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Indians Indians Archive Morning Rundown: Shutout Again, Wilson Deals Tribe Fourth Straight
Written by Nino Colla

Nino Colla

talbot04Ugh... Let's just... Get this over with.

June 5th 2011

Texas Rangers - 2

Cleveland Indians - 0

W: C.J. Wilson (6-3) L: Mitch Talbot (2-2) S: Neftali Feliz (13)


I guess losing four games in a row was bound to happen sometime, right? Four other teams have not done that this season. I guess a sweep was also bound to happen, but a four gamer? The Indians haven't been swept in a three-game series, let alone a four gamer.

But this "thing" that the Indians are currently in isn't going away easily. And they better do something or it could get worse with the last-place Minnesota Twins coming into town and the Yankees right around the corner.

Staying in the moment though.

Mitch Talbot was excellent. Again, the Rangers are one of the best offensive teams, it goes without saying, even though I feel like I've said it three times before. For him to hold them to two runs through six innings is pretty good. Then for the bullpen to come in and show that the meltdown the other day was just that, a meltdown, a one-time occurrence, a speed bump, is some good news.

But Talbot's effort was great. Sure he gave up eight hits and three walks, but even more impressive if you can maneuver your way through this lineup that way and only give up a pair of solo home runs. Sure the home runs were not hit by Cruz and Hamilton, but that just goes to show you everyone in that lineup can get the job done.

"There's not many holes over there," said Talbot, who struck out four. "They've definitely got some guys that can swing the bat."

So for the second straight game, we are left blaming the offense, who didn't score a single run. As impressive as it was to not have been shutout at home all season up until Saturday, it's equally frustrating to be shutout twice at home two games in a row.

So about that little "thing" this club is in.

"You just have to be patient," Acta said. "You continue to work. Our coaches work really hard with these guys. We prepare them the best way we can. Then, after that, you have to be patient and just continue to stay positive with them and wait until a couple of them get hot.

"There's only so many combinations of lineups that you can do when you only have a couple of guys swinging the bat well. Bugs Bunny is a cartoon. I can't hit Brantley and [Asdrubal] Cabrera in every spot -- only in two."

Bugs Bunny comparisons aside, he can't hit those two in every spot. Which means the guys around them need to start this thing up. Without Michael Brantley yesterday, the club may have not had any offense at all. Actually, they wouldn't have. Brantley accounted for half of their baserunners.

Brantley was 1-for-2 with a pair of walks. The rest of the team was 2-for-26 with eight strikeouts.

You need to tip your cap to C.J. Wilson of course. Unlike Derek Holland the day before, Wilson was legitimately dealing and carving up the Tribe lineup.

Which had yet another new look yesterday with Shin-Soo Choo in the sixth spot. And as we mentioned, that is without Grady Sizemore, who was taking the day off. Choo talked at length about the pressure. It's rather odd to see an athlete come out and willingly admit he's struggling because he's pressing at the plate. But that's what Choo did.

"Eleven years ago, I was 18," Choo said. "After high school, I came to the United States. What was my goal? I wanted to play in the big leagues. The big leagues is the best baseball in the world. My name, everyday, is on the lineup card. If it's the nine-hole or eight-hole, it doesn't matter. Every day, my name is on the lineup card.

"I have bigger goals right now. But for the first time, I've backed up my mind to 11 years ago. I'm trying too much right now, so I'm trying to go back to 11 years ago, where I came from in Korea, wanting to make the Major Leagues.

"I'm playing in the Major Leagues. I'm still playing in the best league on the best team in baseball. I'm trying to slow down my mind a little bit."

This is a rather odd thing to read if you ask me. Choo went on to say he worried about all the fans back home in Korea as well as the fans here when he got arrested. He is willingly admitting the problem is between the ears. He admits he is under stress.

But here's the thing. This stuff just doesn't go away. I mean, he can talk about it, and maybe it will be a little therapeutic for him to do it publicly, maybe it will relieve some of that stress. But this isn't something mechanical you just fix. This isn't an injury that just heals in a certain amount of time that is easily known.

This is a mental issue and it could linger all season.

Choo didn't look any better up at the plate on Sunday after his mental break and long speech to the media about going back into time 11 years ago. He looked like he was in 2011, and in 2011 he's struggling. He saw 11 pitches, and after fouling out on two pitches and getting hit, he struck out on four pitches with a runner on second in the seventh.

We talked about it yesterday. This team needs Travis Hafner back or they need a spark. It certainly would appear as if Choo isn't going to be that spark.

Random Details...

It most definitely isn't Orlando Cabrera in the two-spot, even against the left-handed pitchers. Oh my god, the guy single handedly killed two rallies with double-plays in this one. The Free Cord Phelps movement has never been stronger.

Can I start up the Fire Austin Kearns movement? Because I've seen just enough about the .192 average. Adam Everett is more useful with the bat for heaven's sakes. Adam Everett! Career .243 hitter Adam Everett!

Everett made a nice play at third in yesterday's game. It took him awhile, but he's starting to look like Hannahan. Or maybe it's just the fact that aside from the number 8, he looks identical to Hannahan from behind.

What is with Matt LaPorta diving for foul pop-ups all of a sudden? That's twice this past week. Steve Smith had him in the dugout during the game talking to him about it. I sincerely hope he was making fun of him. While also teaching him a lesson, of course. But making fun of him would be cool too.


Vinnie Pestano's back stiffness can be traced back to drills earlier last week and despite feeling some discomfort, he attempted to go out and pitch through it. Manny Acta would have none of it and sent Pestano to the showers before he could even make a pitch. Pestano is hopeful that he can get back in after a few days off, but he may have to hold off on sprinting to the mound like he usually does when he does get back into the game.

Acta says he believes Vinnie will be available for the series against Minnesota, but a new day can present something different.

Acta also says Jack Hannahan should be able to go on Monday.

As for Travis Hafner and his oblique injury, he's making some good strides swinging the bat. He was inactive on Sunday, but had taken up swinging and hitting the previous two days and will resume on Monday.

I think this Bullpen Mafia stuff has reached the point of no-return. For the record, I did not jump the shark.

Trevor Crowe might have jumped something. I'm not sure what though. If Joe Smith asks you to tweet out incriminating pictures of yourself. You may not want to oblige. Let's not revisit that haircut by Crowe, or at least lack-there-of.

Just to show you how serious this Asdrubal Cabrera thing is... Daily reminders to vote for Asdrubal Cabrera will be posted on the blog. If only the RSS feed wanted to work, those reminders would go through Twitter and Facebook.

So if someone has any clue as to why my RSS feed isn't working, e-mail me.


Too bad Nick Weglarz was out all season nursing a knee injury. He would have been the ideal guy to call up and give at-bats to in the DH position with Hafner out. The good news in regards to Weglarz is that he's back in action with Double-A Akron. The Canadian outfielder was activated yesterday and made his 2011 debut, notching a two-run single and a walk.

Rob Bryson also made his debut. You may remember Bryson as the additional name thrown in the CC Sabathia deal. Bryson was out with broken ankle and he struck out a pair in his scoreless inning for Lake County. Bryson made a lot of waves last season striking out a boat load of hitters between three levels. Bryson ended up in Akron and should get back there rather soon. For now he's just getting real innings in with this Captains. Weglarz should bolt past Akron as well, making it to Columbus. He could be in Cleveland by the end of the year.

The Captains earned six All-Stars to the Midwest League All-Star Game. Of course Strongsville native and one of the best hitters in the Midwest League, Anthony Gallas made the team. He's joined by starters Mike Ryal and Michael Good Night, closer Clayton Ehlert, infielder Argenis Martinez, and catcher Alex Monsalve. They will be joined by the Captains coaching staff, led by Ted Kubiak.

Today is a big day. Today doesn't have much hype around baseball, but the diehards really appreciate and love this day. Today is the start of the MLB Draft. The Indians have the eighth pick in the draft and even so, this team's aggressiveness in the past is going to be fun to watch. They spent more money than anyone else last year on the draft and this year, there is said to be a very deep pool of pitchers to choose from, especially high up.

The Indians have options and expect them to likely take the best pitcher available. If Trevor Bauer is on the board, they'll take the UCLA right-hander. There's a good shot he gets selected, so they may opt for one of the other college pitchers instead. It has worked the past two years, so why not again?

The draft starts tonight at 7 PM in prime time. The first round, plus all the supplemental picks will be made. Day two and Day three start tomorrow at noon. We'll have coverage on the blog of the first pick.


They say the definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting different results. I click Perez's page over and over again, each day, not expecting anything different. So I'm cool.

Days Without a Tweet: 19


You can follow Nino on Twitter @TheTribeDaily where he tweets about the Bullpen Mafia. You can also read more Morning Rundown and other features at his blog, The Tribe Daily.

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