A good pitchers’ duel reminds me of a game of chicken. Both guys grit their teeth and dig in and wait for somebody to blink. In Rebel without a Cause, new kid James Dean plays a game of chicken with Corey Allen, suburban gang-leader extraordinaire. They drive towards a cliff; first one to jump is a chicken. Pretty simple game. James Dean jumps first. Corey Allen gets his jacket caught on the door handle and technically wins the chicken run (but going over a cliff and dying kind of makes it a Pyrrhic victory). James Dean loses the chicken run but wins Natalie Wood and the hearts of filmgoers everywhere, proving that a real stud doesn’t need to win every battle, just the war.

Which brings me to tonight’s game. It’s not that the Indians blinked first. It may take 1,000 innings, but no game will remain scoreless forever. However, it’s what you do after the other team scores that counts. The Angels scored first when Erik Aybar hit a sacrifice fly to bring in Howard Kendrick in the 5th inning.  Then, in the 7th, Kendrick  hit a solo home run. Still, this didn’t have to seal the deal.

In the bottom of the 7th, the Indians had the bases loaded  with no outs and couldn’t bring in anybody around. In fact, we were 0-5 with runners in scoring position.  Getting five hits and three walks out of a guy like Jered Weaver should be an accomplishment, but it’s only an accomplishment if you can put them together in a way that scores runs.

Jimenez pitched a pretty darn good game. I’d even go so far as to say he was a stud out there for about seven innings. Then, in the top of the 8th, he intentionally walked Albert Pujols and Mark Trumbo. With the bases loaded, Alberto Callaspo walked to score Erik Aybar and make the score 3-0. Whatever hopes Indians fans had of a late inning comeback seemed to fade away right there.

Just to clarify:
Chasing down Albert Pujols at second=studly play.
Walking in a run=non-studly play.
Blowing a bases-loaded-with-no-outs opportunity=non-studly play.

Now that we have that cleared up, let’s hope Tuesday’s game turns out better than this one.

 

7 Comments

  • Mary Jo says:

    IBBs are the bane of pitchers, IMO. It seems like most pitchers have trouble locating their pitches after they have to walk someone. Maybe Acta should have brought Smith in to face Callaspo instead of leaving Ubaldo in to pitch…

    • Greg says:

      Couldn’t agree more! It wasn’t like Ubaldo was really going to stay in the game in the 9th anyways, what’s the point of not using your bullpen there?!

  • Susan Petrone says:

    I was happy to get seven good innings out of Jimenez and annoyed to see him start the 8th. You just knew he was starting to fade. Perhaps Manny Acta needs a lesson from Kenny Rogers: You gotta know when to hold, know when to fold them, etc.

  • Will McIlroy says:

    Most games have 2-3 defining moments which dictate which team wins and which loses.

    Last night’s bases loaded, no out moment:

  • Will McIlroy says:

    Most games have 2-3 defining moments which dictate which team wins and which loses.

    Last night’s bases loaded, no out moment:

    Damon- weak FC
    Kotchman- pop out
    Duncan- K

    In the 8th with 2 on and no out, Asdrubal gave away the at bat early in the count on a pitch down and away he could do nothing with other than what he did- a DP grounder to 2B.

    Veteran hitters, all. Masochists, we all. Was Acta the chicken?

    • The Doctor says:

      “veteran hitters, all.”, indeed. unfortunately “veteran” and “any good” aren’t the same thing. i think a pretty compelling case could be made that damon, kotchman, and duncan shouldn’t be anywhere near a major league lineup.

      as far as cabrera goes, he’s obviously got his moments, but i want to tear my hair out everytime he comes up in a key situation and then promptly swings at the first or second pitch for either a groundout or a feeble fly to left.

  • Drew says:

    Ubaldo pitched well enough to win last night, no doubt about it. It is also an encouraging sign that he his pitching the way he has been of late. But facing Jared Weaver is similar to facing Justin Verlander; you have a shot when you allow no more than 1 run. Zach McAllister is hurling tonight against Dan Haren. Haren has been struggling of late and we shall see if he finds himself against the Tribe like many opposing pitcher do.

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