"That's the last time I open for a rodeo"

Last night’s activites at my favorite New York City establishment, combined with an early wake-up call for the cab ride to LaGuardia, have me dragging a bit for tonight’s opener of a four-game set between the Indians and Blue Jays. I appear to have come down with a case of what WTAM’s Mark Schwab just told me is called “Bar Throat” — i.e., the affliction brought on by talking too much in a loud bar.

I really don’t mind this illness, as it was caused by conversations with some friends about, among other things, the need for dental floss dispensers in restaurants, the need for a form of wet nap that can be used not only to clean your hands but also to swipe your tongue and thereby improve your breath, and the possibility that dropping a penny from the top of the Empire State Building can kill a guy on the street (that would be cents-less violence, if you ask me).

Important conversations all. And the important news on the Indians front today is that Victor Martinez is back in the starting lineup, which reads as follows…

INDIANS (16-18): CF Grady Sizemore, RF Franklin Gutierrez, LF David Dellucci, C Martinez, SS Jhonny Peralta, DH Travis Hafner, 1B Ryan Garko, 2B Asdrubal Cabrera, 3B Casey Blake. LHP C.C. Sabathia pitching.

BLUE JAYS (17-19): RF Alex Rios, 2B Aaron Hill, 3B Scott Rolen, CF Vernon Wells, DH Kevin Mench (just acquired from the Rangers today), 1B Lyle Overbay, C Rod Barajas, LF Brad Wilkerson, SS Marco Scutaro. RHP Roy Halladay hurling. 

EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY…

  • Here’s an ugly stat for you: 91 players currently qualify for the AL batting title. The Indians have four guys in the bottom 20 spots — Peralta (.221) is 74th, Blake (.210) is 79th, Hafner (.209) is tied for 82nd, and Cabrera (.187) is 89th. Let me hear you say, “Ugh.”
  • On the bright side, the Tribe’s starter’s ERA of 3.59 is third in the bigs behind that of the A’s (3.30) and Blue Jays (3.44).
  • Grady Sizemore has logged 121 at-bats and has yet to ground into a double play. The Rays’ Akinori Iwamura (137 at-bats) is the only AL player with more at-bats and no GIDPs. 
  • Cabrera, Jamey Carroll, Garko, Gutierrez, Andy Marte, Martinez, Peralta and Sizemore will all have pink bats at their disposal on Mother’s Day. Players around the league will be using the bats to raise awareness about breast cancer.

I’m getting benched Saturday and Sunday, so the blog will be on hiatus. On the site, Justice “The Thrill” Hill will fill in.

~AC

1 Comment

I just thought I would share this article from the New York Times, and if anyone cares to comment, they can…

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/09/sports/baseball/09pins.html

Fist Pumps and Roar Draw Ire of Indians

By JOSHUA ROBINSON
Published: May 9, 2008

Until this week, Joba Chamberlain entered games at Yankee Stadium with an air of invincibility about him — much like the one exuded by closer Mariano Rivera, who is 17 years his senior.

But on Tuesday night, when asked to protect Andy Pettite’s one-run lead against the Cleveland Indians, Chamberlain hit a speed bump. He walked two batters in the top of the eighth before giving up a three-run, pinch-hit home run to David Dellucci. They were the first earned runs scored against the 22-year-old Chamberlain in the Bronx.

On Thursday afternoon, Chamberlain quickly got a chance to redeem himself by retiring the Indians on 13 pitches in the top of the eighth. In doing so, he drew some criticism from the Indians — not for what he did on the mound but for what he did when he struck out Dellucci to end the inning.

When Dellucci came to the plate, there were two outs and nobody on and Chamberlain was working with a 6-3 lead. He pounded Dellucci with four fastballs before beating him with his only slider of the game — low, inside and nasty. At that point, Chamberlain wheeled off the mound with a primal roar, pumping both his fists.

Dellucci was clearly not impressed, particularly because the score was not that close.

“If he wants to yell and scream after a strikeout and dance around the mound, that’s what gets him going,” he said. “My home run was in a much bigger situation, a much more key part of the game, but I didn’t dance around and scream.”

Asked if his celebration was a reaction to Dellucci’s home run Tuesday, Chamberlain was quick to reply that it was nothing personal.

“I let go as soon as I left the ballpark,” he said of Tuesday’s loss. “You have to because the opportunity to pitch might come again the next day and you might have to face him again.”

“It’s no disrespect to him and no disrespect to them,” he added of his eighth-inning celebration. “That’s just who I am. It’s not like it’s the first time I’ve ever done it.”

Chamberlain’s demonstrativeness has been a topic of discussion before. But Dellucci pointed to what he saw as a double standard for pitchers.

“If a hitter did something like that, everybody would say it was bush and that you shouldn’t do that,” he said. “It’s kind of funny how a pitcher can get away with it.”

To the Yankees, however, the most important thing was Chamberlain’s bouncing back from Tuesday’s game.

“He faced the same hitters and was very successful,” Manager Joe Girardi said. “I like it.”

Celebrations aside, Chamberlain’s scoreless inning was part of a fine effort by the Yankees’ bullpen, which took over after Mike Mussina threw 86 pitches over five innings, giving up three runs.

First, Ross Ohlendorf, whose earned run average this season was 5.14 coming into the game, pitched two shutout innings, combining a fastball with an effective slider.

Then came Chamberlain, followed by Rivera, who has not given up a run this season, his best start in what has become a probable Hall of Fame career.

Rivera’s streak nearly ended with one out in the ninth, when Ben Francisco hit a drive that smacked off the top of the right-field wall for a double. Rivera then got the next two Cleveland batters to pop out and ground out to end the game.

And when Rivera walked off the mound, there was little more than the clenched fist and quiet satisfaction of a pitcher who had shut down the opposition many times before.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 63 other followers

%d bloggers like this: