We were up 7-4 in the eighth inning, and I had no worries. We had runners on for Travis Hafner and all I needed was to sit back and watch.
Everything was perfect. The Indians were cruising along, and in the ninth they brought in Joe Smith. This was going to be an easy finish, or maybe not… Noonan!
But Joe got the first out of the ninth easily, and I thought that I was just being optimistic, but then maybe I was wrong? There were then two outs with no one on, when a guy laid down a perfect bunt single, with two outs!??! And this is how I looked…
I bit my nails, and I knew we were in for a big finish. Joe delivered and all of a sudden, BOOM! Single down the right field line. Luckily he was thrown out at second, whew.
But the game was still tied, and I danced around the house throwing things.
But I didn’t fret, I knew that we played a good game, but we tied. But we are still
the best team in the Cactus League! undefeated! And hopefully we can keep it that way. We have two ties on the year, and we might get caught in another one along the way.
Let’s just hope Joe can keep his head in the game.
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