Indians’ brass finally heard our collective screams/begging/etc. and made some type of move.  If I were in charge, I would have made a few additional moves, but at least this is a start.  Offensively, while this game appeared to be a significant improvement over the San Francisco series, it seems like there were still a few missed opportunities.  The Tribe was unable to score with runners at second and third with one out in the fifth.  Usually, Michael Brantley is one of the people I want to see in that situation too.  They still registered nine strikeouts as a team, but at least they were 3 for 8 with runners in scoring position.

As much as I loved Orlando Cabrera’s go-ahead home run, I have to say that my favorite part of this game was the performance by Vinnie Pestano and Rafael Perez.  Obviously, Pestano is the one that created the mess in the first place, but I still never thought they’d be able to get out of that inning without the go-ahead run crossing home plate.  No matter how agitated the Indians have made me this season, at the end of the day I can still pretty much think to myself “well, at least the bullpen was impressive.”  During the Pittsburgh Pirates series, I was watching the Saturday night game with my cousin (a Pirates fan).  At one point during the game, he asked me what the Indians’ bullpen was like (Hoping that if Carrasco got knocked out the game, the Pirates would have a chance to come back).  I replied “oh that’s the best part; game over if they come in.”  That was probably a bit of overconfidence (that’s what having a few beers will get you), but it’s been a few seasons since I felt any degree of confidence with an Indians bullpen.  Even though they blew the lead last night, I’m still ready to complement them!

So in my opinion, this game was a dramatic improvement over the San Francisco series.  Mitch Talbot had a rocky first inning, but managed to settle down.  The bullpen hiccupped, and the offense managed to come through and bail them out.  Dare I hope that Chisenhall provides a much needed spark from this point forward?  I’m going to go ahead and say that he probably can’t do worse than Adam Everett.



  • OUtribefan says:

    The thing I was most impressed with was Lonnie’s arm. It’s been a while since we have had a third baseman who can both hit and play defense. Hannahan has done a good job this season on defense (actually making a few spectacular plays) but his bat just isn’t there. Orlando Cabrera has and does not embrace his time at third. If Chisenhall can keep a consistent bat, and play good defense, I don’t think Columbus will being seeing much of him again.

  • Stephanie Liscio says:

    Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see any of his defensive plays…I did hear that he looked good though. And you’re right…I’m not sure what to make of a 3rd baseman that can hit and play some D!

    I do like Hannahan’s defense, but I was really tiring of watching him (attempt to) hit. O Cab always looks a little awkward and old to me when he plays defense, but I guess he’s not exactly a spring chicken anymore!

  • SeattleStu says:

    Grady is clearly in self preservation mode….two balls missed tonight he normaly makes in his sleep….cannot believe manning said he “may have taken his eye off” the second one….uh, no “may” about it, rally killer…

  • TJ says:

    I recently came across your wonderfully named “Lajaway” blog and am now a nightly reader. I am an even longer-lived Tribe fan than you gals and something of an historian as well. I may give my age away but as an eight year old, with my hand in Dad’s, we went to game 5 of the 1948 World Series. Bob Feller was pitching but got blasted by Bob Elliott
    (2 hr’s) as the Braves won 11-5. I was sure they I would go to many W.S. featuring the Tribe but never have, living much of my adult life overseas. I still winch to see the never-ending replays of Willie’s catch. I was living in Germany in 1995 and watching early morning TV when Glavine threw his beauty while two years later I watched Jose fail to close out the game, series and season from my bed in Sicily. Now I am retired in Florida but follow the Tribe via computer most nights and have added reading your latest postings. Keep it up. Love your enthusiasm, knowledge and youthful innocence (“Oh my gosh”).

  • Stephanie Liscio says:

    Welcome TJ – we’re very glad to have you! What areas of history do you like to study? I do mostly 20th century, but I love to read about anything historical really.

    Your Glavine story reminds me a little of the Cavs 2009 playoff appearance. I watched them get knocked out of the playoffs in the morning, while visiting China. I don’t follow basketball nearly as close as I do baseball, but it was still a frustrating and sad moment. Try to stay cool in the Florida heat this summer!

  • TJ says:

    Thanks for the quick and unexpected response, Stephanie. I was just “watching” on ESPN site Pena’s game-winning homer. I thot they should IW Pena who always looked like a threatening hitter to me. Second guessing is so much fun–and we get lots of chances following the Tribe.

    Actually, like you, I have a Ph D in American history. Fome UCLA. I did my M.A. work at Western Reserve (before the Case merger) and B.A. from Colgate (I just returned earlier this month from my 50th reunion. Hard to believe so much time has passed).Taught for the Univ. of Maryland in their overseas program including both Asia and Europe for twenty years. I taught as a generalist, mostly various courses in USA history but some European as well. I like reading about anything in history too as well as visiting historical sites, esp. battlefields. The Civil War is as close to a specialty as I got but my dissertation was on WWII novels by authors who fought in that war.

    I had a dear dear friend–Shaker, Amherst, Harvard Law, Jones,Day law firm in downtown Cleveland–prematurely dead since 1990, who was a genius at baseball math & statistics (like you), basrball lore and incrediblepuns (for example, he referred to the late 1960s Phillies team featuring “the play of Wine and Rojas.”) He would’ve loved your columns. I miss him continually. Enuf about me. Back to your sprightly essays.

  • Stephanie Liscio says:

    You know, I said the same thing about Pena the other day as well…why even bother pitching to him? (That is the beauty of second guessing)

    I’m honored that you’re reading! I’m actually in California for the SABR (Society for American Baseball Research) annual convention (it actually starts next week). My main area is integration and the Negro Leagues, but I love anything baseball related.

    By the way, love the “Wine and Rojas!”