"Make every song your favorite tune"
By Anthony Castrovince/MLB.com
Haven’t done one of these in a while. It is time once again for the always popular* Three-Word Music Review™ segment of CastroTurf.
* “popular” being a relative term, meaning “not very popular”
Here’s what’s been spinning in my car. Recommendations always accepted and appreciated.
The Gaslight Anthem, “American Slang” — Ain’t their best.
The National, “High Violet” — Magenta mood music.
The Black Keys, “Brothers” — I’d adopt them.
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, “London Calling: Live in Hyde Park” (DVD) — Haven’t watched yet.
The Rolling Stones, “Exile on Main Street” (reissue, with outtakes) — Perfection is improved.
EXCRUCIATING MINUTIAE OF THE DAY…
- Here’s the link to today’s notebook.
- It’s starting to click for Matt LaPorta in the Majors. With his tone-setting, three-run shot off Shaun Marcum in the fourth inning today, LaPorta became the first Tribe player this season to homer in three consecutive games. “He’s hitting the ball out at the front of the plate,” Manny Acta said. “He’s attacking it.”
- LaPorta, of course, is only up here and playing every day because of the Russell Branyan trade, which was, simply put, a very popular move in the Indians’ clubhouse. Branyan was great with reporters, but he was not exactly up for team captain consideration by his teammates.
- For whatever it’s worth, the Indians are 11-6 without Branyan on the roster (6-6 when he was on the DL in April; 5-0 since the trade).
- Today marked the Tribe’s first four-game sweep of the Jays since 1995. The Indians swept the Rays in a four-game set here last May.
- Austin Kearns is a little banged up and was given two of the last three days off. Nothing serious, injury-wise, but the Indians have been riding him hard this year.
- Carlos Santana has had just one day off since arriving on June 11. He’s started 19 of 20 games since then, including today’s day game after a night game. Acta acknowledged as much and said he plans to use Mike Redmond to catch Mitch Talbot on Friday, with Santana as DH and Travis Hafner sitting against A’s left-hander Gio Gonzalez.
- Some of you didn’t like my selection of “Supernatural” (and, I’ll admit, I should have written “The Supernatural”) as the Official Carlos Santana Nickname. That’s fine. Call him whatever you want to call him, as long as it’s not “C-Sant.” I can’t stop you. I can only take you so far.
- But I think we can all agree that Santana is one special hitter. He has a 1.144 OPS. What’s equally impressive is that he’s walked 15 times and struck out just nine times in 76 plate appearances. This is consistent with the kind of patience Santana demonstrated in the Minors. He had a .431 OBP in High-A in 2008, a .413 mark at Double-A Akron last year and a .447 OBP before his promotion from Columbus. “He was that kind of hitter in the Minor Leagues, and we knew it would continue when he got up here, and might even get better,” Acta said. “When you’re a patient hitter in the Minors, and then come up here where the umpires are better and the strike zones are tighter, patient hitters can draw even more walks.”
- Justin Masterson is 3-2 with a 3.51 ERA over his last six starts.
- The Indians have an extra-base hit in each of their last 27 games. The last time they didn’t notch one was Armando Galarraga’s imperfect perfect game. It’s the longest active streak in the AL. The Tribe has homered in 10 of 12 and 19 of 24 games.
- Carlos Carrasco allowed two runs on five hits with five walks and six strikeouts over five innings to post the win over Indianapolis last night. Carrasco is now 7-3 with a 4.22 ERA on the season. Acta said the Indians have to find a way to get a look at Carrasco in the rotation in the second half. “It’s the right thing to do,” Acta said. “All along, that’s been the plan. He struggled when he came up [last year], but during Spring Training he showed flashes of the pitcher we envision him to be. The right thing to do is to take a look at him this year.”
- Michael Brantley is on some kind of tear. He’s hit in nine straight games, batting .429 (18-for-42) in that span. He has been selected as a starter to the Triple-A All-Star Game in Allentown, Pa. For the season, Brantley is batting .310 with nine doubles, two triples, three homers, 26 RBIs and 11 stolen bases in 57 games.
- Outfielder Jose “Can’t Stand Ya” Constanza was selected as a reserve. Constanza is batting .318 with 18 stolen bases in 20 attempts.
- You know, Alex White just might stick as a starter, after all. He improved to 3-4 with a 1.72 ERA in his eighth start for Akron on Wednesday. He allowed three runs (one earned) on five hits with a walk and four strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings at Richmond.
- The guy who might be bullpen-bound, before all is said and done, is big left-hander Nick Hagadone. He is 1-0 with a 6.16 ERA in five starts at Akron. He’s still limited, from a pitch count standpoint, following his 2008 Tommy John surgery. He’s struck out 21 and walked 16 in 19 innings.
- One of today’s ceremonial first pitches was tossed by Dorothy Maryanski, whose father, the late Dale Gear, pitched for the Cleveland Spiders in 1896-97 and the Washington Senators in 1901. Dorothy just celebrated her 90th birthday in May.
- Here’s wishing everybody a happy (and safe) Fourth of July weekend. I’ll catch back up with you on Sunday, when the All-Star rosters are announced.