-

3.12.2010

Spring Games #5 and #6: Still undefeated, but not perfect.

Nino Colla | Friday, March 12, 2010 | | | | | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips
Oh well, no body is perfect.

But the Cleveland Indians are still undefeated in this spring season!

Brian Horwitz doubled in a run in the top of the ninth inning of yesterday's game against Chicago to tie the game up at 5. After a scoreless 10th inning, the game was called, giving the Indians their first tie and first game without a victory.

Let's recap the last two games real quick.

The Padres game was on STO and I watched the first five innings continuously before getting bored. The Reds game I watched from first pitch to last out, but after the Indians had put up their 10 spot, I had lost interest and was in and out of the room.

What an offensive performance that was.

Walk after walk after walk. The team sent nine different players to the plate in the fourth inning and all nine scored. The big blow came off the bat of Grady Sizemore, who flexed his 2-spot muscle and hit a grand slam.

Choo, Cabrera, Grudz, Luis Rodriguez all added RBI and Trevor Crowe knocked in one off two hits.

Just a stellar inning. It really supports the fact that this team is going to score some runs this year, because pretty much all the regulars were in the lineup when this happened.

On the pitching side, David Huff had the first go-around with three innings of work among the starters and Acta said he threw the ball well.

Huff did give up a run off three hits and a walk, but Acta said he pounded the strike zone. He did look decent out there, don't let the numbers fool you. Plus it's only one run.

Frank Herrmann struggled, but Kerry Wood threw a very solid inning, making quick work of his three hitters. I was impressed with Josh Judy's inning, it was good to finally see him in action.


Matt LaPorta made his first start of the spring. He only played three innings and got one at-bat, but the Indians are obviously going to ease him into action, and do it at first base.

Anthony Castrovince had a great story up on Indians.com about the growing "LaPortaisms" that Matty produces. We saw some of the others, but this one just...
When a teammate made mention of having his car shipped to Arizona, LaPorta responded, "In a box?" 
 Again, Yikes. You gotta like this kid's personality though. He is all for making the rest of his teammates laugh, even if it's at his own expense. He also talked about the pressure and how he doesn't really think about it.
"I never really think about [that pressure], to be honest," he said. "My goal is to come out and compete every day, and it's competing against myself and trying to make myself better, so I can help the team. Whatever people think on the outside, the pressure they put on me, I don't really think about that."
March 10th was the target date for both Matt LaPorta AND Russell Branyan to start a Cactus League game. While LaPorta did, Branyan didn't for whatever reason.
"This is what we knew when we signed him," Acta said. "He's still finishing his rehab. We have a lot of time left. We've got to take care of this guy." 
Oh so he's still in the rehabbing process? Take your freakin' time then! I'm not exactly worried about him getting into Cactus League play though. As long as he gets a few games under his belt before the season, I don't see an issue with a veteran like Branyan.

However he hasn't really even taken batting practice yet, which is a little concerning... But..

I do find the Juan Gonzalez-Grady Sizemore comparison of 2005 a very interesting one though.

Yesterday as I wmentioned, the Indians failed to win a game for the first time this spring, but they didn't lose! The Tribe and division rival Chi-Sox played to a 5-5 tie in ten innings. Mitch Talbot got to counter David Huff's efforts with three innings of his own.

According to Talbot, things didn't go as well as you would think. Talbot did go three innings matching the run Huff gave up, but surrendering one less hit and no walks and striking out a pair. But he wasn't the same pitcher he is used to being. From the latest CastroTurf...
Mitch Talbot worked three innings against the Sox, allowing a run on two hits with two strikeouts and a hit batter. Five of the nine outs he recorded were on fly balls, which is a little disconcerting, especially to Talbot. "I'm not a fly-ball pitcher at all," he said. "I usually get a lot of groundballs ... This is blowing my mind."
A few reasons perhaps as AC points out... Arizona's weather could directly effect that. Given that he isn't familar with having camp in Arizona, he could be suffering the effects of not knowing the conditions.

Still, can't complain about the results. The fact that he isn't sure how the pitches he believes he is throwing fine are ending up in the air, makes me think there is a lot of logic in that idea.

First round pick Alex White had a solid scoreless inning in his debut and Jensen Lewis also threw a scoreless frame to send it into extras.

Chris Perez threw up another zero and he is the subject of another piece on Indians.com. He is also one of the subjects in a piece I did on Bleacher Report. For the past week I've highlighted players I love and the reasons I love them and Perez fit my "Cerebral Bulldog" role in today's final players I love column.

AC's is way better though because we have now established another nickname for Chris Perez.

I'm a fan of the show Eastbound and Down, so allow me to spearhead the fan movement to get Chris Perez on the show.
"We actually reached out to his agent about getting me a cameo," said Perez, who has no previous acting experience. "Maybe I could be his competition. I could play the young guy who takes his job." 
Danny McBride (Pineapple Express, Land of the Lost) plays Kenny Powers, the John Rocker-esque reliever who is now washed up,  yet believes he can get back to the major leagues. So unfortunately for Chris, he "can't be the young guy who takes his job" because Kenny doesn't have a job. But he definitely needs to be in this show.

Anyway we can now refer to Perez as "CFP" considering he has the same last initial as Kenny Powers. We are a family-friendly blog for the most part, so CFP will have to do rather than C firetrucking P. Just remove the IRETR and you should get the picture.

Yeah as you can tell, I don't really care about the rest of the story, I'm just jacked up about getting Perez on this show.

Perez did speak out about the Twins moving to a new ballpark. He did call the move one of the dumbest moves in the history of baseball. Mike Redmond said the weather is jacket weather until June. That has to be frightening for pitchers.

Hopefully you caught my tweet yesterday about appearing on Hotstove.com TV at 1:00 ET for some Tribe talk. If not, it's all good as there is a video, which you can watch right here.



Big thanks to Tom and Paul for having me on. We spent about a half hour talking about Grady Sizemore, Travis Hafner, Kerry Wood, the trade deadline and a lot more. I need to stop saying "ya know" the UNGODLY amount of times I did as that is one of my pet peeves. Someone should attach an electric dog fence collar to me every time I say it. I cringe every time I hear it.... And much appreciation to the dumb guy roaring down the street when I was talking about Hafner.

Speaking of Kerry Wood... Paul Hoynes makes the case for Shapiro to hold onto Wood. I made this case a few days ago, but hey, that's fine.I also touched up some of those reasons that I covered the other day in my chat with Tom and Paul.

Bud Shaw has a piece up on Travis Hafner.. He was another guy we talked about as well.

Up on tap today... Jake Westbrook will make start number two, this time in the comforts of Goodyear ballpark. Westbrook will get three innings of work, unless of course he throws too many pitches in the first two.

He'll be followed by Fausto Carmona, who is making his debut in live spring training action. Carmona is slated to go three innings as well, so if all goes according to slot plan, you will only see Saul Rivera, Rafael Perez, and Joe Smith following those two.

Here is today's lineup, via AC.

SS Cabrera, CF Sizemore, RF Choo, DH Hafner, 3B Peralta, 1B LaPorta, 2B Grudzielanek, C Redmond, LF Crowe.

Pretty close to what we may see opening day, starting pitcher included.

Finally, Steven Lebron was suspended 50 games for testing positive for Boldenone metabolite, a steroid. Wait who the hell is Steven Lebron?

I honestly blanked when I saw that name. He isn't on the depth chart, so hell if I know. According to Hoynes' report, Boldenone is a HORES Steroid.

At least Steven Lebron is a complete unknown to just about every Tribe fan alive. Some people at leas thave an idea of who Brian Horwitz is and that he was selected in the Rule V draft a few months ago. Yet that doesn't stop Paul Hoynes from saying something hilarious.

That and this is the reason I don't follow him on twitter, even though I probably should for the sheer entertainment.

Gargling drano? I think he's just trying to gain some cheap followers by being comical. Failing miserably.

As for Steve Lebron, he is the first Lebron to leave Cleveland this year as his contract was voided. Safe to say that Cavalier fans hope he is the only one to leave Cleveland. Even though... he never technically was in Clevelenad. Whatever, that was my lame Hoynes joke.

0 comments: