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Indians Indians Archive Morning Rundown: Ignore Them, They're Just 40,000 Fans in Yellow Shirts
Written by Nino Colla

Nino Colla

RHernandez02A Hernandez won and a Hernandez lost. That was very likely with two starting in Seattle on Tuesday night. Of course it would have been even more impressive if a Hernandez got a save. Someone call the OTHER Roberto Hernandez. You know, the one that is old as dirt and was still old as dirt when he pitched for the Indians. He could probably still get it up there.

August 21st, 2012

Cleveland Indians - 1

Seattle Mariners - 5

W: Felix Hernadnez (12-5) L: Roberto Hernandez (0-2) S: Lucas Luetge (2)


Roberto Hernandez did half of what Felix Hernandez did last time he pitched. He was throwing a no-hitter. Hernandez retired the side in order (walked John Jaso in the second, retired him on a double play) until Eric Thames (that guy again?) hit a solo shot with two outs in the fifth inning. After a clean sixth, and the Indians tying things up in the top of the seventh on a Casey Kotchman single, the world fell in. 

Fausto would give up a walk, a single, and a double, letting up another run score, but Esmil Rogers would come in and let more damage be done, surrendering a three-run shot immediately to Jesus Montero.

So in other words, Fausto wasn't even allowed to let that damage be done, he had to watch someone else massacre his outing.

Did it really matter though? With the guy they were facing, it was all about the King and it was all eyes on him to see if he could repeat the feat, even though it is highly unlikely. Acta wasn't concerned about any sort of perfect game, but rather just staying in there with Felix, which they did for some time.

"It was unfortunate," Acta said, "because I thought that Hernandez, our Hernandez,threw the ball very well, too, and matched up pretty good against Felix."

The King is certainly a draw as the Mariners pulled in close to 40,000 people (and gave every single one of them a yellow shirt and 'K' card), which is insane for a team that is pretty much out of it as well. But Felix draws a crowd to his court, especially coming off a perfect game, and he certainly dazzled that court. Brent Lillibridge explains...

"Other than the 35,000 fans wearing the Felix shirts?" he said. "It's kind of hard not to notice it. He fared a lot better than my buddy Phil Humber did after his perfect game. Obviously, Felix is Felix. He's going to go out there with great stuff every game and compete."

It was certainly a worthy follow up as Felix tossed an inning shy of eight complete giving up just that one run to Kotchman, walking just one and striking out five. Heck, you might even call it playoff-like atmosphere with that many fans in a game in late August. Those are the only stadiums that draw those crowds this late in the season. And it is certainly a first for two teams in the bottom halves of their divisions.

The Roberto version of Hernandez went the six-plus giving up less hits, three, but of course the four runs thanks to Esmil Rogers, who only gave up one earned run in his inning of work. He walked two and struck out two, but I'd say overall, Fausto pitched damn good. He only tossed 72 pitches, which is crazy for not even completing the seventh. If I would have known Rogers would have come in and would throw garbage to give up that homer, I'd have just let Fausto earn those damn runs that scored. Two runs in six innings looks a lot better than four.

And if it has to be there, it might as well be his own doing, not someone else's mess-up.

Random Details...

Trayvon Robinson made a nice catch in the fifth inning, so really the hot-hitting Kotchman should have had three hits instead of two, but either way, it was a good game for the first baseman.

Seventh inning, Acta was going for more and the lead with runners on first and third and less than two outs. Against a guy like Felix, a suicide squeeze to get some sort of run seems like a fantastic call and with Lillibridge at the plate, it seems like even more of a fantastic call. Of course, when you don't get the bunt down and Brantley gets hung out to dry, then that of course would present a problem and perhaps that changed momentum, but either way, it was a failed attempt, but it was the right call to make.

The Indians out-hit the Mariners in this one, so it really was just a case of that Rogers home run really dampening things. Kipnis and Santana also had two hits, Brantley and Choo were both on with hits, so there was plenty of opportunities. I kind of expect a team to go 1-for-7 with RISP in a game against King Felix, which is why I have no problem with Acta calling for that squeeze play when he did in a tie game in the seventh. It makes perfect sense if you can execute correctly.

And it is probably the best shot you have because you will go 1-for-7 with RISP against a guy like that, he is that good and more likely than not will buckle down in some fashion.

And I thought Manny Acta was bad, but John Jaso hitting cleanup? Kyle Seager in the three hole? Eric Wedge is crazy man. You can get away with that when you have a horse like Hernandez though.


The worst kept secret about Josh Tomlin's evaluation is finally out. Well, it wasn't really a secret, because you know, he didn't actually have the information. But it is in fact happening, Josh Tomlin will undergo Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.

And he might as well be out of sight, out of mind at this point. Yeah you might have Carlos Carrasco next year, but you won't have Tomlin as an option for anything. Tomlin's elbow has been giving him issues since last year and lately it was reportedly a problem. We've wondered here what exactly was going on and if it has anything to do with his struggles. Maybe it has effected him, maybe the real Josh Tomlin is the one we saw most of 2011 when he demonstrated much better control and command of his pitches. Acta thinks so at least.

"It's something that he needed to get done," Indians manager Manny Acta said, "in order for him to be able to compete the way he was able to compete in the past. Without a doubt," Acta said. "When guys are having those type of symptoms, the first thing to be affected is the command. Command is such a big part of his game."

Whatever the case may be, Tomlin is not pitching for the Cleveland Indians in 2013 and it may be some time before we see him out again on a major league mound. The point in time when he is back will be a long time from now, so as we did with Carrasco last year, out of sight, out of mind for the time being. Of course depending on what the Indians do with him in terms of starter or reliever, that would impact how he's brought back, but it really does take more than a year to fully recover, so even if he is a factor next year as a reliever, I really believe that would be a long-shot.

Speaking of Carlos Carrasco, he is just now starting to get back to game action with him throwing for the Arizona League Tribe later this week. It would be great if Carrasco could be a factor in next season's rotation because as we've seen and have talked about, there ain't much in terms of depth for this team in the rotation. They need a guy like Carrasco, even if he's going to be using the first half of 2013 to get himself re-acclimated to the big league mound. It will be right around that period where he's supposed to be fully recovered, but there still is an adjustment period.

There is still a lot he has to go through in his recovery from Tommy John, so while I'd count on him being around and pitching, I don't think you can expect him to immediately get back onto track, but also get to that point where he can exceed what we came to be known as Carlos Carrasco.

Lonnie Soloff provided an update on Rafael Perez's sprained ankle and says that he hopes and that the plan is for him to play this year. Of course the injury that originally sidelined him is probably already cleared up at this point.

I guess since we are talking about players who've missed 2012, I guess we should bring up Grady Sizemore, who has undergone yet another setback in regards to... Honestly, what is he coming back from this time? I kind of forget. Either way, he's dealing with soreness in his knee and he's been shutdown for yet another two weeks and it is now being said that he is unlikely to return to games this season.

So in other words, the Indians really did give away money. I know we've been over this before and the idea of not really getting their money's worth from Sizemore this season but now it is a reality. Not only will they not get anything from Sizemore, they won't really get anything. Before maybe he would have played and you could have said he at least played. Now he really won't even play and you can now consider it a complete lost cause.

And Manny Acta probably put it the best. Overall, it's just sad.

"It's sad," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "I won't call it disappointing. I'm just sad for the human being that he is, and the type of player that he is. Especially for me, because one of the things that attracted me the most to this job was Grady Sizemore, being able to have a player that was going to help me win ballgames by himself. A lot of things have happened over the last three, four years that have been completely out of his control. The guy played the game right. He was an elite player in this league. Unfortunately, over the last three or four seasons, he hasn't been able to do it."

Acta did go on to say that he would not "erase" him completely from playing baseball again. And I hesitate to say that we've seen the last of Sizemore, because I can see that with how loyal the Indians have been to him, that he signs his minor league deal with the Indians, because quite frankly, that's all he's probably going to get, or that's all the Indians will offer. If some team out there wants to offer him some sort of guaranteed money, they are insane and deserve to lose it because it is that much of a risk.

Have we seen the last of Grady Sizemore? Eh, who knows, maybe not. We certainly won't be seeing him at all in 2012 though.

Wrapping up our trip around all the injured people and capping off the discussion about Tommy John surgery, Hector Rondon tossed one scoreless inning as a starter for the AZL squad. He walked one and also struck out one. Rondon has been on one heck of a long road to recovery as he's missed nearly three full seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery at the end of 2010. He was shutdown for most of the year with elbow soreness and opted for the rest and recovery method to his injury, only to get to the end of 2010 and have the Indians decide surgery needed to take place.

Rondon made two starts and pitched three innings for the Scrappers last year and now he's in AZL trying to kick-start his rehab process once again. Maybe we'll see him in Columbus' rotation next year, maybe won't. Whatever the case may be, Rondon is pitching against live hitting again and that certainly is not a bad thing.

Also in that game, outfielder LeVon Washington went 3-3 and played in center field knocking in two runs in the process and scoring one. He also stole a base in his second rehab appearance for the AZL Tribe as he attempts to make it back to the Lake County Captains team this season. #WashTime has missed most of 2012 after undergoing hip surgery.

Lonnie Chisenhall is progressing, in Lonnie Soloff's words, "beautifully" through his rehab regimen from a fractured forearm. He says Chiz's goal has been to return in September and that he's dedicated himself to it and it could lead to his return this season.

Which would be great to see. Next week when the Indians return home (thankfully), Chisenhall will likely begin the normal batting practice, running, infield drills, all that fun stuff that ball players do. From there it's a rehab outing with what's left of the minor league season, perhaps Akron playoffs.


Not many other notes not related to injuries, but how about 17-year-old Dorssys Paulino? He's already reached short-season Mahoning Valley in such a short time and he was named the Indians Minor League Player of the Week for his work with the Rookie League squad. The shortstop hit .560 with three homers and three doubles, knocking in nine runs. Holy crap he's young! And he's a shortstop!

What a sign Paulino was not too long ago, usually those international free agents don't start making waves this quickly, but Paulino, he's on the fast-track now.

I just have to laugh that Paul Hoynes is still torturing Eric Wedge despite the fact that he's clear-across the country on another coast. Check out the sidebar to Hoynes' Insider column where he includes the quote from Michael Saunders. I didn't even know that Wedge's grind talk was "School of Grind" but uh, that just sounds wrong. So let's not even venture into it.


Nino has a blog! Give it a vist at The Tribe Daily, because his caught stealing percentage is higher than 12 percent.

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