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Indians Indians Archive The B-List: 9/16
Written by Steve Buffum

Steve Buffum
Vic's power is back!  And Ryan Garko's!  And even Asdrubal Cabrera's!  The Tribe managed to blow an 8-1 lead and STILL win the game 12-9 last night because Tom Mastny pitched better than Joe Nathan.  Yeah, I had to read it twice, too.  In the B-List, Buff tosses around some bon mooks, rails against the use of Juan Rincon and Brendan Donnelly, and has something nice to say about the right fielder, whose name remains taboo.
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Indians (74-77) 0440000100312143

W: Mastny (2-2)  L: Nathan (0-2) 


1) And now for something completely the same

Fan: Don't you have something with less mook in it? 
Waitress: Well, there's Sabathia, Lee, mook, Carmona, and mook: that doesn't have so much mook in it. 
Fan: But I don't want ANY mooks! 
Waitress: No mooks?
Fan: I don't like mooks! 
Shapiro: I'll take your mooks!  I love ‘em!  I'm having mook, mook, Cliff Lee, mook, and mook!  (to waitress) Can I have mook instead of Cliff Lee in a couple of years? 
Waitress: You mean, you want mook, mook, mook, mook, and mook? 
Vikings: Mook, mook, mook, mook 
Mook, mook, mook, mook 
Mookity moooook!  Wonderful mooooooook! 

In an effort to look more like Jeremy Sowers than Jeremy Sowers, Zach Jackson produced a start in which he gave up an early run on a pair of singles and a walk (mixing in an egregious error for good measure, although the run was still earned), then sailing through the next three innings facing the minimum, inducing two double plays to erase the two baserunners (HBP, error). At this point, Jackson had induced 8 ground ball outs, 2 fly ball outs, and recorded 2 Ks.  This is an excellent GO:FO ratio (admittedly augmented by the DPs: only 6 men hit ground balls that produced outs), a non-terrible K rate, and he'd given up one run on two hits, one of which was a bunt single. 

In fact, at least partially because Jackson fielded the bunt from Matt Tolbert so ineptly, the second two hitters in the 2nd inning tried to bunt their way on and were unsuccessful.  But really, through four innings, Zach Jackson looked perfectly serviceable. 

One brisk single, groundout, double, single, single, single, run-scoring groundout sequence later, Jackson had parlayed an 8-1 lead into an 8-5 lead. 

See, now here is where I'd be likely to think, "You know what?  I probably got as much out of Zach Jackson as I'm going to get.  I mean, he started 3 of the first 5 hitters with a ball and gave up four stinking hits in a row.  That's probably not good.  Let's start the next inning with a fresh reliever." 

That didn't happen.  After four pitches, Jackson had two runners in scoring position with one out and left the game. 

I suppose I can take solace in the fact that Jackson ended up with a nice 12:2 GO:FO ratio, and that only one of his NINE hits was for extra bases.  I mean, he's keepin' the ball down and Westbrook has games like this sometimes.  But ... well, let's face it, nine hits and seven runs in 5 1/3 innings just sucks.

2) Managerial Head-Removers

With two men in scoring position, there is no one, no one, NO ONE less suited to the task of putting out that fire than Juan Rincon.  Juan Rincon inherited 7 runners as a Minnesota Twin this season.  He let all 7 score. 

He has inherited 12 runners as a Cleveland Indian.  He has let 10 of them score. 

Listen, that's almost inconceivable.  How can you be that bad at letting baserunners score?  And how the hell can you decide that, y'know, the guy I want to bring in with two men in scoring position is the ONE GUY WHO IS ALMOST GUARANTEED TO LET THEM SCORE?!?! 

You know, Tom Mastny isn't very good this season.  He's inherited 6 runners and let 3 of them score.  That's 50 percent.  Eddie Moo, also terrible, has allowed 6 of 13 inherited runners score, a 46% clip.  Rincon allows EIGHTY-NINE PERCENT to score.  That's just sickening. 

By the way, Rich Rundles, who came into the game allowing 100% of his (2) inherited runners to score, relieved Rincon and let neither of Rincon's two baserunners score to lower his percentage to 50%. 

Did I mention that it was clear that Jackson was losing his shit in the 5th, and that starting the 6th with a clean slate suggested itself as a course of action?  I'm pretty sure I did. 

3) Managerial Eye-Pokers 

Guess who pitched after Rich Rundles?  Yes, Brendan Donnelly. 

Donnelly loaded the bases on two walks and catcher's interference.  He threw 7 strikes in 17 pitches.  And then he got bailed out when Carlos Gomez' sharp liner hit Andy Marte in the glove and he stepped on third to double off Jason Pridie. 

4) Cruel and unusual 

Raffy Betancourt, when effective, is known for his control of the strike zone.  He throws a high percentage of strikes and retires hitters efficiently. 

So ... if this is not what you're getting from Raffy Betancourt ... one might expect that you are not going to get the "effective" version and rather the "scary game-blowing" version, right? 

Naturally, you leave this fellow in. 

After a solid 7-pitch walk (hey, he made Span foul off a 3-2 pitch, that's not egregiously awful), Betancourt got a 2-1 fly out from Tolbert after starting him 2-0.  Then the 4-pitch walk to Joe Mauer ... okay, that's not so good.  And the 2-1 double to Justin Morneau ... I'd say this is not a man doing a tremendous job, maybe someone else should be considered.  Intentional walk.  Nd then, finally throwing strikes, Betancourt gives up the go-ahead sac fly to Delmon Young ... before walking Brian Buscher on six pitches. 

In all, Betancourt threw 33 pitches and THIRTEEN were for strikes.  Oy! 

5) Lost in the shuffle 

Eddie Moo came in with the bases loaded and retired Nick Punto on a ground ball.  Exhausted from the effort, Mujica's night ended there. 

Jen Lewis gave up one single in seven batters to complete two scoreless innings.  He threw two first-pitch strikes, but hey. 

Tom Mastny got the win by striking out two, giving up a single, and inducing a groundout. 

So, to wrap up here: 

Guys I truly hate having on the roster (Rincon, Donnelly): 1 1/3 innings, 1 hit, 3 walks, 2 inherited baserunners, 2 inherited baserunners scored, 1 freakishly lucky double play 
Young guys with a sliver of promise who weren't used at their expense (Rundles, Mujica, Lewis, Mastny): 3 2/3 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 4 inherited baserunners, 0 inherited baserunners scored 

Yeah, I hate that. 

6) Vic smash! 

Sure, the big blow was delivered off the bat of Victor Martinez, a three-run shot off an apparently-spent Joe Nathan that won the game in the bottom of the 11th.  That's good hitting, and good to see a return of some power for Martinez. 

I was just as happy seeing a double off Liriano (coming right-handed) and reaching base 4 times in 6 trips to the plate (single, walk).  He didn't ground into any double plays, only personally left one guy on base, and generally looked a lot like ... well ... Victor Martinez. 

I like that. 

7) Gark smash! 

All this, and power from Ryan Garko as well?  Garko slammed his 12th homer of the season off Liriano with two men aboard to stake Cleveland to a 3-1 lead in the 2nd inning.  Garko has 79 RBI this season ... I had no idea.  How does a guy hitting .257/.335/.376 drive in 79 runs?  There's just no way to justify placing a huge weight on RBI in determining whether a guy has had a good offensive season (the prosecution present Exhibit F, Ryan F Garko). 

Here's little bit interesting fact: with no one on base, Garko is hitting .212/.291/.295.  I mean, that's just execrable.  With men on, he hits .301/.376/.447.  With men on and two out, .300/.411/.422.  In a sense, THAT'S how you drive in 79 runs with no power and a medium-lousy OBP: you maximize your opportunities. 

Garko added a sac fly to drive in a fourth run and finished 2-for-3 with a walk. 

8) A contrast in paths 

The right fielder reached base 4 times in 6 trips to the plate, going 3-for-5 with a walk and scoring two runs.  He hit .302/.355/.523 in August to be encouraging, but his September to date has been nothing short of astonishing, hitting .390/.480/.512.  Of course he's not THAT good ... but ... hey, that's pretty good.  For a little larger sample, he's hitting .295/.357/.494 after the All-Star break, making him look like ... well, a corner outfielder or something. 

In contrast, left fielder Ben Francsico has turned into a newt: with two Ks in five hitless ABs, Francisco is hitting .143/.234/.214 in September and .232/.292/.384 after the break.  His August wasn't bad (.791 OPS), but ... wowzers, Ben looks out of gas.  Maybe there's some sort of Conservation of Western Hemisphere Corner Outfielders in play here or something. 

(Every plate appearance given to David Dellucci, hitting .136/.136/.227 in September, is simply appalling.) 

9) Credit Where Credit Is Due Dept. 

Jhonny Peralta was fast enough to leg out a triple, but not fast enough to score from third on a groundout.  (Maybe he was tired.) 

Asdrubal Cabrera went 2-for-5 with 2 RBI, both with 2 outs.  He hit a homer right-handed and a single left-handed. 

The decision to pinch-hit for Andy Marte, even though he had an RBI single earlier in the game, made plenty of sense because Shin-Soo Choo is simply a better hitter.  Choo made an out, but it's still a perfectly fine move to make. 

Grady Sizemore's game-tying drive off Eddie Guardado was hit very, very, very hard.  Wow.

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