6/13: Indians vs. Cardinals

Today’s 4:10 p.m. ET game will be broadcast on FOX and WTAM.

cle3.gifINDIANS (28-35):
3B Jamey Carroll, LF Mark DeRosa, C Victor Martinez, RF Shin-Soo Choo, SS Jhonny Peralta, DH Travis Hafner, 1B Ryan Garko, 2B Luis Valbuena, CF Trevor Crowe. RHP Tomo Ohka (0-0, 5.40).



stl2.gifCARDINALS (33-29):
2B Jared Schumaker, LF Rick Ankiel, 1B Albert Pujols, CF Colby Rasmus, RF Ryan Ludwick, DH Chris Duncan, C Yadier Molina, 3B Joe Thurston, SS Brendan Ryan. RHP Brad Thompson (0-2, 4.50).


I’ve always supported Wedge, but if we the fans could vote for manager, he’d be getting a huge vote of no confidence from me this year. He would sooner start CC Sabathia at second base than Josh Barfield. Honestly, I respect the numbers Valbuena put up in Columbus this year, but he’s hitting .203 this year through 74 at-bats, and it’s not improving either, as evidenced by his .230 average in June. What’s it take for him to get benched? I know Barfield has vastly underperformed in Cleveland, but he had similar numbers to Valbuena in Columbus (about a .340), gets the call up, hits well for two or three games…. and doesn’t play another game. How does Wedge not give him a chance? He keeps assuring us that despite Valbuena’s average, he’s got a good approach and “is not giving away at-bats.” Great, Wedge, this kid’s not contributing anything to the club, but he’s one of your beloved Grinders. Most people would agree that at this point, Barfield at least deserves two or three days in a row at second base, but we wouldn’t want to start someone who’s not a Grinder.

Similarly, why does Wedge hate Ryan Garko? We know he can hit. Maybe start him more than 2 or 3 time a week and he’ll start to produce. Why did David Delucci receive so much playing time while LaPorta was on the roster? Sorry he’s no Jason Michaels, but I think in time he could probably hold his own.

Above all, how do you justify starting Garko in the outfield while DeRosa starts at first base? Practical joke? Lose a bet? See how many double takes the clubhouse does when they look at the lineup card? I want to support the manager, but tell him to let go of whatever grudges he has and play the best players…. in their proper positions.

tracerbullet, I think most of us agree with you, although note that DeRosa IS in the OF today and Garko IS at first.
I think most of us still wonder why DeRosa never plays second, the position he has the most experience at.
An infield of Peralta, Cabrera (when he’s back), DeRosa, Garko/Martinez seems to make the most sense to most of us, and would get a good bat at each spot.

You know, looking at our line-up today, and the fact that our 8 and 9 hitters are both batting below .200, and assuming that Wedge has an allergic reaction to playing DeRosa at second (or Barfield), we might be better off playing Carroll at second when Cabrera returns. Jamey’s been hitting the ball well and has much better ABs than Valbuena or Crowe. And we all know Wedge would try it.
Then you get DeRosa in the OF more instead of using Crowe, which gets Garko at first more. And suddenly our line-up would have some consistent ABs.
But the bottom of our line-up is pretty painful to look at.

I’ve been upset with Wedgie this season too, but watching Valbuena play I’d have to agree with him that his average is not indicative of how he is hitting the ball. He has had a ton of hard hit balls that are just right at the other team. Now, I’ll agree with you all that Barfield deserves some more time but I respect Wedge for giving his guy playing time.

I was wondering what they plan on doing with the 80’s jerseys? They’re pretty sweet and I wouldn’t mind getting my hands on one.

Well, that’s the last we’ll see of Barfield, I’m sure. Did he think he was the tying run?
Our hitters looked awful.

How many times are they going to pitch to Albert? He hits 2 homers and they pitch to him again and he hits a double to left field. Does the coaching staff have a clue on what Albert Did in the previous 2 at bats? Walk him! With out his 2 homers we would of had a good chance to win. Walk him every time, Let some one else beat you. Isn’t it obvious to anyone on the team? Some times it’s like there clueless, Players and all.

They probably figured that two solo home runs wouldn’t be a problem since the other pitcher had an ERA of 4.50 and we have a good offense.
Both Huff and Ohka have done great jobs of making sure no one else is on base when they face Pujols.

Take those two homers away and who knows what happens. I still would have pitched around Albert, no matter what. He is just to good to be pitching to. Overall Ohka did a nice job and only gave up two runs ( both being Albert’s HR’s). Our offense didn’t score at all. We’ll see if they pitch to him tomorrow night, Should be a good match up with lee and carpenter on the hill. Win the series.

today’s starting lineup brought to you by AM:

1. Carroll-3B
2. DeRosa-LF
3. Martinez-1B
4. Choo-RF
5. Peralta-SS
6. Hafner-DH
7. Francisco-CF
8. Shoppach-C
9. Barfield-2B

But lets be honest here. It will probably be Valbuena rather than Barfield, perhaps Crowe instead of Francisco.

While our hopes for Laffey and Westbrook are currently high, does anyone else feel a sense of major uncertainty with the rotation come July? Laffey was productive out of the bullpen and quite effective for a few games as a SP. I do wonder how this injury will affect him though. Westbrook, while being the consummate professional, is a wildcard. He won’t be throwing deep into games, will be given a short leash and could be a 5 and done pitcher for his first 5 starts. Necessary evaluation.

Actually, my view of the rotation has been high jacked for the last 24 hours. All this time we keep talking about how this team will turn around once our rotation is back to full strength, and yet we got a great outing from Ohka yesterday and still lost. If our rotation is as bad off as we think, we can’t afford to lose games where we get good pitching.
Right now, I’m more concerned with our offense. We seem to score a lot of runs or none at all, something of a regular trend for this team.
As AM said, we’ll probably get Valbuena, Shoppach, and Crowe at the bottom of our order today, giving us three guys hitting .200 or less. That’s just killing us.
Sorry, AM, what Barfield did in the 9th yesterday was completely clueless. I can only assume that he counts as well as Milton Bradley and thought that 1+1=3 and he was the tying run. Hafner singled on the next at bat, then you put Francisco in to run for Hafner and you’ve got two guys on who can both run and no outs. It’s a completely different inning if Barfield stops at first like he should have.
I think our rotation will be fine, both with three returning starters and the fact that Sowers, Huff, and now Ohka have started stepping up their game. I think we have enough guys in the mix to put together a good 1-5 and, hopefully, over the second half of the season someone else will step up and we can get a dominate #2 to follow Cliff.
Right now, I really miss Cabrera (Jhonny’s attempted pick of Martinez’s throw to get Molina yesterday was embarrassing) and I’d really like to get the old Grady back.

LACF, I didn’t see the Barfield play nor the Martinez pickoff but I heard they were both quite embarassingly stupid. Inexcusable IMO. Personally, I am more encouraged by Huff’s evolution in comparison to Ohka’s one start or Sowers’ Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hype outings. Consistency is what we all seek and over the course of a month I would be more comfortable with Huff than the aforementioned two.

Yes, by July that would give us a rotation with 3 LHPs but I’m not concerned with that at all. Lee, Pavano, Laffey, Westbrook, Huff. Find an order that breaks up the lefties.

The inconsistency of the offense is hardly surprising, since Wedge seems to be following the playbook on “how to make good hitters bat under .200”.
1.) When you call up a prospect who’s batting .320 in the minors, play him once every three days at most to make sure he never gets comfortable. Then, once his swing is out of whack and confidence destroyed, play him every day. (If anyone noticed, Laporta went 0 for a bunch of at bats when he first got sent back to AAA, then started batting .340 again about a week later. Weird. 2.) If someone gets 2 or more hits in a game make sure to sit him the next day. 3.) Make sure no one knows what position they’ll be playing or where they’ll be hitting in the lineup more than 2 hours before the game

Hopefully at least Cabrera will be back soon, and Valbuena back in AAA. If Sizemore is out for an extended period, they should have Derosa in the OF full time until he returns. 2B can be manned by Barfield and Carroll, who both seem to hit ok when not playing everyday, something that not all major league hitters are capable of, despite what Wedge may think.

wow… i really like this post thanks!!!! i like the comments too… Angel Blue Eyes😉

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