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Indians Indians Archive The B-List: 8/18
Written by Steve Buffum

Steve Buffum

Well, the Indians managed to get four hits with runners in scoring position.  And they scored seven runs, a big improvement over the one the night before.  Unfortunately, the pitching through the first six innings combined all the positive qualities of raw sewage with all the negative qualities of raw sewage.  The Royals have now guaranteed themselves the series win and have beaten Cleveland five straight times to lead the season series 5-2.  Which is kind of a long-winded way of saying, “We suck.”

FINAL 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Indians (49-71) 0 1 0 0 1 2 0 3 0 7 17 0
Royals (51-69) 1 2 0 2 2 2 0 0 X 9 12 0

nixW: Chen (8-6)  L: Carmona(11-11)  S: Soria (35) 

Still not entirely sure how we got outscored in that one. 

0) Administrative Note 

After a spirited night of jousting with Twins fans (apparently there are no White Sox fans with internet access or opposable thumbs) on the BBTN Live chat interface, it comes to mind that this is a good time to remind people that you can email me at any time at, or follow me on Twitter at @stevebuffum, where I was probably the only person in Twitterland to mention both Danny Graves and John Axford’s moustache in the same day.  On Twitter, I tell you when I post articles and write snide things.  In email, I am generally more thoughtful and complete, or would be, if I got email.  (This is not literally true, but it is “literally true” in the Rachel Zoe sense.) 

But while I’m here talking about Twitter and email, I would like to enlist everyone’s aid here: I follow Jensen Lewis (@JLEWFifty), but he doesn’t follow me (which is hardly surprising), so I cannot send him a Direct Message on Twitter.  I have sent email to the Columbus Clippers, who do not actually answer email.  If anyone knows how to contact him or his agent, I would appreciate it. 

1) Green Eggs and Hector 

Acta: Would you like this Hector Am? 
Buffum: I would not like him, Man-I-Am. 

Acta: Would you like him on the mound? 
      Would you like him, tightly wound? 
Buffum: I would not like him on the mound. 
        I would not like him tightly wound.
I do not like this Hector Am.
        I do not like him, Man-I-Am. 

Acta: Would you like him here or not? 
      Would you like his roster spot? 
Lewis: I would like his roster spot. 
       He throws like crap, and I do not. 
Buffum: I would not like him on the mound. 
        I would not like him tightly wound.
I do not like this Hector Am.
        I do not like him, Man-I-Am. 

(fast forward) 

Buffum: I do not like his pitches lame 
        I do not like him in the game. 
        I do not like his tater ball. 
        I do not like that pitch at all! 
        I do not like his ERA. 
        I do not like him every day. 
        I do not like him, night or noon. 
        I do not like his pitch to Yoon. 
        I do not like his walks and hits. 
        They keep me up and give me fits. 
        I do not like this Hector Am! 
        I do not like him, Man-I-Am. 

Antonelli: You do not like him, so you say.
I tell you Rule 5 works this way. 
          We have to keep him in the ‘pen. 
          Or back to ‘zona he’ll go again. 

Acta: Would you like him when we lead?
If put in then, he might succeed. 
Buffum: I do not want him used at all. 
        I beg you, don’t give him the ball! 
        I do not like this Hector Am! 
        I do not like him, Man-I-Am! 
Acta: Well, tough shit. 
Buffum: Yeah. 

Seriously, the man has a 5.90 ERA, a 1.79 WHIP (!!!), and has given up 10 homers in 39 2/3 IP.  You know who gives up homers at a higher rate than Hector Ambriz?  No one!  Well, not on the Indians, at least.  Of all major-league pitchers with at least 30 IP, Ambriz’ rate is actually only 5th-worst.  His WHIP is higher than David Huff’s.  He gives up more hits per inning than anyone on the team except Jess Todd, who has pitched 6 innings. 

Look, I understand the principle: keep the guy on the roster, get a power arm (6.58 K/9) for keeps.  I assume we could send him down next season.  Rule 5 is a neat idea. 

But doesn’t the player you keep via Rule 5 have to be … you know … any good? 

I don’t want to see Ambriz in the game unless we’re up or down by 8, or it’s the 16th inning and we’re out of pitchers, or you need someone to intentionally walk a guy to get the next guy warmed up, or if the mound is made of quicksand.  That’s it.  Whole list.  I do not like him, Man-I-Am. 

2) Simple fail 

"The problem tonight was getting the ball up," Carmona said. "I gave up a lot of base hits on sinkers. Every pitch was up -- the sinker, the changeup, the slider. I got a couple of ground balls with the sinker, but they were hit where nobody could catch them. Everything was up." 

Okay, well, as long as we know what the problem was. 

I’m not going to read a whole lot into the start by Carmona.  It wasn’t any good.  He gave up seven runs in five innings.  He allowed 3 XBH out of 9 H overall, struck out NOBODY, and induced ZERO swinging strikes.  Zero!  I mean, that’s crap.  He was poor.  We lost. 

Let’s move on. 

3) Amazing Stat Dept. 

Fausto wasn’t the only pitcher not to miss any bats: both Ambriz and Frank Herrmann induced ZERO swings-and-misses as well.  Had it not been for a single swing-and-miss from Tony Sipp, the Royals would not have missed ANY PITCH THEY SWUNG AT.  (There were 27 foul balls, but still.)  Indians pitchers hit as many Royals batters as they induced swinging strikes: ONE. 

Not surprisingly, the Indians as a team struck out zero batters. 

4) Box Score v. Reality 

Frank Herrmann allowed Ambriz’ second run to score on a double and a sac fly.  In fact, of the 6 hitters Herrmann faced, exactly six of them hit the ball to the deep outfield. 

The 7th inning LOOKS like a perfect inning for Herrmann.  From my perspective, had there been, say, a 20-mph tailwind, he’d have given up 3 taters that inning. 

He got lucky.  (And he was still better than Ambriz!) 

5) More evidence Travis Hafner has more character than I do 

When Soria threw him the same pitch that “struck him out looking” the night before, Hafner took it.  It was (properly) called “ball one.” 

When Soria threw him the same pitch on a 3-1 count, Hafner took it.  It was (properly) called “ball four.” 

After this, Hafner ran to first base.  He did not run up to Tuesday night’s home plate umpire and shout, “See?!  See?!?!  It’s a f*(@ing ball!  A ball, you &#%$(%!” 

And good for him.  (I was less charitable in chat last night.) 

6) Everbody hits! 

Through seven innings, every Indians start had already collected at least one hit. 

Two players had three hits (Asdrubal Cabrera and Shin-Soo Choo), and four others had two hits (Brantley, Nix, Marte (!!), and Donald).  Of the three players who got only one hit, two of them made it count for extra bases (Shelley Duncan with a homer, Chris Gimenez with a two-run double). 

The only players not to get a hit last night were Hafner (who walked), Luis Valbuena (who pinch-ran and had no plate appearances), and Trevor Crowe (who pinch-hit and flew out on the first pitch). 

7) Wait, what was that? 

Yep, Crowe flew out on the FIRST PITCH. 

Now, look, I like plate discipline, but I’m no iconoclast.  Joakim Soria doesn’t normally give you a lot of hittable pitches in an AB, and you sure don’t want two strikes on you. 

But the first pitch?  Man, you better WALLOP that ball.  (Crowe did not.) 

8) The fighting spirit 

It is one thing to fall behind 9-4 on a night on which you end up stranding 11 guys on base, but the Indians deserve credit for not rolling over: in the 8th inning, the Tribe strung together three straight productive two-out plate appearances (walk, RBI single, 2-run double) to pull the game within two runs and make the 9th exciting. 

In fact, the Indians did put two runners on in the 9th on a single by Nix and the walk by Hafner, but Jason Donald just got under a ball and flew out to deep right, and then Crowe horked up the game-ender hitting for Gimenez. 

Still, we’ve gotten guys in scoring position in tight games in each of the last two nights against a premier closer.  There are a lot of things the team could do better, but they’re not simply helpless schmoes. 

9) Ducks on the pond! 

Yes, I said 11 men LOB. 

And while the team went 4-for-16 with RISP, two of them came in that three-batter stretch I mentioned above. 

17 hits should produce more than 7 runs, man. 

10) Nice hose! 

Shin.  Soo.  Choo. 

That is all.

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