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Indians Indians Archive Morning Rundown: The One Where Matt Carson Runs for Mayor...and Wins
Written by Nino Colla

Nino Colla

CarsonWalkoffAll I can replay in my head this morning is, "Who is Karim Garcia..."

Why? Because I keep replaying Matt Carson's hit. Like, who is Matt Carson? Really, we don't know the guy. It isn't a slight on him like "Who is Karim Garcia" is on Karim Garcia. And Karim Garcia might be a fine gentleman.

And we know Matt Carson is, based off what people say. But we don't really know him. All we know is that he came up with one of the biggest hits of this 2013 Cleveland Indians season.


W: Bryan Shaw (5-3)

L: Rhiner Cruz (0-2)


So let's learn a little bit about the guy. Didya know he is 32 years old? Did ya? Cause he is. Yeah he's a oldie, but young in major league years. He attended BYU, rawr, cougars.

He was a Yankee draft pick in 2002, in the fifth round. He's from California.

He's a gothic dad, who likes heavy metal... Wait a second here..

Okay, that last part was from a Twitter page that I found. Because after California, I got nothing. But what I do know is that he is 7-for-9 this season for the Tribe and he just got a huge hit last night for this team . Who would have thought?

"You can hear the guys in there right now," Francona said. "He's come up and impacted the Major League team. He goes in, he plays defense, he gets hits. It's kind of rewarding to see a good kid get rewarded like that."

Guys like that, I mean, we're talking about one of the last guys on the bench. Yan Gomes said after the game that they initiated him into the Goon Squad. So there's that now. But shoot, how great it is for a guy who has been in relative obscurity come up with the big hit of the game and again, one of the biggest hits of this season. Carson said it was probably the pinnacle of his career, to this point, and likely, it will end up as the pinnacle of his career.

Fellow Indians Blogger T.J. Zuppe said on Twitter that he'll probably go down as this generation's Bill Selby. If you remember Selby, other than nicknaming Travis Hafner, his big accomplishment was a walk-off grand slam against Mariano Rivera. Occasionally, someone will say, "Hey, remember that time the best closer ever was beat by BILLY SELBY!?"

Down the road, someone will be, "Hey, remember that time Matt Carson had a walk-off hit in the Indians postseason chase? What ever happened to that guy?"

That's not a slight at Carson, he's just another guy who will come and go eventually, but at least he's one that we will remember for something special. 

"As long as I'm helping the team doing what they're trying to accomplish," Carson said, "in any way I can, whether it's playing defense, running the bases or getting a hit here or there, that's what I'm here to do. I give Tito credit for getting me in there when he can."

And Carson, he's fine with it. He even said he's had a good experience in this game. So for him, this was fun and something he can go on and live the rest of his life with having as a memory to tell his grandchildren. Certainly something really cool that a lot of us can't say

In a game though, that featured the 29th ranked pitching staff in strikeouts, striking out a team 12 times, and that same 101(now 2) loss team holding the other team to one run, I guess this was the most fitting ending for a Tribe win. The least likeliest individual getting the most important hit.

"It's a fun way to play," Francona said, "when everybody in that room knows that they've got a chance to be in the game. Sometimes in the American League, you throw nine guys out there and you play. Our guys know that when they show up, they all have a chance to get in and help us win."

No one else certainly came up with it. Prior to Carson's knock, the Indians were 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position. They had their opportunities. They had 12 hits on the night, four of them from Nick Swisher who certainly tried to rally something on more than one occasion.

The other aspect to this, of course other than the stellar bullpen work to get the Indians through the 11 innings, was The Biggest of the Us. Ubaldo Jimenez, stellar once again in seven frames and this is the only stat you will ever need to know in terms of the turnaround that Jimenez has had.



Seriously? The guy couldn't go a game without walking four hitters and now he's striking out 10 hitters and walking NONE on a regular basis? Who is this guy? He didn't even do this stuff in Colorado, let alone pitch well.

The one run that even scored? Garbage. Seriously, a few bloop hits strung together in the second in a row. That's what it took. It took that and a sac-fly to get a run off the guy. If one of those hits doesn't fall in like that, no runs score, this game is over in the ninth with a shutout. Jimenez had that game from the very beginning and he almost found a way out of that situation in the second.

Overall, well-pitched, a little poor offensively with the big hit, defense was much more sharp than it was Wednesday night, all-in-all, good game to win. Perhaps Carson had the big hit that opens up the flood gates and settles the rest of the crew into it.

Random Notes...

Can I say this? Two weeks ago, Matt Carson might have been pinch-hit for by Jason Kubel in that situation, no? But the way Kubel has swung the bat since coming over, and the fact that Carson has just hit every time he's played, gotta love leaving him in there in that situation. What's it say about Kubel?

The lineup looked interesting by the end of it all. Tito was pretty much throwing it all out the window with his moves. He had Swisher pinch-run for, which resulted in him having to shuffle things around when the Indians didn't score late. He ended up giving up his DH, which you can do with a deep bench and players to pinch hit and relievers only going one inning. 

Asdrubal Cabrera's new motto: Home run or swinging bunt.

Chris Perez's ninth inning was, interesting. He struck out the side, two with the bases loaded. After getting Crowe, he gave up a double to that Krauss guy (what?), hit Dominguez with a pitch and walked Chris Carter. Then he came back and got the strikeouts to end the frame. That was the most eventful inning, but even the 10th got dicey with the leadoff double that Cody Allen gave up.

Allen got some defensive help though, in Yan Gomes making a throw to second on pinch runner Elmor that Asdrubal brilliantly scooped up and tagged him out with. That saved that inning if you ask me.

Gomes had several brilliant throws. Certainly tried to atone for last night's miscue by nabbing Altuve at one point, the pick-off, and just his strong ability behind that dish last night.

The amount of jokes with LJ Hoes name are endless, let's just put it at that and agree to share the really funny ones.

12,607 came off as pretty energetic and loud last night, at least on TV. Get out to the park damn yous.


The Rays-Rangers series ended as how you would have kind of hoped it to. I think it was actually a good thing that the two teams split, because it keeps the Indians in striking distance of the top spot in their 2-2 trek during the span those two teams played. So we are in the same situation we've been in several times this week, which is fine. Now the two teams split off and play different people.

If both lose and the Indians win? 

I don't need to tell you. Each team is at 83, inching closer to that number we are shooting for in 89. Six wins, nine games left. The other teams?

We'll, we got a taste last night about just how difficult it may be for these other teams as they embark on the other parts of their schedule and the Indians face teams like Houston and Chicago. The Yankees fell to a hungry Toronto team that may be last in the AL East, but, it's the AL East! That team was picked to win by a lot of people. They have talent and they've faced these four juggernauts all season long. They want to ruin some seasons like theirs has been. Luckily a lot of these people have to face that Toronto team.

Baltimore fell to Boston, which is just tough...

Hate to keep repeating it all day after day, but yeah, the Indians are set. Just keep winning and this all falls into place, because honestly, you could say the Indians go 9-0 the rest of the way through and believe it.

You can't say that about any other team because of the schedule they have. Just keep winning, one game at a time, and this all takes care of itself.


Finally seeming to have a decent night was Jason Kipnis, who has been in a bit of a rut at the dish as of late. His manager thinks he may be struggling a little bit because of fatigue .

"I think he might be a little bit tired," Tribe manager Terry Francona said Thursday. "He skipped BP yesterday with my blessing. He plays pretty hard, and he's pretty hard on himself. I think he just got a little worn out. He hit that ball to center field pretty good yesterday. He'll be fine."

And he seemed to be fine last night. There's an off day coming up. You have to remember Kipnis has played 140 games and that is with missing time because of an injury, so he's pretty much been in there every day since the ASB ended aside from a game or two. Tito said that whatever wall he's hitting is going to "fall" pretty soon.

Most people bring up last year's wall. Which is valid. Now we probably had this conversation last year, but he's still a young guy, getting accustomed to the long season. But that excuse only carries you so far. The fatigue is likely the amount he's been playing and the high intensity he's playing at in each of those games. Last year he ended up hitting .180 in August, but bounced back for a .274/.369/.372 September. He only hit one home run though. This year he is a t .218/.313 with just a home run and three RBI.

On Wednesday night, Danny Salazar was on a little bit of a longer leash pitch wise. After letting him go a bit to start out, the Indians started to reign in his innings to try and limit Salazar, who is coming off an extended Tommy John surgery rehabilitation and has an arm you best be protecting like a glass vase. 

Now, they're going to loosen their grip  and let him fly a bit more. 

"We've gotten to a point in the year now where we're actually starting to stretch him back a little bit," Francona said, "and he looks strong. Now, we're not going to let him go out there and just flail away at 130 pitches."

That's certainly a plus, given the situation the Indians are in with not having Masterson. And shoot, let's be real, he's got one more start left in the regular season anyway. After that, if there is an after, you'd think his arm would fit really nicely into that bullpen. 

Salazar though is three years removed from his surgery, but the biggest reason for the cautious care is how they've been building him up since. You don't want to push too much on a young arm, especially one that is coming off that reconstructive surgery. Next year will be next year and the limit gets pushed a little more, but for this year, the Indians are sticking with the plan and so far, so good.

Talked about Giambi yesterday, so won't bother much with this one, but it is funny seeing Terry Francona say that Jason Giambi has "carte blanche" in regards to speaking  with his teammates. He really is a player-coach out there. Seriously. You might as well give him that title and pay him his salary for being a coach rather than a player. That's what's going on.

"When it comes from a manager too much, it can be considered panicking or nitpicking," Francona said. "When it's coming from a teammate, it's being a good teammate. I've always felt like when you have solid leaders in the clubhouse that care enough to police themselves, those are the teams that are good. It never fails. I can pick out all kinds of stuff, but when it comes from within, when they care about each other enough to say something strong to each other, that's when you've got a good thing going."

I used to get yelled at for wanting to emphasize clubhouse leadership or veteran experience. I was barked at when I defended having Trot Nixon around. But look where that team went and look at their camaraderie. Look at the way this team plays the game and the attitude they possess. It's valuable, don't knock it.


Nino is in full baseball mode here and on The Tribe Daily, his own Indians blog. Don't miss all the fun, photoshopped Indians players, and LOLTribe ridiciulousness.

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