8.31.2008

Noooooooooo

I cannot believe it.

How many balls did that guy throw?

Compared to like 2 strikes? Well Okay.. I know not 2 strikes, but seriously.

Victor Martinez put together a very awful at-bat there. After 8 straight pitches out of the zone, Victor swings at the first two. I mean really?

Peralta walks to load them and Ryan Garko.. I mean, you can't hit a ball better than that for the most part. It was ticketed for center field, he was on the pitch, and Corcoran deflects it perfectly to the short stop for the double play.

Oh well.. Left a lot on base today.. Zach Jackson ran into the bad 5th inning with the double error. He got charged with all the runs because really the first error was his own fault and he really did not fair well after a few got on. He was doing well up until that 5th inning, just sort of lost it.

Choo had a good series that he capped off today with a solo shot in the 2nd inning. Andy Marte stretched his hit streak out to eight games with an RBI single in the 7th. Kelly Shoppach went 2-4 and hit his 22nd double today.

Tough to get swept by the awful Mariners when you are carrying in a 10 game win streak and the White Sox on deck.

We got our streak stopper going tomorrow though! Big Cliffad goes for win numero 20! Alright let's nail it down.. He takes on Clayton Richard.

[BOXSCORE]

Wakeup Wahoo: Sal Fasano: Chess Player and Middle Infielder

I'd like to blame the lack of television and college football as to why I couldn't watch the game yesterday. I probably wouldn't have watched the whole game, but I would have at least flipped over.

So I'm in the dark just as much as everyone as to what happened yesterday. But I guess Eric Wedge got heated and got kicked, thank you!

Jose Lopez grounded toward short. Jhonny Peralta prepared to commence an inning-ending double play, only to have the ball strike Beltre. Beltre was called out and Lopez awarded first with a single.

The Indians saw it differently. Manager Eric Wedge argued that a double play should have been the ruling because, from Wedge's vantage point, Beltre intentionally got in the way of the ball. By rule, an umpire can call a double play in such situations if he thinks the runner intentionally got in the way.

After a protracted argument, Wedge was tossed by third-base umpire Fieldin Culbreth.

"[Beltre] stopped and put his hand up and intentionally hit the baseball," Wedge said. "In that case, it's an automatic double play. That's what it should have been." (Plain Dealer)

Interesting.. Rable Rable Rable! I'll side with Wedge because I can.. Now we have to avoid the sweep today.

Anthony Reyes looked like he turned in another solid start though. Eric Wedge said it was the best performance from Reyes yet.

"Anthony was fantastic," Wedge said. "That's as good as we've seen him, and he's been really good for us." (Indians.com)

I went a little nuts when Chooster tied the game off Putz in the ninth.. Great for him to get back at his former team.

"This guy didn't play baseball for a long time," Wedge said of Choo. "He had to fight through surgery and rehab. What he's done this year is outstanding." (Indians.com)

Shin-Soo Choo is definitely one of those players that are answering questions for the Tribe as they wind down this season.

Zach Jackson goes today and he is really impressing me. Like I said, not looking at him as a starter, but a guy who spot-start or be in the pen for long relief. Those types of pitchers are useful to have.

Hoynes does a position by position breakdown. One quote that stood out is Wedge on Ryan Garko.

"I've always liked Ryan, and I think he's capable of playing everyday," Wedge said. "But sitting here today I'm not sure how it's going to play out because I'm uncertain what the winter's going to lead to." (Plain Dealer)

Really? You could have fooled me with that.. I always perceived Wedge to not be Garko's biggest fan.

Victor Martinez will play today after getting yesterday off, aside from the pinch hit apperance of course. They are easing Vic back into full playing time.

"He had a long day," Wedge said. "He handled himself well and moved around OK. We're going to be back and forth with him early on, easing him in." (Plain Dealer)

Here are some more reasons I love Sal Fasano via Plain Dealer..

Omar Vizquel II: Backup catcher Sal Fasano made several superb turns of double plays during batting practice.

More Sal: Fasano played chess against Zach Jackson in the pregame clubhouse. Cliff Lee, who goes for No. 20 on Monday, observed.

You gotta love this guy... Seriously.. Can we bring him back as a coach next year?

Minor Issues: Akron Heating Up As Playoffs Near

It was a very good day to be a minor league team for the Cleveland Indians.

Let's start in Buffalo with a high scoring but still close victory for the Herd. Jordan Brown goes 3-6 with three RBI and a two-run home run. Andy Cannizaro and Morgan Ensberg added solo shots. Travis Hafner knocks in a run and goes 1-3, while Michael Aubrey who came in for Hafner went 2-3. Aaron Laffey struggled for the second straight game I do believe. I briefly saw he had trouble in his last start and this one was a struggle. Five innings, 11 hits, 2 walks and 7 runs. BUBIE picks up save number 10.

I think Akron is starting to heat up at just the right time. Wes Hodges goes deep for the second straight game, he also went 3-5 with four RBI. Randy Newsome now has 29 saves, just one away from 30 (for Akron, he has 30 total this year) and he could get that today or Monday. The 100 RBI watch is on for Hodges who needs just three more in two games to get it done.

Finally, a win over those damn Pelicans! Kinston, who didn't make the playoffs are looking to end it on a high note. Carlos Santana just gets on and scores runs you know? 2-4 with a home run, 2 RBI and 3 runs scored. Nick Weglarz went 2-5 with an RBI. Carlton Smith struck out 7 in his 5.2 allowing no earned runs.

Lake County didn't win but Matt Brown is well over .300 now, he went 2-4 in the game yesterday. Lake County will be taking on the Second Half Sal Northern Division Winner West Virginia in the playoffs.

Ryan Blair and Brock Simpson collected 2 hits each in the Scrappers loss yesterday. Zach Putnam made his second start and it was at least a little longer than his first. 3 innings but this time he surrendered 3 runs.

I'll try to do a massive board update here soon.. There probably has been all sorts of movement that I can't even begin to imagine.

8.30.2008

Wakeup Wahoo: Victor Martinez Returns!

It feeels gooood.. Even with College Football on the horizon, Indians baseball is looking fun to watch.

One guy who was unbearable to watch awhile ago was Ryan Garko. Now he's fixing himself and probably saving his future with the team.

"I'll shorten up and take the blooper," Garko said. "You don't always need a double or home run. Sometimes you just need to get it through the infield. I've been blessed with the ability to handle the bat and adjust my swing." (Indians.com)

Garko got the day off yesterday but even with Victor Martinez returning, I wouldn't expect his playing time to decrease all that much. Victor eventually will have to get behind the plate, but he won't play every day even if he is playing first or DHing. Garko will get first base starts and probably do the split at DH with Vic.

Thankfully, Sal Fasano has survived the one cut that was going to put his spot in jeopardy. Andy Gonzalez was designated for assignment, which frees up a 40 man roster spot for Hafner and once September hits, all can be called up. SAVING SAL FASANO! PARTY TIME, STACHE TIME! Josh Barfield played last night at DH and they say when Buffalo's season ends both him and Hafner will be activated, but only Barfield will be ready to play immediately.

Vic sounded great about returning and not minding the lack of catcher starts, he also got a little funny.

"You never know what's going to happen," Martinez said. "You might see the biggest comeback in history. Who knows?" (Indians.com)

Even bigger than the Rockies Vic? Actually yes, the Indians are in a bigger hole than the Rockies were and they aren't chasing a wild card, they are chasing a division.

Did you see the instant replay booth/breakerbox/room/basemant/thingie on the game last night?

Here is the nifty thing
.

While there is no official "challenge" like there is in the NFL, Eric Wedge would like to use his hat as the "flag".

"I might throw my hat out there," said Wedge, who is taking a wait-and-see attitude. "I'm curious is a better word. I'm a traditioinalist. I'm in favor of it if it makes the game better. Hopefully, this will work." (Plain Dealer)

Hey Zach Jackson is pitching pretty decent. He'd be a nice spot starter/long relief guy to have around. He won't win a rotation spot in my opinion, but he he is showing some promise as a USEFUL guy to have around.

"I'm just trying to get a little more comfortable," said Jackson, who has walked two in 18 1/3 innings. "I had to get my feet wet. Now I'm just trying to simplify things as the best approach." (Plain Dealer)

Hey Jamey Carroll, how about that home run he hit earlier this week? I was sort of pumped watching the little guy muscle one out in Detroit of all places. It was just his tenth career home run and he remembers who he hit number one off of. Hey If you only hit ten, I'm sure it's a lot easier to remember who you hit all your home runs off of.

Minor Issues: LaPorta Deeeeeeeep

So I guess I have a lot to catch up on here and check out? The boys are back from China and the Aeros are prepping for the playoffs.

Start off in Buffalo with a great win. Scott Lewis picks up his second win with 6 very strong innings with just two hits and six punchouts. We will see this kid in September I do believe. Jeff Stevens back in action for the Herd, another guy we might see depending on how well he pitches here in these last few games, if he pitches at all. Both Stevens and Rundles picked up one inning holds to set it up for BUBBIE to get the save.

Todd Linden went deep for the Herd and their lone RBI. Speaking of Linden, he was apart of the awards handed out.. Apologize if you already know these but I'd like to list them for fun!

Stan Barron MVP - Todd Linden
I guess Stan Barron actually never played baseball. He was a broadcaster, but never fear, for Todd Linden, who didn't even play the entire season with the Herd, has won it.

Warren Spahn MVPitcher - John Halama
Another guy who didn't start the year with the Herd. I think we all know who Warren Spahn is.

Jimmy Griffin Hometown Hero - Bubbie Buzachero
I don't know who Jimmy Griffin is, but they made this award up this year.. Maybe they just wanted to give BUBBIE an award.

Joe DeSa Inspirational Player - Jeff Harris
Congrats Jeff for being an inspiriation to many with your DL visits and ability to start and relieve and also suck. He's won it twice now.

JUDGE Michael Dillion Comeback Player of the Year - Michael Aubrey
Gotta throw the JUDGE in there.. Michael Aubrey is the clear cut choice for this very prestigious honor.

Jason Cooper won some Community Service Award and they gave out a fan award, this is actaully getting tiring. So, I'll move on.

LaPorta, DEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP. Matt LaPorta goes deep for the Aeros as he starts to get his feet set. Thankfully the season won't be ending so it's not like he's just coming back for a few games. Playoffs start Wednesday against Bowie, I do believe we get discounts as University of Akron students, so I might just have to take advantage on Friday when they get home.

Anyway, Wes Hodges went deep as well as the Aeros won. Tony Sipp looks like he's got himself on track. Two innings, one hit and FIVE strikeouts, hawt dawg! Incase you didn't hear, Hodges was named EL Rookie of the Year, however that is possible, I don't know, but he did it.

Kinston lawst, oh well. Carlos Rivero hit three run jack, but it was not enough against those damn Pelicans. Kelvin De La Cruz struggled again, and his Lake County friend Kyle Landis did as well.

Speaking of Lake County, as they gear up for their playoff apperance, they are giving away a.. Wait for it.



A FREE FUNERAL!

Not a car, not a house, not even a free bobblehead of Kelvin De La Cruz.... A FREE FUNERAL!?

Okay? Can we just move on. Swiftly please. Lake County lost, and because they are giving away a free funeral, I don't think I mind that for today.

That freaking Deer is back against the Scrappers of the Valley at Mahoning. They beat the Scrappers despite a three hit performance by Isaias Velasquez (I forgot how to spell his name, better than changing it to Ocho Cinco), and THE CORD, Cord Phelps. Get The Cord, cause he's off it. Doesn't quite work does it? Get the chain, cause he's off it. I'll stop. Oh he had two hits by the by.

Also, Lonnie Chisenhall and I share the same favorite Candy. I think we found a nickname for young Lonnie. Chiz could be one, but for the insiders, we could call him Ike. I like Ike!

8.29.2008

I'm Sorry, I didn't Mean To Break Up the Party

It was pointed out in a comment that I should probably hold off on the posting for bit more considering the awesome win streak the Indians have been on while I was out...

Was my post yesterday an end to the fun?

I hope you don't want to have at me for that.. I'm certainly not the reason the Indians hit into multiple double plays and blew numerous scoring opportunities.

Anyway, YES, I'm back in action and for good. Moving was exhausting and I didn't get the net at my home till Thursday. I'll be back at it full time tomorrow. However as the season winds down and I get into school, I'll probably cut down on some stuff. Thankfully the minor league season is coming to a close so that's one less thing.

Okay enough small-talk. I've been watching the games thankfully, so I'm not completley out the of the loop. Didn't see Sunday or Wednesday's game, but I did listen to them. Right into the game tonight though. Hey you know it's great to see Victor Martinez back and playing. He looked like the usual Vic, on his first pitch, hacking away and recording a quick out. But he did draw the walk next time up and scored alllll the way from first on that Choo double. If Ibanez comes out with that great catch its a double play. Vic also had that hit later in the game. So, looks good for Vic. He won't play everyday at first and hey let me say this..

SAL FASANO LIVES!!!

Thank GOD for the Stache!

Jamey Carroll scored a run with his groundout and moved a runner over for the other run. But, once again one of those chances squandered as the next two batters failed to get the run at third home.

Felix Hernandez was okay, but they let him off the hook.

Jeremy Sowers threw a lot of pitches early.. Getting a lot fouled off.. If it wasn't for Ibanez he would have had a much better night. But he got tagged for three runs in just five innings, it's okay, not good, or great. Serviceable, but we don't need serviceable, we need better.

Juan Rincon for two solid? What?

Anyway.. Rough way to drop the 10 game win streak, especially to a team as bad as the Mariners. But what you gonna do?

Tomorrow, no freaking tv, I blame FOX damnit! We got Anthony Reyes (how about his pitching performance in Texas?!) going up against Jarrod Washburn.

I'm sorry I didn't bring a win, but it's great to be back! Let's start a new streak!

[BOXSCORE]

8.28.2008

Photoshop Off-Day: The Closer

I now humbly present to you... The Closer



That's Right....

Jensen Lewis is The Closer...

I'm so giddy about this kid and his potential in the role. I've been scratching for him to get a shot for awhile now and he's making use of it. I called it damnit!

Anyway, Here is Jensen Lewis in all his glory. The Closer, and what are you going to do about it?

I'm not sure when I'll be back full-time.. Either way, I got so excited when I did this image last week I couldn't wait to post it.. So I found a way.. Enjoy..

8.24.2008

Six in a row for Lewis and Tribe

I'm tired.. I'm moving tomorrow and I'm watching Dan in Real Life..

However that was a great game..

Winner..

Don't expect much out of me for the next few days.. Like I said, moving, hectic, nuts, ,won't have the internet. Start class on Monday.. All that fun stuff.. I'll be on because I can connect on the campus, but who knows how that goes.. I'm sure I'll find a way to update cause I know I'll get the itch.

Anyway.. Six for Jensen, Los Rafaels From 2007 were in full effect tonight, some great hitting, Kelly Freaking Shoppach, Ryan Garko extends his streak. That was freaking awesome.

[BOXSCORE]

8.23.2008

Wakeup Wahoo: Peralta could hold onto the 4 spot

With the impending returns of Travis Hafner and Victor Martinez. Hafner was 1-5 last night with an RBI by the by. The good news is he played the entire game. Josh Barfield played second and got two at bats.

Anyway with those returns imminent. Jhonny Peralta could still command the 4 spot.

"[Peralta's] blossomed in that four-hole," Wedge said. (Indians.com)

Can you disagree with that statement?

This statement doesn't really make much sense though.

"We've talked about it briefly," said manager Eric Wedge. "We can work Vic and Hafner around Jhonny. We could hit Hafner and Vic three and four and Jhonny in the fifth spot. One thing we haven't decided is that we're just flat-out going to move him out of the No. 4 spot. I'm still thinking that through. That's a heckuva credit to Jhonny." (Plain Dealer)

Dadgumit.. Wait a second here Wedge.. Why not keep him there? He will only get better having Victor Martinez hitting 3rd and Travis Hafner hitting 5th! That's some protection there.

One thing Wedge said was numbers don't always dictacte where you hit a player, and I agree with that all the way. I'm big against hitting Grady Sizemore in the three hole because I think he's dangerous enough in the leadoff spot. It seems like Wedge is handling this issue more than he handles any other question.

"The only way we'd consider that is if we had somebody capable of hitting leadoff," Wedge said. "You've got to have a leadoff hitter. You have to have somebody there. He enjoys doing it and he's good at it -- he's one of the best."(Indians.com)

Hey if he's working there, why screw it up? Its an advantage to have that type of hitter up there, a guy who gets on base and can actually hit the home run. It works for the Cubs with Soriano, why do you think they haven't moved him. Sure they got a pretty good lineup, but with Hafner and Victor coming back and Peralta's emergence, I think Grady is fine in the leadoff spot. Francisco can fit in the 2 hole now and then Garko et al will fill in behind Hafner.

According to Stats inc, in the last 25 years, Cliff Lee has the highest percentage of a teams wins, excluding Randy Johnson. Johnson had 31% of Arizona's wins in 2004, but he was also 16-14. Cliff Lee is freaking 18-2 with 30%..

The road woes aren't really a big deal to Eric Wedge, he is looking at the full picture and not just how the team plays compared to the venue.

"I don't think of it as home or road," Wedge said. "We've just been playing better baseball. We have younger guys playing significant time for us and they're starting to adjust to this level." (Indians.com)

Maybe Texas should make a run for Fausto Carmona, considering he might be the one pitcher who could have success there.

"I like pitching here because it's always hot and I like the hot weather," said Carmona. "I was getting ahead of the hitters and I was keeping the ball down. I came inside against a lot of them so they couldn't lean out over the plate. That helped me." (Plain Dealer)

Fausto likes hot weather, bugs, all sorts of stuff when he pitches. You know Carmona is at his best when the bill of his hat is dripping in sweat.

Gotta love the moxie Jensen Lewis showed facing Josh Hamilton, the tying run at the plate, and striking him out.

"He's not exactly the guy you want to face with the tying run right there," Lewis said. "That was a big out. It kind of got the momentum back in our favor. He's such a good hitter with anything in the zone. I didn't want him to get extended, so I tried not to throw anything over the plate." (Indians.com)

Finally, it looks as if there is a coup going on in the Indians clubhouse. Jamey Carroll, a huge Indianapolis Colts fan as we know, has overthrown Pronk as the Fantasy Football Commissioner. Hafner did his draft from Buffalo online, but this should give him even more motivation to go for the what I believe will be a three-peat in the Championship. I'd love to see how the teams shook out and what Sal Fasano's team name is... Maybe the Mutilating Mustachios.

Minor Issues: Mills wins Kinston MVP Award; McBride Walks Off

Buffalo is a winner over Syracuse and some good news on the rehab front, Travis Hafner played the entire game. He helped out with an RBI, but it was Jordan Brown going 2-4 with 2 RBI. Jason Cooper went 3-4 with an RBI as Bryan Bullington pitched six solid innings. All three runs he gave up were un-earned as he gave up 5 hits, 3 walks.

A one run loser for Akron despite a decent outing from Ryan Edell. 5 innings, just six hits and two runs. Hey Tony Sipp, 2 innings, 2 hit, 4 punchouts, great job. Edell is getting overlooked according to Tony Lastoria.

Kinston got edged in 12 innings last night. Hector Rondon pitched 6 solid, giving up 2 runs off five hits and a walk with 9 strikeouts. The big three in the middle, Carlos Santana, Jared Goedert, and Beau Mills went a combined 1-13 with two walks.

Kinston handed out awards yesterday.

Beau Mills is the Pat Crawford MVP
Hector Rondon is the Steve Olin Pitcher of the Year
Josh Tomlin is the Gaydek Sportsmanship Award Winner
Niuman Romero won the Overcoming Adversity Award

Congrats to them!

Matt McBride walkin off in style baby! McBride hits a pinch-hit 3-run walk off shot for the Captains. Matt Brown went 2-4 with 2 RBI, and Ryan Miller gave up four runs off a very high 10 hits in 6.2 innings.

Mahoning Valley got beatup in every way, surrendering 10 runs and getting only one run off four hits. Tim Fedroff went 1-2 with 2 walks.

Tracking Matt LaPorta

Matt LaPorta did indeed play in the Bronze Medal game for the United States and he did well.

LaPorta went 2-4 with a solo shot in the US' win over Japan. So how about that Matt, your a bronze medalist. Good news is South Korea beat Cuba in the Gold medal game to dethrone the jerky Cuban Team.

Tribe survive Arlington for win over Rangers

That is what you call a win.

See.. Like they did earlier this week on Tuesday, they did it again tonight.

Everyone but Grady had a hit. Everyone but three scored a run, all but three knocked in a run, everyone took part in the scoring.

Just clean station to station hit and hit double knock in the run baseball.

Carroll 2-4 with the two runs and Francisco with the 3-5 night knocking in one.

Jhonny Peralta had a good night, his first out was a productive one and he also knocked in a run. Ryan Garko did it again in the first inning with his double. Cabrera and Gutierrez found ways to knock runs in. Andy Marte tripled in Sal Fasano on a good looking hit.

Great quote by Sal Fasano on his track meet on the Andy Marte triple. Matt Underwood asked him about it and all he could say was.

"Aw please don't talk about that, I was very tired after that."

I could imagine big Sal.

Sal was out there hacking too, he is still hitting .300!

Fausto looked reaaaal good out there tonight. Especially in the Texas stadium. He got it done for six innigs just six hits and three walks. The one run was not earned and he struck out five. Great job by Fausto tonight, he looks like he is getting it together.

Rafael Perez looked domininant as all get out in the 8th inning and then all of a sudden two walks and a stupid home run. You know I hate Texas.

So one run game, but the Tribe battle to put some very important runs on the board in the 9th.

Which brings in Jensen Lewis with a three run lead and The Closer gets it done. He gives up a cheapy to Brandon Boggs that I thought would be a fly ball. But no bubbles, no troubles. A huge strikeout of Josh Hamilton with Michael Young on base. Frank Catalanononononotspellingthatnameo would follow with a strikeout as well and J-Lew would then get Blaclock to line out to shortstop.

Winnnnnner. Five in a row and look 60 wins.. 7 away from .500 record.. Looking good.

Brandon McCarthy makes his season debut, yes season debut against Jeremy Sowers. Get out your mits it's gonna be a bombardment.

[BOXSCORE]

8.22.2008

LOLTribe: Royals, Trey Hillman Loves Dollar Dog Night

I'm not really sure why there seems to always be an Asdrubal Cabrera picture in ever one of these. I think the photographers like taking his picture because they can get him in awkward positions in the air that look pretty cool.

They do, but they also are prime candidates for me to skew into something you'd never think of. I know, get my mind out of the gutter. Even though it isn't in the gutter, I'll use the expression. I'll also lead off with a Cabrera one.

This is actually a rather cool picture, but once again, it looks like he's playing leapfrog with the guy.



I chose this over the obligatory, "Lewk, Soria jus got beat by a sucky guy."



Why? Because I wanted to display Franklin's awesome singing talents.



This is a bit of a stretch but I didn't want to make fun of a guy with multiple facial fractures did I?



That's all there is to this one.



Man most of these don't even have an Indian in them.



That's right Jensen, if you give up another hit, You will be benched damnit!

LOLTribe: Angels, Asdrubal's Hokey Pokey Lesson

I've decided that I love this way too much and I'll be breaking it up into series. Here are the Angels series pictures in LOLTribe fashion.

Andy Gonzalez is returning the favor from last week.



Shin-Soo Choo is teaching Derek Shelton how to hit now? Damn we really do suck.



This was really the immediate thought that came to mind when I saw this picture.. No lie



At first thought I was going to have a bunch of gibberish there as if K-Rod was talking to the sky, but I already used that lame joke.



I wanted to punch Garko in the nose a few weeks ago as well.



Well.. What are you going to do about it? Nothing, that's right!

Wakeup Wahoo: J-Rod Emerges

Cliff Lee is so in the zone, even he knows it and he isn't afraid to admit it.

"If you score 10 runs on the day I pitch," Lee said, "I should be able to give the team a chance to win." (Indians.com)

He's only the fifth pitcher in the history of baseball to start a season with a 18-2 record. He's already focused on number 19.

"I'm focused on my next start," he said. "It's against Detroit [next Tuesday]. That's where my focus is." (ESPN.com)

One of Eric Wedge's favorite words is Mulligan.

"Last year was a mulligan for Cliff," said Wedge. "He never put it together. Physically, fundamentally and mentally, he's been consistent with those domains. He recognizes what teams are trying to do and makes the proper adjustments." (Plain Dealer)

I don't know why.

Meanwhile the guy that supported him for most of the day was Grady Sizemore.

"I felt great and saw the ball well," said Sizemore, who had a home run, triple and two singles in five at bats. "Each day is a grind and some times things don't go your way. When you struggle, you just keep at it." (Plain Dealer)

How quickly does Grady bust out of a slump and he does it with a bang. His RBI production seems to come in bunches, which is fine because he still gets on base at a consistent clip, which is why he is so valuable at the lead-off spot.

You think his dad being in the stands had anything to do with it?

Grady Sizemore Jr. was in Cleveland for this homestand and his son gave him a nice little performance to cap it off.

"I don't think it's been bothering him because he takes things in stride," said his dad, who was visiting from Tempe, Ariz. "I told him he was trying to pull everything they threw. Last week they threw one down the middle and he jumped on it and grounded out to second. He was rushing it and shifting his weight. He just has to relax, stay back and go the other way. When he gets one inside, he can turn on it."(Plain Dealer)

Thanks for the advice Dad. He is a baseball Dad and tries to give Grady as much as advice as possible, but he also understands the coaches are there as well.

Royals outfielder Mitch Maier was placed on the DL after suffering the facial fractures on the bunt attempt the other day. Zach Jackson called him to apologize.

Oh boy...

Jensen Lewis might have a nickname.

I'm not sure it makes much sense.. But, it's coming from the Italian, so what do you expect?

"Save some ink for J-Rod!" Dellucci yelled across the clubhouse. (Indians.com)

Oh Dear Lord, J-Rod?

This is the type of stuff I've actually been waiting to hear about Dellucci, who is calling him J-Rod, a work off "K-Rod" of course, to keep Lewis sharp.

"This game's amazing in that it has a way of humbling you," Dellucci said. "This is the Major Leagues. People have scouting reports on you, and it catches up with you pretty quick. That's a fact of life." (Indians.com)

It's about time David.

It's about time for someone else aswell. Andy Marte really needs to get it going. He doesn't have much time left.

I think Marte is confirming everyone's beliefs on him.. I thought he had more in him and I'm not ready to wave the white flag, but it looks as if his best chance to earn a spot on this team is gone.

"I've been swinging at a lot of bad pitches," Marte said. "When I get deep in the count, that's when I'm doing good. When I'm in trouble is when I'm swinging at a lot of first pitches and balls." (Indians.com)

Look he'll probaby either be traded away in the off-season or just kept around for Spring Training, given a chance to win a roster spot outright, nothing handed to him.. If he doesn't impress he'll be out the door much like Brandon Phillips was right before the season started.

As noted earlier, Victor Martinez did well last night with Buffalo, playing the entire game behind the plate. Josh Barfield got four at-bats as the DH, going 1-4. The 9 innings is a good sign, the next test would probably to play back to back games, which I guess he will do after a day off today. Travis Hafner will DH tonight for the third time.

Minor Issues: Hodges Looking to Finish Strong on Good Season

Those Pigs made of Iron avoided a sweep from Buffalo. John Halama got absolutely pulverized..

6 innings.. THIRTEEN HITS, 7 runs, just one walk and two strikeouts.

13 hits?! Damn son. All three Herd runs were via Michael Aubrey with a 2-5 night. Victor Martinez played tonight going 1-3, with an RBI, a run, a double and 2 walks.. YES he played the full game...

Josh Barfield also DHed, going 1-4 with a double.

Wes Hodges knocked in his 88th and 89th run on the season for Akron with his 14th home run in their win over Connecticut. He's gotta be the rock of that Akron team and if they have success down the stretch, he has to be the guy. Bronson Sardinha knocked in the other two runs and Frank Herrmann putting together a good start going 7.1 with just one run, 2 hits and a walk. He also struck out 7.

Kinston collected just two hits, one being a Jared Goedert RBI Double in their loss. Jeanmar Gomez pitched five innings with just one run but was saddled with the loss.

The Lake County Captains also scored just one run in their loss to Lakewood. A solo shot off the bat of Chris Nash, while Matt Brown went 2-4.

Back from break, the Scrappers out-hit Batavia 10-7, but lost 4-2. Tim Fedroff and Lonnie Chisenhall picked up doubles, Chisenhall knocked one in as did Cord Phelps. Jeremie Tice, Zach Booker, and Ramon Hernandez collected two hits. Russell Young surrendered 3 runs, but only one earned in his six innings.

Beau Mills is Tony Lastoria's player of the week, he could be player of the year though.

Tracking Matt LaPorta

Matt LaPorta did not play as expected in the United States Semi-Final game against Cuba. I have a feeling the Indians have a very strong hand in why he didn't play and considering the United States lost, I don't expect LaPorta to even sniff the field against Japan in the Bronze Medal game.

Oh and Jeff Stevens got absolutely shelled. He had a good appearance last time out but he got taken for three runs while just recording one out.

8.21.2008

Sizemore Sizzles in Summer Sun for Sweep

Say that twenty-four times fast.

How about..

Sizemore Sizzles in Summer Sun for Seven Super

I give up..

No More.. I'm not a rhyming man.

Can you get any better than what the Grizzle did today?

4-5, scored just one run but knocked in SEVEN and stole a base. A triple a HR and double away from the cycle.

He powered this one and it looks as if he's starting to lock in.

Shin-Soo Choo went deep again knocking in a pair and Jhonny Peralta hit a solo shot for number 21. Peralta now has 70 RBI on the year and trails Grady by 9 now.

Oh the guy on the mound was pretty good.. He didnt even have it all today as well. I mean even the days he doesn't have his best stuff he is out there owning it up and getting wins and keeping his team in the game.

7 innings, 6 hits, 2 walks, 3 runs but one was unearned, and the 7 strikeouts. That's 18-2 now and he just has one of the best records for a starting pitcher this late in the season ever. Most of the pitchers who have this type of record this late in the year win the Cy Young..

He's just that damn good right now.

Now he did have the no-hitter into the 5th where he lost it with an error and just a few hits compiled. That was his lone blemish for the most part.. He got FOUR double-plays so that was huge.

Rafael Betancourt almost let it get away in the 8th.. But as Matt Underwood said, when things go right, they go right. David DeJesus' liner was snagged at first by Garko and made for an easy double play. He continues to shut down the opposition, luck or no luck these past few outings. Then Eric Wedge was rewarded with not having to use his two best relievers in Perez and Lewis by the add on in the 8th by Grady.

Tomorrow it is off to Texas.. I'm no fan of the Rangers ballpark as we know. Hopefully it won't be the disaster that it was the last time.. Fausto Carmona is going against a youngster in Matt Harrison. Boy Texas sure is trotting out anything they can to try and get outs.

[BOXSCORE]

Wakeup Wahoo: Gutierrez thinking defense; Playing time is evaporating

Uh oh.

I feel the ground rumbling again and I think a Pronk is imminent.

I don't know how imminent. But, another double tonight for Travis Hafner, two runs batted in and two walks.

That is the Pronk we know and love.

Josh Barfield finally got a hit going 1-3.

Mitch Maier the Royals player that was hit with the pitch suffered multiple facial fractures, but won't need surgery. Good to hear. As for the pitch that Zach Jackson threw, it was a cutter and as I thought originally, it slipped out of his hand.

"It was a cutter that slipped out of my hand," he said. "What are you going to do? Nobody's perfect. I was trying to go down and away with a cutter, but it just got away from me. It backed up." (Indians.com)

It was Franklin Gutierrez's night for sure and now look.

"Before [Gordon] hit the ball," Gutierrez said, "I was thinking about that. It immediately happened. Positive thinking. That's what it's all about." (Indians.com)

He was thinking about making a diving catch? I mean, who does that? I really am laughing.. Franklin Gutierrez once again does not care about the home run.. He prides himself in making that diving catch and that is just as good as the home run.. The home run is great, don't get me wrong, but he's made several game saving catches during his career here.

You can't always count on Jhonny Peralta to be humorous.. But..

"I like track and field. I liked watching Usain Bolt win the 100 and 200 meters. That's how I think I look in my mind when I'm stealing a base." (Plain Dealer)

Nice on Jhonny... You can see what the rest of the players think of the Olympics so far, here.

Kelly Shoppach understands the concept of a team and the fact that he isn't the starting catcher.

"I've always felt that it's my job to fill in for Victor and I still feel that way," said Shoppach. "When Victor comes back, it should be his job." (Plain Dealer)

I don't think you have to worry about that Kelly.. I think he knows he will continue to get time.. He's earned it..

It is a rather odd-combo to be going in a Hall of Fame at the same time, but it has happening.

Eric Wedge is being inducted into the Arizona Fall League Hall of Fame.. Along with current Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins.. ooookay?

"Anytime you're elected to somebody's Hall of Fame, it's an honor," Wedge said. "A lot of fantastic ballplayers have played in that league." (Indians.com)

Congrats Wedge, and say hello to Jimmy for me.

Expect another fast paced pitching game from Cliff Lee and his defense. They just love to play behind him because he works fast and you never know when to be ready so you need to be ready all the time.

"We have a lot of confidence in Cliff on the mound because we know what he's going to do," outfielder David Dellucci said. "He works quick, he throws strikes and your mind doesn't wander mentally because you know the ball is going to be put in play." (Indians.com)

Wouldn't it be neat to see two pitchers who started the year as Cleveland Indians both win the Cy Young Award?

I said it was very urgent for the Indians to be giving playing time to the likes of Marte and Garko NOW rather than later.. They have.. Why?

Because now Travis Hafner, Josh Barfield and Victor Martinez are all coming back soon.

Andy Marte might lose time if the Indians decide they want to give Josh Barfield some time.. Now Cabrera CAN play third, he did last year, but the Indians probably want to keep him in the middle of the diamond. With that they might experiment with Jhonny at third, but so far all indications on that are rather silent.

Now Garko might lose time because Victor Martinez will need to play first base more than often and with Hafner playing, the DH spot is filled. I think though, Hafner and Vic are gonna be brought along slowly and Garko will still get a good chunk of time, and you have to, the way he's been hitting the ball. However Kelly Shoppach could play some first base as well to keep his bat in the lineup.

The bigger question is what do they do with roster spots.. Maybe just maybe David Dellucci's time is running up, I can only hope.

Minor Issues: Buffalo Knows How to Bash

For the second straight night, the Herd has scored 10 runs to defeat the IRON PIGS! That's three wins for them over the IRON PIGS and makes tomorrow's game against the IRON PIGS a chance for a sweep over the IRON PIGS.

Okay enough of that. Travis Hafner pitched in as he DHed for the second time. He went 1-2 with 2 RBI, 2 walks and a run. Kakow.. Todd Linden went deep, Jordan Brown knocked in a pair and who I will now call the Mayor, Andy Cannizaro knocked in two as well.

Aaron Laffey picked up the win and gave up four runs in just five innings.

Stephen Head doesn't give a damn what you think about him.

He hit three home runs last night, so you must just bow down at his feet. Akron won and no one else really put up a performance to rival what Head did. I mean, JD Martin pitched 5 solid, giving up no runs, four hits and two walks. But, who cares. Stephen Head now has 13 HR and he just is on a rip in the second half.

Kinston got shut out and that damn Potomac team scored six more runs.

Carlos Santana is okay, he got removed from the game the other night for taking a foul tip. He was back in the lineup last night

LakeWOOD beat Lake COUNTY by three runs last night. Juan Valdes hit a three run home run and Matty McBride down at Lake County now had two hits.

Matt LaPorta is okay and should be in the lineup when the US faces Cuba in the Semi-Final game on Friday.

8.20.2008

Frankie Gutierrez wins it with bat and glove

Seeing Franklin Gutierrez's face light up when Matt Underwood brings up his diving catch at the end of the game. It's just awesome. He genuinely loves the defensive side of the game and he is okay yeah I hit a home run to win the game basically, but let's talk about my defensive web gem instead.

Gil Meche gave up the two home runs in the first two innings, then he basically shut it down.

It wasn't till Ramon Ramirez entered in the 8th that the Indians got it going. Shoppach homers for the second time in the night to bring it within one and then it just got easy.

Ramirez got an out but walked Choo. The Royals bring in The Mexecutioner, Joakim Soria and Soria got MEXECUTED.

Bewsh.

He pitches around Grady and walks him. Then comes Gutierrez who pulls the fastball into the bleachers.

Thank you SIR.

Good to see Gutierrez turning it around in August.

Peralta hit 20 on the year to give him 69 on the year.

Ryan FREAKING Garko up to 63, all of a sudden he is hot on the heels of both Grizz and Peralta. His RBI streaking continues.

Pitching wise, Zach Jackson was shaky. He put himself in trouble in the first but minimized the damage, which was good. But then in the 5th he stuck his hand in the fish tank and got bit. How about this Mike Aviles kid? His double cleared the bases and he'd increase the lead by stealing and scoring on an error.

He did give up just four earned in seven innings.. Walked just one and struck out four. I'd like to see him again at least and see how he responds but I just don't think his future, if it's with the Indians, is in the starting rotation.

Scary moment when Mitch Maier of the Royals went to bunt and Zach Jackson hit him in the earflap and the ball bounced up and hit his nose. Blood was pouring out. Hope Maier is okay.

Juan Rincon pitched a perfect inning?

Okay.. Jenny LEW saves number four. Nail it down guy, nail it down!

Quick turn around for tomorrows game. 12:05 and with the two aces on the mound, I'm expecting a pitchers duel. Greinke and Cliffaaaad going for 18.

[BOXSCORE]

Wakeup Wahoo: Reyes' Night Ended Early; Garko Garko Garko

So Eric Wedge, despite Reyes probably not pitching as much as he usually has total.. Decided to end Anthony Reyes' night early.

"It's getting late in the season and I'm trying to protect these guys," said Wedge. "When you throw 84 pitches in five innings, you're working a little bit." (Plain Dealer)

97.2 Innings this year for Anthony Reyes between his four teams, Memphis, Buffalo, St. Louis, and Cleveland. Threw 145 last year between St. Louis and Memphis.

So what's the problem here Wedgester? Why are you ending this kids night at 84 pitches sir?

Now look, admittedly I didnt' see the game so maybe he looked done. But, sorry I don't believe that, based on how bad this bullpen has been and how Eric Wedge likes to push the envelope with a starter.

By the by. Rafael Betancourt despite his good string of appearances is still miffed.

Said Betancourt, "I told you, I don't feel like talking right now." (Plain Dealer)

Well sorrrrrrrrrrrry....

Ryan Garko continues to knock in runs since his benching and he went deep again last night.

"He's really stepped it up," Wedge said. "His approach has been more consistent and his discipline has been a little better. He's really grinding it out." (Indians.com)

He is attributing it to the benching and the time to think.

"My focus may have gotten a little better," said Garko. "Just because I had a couple of days to sit there and think about the kind of player I want to be." (Plain Dealer)

Nah.. It is a lot better if you ask me. No more silly strikeouts and pulling the ball. Your focus is a lot better Ryan. I'm a big Garko fan so I'm glad he's coming around and making himself apart of the team again.

Victa Victa Victa.. Victor Martinez went 1-2 in Buffalo's game last night and caught for six innings. He knocked in dos runs and should be back in action on Thursday. Tonight, Travis Hafner part two and Josh Barfield starts as well, I don't know when they are going to be pushed to a full game but the Tribe is taking it slow. There is rumors that Hafner could be with the Bisons into next week and even go on the road trip.

That of course brings up a log jam if they are ready within the next ohhhhh 11 days, because rosters won't expand till September, meaning the Indians will have to send some folks down.

Either way, Travis Hafner needs his 40 man roster spot back, so some chopping will have to go down. Also, What happens to the man that is Sal Fasano? I'm not sure, I think the Indians will continue to muddle around and make sure at least one waits till September before they are broughten up, probably Hafner.

From the department of President Palmer AKA Dennis Haysbert AKA Pedro Cerano.. The Spring Training Site is in Good Hands.. What? Isn't that All State, not Goodyear?

Either way Goodyear has taken over the opperation which pretty much makes it a given that the project will be completed. Hey if you can't hire good help, do it yourself damnit!

Also from the not really about the Indians department, MLB Instant Replay has been getting wired at Progressive Field.. Now heres some more news on it, have fun with that.

Grady Sizemore broke out of his HR slump with his first August jack when he was simply looking over the plate for something.

"I was looking for something out over the plate," said Sizemore, who is tied for third in the American League home run race. "The way they were pitching me, I didn't want to let them get ahead [in the count], so I wanted something that was over it." (Plain Dealer)

Um, someone's talking about Dellucci again, Fahgetaboutit.

Minor Issues: Beau Mills Just Rocks A Lot

Trevor Crowe had a good night at the plate going 3-5, nice to see him get himself going with that. Tony Graffanino also went 3-5 but he knocked in three runs. Buffalo pretty much destroyed the Iron Pigs, with Michael Aubrey hitting a two run jack as well. Victor Martinez pitched in with a 1-2 night with two RBI. More on him in the Wakeup portion of the Morning Update. Scott Lewis got his second start with the Bisons and it was much better than his first. He went 6 innings giving up just the one run off just three hits and a walk. He struck out four as well.

Akron got shutout and beatup by Connecticut. Just five hits compared to the eight runs scored by the other team. Kevin Dixon got shelled for 7 runs, 6 earned in four innings of work.

Wow.. 17-14 Kinston loses to that damn Potomac. What is going on with that? Let's dive into the boxscore.

Three errors for Kinston so for now Carlton Smith's ERA is saved.. 10 runs but just 4 earned. Matt Meyer however gave up six runs.

Here is the boxscore offensively for Kinston.. Beauty..

Kinston
PlayerABRH2B3BHRRBIBBSOAVG
Montero, L RF633000101.261
Santana, C C111000020.377
Juhl a- PH-C311000200.237
Mills 1B512001400.296
Goedert 3B311000101.262
Rivero SS311000101.278
Arnal 2B110000010.193
Romero 2B-SS524010300.313
Drennen LF501100000.229
Castillo, A DH512000200.227
Pena CF220000032.143

Um.. Wow.. Beau Mills hits his 21st and adds FOUR RBI.. He leads the Carolina league in both categories and is just itching for a call-up. Wonder why Carlos Santana got pinch hit for. His replacement Brian Juhl and the other Catcher Alex Castillo had two RBI each. Niuman Romero gets four hits. Just amazing.

Lake County and Mahoning Valley off but a great story at the NY Penn League All Star Game.

Tri-City's home player David Flores hit a walk-off double/boucne of the glove hit to give the National League a win.

But, you don't care about that, do you?

The Scrappers you care about, yes.

Robbie Alcombrack, 0-1
Isaias Velasquez, 0-1, BB
Brock Simpson, 0-2

As noted, Lonnie Chisenhall was on the injured/promoted list.. Sooooo Still wondering what's up with that.

Mike Pontius will have to use this season as a learning tool, as it hasn't turned out he or anyone wanted. He's had a very up and down year.

Tribe Trump Royals; Now that is a win, BABY!

I was entrenched in a fantasy football draft tonight, the most important one of the year.. It's heated, there is money involved and if I don't win, I get very irritable.

So I missed what looked to be the greatest offensive performance of the year.

Sure, they've scored more runs before.. But, not 1-9 contributions.

All 9 players had a hit, all but three scored runs, all but three knocked in runs, 13 hits, 5 walks, just 1-9 they got it done.

Grady knocked in three and had a jack. Choo and Garko hit solo shots. Four guys had multiple hits. What's awesome is that Jhonny Peralta and David Dellucci didn't account for a single run scored and run knocked in. I know, what's so awesome about that? It means everyone else picked up the slack.

I'm pleased with that looking at the numbers.

Anthony Reyes looked to put up yet another decent start. 5 Innings, 6 hits, 2 runs, 3 walks, 3 knockouts. So, decent. Donnelly gave up a run in his inning.

But check it out.. Rafael Betancourt, yet another perfect inning!

Just great all around in my eyes. Shucks I missed the game but that is what I like to see from the offense. Just 1-9, follow the motto and get it done.

Gil Meche and Zach Jackson tomorrow. Get IT DONE SIRS!

[BOXSCORE]

8.19.2008

Wakeup Wahoo: Hafner goes 2-3 in Buffalo Rehab

Pronk, Buffalo Style got it done last night. Travis Hafner went 2-3 with a double in his three at-bats for the Bisons. I feel good about it.

This is what Pronk needed. He had to get some time off and fix himself and get healthy. I think he was struggling with the fact that he has had a rough year, he has an injury, he has all this stuff going on with his health.

In a lost season, it was great for him to go through this.

I think he's better.

Two hits including a double. I'll take it to start it off.

There is always a lot to say about the job the Indians do in their Hall of Fame ceremony and celebration weekend. This one was by far the best one they did just looking at all the stuff. There's the ceremony on Saturday and Sunday the meet and great and Monday the golf outing. It's a great thing they do.. Here's a few recaps from Andrew Gribble and Terry Pluto. Pluto also discussed random things like Asdrubal Cabrera.

New Mailbag and Castrovince highlights Cliff Lee's chances at the Cy Young, Hafner's injury, LaPorta's season after the Olympics are over, and Scottish Bagpipes.

Scottish Bagpipes?

Then something on Dellucci.. Meh whatever have fun with that.

Minor Issues: LaPorta Beaned in USA Win

With the help of some added fire power of the return of Travis Hafner, Buffalo took a win away from the Iron Pigs. Hafner went 2-3 with a double before being lifted in the 7th inning, while Josh Barfield went 0-2 but knocked in a run. Andy Cannizaro has been pretty solid since coming over from Durham, he knocked in two runs. The real story was David Huff yet again. Huff went 5.1 with just five hits, one run and EIGHT strikeouts.

Jordan Brown has had a good second half to the Buffalo season. With Matt LaPorta and Beau Mills behind him and Garko and Martinez ahead of him, plus the battle with Michael Aubrey, Jordan is a lost piece in the Indians puzzle. Jordan also became a daddy.

"It's hard because my wife and Damon are all the way in Tucson on the other coast, so it's hard to come here and separate that," Brown said. (MILB.com)

Another Bison, rather a New-Bison. Jon Meloan is fitting in real well. Considering he and Brown played together at Arizona and also share a home in the off-season. But, how exactly did Meloan find out about the trade? Text-Message when he woke up, of course!

"It said, 'You're an Indian now,'" Meloan said. "I was like, 'What are you even talking about?'" (Indians.com)

I'm excited about Santana of course, but this is the guy in the trade I really like.

Speaking of him, Carlos Santana went 2-4 with 2 RBI and a run scored, Beau Mills went 2-5 with a run knocked in but Kinston lost to that damn Potomac again. They've been one of the best in the High A level and they beat on the Kinston pitching once again. Kelvin De La Cruz pitched just 2.2 innings giving up 8 hits and 7 runs and he also walked 5.

Dustin Realini playing in left field went 3-5 with 3 knocked in and Chris Nash had a pair as the Captains lost to the Braves last night.

Mahoning Valley is off on the All-Star Break but plenty-o-Scrappers are in action in tonights game.

You can catch full coverage of the NY-Penn League All-Star game at the NYPENN website here.

You can see the full rosters here.

Interesting enough, Lonnie Chisenhall is listed in the not participating list due to injury or promotion.. Has Lonnie gotten the call up to Lake County? Has he been injured? Not sure.

GCL lost and won a game in the double header with the Yankees with scores of 2-0 in both games. Juan Aponte knocked in two runs with a double in the winner.

Tracking Matt LaPorta

Some funny business going on with Matt LaPorta in the game yesterday morning.

LaPorta was hit in the shoulder and the ball bounced up and hit him in the head yesterday in the United State's blowout win over China. The Chinese were rather upset about a slide at home plate and the fact that they got absolutely destroyed by the United States.

LaPorta went down in a heap and laid on the ground and it looked bad. Everything is okay though, maybe some minor concussions. LaPorta did not play in the win against the Chinese Taipei.

8.18.2008

Photoshop Off-Day: The Last of the Mujicas

I'm not sure if you are a fan of Edwin Mujica.. I'm not his biggest fan, he has some stuff, but really I don't see a future in him.

His recent meltdown after letting him close and the following appearance leave a lot to be desired after he started to emerge as a capable option. I think there is more talent and potential in guys at other levels and while he is still a little young, the constant up and down up and down the Indians did to him last year makes me think they don't have THAT much faith in him.

With that.. It will be the last Mujica we probably ever see and this could be the last year we see him.. With that, here is the Last of the Mujicas.



The point? Not sure if there is any.. It just sort of meshes with the name.. The Mohicans. The Mujicas.. Whatever.. I stretched it but it works in my mind.. It also makes a lot more sense than putting Squirrel teeth on him, something no one will get unless I point out the fact that. He used to have squirrel cheeks.

Wakeup Wahoo: Hafner to DH Tonight in Buffalo; Lewis gets the job done

Sunday we witnessed something that hasn't happened awhile but has happened. We saw Jensen Lewis close out a game for Jeremy Sowers.

The tandem was at it again on Sunday after doing it in Vanderbilt years and years ago.

"I told him during the anthem, 'This is your day and I'm going to come in and stop it for you,' " Lewis said. (Plain Dealer)

Not only that, but we continue to see these quotes from Jensen to demonstrate that this kid has the GUTS to close out a game.

Lewis said he "kind of went out there and said 'Over my dead body are we going to give this one up' " -- a welcome demeanor for a club whose bullpen has blown 15 saves in just 36 chances. (Plain Dealer)

He also understands the role and what it takes and what goes into it.

"This is awesome. When you're in the bullpen, this is the opportunity you want," Lewis said. "It's a lot of fun right now and I'm just enjoying each opportunity they give me." (Indians.com)

As for Jeremy Sowers, Eric Wedge is pleased with what his young starter has done these past few games.

"Jeremy has been pitching so much better," said Indians manager Eric Wedge. "He's been very consistent over his last five or six starts. He's given us a chance to win most of those games." (Plain Dealer)

Far be it from me to know what is wrong with Franklin Gutierrez. I really don't understand or know why a kid with so much promise has fallen off like he has this year. It's beyond me.

"I know I can hit against righties and lefties," Gutierrez said. "I think [against right-handers] it has something to do with mechanics and recognizing the pitch. It takes focus and concentration. I have to keep learning. I'm starting to get more playing time. That will help." (Plain Dealer)

He is hitting .349 in the last 9 games, so maybe he is turning it around. I hope. He has so much promise with that defense and arm and his speed. If he puts the bat in there he could be a dangerous player.

I got all excited about the Travis Hafner return on Tuesday, but I've been given a gift. HE RETURNS TONIGHT! With Josh Barfield at his side to play six innings at 2nd tonight, Hafner will DH and get two ABs tonight with Buffalo. Victor Martinez will be with the team tomorrow to catch six innings. He homered last night for Akron.

For all indiciations, they will be there throughout the week and be evaluated towards the end.

Asdrubal Cabrera has been using the bunt more and more since his return and it is a product of working with Derek Shelton and going out before games and practice it endlessly. Not just for sacrafices but in attempt to get on base of course.

"I went down and really worked on my hitting," Cabrera said through first-base coach and interpreter Luis Rivera. "That gave me some confidence. I was swinging the bat well there. I came back with confidence that I could do the job." (Indians.com)

It's another reason Eric Wedge wants him in good shape. So he can run and get down the line quicker and beat the bunt out.

Minor Issues: Mills hits 20th HR, Martinez Goes Deep in Rehab Game

Bryan Bullington got beat up pretty well in the Bisons loss to Pawtucket. Brad Snyder went 1-3 with a RBI and two runs scored.

Akron got beat up but that was hardly the story for the Aeros. Victor Martinez DHed and hit all four times. He went 2-4 with his FIRST HOME RUN OF THE YEAR! Yes his first, how nuts is that.

Meanwhile, the Aeros continue to just falter in the standings. Still hopes to the Wild Card but ya gotta pick it up Akron!

Beau Mills.. 2-4, number 20 on the year with 84 RBI, what a man. Kinston lost but they scored and Beau Mills is just awesome. Hector Rondon did go 6 plus but gave up five runs.

So-so start for Eric Berger in Lake County. He pitched 2.1 innings giving up just one run. That was the lone run against Lake County as they scored five to top Rome. Dustin Realini with 2 RBI and a 2-4 night for Matt Brown.

As if we didn't know it already, Adam Miller's season is over. I really think the bullpen is in his future.

Also the Indians didn't spend as much as the Pirates or Red Sox did in draft pick signings.. Then again they picked 29th and don't exactly spend a lot of money. But they still spent around $7 million.