4/16: Indians vs. White Sox

The tarp’s on the field and BP was called off, but, as of 5 p.m. ET, it’s no longer raining at Progressive Field. Whether the weather will change remains to be seen, but I’ll let you know if tonight’s 7:05 p.m. ET first pitch is in jeopardy.

UPDATE (5:30 p.m.): Tarp’s off, and radar’s clear. Play ball.


cle6.gifINDIANS (3-6):
SS Cabrera, CF Sizemore, RF Choo, 3B Peralta, DH Hafner, 1B LaPorta, LF Kearns, 2B Valbuena, C Marson. RHP Talbot (0-1, 7.20).

 

 

 


cws4.gifWHITE SOX (4-6):
LF Pierre, 2B Beckham, RF Quentin, 1B Konerko, DH Kotsay, CF Rios, C Pierzynski, SS Ramirez, 3B Teahen. LHP Buehrle (2-0, 2.40).

 

 

 

EXCRUCIATING MINUTIAE OF THE DAY…

  • Today marks the 70th anniversary of Bob Feller’s Opening Day no-hitter against the Sox. Read all about it here.
  • You might have noticed the Indians have had some trouble with Mark Buehrle lately. He hasn’t allowed a run to them in his last 14 2/3 innings. So why isn’t catcher Mike Redmond (12-for-39 against Buehrle) in the lineup tonight? “We need to play Lou Marson here,” Manny Acta said. Acta obviously values the importance of Marson’s development time.
  • And yet, Acta is playing the hotter hand in giving Austin Kearns consecutive starts over the slumping Michael Brantley. Kearns enters tonight’s game with a .286 average (4-for-14, two doubles) in four games, whereas Brantley is 1-for-his-last-12. Acta went with Kearns against the left-handed Matt Harrison and Buehrle. Said Acta: “Kearns has swung the bat well, and we want to put Michael in a position where he can be successful and help him get through a little slump.”
  • Brantley’s days up here could be numbered, as Russell Branyan nears his activation from the DL. Branyan’s rehab assignment was transferred to Double-A Akron, where he’s scheduled to play nine innings at first base tonight. He has yet to play back-to-back games, but that’s supposed to happen sometime next week.
  • Kerry Wood will throw his third bullpen session Saturday and could face live hitters early next week. If all keeps going well, he’ll be back soon.
  • The pie-in-the-face routine, which became a post-win ritual (a bit of a tired one, I might add) in 2007 came back Thursday, when Jensen Lewis got David Huff in the middle of his postgame interview with SportsTime Ohio. But this wasn’t even a pie. It was shaving cream on a towel. We know payroll has been slashed, but have budget cuts come to the Tribe clubhouse? Where are the pie tins and Reddi-wip? “These guys make enough money,” Acta said with a smile. “They can probably get a pie every day.”
  • Speaking of Huff, that was some impressive stuff Thursday. He had just one 16-pitch inning and five innings with 12 pitches. He threw 104 pitches, 71 of which went for strikes. You’ve got to like that ratio.
  • Huff has sped up his routine by getting to the mound as quickly as possible following the last out of the Indians’ half of the inning. Pitching coach Tim Belcher felt Huff was taking too long between innings and encouraged him to hurry up. Belcher believes that will encourage umpires to give Huff those close calls later in games. They like guys who hustle.
  • Speaking of which… Thursday’s game was played in two hours, three minutes (which automatically makes it one of the greatest baseball games I have ever covered). Umpires’ room attendant Jack Efta tracks such things and informed me that was the 41st game played in less than 2:20 in the history of this ballpark. Efta posts the “pace of game” procedures in the room and the list of the quickies underneath it. Umpires who aren’t on the list are encouraged to remind themselves of the procedures. On Thursday, Derryl Cousins became the first ump to complete the “hat trick” of being on-hand for three of the under-2:20 games.
  • Here’s a sign of the times: Huff’s complete game was the 75th tossed by a Tribe pitcher in this millennium. By comparison, the Indians had 77 complete games in the 1954 season alone.
  • One last note on Huff: He’s made 25 starts at this level and won 12 of them. That’s another nice ratio. Fausto Carmona also started his career that way.
  • After a rough first week, Shin-Soo Choo has reached safely in 10 of his last 13 plate appearances. “He’s slowed everything down,” hitting coach Jon Nunnally said. “He was getting a little anxious and wanting to do big things. Now, he’s nice and easy and under control and letting his hands do the work.”
  • Tonight’s game starts in about 10 minutes, and the crowd tonight doesn’t look any more promising than it did Wednesday (10,071 announced) and Thursday (10,198).
  • I was just handed the promotional item for Saturday’s “Earth Day Awareness” game. It’s a green Tribe cap made from recycled bottle caps. I’m too dumb to know how that works, but the hat seems all right. Even if you don’t wear it, you can use it as a grip for twist-off bottles, bringing everything full circle.

~AC

13 Comments

I know theres not a lot of comment on here usually, but just wanted to let you know I read your blog every day, and check for lineups before the game also. I’m not sure why but I really like knowing the lineup before hand.
Keep up the good work.

sup with Brantley getting two games off in a row?

He’s out of the line-up, I would assume, for the same reason Peralta has moved up — for balance against the lefty Buerle, who dominated this team last time. Kearns is another right handed bat to add to the order. We now have a totally balanced line-up: four righties, four lefties, and a switch hitter.

Hi my name is Jaime moore i coach a little league indians baseball team and i was wondering if some one could donate 15 cleveland indians wahoo sleeve patches and helmet decals we love the cleveland indians thats why the boys wanted that name so if some one could help us out you will make a bunch of boys happy and proud if some one can help ship it to jaime a moore 1275 myrtle ave cuyahoga falls ohio 44221 thank you so much the games start in 1 1/2 week

Wow. That was awesome.

You got that right, LACF…in many ways, this has to be the most encouraging 4-6 start one could envision. If we went 6-4 and outslugged teams to victory while our starters were rocked, that would be much worse than going 4-6 with solid starting pitching, although you wouldn’t get most fans to agree. To have your 4th and 5th starters toss back-to-back complete games, one by a guy who’s had only one professional complete game in his career and the another in the guy’s first major league victory…well, let’s just say the level of improbability is pretty high. That being said, the Sox offense is absolutely horrid…it would be painful to have to be a Sox fan and watch that club swing the bats this year.

Agreed, Avory. I picked the Tribe to come in 3rd this year, ahead of the Royals and the White Sox. I don’t think the Sox have the offense or even the passion to make a run this year.
Another great sign from what we’ve seen from our starters is the implied impact Tim Belcher has made. Our pitchers have only walked 2 guys in the last three games — we were averaging a little over 6 a game before that. It seems like Belcher is having an influence on the young guys early on.
Marson had a nice game, too, between going 1-3 and scoring, and picking off Juan Pierre in the first, which was a big play to determine the tone of the game.
And speaking of guys who had a good game in the field, Jhonny was solid, too, even if he’s still struggling at the plate — but it’s not like he’s exactly alone on that front.
With the way Kearns is hitting right now, I would guess Brantley is not long for the majors. I would also expect to see some kind of Kearns/Branyan/LaPorta platoon in left and at first, probably dependent upon if they’re facing a lefty or righty.

I agree, what a game today! Let’s hear it for the coaching staff shall we? I was a Wedge supporter in many ways, but have to say I love what this group is doing with the team. The fact that we leave a hot bat in the lineup (Kearns), give a guy a wakeup call (Peralta), and leave our starters in when they are doing well is awesome. What an idea to get ahead in the count, not walk people, etc. I’m very encouraged by this start to the season. The O isn’t going to be this bad forever, and if we start getting some situational hitting like we have the last 2 games, we should be ok. We may not be headed for the World Series this year, but there is a lot of hope for the future. We can also guess now that if someone doesn’t do their job, then they will be gone and replaced with someone else if need be.

I hope someone on the Indians crack PR staff knows the answer to this one, or can find out. It’s a great trivia question. Huff and Talbot each recorded his first Major League complete game on back-to-back days. Has this ever been done before? And if so, by whom and when? Thanks!

Another thing that has to have the Sox worried is Juan Pierre. He’s just not as quick as he used to be, and that slap hitting style isn’t going to work without legs. He was thrown out by a mile on that attempted steal, and in his younger days he would have easily beat out that great play by Asdrubal in a later at bat. The interesting thing to me is that Brantley’s agent, when I asked him who he thought his client could be one day, he said, “Juan Pierre” then hastened to say, “The GOOD Juan Pierre.”

LACF, I think you were correct to pick the Sox behind us, although many would have considered you nuts because the Sox starting rotation looked like such a strength. However, if their rotation isn’t as good as hoped; if Pierre can’t set the table; if they can’t find some outfield offense; and if Jenks isn’t as effective in the past, it could get late early on the Southside.

I know it’s way too early to make much of these things, but I find myself looking at the “probables” page on this web site and thinking every match is a good one. Really, tonight, on paper, was probably the most uneven match-up we were to face over the next five games and we won it.
Granted, none of that changes our bullpen issues, and as nice as it is to see back to back CGs, that just means we’re not seeing our bullpen and not getting chances to figure out what to do with them.
I’m sure chances are good we’ll see Rivera and Ambriz sometime in the near future. I’m also leaning towards ST’s line of thinking, that some of our starters in AAA could be moved to the bullpen as needed. Let’s face facts, even if we get Kerry Wood back in the next month, chances are good he’ll be dealt at mid-season, so we need to get used to playing without him.

Huff and Talbot gave the Indians back-to-back complete games for the first time since September 1996, when Chad Ogea (at Milwaukee) and Charles Nagy (vs. Seattle) accomplished it.

You all have said it good enough… i have nothing to add… Go Tribe!

my friends in Chicago said that the fans are killing Juan Pierre on the radio waves. He does look old. Apparently his nickname on the southside is “Slappy McPop-Up”

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