I complain a lot about Travis Buck during an average week.  Every time I see he’s been recalled from Triple-A, I moan and gripe and wait for what seems like the inevitable trip back to Columbus.  However, during the Toronto series, Buck has been right in the middle of every major rally.  In Thursday night’s amazing comeback, Buck led off the 9th with a single and eventually scored on Asdrubal Cabrera’s single to make it 4-1 Toronto (just prior to Hafner’s grand slam).  Then on Friday night when the Indians scored 3 in the 8th to put themselves back into the game 9-6, Buck doubled in Lou Marson and Michael Brantley.  Then tonight, he doubled home Austin Kearns to tie the game at 4 in the 9th.  It was his only hit of the game, but it came when it counted.

The main question I have after this game is WHY DO THE INDIANS KEEP PITCHING TO JOSE BAUTISTA?  I apologize for the all-caps, but seriously…WHY?!  The game is tied in the 10th inning and Chris Perez just grooved one right down the middle of the plate.  There are several Indians hitters that may waste pitches like that, but Bautista will not.  I know you don’t want to risk putting the leadoff hitter on in an extra innings game, but when that leadoff hitter is Jose Bautista it’s a chance I’m willing to take.  I swear that this isn’t even one of those “hindsight is 20/20” moments, because I say “just walk Bautista” almost every time he’s been up this series!

For me, the only positives to this game were the comeback to tie the game, and the fact that Josh Tomlin (yet again) pitched 5+ innings.  He didn’t seem to have his greatest stuff tonight, but he still managed to give the team a chance to win.  The offense was kind of blah tonight, particularly Michael Brantley (0-5), Jack Hannahan (0-4), and Luis Valbuena (0-4).  Even though Valbuena was doing pretty well in Columbus, it never seems to translate to success when he gets called up to Cleveland.  He may very well be back in Columbus again after the All Star Break.

I went to the Mariners-Angels game tonight in Anaheim.  Seattle stranded tons of runners on base, and got thumped 9-3.  Since Eric Wedge now manages Seattle (and took former coaches Jeff Datz and Carl Willis with him) it made me think about Eric Wedge’s last season with the Indians in 2009.  There were times that I started to question how he devised his lineups each day; I had this theory that he just put everyone’s name into a hat, and the order he pulled the names was the order of that day’s lineup.  Same with the field positions too – I said mid-summer in 2009 that I wouldn’t have been surprised at all to show up and see Fausto Carmona batting cleanup and playing shortstop.  Wedge seemed like a nice man, but I don’t really miss him.  I guess I shouldn’t complain too much; I follow the Pirates as well and there were times last season that I was convinced that their former manager John Russell had actually died.  He never seemed to move or do anything; I just figured there was some kind of “Weekend at Bernie’s” scenario taking place and the players were just pretending that he was still alive.  Enough ranting…hopefully the Indians take the finale on Sunday and head into the All Star Break maintaining their hold on first place.

And one more reason to celebrate – Derek Jeter opted out of the All Star Game, so Asdrubal Cabrera gets to start at shortstop!



  • Mark says:

    I agree. Bautusta is on another planet right now.

    I could not see the game, but followed it on ESPN GameCast. I had very few seconds to feel good about Buck’s double because it appeared that LaPorta swung at the first pitch and grounded out. Please tell me that he swung at a strike and hit the ball hard and it was a great defensive play? Otherwise, why not let the pitcher feel a littlegame on the line pressure with screaming fans, etc?

  • Stephanie Liscio says:

    Mark, unfortunately I listened to this one on the radio. During LaPorta’s at-bat I was getting into the car, and was in the process of going from headphones to plugging my phone into the car’s radio. LaPorta was out so quickly, I almost missed it! The announcers didn’t imply that it was any type of great defensive play…maybe someone else that watched the TV broadcast could weigh in. I’ll also give Buck credit for battling through his at-bat. I expected him to pop the first or second pitch up (as he has done in the past). If I remember correctly, he watched the first 2 strikes fly by, then fought an 0-2 count back to 3-2 and fouled a bunch off in the process.

    Wasn’t Bautista’s home run on the first pitch? That seemed to happen awfully fast as well. I actually got to see a video replay of that one though.

  • SeattleStu says:

    glad to see tribe step it up at home against toronto….another 5+ ERA staff shuts down our weak willed batters…..maybe i shouldnt be so pessimistic, after all Toronto is in 4th place in the East, a few games under .500….gut check, anyone listening?

  • Mark says:

    1 miracle grand slam away from a 4 game sweep to the Jays! Awful.

    Since Stephanie brought up Wedge, I must vent about Brandon Phillips again. Living in Cincy, I get to see him play almost every game on TV. Do you think we could use his bat and defense? He is going to the All-Star game again. It makes me sick every day. We should be enjoying the talents of one of the best trades we ever made (Colon & Tim Drew for Cliff Lee, Phillips, Lee Stevens and Sizemore). But, Brandon was “Wedged” out for a player to be named later (pitcher Jeff Stevens?), Lee traded for Carrasco and other non-impact players. I know some people think that we gave Phillips his chance but I think we stuck with Andy Marte longer before giving up on him. I still think Wedge did not like Phillips and that’s why he’s gone. Thanks for letting me vent.

  • Stephanie Liscio says:

    I couldn’t believe that game yesterday. I was flying back from Los Angeles to Cleveland…when I got on the plane the score was still 0-0. I bought the Direct TV on board, naively believing that I’d be able to find the Indians game on somewhere. I ended up with Pirates/Cubs on WGN, so I had to settle for updates. When I saw it was 7-1 Toronto (and the Pirates were already crushing the Cubs) I switched to a Harry Potter movie! I’m actually really glad I didn’t see it…an on-board tantrum probably would’ve gotten me arrested.

    I’m still sick about the whole Brandon Phillips thing. I completely agree – Phillips would still be here without Eric Wedge. They always seemed to paint him as some kind of “troublemaker” or “bad attitude,” which also made me kind of nuts. Two or three spring trainings in a row, I had the opportunity to meet Phillips and get photos with him. He was literally one of the nicest players I ever had a chance to meet, and he really seemed to take a lot of time talking to fans and giving autographs, photos, etc. The one thing I always think (to console myself) that in a roundabout way, at least, we have Chris Perez for Phillips. The Indians traded him for Stevens, then sent Stevens to the Cubs for DeRosa. Then DeRosa was flipped for Perez. That’s quite a reach, but it’s the only way I can think about Phillips without wanting to weep/punch something.