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5.01.2013

Mini Rundown: Indians Ambush Halladay and Phillies, Pile Up Homers

Nino Colla | Wednesday, May 01, 2013 | | | | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

Speechless. Absolutely speechless as to what the heck is going on with this offense right now. Three days in a row now that this offense has suddenly erupted. And while beating up on a guy just called up from the minor leagues is one thing, getting to Wade Davis is another, absolutely ambushing Roy Halladay is a whole different story.

Photo - AP via Yahoo! Sports
I don't care if it is Roy Halladay's former self, a Halladay that is not as good as he used to be. It's still Roy Halladay, a capable major league starter even at this stage of his career.

The Indians made him look like Will Smith.

Who is this offense and where did they come from? Is this the offense that we all thought was possible when this lineup was assembled? I mean, I think it is what they are capable of, and that's without Bourn setting the table.

PHILLIES - 2 | INDIANS - 14
W: Zach McAllister (2-3)
L: Roy Halladay (2-3)
[BOXSCORE]

On the win over the Phillies, Jason Giambi pretty much summed up what I said right up there in a few shorter sentences.

"I think we're starting to get on that roll a little bit," Indians designated hitter Jason Giambi said. "We've pushed through the tough times and we're starting to play really well offensively. That game tonight, against Roy, that's unbelievable to have that type of game tonight against him."

So yeah, I'm not sure why I wasted the letters. So what I'm going to do now is just go through all the fun statistics from last night. Why not start from the top?

Michael Brantley's two-run homer came in the fifth inning off Chad Durbin. He was the last regular who had not yet hit a home run. So, welcome to the party Michael.

Jason Kipnis had a pair of hits and scored a run, and it is clear that he is starting to turn things around and regain his footing. He also stole his fifth base. Kipnis was quick to dismiss his one home run on Monday and looked toward stringing multi-hit games together, which he did last night.

"We're just looking at last year's videos right now," Kipnis said. "We're looking at last year's hits, what was going right, what was going well. I'm trying to get back to that swing. I'm just trying to shorten down the swing and get quicker to the ball."

Asdrubal Cabrera had a run of multi-hit games going, but that ended last night. No bother, he managed to knock in a pair of runs off a measly single. It wasn't one of the seven home runs hit last night, but it came at a time when the game was only 4-1 and Roy Halladay had two outs looking to get out of the frame. Cabrera's single not only scored a pair and extended the inning, it chased Halladay from the game before the fourth inning could even end. No telling where the game could have gone from there had Cabrera not come through. Cabby was the only starter to not score a run.

Carlos Santana had probably the best game of anyone in the game. Santana's lone hit was one of the home runs, a two run shot that started the party in the first inning (with two outs). He then proceeded to walk three times. He didn't score anymore runs, but he effectively made Halladay and the bullpen work extra hard by throwing more pitches and having to deal with him on base. Santana is in a different world right now.

Jason Giambi did not homer, nor did he knock in any runs, but he doubled and scored twice and had the comic relief of the evening when he dove into first base when he didn't even have to. Seriously, not only did Howard not attempt to throw the ball on the hit that ricocheted off Ryan Howard's glove, it was the eighth inning of 14-2 ball game. That's a ball player people. Giambi was the only starter to not knock in a run, but also the only one other than Santana to garner a walk.

Mark Reynolds upped his team leading RBI and HR totals with a two-run shot in the first inning, following Santana's shot a few batters later. He now leads the team with 22 RBI and eight home runs. According to Jordan Bastian, that is the most by an Indian in April since 2001, when Juan Gonzalez matched the HR total and knocked in 26 runs. What's the best about this? Historically Reynolds has only had one worse month, September where he averages .204/.307/.388. In April after this month he averages .230/.321/.476. It only goes up from here with the numbers for Reynolds in terms of his hot months.

Lonnie Chisenhall blasted his third of the year off Roy Halladay in the fourth inning, also a two run shot. He has now homered off Halladay, Lucas Harrell, and David Price. He didn't do anything else in the game, but the home run had some separation early on when the game was still close.

Ryan Raburn, or should I say, Rakin' Ryan Raburn, hit two home runs for the second game in a row. The last Indian to do that? Travis Hafner some nine years ago. Raburn said his homers come in bunches, and that bunch of homers is enough to last a month. He has upped his average in just two games from .214, which what he was hitting after the second game of the double header against Kansas City, 20 .320, which is where he stands now. His seven hits in two games is two less than his total before Monday. So there's that.

And finally, Drew Stubbs' 3-for-4 night was capped off by a solo shot, which immediately followed one of Raburn's two blasts, in the seventh inning. Stubbs stole his fourth base of the year, and scored three times total.

Two other at-bats were had, one by Mike Aviles who had a single, and Yan Gomes who hit into a double play with the bases loaded. Rats.

So what else can we dig up?

All but one of the Indians home runs came with two outs, meaning they hit six home runs with two outs and the number of two-out RBI in this one? 12, two less than the runs scored. That is some clutch hitting, regardless of the score.

All but two of the homers were two-run shots, so they were double the fun for the most part. The one thing the Tribe did not manage to do? Hit an eighth home run, which is the team record for most home runs in one game. It was set in 1997 against Milwaukee and matched in 2004 against Seattle. The seven homers was the most they've hit in Progressive Field though.

And the last time Roy Halladay gave up that many runs in so few innings? 2000 against the Indians.

Fear the Tribe.

Random Notes...

Oh yeah the Indians did have a starter go last night, despite not needing one. He said he had a lot of fun and his name was Zach McAllister. He went seven strong innings and gave up two solo shots. other than that he gave up five hits and a walk. He was as solid as solid can be, but that got lost in all the runs scored.

The name that was conspicuously missing from all that fun? Nick Swisher, who is usually in every sentence that contains the word fun, except for that previous sentence because I used it to set this sentence up. Anyway, Swisher was held out and will likely be held out on Wednesday too with a sore shoulder. Francona says it is a result of him switching so much between first and right field.

"His left shoulder has been nagging at him a little bit," Francona said on Tuesday. "We've been playing the heck out of him. I told him I'd give him tonight off. ... It wouldn't be a shocker if he doesn't play [Wednesday], either."

And after that, no need to force him in there.

Nick Hagadone walked a pair, but managed to wiggle his way out of the inning, playing magic man for the second straight night. And Matt Albers had a clean frame himself in the ninth inning.

In addition to the Swisher news, the Indians have a few other ailments. Michael Bourn will be starting a rehab assignment soon, but the date has yet to be determined. He was hitting off a tee yesterday and playing catch, so it could be within days at this point.

Brett Myers still has not begun throwing yet, but could after two weeks of rest which will be marked on Friday. Re-evaluation will happen at that point and he could begin slowly progressed throw a throwing program.

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