September 16th, 2012
Detroit Tigers - 6
Cleveland Indians - 7
W: Esmil Rogers (2-1) L: Jose Valverde (3-3)
Manny Acta wanted to see some fire to end things out. He might have got it.
"We want to see some fire at the end here," Acta said. "Facing the Tigers, the White Sox, teams that are fighting for a spot, it's going to be better for us to judge these guys, because they're not going to be facing just callups."
I don't like Jose Valverde, so seeing him be the one to blow things up, well. That's fun. It's also fun to win in that fashion and even though the Indians only won twice this past week, both wins were in exhilarating fashion.
Not saying it makes up for losing five games and only winning two, but it's now six wins, which is now more than the Indians had in August and the month is only half over. So, there's good to be found there. The Indians are now also out of the basement and while Kansas City seems like they are far away, 100 losses isn't looking like it will happen.
|Photo - AP via Yahoo! Sports|
It was just good to win one that way though. Who doesn't like a good walk-off win? Especially against the Detroit Tigers? Jason Kipnis called it fun, Ubaldo Jimenez said that it was about time to win in that fashion.
"Coming into the ninth, for some reason, we felt pretty good about our chances," Acta said. "We had the right people up at the plate."
You certainly had that feeling with the leadoff double by Jason Kipnis that was something going well. Then the close, but looked fair ball that Asdrubal Cabrera hit made you think this was going to be a tie game. Of course that wasn't the case and Cabrera would be retired, but as Acta said, they had the right people up at the plate in that inning and Carlos Santana was one of them.
His second triple in as many nights tied things up, and put Valverde's back against the wall. Sure he'd already blown the lead, but now he was in danger of blowing the game completely. Clearly you have to walk Michael Brantley, which brought up Zeke Carrera since there was a bevy of moves made that took Russ Canzler out of that spot.
So you pitch to Carrera right?
I guess not, the Tigers opted to have the out at every base, which is sound since you bring the infield in and any groundball to them preserves things.
But I don't know, pitch to Zeke Carrera or Lonnie Chisenhall?
I'd rather not pitch to Chiz, who just needs to drive one.
"I yelled at him," said Acta, referring to Chisenhall. "I said, 'That's disrespectful. Come on. Do something.' He just laughed about it. It's something they had to do strategy wise."
So you've got a fire lit under Chiz in that instance and all he has to do is slap one deep because the outfield is really playing in. First pitch, fastball, game, over. A young hitter loves the fastball, especially in a situation when you know the pitcher has to eventually throw you one. Great piece of hitting by Lonnie and a great way to end it.
Oh... Ubaldo Jimenez started this one. He went six and gave up two earned, three runs total and walked three. His pitch breakdown was 53-43 strikes-to-balls, so that's not too bad. I guess not being bad gets you a footnote and I'm cool with that. Good job Ubaldo.
The Indians lineup in the boxscore looks like it was played in the National League with all the changing and mixing.
Russ Canzler had a good game before he was switched out for defense though. A couple of hits, a run, a run batted in. Quietly he's doing well in his audition and playing a good portion of the time.
[AEROS CLAIM THE EASTERN LEAGUE]
Congratulations to the Akron Aeros as they completed a great run on Saturday night to claim their fourth Eastern League title and second in four years. It was also some redemption as they fell to this same Trenton squad in back-to-back years in 2007 and 2008.
"All of the guys have worked hard for this all year," Aeros second-year manager Chris Tremie said. "It's a great finish to the year, very exciting.It's been a great year all year long. To finish it up in the end with a championship is a great feeling. I'm very proud of them."
The Aeros won 6-1 and had big hits from Adam Abraham and Ryan Rohlinger, who both had two hits and a RBI on the night and scored three runs combined. They got a strong start from Toru Murata, who went six and a third with just one run surrendered and seven strikeouts to no walks. Preston Guilmet nailed down his fifth save of the postseason and Shawn Armstrong pitched an inning and a third and struck out three.
It was close, a 3-1 game until the Aeros put up three runs in the top of the ninth to help secure things tighter while Guilmet had already come in on the eighth inning.
Adam Abraham was named the Eastern League Finals MVP after he hit .300 with eight RBI in the postseason.
"I was not expecting that [MVP award]," said Abraham, a 2008 13th-round Draft pick who batted .300 with three triples and eight RBIs in nine postseason games. "When my name was announced, I was surprised. All that hard work I have put in and that the team has put in paid off. I had some injuries, so it's nice to finish with a championship."
The Aeros came back from a 0-2 deficit in their first season, facing elimination three times, they won three straight to dispatch Bowie and advanced to the EL Finals, where they went up 2-0 on Trenton before dropping Friday's game on the road. It was their third loss of the postseason and third loss on the road as the Aeros won all their home games. They won the final road game they needed to win though and will be bringing another Eastern League title back home to the Rubber City.
"It was simple," Tremie said of his message to the team after falling into an 0-2 series hole. "We talked about it and I told them the series is the best-of-5 and that it doesn't specify that you have to win the first one. We lost the first two, then we won three straight. We won one game at a time."
This team has some players, specifically some arms that could come into play. Guys like Armstrong, Trey Haley (who's turned his professional career around in Akron), T.J. House, Murata, Danny Salazar, and Bryce Stowell.
That's what this team won it's title on really. They had some good offensive performances, but guys like Ryan Rohlinger are filler and Adam Abraham might be a nice prospect, but he's not high-impact like someone like Jesus Aguilar. But in addition to Aguilar, Tyler Holt, Ronny Rodriguez, and Chun Chen can all potentially make some sort of an impact if they move forward.
Either way, it was a talented team and a well deserved run to the EL finals and win. Congrats to Chris Tremie and everyone involved.
Asdrubal Cabrera returned to action Saturday night against the Tigers. The wrist felt good enough to go for the first time in under a week after Cabrera went through batting practice without any issue.
"He went through batting practice and felt no discomfort," said Indians manager Manny Acta. "Going forward, we're still going to have to monitor that. But he's good to go."
Cabrera went 1-for-4 with a RBI, but he struck out three times in the process. Much better results on Sunday with a 2-or-4 game with two runs scored and a walk.
While Cabrera returned on Saturday, the Indians saw Jason Donald get a nice stinger on Friday courtesy of Justin Verlander. X-rays came back negative after he was hit in the forearm, but Donald said it was painful and he'll be day-to-day. Acta says he can run and play defense.
The last thing you want to see is JD get hurt again in that area. It really set him back before the season even started last year and you'd hate to see it come up as an issue again.
Before the Aeros claimed victory on Saturday night, they lost on Friday, with Trenton avoiding the sweep. It was an 11-7 game in the Thunders favor, thanks in part to Carlos Carrasco giving up four runs in his two innings of work. It was his third shot at a rehab outing and from here he'll go to Arizona, but you figured he'd eventually find some struggles at some point.
The biggest blow was a three-run shot, so it's not like he really labored. He also gave them all up in the first inning and didn't walk a hitter. So, there's some silver lining there.
I'm sure all that news was great, and...important...but the item I cared most about has not been covered. Upon arriving back home this past weekend, Shin-Soo Choo decided he was going to change up his at-bat music. So our friends at MLB Plate Music will have to make some adjustments.
And according to MLB's Zack Meisel, Choo said that everyone would be dancing in the stands.
Heck, I'm dancing in my living room. Not really, because I can't dance. I only wish I could be this awesome...
I've never heard of this "gangnam style" craze before this. But holy crap. This is fantastic. If only Choo would come to plate like that, it would be even more epic. This trumps International Love by far. Why have Pitbull when you can have this? I'm not kidding, I've probably listened to this 10 times this weekend.
And come hell or high water, by the end of the season, I'll have some sort of gif of this dude dancing with Choo's head on it. Don't worry about that.