September 11th, 2012
Cleveland Indians - 2
Texas Rangers - 6
W: Matt Harrison (16-9) L: Ubaldo Jimenez (9-16) S: Joe Nathan (32)
Here's the thing that I could see coming a mile away.
The second inning is led off with an error and almost immediately the thought came to my mind.
"This isn't going to end well for Jimenez."
|Photo - AP via Yahoo! Sports|
Look you can say what you want. You can be Ubaldo Jimenez and say that you gave up two earned runs and be satisfied with your effort. But you can't come out here and tell me that was a decently pitched games because of the defense that hurt him.
The guy walked four hitters, threw a wild pitch that helped compound his issues. That error be damned, it was early in the inning and he had plenty of time to record more outs before he ended up giving up a four spot.
It really is as simply as that. That was a horrifically pitched game. The pitches were flat, they were tailing over the plate and the ones that weren't were so bad that hitters simply laid off. The one guy that didn't was Josh Hamilton, who seemed to just swing at everything. He probably figured out of six pitches, he was bound to throw something that could be deposited into the outfield grass patch in center field.
And while the headline quote from Office Space was certainly a joke pertaining to what I did last night watching this game, I think it is fitting as to what Ubaldo Jimenez does. He probably does 15 minutes of real actual work. He comes in, late, because every start to his game is horrible (although last night was not the case).
He doesn't really do anything good when he's at work either. He's clearly not trying. Others screw up and he just compounds it, not really looking to do anything to to fix it, perfectly willing to accept whatever garbage is thrown out there.
Does it sound like I'm becoming more and more cynical?
I apologize. You might get a sense from it throughout the rest of the Rundown but I promise I'm still here.
It's just watching guys like Ubaldo Jimenez go out there and suck, and others like Justin Masterson have brilliant innings and then go out and suck, I just get a little deflated and irate. Irate because it doesn't make sense and it shouldn't be this way.
Jason Donald was absolutely atrocious at third. He was the culprit, I don't care what the box score says or what the official scorer decided. Yeah Russ Canzler could have made that catch, and should have made that catch at first up the line.
But Jason Donald's throw started it and if he had not made such a poor toss, then that error does not happen.
Then as if that wasn't enough, he went ahead and committed two more that were charged to him. But the first one was the start. The first one was just the beginning and whether it was the reason things spiraled out of control for Jimenez or not is beside the point.
"Those guys have got a very good ballclub," Acta said of the Rangers. "You can't afford to be giving them extra outs. Unfortunately, we did that in that second inning and it ended up costing us four runs. Ubaldo threw the ball very well."
I'm sorry, but no. He did NOT throw the ball very well. Sorry Manny. When you are a starting pitcher, your job is to get people out. Jimenez's job was to get people out and even if that had went down as an out, he had two more to get and plenty of missed opportunities to get those outs.
What did he do instead? He walked a guy, he threw a wild pitch. He treated the bottom of that order as if it was the middle of the Big Red Machine. This is the bottom lineup of a Texas Rangers squad that didn't play Nelson Cruz and is missing Mike Napoli. These are players that need to be retired, not walked or thrown around or given pitches that they can absolutely crush.
So set those errors and mistakes aside, there's no real reason Ubaldo Jimenez should be doing this. He has no excuses, at least none that I will really ultimately care about. Jimenez says he's not ready to quit, but clearly that matters none as he's pretty much lost all sense of focus. Antonetti says though that the focus needs to be on getting the most out of everything they have left.
"Our focus is trying to get the most out of every day we play," he said. "That needs to be the entirety of the focus for our Major League staff, our front office and our players. Let's get the most out of every day that we have left."
Yeah, okay do that. Because nine wins since July 26th, you didn't get much out of that.
Matt Harrison threw a perfect game into the fourth, didn't surrender a hit until the fifth. He did walk a good chunk but he managed to keep things in check for the most part. He's having a good year, but it was just kind of ho-hum offensively.
LaPorta got a hit? Yeah and he knocked in a run! The first of the year. Zeke Carrera knocked in his fifth, how does that make you feel MaTola?
Another rough go for Cody Allen, who pitched in the sixth and then couldn't get through the seventh as he had to be relieved by Scotty Barnes. Allen ended with a run given up and a walk and three hits, but it's good that he's going through his growing pains now. Can't expect him to be perfect forever.
Thomas Neal finally got another start and went 0-for-3 before getting replaced late in the changes that took place due to all the pinch-hitting and pinch-running.
Jimenez is not only piling up the losses, he's piling up the walks and wild pitches. He's now one away from tying the club record that was matched by Sam McDowell years ago. If he gets two more he'll have the record all to himself. Certainly possible at this point.
The big news the past day has been Chris Antonetti's arrival in Texas for the series against the Rangers. Management doesn't usually travel, so it's a big story when they do decide to take in a series on the road, but the Indians GM says it was a planned trip.
The trip means he is more readily available to the media and thus, more quotes come out from him, and one of the big topics is obviously the comments by Chris Perez, which has been our main story the past two days here on the Rundown.
Antonetti said he's talked to Chris.
"I'm not going to get into the details of that," Antonetti said of his conversation with Perez. "Chris would probably tell you that he could've chosen his words differently -- the specifics of his words. But, again, I think it's coming from a bit of frustration that the team hasn't been as successful as we all had hoped, Chris included."
"I've said that all along," Antonetti said. "We're not in a position to say any particular player is off limits. Now, that said, all of those guys who have been rumored about at various points in time, they're all still here, right? They're still Cleveland Indians. Just because teams call and ask and express interest doesn't necessarily mean we're going to trade someone."
As you can tell the main point was about Perez being traded and Antonetti said that "he can't control how people perceive" the comments Perez made, and if that isn't Shapiroese, I don't know what is. That was a delightfully interesting way to avoid that question with a good answer, and really really shifty, so you have to hand it to him.
I also find it interesting that instead of focusing on what Perez actually said and that the focus is on the results of what he said. The media is really missing the boat here. Of course it will all just result in more Shapiroese in a response, it would be nice to see the media actually ask Antonetti about WHAT Perez said, not just about the fact that he said it.
But that's why I'm just a blogger.
The other topic of discussion was the fact that Antonetti was there, not the fact that he was there, but of course drawn conclusions as to why. As mentioned though it was a planned trip, however the media must inquire if it has anything to do with the status of Mannay Acta.
And of course, it doesn't. If you want to read into it, Antonetti went on to say that he doesn't think the Indians have quit thus far, and believes they have something to play for.
"I don't get any sense that the guys are just finishing out the string. The balance of the year is still important to everybody. We still have mostly a very young team that is looking to establish themselves as major-league players. Everybody still has something to play for."
I think there's one thing you can say to that. Sure, you can believe they still have something to play for, but that doesn't actually mean they are playing for it and following through.
That being said, if he thinks the team is still playing hard and haven't quit, his one reason to axe Manny Acta has just gone out the window. That's the only reason to fire Acta, is if he's lost his team and if he doesn't believe that's the case, then it stands good reason to believe he won't be doing anything to his manager.
And maybe Chris Perez has rattled some sort of cage, or maybe just the losing has caused it, but Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Dolans are 'unhappy' and jobs are in jeopardy, mainly Acta's.
It's a shame because ultimately the people responsible the most are always the last to take blame. I'm not saying Paul Dolan needs to come out and assume all the blame for everything, but again, Acta taking the bullet for everyone is not the right move that will fix everything. And I think in Antonetti's heart of hearts and Paul Dolan's heart of hearts, they both know this.
Hope you are enjoying Brent Lillibridge playing short, because you may be seeing more of that for the rest of the series. Asdrubal Cabrera's status as he recovers from his sore wrist is, "up in the air" as Manny Acta put it.
Acta hopes Cabrera can be available today off the bench, however he could just sit out the rest of the series and return to the lineup when the Indians go back home to face the Tigers. Either way, I don't think the Indians are in a rush to get him back out there without him feeling like he can go and have minimal pain.
"It's something he's battled through," Antonetti said. "Based upon the information we have and all the results, he's not going to do additional damage by playing. It's a question of how much he can tolerate. I think some days it feels better than others. Obviously, we'd like to have him in there as much as we can."
That's a tough spot to be in. Normally you'd shut a guy like that down, but I'm sure Asdrubal doesn't want that and if there's not really a situation in which he can't hurt himself further, the Indians probably don't really want to shut him down. That's just a tough choice you have to make with a season coming to a close and nothing really on the line.
It isn't a situation like Lonnie Chisenhall, who should return to the lineup today. Acta submitted himself to the fact that Chisenhall wouldn't be back, so it's good to see him.
"It's nice to see him back," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "I wasn't expecting to see him this year after I saw the X-rays and the magnitude of the injury. But he worked really hard. He really wanted to beat all the odds and come back."
Antonetti mentioned that Chisenhall will get into winter ball after the season ends, in addition to playing at leas five times a week. He'll be playing in the Dominican Republic for del Licey, a team that Acta has been the manager for in the past.
In other injury news, Roberto Hernandez has removed the protective boot and will be resuming light baseball activities. Should be able to get back and make some starts before the season is over.
The Akron Aeros are one step closer to the Eastern League title and what a roll they are on right now. They picked up their fourth straight playoff victory last night in their 3-0 shutout win over Trenton at home. Paolo Espino was brilliant in seven innings, the only real danger was his four walks, but he only gave up two hits. Preston Guilmet saved the game and Chun Chen and Matt Lawson knocked in runs. Tyler Holt scored twice and tripled and now the Aeros hold an early 1-0 advantage in the Eastern League finals.
Tom Hamilton is up for the Ford Frick Award fan ballot, and if he is one of three voted in, he'll be added to the 10-man ballot that a committee made up of former winners and HOF appointed historians and media members. Let's go Hammy!