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Indians Indians Archive The B-List: 6/3
Written by Steve Buffum

Steve Buffum

A day after The Imperfect Perfect Game, the two teams focused solely on the “Imperfect” part of that equation.  David Huff gave up twice as many hits as innings pitched, and twice as many extra-base hits as singles.  Rick Porcello hit a batter, balked, and was “supported” by multiple Detroit errors.  The only Cleveland reliever who didn’t give up a run was Raffy Perez.  The only two Tigers who didn’t score each got two hits.  Three different Cleveland pitchers gave up a double to Austin Jackson.  Not a good game. 














Indians (19-33)













Tigers (28-25)













W: B. Thomas (2-0)        L: Ambriz (0-1)


I want Manny Acta to have to wear a large red Afro wig at every game until his team stops playing in a clownish manner.  I will settle for a John 3:16 rainbow jobbie.

1) What have we learned?

We have learned that David Huff:

a) doesn’t strike anyone out
b) posts an incredibly bad WHIP
c) throws his hittable stuff too high in the zone, resulting in extra-base hits

Look, in his last eight starts, Huff has one Quality Start.  One.  And it was a scrape-by job, giving up exactly three runs in exactly six innings.  (It also featured a pair of homers.)  Left-handers hit .320/.417/.540 off him, for an ISO of .220.  Right handers hit .311/.357/.545 off him, for an ISO of .234.  If you’re hitting .310+ and slugging .540+ off a guy, yeah, walks are probably not all that high on your list of “what I must do.”  He has given up 68 hits, of which an unfathomable 28 of them are for extra bases.

On one hand, I applaud Huff’s ability to get right back on the hill after getting creamed upside the head with a line drive.  I could not do that.  Huff showed some toughness and went right after hitters.  The problem is, “going right after a hitter” with lousy, shameful “stuff” is just going to result in getting clobbered.  And guess what?  David Huff got clobbered.

So, what have we learned?  Nothing at all.

2) What else have we learned?

We learned that Jensen Lewis:

a) has some of the better strikeout stuff on the staff
b) when given a second inning, bad things are more likely

Again, I think Lewis has a wonderful “forget the last guy” mentality.  A superior “beat this next guy” spirit.  He has 12 Ks in 13 1/3 IP, and collected three more yesterday, including two straight with runners on the corners to shut down a potential big inning.

Of course, he had just PUT the runners on the corners and had already given up a run to get to that point.

In his first inning of work, Lewis allowed 1 hit and got 1 K in a scoreless frame.  That’s fine work. 

But look: the samples are very small this season, but consider this: in pitches 1-15, he holds hitters to a .255/.345/.340 line.  The OBP is too high, but that’s pretty good.  After that?  .500/.625/.667.

In 2009, he posted these splits: 

Pitch 1-25: .217/.293/.429
Pitch 26-50: .360/.458/.640

In 2008, the batting average goes from .253 to .324, and the K:BB ratio goes from 2.35 to 0.71.

Hear me now and believe me later, but Jensen Lewis is NOT a multi-inning guy, as much as you’d like him to be.  He’s just not.  He can be a useful reliever … maybe even a VALUABLE reliever … but he isn’t a multi-inning guy.  This is what we’ve learned.  Let’s stop learning it some more. 

3) What else have we learned?

Hector Ambriz is a really, really ordinary bullpen arm. 

It is great to snag a real, major-league-quality player from Rule 5.  That’s fun!  Forget about the truly weird-ass gorks like Johan Santana and Dan Uggla, even getting a decent left-handed matchup guy or a young UIF that can’t hit is a very efficient use of $50K.  You can’t draft a guy that polished for that low a signing bonus, and signing minor-league free agents is kind of a crapshoot.  I mean, so is Rule 5, but hey. 

So Hector Ambriz was a fine chance to take.  And, frankly, to keep: (virtually) free player!  Woo hoo!  He’s far from our worst reliever, he has K stuff (12 in 15 2/3 IP).  Power arms are good.

But 24 hits in 15 2/3 IP … is bad. 

And 8 walks in 15 2/3 IP … is also bad. 

And letting opponents hit .358/.416/.567 with a Huff-esque 15:9 single-to-XBH ratio … is truly execrable. 

You wanna see a crizazle split?

vs. LHB: .242/.257/.273
vs. RHB: .471/.548/.853

About the same number of plate appearances.  (Ambriz is ostensibly right-handed, although I don’t blame you for asking.)  I mean, I’d almost like to see Ambriz used as a LOOGY based on that shit.  That’s just jaw-dropping.  (Did he give up two extra-base hits in one inning to right-handed hitters?  Oh, yeah.) 

So what we’ve learned is that Ambriz is … a guy.  Greg Aquino.  Brian Sikorski.  Teddy the Wonder Lizard.  No sense discarding him, but … he’s a guy. 

4) What else have we learned? 

Without strikes, Tony Sipp is completely useless. 

Yeah, yeah, everyone’s going to point to the grand slam in his last appearance and the three-run jack yesterday (and the subsequent solo shot), but this all starts with not being able to command the strike zone against FAR lesser lights like Gerald Laird (.158 AVG, .228 SLG) on five pitches and giving up a single on the 8th pitch (full count) to Adam Everett (.190/.217/.253).  These are truly atrocious hitters.  So at this point, Sipp has somehow managed to throw 18 pitches to three of the worst hitters in modern memory (Bran Inge struck out to start the inning).  He strikes out Austin Jackson … on a run-scoring wild pitch.  The next hitter … walks … where the first pitch was a wild pitch as well.

Frankly, I see no reason to allow Sipp to face the back-to-back power righties after this.  He has thrown 30-odd pitches.  He has exhibited the control of an Afghan politician.  I am all for learning what guys have and letting them work out of jams, but this is letting the preschooler wield a hammer, hurt himself, and continue to allow him to wield the hammer.

Didn’t learn shit we didn’t already know, except that Manny Acta is f*#^ing mean

5) What else have we learned? 

Raffy Perez is capable of pitching well.  He doesn’t do it all that frequently, but it’s worth reminding ourselves that … yeah, the guy can actually pitch.  Yeah, he’d get grabbed on waivers if they try to sneak him through to AAA.

6) What else have we learned? 

We don’t hit well as a team with RISP. 

The Indians went 3-for-17 with runners in scoring position, which is an amazing number of ABs to get when you only collect 7 hits.  Of course, we also got two walks, a HBP, and four errors.  But we only got three hits.

Two were by Shin-Soo Choo. 

The rest of the team went 1-for-14. 

7) No, no, what have we LEARNED? 

Oh, you mean something new?  Well, not much, no. 

8) What else have we learned? 

Well, really, so you know why we hit poorly with RISP?  Because we hit poorly pretty much all the time.

Consider: our leadoff hitter hits .238 with an OBP of .291.  The four through eight … FOUR through eight hitters (AVG/OBP): 

4: .236/.317
5: .236/.305
6: .209/.283
7: .149/.281
8: .203/.261


That’s just astounding.  You know what else is astounding?

*) The guy hitting .149 had two of our seven hits
*) The guy hitting .203 plays the position that our best prospect in AAA does
*) The #9 hitter (not listed) has the same SLG as the #5 hitter … which leads the team 

So, yeah, we learned that sucky hitters produce sucky results.  Where’s my Nobel Prize?

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