Well, if I'll be Cabrera.... Don't mind if I do!
June 27th 2011
Cleveland Indians - 5
Arizona Diamondbacks- 4
W: Rafael Perez (3-1) L: J.J. Putz (1-2) S: Chris Perez(19)
Bless Orlando Cabrera... I'm not sure if Cord Phelps' error forced Manny Acta to make a late defensive substitution, but if that was the case, Phelps' error actually helped win the game. Cabrera claims that Acta knew he hit Putz really well. And well...He certainly proved that last night.
5-for-11 is now 6-for-12 as Cabrera's home run in the ninth untied the game and gave the Indians the lead once again. They reclaimed it after Vinnie Pestano coughed it up a half inning before hand.
Not so mafia-like, but the bullpen worked overtime in this one. With Talbot's early exit (having thrown just 71 pitches) due to getting Hafner an at-bat in the sixth inning with runners on base, the pen was needed to go the rest of the way. Acta pretty much emptied the pen aside from Durbin and Herrmann. He got two innings combined out of Smith and Sipp and had to count on Pestano to give him clean eighth inning, but after a Willy Mo Pena single, Kelly Johnson tripled him home.
But with no outs, credit to Pestano and Rafael Perez for not letting Johnson score and holding him at third. That was pretty important there. It's crazy how Kelly Johnson went from failing miserably at a sacrifice, to hitting a triple.
Mitch Talbot was so-so. He gave up the three spot, immediately after the Indians scored two runs. I know what you were thinking, because I was thinking the same thing. Oh gosh, here we go. The offense is going to get it going, but the pitching is going to lose its wheels.
But credit to Talbot. Like we've become accustomed to with him, he found his groove and settled down. The damage was done with the three runs, and thankfully the offense battled back (unfortunate that the bullpen couldn't preserve the lead for a win) for Mitch. As shaky as the first inning was, the next four were brilliant.
Talbot retired nine straight between the third and fifth innings. If he was in the American League, the way he was settling in, he could have easily gone another inning or two and the start would have looked a lot better. But when you are playing under these National League rules, you have to do what you have to do.
"It was a good opportunity to break the game wide open," Acta said. "It's NL baseball. That's what I told Talbot after the game. Too bad. Sometimes I've got to go."
The offense didn't break out there as Acta expected. But it would plate a few runs before hand. The sources of offense on this one was obviously Cabrera's late home run, as well as nephew Asdrubal Cabrera's big two-run blast in the first inning off Kennedy. But Asdrubal would come around to score the trying run when Travis Buck singled him home in the sixth.
And then... The Chiz Kid arrived.
Well actually, he arrived an inning earlier when he doubled down the line for his first major league hit.
But Lonnie Chisenhall arrived with even more emphasis as he singled to right to knock in Carlos Santana for his first RBI. Congrats to Lonnie.
I was nervous going to bed last night when I did. And was relieved to see the Indians had prevailed upon awakening this morning. There's no better way to start out the day, with a Tribe win!
Travis Hafner's pinch hit appearances thus far: 1-for-4 with 2 K. Can't argue with how Acta used him last night. Sometimes you may not have an opportunity to use him late and with the pitchers' spot up and runners on, I can't blame him for using him when he did.
Cord Phelps with his third error in two games and he now has five in his short time with the Tribe. I'm pretty sure that is not what he's about. One of the things that came with him from Stanford was his glove at second. He must be a little jittery and nervous, because he's a much better fielder than what we are seeing.
Lonnie Chisenhall's debut was pretty interesting. We talked about his impact already and we're going to talk about him more in a second, but it's funny how we actually missed his first at-bat on television because he swung at the first pitch. Not only that, the umpires were quick to get going and television coverage didn't return quick enough.
"It was a relief," said Chisenhall, who flied out to left on the first big league pitch he saw from D-backs starter Ian Kennedy to open the second inning. "When I was up there [the next time], I got a good pitch to hit and put a swing on it."
Not going to complain that he swung at the first pitch in his next at-bat, because that resulted in a double.
[THE CHIZ IS HERE]
In very intriguing fashion, the Indians made the call. After a sweep in San Franicsco that saw them score just four total runs, very weakly might I add, they called up Columbus and got Lonnie Chisenhall a plane ticket to Arizona.
We can't ever go back to Arizona.
Oh yes we can. Chisenhall is here and I can't help but draw the parallel to when Santana was called up last year. It was on June 11th during Interleague. Long enough to avoid super-two eligibility for Santana, perhaps long enough to squeeze an extra year out of his control.
Did the Indians play the same game with Chisenhall? Would he have been up sooner if he was hitting and wasn't injured?
The timing seems right to me though. With the offense sputtering around, Hannahan coming off a horrible game, and Chisenhall finishing up an incredible comeback week off the disabled list, it makes sense to do it now.
And it's his show now. Maybe some lefties will force Acta to sit him down, but Chisenhall has the reigns. His future has arrived.
That will be one thing The Chiz Kid has to work on though, hitting the left-handers. If he wants to be a complete MLB player, the .200 average against left-handers has to improve. As does his overall approach. Not only does he knock the right-handers around, he walks as a fantastic rate with a .380 on-base percentage. But when it comes to the left-handers, he's struggled this season.
I was asked on Twitter if I was excited for Chisenhall and his .260-some average. Um, yes? His average through 65 games in Triple-A is certainly no indication of what we can expect from him in his career. Is he going to save the offense single-handedly? No, he's not. But why wouldn't I be excited to see Chisenhall arrive?
So what can we expect?
Well after last night, I think we can expect exactly what his stats indicate. He's going to hit pretty well, especially right-handed pitchers. He may not have an amazing average, but he can swing the stick well. He doesn't walk a whole heck of a lot, but he also doesn't strikeout. He has decent power, but really what he is just a overall good hitter who doesn't really lack in one particular area of his offensive game. Yes, the left-handed splits need to improve, but he doesn't look to be one who will go in may extended slumps.
And speaking of.. He is just the opposite right now at the time of his promotion. As mentioned, Chisenhall is coming off a great week of work after being activated off the disabled list. Chisenhall had 13 RBI in his first three games off the disabled list. He had three multi-hit games since coming off the DL and it's safe to say, he was pretty hot.
Let's hope that heat has carried over to the desert and he can continue his great hitting against the Diamondbacks.
[CLEVELAND FAN EXTRA INNINGS]
Manny Acta was just as surprised as anyone else was when it came to Jim Riggleman's resignation in Washington. Even though they know each other on a more deeper level, as it was Acta who brought Riggleman to Washington as his right-hand man, Acta didn't have a clue as to why Riggleman stepped down.
But of course we all know why. Riggleman wanted an extension to his contract. But was Washington that stubborn to not give it to him? Was Riggleman too stingy on his asking price? If he thinks resigning is going to help him in anyway, then maybe he does have his head in the clouds.
Either way, the guy that replaced Manny Acta can't possibly be as a hot commodity as his action of resigning would indicate. What does this tell you about Riggleman though? What does it tell you about how much he cares and how much he's in it for himself?
In one way, I can see not feeling like he has a future in Washington and not having his heart in the job in it anymore. But that doesn't mean you essentially quit and walk out on the team like he did. That's exactly what he did, quit. He quit on his team and quite frankly I think it shows how selfish he is.
If he was smart, he'd have stuck it out, regardless of what he thought his future there was. If you end on a high-note with the freaking Nationals, then your stock goes up and you have no problem finding work elsewhere. Now, you are pretty much two or three days after the sell by date. Could be safe to drink, but still not entirely sure you won't get sick from drinking.
And for us in Cleveland? I'm glad the Nationals fired Manny Acta. We ended up with the right guy. Acta isn't someone you ever have to worry about quitting or letting down his players. This guy is invested in not just his team but this city. He's embraced Cleveland and the Indians organization and I think it's pretty clear, everyone has embraced him.
Do I begin to question as to why it was Adam Everett that got the boot for Lonnie Chisenhall's arrival instead of Austin Kearns?
Let's be up-front about this. They're both roster fodder. I'm not going to be all bent out about Everett leaving. He's a dime-a-dozen utility player that is automatically replaced by Jack Hannahan, who is now pushed out because of Chisenhall starting at third.
But is Kearns not more of a cut candidate? Again, he is wasting a roster spot right now. Is Kearns? Debatable. He's at least contributing and not to say Kearns is a bad fielder, but he certainly isn't anything special. With Everett, you at least have someone who is more of a defensive player coming off the bench. Kearns is average, if that even. He doesn't have great speed to boot.
I know I said I'd stop the dump Kearns movement yesterday, but I couldn't resist the opportunity to wonder why this was the pick. Either way, Everett is likely gone. If he does clear waivers and accept his assignment, I'm sure he would be nice depth just in case. Best of luck to to Everett, who is a pro's pro. I'm sure Everett was long enough to hand some lessons down to the younger players and as Acta said, was a good guy in the clubhouse.
No word on what actually happened with Shin-Soo Choo and his visit to hand specialist Dr. Graham. Our report likely comes tomorrow.
[RAFAEL PEREZ TWEET WATCH]
Rafael Perez won a game last night after recording just one out. Right place, right time. What comes first, Rafael Perez saving a game or Rafael Perez tweeting?
Days Without a Tweet: 40
You can follow Nino on Twitter @TheTribeDaily where he tweets that The Chiz is Here. You can also read more Morning Rundown and other features at his blog, The Tribe Daily.