Ay, oh, way to go, Ohio
Cavs-Magic? Fugghetaboutit. It’s time for the Ohio Cup (presented by the Ohio Lottery), baby!
The Ohio Cup — yes, there is an actual object, and here it is pictured with Reds media relations legend Rob Butcher and former Reds outfielder Adam Dunn – was just wheeled out on the field and polished in front of an adoring crowd. And an orchestra is tuning up for the National Anthem by performing spectacular renditions of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and “Bah Bah Black Sheep.”
If you’re not here… you’re somewhere else.
EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY…
- Two game-time changes to note. The Sunday, June 14, game against the Cardinals has been picked up by ESPN as the “Sunday Night Baseball” special, so the game time has been changed from 1:05 p.m. ET to 8:09 p.m. Also, the Saturday, July 4, game against the A’s has been dropped from FOX’s broadcast slate and is now a 7:05 p.m. game on SportsTime Ohio, rather than a 4:05 p.m. game. An Independence Day fireworks spectacle will follow the game.
- Jhonny Peralta is back at shortstop and Asdrubal Cabrera is back at second base… for tonight, anyway. Eric Wedge said the decision to move those guys back to their original roles came down to his desire to get Ryan Garko into tonight’s lineup, with the hope that Garko can “run into one” against Arroyo. Wedge also wanted to keep Mark DeRosa in the lineup because of his strong numbers against Arroyo (9-for-21 with a double and a homer).
- I have a hunch Wedge never eats the same breakfast on consecutive days.
- Grady Sizemore is back in the outfield tonight after spending the Kansas City series in the DH spot. He tested his out his sore left elbow with a game of catch after stretch and was reportedly feeling better today. “The time in the DH spot was good for him,” Wedge said.
- While the blog was on hiatus, Akron right-hander Jeanmar Gomez went out and threw an 87-pitch perfect game against Trenton in a 3-0 victory Thursday. It was the first perfect game in Aeros franchise history and the first nine-inning, complete-game shutout since right-hander Adam Miller had one in August 2006. It was the first perfect game in the Minors since July 15, 2007. Gomez struck out eight batters. He is now 4-0 with one run allowed in 29 innings for an ERA of 0.31. Opponents are batting .097 off him.
- Joe Smith (strained right rotator cuff) is with the club here in Cincy. He threw a 25-pitch bullpen session Thursday and will throw another bullpen here on Sunday. The plan is for Smith to pitch to hitters when the Indians get back home early in the coming week and then send him out on a rehab assignment.
- Smith was happy to come on this last leg of the trip — not just because he’s a Cincinnati native but also because being the only guy back at Progressive Field got a little tiresome. “I was begging to get out of there,” he said. “I was there by myself.”
- Travis Hafner (sore right shoulder) is 7-for-17 in his rehab assignment. He had another three hits, including a double, and three RBIs in Columbus’ 6-4 win at Buffalo on Thursday. He’ll play again tonight and on Sunday, getting Saturday off. Wedge said this will be an important test for Hafner, playing three out of four games. Pronk will be evaluated after Sunday’s action to determine if he’s ready to rejoin the Tribe on Monday in Cleveland. “He’s got to be able to withstand the volume, first of all,” Wedge said. “And secondly, we want to see a swing that works.”
- Clippers manager Torey Lovullo sees that swing. “He’s taking some good, powerful swings under the ball,” Lovullo told reporters. “What we saw seven days ago was a guy who’s timing was out of whack. Each day, it’s progressed and gotten better.”
- Brandon Phillips talked to Cincinnati reporters about his Tribe tenure. The gist is that Phillips and Wedge didn’t mesh. “Everything I did wasn’t on their standard,” Phillips said.
- Jensen Lewis, who hasn’t pitched in a game in a week, joked that he feels like he’s on “paid vacation.” He threw in the bullpen in Kansas City and was told by Wedge that he’s currently in more of a long relief role as he tries to get straightened out.
- The Indians are 108-103 all-time in Interleague Play.