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4.25.2013

Mini Rundown: Sick Lineup Can't Support Shaky McAllister

Nino Colla | Thursday, April 25, 2013 | | | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

I've figured it out. I keep saying that I like day games. I do, I really do. But I always find myself disliking them and I think I figured out why.

If the Indians lose, I highly dislike it. I dislike it more if I was to watch the game. These day games that fall during the week. I can deal with them, and I like the aspect of day baseball when its nice and can be watched with the enjoyment of good weather.

But I figured it out. I just hate the outcome of the Indians losing and not knowing all the full details. I can survive on an Indians win and not knowing the small details that went into it. I simply just can't stand a loss that I know little about.

So how to add context to this defeat? Just muscle through I guess. I'm a regular Z-Mac.

INDIANS - 2 | WHITE SOX - 3
W: Jose Quintana (2-0)
L: Zach McAllister (1-3)
S: Addison Reed (6)
[BOXSCORE]

So several aspects to this one just looking at it. The first is Zach McAllister, who I thought, given his numbers, did okay. He made one mistake to Rios, or even if you ask him, made a decent pitch that a really good hitter put a good swing on. Tito was pleased with his starter's effort though.

"He dodged some traffic," Francona said of McAllister. "They almost left with one run. He got ahead of Rios and a fastball came across the wrong part of the plate. Even though it was elevated, he ran into it for two runs -- two big runs. He kept competing and he kept them off the board."

This has really what McAllister has done all year. He really hasn't earned any of the three losses he has this April, having gone at least five innings in each start and not giving up more than three earned runs in any game.

The best part of his start thus far (even though it's 1-3) is that he has not pitched his best baseball. These past two games have been a little shaky with the eight walks, compared to the zero he had in the first two games (and in more innings to boot).

So McAllister will get better. Sure that start looked rough and you can probably correlate a better game for him that he goes deeper into and gives up less runs with the amount of walks he has. But he is doing one important thing that Francona mentioned already. He's keeping his team in the game and that's what a pitcher in his position just needs to do.
Photo - Getty Images via Yahoo! Sports

Perhaps if his offense came to his aid, but it was part Jose Quintana's continued success against the Indians, and part dismal situation hitting by the Indians, particularly in the case of Ryan Raburn.

Two situations, the first came in the fourth inning following a Mark Reynolds double and a Nick Swisher walk that loaded the bases with one out. Raburn promptly grounded out into a double play on the first pitch, a fastball.

"It's one of those at-bats I wish I could go back and do it over," Raburn said. "But I can't. It's part of the game. Sometimes you get them and sometimes you don't. ... I was trying to be aggressive. I was just a little too over-aggressive. It wasn't quite the pitch I should have went after."

And yet Raburn would get another chance to chip in and contribute in the lone inning the Indians would score runs in. But he would end up with a similar result. On yet another first pitch fastball, this time from reliever Nate Jones, Raburn would fly out to left to end the sixth.

It begs the question. Why is Ryan Raburn hitting fifth? 

I mean in this game, there really was no choice. So I can understand it more I guess. He's either fifth or sixth. With Carlos Santana out with the flu, and Asdrubal Cabrera having some weird quad injury, the "punch" was gone and people had to be moved up. So you accept that and move on.

But from now on, if Francona has the choice, he can't continue to hit Raburn up in the meat of the lineup. I know he doesn't want to move guys around, but it is not a sound move to make for a guy who is a bench player. It just doesn't work for me and I hope he has come to that realization that it makes the lineup suffer.

There was plenty of opportunities in this one. It wasn't for the lack of them. They may have not all been the best, but when you have the starter on the ropes, bases loaded and one out, you need a run out of that. You get a run out of that, you add on the two later and things are tied. Hell, you get a big hit with the bases loaded and a few runs score and this game is totally different.

So that's there. 

[RANDOM RUNDOWN]

Carlos Santana was out with some sickness, something that has him on medication and should be fine. Lou Marson ended up getting the start in his return from the disabled list. It marked the optioning of Yan Gomes to Columbus as was discussed earlier this week.

"It's nice to be back," Marson said. "I was hoping when I was hurt that I could travel with the team, because I didn't want to have to stay in Cleveland and be away from the guys."

Marson will now get his chance to reestablish himself as the backup and get more playing time against the left-handed hitters. He did not do well in this game with a left hander though. Marson said that he could not rotate and turn his neck without hurting, so he didn't feel comfortable playing in that state. 

Marson spent a lot of time on Twitter asking his followers how he could listen to and watch the Indians game. Must have been bored. He didn't tweet a gameplan or analysis like Kobe Bryant did though.

Good news in that whole, lengthening the lineup thing. Michael Bourn will be in Cleveland today to get evaluated and have his stitches removed from his finger. He will then resume baseball activities with the team in Kansas City and perhaps may be ready to roll on Tuesday when he's eligible to be activated off the disabled list.

Tito has noted that he's been pitch tracking in bullpen sessions, so he hasn't been totally inactive and I'm sure he's keeping the legs loose by running and working out in ways not related to his finger being used.

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