Designated Hitter? Not necessary with Josh Tomlin.
June 28th 2011
Cleveland Indians - 4
Arizona Diamondbacks- 6
W: Alberto Castillo (1-0) L: Tony Sipp (3-1)
Hey guys, Josh Tomlin was an infielder at Texas Tech. He's no stranger to swinging a bat.
Now that I got that out of the way. JOSH TOMLIN YOU ARE AWESOME.
Now that I got that out of the way. I'm going to just say that I'm still catching up. I fell asleep before the game even came on. It was one of those kind of days. I'm actually watching the replay now and checking out some highlights.
First thing that strikes me, other than the fact that Josh Tomlin is awesome, is the fact that half of the team's hits were doubles. Chisenhall's double led to Tomlin's RBI, and Duncan's double led to Brantley hitting into a double play. To me, that is disappointing. Especially when that Duncan double could have led to so much more than just one run.
You have first and third with nobody out and Tomlin just pushes a bunt past the pitcher for a hit. So much of an opportunity to have that pitcher on the ropes and capitalize for more than just one run. But a double play clears the bases. You score a run, yes, but you kill the entire rally.
Speaking of double plays and Brantley, he actually had two in this game. Michael Brantley? Double plays? Shouldn't he be beating these out? Kid is really struggling as of late. Other than his three-hit night in San Francisco, he's had some issues the past week. And the past few days particularly. Two double plays last night and three strikeouts on Monday.
Brantley is so much what makes this offense go as much as Asdrubal Cabrera does. Can't have him struggling. He at least needs to find himself on base. At least not hit into these double plays.
So when your pitcher gets two hits. I kind of feel like you should have scored more runs. Granted their pitcher hit a double, but it seemed like they had plenty of legitimate scoring opportunities in this one. Not even counting the blast Santana hit in the ninth inning to tie it up. So what does that tell you?
As mentioned earlier. Tomlin did some hitting at Texas Tech, so there was certainly a background with him swinging the bat. And he got the first base hit for an Indians pitcher since 2008, when big CC was clubbing home runs.
"It was fun," said Tomlin, who last hit in an organized game when he played college ball in Texas. "I wasn't trying to do too much. I just didn't want to go out there and look like an idiot."
Well, mission accomplished, Josh. For sure.
But enough about his hitting. Because as fun as it was to see him hit the ball, it's still really fun to watch him pitch. Once again he didn't walk a hitter and you know he went five innings. This start tied Daisuke Matsuzaka's mark for consecutive starts going five innings, which is the Major League record.
"That means I'm doing my job," Tomlin said. "As a starting pitcher, you're supposed to go as deep into the game as you can. To me, I just try to save our bullpen as much as I can. All that tells me, is that I've been able to do my job for 28 games."
I think I have my vote for Golden Fedora locked up.
And for the second straight night, the Bullpen Mafia didn't do their job. Kind of concerning overall as this is supposed to be the club's strong point. And now with the offense at least pushing some runs across the plate and the starting pitching looking fantastic, they can't be losing ground now.
Tomlin exits in a tie game and usually you can feel pretty good about your chances with the bullpen going at least a few frames before you start having to worry about scoring yourself. But that wasn't the case this time. Perez comes in and within the first three batters, the game is no longer tied. To make matters worse, Joe Smith comes in and he can't minimize the damage of the situation Perez started.
Then of course Santana homers and all of a sudden, the bullpen gets some new life. Tony Sipp is on the mound, if he can get through another inning, who knows. You still have Durbin to go a few and even Herrmann. Pestano was probably the only one you would avoid using since he threw 31 pitches on Monday.
So the bullpen failed, not once, but twice last night, as Sipp gave up that walk-off. So really, in two nights, they faltered three times. I'm a little concerned. I'm glad that they were still able to win even though they had one blemish, but two nights in a row? Hopefully they've got it all out of their system, because when the offense is scoring, and Josh Tomlin is twirling gems, that's the last time you want to start having bullpen problems.
The one thing I'm really disappointed about in regards to missing the entire game because I fell asleep was the fact that Jumpin' Joe Borowski joined the booth as a guest.
Stupid Wily Mo Pena... Why is he back?
Your at-bat from Travis Hafner in this one resulted in a walk. Better than a strikeout.
How did Clutchdrubal not come through with Orlando Cabrera on second and nobody out in the ninth inning against Putz? The D-Backs closer was everywhere, having watched Orlando on four pitches before and then letting him steal second. That was a de-facto double essentially. When you can turn one of your two walks into a double, you have to capitalize. Yes, Santana did, but man, if Cabrera got on, it's Chris Perez with the lead in the ninth, not Sipp in a tie game.
Cabrera missed a good pitch. He was pretty upset with himself too. He ended up hitting a weak fly off a pitch that should have been hit a lot harder. Santana's rocket shot should have told you what kind of stuff Putz had last night.
Joe Smith still hasn't given up an earned run himself, but he continues to give them up for other pitchers. He couldn't even record an out in this one, giving up hits to both batters he faced in the eighth inning.
As if he didn't already do it all. How about Tomlin picking off the opposing pitcher at second base? That'll show him for doubling off Tomlin.
Ryan Roberts almost gave the Indians second life by venturing too far off third with two down before Wily Mo came up to the plate. You thought for a second that third base coach Matt Williams was going to push him back to third with how close he got to the baserunner.
At least Sipp didn't balk him in. Which he almost did AGAIN.
The verdict is in and Shin-Soo Choo will be out for two months. So, see you in September, if that.
Choo underwent surgery on his thumb yesterday in Cleveland and it was performed by the same specialist that examined him on Monday, Dr. Thomas Graham.
"Before anything went down [on Tuesday], we knew [Choo] was going to be gone for two months," Acta said. "That was no secret. But still, there's only so much you can do. You can talk to the other 29 clubs, but they're not going to give up a player if they're in it. And we don't have a player of that caliber in our system. We're just going to have to do the best we can do to have guys pick up the slack and play up to their capabilities."
And as Manny Acta would say, there's no magic wand to wave, Choo is gone, at least for awhile. So it begs the question... Do you find a magic wand to wave in the form of a prospect?
By that I mean, do you go out and get a heavy-hitter? Right field will now be manned by some convoluted platoon of Travis Buck, Shelley Duncan, and Blaaaaaaustin Kearns. You could make a call to Columbus, but as deep as the outfield was at one point, it is starting to look a little thin with Chad Huffman (just as good as someone like Buck or Duncan) and Zeke Carrera (not exactly impact, but in my opinion, may be better than any of our other options) as the only viable options.
Nick Weglarz is making his way back from an injury and is still in Akron. Matt McBride AND Tim Fedroff were just both promoted, so it goes to show you what kind of progress he is making. He isn't ready for Columbus, let alone for Cleveland, or else he would be the perfect candidate.
This club is going to hang around. It's blatantly clear that this division is going to be a dog fight for the rest of the season. So do you go out, as soon as tomorrow or the beginning of the month of July before the All-Star break even hits and get a bat? It will cost you, but if you can find the right partner, maybe you can choose to take on more salary to give up a less of a prospect for someone that is going to be a free agent.
Or maybe you can find someone who is going to be a free agent that is still getting arbitration money that isn't getting paid a whole heck of a lot.
The problem is, right now, a lot of teams still feel like they are in it. Heck the Twins would be a good candidate with someone like Michael Cuddyer, but they probably think they're still in play to make a run at things. And could you blame then the way the AL Central has shaped out?
Very few teams are looking to deal, which drastically impacts the pool of players you are looking at, which makes it much more difficult to make a deal. Some people underestimate that when they say, "Well, let's just go trade for someone." It isn't that simple. This isn't MLB The Show or OOTP.
So right now, I think the team is in a holding pattern. I'm sure Antonetti will do his due-diligence, but I'm sure the options are slim and the options that are available, are really expensive prospect-wise. To me, Jason Kipnis is untouchable, I wouldn't do any deal that involves him. Everyone else outside of Drew Pomeranz, I'd consider a discussion about.
Zach Duke is pitching for Arizona today? Oh man. The bats better wake the heck up for this one.
Manny Acta is hopeful that in a few weeks when he returns to Arizona, he has a few other Indians players with him. Obviously, he'll have Asdrubal Cabrera, as the Indians are guaranteed one All-Star and it would be highway robbery if the kid didn't make it.
Acta said that he hasn't received a call from Ron Washington asking for recommendations and he won't be politicking for his guys, because he voted for his already. I think after last night, Josh Tomlin stated a healthy case to go and as the second best closer in the AL, Chris Perez should be a lock in my mind.
Acta says he voted for Pestano even though they don't take relievers. I believe the best bullpen should have a guy in there other than Perez though. I voted for Sipp, but after last night, I'd change my vote to the rookie Pestano.
The results of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance All-Star ballot are out and Asdrubal Cabrera won the vote for American League Shortstop. He still needs a whole heck of a lot of help to catch Derek Jeter though as Jeter's stupid lead has grown.
How on earth has it grown? The guy has been injured the past few weeks? The only think I can think of is that the Indians fan base is stepping off the gas pedal. Unless Yankee fans and all the dumb Jeter marks went into overdrive. Those people suck.
Do I sound like a little kid calling everything stupid? I do? Good, that was my intenion. Stupid Jeter.
Voting ends Tomorrow, rosters announced on Sunday. Then there will be a All-Star Final vote, which the Indians will likely not have anyone on, and even then, they wouldn't win. Because let's face it. Derek Jeter's fans suck. And they're stupid.
[RAFAEL PEREZ TWEET WATCH]
Rafael Perez's timeline just got pushed back two years after giving up two runs. No chance he tweets now.
Days Without a Tweet: 41
You can follow Nino on Twitter @TheTribeDaily where he tweets about Derek Jeter's stupid fans. You can also read more Morning Rundown and other features at his blog, The Tribe Daily.