Tribe going backwards as Royals snap 12 game skid

Of course the Royals had to win sometime, you just hope it wouldn't be against the Indians, especially when C.C. Sabathia was pitching.

CC Goes CG, But Tagged W/Loss: It's starting to get to the point where a 4 run performance over EIGHT innings isn't good enough for our pitchers.

In reality, it's not bad and his ERA is down to 4.72, so really, what can you say? Shame on you CC for keeping your team in the game?

NO walks tonight, which is good see. 8 hits that scored the 4 runs, and he topped off at around 100 pitches, so really he was in a grove tonight as far as pitching to the hitters.

His one mistake came against David DeJesus in the 3rd, DeJesus took advantage and put it in the stands. Then he ran into trouble again in the 5th when the Royals strung some hits together to bring home three runs.

See the Indians can take note. When you have runners on 2nd and 3rd with nobody out, your supposed to get both those guys in, at least one. They got all of them and then some.

Ugh Hitting: Let's talk about the hitting.

The good news as of late is that we are getting guys on base.

The bad news is that they are now leaving those guys on base, especially in crucial situations that you need to get them home in.

Here is my second guess Eric Wedge comment of the night.

Bases loaded, 1 out in the 8th inning. Franklin Gutierrez is 2-2, reached base all three times tonight, and you lift him for.

David Dellucci?

What the hell is going on guy. I know you are going match up, and okay Dellucci is a veteran.

But the guy is 2-2, I think he has earned an opportunity to hit in that situation. What good has David done in the past few games that has given you any indication that he is going to come through for you here.

If you are playing to not strike out in that situation, then dumb move. He was playing for someone to put the ball in play, which is a dumb idea because you need 3 runs, not one. You needed a hit there, because Soria was on the ropes, and there was no way you'd get him in the 9th.

Just a dumb move. Franklin tripled, singled and walked tonight, and Wedge robbed him of a chance to come through for his team.

Way to build that confidence up Wedgster.

Also, what gives with Michael Aubrey already?

You are so quick to bench Garko all this time for Aubrey who hasn't played a lick in even Buffalo, yet Andy Marte rots on the bench for Casey Blake? I'm starting to get tired of it.. I don't care how you do it Wedge, just be consistent with it. You aren't really showing consistency with your decision making. This philosophy he is carrying is very odd and very weird.

We blew tonight, and we need to win tomorrow. You can't lose a series to the Royals. Paul Byrd and Brian Bannister, I'm not holding my breath.



Jumpin' Joe at his best as Tribe Win

Jumpin' Joe! Wow that was a true heart ticker, and it must suck even worse to be a Royal fan.

Cliff Okay, Still Wins!: Cliff was far from great tonight, but he did a good job with keeping his team in the game and just staying with in himself. Didn't have his control, but smart pitchers know how to give you six solid on those nights.

Walked only one, did give up 10 hits, and four runs with three punchouts.

That is Cliff Lee's 8th win of the year boys and girls. Pretty good, yes yes. His ERA is still under 2 at 1.87.

Betancourt and Perez did their jobs tonight, very good and it was up to Joseph to close it out. A double by HERRman(German) made it a little nerve wracking and Jose Guillen almost killed us at the end.

It was Grady Sizemore's outstanding catch in center saved the game.

Also point out the great play by Ben Francisco to get DeJesus at 2nd. Because Gathright wasn't running full steam, the run didn't score before the out and we avoid that tie game.

Hey Marte: Marte has been consistent in his little time. Hits in this three game stretch, scored a run tonight, woulda had an RBI if Asdrubal Cabrera didn't run himself out of a double.

The big men tonight were Casey Blake and Grady Sizemore though.

Sizemore started the game off with a solo jack, and he now leads the team in RBI. He then homered later in the game to bring in two more. Grady was outstanding tonight, and he even is stepping up and becoming more of a leader with the other guys.

Well, co-leads. Casey Blake wouldn't be out-done as the road monster returned. His two run jack was huge in the sixth inning. Both him and Grady have the 29 RBI.

Tomorrow, C.C. takes the mound against Kyle Davies.


Hafner Placed on DL; HERE COMES CHOO

Well, he was supposed to be able to return for today's game. But just when you think that happens, the Indians place him on the 15 Day DL.

The move is retroactive to Monday, so he is eligible to come off next Sunday.

To take his spot on the roster, they have brought up Shin-Soo Choo from his rehab assignment in Buffalo.

Taking a closer look at walkup music

We occasionally like to have some fun here, look at stuff like bucket kicking and fun junk like that. Plus with the negativity and losing lately, it's nice to get some humor in our baseball lives.

The Indians site has linked to a story on the walk-up tunes for some of the batters. I've always been fascinated in that type of stuff. I'm not into music, but it's funny to just make fun of silly songs or whatever. There was a point where Travis used to come up to the Brock Lesnar entrance theme, and I found that pretty funny.

Here is the article that gets some information from the players and a professional critique on what they pick. Dellucci's is pretty funny, and while he hasn't used the Godfather Theme yet, I'd love to hear him do it.

Garko's explanation is probably the best, and I can't say I wouldn't do the same thing. Just let C.C. pick it.

"(Pitcher) C.C. (Sabathia) picks my walk-up songs. He listens to better music. I just go to and ask what I should go to now, and he always has something good for me. He pays attention on the days that he's not pitching on which songs I hit good with and which ones I should stick with and which ones I should not go with." (MLB.com)

Masa Is Pretty Weird


Masa Kobayashi is a pretty weird dude.

Actually he isn't, but he does some weird things.

It may be the Japanese way, or some sort of secret Japanese way of healing or some deal like that.

But it is pretty weird.

That picture you see there is the back of Masa. Those purple circles are indescribable.

It turns out he uses a ten suction cup machine on his back for some reason.

Anyway... Here is a nice little story about Kobayashi and his adjustment to the Unite States and his new team.

Picture credit to Chuck Crowe of the Cleveland Plain Dealer


Twins Claim Breslow Off Waivers

The Craig Breslow experiment is over. The Twins did not forget about Breslow like Eric Wedge did.

The Twins claimed Breslow off waivers today, ending his time with the Tribe officially.

Oh well, I liked Breslow, he has potential, just never got any time consistently.


Adam Miller's Season Likely Over

From Castro Turf:
"Top prospect Adam Miller's Minor League season is conceivably over. According to head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff, Miller will be shut down from throwing for eight weeks after having surgery performed on the middle finger of his right throwing hand Tuesday. After eight weeks, Miller will begin a return-to-throw program in either Winter Haven or Goodyear, so the odds of him coming back in time to rejoin the Bisons are slim." (CastroTurf)
That is a big blow. We've been waiting to see this guy in the big leagues for some time now, and this was gonna be the year, one way or another.

Miller's potential is high, but if he continues to injure himself then his career is never going to get underway.

Tribe Let One Slip Away

What a sucky game to lose.

Offense Leaves Golden Chances On the Table: Another game with a lot of men on base, but the were a lot of blown RISP chances with less than two outs.

The first was in the first inning after the Indians already put two on the table. Dellucci struck out with a guy at third and no outs, and then Jhonny Peralta hit a wicked shot to third that was snared by Joe Crede. The good thing was Dellucci put up a lot of pitches in the AB and Peralta did hit it hard, so you can't really complain about the chance.

However later in the 9th inning is where you have to be disappointed. A Crede error and a Sizemore walk allowed Carroll to put down his second sacrifice in the game to get runners on second and third with one out.

Francisco who lost his 7 game hit streak immediately popped the ball up on the infield, and Victor Martinez saw a couple of pitches before he flied out to the short stop in shallow left.

Just a couple of failed opportunities killed this team. I know there was some funky business by the bullpen today, but when you get the runs up there on the table, you need to get them in. They did it yesterday perfectly and early in the first the aggressiveness was really getting them some runs.

P-Gun went deep again today, and it finally was with someone on base. Dellucci doubled in Martinez and Vic had the infield single that scored a run. Gavin Floyd's early error let the first run score.

Jake OK in Return: Jake Westbrook was decent in his return. He cruised through the first three innings, allowing the hit to Dye but getting the double play. Dye touched him up in the 4th on a sinker that didn't really sink that much, They would add two more in the 5th inning via Punch AJ and Carlos Quentin and some great situational hitting.

That duo was at it again in the 7th to give the White Sox the final lead. Doubles by each AJ and Quentin brought home 3 runs.

Jake went 5 giving up 3 earned and striking out 3. The Andy Marte error in the 7th really opened up the doors for that big 3 run inning against Betancourt.

An off day tomorrow.. Only two games won on this six game home stand. Now we go on the road, where the hitting has been a little better(cough casey blake cough) for the longest trip of the year.

Friday it is Cliff Lee and Gil Meche in Kansas City.


Victor's Bucket Kick Video

Finally some video on Victor Martinez and his famous bucket kick.

I messed up the original story and didn't quite understand it at first. This is a far more hilarious outcome than what I thought happened though. Stay tight, theres a few clips before that and then the bucket kick, and the CNN anchor then calls him "Mr Cranky Pants"

Great job Victor.. Check out Hafner and Sizemore having a laugh in the corner.

Julio to be Designated; Westbrook Activated

Well, Edwin Mujica will not be sent down as originally thought.

It's Jorge Julio on his way out the door quicker than I expected.

Julio will be designated for assignment to make room for Jake Westbrook on the active roster.

This means Mujica will stick around a little bit longer, he pitched today in the pen and gave up a few hits.

Obviously the experiment worked for a bit, but the low-risk move is now a write off.


Boy, we did some run scoring!

Sure did, and it was right from the get-go.

Frankie Busts Out: And it came just when you thought, well another opportunity squandered.

Buehrle wasn't gonna let the Indians screw it up though. With two outs he just kept walking people and giving the Tribe a shot to knock him out.

Guits had the big slam in the first and there really wasn't much looking back.

See, in previous nights, when we don't score, I highlight a player or two that did good.

Now... I can just run down the lineup and all the contributions.

Gutierrez obviously knocked in half the runs with the slammage. Garko went 1-3 with a nice RBI double that he took the other way. That was a Shark Double we are used to seeing, so it's a real good sign.

Francisco had the other official RBI with the sac fly in the first.

The other runs were scored in the sixth in some more unorthodox methods.

The first was a error by Paul Konerko, where Jamey Carroll seemingly grounded out to end the inning. A run scored on the play and it was more of that taking advantage of the chances the White Sox gave them.

The next run came on a TRIPLE STEAL.

Yes.. You've heard double steal before, but never Triple. In an oddity of a play, Chicago funky-armer Ehren Wassermann got ready to throw to Francisco with 2 out and a 3-2 count.

Then all of a sudden he threw to first. It very well could have been a balk, that is a sort of cheap move on his part. Just throw to home, you know they are off and running with the pitch.

The White Sox would pay for getting cute. Konerko instead of chasing down Carroll and letting Dellucci score on the play threw to home to get Dellucci as a dead duck, but catcher Toby Hall dropped the ball, and everybody was safe.

Yes, stolen bases all around, Dellucci steals home and Ehern Wasserman looks real dumb.

Side Note.. Andy Marte hit a double and got a standing ovation. I too stood up and clapped. It almost went out, but I'll settle for big double off the wall.

Hitting is contagious.

Laffey the Magician: He wasn't the joker tonight, but rather a worker of magic.

He caught a break with one unearned run early. A error by Cabrera(but not his fault, Garko got blinded by the sun), let the White Sox get a few hits together to score some runs.

Laffey had a lot of defensive let downs though, but he managed to pick his teammates up. He did walk 2 and give up 7 hits, so he had guys on base a lot. He did a great job of getting out of jams with the pop up though.

That ERA keeps getting prettier. It's now down to 1.59 and Laffey is putting together one hell of a fill in campaign. He exactly been Fausto like... But he is doing the same thing Carmona did last year.

Tomorrow Jake Westbrook returns from the DL to face one of the breakout youngsters for the White Sox, Gavin Floyd.


News and Notes: Miller on DL; Two Signed

So the Indians made a few moves today..

  • Jorge Velandia and Todd Linden signed to minor league deals.

Velandia got a call up with the Blue Jays this year after they lost John McDonald and David Eckstein to injuries. He pretty much sucks with the bat.

Linden was with the A's this year in Triple A. He has a little better bat than Velandia.

Both are on their way to Buffalo.

  • Adam Miller is back on the DL...

Not good.. More finger trouble on his pitching hand. This is sort of Josh Beckett like blisters the fire baller is getting. We are gonna have to keep waiting and waiting to see if this kid can put together a healthy stretch of baseball.

Also Wedge is having trouble filling in the 2 and 5 spots on his roster. That's been the two most prominent spots that he is having issues finding some consistency in. The 5th spot is one of the worst in the leagues in terms of production.

  • Hafner was held out of the lineup on Monday because of shoulder soreness..

He is also getting a little angry, heres a quote from a story yesterday int he Plain Dealer.

"Anger? Yeah, there is some anger with ourselves," said Hafner, whose offensive struggles (.217) have been well-chronicled. "Today was one we had to win, the way C.C. [Sabathia] and the bullpen pitched.

"You have to make your own breaks. The bottom line is we have to put up more consistent at-bats. Then you don't have to look at one or two plays." (Plain Dealer)

Let's see if that anger starts to show.

Here We Go Again

Yeah that was interesting.

Two Straight Extra Innings Losses: Finding new ways to lose is always the name of the game.

The Pirates call themselves the Buccos.. Sometimes they say Yucko Baseball..

Well the Indians are playing Yucko Baseball.

So, another decent pitching performance thrown away by lack of run support.

The Indians found more ways to leave guys on base.. 26 this time..

The biggest at-bat to me was in the bottom of 8th... Asdrubal Cabrera up with guys on 2nd and 3rd with one out.


Asdrubal is getting really hard to watch up there. He made another spectacular defensive play. But he is hitting .182 and not doing a good job of situational hitting. Just striking out, not putting the ball in play, taking good pitches to hit.

Just awful baseball... He needs to be sent down. I know the defense is great, but Barfield is no stiff and the hitting is just too unbearable to suffer through.


Michael Aubrey.. I love the guy and his potential, but he still needs AAA Seasoning.. The three starts in a row over Garko is unacceptable. Maybe it will get Garko going, but you need to get him back in there.

Credit to the back end of the pen for stretching it out as long as they did.

Discredit Scott Elarton for sucking.. So much for that "hot hand" thing...

Jhonny Peralta might be heating up a little bit with the home runs. I'll take any offense, but just about all but 2 or 3 of his jacks have been solo shots. He only has 7 more RBI than he has homers.

Today... Another rematch, between Aaron Laffey and Mark Buehrle.



Indians Fool Us Again

We've been dupped again by the Indians offense.

Doug Mathis is a magician: No he's not, but the Tribe offense made him look like one. You can't complain about 9 hits by no means. But when you leave 23 freaking runners on base, you have issues.

9 hits, 6 walks.. Plenty of base runners.

But double plays and just some really stupid at bats gave away run chances.

Then C.C. pitches as well as you can ask, makes one single mistake against Kinsler, and it's a tie game and you get that stupid awful feeling again.

Surprisingly though.. The defense was the big screw job in this one. Ben Francisco tried to field a hit by Ramon freaking Vazquez that got by him and allowed Saltalamafaimnotspellingthisagain score from first.

Hafner Sucks: No he doesn't.. But I hate saying that type of stuff.

He's just starting to get on my nerves though. The awful at bats. I've tried my best to defend him, but it's getting awfully hard to.

More changes could be coming... I wouldn't be surprised if Choo was on his way quicker than previously though. This offense cannot continue to sputter around in different facets of the game on select nights.

Vic almost had his first homer of the year today. Just missed and it went for a double. Oh well, keep slugging guy.

Tomorrow.. Byrd and Vazquez with the White Sox in town for Memorial Day..


Quotes from Eric Wedge

I talked yesterday in the recap about some things Wedge was saying.. Here are some quotes via Anthony Castrovince at Indians.com

"They need to get out of their own heads and get out there and play," Wedge said of his players. "Quit talking about it and just go out and do it."

"We're giving away way too many at-bats," Wedge said. "I am sick and tired of us giving away at-bats."

"Paralysis by analysis," Wedge said. "Come on, let's go. You've got to be smart enough to kick yourself out of it. Hey, if they've got to get mad at me to do it, then so be it. I know they're capable of doing better. I'm tired of seeing the same thing with the at-bats from day to day. They need to be better than this. It's the big leagues."

"They're up there hacking, they're up there hitting," Wedge said. "Like these [other] guys did when they first came up."

"I hate talking like this," he said, "but we've got to do better."

Eric Wedge just doesn't talk like that. He made it clear he is tired about talking the hitting. You can see it too. He just hates it, and he doesn't like calling out his players. He called Travis by "Mr. Hafner"! Not only does Wedge not do that, but no manager does that.

These guys need to pick it up quickly.. I'm surprised they haven't already the way Wedge is talking. You figure that type of stuff would make them irate and want to hit.

Who knows.. But this is the most emotion Wedge has ever shown in his entire time as the manager of the Indians. It's also the most critical he's ever been. I think we've seen what it takes to push Wedge to the edge, and we know that point exists. I know a lot of fans questioned him and his emotion.

My question is, do any us really want to see this emotion again?

I don't, because that means the club is going pretty bad. Yikes.

Changes Happened: Lewis Down, Fausto DL

So, some changes happened as we expected them to. They are very surprising though.

Nothing new on Fausto, but they know enough to place him on the 15 Day DL.

That solves that "Aaron Laffey Problem" for a few more weeks. That is baseball for you, always working itself out.

To take his place on the roster, they called up Edward Mujica, who will probably be the guy that goes back down when Westbrook is ready to start next Wednesday. Mujica is no stranger to that though.

They also called down Jensen Lewis, which is a surprise to most people, but once you hear the explanation, it makes a lot of sense.

They aren't please with Lewis and the way he's started the year. They think there are some things that he needs to work out, and that they can get corrected faster in Buffalo.

The idea is, Jorge Julio isn't gonna last.. But, you'd rather fix Jensen Lewis than screw around with Julio any longer. So, Lewis will take some time in Buffalo(a place he didn't really pitch long at anyway), fix what is wrong and then return. The corresponding move would be to release Julio. That is some time down the road though, could be a few weeks, could be a month, it all depends on how quickly Lewis does what they want him to do.

Elarton has been on fire in Buffalo, he's given up one run in his last 9 appearances, and is sort of a new guy. He is now in the bullpen, and has been there since the Indians picked him back up in August.

He could be a nice little option out there, he can give us those 2 innings if we need it, or whatever. Wedge was trying to use Julio as a guy who could come in early(like in the Fausto game on Friday), and try and hold a little lead for a couple innings. Plus this sort of gives them that long relief guy(the game with Fausto getting hurt is pretty much the only time they needed it though) that the bullpen lacks.

Elarton takes Breslows' vacated 40 man roster spot.

Just a lot of moves right now.. This also keeps Andy Marte in tact. When Shin-Soo Choo returns, it will be Michael Aubrey that gets sent down, keeping Andy Marte for even longer.


It's finally over....

It is.. And while I didn't get my Golden Grady Bobblehead(Rain check, jerks), I got my moneys worth at the ballpark tonight with an Indians win. Here's what I got.

Lee Settles In: He started off a little shaky with the runs in the first two innings. But his first five outs were all via the strikeout, he started getting the ball down, and he just had it working from the third inning on.

THAT is the Cliff Lee we want to see.. We've seen him dominant, and that's fine.. But I wanted to see the Cliff Lee that struggles, and then puts it all behind him.. That has been the death of Cliff Lee's games, the fact that he can't put his struggles behind him.

He did that tonight, and now I think we've seen Cliff come full circle. This is what you can expect night in and night out from Big Red. It's the 2-3 runs, 6 solid innings.. He works his magic, gets the job done.

For the record, 6.2 innings, 2 runs off 7 hits, 4 walks and of course the 8 punch outs. After the 2nd inning, no runner made it past first base. Which is just awesome.. He is also one away from his career total in strikeouts.

JUMPIN' JOE!: Heeeeee's back, and he was far from jumping tonight. Topped out at 86, which is a tad low from his high, but still not the 80 mph beach balls he was serving up.

He looked good though. Got the three outs relatively quickly and we all went home.

Thank god for Joe! I think Tom Hamilton put it best tonight when he said, "Order has been restored in the 9th inning."

Shocking to say though.

Francisco: God can this kid hit or what?

A double to set up the first run, and then the rocket he hit to the left field home run porch.. This kid is on fire and he deserves to hit in the cleanup spot or close to it.

Aubrey had the phantom RBI early.. They ruled not only his hit an error, but the RBI as an error(debatable, but Byrd's toss was awful.. And what I'm not calling it, the Raggin' Right Field, let him know just how awful it was).

Then it was Peralta, who had a great night. He had two hits, one the moon shot home run to give the Tribe a three run lead, and then his other two at bats he really hit the ball hard. So, Jhonny put it together, he needs to keep it up.

Wedge: I'm writing a lot on this one cause I managed to hear Eric Wedge's ask the manager show before the game.

He was not happy. It was the most vocal I've heard Wedge ever. He was laying into tons of people, and Hafner I think got the worst of it.

He didn't even say Travis, he called him "Mr. Hafner". That tells me he is not happy with the way Hafner is swinging the bat and he is actually getting sick of it. Not good...

He was very vocal, and he showed a lot of emotion. Something I'm not used to seeing from Wedge when he talks about his players. He doesn't like calling them out, but he is starting to because I think he is done just about anything he can to try and help them, but none of it's working.

Tomorrow, we need a series win!!! C.C. Sabathia will play ace against some kid named Doug Mathis. OH you NEED to win this.. You need to play the games though.



Indians Show Fight, But Drop 7th Straight

It was a game were you think, wow I'm turning this one off.

But... The way Gabbard was pitching, and the promise the offense showed, better stick around.

Fausto Exits Early; Julio Blows: Fausto didn't have his control tonight, no pitcher really did. Gabbard struggled too. But Fausto gave up 4 early and then put a few on base before having to leave the game in the third inning.

It looked like he hurt his hip getting off the mound to cover first. Initial word is strained hip, but he will probably get an MRI tomorrow and we should know more. Hopefully he doesn't need a DL trip.

The guy who entered early to relieve him was awful. Julio came in with two men on and no one out. Let's just say he couldn't really minimize the damage, which is all he needed to do. He walked two straight, including one that knocked in a run, and then let up a grand slam to, ready for it? Jarrod Saltalamacchia(I copy pasted that one there). Kinsler would follow with a double and Gameboy himself Milton Bradley hit a sac fly to make it 11-3.

By the By.. Nice to see Milton is up to his usual antics with getting tossed and screaming profanities after a foul ball. Grow Up Milton.

Jensen Lewis for the most part held the fort down, that darn Ramon Vazquez got a sac fly for a run in the 6th. Betancourt really needed to hold the fort down in the 8th, but that man again, that son of a B Ramon Vazquez doubled for the third time.

What is it with Ramon Vazquez? Wasn't he an awful utility player for us? How did he turn into a double machine against us?

Offense Gets Kicking: I think a bad pitching performance was just what the Indians offense needed.

The Texas Rangers really helped them out there.

As mentioned, Gabbard was walking a lot of people early, and the Tribe was talking advantage.

Francisco doubled in a run in the first, then Hafner scored on a wild pitch. The next inning Hafner jolted one to right field for a sac fly, that could have very well been a grandslam if it didn't get knocked down by the wind.

Grady would put some life into the offense with a three run jack in the third inning, that kept them close and gave them hope that the game wasn't out of reach.

Scoring died down till the sixth... And what could have been a huge turning point, was a huge letdown. Ben Francisco clobbered a pitch to left field bleachers. The ball bounced off the railing and onto the yellow line of the wall and back onto the field. The initial ruling was a double, and the final ruling was a double. The Umps CLEARLY blew the call and it could have been a 3 run game.

Wedge got fired up about it and did the right thing to get ejected.

It could have been a 1 run game... But no.. Jamey Carroll doubled to bring in two runs to make it 12-9.. The no home run call kind of put a damper on the team. It would have been a big time momentum swing for the Indians.

Hopefully this was the a jolt that the Indians needed.. Tomorrow, I'll be in attendance for Gold Glove Grady Bobblehead Night.. Scott Feldman opposes Cliff Lee.


Updated: Carmona Leaves Game in 3rd

Fausto Carmona left the game with an undisclosed injury in the 3rd inning of tonights game. He didn't look real comfortable throwing a pitch after he got off the mound funky trying to cover first. He got beat at the bag by David Murphy and you can tell he was limping on the way there.

More on his injury later, hopefully it's just something that knocks him out for this game alone.

He gave up four runs in the first. And is still responsible for two on base now.

UPDATE: Strained Hip is the early word on El Diablo

Martinez Kicks the Bucket(Not in that way)

Turns out there has been some laughing going on, which is nice for a team that is struggling. I'm sure this group doesn't enjoy losing, nor enjoy playing the way they have been. So maybe this will be a nice little thing to take the pressure off.

Martinez apparently got his foot stuck in a bucket. Not really funny to you or me, but I'm sure to a clubhouse full of guys down on their luck it was hilarious.

"It's been the highlight of our road trip," said designated hitter Travis Hafner. "If you get your foot stuck in a bucket, you deserve to be laughed at." (Plain Dealer)

Wedge didn't really have a problem with the bucket.. Neither did Joey Cora, who stuck his foot in a bucket in the home dugout, or Ozzie Guillen who stood behind him laughing.

Breslow to be DFA'd to make room for Borowski

It's almost official...

Craig Breslow's short time(and with the lack of time out of the pen, I do mean short) with the Indians could be over.

The Indians told Breslow last night that he'd be designated for assignment to make room for closer Joe Borowski who is ready to come off the DL.

The Indians will have 10 days to release or trade him. If he clears waivers the Indians can send him to Buffalo if he so chooses. Because he was so rarely used, there is a chance the rest of the league has forgotten about Breslow, just like Wedge did. So there is a good chance we can slip him back to Buffalo.

If not, it's too bad. I thought Breslow did well before Wedge decided to stop using him often. His last two appearances came after 11 days off, which is really too much time off for a reliever to come in and be effective in my opinion.

On the other hand, it might make the most sense.. Now they can send Laffey down to bring Westbrook back, and Aubrey to keep Marte and also bring Choo back into the fold.

Obviously, they aren't ready to end the Andy Marte experiment just yet. Or else Breslow would still be with the Major League ball club.

A new pack of Marbolowski's to be opened tonight, given the Indians actually take a lead. Hopefully his return sets the rest of the pen straight.


Changes Need to be Made as Indians drop 6th straight

We need some changes in Cleveland after the second straight sweep.

Laffey Dazzles and Loses: Aaron Laffey probably pitched one of the best games he's pitched all year.

With that said, I still think we need to send him back down.

We simply can't go with a six man rotation, it would be a great idea, but we just can't do that to the other starters.

For now, he will have to just pitch his game in Buffalo. The bullpen wouldn't be fair to him at all.

Joe Borowski is ready to come back and should be activated tomorrow, which would make the corresponding move of sending Laffey down, perfect timing.

Unfortunately Laffey was on the bad end of another loss. Only 2 earned, in which only one was given up by him. The pen screws it up again of course.

The Offense Sucks: It's time to send Asdrubal Cabrera down.

He is giving away ABs, not doing well with situational hitting at all. 2-0 fastballs are whizzing by him, hes grounding into DPs, and just striking out on bad pitches.

Just awful job at the plate. Josh Barfield isn't destroying the ball, but hes hit in like 17 of his last 19 games and really I think the call up would sort of spark him like it did Francisco.

Other than that, I'm not sure if there is much you can do right now.. Jake Westbrook is coming off next week to take Laffey's spot in the rotation. Aubrey would have to go down then. The only logical move at that point for Choo to return would to designate Andy Marte.

I'm not submitting to the fact Andy Marte isn't going to make it here. He also won't get a lick of playing time as long as Wedge's mancrush in Casey Blake is on the roster playing third.

Other than that, you can't really make many more moves, you just need to let everyone get back on track. Of course one idea is to fire Derek Shelton, which could happen if the offense continues to struggle collectively.

Two hits tonight was downright pathetic.

Tomorrow the Indians are going back home to take on the Rangers who are just not a good team. We better see some wins. Fausto Carmona and Kason Gabbard square off.



Paul Byrd goes from No-No To Oh-No

I've never seen a guy melt down like Paul Byrd did tonight.

4.2 No-Hit Innings For Byrd: He went 4.2 without a hit. That second out in the 5th was a real doozie as Dellucci made a nice catch at the wall. Nick Swisher would follow with a single to break up the no hitter.

Then the next inning, everything fell apart.

Byrd hit Ramirez, gave up a hit to Cabrera, then got a one hopper to Casey Blake at third. Cabrera made a little bit off line throw to Aubrey at first who made a great scoop and kept his foot on the bag. The throw clearly beat Quentin but the Ump didn't see it that way.

That forced Byrd to pitch to the piping hot Jermaine Dye, and you can guess what would happen after that.

Byrd would give up a few more, get yanked and Jorge Julio would continue to suck it up.

Julio and Vic got in a little bit of a disagreement. In tern Julio threw a fastball outside that Alexi Ramirez would crush to right field. Francisco saved the bacon with a great catch.

I really don't like that type of attitude from Julio. Vic is the catcher, you listen to him.

Breslow finally pitched, and no surprise he gave up a jack. Would you guys please pitch him more? Rust can kill a reliever.

Aubrey Goes Deep: Aubrey got his second hit of his major league career, and his second home run.

Vazquez challenged him with a fastball and Aubrey yanked it into the right field stands. Great job by Michael. He has till about Friday so it was nice to see him get a little time in the bigs.

Hafner knocked in the other run with a double down the right field line following a Francisco double. Swisher misplayed it, and it was good to see the Indians finally capitalize on a mistake like that.

However one inning later, that was when it all unraveled.

Just when things seemed to be going our way.


Tomorrow for the finale, the Tribe will try not to get swept as Aaron Laffey makes his final start for the time being. Mark Buehrle opposes.


Indians Claim Oneli Perez; Tyner to Buffalo

This one slipped by me.
Perez, who turns 25 next week, was 0-1 with a 9.53 ERA in 14 appearances for Triple-A Charlotte. Last season, he was 6-2 with a 2.10 ERA and 16 saves in 59 appearances out of the bullpen at Double-A Birmingham. (Indians.com)
Oneli Perez was with the White Sox, and now he is with Triple A Buffalo. He takes the 40 man roster spot of Jason Tyner who is still designated. Roster Updates coming near the end of the week with Jake and Joe returning to the active roster.

Jason Tyner cleared waivers and is going to Buffalo as well.

Rehabs: Westbrook to Akron; Borowski To Follow

Jake Westbrook will make another rehab start before coming off the DL next week. That start puts him right on track to pitch in Aaron Laffey's place, who will make his final start for now on Thursday.

"Westbrook will make a second rehab start Friday for Class AA Akron. He made his first rehab start Sunday for Class A Lake County, but rain knocked him out in the fourth inning.

"I was hoping I would only have to make one start," said Westbrook, "but the rain got me in the fourth inning. I think they were leaning toward me making two rehab starts anyway." (Plain Dealer)

Joe Borowski is a little closer. He pitched a scoreless inning last night in Lake County and will pitch again tomorrow for Akron. He could come off the DL by the end of the week. Aubrey would get sent down.


Heck with the recap

There is nothing new to recap...

The starter(Sabathia) pitched well, the offense sucked.

That pretty much is the story once again.

It's getting very very old.


Byrd on the Block?

With Aaron Laffey having success, and Jake Westbrook due back, the Indians could turn to Paul Byrd's spot as a way of keeping both in the rotation.

Byrd hasn't done anything to merit a release or anything like that. But he is the oldest, has a contract up, and is probably the most sensible to get rid of.
"Trading Paul Byrd would make sense for the Indians. Rosenthal says the Brewers, Braves, and Astros "likely would show interest." Byrd sports a 3.61 ERA and 4.4 K/BB." (MLBTR)
and from the source..

"The Brewers, Braves and Astros are among the teams that likely would show interest in Indians right-hander Paul Byrd, who could be moved after righty Jake Westbrook comes off the disabled list. Byrd, 37, has a 3.61 ERA in eight starts, but his $7.5 million salary could be an issue; teams might prefer to wait until the pro-rated obligation would be less. The Indians might prefer to wait, too, though they want to keep lefty Aaron Laffey in their rotation. A trade of Byrd could help them build inventory for a later run at a second baseman or third baseman . . ." (Ken Rosenthal)
We love Rosenthal because of his rumors and Foxsports here mainly because they put one of my articles up(cheap plug), so expect a lot of stuff from them...

It's an interesting idea. Not sure what they would give us in return, as none of the interested teams have any of those players we've talked about in the past week or so. Would it be a prospect or something? Not sure.. I really have no opinion either way. Should we trade him? No, I wouldn't.. Should we let him walk after the year is over, yes yes yes. Would I be that upset if we traded him? Not really..

So, whatever happens. God bless Shapiro. You can't go wrong I guess. Laffey would be more easier on the pen because you wouldn't have to take him out after 80 pitches like you do Byrd. But, really Byrd is a vet and you need your vets, especially on the pitching staff. Who knows, Shapiro will make the move that he believes is best for the team in all aspects.

CastroTurf's Mailbag: Marte Almost Out of Time

I'll occasionally mention Anthony Castrovince's mailbag, because he does bring me smiles with his corny jokes and he does have some good concepts.

I don't understand this whole thing about keeping Andy Marte around. They say they are holding onto him because they don't want to let him go and then hear about him exploding elsewhere. What difference does it make? Remind me again what the point of holding onto him is.
-- Kevin W., Lexington, Ohio

Whatever point there was has all but eroded, Kevin. The Indians have some roster moves approaching with the impending returns of Joe Borowski, Jake Westbrook and Shin-Soo Choo from the disabled list. If Marte survives all those moves, I'd be shocked.

I argued a couple weeks back that if Marte's around, you might as well give him a shot in this struggling lineup. Wedge agreed enough to give Marte back-to-back starts in New York before benching him again. So if you have no inclination to play Marte, get rid of him. At this point, he might even sneak through waivers and get to play every day at Triple-A Buffalo.

Will the Indians be sending Ben Francisco down when Choo comes back from rehabbing?
-- Sean, McDonald, Ohio

Not with the way Francisco's swinging the bat. If the Indians could, they'd probably send down Franklin Gutierrez, who looks completely lost at the plate and basically has lost his starting job to Francisco the past week and a half. But Gutierrez is out of Minor League options, so the Indians have their hands tied.

I suspect the Tribe will go with five outfielders when Choo arrives (his rehab assignment will end June 3). That's why I made the above remark about Marte's tenuous spot on this roster.

So there you go... Marte could be out of time, and I highly doubt he sneaks past waivers.. They will probably end up trading him for a lower level prospect or a PTBNL. That is the way baseball works, because unless you are Jason Tyner, there is always a team out there willing to take a chance on you. Marte is REAL young and given he was a very highly touted prospect, there will be teams lining up for his services to give him a shot.

But once Choo returns, we may see the end of Marte.. So Wedge, good job on that one bud. You really screwed the pooch.


Brandon Phillips Continues to be Stupid

I commented on Phillips and his antics in the game yesterday and how displeased I was with them.

Now he is talking, and I'm even more angry.

"I'm over it, but I never forget," said Phillips, after the Reds swept the Indians on Sunday. "I never forget. I forgive them for everything they did, but I'll never forget it. I won't." (Plain Dealer)

Was he talking about the way we probably called him up sooner than he should have been.. NOPE

"I'm happy they treated me the way they did," said Phillips, referring to the Indians. "Everything happened for a reason. It made me stronger. It made me the person I am today. It made me work harder. I thank them for that. I just never forget what happened over there."

He was talking about Eric Wedge.

"Having success is a beautiful thing when you have a manager, a GM and an owner that believe in you," Phillips said. "When they believe in you, you can do many things in this game. When they don't believe in you, you don't know what's going to happen. You don't know where you're going to go."

That is a clear shot at Eric Wedge and Mark Shapiro in my eyes.

"The way I play the game, the way I pump my fist, the way I get excited, some managers don't like that," Phillips said.

Yeah.. Our manager loves that, just not when you are running down the first baseline on an RBI hit. Run to first base you idiot.

"I'm saying some managers don't like that," Phillips said. "I'm not saying just Eric Wedge. Dusty Baker [Reds manager] loves it. . . . It just gives more energy to the team. That's all it's about -- me feeding energy."

You can feed all the energy you want, just stop showing up our pitchers with your ridiculous antics.

"I'm a new-school player," Phillips said. "I've always been like that. I've always been flashy. I've always been kind of talkative. I'm always smiling. . . . Some managers don't like that. I'm sorry . . . that's the way I am."

Phillips isn't new school. He is Hotdog school. That is all he was doing. Go ahead and laugh it up guy, things will be much different the next time we meet. I hope C.C. or someone puts BP on his ass and eats dirt.

I'm glad we traded him, he is a hotdog and a stuck up ass. He shouldn't be forgiving us, he should be apologizing to Eric Wedge for not trying 100% of the time. Things didn't go right when he was here, so instead of acting like a man, he acted like a boy and quit.


Lee's Magic Runs Out as Tribe get Swept

Well he couldn't hold the streak of awesome starts together forever.

You will see a lot of "Lee get's rocked" stuff, but he pitched a decent game.

Lee tagged for first loss: Cliff made the mistake to Dunn, other than that all his damage was coming with two outs.

It was the kind of stuff that hurt Lee in the past.

Two out killing. Votto's jack came with two outs, and the string of hits in the fifth all came with two out.

I'm not worried about him. He was due for a bump in the road, and really Cincinnati seems to be real hot as of late.

He just needs to continue to keep his composure and not lose it like he did when he gives up hits with two outs. He has to stay within himself and keep his control.

Aubrey Goes Yard: First Career hit for Michael Aubrey is a jack.. He pulled a ball that was way outside into the Tribe's bullpen. Good for Mikey.

The Tribe as a whole had a lot of runners on base and they had chances to score.

But they just couldn't put it all together and get them in. They scored four, which is okay with Cliff on the mound, but he didn't have it today, so you need to put what you have on base in. Carroll, Vic and Blake had the other RBIs, and a lot were manufactured with singles.

We have an off day tomorrow, before we travel to Chicago for the White Sox. The big guy C.C. tries to take that ace role and play stopper against Jose Contreras.



Dunn Kills Indians Again

Excuse me, I'm just really bummed by this one.

Carmona Walkless: Finally, Carmona doesn't walk a batter.

He did a good job today, he was getting ahead, getting quick at bats. Finally doesn't walk a guy, good job by Fausto today.

The bullpen situation just kinda festered into a pile of crap today.

Rafael Perez was used early against the lefties. Taking his services away from later in the game.

If you are going to committee the bullpen, save your left hander for later. Use Breslow for chrissakes.

I don't know, whatever. Kobayashi didn't have this stuff together today.

Frisco Kid: Just.. Kid is awesome.

3-4 with a Stolen Base and at what was at the time, the go-ahead jack.

He is really starting to fit in and he is just what this offense needed.

Garko has started to get it going again. He went 2-4 with the first run knocked in. He is just on a upswing.

Everyone from Garko up had the hits. Grady stole two bags as well.

Brandon Phillips: I will do this from time to time and I have a big problem with Brandon Phillips.

I'm now starting to see why Mark Shapiro and Eric Wedge decided to trade this loser. He constantly is showboating and showing up our pitching staff. Raising his arms as he gets an RBI like it was a game winning hit, and then showboating it up at first.

I really hope someone gives him a little warning shot that puts him on his ass. I'm getting stick of his antics, and I'm glad he isn't on our team. He is a cocky and arrogant ass.

With that..

Tomorrow for just the third time ever, the ERA leaders in the AL and NL will meet up in a game. Edison Volquez for the Reds, and Cliff Lee for the Tribe. Turn it around Clifford!


Sowers Sent Down; Aubrey Makes it to the Majors

Sowers made his spot start and he is now back to Buffalo to take his starts.

Taking his place on the roster for the time being is Michael Aubrey.

We've talked a lot about Aubrey here. He is a guy that is out of options after this year, yet he started in Double A Akron.

He quickly moved up to Buffalo due to injury, and I'm sure his impending option year expiration has made Mark Shapiro and Eric Wedge get him up in this situation. Of course they needed someone on the 40 man rotation.

Aubrey just got into the game, he was a defensive replacement. He was robbed on his AB of a bloop single by Brandon Phillips.

Next Week: Closer By Committee

Eric Wedge has decided to go with a closer by Committee for the next week or so, until Joe Borowski returns from the disabled list.

I really don't have much to say, other than why not just give it to Kobayashi?

He came in and did the job.

This stuff never works, it is always disastrous, and Eric Wedge will soon learn that.

Hoynes: Infielders Would Be Targets

Paul Hoynes offers up some more trade rumors concerning the Tribe.

"The Indians, if they do make a trade, would prefer to acquire an infielder. Current infielders Ryan Garko, Asdrubal Cabrera, Jhonny Peralta and Casey Blake are struggling. They all have options, expect Blake, who is a free agent at the end of the season.

The Indians, since spring training, have been rumored to be interested in Baltimore second baseman Brian Roberts, but if any trade is going to be made it's probably at least a month away. Teams have until July 31 to make a deal without acquiring waivers on a player.?" (Plain Dealer)

You can rule out Ryan Garko and Jhonny Peralta in my opinion. Garko won't be sent down, and if he does they would work something else out for someone at first.

Jhonny Peralta is the same thing. If Jhonny Peralta is struggling and still in the lineup that means Asdrubal Cabrera is struggling just as bad. They wills end Cabrera down before Peralta, and if Cabrera is hitting well, he would slide over to short.

I don't see either getting sent down.

Blake could get benched and moved to a utility role if he struggles long term(with all those RBIs and the damage he's done on the road though, naw). They would either give Marte a shot at third or move Marte and bring in a third baseman(Atkins as we discussed, not a big fan).

Cabrera is the big point. He is hitting under .200 right now, and Josh Barfield is doing okay in Buffalo, but not hot enough to make the switch right this minute. If Barfield heats up they could go his direction or they could look at making a trade for a 2nd Baseman.

Obviously, at the top of the list is Brian Roberts as Hoynes mentioned.

MLBTR brings up a few other possibilities that figure to have teams out of the race later this year.
"Some other possibly available infielders: Garrett Atkins, Nick Johnson (perhaps six weeks from now), Aubrey Huff, Mark Grudzielanek, Jose Castillo, Cristian Guzman, Felipe Lopez, Melvin Mora, Chad Tracy, and Mark Ellis (once he recovers from a strained hamstring). It seems easier to acquire an impact outfielder. Regardless, Hoynes believes the Indians would use their starting pitching surplus to engineer a trade." (MLBTR)
Cross off Nick Johnson, Christian Guzman, and in my opinion Felipe Lopez just because the Nationals are tough customers in the trade talks.

We've discussed Atkins, Mora would be a third base option and Jose Castillo sucks, but he would be cheap. Aubrey Huff and Chad Tracy can play first and third I believe. That leaves Roberts, Ellis and Grudzielanek.

I like all three. Ellis is hurt a lot though, Grudzielanek is a very good defensive option, and Roberts is a speedy guy that we could fit into the two hole perfectly.

He would also cost the most.

Obviously I'm more in favor of an outfielder. Either way, I don't mind Roberts or getting him. I'd probably put Roberts and Holliday at the top of my wish list.. If we can't get either, I suppose someone like Ellis wouldn't be a bad pick-up, but I'd rather give Barfield a shot before we did that.


Three Solos Ain't Enough in Cincy

What a rough game. Get no-hit for 5 innings, tie it on three swings, and lose with a walk.

Cueto K's Em Till the Sixth: Cueto was in control for five innings. His one rough AB was to Jeremy Sowers surprisingly. Sowers worked 11 pitches, fouling some off and eventually earning the walk.

Cueto sat everyone down up until Casey Blake in the 6th inning. Blake blasted one to around centerfield.

A pinch hiting Pronk would follow with an absolute smoke job that nailed the foul pole, and after a Sizemore out, Peralta would smoke one to right.

That was it for the scoring unfortunately. Blake had another hit, and Francisco managed a double and was at 2nd with one out, but no one could get him home. That would be all for the scoring opportunities.

Sowers Struggles Early: Rough start to the game for Beach Ball as we will now call him. He threw a few of them to Brandon Phillips and Dunn.

Thankfully, he almost gave up a 4th run when Griffey pulled one to right and Hairston was on 2nd.

Hairston was thrown out with a laser throw from Ben Francisco. The throw was on target and it really was early. Vic was right in front of the plate with a beautiful block, and Hairston was dead to rights.

Just another great example of the defense taking runs off the board yet again.

Sowers didn't do too bad. Five innings, three runs, two walks, two punchouts, and he only threw 80 pitches.

Julio pitched a great inning, and Rafael Perez came in for a good 7th. He got one out and was pulled for the right hander Jensen Lewis. Lewis was rough. He gave up a hit which was a blooping Votto double that Blake ALMOST caught in medium left field. Don't ask me where Dellucci was playing.

Thankfully BP had to wait till it dropped in before he could have started running full steam, and thankfully he had to hold up at third. The run would be saved.

But not for long. Lewis lost Encarnacion, and then ended up walking Dunn with a 3-2 count. 4-3 and that was that.

That was a throwaway in my opinion. Sowers was on the hill, if he won great, if not oh well you got your two big guns going tomorrow and Sunday.

Carmona and Harang on FOX tomorrow mid-afternoon.


Tyner to be Designated

Enjoy your stay Jason, your time is coming to an end.

Breaking news from CastroTurf, the new blog of Indians' Beat Writer Anthony Castrovince.

"First off, OF Jason Tyner will be designated for assignment tomorrow to make room for LHP Jeremy Sowers, who is needed for Friday's spot start against the Reds." (CastroTurf)

After Sowers pitches, I bet a positional player will get called up until Borowski is ready to go. Someone who can get called back down of course.

Holliday A Possibility This Summer?

Another rumor has floated by concerning a Rockie that the Indians could pursue.

This one fits the Tribe a lot more, considering we are in dire need of a big hitter in left field, but the price would be awfully steep.

MLBTradeRumors has it summed up well...
Previously, Rosenthal speculated that the Rockies might be willing to go to six years and $96MM to keep last year's NL MVP runner-up. However, all we know of Holliday's demands are that he wants more than a four-year deal. Rosenthal sees the Indians, Cardinals, Yankees, A's, Tigers, Blue Jays, Mariners, and Mets as potential suitors. This should provide an interesting new storyline for July. (MLBTR)
Awfully steep for sure, but Rosenthal has said that the Rockies could be open to lower level prospects, instead of guys that are getting closer to the majors. Which is fantastic for us, because I don't think Shapiro is afraid to trade some lower level guys.

I could see us giving them a few lower level hitting prospects, a pitcher or maybe two depending on if they want one of our more advanced starters like Chuck Lofgren or maybe even Jeremy Sowers.

There are also some guys running out of time that would maybe force us to make a move. Michael Aubrey is in his last option year and he just made it to Buffalo because of injury.

The fit for Holliday is perfect though. He can be a right handed bat right in the 3 spot, Martinez cleans up as a switch, and the left handed Hafner right after that.

Potentially they could cause so many match up problems.. You could also work it if Cabrera gets back on track to give them a lot of problems 1-6 with two switch hitters, two righties, and two lefties

L - Sizemore
R - Peralta
R - Holliday
S - Martinez
L - Hafner
R - Garko
S - Cabrera
R - Gutierrez/R - Francisco
R - Blake

I imagine we'd hold on to Dellucci cause he is a left handed bat, and we could give him some starts in right field to split up those righties at the bottom if Cabrera would hit 2nd. I love Francisco but the chance to add Holliday for a season and a half might be too good to pass up.

I love the prospect of adding Holliday, It probably won't happen, but if he is on the market I'd expect Shapiro to at least explore the possibility.


Hafner Could Play First This Weekend

In order to keep Travis Hafner in the lineup this weekend with no DHing allowed in the National League Parks, Eric Wedge may have to sit one of his more hotter bats.

Up until three days ago Garko wouldn't have exactly been hot, but he had 5 RBIs against Oakland this week. If Hafner's elbow holds up, he should play at least two of the games in Cincinnati.

"We want to try and have him in there as much as we can," said Wedge. "If we have him in there, you're going to have to take Ryan Garko or someone else out.

"We're going to see how he feels physically. . . . He's been taking ground balls and throwing a little bit." (The Plain Dealer)

As you may or may not know, Hafner has battled elbow problems in the past, which has been the primary reason he can't play first base. A lot of people say he isn't very good defensively, but he isn't exactly a slouch there. I bet if he had consistent playing time at first, he wouldn't be a bad every day option there.

Kobayashi Saves the Day; Indians Sweep A's

Rafael Betancourt couldn't nail it down, and Eric Wedge made the right move to bring in Kobayashi, because when things aren't going well, you just have to stuff all the food in your mouth, and chipmunk it.

Kobayashi Picks Up 2nd Save: It looks like Rafael Betancourt has lost his closers spot. At least just for the day. Right now who knows, because Joe Borowski is schedule to make a rehab start pretty soon.

Betancourt struggled in the top of the ninth. He loaded the bases and got one out before Wedge gave him the hook.

In comes Kobayashi for his second save of his major league career. Things looked bad when he threw a wild pitch to score a run, but he struck out the brothers Sweeney to end the game and notch the sweep of Oakland.

Laffey Wins, Streak Ends: The streak is over, we only added one more inning onto it before Laffey gave up a run on his own error.

The good news is it was an unearned run(even though Laffey committed the mistake), so unearned scoreless is going even farther.

The homestand saw 2 runs given up by starters score, and only one of those was earned. So kudos to the starters, and Laffey had his hand in on it. He goes to 2-2 with a 5 hits, 1 unearned run, one walk and six punchouts. He lowered his ERA to 1.35.

Offense Hits: This was an Indians type of offensive performance. They didn't clobber the A's...They simply worked the count, built up Greg Smith's pitch count, and just go into that pen. They got a lot of hits, and just manufactured runs the old fashioned way. Go a home run late, and took home the win.

The biggest part was the 3-4-5 hitters all getting RBIs. Francisco knocked one in, Garko knocked one in and Hafner knocked one in. Then Peralta from the two spot knocked in one with the home run. So the top of the order produced.

Peralta went 2-3 with the jack, three runs scored and a walk. He seems to be getting it going, maybe he isn't that bad in the two spot after all.

Hafner went 1-2 with the RBI and he walked twice which was huge.

Francisco went 3-4 with the RBI and he made a great play in left field to cut off Frank Thomas from a double.

Greg Smith gave up 7 hits and walked 3, so he had a lot of baserunners and most of the time it was the lead off guy. You do want to see them score more runs with lead off guys, but getting the starter out is the name of the game, and that is just what they did.

Marte got a hit and was thrown out at 2nd trying to steal. That was all Eric Wedge trying to be aggressive and stay out of a double play, but Smith's pick off move was pretty good and he pretty much had him dead to rights.

Tomorrow we head to Cincinnati for interleague play, and we get to see Johnny Cueto face off against Jeremy Sowers. I'll have more on that later today about Hafner and the lineup.


Prospect Notebook: Michael Aubrey

With Aubrey up in Buffalo doing well, I think it is time we highlight him in Prospect Notebook. Aubrey could garner a call-up later this year and if he continues to hit at Buffalo, I can't see them sending him back to Akron, even after Jordan Brown gets back. He is out of options after this year, even though he has yet to really have significant time on the Major league club. He hit .282 in Akron with two home runs and 18 RBI. At Buffalo he is hitting .345 with five RBI.

Michael Aubrey: First Baseman Age: 25
Acquired: Drafted 1st Round in 2003
2007 Kinston/Akron: .277 AVG, 12 HR, 45 RBI, 37 R
2008 Team: Akron
ETA: 2008 September Call-up

Aubrey is just a solid hitter. His game is doubles hitting but he has some pop and can have a higher average than what he did last year.

Aubrey set the world on fire in Spring Training of 2008 showing that if he is healthy he can hit. He didn’t have much time but with that time he was a doubles machine and really impressed the Tribe. He was sent to Akron to start the year but it won’t be long before he is in Buffalo and eventually Cleveland. Being it his last option year the Tribe have to make a decision on him soon and find out if he can be a part of their club in some capacity. They have two years, but this is a crucial one for Aubrey to maintain his health and his ability to hit the ball.

Notes: Last Option Year in 2008


Spectacular Starters At It Again in A's Win

C.C. Sabathia does it again, because that's just how we do it around here.

Complete Game Shutout: His first of the year, and his second 10+ strikeout game of the year. C.C. was the dominant Cy Young winning pitcher we know he can be.

The line.. 9 Innings, 5 Hits, 2 Walks, No Runs, 11 K's


The starters have pitched 43.1 straight innings of shutout baseball. I can't wait to see some of the statistics for this one. Has this been rivaled? I know obviously the Bulldogs big streak, but it will be interesting to see if there is any staff that has put together such a great streak.

Garko and Sizemore Go Deep: Two nights in a row for Shark there. This time he yanked one to left center. Looks like he has gotten himself right a little bit.

Grizzle led the game off with a jack, his second of the year and home-stand and that was it for the scoring. Only two other hits. Joe Blanton was pretty tough other than a few mistakes. Peralta had the other two hits which were doubles.

Yet that won't make up for the complete BONEHEADED swing he had earlier with the bases loaded and no body out and starting with a 3-0 count.

I'm sorry but I'm taking TWO pitches in that case. As bad as Peralta has been he should have been told that. There is no excuse for hitting into a home and first double play. None what so ever.

I would have even taken a regular double play that scored a run at that point. Still he shouldn't have been swinging, that was a poor decision on his part.

Tomorrow the series finishes up and the Indians look for a sweep, Aaron Laffey looks to continue the streak against surprising rookie Greg Smith.


Maybe Wedge has found a lineup?

"We're trying to find a combination that works and we're comfortable with and makes sense," Wedge said. (Indians.com)

We'll see about that. I think Hafner and Garko were more comfortable back up in the lineup to be honest. I don't know what to make of Peralta hitting in the two hole, he strikes out way too much to do that. For now though I don't mind. I guess.. Okay, yeah I do. That move makes no sense what so ever. Move him down behind Garko damnit.

Hopefully, Wedge is done tinkering for a bit and sticks with this for awhile and gives Hafner and Garko a chance to be COMFORTABLE where they are. They knocked in all our runs last night, so why the hell not?

Hey down at Buffalo, Josh Barfield had the game winning sacrifice fly in the eighth inning to give the Bisons a win over Pawtucket. Ryan Mulhern had a two run double prior to that. Go crazy Bisons!

Great time to update you on Josh Barfield. He is hitting .255(We'd like to see that go up), with four jacks, 14 runs batted in, five swiped bases and he is second on the team in runs scored with 18.


Byrd Rolls; Garko Strolls

Two guys might have busted out of their slumps tonight, good signs all around and the starters dominated.

Byrd Continues Starting Streak: The starting rotation is on some kind of role.

C.C. pitched two innings since his one run given up. Laffey 7, Lee and Carmona 9 and 7.1 for Byrd.

All scoreless. 34.1 straight scoreless by the starting rotation.

That is some kind of roll.

Byrd was awesome tonight and he got some more defensive help.

This time Grady Sizemore making a spectacular diving catch, and throwing a heavy footed Frank Thomas out at home.

Thomas tried sliding, but when I say tried, I mean tried because he stuck his foot right in front of home plate and just collapsed. Nice job Big Hurt.

Byrd went 7.1, struck out SEVEN a season high, and gave up only 5 hits. Great work Byrdie.

Garko Goes Deep: I kept saying Hafner needed to get Pissed.

Seriously.. He got one hit earlier to knock in a run, then he was up with two on and no out, and they had WALKED Victor to get to him.

At that point, if I'm Hafner. I'm getting pissed and I'm breaking out of this slump.

No dice, he did take a nice healthy cut at the first pitch though.

Later when Embree threw at his head, I said it again.

Sure enough, Hafner didn't let me down. Smoked one into the gap. Nice work Pronk.

Then came the other guy in a rut. Ryan Garko. Former Indian Andrew Brown goes away and Garko takes it that way. 3 Run Jack and it is now 4-0 and suddenly things look a lot better.

Masa got his first career save in America after he came in on the eighth and then just finished the ninth after the big homer.

Tomorrow it is another battle of aces.. C.C. Sabathia and Joe Blanton, should be another pitchers duel.


Cabrera Man of the Hour and Wedge is Unhappy

Here are some more tidbits and facts from Cabrera and not only his Triple Play, but his home run.

The home run came with the aid of the Pink Bat. Drubby signed up to use one on Mother's Day and he had only one more shot to use it because MLB wouldn't let him use it in the second game of the double header.

Sure enough, the one at bat he gets with it, he jacks the ball out of the park. I didn't notice it at the time, but now that I remember his bat was lighter.

For the record, Garko also used the pink bat, but he used it from the get-go. He ended up sawing it off in his third at bat I believe. Rick Manning joked that he wasn't doing crap with it and when he got his regular one he hit a flyout much deeper.

Now the Triple Play..

As I said yesterday, it was the first unassisted one since 1920 and the first in the regular season since 1909. The Indians turned a triple play 5-4-3 last year and Cabrera had a part in that one too.

But, what did Cabrera do with the ball?

"You know what he did?" said first-base coach Luis Rivera, who acts as an interpreter for Cabrera. "He flipped it into the stands! I was like, 'Oh no! Give it back!'" (Indians.com)

How about that? I'm all for being cool. But you did do something only 13 other players in the history of the game have done. That is turn an unassisted triple play.

Wedge on the other hand wasn't too happy with the performance in the second game and he also wrote the triple play off as nothing.

"It's a triple play," snapped manager Eric Wedge after the game. "I'm not going to talk about it. We didn't win the game."

Ouch... He then went on to blast the entire team.

"Our approach was as poor, if not the poorest, I've seen here all year," said Wedge. "There's no excuse. We gave away at bats all night long. Their kid [Marcum] is a helluva pitcher, but we gave away at bats all night."

I thought Marcum pitched pretty well. He did have bases loaded with two outs that he got out of. But still, a guy doesn't get that low of an ERA by luck and hitters giving up every at bat to him.

Once again I want to criticize Wedge for taking Marte out AGAIN. Seriously guy, let the guy hit in a pressure situation, stop trying to baby the kid. What did Casey Blake do? Struck out on Four pitches. BRILLIANT Wedge..

PHOTO: Chuck Crowe (Plain Dealer)


Cabrera Turns Triple Play, But Tribe Fall in Extras

Wow what a game. Easily even though we lost, one of the best games I've seen all year.

Couple that with the one earlier today, just a great day of baseball.

Defense is SPARKLING: Let's talk about the defense because today, they were simply amazing.

Obviously the headliner is Asdrubal Cabrera's triple play. Just awesome. That is all about getting the right situation and the Jays paid for it. Line drive out for one, step on the bag for two and tag Scutaro for three. Karl Ravich called it a catch, bag it and tag it.

The tidbits on the Triple Play.

It is only the SECOND unassisted triple play in the regular season by the Indians. The last one however was in game five of the World Series by 2B Bill Wambsganns.

More importantly was later in the game though. Victor Martinez with the snare at first to take away a hit. Then it didn't record an out, but it saved a run, Peralta was able to get his glove on the ball in the hole and prevent it from getting through.

That enabled Franklin Gutierrez to make a two out diving catch to end the top of the ninth. It essentially saved the game(at least for the time being), and was just spectacular. I thought that was going to drop for sure.

Praise to the defense for their work today, even with 19 innings they were top notch the entire time, and not one error. I'd give them all five web gems.

Cliff Lee Does it Again: When you got both your starters in a double header going 9 innings apiece, you had a great night.

Cliff Lee went nine, continuing the trend Fausto Carmona did. He had a little rockier time out, but the defense picked him up and he made the big pitches when it counted.

He ended up walking two more to bring his total walk count to four on the year(pretty amazing when you double it in one game), giving up seven hits, no runs and striking out five in his nine complete.

The guy is just awesome. His ERA is down to .67, it is unheard of this late in the year from a starter. He has been so good that when he does give up an earned run it will almost be disappointing.

However he didn't get any runs, but that was because of Shaun Marcum who pitched probably better than Lee did tonight.

Tomorrow the Indians welcome the Oakland A's for their last meeting of the year. Paul Byrd takes on Justin Duchscherer(that name needs to die).


Injury Updates: Choo, Westbrook, Borowski

First up is Shin-Soo Choo who is recovering from Tommy John surgery and is on his way to Buffalo.

Choo is slated to start his rehab assignment with Triple A Buffalo on Wednesday. Remember he can only play in so many games before he has to return to the Major league club.

Expect the Indians to take as much time as needed, and with them carrying Tyner at this point, they might just carry five outfielders until they can make a decision on what to do. But with Joe Borowski looming, that roster spot might not be there.

Speaking of Borowski, he threw a bullpen session today. No timetable on when he will throw a simulated game.

However Jake Westbrook was scheduled to throw a simulated game today. That is great news, and means he could be close to taking rehab starts.

Fausto Blanks Toronto in Game 1

El Diablo getting it done in game one. His first complete game of the year.

Fausto Shutouts Jays for 2nd game in a row: Talk about helping out the bullpen for a double header.

With another game to follow, you almost completely relieve the stress off the pitching staff by going nine.

That is exactly what Fausto did.

9 complete, five hits, four walks, no runs, three strikeouts(all Aaron Hill), and two double plays.

Fausto pitched well, but the defense is what really came through in this game.

He was aided by two great plays by Ryan Garko, Ben Francisco throwing Scott Rollen out at third, and a spectacular flip from Asdrubal Cabrera to Jamey Carroll for a double play.

Like I said, with a double header in the the fold, it is just so big to see Fausto go the distance. Now this game can be played as a normal one for the Tribe staff.

The Asdrubal Man Can: Cabrera has been starting to heat up a little bit these past few games, and that is a great sign.

The big blown was a 2-out 2-run jack to right that gave the Indians a 3-0 lead.

Hopefully he is starting to turn it around and start hitting better.

Dellucci had the other big hit, knocking in the first run of the game with two outs in the 6th. Grady Sizemore had a big double in that inning and Carroll had moved him to third with the grounder.

Game 2 is currently in progress, with Cliff Lee and Shaun Marcum on the hill.

The Tribe is looking for a sweep and maybe just maybe three consecutive shutouts of the Blue Jays. They've only surrendered a single run this entire series.



The Two Week Recap

I'm tweaking with my format to give something good for both the website and bleacher report. I think the two week period is a good one, but the three up and three down isn't suiting me for this small of a pool.

With that I give you the two week recap.

Who's Hot?
Grady Sizemore of course. I know the ladies will think I'm talking about a different hot, but Sizemore is swinging the bat well.

He's batting .324 since April 28th, and including Saturday night's bashing, he has four home runs, and eight runs batted in.

He had the two home run, five runs batted in performance on his fleece blanket give away night Saturday. A perfect way to get all those young ladies justification for coming out to see him. I myself have never seen so many girls in a Sizemore T-Shirt.

With that you have to hand it to the marketing team for the Indians. I get tired of all the Grady promotions, but they are straight up geniuses thinking of all them. The more Sizemore give aways, the more tickets they sale, because a Grady Lady will never pass up free Sizemore stuff.

Who's Not?

He did have the walk off hit against the Mariners, and two runs batted in on Saturday.

But that has been all he has done. Since the 28th of April, Asdrubal Cabrera has hit .120 with three runs batted in. He's also struck out six times.

He only has three hits as well, and two of them came in that blow out of the Blue Jays.

Cabrera needs to pick up his hitting, or else he could be a prime candidate to get replaced in the lineup by the guy he unseated last year, Josh Barfield.

Best Pitcher

Cliff Lee has become such a cliche response, so I will highlight Aaron Laffey, who has filled in admirably for Jake Westbrook.

In his three starts he only won a single game, but he is shutting down the opposition and really keeping his team in the game.

He gave up four runs against the Yankees, but that was after he no hit them for five innings. You have to admire the effort and four runs against the Yankees is far from bad.

The next two starts were shut down. 14 combined innings, and no earned runs. The past two weeks hes struck out eight hitters and he sports a 1.83 earned run average.

Jake Westbrook could be back in a few weeks, but the Indians won't mind some more starts like the last two Aaron Laffey has had.

Francisco In, Michaels Out

The big move that the Indians made was long awaited by a lot of fans.

Ben Francisco was given his shot to compete in the big leagues. To give him that shot, the team released Jason Michaels, and later traded him away to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Francisco responded to the call up by hitting .333 with four runs batted in. His biggest at bat was against Toronto on Friday, when Francisco was called upon to pinch hit for Dellucci with the bases loaded.

The pitch was high and in the middle of the plate, but Francisco smoked it off the wall for a 2-run double to give the Tribe a 4-1 lead.

The move to bring in Francisco might have just sparked the team enough to get the offense going. Something similar to what Asdrubal Cabrera did last year. Manager Eric Wedge hasn't been afraid to use "The Frisco Kid" in big situations, and even bat him as high as fifth.

Down at Buffalo

Michael Aubrey was called up to Triple A Buffalo to take the place of Jordan Brown who was placed on the disabled list.

Aubrey has responded by hitting .364 with five runs batted in and six runs scored.

Jason Stanford has made a successful return to the Herds' rotation. In 21.2 innings he's let up only four earned runs and struck out 11.

What's on tap?

The Indians will finish their four game series with Toronto on Monday. Because of the postponement on Sunday, a true doubleheader will be played.

After that, the Tribe welcomes in Oakland for their final meeting of the year in a three game set. Then it is a six game road trip that opens up inter-league play against the cross-state rival Cincinnati Reds.

They finish the road trip in Chicago against the White Sox, before returning home to face the Texas Rangers for three games.

Joe Borowski is due back pretty soon as he is set to take some more bullpen sessions before he goes on some rehab assignments.

Tyner Called Up; Mastny Optioned

I don't remember the last time Tom Mastny pitched in a game for the Indians.

Perhaps that is why the Indians decided to option him down to Buffalo.

The most irritating part of our bullpen is how Eric Wedge is using it, especially with Joe Borowski out for the time being.

Craig Breslow displayed some effectiveness early in the year, but Old Blinky has managed to not use him at all for some strange reason. Just mop up duty(like in last nights 12-0 laugher).

Mastny was sent down to Buffalo to probably get some work in. I don't blame them for making the move. Not even sure why they are carrying him the way Wedge is using his pen.

To take his spot on the roster the Tribe called up Jason Tyner. This might be his chance to stick or go elsewhere. I don't know what happens when they bring Borowski back and Tyner has to get removed from the Indians 25 man. He is a veteran and I don't know if he will be allowed to go elsewhere.

I don't even know if he will get any time up here, or much of it. We'll see.

This also means Tyner will take Jason Michaels' spot on the 40 man roster. That spot was unfilled till now. Both rosters/boards have been updated.

Shapiro Looked to Add Bat in Offseason

Mark Shapiro, Eric Wedge and their crew TRIED to make a move this off-season for a left-field or right-field bat.

Nothing was good enough to give up what teams were asking for though.

Immediately off the bat, I'm pretty sure a ton of GMs were asking for Adam Miller or Aaron Laffey. A price Shapiro wasn't willing to play(and can you blame him the way Laffey is pitching?).

Another guy I heard in rumors was Asdrubal Cabrera. Now, Cabrera isn't really getting the job done, but he is young and there is no telling where his ceiling is.

Kelly Shoppach was a guy the Pirates had interest in, and with Victor going down last year, he proved how valuable he was off the bench. I'm sure Shapiro was hesitant to deal him.

And the guy involved in the most rumors and still was up until his fabulous third or so start, Cliff Lee. Shapiro looks good for not dealing his sparkling stud of the rotation(so far) in the off-season.

This group is a selective bunch. That's why I've learned to not question moves. Not all of them will work out. Look at Jason DuBois for Jody Gerut. Brandon Phillips for Jeff Stevens(even if Stevens becomes a good reliever, which I think he will, BP is an all-star). I can't really think of any more off the top of my head that didn't work out for them.

But they happen. Yet Shapiro would rather wait till he gets something HE feels comfortable with. He isn't someone to jump at a deal because the fans want it. I give him credit.

At least he was looking. That's all you want. Maybe if the offense needs it(and with Francisco playing well, I don't think so at this point), at the deadline, he will go out again and get a bat for left field.

Tribe Poundd Blue Jays into a Pile of Feathers

I've only left a few games early in all my time going to see Tribe games. Those few times I had some good reasons, and not because the game was "over" or anything.

Tonight was one of those nights you didn't feel like sticking around.

But, hell with it, I did anyway, and only cause we were winning.

Super Sizemore: You know the night is going to be good when Grady leads it off with a home run.

Carroll gets a hit, Dellucci gets a walk and Vic singles to who we will now call "Bad Hands" Brad Wilkerson. More on that later.

Francisco sac flies, Hafner gets hit by a pitch and Cabrera starts his night off good with a 2-run single. Blake then singled him home and Grady ended the inning with a ground out after he started it.

Just an explosive inning. Grady added another run with a double in the 4th, and Victor singled him and Blake home to make it a 9 run game.

The scoring would end in the 5th inning when Grizzle hit his 2nd home run of the night to give him five RBI.

I could just feel blowout in the atmosphere tonight. Unfortunately for me, I own Dustin McGowan in a lot of fantasy leagues, so while I'm happy with the output, I wish John Gibbons would have been a little quicker with his hook. Haaaaah

The Laughing Man: It won't be a story but Aaron Laffey was just working it tonight.

He was just awesome.. Pretty much cruised till the 7th inning when he loaded up the bases. But he did get the 7 shutout innings.

Great for him and great for this team to get another good performance.

Honestly though the offense was the story, and rightfully so. It was MUCH needed.

Bad Hands Brad: If you watched the game then you know Brad Wilkerson had a pretty rotten night.

I sit in right field for a lot of weekend games(It also explains why I like all our right fielders), and tonight we got acquainted with Brad Wilkerson. Bad Hands fumbled two balls in the first inning, and then another one later in which he kicked in front of him. Just a bad overall game for him.

Of course the lovely right field section 109 had to adopt him as our kill guy for the night. One guy even went to the make a sign station and made a "GO BRAD" sign.

Bad Hands, we love you.. Don't take it hard. I think he flipped us off at one point, but I might have been seeing things.

Tomorrow we got Fausto and Burnett at 1:00 and going for the series win early.



Westbrook starts throwing

On Thursday back at Progressive Field, Jake Westbrook started throwing his first bullpen session since going on the DL.

If you remember, Borowski threw one at Yankees stadium on the same day, and they are both on a similar schedule in terms of returning. Borowski is a little ahead though in terms of returning.

Westbrook has been inactive for a few weeks and because hes a starter will need a few more sessions and rehab games before he is ready.

Right now the only thing scheduled is a 50 pitch session this weekend.

No rush though.. Aaron Laffey has filled in admirably. He is 0-2 but his ERA is under 3.00 and he looks to make it even lower today against Toronto.


Offense Busts Out to Back Sabathia

The offense came out when you least expected it, and the Indians took the first game of the series over the Jays.

Here it comes, better than Doc Halladay trying to pitch to someone laying down a bunt.

CC Hangs in there: Hangs in there is just it.

He gave up one run when Barajas doubled to lead off the inning, and Marco Scutaro singled him home.

CC AND Halladay both had the strike out pitch working. Both had 9 strike outs on the night, and between the two teams, 21 in the game.

In his last 4 games, C's ERA is under 2.00, so that is nice to see. He did walk two more tonight, but once again he stood strong early, and that is what you like to see. Seven strong, six hits, one run. Way to be Carsten.

Fireball and Masa pitched the 8th and 9th innings.

7s the inning: Doc Halladay was just untouchable for six innings. He completely shut everyone down. Hafner had the double and the walk, and really he just was making everyone look silly.

That was until the 7th inning game.

The good thing was that they made him work, and by the time the sixth inning ended he threw over 100 pitches. Halladay is a workhorse though, and he has 4 complete games on the year, so it wasn't THAT surprising when he came out for the 7th, especially after CC went 7.

Hafner blooped one in there, and Garko shot one through the infield to put two on. Cabrera tried to play small ball by bunting but unlike the time to Gutierrez, where he managed to throw strikes to a bunter, Doc walked Cabrera on FOUR pitches.

That changed the entire inning.

Mr. RBI(more RBI than hits for Blake btw), came up and promptly takes the lead with a double that just missed going out.

Then something you never see. The 2nd hitter in the lineup Gutierrez is WALKED to get to the 3rd hitterin the lineup, Dellucci. Wedge played matchup and brought in Francisco.. Gibbons played the game as well and brought in Accardo to face the Frisco kid.

And the FRISCO KID DELIVERS... 2 run double..

Wild pitch scores Gutierrez, and after an intentional walk to Martinez, Peralta brings home another with a sac fly.

Hafner had a great night. He walked in his first AB as mentioned, then went the other way with a double. Of course then got it started in the 7th with the blooper. Looks like the two days off helped him a little. Let's hope he is turning it around, and it's nice to see it against a guy like Halladay.

Also, hope Vernon Wells is okay. That dive looked nasty and he really made a great catch. I thought it was broke, but I hope it isn't. He is a guy I like and you hate to see that happen.

Tomorrow is Aaron Laffey and Dustin McGowan. A Few young guns with ERAs under 3.00.. Should be a really really good match up.