Sandy, the fireworks are hailing over Little Eden tonight
It’s officially Rock ‘N Blast weekend at the ballpark, which means a dazzling postgame fireworks display and, if we’re lucky, a lip-synched performance from Michael Stanley.
Again, if we’re lucky.
Personally, I’m a little worn out on the fireworks (and Michael Stanley, for that matter). Fireworks should be reserved for special circumstances. Like, the Fourth of July. Or an Andy Marte RBI.
Well, it doesn’t matter how I feel about the fireworks — or anything else, really. The kids love ’em. Except my 4-year-old niece Caitlin, who can tolerate loud noises for roughly 3.5 seconds before she begins screaming and crying uncontrollably, thus, ironically, creating new loud noises.
What does all this have to do with tonight’s Indians game? Absolutely nothing. Although, Marte is playing for a third straight day. So cue the fireworks… and the lineups…
INDIANS (38-53): CF Grady Sizemore, 2B Jamey Carroll, LF Ben Francisco, SS Jhonny Peralta, 1B Casey Blake, RF Shin-Soo Choo, C Kelly Shoppach, DH David Dellucci, 3B Andy Marte. LHP Cliff Lee (11-2, 2.43 ERA), making his tune-up for the All-Star Game, which he could very well be starting.
RAYS (55-36): 2B Akinori Iwamura, LF Carl Crawford, CF B.J. Upton, 1B Carlos Pena, 3B Evan Longoria, C Dioner Navarro, DH Willy Aybar, RF Jonny Gomes, SS Ben Zobrist. RHP James Shields (7-5, 3.64).
EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY…
- Fausto Carmona (left hip strain) is ready to go out on a rehab assignment early next week. No other details have been announced, but Carmona will need at least two Minor League starts before he’s ready to rejoin the Indians’ rotation.
- All right, about this whole Marte thing. Ryan Garko has slumped himself out of regular playing time, it seems. He was DH’d in Detroit on Wednesday and has been out of the lineup altogether the last two days. Wedge said he still believes in Garko, but he’s sure that what we saw from Garko in ’06 was an aberration (and how could it not be? The guy averaged an RBI a game). As for what we saw in ’07, Wedge isn’t sure if Garko’s career norm will be better or worse than that. All Wedge knows is that “at-bats need to be earned.” Right now, Garko’s not earning them, so Marte is getting another shot at third, with Blake moving over to first. Should be interesting.
- Wedge also said he wants to get more playing time for Franklin Gutierrez, who, of course, is out of tonight’s lineup. Gutierrez hasn’t had a hit since June 15. Either Wedge wants to see Gutierrez’s misery prolonged or he thinks the youngster would benefit from more consistent playing time.
- Matt LaPorta is 5-for-11 since arriving in Akron.
- Akron third baseman Wes Hodges, who will be joining LaPorta at the Futures Game on Sunday, has an Eastern League-leading 72 RBIs.
- Here’s an utterly useless note you can pass along to your grandkids… The Indians snapped their 10-game losing streak with their 13-2 win last night. According to Elias, the last time a team ended a 10-game losing streak by scoring 11 or more runs was in 1955, when the Pirates snapped an 11-game skid wiht a 15-1 win over Brooklyn.
- Oh, and memorize this note to impress your girlfriends’ parents this weekend… The Indians are the first team to snap a 10-game losing streak against the team with the best record in the Majors since the Mariners ended a 14-game slide against the A’s in 1992.
- The Indians have 12 comeback wins. At this time last year, they already had 27 comeback wins.