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Indians Indians Archive The B-List: 5/25
Written by Steve Buffum

Steve Buffum

Here is the point at which I remind people that the software on the site requires at least 80 words to be in the introduction.  None of these words will talk about yesterday’s game, because yesterday’s game made my elbows melt.  In today’s B-List, Buff provides some very succinct analysis about Mitch Talbot’s outing (it was bad), Frank Herrmann’s outing (it was bad), and Shin-Soo Choo’s day in right field (it was bad).  See?  Now you don’t even have to read the article.















Red Sox (27-22)













Indians (30-17)












W: Lester (7-1)               L: Talbot (1-1)


There are positive things to say about this game.  I will not say them, but I’m sure they exist.

1) Analytical Analysis

Mitch Talbot was bad.

2) More Analysis of the Analytical Variety

Frank Herrmann was bad.

3) Even More Analytical Analysis

Shin-Soo Choo’s fielding was bad.

4) Making an effort

Here’s the thing about Talbot’s outing: it was simply bad.

By this, I am not dismissing Talbot’s skill or talent or saying he came back too soon or saying there was no good within it.  On the contrary, actually: there WAS good in it, and this is kind of the point.  What I mean is, I am not willing to draw a lot of grand conclusions about how Talbot is broken and he can’t pitch and the rest of the season is lost and look, a shiny object, but rather, this outing was simply bad.  There is no grand complexity here.  There are no global lessons.  He had a bad day, and it was bad.  But it was only that: a bad game.  Mitch Talbot can pitch.  He didn’t yesterday, and that was, as I say, pretty damned bad.  But he’s capable of better, and I expect his next start to be better, and so I move on from this start by dismissing it as merely bad.

One thing that got me was when Manny Acta had this to say about Talbot’s start:

“The average lineup at the major-league level does a lot of damage when the pitcher is behind in the count…”

Well, while this statement is entirely true, exactly how RELEVANT is it?

Yes, the first two hitters scored at least in part because Talbot fell behind Dustin Pedroia 3-0 (Pedroia homered on a 3-1 pitch).  But then:

Adrian Gonzalez singled on the first pitch
David Ortiz singled on the first pitch
Jed Lowrie grounded out on the first pitch
Carl Crawford singled on the second pitch
Jarrod Triskaidekaphobia singled on the first pitch

Later in the inning, Ellsbury singled on the first pitch.  In the 2nd, Crawford doubled on a 1-1 pitch, and in the third, Drew Sutton (Drew Sutton!) doubled on a 1-1 pitch.

No, the problem here is not falling behind.  The problem here is location and movement.  The location was bad.  The movement was weak.  The balls were hit hard.  I am bored already.

So here’s the actual analysis: the Red Sox hitters were picking up Talbot’s pitches early, and where Talbot lived on late movement last year and early this year, he didn’t get it.  Was he favoring the elbow?  Has he lost his grip?  Am I full of piffle?  I assume all of this to some degree, especially the last.  But it wasn’t that Talbot was a blunderbuss that had to groove pitches 3-0: he was a guy who was grooving the FIRST pitch, and the Red Sox were BLASTING him.  Until his next start, we can’t say much more than that.

5) My knee, it jerks so

Frank Herrmann’s stuff is not high-quality enough to make him an effective back-end reliever.  Three homers and three doubles in 2 1/3 innings is the stuff of anti-legend.  That’s just not any good.

Is Herrmann capable?  Sure.  In the past, he has flashed strikeout stuff, and going more than 2 innings was never really in his repertoire.  He was asked to take one for the team, and he did.  Through the 2 innings you’d normally consider reasonable for Herrmann, he gave up one run on a homer and a double.  But I’m just looking at the way the Red Sox hit the ball off him: geez, at least Talbot mixed in some SINGLES.  Herrmann got CLOBBERED.

I like the way Frank Herrmann attacks the strike zone.  He has a major-league arm.  He’s a borderline guy.

6) A bright spot in the void

Shelley Duncan laced a two-run single.  His two-hit performance matched his output of the previous 9 games (one of which featured a single plate appearance, I should note).

I like Shelley Duncan.  He is hitting .121 in May and is overexposed by playing … much.

7) A more-expected bright spot

Actual Professional Relievers Chad Durbin, Tony Sipp, Joe Smiff, and the VFP combined to pitch 3 2/3 innings of 2-hit scoreless ball, walking 1 (Smiff).  The BoSox may have been exhausted by that point, though.

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