Tagged: Shin Soo Choo

Contention Time?


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BLOG.CLEVELAND.COM

With the Indians and their awful pitching and bullpen last year, it was hard to swallow in the offseason and try to move on to Spring Training. But we did it. And I do think that if this staff gets better with a halfway decent bullpen, we can win the Central.

 

Yes fans, I did say a few posts ago and I still have a gut feeling that my Tribe has no chance of contending, but then again who is in the Central that really “wow’s” you and makes you think that everyone will be forming a line behind them? The answer is no one. The Twins were favored, but then Nathan went down. Now it’s anyone’s game to take home. This is going to be an interesting year.

 

Reasons we can contend: We have a good offense. We are young, and have full potential to hit at every position. Yes we will have our team slumps, but together we have a team that has a new hitting coach, that focuses on smooth swings and lives and dies off of working pitchers. I do think that this is an upside to our offense. No more dilly-dallying around. We are getting straight to business and straight to the point.

 

One of the reasons that we faultered last year was that Grady was injured and missed a good chunk of at bats. This really sunk our ship, and we slumped because of this loss. I think with a healthy Grady, and with Branyan in our lineup, we will be the most feared offensive team in the Central. I think 1 through 9 in our lineup can hit the gaps, and I think that we have the possibility of being in the top 5 in the MAJORS in extra base hits.

 


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Luis Valbuena will be carrying that load by constantly hitting the gaps and circling the bases. I really like this kid, and if he can hit 7 homers and eh have maybe 60 or so RBI’s which he is capable of, I’m happy. Because his gap hitting power will always be there, and he will always score a good 60+ runs for us. I really like our chances in the Central.

 

We don’t have 5 clear spots etched in stone that are going to contribute on the mound, but when your the Cleveland Indians, if 3 of those guys don’t work, we have about another 5 in line. Just think about it, we have so many average minor league pitchers that we can bring up if our rotation isn’t contributing. It could be alot like “Guess Who” but you never know. We might find the guy that just might fit. Kind of like the Orioles did last year.

 

We could have a Brad Bergesen awaiting somewhere in the minors. I think the big contributor to this team is going to be their bullpen. If we keep a strong and consistent bullpen, this team will be alot of fun to watch. Just like in ’07 when the team had a ton of walkoff hits, we could do the same this year. We just need our bullpen to put up solid numbers, and we need inherited runners to not score.

 


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BLOG.CLEVELAND.COM

I have been saying this the whole time, Tony Sipp is the man that I think might be the best relief pitcher on our team. Last year he hardly let inherited runners score, and he constantly got big outs when he needed. This could be contention time for the Cleveland Indians. We have most of the tools, and we cleaned house. Plus we have such a great ballpark and great fans. This year could be a whole heck of a lot of fun.

 

The Twins aren’t a team that we need to keep a huge eye out for anymore. Since there best pitcher is gone, they are going to be in panic mode. Yes there offense will still have a strong core, but their pitching will go down the drain. I would compare them to us this year, I don’t think that they will be any better though do to their loss of Nathan. I think if Mauer plays better than he did last year, then the Twins might win the Central over us.

 


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NANCARROW WEBDESK

But this speculation is fun. Who knows who could win the central. The Royals have a great pitching staff with a poor offense, while the Tigers have a decent offense with questionable pitching. Every team in the central has at least 3 or 4 flaws in them and could easily win the division. If the Indians want to win it though, they need to come out from the start hard and looking to win the central. The Tribe needs to work the counts, get good pitches, and steal bases.

 

That is another thing on my list that I forgot to mention. The stolen base part of the Indians game. With Choo, Cabrera, Sizemore, Valbuena, and Brantley able to steal bases, the Indians will definetly get into scoring position more often. We will see more RBI’s by the power hitters for sure this year, due to the reason we will be taking off more so than not. I think that if we swipe a good 80+ bags this year, we will have more productive numbers from guys in the lower spots in the order. And that just juices up the stat line, and the run production.

 

This year is going to be very lopsided, and we aren’t going to be happy for parts of the season. But I think it’s contention time, and it’s time that we recognize that. We are a contending team with lots of potential and lots of talent. Let’s just hope that no injuries occur, and that we can take a shot at one of the weakest divisions in baseball. I would like to thank the baseball gods… 

One and done let’s just quit the season!


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(Image via Let’s Go Tribe)

The Indians just won their first Spring Training game of the season 9-2. Shocker, isn’t it? The Indians hit well thanks to their new hitting coach and Lou Marson had one heck of a game. Throw in a couple well alot of extra base hits and you have a huge win for the Indians. But it’s Spring Training.

 

When I think about the multitude of players contributing to the win yesterday, I become apolled. It’s amazing how many players had great games in their first game of the year. Yes I know it’s one game, but it was the first of a long season ahead. And many players out there had integrity and looked like they had a burning passion to play ball. But most of these guys were younger guys trying to make the team.

 

Manny Acta had a comment after the game saying “We swung the bat well, but that’s already there.” I don’t know where he’s coming from. Yes the Indians do have a great young lineup but I don’t remember anything from last year or the year before that where the Indians always “had the hitting there.” I do agree that they put on a circus show in their game yesterday, but I don’t think that they had the hitting there the whole season last year.

Yes there were bright spots in which I did say that “the Indians had the offense down pat” but those were at certain times. The offense wasn’t there as a whole last year as Acta is claiming to. But that’s his opinion, and for all I know he might be right. They hired a new hitting coach in the offseason, the hitting coach from Columbus who is said to be an outstanding coach. He is working with everyone on their swing.

 

For all you fans that said that Asdrubal should be the leadoff hitter, I am thinking maybe you are right. He hit a homer in his first at bat, and really works the pitchers well. I do agree with you on that perspective, but where my friends will Grady go? This is a laughing matter. There is no possible way he is going to maintain the two spot all year. He has to be moved to the three or four spot.

 


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(Image via Let’s Go Tribe)

I thought that Grady did pretty well in his first game I have to admit. Rick Manning commented saying that “The team builds off of Grady”. Where have we heard that one before? I think I remember saying that about a few days back. Grady does give the team a discharge that they use to get on rallies. I do think that with a healthy Sizemore, a good team comes.

 

And no I’m not saying that we are going to win the Central, I’m just saying that we aren’t going to be a basement dweller if Grady has a good year. But the first step in making this year a good one, will be for Acta to take him out of the two spot. It is the best thing for the team right now and for the next step forward.  

 

My personal thoughts on this situation are bring Brantley up in the opening day lineup. Put him first, Asdrubal second, and Grady can go in the third or fourth spot. But that’s just my opinion. It does make sense though on a degree. Brantley can hit all pitching and is just as effective as Asdrubal Cabrera is plus Brantley can steal 30 some bases in a season. The move for Asdrubal would make sense because numbers prove that he is a better hitter in the two spot.

 


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(Image via Let’s Go Tribe)

But let’s lose the argument. It was a sunny, warm, humid day in Arizona. And when I got off of the bus from school, I ran home to turn on the game. It was a very exciting one if you were an Indians fan, not so much if you were a Reds fan. Back to the drawing board I guess. I saw fans that had no shirts on, sandles, and bathing suits. That’s the life eh?

 

Indians baseball is back for good. At least for the whole season. I craved it during the offseason and had to keep reminding myself that I didn’t need it. But it’s back, and this sudden urge of baseball makes me want to scream. It’s time for the sun to come back out, weather to reach the 70’s, and ESPN to air those Sunday night baseball games. And with Indians baseball comes more speculation and more questions which I love.

 

And what better than to start the season (well Spring Training that is) off with a win. Why don’t we just quit? Don’t worry fans I am just kidding. But if the Indians were to quit then well… They would set a record. A record that well, we would always hold and cherish. We would go undefeated in a season. Yes we would be accounted better than any of those 90’s teams that were amazing or any of the teams in the 50’s that were ridiculously talented.

 

Too bad we can’t just quit. But then baseball would be gone, and I would be bored once more. Good thing we’re not. I did hear a comment yesterday on the climate in Arizona, “It is harder to pitch in Arizona because of the humidity. The ball is slick and you can lose grip easily.” That can’t be too good for pitchers. But I guess Justin Masterson is slick proof. And guess what, Bob Feller was at one of the practices. Maybe Bob let Justin in on a few of his techniques? Possibly so.

 


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(Image via Let’s Go Tribe)

But Justin pitched a heck of a game yesterday as he single handedly lead the Indians to a 9-2 win over the Reds. Justin went scoreless giving up one hit and gaining three strikeouts. He looked like his movement was back, and that he could put the ball wherever he wanted to. I can’t describe how he pitched in words you can understand. He came out and threw the ball like a man.

 

Well, Indians baseball is back on the globe and with Indians baseball means more of my thoughts and more of my anger towards the team that I love. It’s a shame that Walt Jocketty had to go on the air yesterday and embarrass himself. He didn’t seem like he was ready for his interview.. “I, I um think that the uh Reds had a um good offseason you know? Uh, we um, got Cabrera and he has showed us what he can, uh can do. So I …. *pause* I uh think we have a good um what’s that word again? Oh yeah… team.”

 


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Oh you forgot about that? Okay Walt. At least Mark Shapiro can talk to the public. On a brighter note we won and the baseball season has begun for us. I hope that we can keep it up today. Here are the lineups via Castroturf:

 

INDIANS (1-0): CF Michael Brantley, 2B Mark Grudzielanek, DH Shin-Soo Choo, 3B Jhonny Peralta, LF Nick Weglarz, RF Austin Kearns, 1B Andy Marte, C Wyatt Toregas, SS Jason Donald. LHP David Huff.

 

REDS (0-1): CF Chris Dickerson, SS Orlando Cabrera, 1B Joey Votto, 2B Brandon Phillips, 3B Scott Rolen, RF Jay Bruce, LF Jonny Gomes, C Corky Miller, DH Devin Mesoraco. RHP Johnny Cueto.

 

Make sure you tune in for the game on STO or Fox Sports Ohio. It shall be another good one, and I will make sure to get a post on it. I am so proud of the Indians on their opening day in Spring Training. They are looking pretty good (*knock on wood*). Hopefully no hexes get us *knock on wood again*. Let’s just hope we can
OldClevelandIndiansLogo2.jpg keep this up. Until Next time…

 

Go Tribe! 

Whatcha gonna do?

Well whatcha gonna do? As many of us may have seen on reports, Shin Soo
scotty.jpg Choo has hired Scott Boras as his agent. What was he thinking?


 Just for the record, he will be making another $3 million this year and will be holding out for the first time in his career. Indians fans, let’s give Scott Boras a round of applause.

*Photo via mensjournal.com*

 

Who’s to blame for all of this?

Opening thoughts: How does this look for 7 seasons? 2 winning seasons while only having one winning season at the end of the all star break. Does that mean anything to you? Does it call out and say “we aren’t going to always dig ourselves out of the trenches that we build!” Well it is time to say “Good bye” to the man that was a part of this, Eric Wedge.

 

 

 

Sometimes I really don’t get the man. He is quiet, and a self conscious little guy. But why does he make such stupidity become reality? Why does he turn a “phenomenal team” into a “slumping team?” I just don’t get it sometimes. And well, neither do the Indians! Its tough to fire someone, but the deed has to be done, rid of him and move on.

 

 

 

What was he thinking by sitting Michael Brantley while he “was on his 8 game hitting streak?” What was he thinking? Sometimes, when a guy is hot, and when a guy especially like Brantley likes to play every day possible, why do you sit him? What pops into your mind telling you “to take the chance, that nothing will go wrong.” What do you know? Brantley ends the streak at 8 games in his “next” game and starts over again.

 

 

 

Another Eric Wedge, boneheaded move right there. Get used to it! I don’t get the process of thinking sometimes. Why don’t we bring in our “best” guys in the bullpen instead of our “worst” of the line? Its always the question “why” with Eric. Why is Marte at third today? You know his number’s are bad.

 

 

 

 

The success level of 2 out of 7 winning seasons just isn’t exceptable, and in the 08 season, I know we finished 81-81 but that falls under “not winning.” But I like to go back and think, “what would we have been like if Manuel would have stayed here in Cleveland? What would have happened if we could’ve kept our ‘stars’?” You never will know…

 

 

 

For all we know, we could have had 5 out of 7 winning seasons, and a World Series title under our belts. And you know what, Eric can’t take all of the blame. Look at all of the guys we have traded over the years! Look at how we have all the young guys we have received and have taken their chance to show us what the have!

 

 

 

You know they all came in those trades too right? Bartolo Colon for Grady, Victor, Brandon Phillips, and Cliff Lee catches my eye. We still hold Grady, our key player that we are quote “building around.” If it wasn’t for Shapiro, we wouldn’t be “here” teetering at the good – bad line flirting with becoming great again.

 

 

 

Maybe we shouldn’t be “blaming” anyone at all. I mean Shapiro has gone in and traded most of our “key guys” but has also brought in ‘all’ of our key guys. Name one guy in our starting lineup that we have “brought up through the minors.” Oh you can’t? That means Mark Shapiro has done his job. He has lived up to his ever lasting “rebuilding stages.” He has showed me that he carries it out.

 

 

 

Maybe Wedge isn’t the one to falter, for he was the one to have to “deal with the young guys.” He has assembled a little army of fighting knights, and we aren’t going to stop til we reach the top. Wedge might not be here, but when we achieve greatness, he will be the one to blame, excuse me, thank.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We haven’t seen it yet, but we have great baseball at the touch of our hands. The voice is just calling to us, “wait another year, come on Cleveland, you can do it.” And by the looks of things, we are following every command. We “can” be great next year and we “can” have the potential in 2011, but who says we “will?”

 

 

 

And until that factor comes into play, don’t expect anything. As I have been saying this for the longest time, “we aren’t going to contend until we have the pitching.” We are only two strong in my opinion, with the 3rd on his side. Jake Westbrook “could” come back full steam ahead, and could come back to being the 15 win guy he always was.

 

 

 

And Fausto Carmona “could” get back to 07 form and dominate with his “nasty” sinker that he threw to get his top notch ground ball/fly ball ratio. Everyone “could” compete, which they did in 07, but it isnt’ a “guarantee.” Nothing is with the Indians. Aaron Laffey is looking better and better to me, just gaining experience with every outing. I think this kid is the “real deal” and we need to hold onto him tight and not let him go.

 

 

As I said in “the Centerpiece,” the Indians hold their key to destiny, which is right before them. And that is exactly the truth. The Indians aren’t gonna come out next year and “wow” you. They are too young. They might surprise by winning 75 to 80 games, but they won’t have a shot at contending. So if you think that they are “the odds to win favorite of the AL Central” you are wrong.

 

 

 

 

 

With speed atop the team with Brantley, Cabrera, Choo, and Grady, the Indians could steal a ton of bases, and could use some “small ball antics” to steal the hearts of the Central. But will it happen? I am not sure. It is realisticly possible, with Brantley stealing 46 in the minors, and with Grady stealing 30 when he is on his game. The speed factor can be checked off the list, as well as the “offense” portion.

 

 

And now moving on to the offense. We need to be “more consistant” at the plate. We can’t go off of 17 hits, and all of a sudden get 2. That just isn’t good enough for the major leagues, and isn’t good enough for the Indians themselves. Its time they let themselves fly, they just hang loose for a year. Its time they make some dramatic changes in the clubhouse. We need a guy who can control the team and be a “leader” that shows signs of intensity.

 

 

With Santana possibly coming up next year for “Sept. call ups” we could be getting a look at our future catcher, and a possible MVP for years to come. From his ridiculous double A numbers, to his strong arm, he is the real deal head to toe. If we can get a hold of him by next year at the MLB level, and then broaden him for the 11′ season, oh you better be looking out Central, cuz we will be gunning for the top spot.

 

 

 

Its time “we” win for a change. 2011 is bright looking and we “could” be the winner’s of the Central, and we “could” be the cellar dwellers too. But who is to know unless we find out. Hey, if you just keep on dreaming, 2011 will come by soon right? C’mon Cleveland, its all in your own hands.

#35


480bloggers12110891.jpgTribe Talk With Ted is officially number 35 on the top 100 MLBlogs on the ‘sphere and I am loving it! The wahoo maniac inside me is jumping around and John Adams is pounding the crap out of his drum! The Indians are winning, and Michael Brantley is on a six game hitting streak! Time to break out the old Ted with some Ted’s Takes in there along the way!

 

Other things that have to do with 35:

1. Rickey Henderson

2. Cole Hamels

3. Frank Thomas

4. Mike Mussina

5. Justin Verlander

 

The number itself is an honor. With Rickey Henderson wearing it I will take it any day. The Hall of Famer wore it with style as he “stole” his spot in the HOF. Rickey has the most stolen bases of all time with 1,406 and also has the most leadoff homers and the most runs scored of all time.

Ted’s Take: Rickey is “the best” base stealer of all time in my opinion. He had one of the biggest lead-off’s and was one of the quickest guys in major league history. He got so many good jumps that is was rare that he got thrown out. He made things happen and was a catalyst for his team wherever he went. It is an honor to celebrate this number with a Hall of Famer.

 

Cole Hamels was the World Series and Playoff MVP last year as he posted a 4-0 record and shut down every offense he faced. Even though Cole has had a tough season, he will make sure he gets it going in the playoffs because that is where he shines.

Ted’s Take: With Cliff Lee coming to town via your Cleveland Indians, Cole has to work twice as hard to keep the number 1 job over a phenomenal Cliff Lee. Lee has showed Philadelphia how well he can pitch when hot, as well as how bad he can be when he is cold. Hamels has been a great playoff pitcher, so look for him to compete to be the number 1 in the playoffs. It will be a fight til the end.

 

Frank Thomas “Big Hurt” is one of the greatest hitter’s of all time. He joins Mel Ott, Ted Williams, and Babe Ruth as one of four to have at least a .300 average, 500 HR, 1500 RBI, 1,000 R, and 1,500 walks in their career. He is sure on his way to becoming a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame and being one of the greatest hitter’s of all time.

Ted’s Take: If your name is anywhere near those three guys (Williams, Ott, and Ruth) you ought to be in the HOF. To have so much power and hit for such a high average is just mind blowing. Frank Thomas is going to go down as one of the greatest hitter’s of all time and will surely be voted in as soon as he is on the ballot. He was a great player as well as a great guy and also swung an iron pipe in the on deck circle. If you don’t vote him in, maybe he will come and hit you with it!

 

Mike “Moose” Mussina was one of the greatest Yankee pitcher’s of all time. He went 17 straight seasons winning 11 or more games which is an AL Record to this day. Mussina posted strong number’s his whole career though never earning a Cy Young award. He won the gold glove award 7 times and was an All star 5 times. You tell me he isn’t good?

Ted’s Take: It is amazing to look through his whole career and see that he didn’t win the Cy Young at all throughout it. The pitching was very good when he was around leading to the fact that he wasn’t really recognized for all of his great performances. He won 18 games in 2002 which was only good enough for 8th in the league. He has been influential to many around the world and might have a shot at the HOF. He will go down in my book as one of the greatest pitcher’s who ever suited up.

 

Justin Verlander is the number one pitcher in the Tiger’s rotation. He is the guy to look to when your down, and is the guy to point your finger’s at when struggling. He completed the sixth no-hitter in Tiger’s history in 2007 and is still shutting down opposing offenses. He is compared to Mark Fidrych who was nicknamed “the bird.”

Ted’s Take: Verlander has the best stamina around today in the majors. He can hit 99 on the gun in the seventh inning and still has enough heat to blow it by you. He has a sickening curve ball with a silly change that makes hitter’s shed a tear at the sight of it. Verlander bounced back from a shaky 08 season and is really shining this year for the Tiger’s. He is leading the team with 16 wins and has a great ERA at 3.29. He is carrying the whole Tiger’s team to a playoff run and to AL Central victory.

 

35 Reasons to like the Indians

 

35.) Best fan-base in baseball

34.) Got Grady? We do!

33.) Its all about Choo!

32.) Dollar Dog Nights

31.) Shakiest team in baseball

30.) Heritage Park

29.) Pronkville

28.) We have Carlos Santana in our farm system

27.) We have a pink mascot named Slider

26.) Mark McGwire hit a homer off of our jumbotron

25.) John Adams and his bass drum

24.) playoff fever like no other

23.) You can see Kelly Shoppach snap his bat over his leg

22.) We trade all of our starter’s

21.) We like to rebuild

20.) Have one of the best stadiums in baseball

19.) We have Indian Fever

18.) We have Wahoo Brothers

17.) Have Kid’s Fun Day at the stadium

16.) Low selling tickets

15.) Usually follow a bad season up with a good one

14.) Our GM is so nice: he gave my uncle box tickets!

13.) Paul Byrd gave me a ball

12.) We sing ‘Hang on Sloopy’

11.) Have an annual Rock and Blast Fireworks presentation

10.) Celebrate Father’s and Mother’s Day in style at Progressive Field

9.) Have the first Jamaican born pitcher: Justin Masterson

8.) Justin Masterson is “masterful”

7.) Have one of the youngest teams in baseball

6.) It’s Tribe Time Now! Why not join in?

5.) Omar Vizquel played here

4.) Had a dynasty in the late 90’s early 2000’s

3.) Have one of the coolest nicknames “Pronk” AKA Project Donkey

2.) Have the coolest manager: Eric Wedge

1.) Have a talk show: All Bets Are Off with Bruce Drennan

 

I thank the ‘sphere and also everyone who contributed to the cause of me being the #35 blog on the top 100 MLBlogs. I can’t wait for next month. Be ready for some more of Ted and some more Indian Fever! Thanks for letting me come on down and share my thoughts and feelings about the Tribe!!

 

–Ted

 

 

 

Marte is hot?!


untitledandy.jpg“Here is the 3-2 pitch, Marte swings, and a long drive,.. deep center field. And it’s gone to souvenier city! The Indians take the lead off of Andy Marte’s two run home run!”

They did it. I don’t know how? But they did it. They came back from being down a run down to their last strike. Incredible! Andy Marte won it for the Tribe?! Yes, Andy Marte. The same one who is on an 8 game hitting streak. What?! I salute you Andy, ‘cuz you have finally learned,… for now, how to hit at the big league level. Shocking isn’t it, that when you are patient, you get your pitch and hit it into the gap? Shocking. Andy has it figured out for now. And hopefully can keep a-rolling for the Tribe.

It didn’t start with Andy though. Matt Laporta, the other maniac rookie, came up in the ninth and battled Jim Johnson in an eight pitch at bat, where Laporta finally got his pitch and lined it up the middle. Wow, has he learned how to hit! He is just a machine, pumping out hit after hit.

The two young guys, hit like veterans and won the game for the Indians. Not the first time we have seen that! Luis Valbuena has been hot. Asdrubal Cabrera has been seeing the ball great! Shin-Soo Choo also had 2 doubles in yesterday’s game, and has been really staying on the ball and taking it to left field. The Indians are starting to hit. They are starting to play as a team, and are really starting to open eyes!

“The two at-bats there in the ninth inning were obviously huge for us,” Indians manager Eric Wedge said. “Both were long at-bats, tough at-bats against a guy out there throwing the ball pretty good.”

“The guy’s got great stuff,” LaPorta said. “I knew that going into the at-bat, and I just wanted to put up a good at-bat for the ballclub. I just kept fighting, and I got the better end of it that time. I really just tried to bear down.”

Oh yeah, Aaron Laffey pitched a great game. I guess no one knows that because they were so happy about the Indians coming back and beating the Orioles. I will have you know, Aaron Laffey is why the Indians won the game. He went 5 2/3 innings, giving up 2 ER on 5 hits. I would give him a big pat on the back if I were Eric Wedge, because he consistantly goes out there and gives the Indians a chance to win. He locates well, and really throws his pitch to get hitters out.

The Indians won? I still can’t believe it!! Random thought: How many losses has the Orioles bullpen given up?

What a great game overall. To talk about the game here is Ted’s Take:

http://www.xtranormal.com/players/jwplayer.swfhttp://www.xtranormal.com/players/embedded-xnl-stats.swf Continue reading

Indians “hit” with winning fever

A masterful pitching job by David Huff, followed by great days by Shin-Soo Choo and Matt Laporta. No wonder we got the win!

Huff had the stuff going vs. the Royals yesterday, as he went 6 strong giving up 2 earned on 7 hits. He pitched great when keeping the ball down. When he got ahead of hitters, and pitched in his counts he was very successful and that is how he pitched so well.

The big lefties for the Royals (Dejesus and Jacobs) combined for 1-8, so Huff did a good job of mixing it up, and really focusing on getting the lefties out. He started using a tight fastball inside and ran a curveball away. That’s just how you pitch!

“It was important for him to come back after his last outing,” manager Eric Wedge said. “He separated and threw the ball better. I like the way he used all his pitches as the game wore on.” Indeed it was, and David Huff came on to get his 8th game, and is ready for his next start.

We know Matt Laporta had David Huff’s back yesterday night! Laporta went 2-4 with a double, and a homer. Wow can Laporta hit the gaps! “He’s playing every day and getting regular playing time,” Wedge said of LaPorta. “He’s working in the right direction. He just needs to continue to learn. That’s part of being a young player.”

Matt Laporta is an extra base hitting machine! He hit his 6th double and his 2nd homer yesterday at Kauffman Stadium, and is on a tear. Laporta has no intentions on going back to the minors and thinks nothing other than being the starting 1B or LF of next year.

(Shin Soo-Choo, above —- hit by a pitch in the Indians 4-2 win over the Royals)

Not only did Laporta have the back of Huff, but Shin-Soo Choo had a great game as well. Choo went 2-4 with a double and an RBI. He has been hot of late as well. When Choo stays on the ball and hits it to left he is money. But when he tries to start pulling everything, he gets into trouble.

He had a great game last night though! Two hits is good for any night! The Indians have caught the winning fever, but why now? Why here? Why this late into the season?

Chris Perez threw another scoreless inning yesterday, bumping his scoreless innings streak up to 16 1/3. He has been dynamite for the Tribe and isn’t looking back. Joe Smith also notched a hold yesterday, his 9th, while striking out one, and giving up no hits in an inning pitched.

Ole Kerry Wood was back to business yesterday, as he pitched his way to his 16th save of the year. As he finished off the game strong, striking out one batter. Now let’s just hope he can always do this.

Indians, 4-2

 

Down on the farm:

 

    • Jordan Brown isn’t considered a September call-up yet. But he is rumored to get some time in LF by the end of the season. Brown is hitting .328/.517 with 12 HR and 58 RBI.
    • With Jason Donald’s injury, his chances are not good to get called up. Donald, a shortstop, might have taken time away from Luis Valbuena
    • Lou Marson is a definite September call-up and will share time behind the plate with Wyatt Toregas and Kelly Shoppach. Marson hit .290/.369 with 31 RBI. He has great contact, and could be a great hitter in the majors.
    • Michael Brantley — .263/.350 has 41 SB will most likely stay in the minors, but should recieve a call up by the end of the year.

         

         

      Indians On the Wrong Side of History


      zack-greinke#2.jpgCould you hear the whiffs on tv? There were so many, I can’t even count them. Zach Greinke set a Royals record for most strikeouts in a single game. Great job Zach we salute you! Great game pitch, and way to shut down the offense.

      For the offense, it’s alright to have a bad game, we won three outta four, what’d ya expect 7 or 8?

      They had that one game where they just couldn’t get the bat on the ball, and Zach Greinke didn’t help at all. It all started in the first when he struckout Carroll and Choo to start it. And it never stopped there. Greinke (15 strikeouts) is the new record holder as a Royal. Great thing for Zach, not for the Indians. It sucks to be on the wrong side of history, but at least your in it. And look at this year, we set some history against the Yankees, sorry Bombers fans.

      Remember how we had that 22 run outburst? The Yankees were on the wrong side of history…

      A loss is a loss though, and shows up that way on your record, (which this year I don’t even pay attention to.) We aren’t in any race, I don’t care win or lose but I just am hoping to see our starters next year doing something productive. Like Valbuena, he is hitting the ball great, and Pronk is seeing the ball well, and hitting it to opposite, when is the last time you saw him doing that?

      Well, at least we didn’t get shut out last night…

      Andy Marte went yard (1) for the first time this year. Congrats Andy, they couldn’t hold you in the park this time! And Matt Laporta, jeez this guy is a machine, hit another double (5). Can this guy find the gaps or what? I am really investing in Laporta, he is a great player and is going to turn out to be a big fit in Cleveland in a year or two, you just watch!

      Justin Masterson, oh Justin,.. pitched okay. He couldn’t find the strike zone, and definitely couldn’t keep the ball low enough to where the Royals hitters couldn’t hit it. He took the loss, (4-5 4.47) going 6 strong (?) giving up 4 earned on 7 hits. He actually limited some damage, so it could’ve been worse.

      Hey, our pitcher’s actually have been giving up big innings, but have kept going on and deep into the ballgame not letting anymore runs score.

      So there are some positives. But the offense needs to get rolling. They aren’t going to face any ‘Zach Greinke’ in Luke Hochevar (6-6). So they should go out, and knock him outta the ballgame as quick as possible. Let’s be on the right side of history today. Not the wrong side of it,…

      Royals, 6-2

      Aces Are Wild

      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
      aces.gif 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!

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      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
      laporta3.jpgmy 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.

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      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.


      Tony my man.jpgIt 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.

      Indians,

      11-3

      -Tribe Talk With Ted

       

       

      Inside the Loss

      The Indians lost. That is what it says on every newspaper Cleveland owns. But, what they didn’t put was how great the Indians played from inning six on. “Despite the “Chooooo”
      choohrcc2.jpgchants, and Asdrubal Cabrera’s big night, they still couldn’t do it. With the bases loaded multiple times, they couldn’t do it. But they got the bases loaded didn’t they? They almost beat the Angels. The hottest team besides the Yankees in the major leagues. They hung around, couldn’t get knocked off. What a game to be in attendance for…

      Ted’s Take: It was unreal. During the big run outburst in the 3rd inning for the Indians, my uncle went to one of the Indians team shops. There he heard the same repeated words, “Can I get this Uncle Marky?” He was shocked to see that Mark Shapiro was there with his nephew. As Shapiro went to check out, my uncle got to have a talk with him about the Indians, and have a nice little **** chat with one of baseball’s best GM’s. His total bill was huge, somewhere in the 100’s. The cashier told him that he had qualified for four box seats since he paid so much for the Indians merchandise, “Wahoo Bucks.” He said, “I am the GM, I can’t take those.” So the lady gave them to my Uncle Mark.

      He later caught up to Shapiro and said, “Thanks.” Shapiro told him, “Don’t worry about it, your welcome.” What a nice guy, and great GM. Mark Shapiro, you can do it all. We want you to stay in Cleveland!


       Ted’s Take: I was on tv, twice. And on the Jumbotron, twice. It was so cool! Before the game, before I got into the stadium, a guy with a camera came up to me and told me he would like to catch me on video to show on STO, (Sports Time Ohio, Indians tv channel) and I accepted. Duh!… I kept pointing at my Indians hat, and my red shirt with the old Indians logo, as I put my finger up and shouted, “We are number one!” More like ‘We are number four.’ The other time I was on tv was when a guy came over to our seating section and got us on in the middle of the fourth inning. I got his attention, and the nice man politely filmed me and my family, as we ever joyfully cheered for the Tribe!


      sto_logo.gifNow the Jumbotron. I was on the Jumbotron for a Smile Cam. Another cool guy came over and I waved his way, so he told me he would get me on Smile Cam. I smiled my wonderful smile as I saw myself on the scoreboard, so I waved. You always have to do that! The other time, Slider gave away a pizza in our section, so it was our lucky day. Too bad, he didn’t give it to me. But I was on the Jumbotron again!

      Ted’s Take: I had a nice conversation with a Yankees fan, sorry New York but why was he at an Indians-Angels game? Guess he was with some friends? Huh?… Well anyways, he was talking smack, just as a foul ball came our way.
      dude.jpg The Yankee fan reached out to get it, but bobbled it while an Indians fan, in our row, caught it. Haha, that’s what you get you Yankees fan! Maybe you should where an Indians shirt next time and then Chief Wahoo will give you some respect! It was one of the funniest moments ever to go on there.

      ——————————————————-

      Ted’s Take: The game was very good. Fausto Carmona came out of the gates slow, by giving up five Angels runs in the first three innings. One of them, was via Andy Marte, the bozo who can’t field or hit. Talk about disaster! He tried to play the ball on the short hop, but couldn’t field it. I would’ve been able to get that easily. Well, that’s what happens when you give a guy with that lack of talent, that many chances… Fausto finished the fourth and fifth innings unharmed though. He was controlling the ball better in my eyes.

      The Indians offense finally picked up in the second and third inning, when they got one and two runs. Asdrubal Cabrera, and his new best friend his twelve game hitting streak, had four hits last night with one RBI. That doesn’t hurt the old batting average eh? He is now up to .316 and is looking to jump into the top ten in the AL for BA. Grady Sizemore had a game as well, with two hits, two runs, and two walks he was the leader as he was on base every time but one. And oh Jhonny boy had a good night as well, with two hits and two RBI’s he was the guy who came up clutch with runners on.


      Jhonny_Peralta.jpgWow. The relief pitching was amazing last night. Jensen Lewis went two solid innings, while he gave up two baserunners, a walk and a hit. And he struck out three. Rafael Perez, who was a long time native of the Rafae brothers, (Kind of like the Mario Brothers, in 07 Rafael Perez and Rafael Betancourt were both dominant relievers. They caught on and Cleveland found their new baby’s.) Pitched great, as he went one inning where he got a K, a pop out and a weak ground ball. Then Jess Todd, don’t let his name full you, he has the McNasty stuff. He went two innings giving up two hits, and one walk while striking out two. He was shaky in the ninth, but got it done.

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      Inside the Loss: The Indians had four runs, the Angels with five. The Indians had twelve hits, the Angels with thirteen. Trevor Bell went 5.1 innings allowing three earned runs, Fausto Carmona, 5 innings with three earned, five scored. The Indians with one error, the Angels with an egg. The Angels with one through nine in the order batting .300+, the Indians,… uhmmm, not even close.


      los-angeles-angels-of-anaheim.jpgTed’s Take: You can see why the Indians lost. They played a great team. The Los Angeles Angels are a world series contender. They have the bats, definetely, but they also have the glove and the pitching. Last night, Chone Figging made like three beautiful plays where he went to his right, and backhanded a ball which he made the perfect throw to first base to get an Indian out. He is a player, offensively and defensively. As they say, “defense wins championships!”

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      Just cause we lost doesn’t mean we are on a losing streak.

      I also would like to shout out to fellow Indians blogger, (Passion And Pride Collide.) We are teaming up and trying to get as many comments as we can. And we also wanna get as many Tribe fans as possible so if you recommend us, we will thank you greatly!


      evilindianslogo.jpg(
      http://tribechick.mlblogs.com/)

      -Tribe Talk With Ted