Light's shine bright, the spotlight is on, time for the Kip Show to get started.
July 25th, 2011
Los Angeles Angels - 2
Cleveland Indians - 3
W: Tony Sipp (5-2) L: Jordan Walden (2-3)
The Clippers that are on Twitter like to call themselves "The Clip Show."
I like to call Jason Kipnis, The Kip Show. This guy has ice water in his veins from the looks of it. To get your first major league hit and RBI when it matters most, with the game up for grabs? On the big stage of the Future's game, in his first at-bat, the guy hit a leadoff home run.
He looks like a good one.
Jason Kipnis' hit will be the highlight of the night and the most talked about aspect of the win that broke the Indians small losing skid. But there was a lot more drama and story line that went into this one. Might as well start from the beginning.
Did Fausto Carmona get out-pitched by Dan Haren? Perhaps, but he pitched six shutout frames and was in line for the win until a two-run home run by Bobby Abreu. Carmona was flirting with danger a lot, but it was rather remarkable to see him go out in the sixth and throw six pitches to end his night. I think Acta felt like he stole something with that one, so I can't blame him for ending Carmona's night.
Really, I think Fausto's stuff plays up well against an older team like LA. He even said that he knows how to pitch against them and his start on May 8th against them and last night is evidence to that. They've got a lot of older hitters who are a little bit more susceptible to that stuff he throws. So for Carmona, he went out and had a good night. It wasn't the prettiest, and he didn't strike out half the lineup like Dan Haren, but he was on the winning end until a bullpen collapse.
An early run scratched off Haren was really good and really great to have. You can get a run early off Haren is something that goes a long way. It didn't stand up, but who would have thought you could do that and get six shutout from Carmona?
Carmona's start shouldn't be put to the wayside. It would appear that he's really turned things around after that little break. That's going to be huge, and almost like a deadline addition for this team. They're looking into a starter, but if they've got a consistent front of the rotation arm in Carmona, that will go a long way.
But of course, this is why we can't have nice things... Vinnie Pestano gives up a two run shot and here we go again..... The streak is going from bad to worse, right?
Wrong. Angels Closer Jordan Walden clearly had nothing last night. He was all over the place. Giving up a leadoff hit to Michael Brantley was the start of it. He managed to strike out Asdrubal Cabrera, but there was a huge key in that at-bat. Michael Brantley's steal.
Stolen bases are great. You get into scoring position by swiping a bag. But when you have the guts and the ability to steal a base in the ninth inning, down run, with nobody out and your best hitter at the plate? Oh wow.. That's when you know you are a good at what you do. That was just what needed to happen. You can't bunt so, to get Brantley to second without an out. It would have been better if Cabrera came through with a hit, but it still set the stage for Travis Hafner's heroics.
And you can't have Kipnis' heroics without Hafner's. That was a clutch double from the Pronkster. And the incredibly weird twist was that Hafner had to be replaced on the bases and he was replaced by Orlando Cabrera, the guy that Jason Kipnis is replacing at second.
Oh The Kip Show... It's only getting started and so far, it's very good.
"This is unreal," Kipnis said with a grin.
Actually, it isn't. It's pretty damn real and pretty damn fun.
Joe Smith, another day another dollar. Right?
One play that won't get mentioned but really should... Michael Brantley throwing out Vernon Wells in the second to lead off the inning. Alberto Callaspo doubled after that, so how huge was that out and even gunning him down? Great throw by Mikey to save what would have been a run.
I'd say even through Carmona's pitching and Kipnis' hit, Brantley was the Tribe's everything man last night. He had two, had the steal, threw out Wells. You think he's over that heat exhaustion?
Acta emptied his bench in the eighth and ninth. Before Pestano's home run, he brought in Chisenhall to play defense. Oops. Has Jack Hannahan hit higher than seventh all year before last night?
After Pestano he brought in Kearns and LaPorta to pinch hit. You surprised he didn't bring Orlando in for Kipnis? Thank god he didn't. Of course, with no real speed option on the bench, it's funny to say, but Orlando was the designated pinch runner for Hafner if needed.
Seemed like it was going to be more doom, even though the game was tied, in the ninth when Buck grounded out into that extra infielder alignment. Thankfully not.
I feel I was way too harsh on Zeke Carrera yesterday for dropping that fly ball. The grand scheme of things, it is only one game and one mistake. It's likely a mistake an outfielder makes only a few times, if that, in his career. It happens. In that light, I should have been a lot less mean to the Pip-Zeke for dropping that. It's a shame because it essentially cost the Tribe the game.
Acta however has remained confident, which makes him a better manager than I ever would be. That isn't to say I have lost confidence in Zeke. But it was a little disappointing to see the game be decided that way.
"He was kind of stumbling," Acta said. "The sun was to the side, and his sunglasses were on top of his hat, so the sun wasn't a factor. He just started stumbling back there and dropped it."
I wouldn't be factoring out the sun completely. I'd still have them on. I have issues seeing myself even when it's just daylight. Maybe I have sensitive eyes. Who knows. But Acta is right. It's simple as just dropping a pitch. It happens. He did stumble leading into it. So from the get-go it just was a mess. Whatever, let's move on. He's still a good fielder and really rangey.
Alex White will be returning soon, but it will be out of the bullpen and not as a starter. White threw another simulated game on Monday, and Acta said his velocity was good. The reasoning for White to the bullpen?
Simply put, he can't build up his stamina and be a viable option in the rotation. And this makes a whole lot of sense anyway. You get an Alex White in the pen for down the stretch? Yes please!
You get him eligible for the post-season, if necessary of course, but he'll only add to the pen's depth, which will be really needed as the months drag on and September comes. You'll have extra arms in the pen, but will you have one like Alex White? His stuff will really play up as a reliever too, so this stands to be a good maneuver if the Indians can't have him in the rotation.
Infielder Jared Goedert, designated for assignment the other day to make room on the 40-man for Jason Kipnis, has survived waivers and returned to the Clippers roster. Goedert was on the 60-day disabled list to start the season and has spent his time in Akron and Columbus.
I apologize for such a short update. I have to work and the internet went haywire on me last night, preventing me from getting much done.
[RAFAEL PEREZ TWEET WATCH]
Nino's TV Reference of the Day: "Wildcard!!!!!" - Always Sunny
Days Without a Tweet: 63
You can follow Nino on Twitter @TheTribeDaily where he tweets about The Kip Show. You can also read more Morning Rundown and other features at his blog, The Tribe Daily.