Wednesday, April 2

Carmona Shines & I Hear It Was Cold

Just to remind you the reported game time temperature at the Ja. . . I mean Progressive Field was a balmy 37 degrees and by the bottom of the 6th it was 32. Around the 5th inning Tom Hamilton was wondering why the Angels were playing at Minnesota. Yeah, a warm weather team at a dome to start the season. Anyway, during all this cold weather a game between the Indians and White Sox was able to be played.

The Tribe beat the White Sox 7-2 in front of 17,465 brave fans. The last time the Indians started back to back seasons with 2-0 starts was 1954 and 1955.

Fausto Carmona had a quality start pitching 7 innings giving up one run on 4 hits. Grady Sizemore proved to be trouble for White Sox starter Javier Vazquez, with a two RBI single in the second and a triple in the 5th, and an RBI single in the 6th. Sizemore and Asdrubal Cabrera combined to go 6 for 9 with 5 RBI. Vazquez did have 6 strikeouts in 5 innings, but walked in a run in the 5th and gave up four of those runs before departing. Following Vazquez was Mike MacDougal who sported a 6.80 ERA last year. MacDougal proceeded to spot the Indians a healthy 2 runs in the bottom of the 6th, which was good because I was getting worried that a 3-run lead might not have been enough. MacDougal was seemingly brought in for some trash time pitching as Mike here didn't keep the game close.

Carmona had an awesome game considering the weather. All you really need to know about Carmona's performance is that he only had 1 out recorded in the air, with 16 ground ball outs, and 3 double plays. When Carmona is posting a line like that you know things were going well. All in all a 108 pitch evening with 65 strikes and 43 balls, by Fausto.

Kelly Shoppach started behind the plate in place of the injured Victor Martinez, with Ryan Garko being the obvious choice to be a backup catcher if needed. The PD had this from Martinez "I did a lot of stuff (Wednesday), and I didn't feel it. I hit, I threw and I rode the bike. We'll just have to wait and see when I can catch." There was some talk about Victor being a game time decision to pinch-hit, but given the weather I'm sure that was an easy decision. Supposedly Garko caught earlier in the day for Byrd, but Shoppach had a nice evening both defensively and at the plate with a double and run scored.

Masa Kobayashi made his major league debut tonight in the eighth. Kobayashi, while maybe not able to down 50 hot dogs in 5 minutes, has saved 200+ games in Japan and throws a fastball, slider splitter, and change up. Obviously a good opportunity for Masa given the 5 run lead the Indians had when the reliever made his debut. Not a strike out guy but a contact pitcher in the mold of Borowski, which I don't find reassuring, with his slider being his best pitch. Supposedly Masa has picked up English nicely, which is contrast to the likes of Bartolo Colon who was known to use an interpreter his entire career. The Koba quickly gave up a hit to Juan Uribe, struck out Nick Swisher with a ball 4 pitch and gave up a single to Orlando Cabrera before being replaced by Perez. Well, maybe it was the weather or the debut jitters, but color me unimpressed. Perez got Jim Thome to strike out and then walked Paul Konerko to load the bases with two outs before getting Dye to swing and miss in a full count situation. Jorge Julio came in to pitch the 9th and quickly gave up a HR followed by Alexei Ramirez's first hit (more on him later) before closing out the game. At least the non-Circle of Trust (COT) pitchers, Masa and Julio, got some time in tonight with neither being too impressive.

One White Sox player I must point out is the play of Alexei Ramirez, a Cuban refugee (oooh la la la), who at this point has 4 strikeouts in 8 at bats, in his first major league season. This may not be the level to start Mr. Ramirez, but it's a long season.

One point of interest was that I was reminded this evening that Asdrubal was acquired from the Mariners for Eduardo Perez, which can only be considered a good trade.

Tomorrow is an 12:05 start for these two teams with Jake Westbrook facing LHP John Danks who posted a record of 1-7 with a 7.11 ERA and allowed 63 hits in 49 1/3 innings following the All-Star break last year.

Around the League

Break up the 3-0 Nats. The Phillies had one hit tonight, one god damn hit?

Detroit continues to lose the the Royals, and I'll take it.

The Cubs can also continue to lose to the Brewers.

The Mets destroyed the Marlins 13-0, who I hear as a team make less than A-Rod, which is an embarrassment for the Marlins and Major League Baseball.

The B-Jays beat the Yankees 5-2.

Cincinnati beat the Diamondbacks on a 3-run walk off home-run 6-5.

That's all for tonight. Go Tribe!

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