Walk like a man
There is so much more to being an ace of a pitching staff than performance. The job comes with a certain accountability that goes beyond what you do on the mound.
The day CC Sabathia was traded to the Brewers was the day Cliff Lee became the ace of the Indians’ staff, and last night he proved — to me, anyway — that he takes that responsibility seriously. Last night’s/this morning’s game ended at 12:41 a.m. ET, five hours and 33 minutes after Lee threw the first pitch. And Lee was out of the game after just five innings.
Yet when reporters walked into the clubhouse somewhere near 1 a.m., there was Lee, sitting at his locker, waiting for the questions about a rare rough performance. In fact, we didn’t even see him for several minutes, because Lee’s locker is hidden behind a pillar. He waited patiently and answered every question thoroughly.
Say what you will about Lee’s outing, but that was true class on his part.
Speaking of class, yesterday I neglected to mention the ad Sabathia placed in The Plain Dealer sports section. It was a (near) full-page ad from Sabathia and his family, thanking the Cleveland community for 10 great years. According to the PD, Sabathia paid $12,870 for the ad.
“It was worth it,” Sabathia said. “I had been there 10 years, and I felt like I should say thanks to some people.”
Nothing but respect for Lee and Sabathia from this corner.
Switching gears, we turn to today’s red-eye nooner between the Indians and Tigers, all while the madness of the 4 p.m. ET trading deadline is taking place around baseball. It looks like Junior’s going to the White Sox, and Manny might be going to the Marlins. Paul Byrd, as far as I can tell, is staying put for the day, but that could change at any moment… and there’s always August, as well.
Here are today’s lineups…
INDIANS (46-60): DH Grady Sizemore, CF Franklin Gutierrez, LF Ben Francisco, SS Jhonny Peralta, RF Shin-Soo Choo, 3B Andy Marte, 1B Ryan Garko, C Sal Fasano, 2B Asdrubal Cabrera. RHP Fausto Carmona (4-3, 4.33).
TIGERS (55-52): CF Curtis Granderson, 2B Ramon Santiago, 3B Carlos Guillen, 1B Miguel Cabrera, RF Matt Joyce, DH Marcus Thames, SS Edgar Renteria, LF Ryan Raburn, C Dane Sardinha. RHP Justin Verlander (8-10, 4.29).
EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY…
- When today’s game starts, 11 hours, 24 minutes will have elapsed between last night’s last pitch and today’s first pitch.
- Lots of abnormal numbers from last night’s game. In 13 innings, 526 pitches were thrown. And according to Jack Efta, who oversees the umpire’s room, 16 dozen balls were used. In the average game, four dozen are used. In all, 131 batters came to the plate.
- You already know Kelly Shoppach became the sixth player in the modern era to notch five extra-base hits in a game. But Shoppach was the first catcher to achieve the feat.
- According to Elias, Shoppach had as many extra-base hits last night as Victor Martinez had in his last 31 games before landing on the disabled list.
- Also according to Elias, the Indians and Tigers have now gone to extra innings with each other 198 times. But last night was the first time the two clubs each had 12 runs after nine innings. The previous high was on Sept. 7, 1950, in Detroit, when it was 11-11 after nine. That game ended in a 13-13 tie.
- Down on the farm, right-hander Rob Bryson, acquired in the Sabathia deal, has been placed on the DL at Class A Lake County with a right shoulder strain. Bryson has a partially torn labrum and partially torn rotator cuff. He is expected to miss the next several weeks, so his season could potentially be over. Bryson worked 11 1/3 innings with the Captains, allowing three runs on six hits with six walks and nine strikeouts.