I say... LOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!
July 18th, 2011 - Game One
Cleveland Indians - 5
Minnesota Twins - 2
W: David Huff (1-0) L: Anthony Swarzak (2-3) S: Vinnie Pestano (2)
July 18th, 2011 - Game Two
Cleveland Indians - 6
Minnesota Twins - 3
W: Fausto Carmona (5-10) L: Scott Diamond (0-1)
What a successful night...
David Huff pretty much pitched himself into the rotation with his performance in the first game. After Jeanmar Gomez's start on Sunday, the opportunity was there and Huff took full advantage. You can't be denied a second opportunity with that type of start.
So with the off-day on Thursday, Huff can easily be slotted into Gomez's spot, which was Talbot's spot. Huff has a place in the rotation, for now, and if he pitches like he did in Game One, he'll hold onto it for some time.
"I was just trying to pump the strike zone," Huff said. "With the conditions the way they were, nobody wants to be out there any longer than they have to, so you've just got to go strike one, strike two and make them swing the bats."
Acta went on to say that Huff did a nice job and it was a good win for the left-hander.Huff said he made some corrections to his windup, and it certainly shows lately, not just against the Twins but in his last few starts in Columbus. He was walking less hitters and hey, who's going to argue seven shutout innings on just 88 pitches?
After the game, Huff wasn't called back down, but rather Gomez was, opening up the road for Huff to continue on as the Indians fifth starter. The thought really hadn't crossed my mind that it was a possibility that Huff could go out there and lay claim to that spot, but he did and you have to give him credit. I'm now totally interested to see how he plays out from here on out. He's always had the talent, but never the consistency to put it all together. Now he seems to have that drive and focus.
Can't forget the offense. It was powered mainly by the big three-run shot that Asdrubal Cabrera hit in the third inning. From there on out, Huff cruised, the Indians would add an Austin Kearns home run (say whaaaat?) in the ninth and that was all for the first one. Give some props to the bullpen, only having to go two and getting a save from the Vinnie P, saving Pure Rage for the night-cap if need be.
And he would be needed because it was another close one. Although it wasn't a save situation, Chris Perez came into a four-run game. Gave up a solo shot to some guy named Trevor Plouffe, but still ended it to win two straight and sweep the double header.
Game two was for the picking if Fausto Carmona could just put it all together in his first start off the Disabled List. Although he gave up seven hits and had some shaky moments, he didn't walk a hitter and really, had control of this one. It was good to see Carmona go out there and not struggle and it gives me a little confidence that maybe we got something brewing with him turning it around.
I was anxious to see what Carmona was bringing to the table after that little mental break. That's what it was more than anything. Yeah he was a little banged up, but Carmona needed that little break in my opinion and I'm glad he got it. he came out and looked a little better. I'm more pleased with the no walks more than anything.
It was up there for him to just go out and do his job and he did. Because there was a rookie on the mound opposing the Indians offense, making his first major league start. Scott Diamond was actually decent. But you just gotta work him to a point where you can take advantage and strike and the Indians did just that.
The center of that? Lou FREAKING Marson?! Whaaaaaat? Marson for the first time this year goes deep. A few hours after Austin Kearns goes deep for the second time this year. Incredible. What was this? Bizzaro World?
And Santana tripled?
What else we got here...
Ah nothing much.
Of course, Huff starting marked the first time a left-hander has started a game this season.
LaPorta, Chisenhall, Valbuena, Buck, Kearns, Hannahan, Orlando, and Marson all started one game. Brantley, Hafner, Asdrubal, and Santana all started both games. The odd-name in there, Zeke Carrera who started two. More of that please. I really like Zeke and if Grady and Choo are going to be out an extended period of time, I'm giving a lot of playing time to Zeke, who's probably the best defender of all the outfielders and brings a nice element to the game.
A speed element that hasn't been as prevalent with Michael Brantley as you would expect.
Zeke Carrera, two games today, two steals. His one in the second game was crazy and one where 99 percent of runners would have been thrown out.
Austin Kearns got caught stealing in the eighth of the second game and it was on a failed hit and run. But make no mistake, while Kearns probably isn't the most fleet of foot, he had that base stolen if Joe Mauer isn't perfect with the throw. Mauer put it right on the money and it makes you appreciate just how well-rounded that guy is behind the plate.
It amazes me that Matt Underwood gets so excited about some balls that are hit into the outfield and they end up being just short of the warning track. Yet when Marson hit that one, he didn't seem to confident that the ball was even carrying to the point where it could have gone out. I've never called a major league game though, so I probably should shut up.
As if you needed any more evidence that the Indians are going to be tearing down Mitch Talbot, his rehab assignment is going to go the distance. And he's going to be in a new role. Not unexpectedly at all really. Talbot will be pitching out the Clippers' bullpen in his 30-day rehab assignment that will start soon. More evidence he isn't hurt all that much. Right now he's starting in the bullpen, which means he is likely to make a transition back to starter.
But would you really be surprised if he didn't?
As mentioned earlier, David Huff earned a spot in the rotation and to make room for him initially coming up, the Indians, as expected after last night, placed Grady Sizemore on the disabled list. Sizemore says the pain he experienced in his right knee was similar to the pain he felt last year when he needed microfracture surgery in his left knee.
"There's a lot of concern," Sizemore said at Target Field on Monday morning. "I just hope I don't have to go through what I went through last year."
Man you really hope that this isn't the same deal. That would be a crushing blow to Sizemore. To have to go through that all over again? Brutal to just think about. Obviously, Sizemore said the injury is frustrating and says it's similar, but can't say for sure if it's exactly the same.
It sucks more than anything because of the guy it's happening to. No one plays tougher and has the kind of drive Grady Sizemore does. This has to be killing him. It's frustrating to watch, so it has to be extremely frustrating to experience.
With all the injuries, Manny Acta doesn't expect the Indians to make a deal just to replenish the depleted from the injuries. Zeke Carrera, for one is a nice little player that can probably fill a temporary void. Of course that won't stop the Indians from exploring with the trade deadline fast-approaching. But they won't sell off valuable pieces just to make for an injury.
And if you know the Indians by now, you know that's really accurate and you shouldn't expect anything else.
You can't be shocked that Joe Smith finally gave up a run. It was bound to happen at some point. It was great run though and certainly something fun to watch every time Smitty took the mound.
"Yeah, yesterday happened," Smith said. "I gave up two runs, but I hung a slider [to Derrek Lee]. That was the one bad pitch in my mind. All in all, I got a couple ground balls, and they weren't hitting the ball hard off me."
The green hats being worn in the first game were for Earth Day, which was the day of the game originally scheduled back on April 22nd. Well, gotta wear them some time, right?
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You can follow Nino on Twitter @TheTribeDaily where he tweets about Louuuu. You can also read more Morning Rundown and other features at his blog, The Tribe Daily.