With their 3-2 victory over the Tigers tonight, the Indians have assured that they will at least win the series.  It seemed like a really, really long time since they won a three-game series, so I decided to see the last time they did so.  It was July 24-26 against guess who?  The Tigers.  This has apparently become the only team that the Indians can beat with some consistency.  I don’t quite understand it, but I’m certainly not going to complain about it.  This will be only the third series the Indians have won since the All-Star break; the third one was when they took two of three from Tampa Bay July 16-18.  (They also split a series, 2-2 with the Boston Red Sox from August 9-12).  Tonight, the Indians scored their obligatory three runs, but fortunately it was enough.

First off, is there anyone else besides me that consistently mispronounces the name “Porcello?”  I heard them say it approximately 300 times tonight, and I’m still now thinking “wait, is it Por-chell-o, or Por-sell-o?”  As soon as I hear the correct pronunciation I should just write it on my hand so I don’t forget.  Anyway, he did a decent job tonight but the Indians once again let him off the hook way too many times.  They stranded 10 people on base tonight (although not all of them while Porcello was on the mound), four of which were stranded in scoring position.  Every starter got a hit except for Lou Marson and Casey Kotchman.  As you may remember, Kotchman was also the only starter to not get a hit yesterday.  At this point, I’m a little curious as to why he’s still starting with regularity.  I highly doubt they’ll be bringing him back next year, so they should be using this month as sort of an extended spring training.  The Indians made another set of call-ups yesterday, which included infielder Cord Phelps, outfielder/infielder Vinny Rottino, LHP David Huff and LHP Scott Maine.  With so many young guys up in Cleveland, maybe they should have Russ Canzler or Matt LaPorta at first so they can find a way to squeeze the rest of these guys in somewhere.

On the pitching end, Justin Masterson had a great game.  He really only made one mistake to Miguel Cabrera, and Cabrera is not the type of guy to let you get away with it.  He only allowed four hits, while Scott Barnes, Joe Smith, Vinnie Pestano and Chris Perez combined for three perfect innings in relief.  I have to say though, with Victor Martinez on the DL and Alex Avila slumping this year, there are only a few guys in that Detroit lineup that scare me – Austin Jackson, Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder.  Sure, the rest can find a way to hurt you at times, but once you’re through those three (particularly Cabrera and Fielder) I tend to relax quite a bit.

In other topics:

- All I could think when I saw David Huff was called up was “uggggghhh.”  If you’ve followed him this year at all, he hasn’t had a great season at Columbus.  I guess they plan to use him in spot starts and long relief (I think we can count on him being a mop-up guy if a team puts up a crooked number against an Indians starter).  It’s always the same with Huff though – he’ll maybe have a good start or two, then either he stops being able to locate his fastball, or teams figure him out (or some combo of both) and it’s a disaster from that point forward.  It never seems to change…just keep putting him out there hoping for some other result, and there’s never really a different result.  You may remember that Huff was another first round pick for the Indians in 2006.

- How about Baltimore?!  I never, in a million billion years, would have thought they’d still be in the race in September, nonetheless in first.  I know that has nothing to do with the Indians, but I lived an hour from Baltimore for six years and Camden Yards kind of became my home away from home (Jacobs Field) during that time.  With the Indians playing the way they have over the past few weeks, I need to get my baseball-related happiness wherever I can get it!

- I also kind of don’t understand the Vinny Rottino call-up, especially when you do not call up Tim Fedroff.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m kind of happy for a career minor leaguer like Rottino to get some major league playing time since the team is obviously going nowhere.  At the same time, he’s 32.  There’s no way he’s playing into any future plans for the Indians at this point, and as I mentioned above, they should probably be treating this almost like a second spring training at this point.  I know the Indians seem to have this obsession with guys who can play 6,000 different positions, but how many of those guys do you really need?  I just don’t understand this move.

- Chris Perez had a good night back from paternity leave.  I kept joking that I could really see him wearing his baby out to the mound in the ninth in a carrier like the one Zach Galifianakis wore in The Hangover:

He even looks a little like Perez.

So tomorrow the Indians go for the series sweep, as Ubaldo Jimenez will face off against Doug Fister.  We all know that Jimenez has been a pretty big disappointment this year, but Fister hasn’t been as sharp as last year either.  The Indians have not swept a team since June 18-20 against the Cincinnati Reds, so I’m not exactly holding my breath.

6 Comments

  • Matthew says:

    My O’s have been a blast this year. What the Indians need is a shrewd GM who is very, very good at finding diamonds in the rough (see: Guthrie for Hammel and Lindstrom) and a manager who can kick the player butts and get them playing together. Be careful, though. The Orioles pursued Joe Girardi and Bobby Valentine before getting Buck Showalter.

    If Ozzie is indeed fired after this year, do you want him in an Indians uniform?

  • Stephanie Liscio says:

    You know what I’ve been thinking about a lot recently – remember how Buck Showalter was a special assistant for the Indians for a while? What if they would have hired him? Although to be fair, I don’t think Connie Mack could do much with this group!

    I do not want Ozzie in an Indians uniform, and I actually love Ozzie. But I only love him from an entertainment perspective…he’s always good for something nutty. It’s much more fun when you can watch all of that nutty stuff go down with one of your divisional opponents! While I don’t want to take anything away from Robin Ventura, part of me wonders if a portion of the White Sox’s success is just due to a lack of Ozzie.

    I would advocate for the Indians to kidnap Adam Jones. People may notice that though. ;)

    • Drew says:

      If the Indians do sack Manny Acta, I hope that the replacement is either Sandy Alomar jr. or Terry Francona. Also, I wonder how much of a difference the assistant coaches makes in baseball. Is it possible that Acta, a pretty decent manager, just cannot hire or effectively manage his direct reports and thus the reason the Indians resemble my golf game: Usually have one part of it clicking but two or three other areas that are so devastatingly bad that it doesn’t matter.

  • Steve Alex says:

    There have been a couple of guys who under-performed this year relative to their talent level. But otherwise, Manny Acta can’t turn injured, old or journeyman backup players into star performers, and I don’t think Shapiro or Antonetti will try to make him the scapegoat for the team’s poor record. The fans knew this wasn’t a playoff caliber team from day one, which is why they stayed away even when the team was in 1st place. Personally, I think Acta’s in-game calls and handling of the bullpen roles are pretty good and contribute to the number of one-run victories we eke out. You can point to the lack of emotion or the six years without a winning record, but the teams he managed were usually in rebuilding years and demanded a patient style. I think the only way Acta will be fired is if the Dolans clean house and bring in a new GM. If that happens, I like Drew’s choice of Alomar or Francona, but the manager is the least of our problems right now. The team needs better personnel decisions and more good players.

  • Stephanie Liscio says:

    I completely agree with you guys…I’ve been working on another post about how this isn’t all Acta’s fault, that there are bigger problems at play here. Alomar and Francona would be good choices, but someone pointed out a while ago (Mary Jo, maybe?) that I worry a little about bringing Alomar into a bad situation. These problems go deeper than the manager.

  • Mary Jo says:

    Good memory Staphanie! I did say that as much as I would like to see Alomar manage our team someday I would first like to see a better team. I don’t want Alomar to be set up to fail, only to go on and have success somewhere else. I want him to have success with OUR Tribe!