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Indians Indians Archive Morning Rundown: Tribe Puts in Hard Day of Work on Labor Day
Written by Nino Colla

Nino Colla

ChooStealBoy the Tigers are not going to like playing the Indians down the stretch if the Indians can play like THAT in the remaining five games they have with them. It could be fun to play the spoiler with nothing left to win.

September 3rd, 2012

Cleveland Indians - 3

Detroit Tigers - 2

W: Corey Kluber (1-3) L: Darin Downs (1-1) S: Vinnie Pestano (2)


That's a well oiled machine right there. Your leadoff hitter is on four times, three times through a walk, while the guys following him collect two hits each. Your starter goes six and gives up two runs, that's a quality start. Your bullpen does the routine 7-8-9 with a one-run lead to nail it down.

You would have a hard time believing that the Cleveland Indians did all of those things in this victory over the Tigers, but guess what? They did and it looks to be the first complete game this squad has played in a long time. From the defense turning a few double plays, the steals, the key-hits, getting on base, the bullpen, everything. It all worked on Labor Day.

It's one of those games that you can't really point to one thing and say that there was something that made the most difference. It's a game you have to do EVERYTHING right to win and the Indians did just that. They did everything and everything well. A real sight for sore eyes lately after some of the games this team has played. It was nice to see it, almost refreshing and reminiscent of what the Indians did earlier this year when they were beating the Tigs on a regular basis.

But if you did want to point to something in particular, the steals seemed pretty big, especially considering that they didn't record a single extra-base hit. Believe it, 11 hits and not one of them was for more than a base. So that's why it is important to take your 14 single bases and turn some of them into two-baggers with the steals.

"[The steals were] very important because if you look at the box score, all we got was singles," manager Manny Acta said. "We were able to be aggressive on the bases and have some success. Stolen bases were huge for us."

Really though, the only steal that really mattered in terms of scoring, was Lou Marson's in the seventh. Even though Choo ended up walking, Marson's threat and pressure could have very well had Darin Downs pressing. To me, when you throw four straight balls to walk a guy in the at-bat, you must have thoughts elsewhere. So Marson got to him in that instance and it was a big help in setting up Asdrubal Cabrera to drive a ball deep enough for a sac-fly.

It's a game in which they didn't score a lot, but they did hit a lot and got the at-bats they needed to get. Heck, only one hit scored a run, but when you can get guys in position to score and bring them home without having to come up with the hit, then you are doing it right.

Nothing better than doing all of that in order to help Corey Kluber win his first major league game.

"He pitched very well," Acta said. "We took him out there [after the sixth], wanted him to leave on a good note and he ended up getting his first win in the Major Leagues. We're very happy for the kid."

Kluber was efficient enough, giving up just a walk, striking out four, spreading out the hits to the point where it didn't hurt too much. He tossed 60 strikes out of the 95 pitches, which got him through six. A very nice looking line of numbers there and really, I think it's all starting to come together a little better for Kluber. That's four good starts in a row for him now and two where I've just really been impressed with what he's brought to the table. One walk, 11 strikeouts, 12 innings, five runs. It's not outstanding but you can start to see what made him successful in the minors.

And that's the rewarding part of September and just these guys getting their chances in general. Canzler is playing now regularly and he had a hit last night. Heck, Cody Allen got a huge opportunity to come into a situation in the seventh with a one run lead and he delivered.

This is the enjoyable part of baseball. August wasn't any fun not just because of the losing but the way the game was being played. It wasn't a lack of effort or anything it was simply just bad baseball, almost as if it was a contagious disease that no one could get rid of to break the string.

It looks like the disease has been eradicated and we're back to seeing good ball played on that diamond. September might just be a little bit more fun after all.

Random Details...

Kipnis and Cabrera both doing what they can to bust out of their ruts. Cabrera had both RBIs on the afternoon and up until tonight, had been mired in a bit of a slump that saw him have just two hits in his last 10 games. Of course he also does this in his return to the lineup, as he was off a few days due to some soreness in his wrist.

"He's fine," Acta said. "We wanted to give him those two days because it was recommended by the medical staff, so he wouldn't make it any worse. But this is what we expected, and he's ready to go."

Also stepping up in the bullpen was Esmil Rogers, who was entrusted to pitch the eighth with Chris Perez out. Sure Joe Smith could have been thrown out there but why not give Rogers a chance? Heck, you give Cody Allen that push and he responds. Rogers did the same, tossing a perfect frame to get through the eighth rather effectively. Just 15 pitches, nine of them for strikes, ho-hum, come again.

He of course set up for Pestano to notch his second save of the season and in three days. He'll now relinquish the closer's role back to a returning Chris Perez, but it was a nice little stint for him to nab a few saves and prove he can do the job.

Aside from Marson stealing, ChooCarrera and Lillibridge all nabbed bases, with Choo getting his 17th of the season.

The first run was scored on a based ball. Right place, right time.


The Indians will make a call for more players as the Clippers conclude their 2012 season. Later today the Indians will bring up two pitchers and two position players. They are left-handed bullpen option Scott Maine and left-handed starter David Huff and infielder Cord Phelps and first baseman/outfielder Vinny Rottino

I doubt you see Rottino play a whole heck of a lot and if Huff starts on a regular basis, I'd be shocked. You will see guys like Carrera, Neal, and Canzler play, but that means there is less time for a guy like Rottino, especially if Hafner and Chisenhall both return and play a little bit.

Manny Acta has already said that Russ Canzler will get his share of time and talked about what he brings to the table.

"He's an interesting guy and we're going to give him an extended look," Acta said. "It's only been two games, but he's showing the ability to have a decent at-bat. He caused a bit of an impression in Spring Training, he tailed of at the end and he just had an OK season in Triple-A ... but we feel he can give us quality at-bats, so we're going to see."

Canzler said that he maybe put a little more pressure on himself to repeat his numbers from last year, but I like what he has. He's a nice little right-handed power stick and I think some people can get turned off that he is compared to Matt LaPorta. We've really never seen what Canzler has to offer at the big league level. The guy was a doubles machine in Columbus and really I could see him being a decent power threat the Indians could plug into first or left field. I mean, why not? 

The Indians will be continuing to call-up players like Canzler from Triple-A Columbus well into 2016 as the two sides have agreed on a two-year extension already. The partnership has been a perfect match for both sides and it has been such a great success so far.

"We are pleased to extend our relationship with the Columbus Clippers, taking us through the 2016 season," Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said in a statement. "The Clippers are a first-class organization that provides our players and staff with a Major League-caliber operation and facility. We look forward to continuing this unique opportunity of developing our upper-level prospects in the heart of our regional fanbase."

It's a great operation that they are running in Columbus and with it being so close, with such a good fan base, it really makes so much sense.

Zach McAllister meanwhile is going through some sort of a reverse Corey Kluber. While Kluber had his initial struggles and has now since righted the ship, McAllister started off great and has since run into a bit of a wall.

"First of all, he's human," Acta said. "We're not on top of our game physically and mentally on an everyday basis, and he didn't have his best stuff in his last outing, especially ... I think everybody has to go through it, and he went through it last year when he came up and learned from it. The best in the business go through it, guys. We're all human."

And that's essentially what I said yesterday. He has to go through his learning period. It's the "eat it and shut up" phase of the season for him and perhaps his major league career. It tastes nasty but you have to do it.

In the regular season finale for the Clippers, Lonnie Chisenhall started at DH and went 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts. That marks his second straight rehab game and puts him on track to make a start and hopefully play all nine in the field later in the week for the Aeros

He'll be joined by Carlos Carrasco, who will pitch in one inning on Wednesday for the Aeros in the first playoff game. It's good to see Carrasco getting back on the mound, even if it's just for one inning in Akron. 


Nino has a blog! Give it a visit at The Tribe Daily, because his fridge is covered in plenty of quotes about the Cleveland Indians.

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