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Cleveland end a 10 game road losing streak
Posted By Luke Lovekin On Aug 14 2012 @ 8:51 am In Cleveland Indians | No Comments
Cleveland took a 2 run lead in the third inning today and never looked back to finally end there streak of 10 road losses the longest in the club’s history. Today the tribe seamed to have everything working together. They were scoring runs when they had the chances the pitching was good for 9 innings and one of the better games I have seen Cleveland play this season.
Firstly my apologies I had been at home with my family since the last game I blogged on which was the 26 of July, which was against Detroit at home and the last game before this losing streak. In that blog I said basically that I didn’t put too much stock in that game and a few things had to change to even consider them a chance at the pennant. So off I go home and only get updates on my phone of their progress but could see that things were not going well for the Tribe. Then on the 5th of August I got time to listen to the game on MLB@bat 12 (shameless plug they should pay me for that) just when I thought they had the game in the bag in the 10th Chris Perez blows the lead to lose the game and make Tribe history for losing game 10 of there longest losing streak ever. It is a shame that Perez will get that title because his season this year has been outstanding. Anyway I’m back now and hopefully so are the Tribe.
From the bump today the Tribe really did pitch well. Justin Masterson picked up win number 9 today making his record 9 – 10 on the year. Justin had a solid outing today with 6 shutout innings on 6 hits; 3 walks and 4 strikeouts. Manny Acta may have made a mistake bringing him in the 7th to pitch but after 2 leadoff hits to Trumbo and Callaspo he ended Masterson’s day and brought in Joe Smith. Joe was throwing filthy pitches to all corners of the plate with a heap of movement, getting Kendrick to fly out to right field before striking out Aybar swinging and Iannetta looking and the time he came in the game was in the balance good to see Tribe relievers still coming through in the clutch time and time again. I would say that Smith was the best pitcher today.
The red-hot Vinnie Pestano’s 21 scoreless inning streak came to an end today when he took over in the 8th and also let the Angle’s their only runs for the game. Pestano walked the dominant Mr Mike Trout to start the inning. Torrie Hunter then flew out to Brantley at centre field bringing Albert Pujols to the plate. Pujols who seems to have settled in at his new club belted Pestano over the fence a left centre. The 2 run homer didn’t seem to rattle Vinnie as he bore down to get Morales and Trumbo to fly out and end the 8th inning Tribe leading 3-2. The Tribe would score 3 in the top of the 9th and hand over to Esmil Rogers as it was no longer a save chance but would keep Perez up in the pen. Esmil would give up 2 lead off hits to right by Callaspo and Kendrick before being dragged for Perez to come in as it was now a save chance. Perez answered the call striking out the next 3 Aybar, Iannetta, and Mr Mike Trout in order to slam the door shut and take save number 32.
Offensively Cleveland was the aggressor in this game converting all scoring chances they had today. Cleveland opened their account today in the 3rd when Jason Donald singled to centre field to score Lillabridge, who had led off the inning on an error by Howie Kendrick at second base. Asdrubal Cabrera would then back up to score Lou Marson on a line drive single to right on a pitch belt high but way outside the zone. Cleveland would score and insurance run in the 4th when Lillabridge would drive a fastball out over the centre field wall making giving the tribe a 3 run lead. The Tribe wouldn’t score again until the 9th after the Pujols homerun made it a 1 run ballgame. Esmil Rogers, Brent Lillabridge and Casey Kotchman would all lead off with singles off Angle’s pitcher Hisanori Takahashi before he handed over to Jason Isringhausen. Lou Marson picked a walk to score Rogers. With bases loaded Manny Acta brought in Jason Kipnis to pinch-hit who should be back in the starting line-up tomorrow, Jason came through with a free at bat drilling it to deep centre field, and if it wasn’t for Mr Trout’s speed it think the ball would have bounced off the wall for extra bases. It looked like Mr Trout had miss read the hit off the bat but his speed made up for it taking it in the warning track but couldn’t stop Lillabridge from scoring his 3rd time today. Isringhausen would strike out Asdrubal Cabrera for the second out of the dig, but then in the Sin-Soo Choo at bat he would throw a wild pitch scoring Kotchman and advancing Lou Marson to second. That’s where the inning would end when Choo flew out to left but with the damage done.
The Tribe batted well today although they only got 1 hit from their 3,4 and 5 hitters (Choo, Santana and Brantley) from 13 at bats between them. The bottom of the line-up really came through to day getting on base for the top of the line-up to drive them in. They also made the Angle’s pay for there mistakes in the field scoring Lillabridge when he reached on error and also scoring on the pass ball, the only 2 walk’s allowed by the Angles pitching staff today also resulted in runs with Marson scoring in the 3rd and walking in Lillabridge in the 9th. The Angles pitching wasn’t terrible today CJ Wilson who has pitched well this year but doesn’t have the wins to back it up only gave up 5 hits and 1 walk in his 6 & 2/3 innings of work.
Torrie Hunter trying to extend his single into a double threw out Carlos Santana in the 8th on a fantastic play. While I’m talking about Hunter does he maybe have the best batting position batting behind Mr Trout and Albert Pujols? With Trouts speed if he is on first you can almost guarantee a first pitch pitchout and also a lot of fastballs to “try” and keep Mr Trout at first, but with Albert batting next he can expect plenty of pitches in the zone I think it will be interesting to see if at the end of the season to see if he has inflated numbers.
This seems like the appropriate time also to make comment on the hottest player in baseball at the moment Mr Mike Trout. I’m sure you are wondering why I am referring to him as Mr Mike Trout well I cant see a situation where he doesn’t make the Hall of Fame. He looks good for AL MVP this year definitely AL Rookie of the year and leading the league in batting average. Lets not forget his speed on the base path it seems if he is at first you can just give him second and he isn’t scared to have a go at third if the pitcher doesn’t keep him close and his fielding is definitely A+. I think he deserves the title of Mister and if this was England I think he may have already been knighted.
Vinnie Pestano may have been Cleveland’s most reliable reliever this year and that isn’t to take anything away from Perez who has been amazing but the run of 21.1 scoreless innings in a team that went on there longest road losing streak ever is an accomplishment that deserves note and although it ended today with a long ball from Pujols it has to be said that it was maybe the hardest 3 batters in baseball at the moment Mr Trout, Hunter and Pujols hopefully he just gets right back to doing what he was doing.
I also want to address Many Acta’s move in the 9th inning. So at the top of the 9th he had Perez and Rogers warming up but it looked like Perez would be coming in then the Tribe score 3 and its no-longer a save chance so they go to Rogers and keep Perez in the pen Rogers gives up 2 hits and it is a save chance so they go to Perez. Now whoever owns Perez in a fantasy league probably loved it (not me I have Pestano) but I cant help but think if you have Perez up in the pen warm you have just lost 10 games on the road why not go to your best guy? I know they try not to overwork the closer but he was warm already if you didn’t warm him up to start off with then I understand the move but if he is warm go with your best guy especially at 1am.
All in all a good performance from the tribe today now for my Gold Star and Ticket to the Minors.
Brent Lillabridge for me today was amazing with the bat going 2 hits from 4 at bats and also reached on an error. He hit a solo homer in the 4th and also crossed the plate twice more today and was solid in defence so he gets my Gold Star.
The Minors Ticket has to go to Sin-Soo Choo who wore the collar today striking out 3 times from his 5 plate appearances and I’m thinking maybe he is better at the leadoff spot. I’m sure he will bounce back today he is off to the Minors.
Tomorrow will see game 2 of this 3 game set with the Angles will see Ubaldo Jiminez against Zach Greinke depending on which Ubaldo shows up tomorrow this could be a pitchers battle or a blow out, and I’m sure Greinke wants to show his new team he can get it done in the American League.
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