Asdrubal Cabrera won his 10 Player of the Game with 2 singles, a home run, 4 RBI, and 3 runs scored. His performance to day gave him a score of 9.27.
The Indians got on the board first in the 2nd inning when Jach Hannahan and Casey Kotchman both hit singles, followed by an RBI single by slumping Lou Marson.
The 5th inning saw more runs for the Indians. Shin-Soo Choo led off the inning with a double, then stole 3rd base. Jason Kipnis doubled in Choo for the Indians second run of the game. Asdrubal Cabrera laid down a beautiful bunt for a single, moving Kipnis to 3rd. The Indians scored their 3rd run on an RBI single by Jack Hannahan. Casey Kotchman reached on a fielder's choice, scoring yet another Tribe run. Jason Donald was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, scoring Hannahan. Choo, who led off the inning originally, hit a bases load single, scoring 2 more. To top it all off, Asdrubal Cabrera hit his 2nd career grand slam. The Indians batted 13 players in the 5th, scoring 10 runs for a total of 11 runs in the game through 5.
Zach McAllister pitched shut out 1-hit ball through the first 5 innings of the game. Though he allowed 2 runs in the 6th and 1 in the 7th, McAllister still had a very good outing. He pitched a total of 6.2 innings, giving up 3 runs on 5 hits.
The Hero himself, Matt LaPorta, had a pinch-hit opportunity in the 7th inning. He took advantage of this by hitting a double and driving in 2 Indians runs.
The Indians added 2 more runs in the 8th.
Since Sandy Alomar has taken over the managerial role, the Indians have averaged over 9 runs a game.
Manny Acta is probably feeling really lousy right about now.
Lonnie Chisenhall won tonight's Player of the Game with one of the most ridiculous stat lines I've ever written. This is why I have a formula that automatically picks the Player of the Game. His final score was 3.12 and he had, among other things, good defensive plays, bad defensive plays, a run scored, a couple hits, a walk, a strike out and an RBI. This is what happens when two teams are irresponsible and play a 14 inning game that has no relevance to anything in the real world.
The Indians knocked Royals phenom Jake Odorizzi out in just the second inning of tonights game after forcing him to throw 65 pitches. The Indians scored just a single run off Odorizzi, but did a good job making him work by being patient at the plate.
Chris Seddon came in to save Jeanmar Gomez tonight, pitching three scoreless innings after Gomez was pulled before the fourth.
You could do a lot worse for a mop up man than Frank Herrmann. The Indians genius right hander has allowed no earned runs or inherited runners to score in his last 6 outings including a one hit, two strike out inning tonight.
A couple players who have been out with injuries made brief appearances in tonight's game. Asdrubal Cabrera (out since 9/26) pinch hit and struck out after Jason Donald (9/15) pinch ran for Travis Hafner. Michael Brantley (9/24) then hit a pinch hit single in place of Thomas Neal. If these players are available for pinch hitting duties today, it is assumed they should be able to start tomorrow, giving Sandy Alomar his full starting lineup available.
The comeback kids scored two runs in each of the eigth and ninth innings (mostly due to the addition of Cabrera and Brantley to the lineup late in the game) to tie the game and force extra innings after being down by five early in the game.
Carlos Santana has walked in five consecutive games, tallying 11 over that span. If there is one thing Santana is great at, it is walking. He is already in the top 8 in walks as an Indians catcher in his career and is second in OBP.
Ezequiel Carrera was safe in five of his seven at bats with two walks, a single, a double and a safe on error.
Lonnie Chisenhall is at least partially to blame for the the Royals 6 run third inning. After one run had scored and two were out, Chisenhall was unable to gather and throw a chopper down the third baseline. After this single, the Royals scored 5 more times, enough to win the game.
Travis Hafner was safe on base twice more tonight, making four times since his return from the DL, but it still hitless. Tonight he walked and was hit in the ribs by a pitch.
If either the Indians or the Royals had a decent home run hitter this game could have been many innings shorter.
If you play long enough everybody gets to play, unless you are Matt LaPorta. Then you never get to play.
Play of the Game
Carlos Santana swung at the first pitch with the bases loaded and nobody out in the 14th and popped out to shallow left. This was the Indians best chance to win the game right before they lost it.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 6 - Kansas City Royals 7
My writing partner believes that everyone should watch this video in preparation of Spring Training.
Seriously folks, this things just about over, hang in there.
Ezequiel Carrera won tonight's Player of the Game battle with a score of 4.67. Carrera added 3 clutch singles today to knock in 3 runs. He also scored a run himself. Carrera now has 3 PoG awards this season. Jason Kipnis and Shin-Soo Choo also had scores above 4.
Sandy Alomar, Jr. made his managerial debut today as former manager Manny Acta recently lost his job. Alomar made some bold line up decisions, but they seem to have paid off. The boldest decision was putting Cord Phelps in the DH position batting 2nd in the line up. Phelps has seen limited playing time since being included in the September call up. Today, Phelps went 3-5 with an RBI.
The Indians displayed an offensive showcase tonight. They scored 8 runs on 16 hits with some of the best hitting they've demonstrated all season. Of the 16 hits, 13 were singles. Shin-Soo Choo contributed two of the extra base hits, both doubles. Six players had at least 2 hits today and 3 players had 3 hits. If they continue this aggression at the plate, look for them to win out the rest of the season.
David Huff recorded his 3rd win. Since being added to the roster, Huff has a 3-0 record with a 2.86 ERA. Though his outing was not stellar today as he gave up 3 runs on 8 hits in 6 innings pitched, he managed to record the win.
Milestone Alert: With his save tonight, Chris Perez has 39 saves, which ties for 6th in single season saves as an Indian.
The only sore spots in the Indians line up today were Carlos Santana and Casey Kotchman. Both ended the game going 0-5 at the plate. However, when the rest of the team is hitting, this doesn't really matter.
Scott Maine was unable to record an out before being pulled from the game. Maine faced 3 batters in the 8th inning, giving up 2 runs on 3 hits.
The Indians have finally fired manager Manny Acta after three seasons of under performing with a lineup filled with young talent. While the manager doesn't have a whole lot to do with the final result of each game, they do control small situations within each game and the day-to-day make-up of the lineup.
Over his time with the team, the vast majority of Manny Acta's decisions have been the right ones for the time, but his mistakes have been obvious. As a manager of pitchers, Acta was as good as he could have been given what he has. For most of this season he has used the pitchers he trusted in the bullpen in situations that needed a pitcher of trust and used those he had little confidence in in blow outs. The only complaint you can have against his handling of pitchers was that he refused to allow pitchers to throw a complete game, although the situation rarely occurred this season when a pitcher deserved the chance.
The biggest mistakes from Acta have been with his dealing with the players individually and the setting of the lineup. Since the Indians are very tight knit and close lipped from the manager level up, it is hard to tell how much of this was the fault of Acta, and how much had more to do with General Manager Chris Antonetti. Use of reserve players in the everyday lineup is something this site comments on frequently and maybe things will get better without Acta. Aaron Cunningham played in 72 games this year while batting .175 and Lou Marson has played in 67 so far, hitting just .219. Russ Canzler and Ezequiel Carrera are now showing that there were better options in the minor leagues all year, but Acta doesn't have direct control over roster moves. He did have the control of whether or not to play those players he did have as often as he did. He also had the right to petition Antonetti to bring in new players, but since the Indians rarely speak of in house business, we can never know exactly what he wanted.
One player who Acta mishandled was Lonnie Chisenhall. When a team has a player they are placing their hope for the future on, that player needs to play. Manny Ramirez didn't have to split time in right field with Wayne Kirby when he came up, he was given the starting role. When Victor Martinez first made it to the Majors he competed with Josh Bard for the starting catcher job, won the competition and then was the starter for the rest of his time with the Tribe. Chisenhall, a first round draft pick in 2008 has been held back for two seasons by Jack Hannahan, a AAAA journeyman with a decent glove. Chisenhall has outhit Hannahan since day one and has played sufficient defense, but was never given more than a platoon chance at third. During this same time, Jason Kipnis (a second round pick from 2009) was given the reigns at second and has played almost every single game there since he was first promoted. This seems like blatent favoritism by the manager. Neither player has been perfect defensively and they stand with career OPS within 0.13 points of each other (.713 for Chisenhall, .736 for Kipnis), but Kipnis has managed to get himself into 182 games over the past two years while Chisenhall has played in 103.
The final straw against Acta was that when the going got tough, he gave up. This quote of his summed up his feelings during the Indians terrible month of August:
“They do need to relax. There have never been 25 guys released [at once] in the history of the game. They should relax. If one guy is going to go, it’s going to be me, not them. So relax and play the game.”
Here's one place he was completely right, all 25 players were not released at once and he was the one guy who was going to go. Well...him and Shelley Duncan and Aaron Cunningham.
I will end with this quote from Paul Dolan from this article claiming that nobody was going to be fired this season.
"We all have a lot of work to do, but their jobs aren't at stake."
Well what should he have said, "we won't be firing anybody today, but look out right before the last home stand"?
Good luck to Sandy Alomar, Jr., the newest (interim) manager of the Cleveland Indians. May your reign be long and prosperous.
With Bud Selig reaching a deal with the replacement umpires, we can be sure there will be no more awful calls like those that marred the White Sox series. Never mind, that was that other awful commissioner.
The Indians did end up winning their second series of the month, with an opportunity at one more before September ends. Unlike the series with Chicago, this one will be absolutely irrelevant to the playoffs. The Indians win against the White Sox was enough to knock them out of first place and if they continue to push through these last two series, they could easily knock them out of the playoffs entirely.
Huff pitched a great game his last time out, but was still unable to pitch less than 6 innings. Three of his four appearances have been good, but Tribe fans should keep from getting too excited since it is September and he has done this before.
Gomez will be taking the spot in the rotation of Ubaldo Jimenez as the Indians starter has been declared out for the season. He will miss his last two scheduled starts. Huff was moved up a day so he will pitch on the days that Jimenez was actually scheduled, making him the only pitcher with two starts left. Gomez still has a chance to earn a spot next Spring the way he did this season, but he has probably pitched himself out of any probable place in the 2013 rotation.
September 30th, 1:05 PM ET: Luke Hochever, RHP, 8-15, 5.43 ERA vs Zach McAllister, RHP, 5-8, 4.25 ERA
McAllister is the one Indians starter who has earned his place in the 2013 rotation and this will be his last start of the year. Hopefully he can end the year strong against a rising Royals team.
Jason Kipnis scored 4.71 Player of the Game points on his way to winning tonight's award. Kipnis walked three times (who didn't), stole two bases (including number 30 on the year), scored a run and knocked in two more with a single. Kipnis also had a great play in the 8th inning to steal a hit from Alexei Ramirez.
Russ Canzler had another RBI hit in the first inning tonight, giving him a hitting streak of four and an RBI streak of three. This gives him hits in 16 of his 21 games with the team, making him the best firstbaseman currently on the roster. While September numbers need to be discounted slightly, the fact is that he is playing in the same situations as every other player on the team and hitting better than just about every other member of the Tribe.
The White Sox tried to steal a win by bumping Jake Peavy back to face the Rays and using what might as well have been an anonymous left handed starter against the Tribe. What they didn't count on was the Indians patience and the timly hitting of Canzler and Jason Kipnis that knocked Hector Santiago from the game in the fourth inning. This forced Chicago to use their bullpen for 5.2 innings, burning out 6 relief pitchers.
The series win is the Indians first since their first full series of the month against Detroit. It is still better than last month when the Indians didn't win a single series. Through the end of July the Indians had went 15-15-1 in series (W-L-T), but since then, they have went 2-14-1. The Indians have two series left, against the Royals and White Sox.
This was the last road game for the Indians of 2012. They will be able to go home for the last six of the season to play in front of the droves of fans awaiting an end to this torture.
Ubaldo Jimenez hurt his ankle a couple starts back and has been announced out for the season. Jeanmar Gomez will be added back into the rotation in his place.
Asdrubal Cabrera was pulled from the game after just a single at bat in the top of the first inning and replaced in the field by Brent Lillibridge. He was diagnosed with a mid-back strain and is day-to-day.
Travis Hafner played in tonight's game, giving him just two more games to play this year according to Manny Acta's original plan. Hopefully the Indians will go against this and allow Pronk to play at least four games in Cleveland since they very probably could be his last games in an Indians uniform.
Justin Masterson walked in a run in the first inning and had trouble controlling his fast ball all night. He was pulled after two outs in the fifth inning when he walked A.J. Pierzynski (his fourth of the game) and allowed him to score on a double.
This game featured 18 walks and a combined 389 pitches. The Indians came out on top in the walk count with three different players tallying three a piece (Kipnis, Lou Marson and Carlos Santana).
Play of the Game
In the sixth inning Carlos Santana walked with the bases loaded to tie the game. In a game like this, the Play of the Game has to be a walk.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 6 - Chicago White Sox 4
With a score of 4.95, Russ Canzler has won his second straight Player of the Game award. Canzler hit another home run, then later doubled, singled and scored again. He also flashed a little leather while playing first base, before being removed from the game for Casey Kotchman.
Because Lou Marson was not in the game to ground into a double play in front of Ezequiel Carrera, the Indians were able to score a couple more runs against Chicago today. In the fourth, Thomas Neal hit a ground ball with bases loaded and beat the return throw to first for a fielder's choice. The Indians scored once on that play, again on a Carrera single and once more when Shin-Soo Choo singled. In this particular instance the difference between an absolutely useless player (Marson) and an almost absolutely useless player (the much faster Neal) was three runs.
Corey Kluber settled down after giving up home runs to A.J. Pierzynski and Dayan Viciedo, getting nine of the next ten batters out in order. Manny Acta definitely deserves some credit for making Kluber face Pierzynski and Viciedo a second time in the 7th. Kluber showed he learned something the last time and retired the batters in order.
Vinnie Pestano got some retribution for last night's blown save as he struck out Adam Dunn to get himself another hold in tonight's game.
Milestone Update: Shin-Soo Choo knocked in his 59th run of the season and his 364th as an Indians, placing him in a tie for 50th place all time in Indians history with All-Time Indian great Ray Chapman.
Also, Chris Perez's 37th save of the season ties him for 8th all time in a single season with Doug Jones' 1988 season. If he can save two more games he will get into a tie for 6th place with both Mike Jackson and Jose Mesa.
Corey Kluber looked so good through the first four innings (no runs, two hits and two walks allowed) that it was very disappointing to see him throw it away with back-to-back home runs in the fifth. Kluber did settle down and strike out the last two batters that inning, but going deeper into games while maintaining early success is something the Indians will really have to work on during the off season.
Play of the Game
Vinnie Pestano struck out Adam Dunn to end the 8th inning less than 24 hours after allowing a three run home run to the same hitter in the same inning yesterday.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 4 - Chicage White Sox 3
Russ Canzler won his second Player of the Game of the season with his second home run of the year, finishing the game with a score of 4.14.
Carlos Santana has been playing great since the halfway point in the season (he's just about the only one who has), but he has especially heated up over the last week. Between the last two games he got on base safely in 7 of 8 straight at bats, including two home runs, 5 RBI and 3 runs scored. In his last five games he has a run scored or RBI in every single game adding up to 6 runs and 7 RBI.
The White Sox brought in Donnie Veal to pitch in the 9th and Shin-Soo Choo showed no morality by beating that little cow with an RBI double down the line.
Zach McAllister was back to form as he threw 6 innings, striking out 7 in a no decision. McAllister allowed just four hits, although one was a home run to Adam Dunn. He left with the lead after allowing just two runs.
Lou Marson was caught stealing twice tonight. Lou Marson can't steal bases (he has 16 in five seasons). He gets on base so rarely he needs to treat each time like a blessing and treasure it. To get thrown out stealing twice in the same game is incredibly stupid.
Adam Dunn played the Indian killer tonight, hitting his 40th and 41st home runs of the season, the second being a three run blast to give the White Sox the lead against Vinnie Pestano. A rare blown save for Pestano, this was by far his worst game of the season.
In a further tirade against Lou Marson, the aforementioned catcher was allowed to hit with a runner on, down by two in the ninth inning. Michael Brantley, Travis Hafner and Matt LaPorta (all significantly better hitters) sat on the bench with the game on the line. Marson predictably grounded into a double play.
Play of the Game
A gift call from home plate ump Larry Vanover saved the Indians a run when Alejandro De Aza was thrown out at home after a Kevin Youkilis double. De Aza appeared to get his foot on the plate before Marson tagged him out, but the umpire called it the other way.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 4 - Chicago White Sox 5
One more series, one more win as the Indians continue their path to mediocrity. As they continue to lose two out of every three games, the goals for the rest of the season are dwindling.
End of Season Goals:
Masterson to .500: with a loss in his last game, Masterson is now not able to get back to .500 this year. He will still lead the team in wins by season end, but a teams ace should be able to win more games then he loses during the season.
43 Saves for Pure Rage: Another Indians win without a save opportunity leaves Perez still needing 7 to reach 4th all time as an Indian. With such a small market for error (just nine games left this year) this goal needs to be made a little more modest again. Perez needs just 4 more saves to tie Mike Jackson for 5th all time in single season saves. At this point, something that was once slightly exciting has turned into another hum-drum event.
Not losing 100 Games: Everyone get your party streamers and silly string out. The Indians beat the Royals yesterday to get to that ultimate plateau of 63 wins, keeping them from losing 100 games in a season where they lead the Division for almost half the year.
September 24th, 8:10 PM ET: Zach McAllister, RHP, 5-8, 4.31 ERA vs Chris Sale, RHP 17-7, 2.82 ERA
With 17 wins and an ERA under 3.00, Chris Sale is still very in the American League Cy Young race. His biggest competition currently include Justin Verlander, David Price and Jered Weaver, all who have lower ERAs than Sale while all but Verlander have better records. A strong win against the Indians would help pad Sale's stats giving him even more motivation before this game if trying to win the division is not enough.
September 25th, 2:10 PM ET: Corey Kluber, RHP, 1-4, 5.36 ERA vs Francisco Liriano, LHP, 3-1, 5.09 ERA
Kluber will have two more starts this season to impress the Tribe enough to earn a Spring Training invite next season. His last start was pretty good as he allowed just three runs over 6 innings, but his overall seasons' performance has been unimpressive enough to make the Indians miss Derek Lowe (that is an overexaggeration, the Indians will never miss Derek Lowe). There are always mid-low level starters available in the free agent market or for trade (see Kevin Slowey last year), so Kluber needs to work hard just to be considered for next year.
Make sure to note the starting time for this game (1:10 PM CT) or you could miss this great match-up.
September 26th, 8:10 PM ET: Justin Masterson, RHP, 11-15, 4.97 ERA vs Jake Peavy, RHP, 11-12, 3.40 ERA
In the battle between pitchers who were better at some point earlier in their careers and have been disappointments this season, who will win. Who will care that this game is even happening. Spoiler Alert: Question 1: The White Sox. Question 2:The Detroit Tigers.
Carlos Santana hit 2 home runs and a single today, scored 3 runs, and knocked 5 in, giving him today's Player of the Game with a score of 11.16. David Huff also had a great game with a score of 4.28, Asdrubal Cabrera had a score of 5.52, and Jason Kipnis, 4.65. Every Indian that played today ended with a positive score, with the exception of Tony Sipp. Each Indians batter had a score over 1.
Up until the 6th inning, the Indians only had 2 hits, both single by Shin-Soo Choo. Then the bats woke up. In the 6th inning, Jason Kipnis, Asdrubal Cabrera, Carlos Santana, and Michael Brantley strung together 4 straight hits, amounting to 3 runs and the lead.
In the 7th inning, the bats remained hot. The Indians tacked on 5 more runs and brought 11 batters to the plate.
The Indians batted around again in the 9th inning to add 7 more runs to their total.
David Huff had a solid outing as he competes for a job in the starting rotation next season. Huff pitched 5.2 innings, giving up just one run on 3 hits.
The Indians showed their patience with the sloppy Royals pitching today. Tribe batters walk 8 times today, with Lou Marson leading the way with 3 walks.
Today was the Indians best offensive game of the season as they scored a season-high 15 runs on 16 hits. The Indians scored all of their run in the last 4 innings of the game.
Tony Sipp was the only negative point in today's game. Sipp pitched 2 outs in the 8th inning and gave up 2 runs on 3 hits. Though he did not have a great outing, it did not affect the outcome of the game.