Monday, September 7

Taking a Twin from the Twins

Did you hear that sound? That was Minnesota's 2009 playoff aspirations disappearing thanks to the Indians taking two of three from them at Progressive Field this weekend.

Game 1
The first of several well-pitched games by Tribe starters came courtesy of Jeremy Sowers, who has put together a pretty good season (4.78 ERA), especially since the All-Star break. Sowers went six, giving up just two runs, and our suddenly-bulletproof bullpen (Veras, Sipp, Wood) pitched three perfect innings to seal a 5-2 victory. The Tribe finally broke through for three in the third off of Twin starter Carl Pavano (yes, the Carl Pavano), aided by one offour Twin errors. They tacked on single runs in the 6th and 7th for the final margin, though only three of their five tallies were earned.

Game 2
Thanks to Fox's stupid blackout rules, this one was radio-only, and boy was it dull. Minnesota took this one 4-1 behind Scott Baker, who absolutely dominated Cleveland in this game and for the season, posting a 0.93 ERA against the Wahoos in four starts. Andy Marte's solo shot was Cleveland's only tally. Justin Masterson had a solid start, allowing just two runs (one was unearned), though the bullpen leaked a couple more through.

Rafael Perez is completely untrustable at the moment. We really cannot use him in high-leverage or, in fact, any-leverage situations. He came on in this game with two on and two outs, committed a balk, walked a guy, and gave up a drive to the warning track that would have been 20 rows back in Yankee Stadium. Then he yielded a double to the leadoff guy in the next frame. Ugh.

Game 3
I raised my in-person record to a sparkling 4-9 by watching this one from the Mezzanine, a 3-1 come-from-behind win for the Tribe. David Huff pitched a weirdly effective game, giving up just one run on two hits (back-to-back singles, of course) over seven frames. He had a lot of trouble with the strike zone (57 strikes, 50 balls), but must have been keeping the Twins off-balance because he got a lot of them out.

Neither team collected a hit until the 4th, and the Twinkies notched their run in the 5th. Cleveland tied it on a Jhonny Peralta RBI single in the 6th, and took a 2-1 lead in the 7th on a play that ESPN describes as:

M Brantley singled to right, L Valbuena scored, M Brantley to second advancing on throw.

What actually happened was Brantley hit an RBI single, got caught in a rundown (because, unlike Brantley earlier, Minnesota's outfielder actually hit his cutoff man), and somehow extricated himself from it and landed on second base. It's been a while since I saw a guy beat a rundown in the Majors! Asdrubal Cabrera rewarded his effort, foolhardy as it was, with an RBI double for the game's final margin, as Sipp and Wood slammed the door on the Twins.

Four things marred an otherwise nice day at the ballyard:
1) The street maniac on E 9th yelling at people on my way to the park to repent or face hell. Get out of my face, crazy.
2) The aggressive fireman outside Local Heroes collecting for muscular dystrophy. He started calling out this one guy who was with a girl, saying to her "you can see what kind of boyfriend material you have here, if he's a good guy and gives to charity" and "I know you can hear me," and not in a funny sort of way. Fuck you, Fireman Fred. You have no idea what that guy does with his money. Maybe he already gave to MD or some other charity. Maybe he filled the boot yesterday. Regardless, you have no business harassing fans and trying to guilt them into donating. I would never, ever give that man money.
3) The "Wonder Girls", this random girl singing group featured between a few innings. What does this have to do with anything?
4) People applauding super-loud flyovers from the Cleveland Noise Show being held at Burke Lakefront Airport this weekend. Why are we cheering loud planes again?

The Tribe now sits at a robust 60-76, just one game back of Toronto for 7th in the Wild-Card chase. This upcoming series against Texas is interesting because Texas is three back of Boston for the Wild Card, and like any decent human, I want the Red Socks to watch this year's postseason from their couches. So, I'll enjoy Tribe victories as they come, but if they lose, it was for a good cause.

Monday, 6:05 RHP Hunter (7-3, π) vs RHP Carrasco (0-1, 18.00)
Tuesday, 7:05 RHP McCarthy (6-2, 4.61) vs LHP Laffey (7-4, 3.36)
Wednesday, 12:05 Feldman (15-4, 3.62) vs RHP Carmona (3-9, 6.08)

Go Tribe!

No comments: