It came to an end yesterday. The long 10 game hit streaks by both Laporta and Marte finally came to an end as they both respectively went 0-4. Both of them deserve a round of applause, because they have done most of the hitting for the Indians over the past 10 games. They really built off of each other making one another better. And I really saw some talent in both of them. Time to start over, all good things come to an end.
It wasn’t like they were going to both go on 20 game hit streaks, I don’t see that being possible. But they both did go on 10 game hitting streaks, which really opened the eyes of many, and turned a few heads. Matt Laporta showed that he can hit the gaps while Andy Marte showed he can battle in at bats and come out the winner. They both really showed us something, they can play with the big boys.
Justin Masterson pitched 5.2 innings giving up 4 earned on 4 walks and 8 hits. He really didn’t give the Indians a chance to stay in the game. He once again, couldn’t find the strike zone, and got behind batters, leading to having to walk them, or give them a hitter’s pitch. You can’t live in the majors behind in the count, and that is what Justin does. I know he is a relief pitcher and all, but if he is going to make the transition he needs to know how to pound the strike zone. Should we have held out for Buchholz?
Yes. Buchholz is a major league pitcher, and really has three out pitches, fastball, curveball, change. He mixes well, and gets batter’s to chase his pitch. Most importantly, he doesn’t walk batters. His last start he went 8.1 innings giving up 1 earned run on 3 hits while striking out 9. That is what a good young pitcher does. Justin, not so much. Buchholz has the control down, Justin… not so much. Buchholz also gets ahead of hitters and Justin gets behind. That is the difference between these two young guys. You tell me, Buchholz or Masterson?
If Justin could hit his spots 3 out of 5 times, he would be fine. But he doesn’t do that, maybe one out of five would do the trick for him. Not exceptable, that leads to walks and hits, due to the fact he’s always behind in the count. Should we have held out for Buchholz? Heck yeah. He is young, knows how to pitch, and really has potential. He doesn’t need any polishing right now, and can just go out every time and pitch his game. Justin, not so much.
It’s not like we would of had to kill someone to get Buchholz. If we added in, oh Jhonny Peralta into that Victor Martinez trade, I think we could have gotten the job done to get Buchholz. But we got screwed, getting Masterson who goes out and works half the innings Buchholz did, giving up twice the amount of runs. We got ripped off, and that sometimes happens. But we are going to have to work with Justin and make him a heck of a lot better.
Maybe Justin Masterson wasn’t the guy we were going for in the trade though? Maybe there was another guy who we thought had the potential to become very good. Nick Hagadone throws a 98 mph fastball with a nasty slider, combined with a half decent changeup. Oh my gosh, another Randy Johnson? Could be. I am not saying he would be as dominant, I am just saying Nick has the potential to pitch exactly like Randy did. Hagadone throws hard, as well as Johnson and has a nasty slider. Maybe we didn’t get screwed?
I remember Eddie Taubensee for Kenny Lofton, just another one of those, “nobody” trades. Turned out to be one of the biggest ones in Cleveland history when Kenny started consistantly hitting .300 and stealing 50 bases. Then there was Eddie Taubensee, a no name lack luster catcher who had no potential at the big league level what so ever that ended up hitting like a career .200. We got the big end of the deal. They didn’t and that’s baseball.
We should have held out because we needed another starter. Justin as I said is a relief pitcher and hasn’t really pitched as a starting pitcher while Clay has been a starter all of his life, and really knows how to pitch in different situations. The Red Sox just didn’t want to give up Buchholz because of his raw talent at starting pitching and knew he would be a phenomenal pitcher in the future. There’s nothing you can do about it.
But then again in the Cliff Lee trade, the Indians got Lou Marson, and Carlos Carrasco who were big household names in the Phillies organization. The Phillies fans think that Cliff Lee was the best thing since slice bread, and he has pitched like it but the guy is human, he loses too. And they found that out his last start. Cliff Lee isn’t going to pitch undefeated with a sub 1.00 ERA for the rest of the season. I think we got the better half.
Carlos Carrasco is making his major league debut tomorrow vs. the Tigers. Carrasco showed to be a strong pitcher in AAA going 11-10 combined between the Phillies and Indians this year while leading the International league in innings (157) and strikeouts (148). Carlos also has gone 5-1 with a 3.19 ERA since the trade. I totally agree with Carlos coming up, as he has been pitching great. He could really open eyes during call-ups and could secure a spot in next year’s rotation if he really surprises.
Lou Marson isn’t the kind of guy who will hit 15+ homers and 70+ RBI each year. But Lou will give you this, a .270 average with 50 RBI and a good 50 runs. He doesn’t strike out as much as Kelly Shoppach, and doesn’t swing the bat at all like Wyatt Toregas, so I think Marson has the job. Kelly Shoppach strikes out so much I am sick of it. He almost has more strike outs than hits this year. Toregas can’t hit to save his life. He hasn’t seen daylight yet in the majors. Marson is my guy at catcher, just to hold it down until Santana gets up here, and then look out!
You do know that the Indians and Rays are both 11.5 games out right? I mean, the records aren’t the same, but the number of games is. The only factore is the Rays are in the wild card race and the Indians are no where near the wild card. It’s just a matter of who’s in your division. The Yankees, the best team in baseball are leading the East, making the Red Sox and Rays battle the wild card out. Looks familiar right? That’s always how the AL East goes.
The Indians haven’t had a great division this year in the Central, with the Tigers being (69-60). If the Indians could have played well in the first half, who knows how things could’ve changed? Maybe they could be leading the Central? Maybe half their team would’ve stayed? I don’t know? But I wish that would have happened, because now, we are back to phase one, rebuilding. And it sucks!
We always rebuild, that is Mark Shapiro 101. “If you suck, rebuild” And this year we “suck.” So Mark got to work and made a few trades, bringing in new faces to the Indians organization. Now we will finally get to see Carrasco’s true colors, and if Shapiro made the right deals. And you know, if we don’t succeed next year, look for some new faces. I think we will falter next year in our pitching. It isn’t looking strong enough to me. I think Shapiro needs to go out, and get a veteran pitcher for the Tribe in the offseason, just to strengthen it. It wouldn’t hurt.
I gotta say, being an Indians fan is the toughest job. You can’t expect to be good two years in a row with this shaky club, but the love of the fans and hope of the city always will’s a no good season into becoming a strong finish. That’s Cleveland for you. We don’t leave a game just because we are getting beat 6-2 in the third inning, we don’t throw beer on the field cough cough… Cubs. We have one of the best fan bases in baseball, and we are proud to be Cleveland!
We aren’t Red Sox Nation, and we aren’t Yankee Nation, but we sure as heck have some loyal fans over here in Cleveland Nation! In the 07 ALDS, that is when I got my first real chance to see what real fans are. And that was Cleveland, the loudest park in the playoffs. We love our playoff baseball in Cleveland, and next year we will be gunning for a spot. Be on the lookout!
––– Tribe Talk With Ted
Fausto Carmona is like a box of chocolates, “you never know whatcha’ gonna get?” Yesterday, we got the good Fausto. He went 7 strong, giving up 1 earned run on 5 hits. He got 8 strike outs to go along with a great outing. Now what just made Fausto so great?
He had such great command. It was just always low in the strike zone, and he got alot of groundouts fromt the Seattle hitters. He just kept it where he wanted it, and didn’t try to be fine with it. He let the pitch do the work, and got the job done giving the Indians the win. Great game all around.
The offense was great in the sixth, scoring four times. Jhonny Peralta had a great game going 2-4 with a HR and 2 RBI. He is really seeing the ball well, and hitting it where it is pitched. I haven’t seen Jhonny go with a curveball low and away and smack it into right field for awhile. If you wanna see the box score, click here. And if you wanna have an ongoing twitter conversation with me, click here. Matt Laporta had another double yesterday, his 4th, and continues to hit the gaps. Wow, can this guy hit any more doubles? He is also seeing the ball very well, along with Luis Valbuena who went 2-4 with 1 R and an RBI.
Tony Sipp came on in relief and got the job done, setting the M’s down 1, 2, 3 in his inning of work. He had a K and looked very good once again. I am telling you guys, this guy can pitch. Since when have you seen a relief pitcher that comes in throwing 92 MPH, 93 MPH and just attacks the hitters? Well now you have. He just keeps getting better and better each time he goes out and pitches.
Chris Perez, next years’ hopeful closer came on in the ninth and delivered a scoreless inning, after giving up a hit and striking out two. Perez has really delivered as of late, and looks like he is settling into the closer role. That has got to get Eric Wedge and Cleveland excited about next year.
I really like the way Luis Valbuena and Asdrubal Cabrera work the middle infield, they communicate greatly, and they both know each others’ talent level, so they play the game great together. I like when they turn double plays because they are so smooth fielding, and throwing the ball, and both have quick hands. I hope they stay in the middle infield for next year!
It was then, I knew the Indians were going to win the game. In the bottom of the 1st, a (1-1) game, 1 out, 1 baserunner, with a (1-1) count, while Jhonny Peralta was at the plate. Justin Masterson gave up 1 unearned run in his masterful start. Matt Laporta had his 1st three RBI
game of his career. The Indians scored 11 runs. Last but not least, 1 player on the Angels, (Bobby Abreu) had more than 1 hit. The ‘Aces Were Wild’ last night, and they played to the Indians advantage. Oh yeah, the Indians took 1 out of three from the Angels.
Besides all of the Aces, there was a game to be played. Justin Masterson let up one unearned run in the first inning, and then didn’t think about letting another runner get to second. He was “masterful”, as he went 6 1/3 strong innings giving up 1 unearned on 3 hits and 4 BB. “That’s the hardest I’ve seen him throw, and we’ve faced him a few times,” said Angels catcher Jeff Mathis, who entered the game 3-for-5 with three RBIs in his career against Masterson. “He kind of slings it. Sometimes it goes straight, sometimes it sinks. He threw the ball well.”
Ted’s Take: Justin threw the ball great, as he had nasty movement on his two seam, and had his slider working as well. Masterson used his slider primarily to be a setup pitch so he could jam the hitters in with his two seamer. He pounded the strike zone, and made hitters hit in pitcher’s counts. There is room for improvement though, as he gave away some at bats while he was 0-2 or 1-2. Great game pitched Justin!
Shades of yesterday scared me, as the offense didn’t score again until the sixth. But, with great pitching from Masterson, the Indians knew they were in it. They kept battling and finally got that big inning, which they have done alot this year. It looks as if they get to the pitcher late in his start and get him good. Which they really turned Lackey’s beautiful start, into just another bad one… The Indians offense has really improved with these young guys, and I tip
my cap off to Matt Laporta.
The offense didn’t seem to figure John Lackey out until the sixth inning, while it was still a (1-1) game. The Indians, again put together a string of hits to really put down the Angels. Shin-Soo Choo got it all started when he singled to start it off, followed by Jhonny Peralta’s single which Choo went first to third. Travis “hitting backwards” Hafner came up to the plate next, and some how hit a double down the right field line, but wasn’t able to score Peralta.
After Luis Valbuena walked, Kelly Shoppach hit a sac fly to score Choo, and to advance Hafner to third. At that point, Matt Laporta came up and doubled down the left field line scoring a pair making it (5-1) Tribe. Three hits later the scoring stopped and it was (8-1) Tribe.
Ted’s Take: The Indians always find those big innings to score in late in the game when the pitcher doesn’t have his “stuff” he did early on. It was big that Choo singled to start off the inning, because he is saying to the team ‘Hey guys, he doesn’t have anything that we can’t hit.’ With Jhonny following that up with a single, you knew the Indians were in business.
And I would like to shout-out to Matt Laporta. His first game back with the Tribe, he has three RBI and a huge clutch double in the sixth. Matt Laporta, believe it or not, was the reason the Indians scored eight runs. His double was huge and he ended up continuing the rally. Great job Matt.
Call to the bullpen: The Indians have had a pretty decent bullpen, ever since they traded Rafael Betancourt, and brought some people up, they have been half good. The bullpen is built around Rafael Perez and Kerry Wood. And they both have been pretty decent since the break. I tip my hat off to Tony Sipp though, as he has pitched phenomanaly for the Indians throughout the year. Getting out of jams, weaving his way through innings, Tony Sipp is a guy you never here the name of, but he is a top relief pitcher in my eyes.
It all started in the seventh, when Justin Masterson got the bases loaded with one out. The Indians brought in lefty, Tony Sipp. He came right in and struck out the first batter and got a flyout to right to end the inning. He also is a game saver for the Indians. That could have been a big inning for the Angels if Tony didn’t pitch good.
Oh Joe, you did it again. Joe Smith gave up a big two run home run to Kendry Morales, his 27th, and completed his inning of work against the Halo’s offense. Rafael Perez came in for the ninth and gave up one hit and striking out one, in route to the Indians victory.
Ted’s Take: No one knows who Tony Sipp is, just yet anyways. He will be a great relief pitcher in years to come, and everyone is going to want him, I guaruntee you! He came right in and shut the door on the Angels with the bases loaded! That is one of the toughest things to do as a relief pitcher, is how to not let inherited runners score. Sipp did that though, because he constantly pounds the strike zone and gets ahead of hitters.
Joe Smith does the opposite of Tony Sipp and nibbles at the corners, and gets behind hitters, thus having to give them meat balls to hit out of the stadium. If you want to keep your job, keep the ball low Joe! Rafael Perez, did great in the ninth for the Tribe. He came in, and besides giving up a hit, was perfect. He used his curveball nice, and mixed it well with the fastball. Look to see more of Rafael Perez instead of Kerry Wood.
-Tribe Talk With Ted