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Indians Indians Archive The Rundown: Tribe Can't Get Ahead Late, Fall to Rockies
Written by Nino Colla

Nino Colla

kearns_batLast night's loss, in case you were wondering, was one of contempt.

June 21st 2011

Colorado Rockies - 4

Cleveland Indians- 3

W: Matt Belisle (5-2) L: Chris Perez (2-3) S: Huston Street (22)


At least for me. I hold contempt after that one. That should have been a W. No one was robbed and while the Rockies genuinely earned that one... I still have contempt.

I have contempt for the fact that Austin Kearns is still on this team. If baseball is such a business, how come the Indians haven't made the business decision to let Kearns go?

I understand the Kearns family made the move to Cleveland and there was that mutual interest there. But the Indians are not harming Kearns in anyway by letting him go. For one, his family has already moved here and even if he were to latch on with another team, it isn't taking his family away from there area for the time being.

He's still going to get paid.

Austin Kearns needs to go, because the fact that he was up there with the game on the line last night is unacceptable. This is two straight nights now that there was a need for a pinch hitter and the pinch-hitting specialist was needed. But the pinch-hitting specialist is Shelley Duncan and he's in Columbus.

Can anyone explain to me why that is?

And look, I appreciate the strategy in the eighth inning by pinch-running Adam Everett for Hafner (because he was the winning run)... But that move loses it's luster because your best pinch-hitting option is Austin... Freaking... Kearns....

If that's the case, I don't pinch run and take my chances with Hafner on the base paths. Now if you had a Duncan... Things are different.But you have to figure if you don't score, Hafner's turn in the lineup is going to come up again. Acta of course is focusing on winning the game then and there and scoring that run. And I'm not blaming or saying he made the bad call.

But the options right now, late in the game, for him to make that call.. It just... It doesn't work. Of course I wasn't the only one thinking this.... It was the main point of talk for Acta after the game.

"I'll never manage a ballgame sitting in the dugout thinking about what I'm going to answer after the game," Acta said. "I'm trying to win a ballgame right there. If a guy would've hit the double in the eighth inning, and Hafner doesn't score, then it's the other way around."

And I don't think any fan would want it any other way. But this has nothing to do with Acta... This has to do with why Austin Kearns is even on the team to begin with.

You've got Travis Buck as your reserve outfielder. Why is Kearns needed? Veteran morale? Isn't that what Orlando Cabrera can be? More players probably miss Duncan than they would Kearns. So that is a bunk argument.

I mean let's look at this guy's numbers..

.207 AVG (18 hits), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 9 BB, 32 K

Wow.... He's started four games this month. You clearly can't trust him enough to start him on a regular basis, so can someone explain why he's still here? He's wasting a roster spot and when situations like the ones like night arise, when you need to utilize that last roster spot, you want someone who can get the job done.

And Kearns cannot.

The Indians have to just make a move here and dump Kearns. He's a great guy, but you can't choose when to act like baseball isn't a business at select times.

I mean, 2 RBI in 87 at bats? In 30 games? He's started 24 of those. Acta doesn't touch him unless he has to. Even he, who really likes the guy, knows he can't use him often because he isn't very good right now.

Only Adam Everett has less RBI. But you aren't using him in pinch-hit situations like that one. He's got 30 less at-bats than Kearns. Cord Phelps has more RBI and he's been here a few weeks. He had more RBI in his walk-off home run. Zeke Carrera has just as many! And he was here five days for eight at-bats.

I mean... The time has run out and why the Indians can't see that is beyond me.

Random Details...

Now that the main bone of contention with that game is over...

Mitch Talbot was good. He kept his team in the game, pitched into the seventh. He did he job.

The Indians on offense did not against Jhoulys Chacin. Six walks? You need to take advantage of that. It's disappointing. Acta called him wildly effective, but I call that lucky when it's the other team. Offensive execution. Third inning, he walks the bases loaded, that's when Hafner needs to come through. Then he isn't needed at the end of the game in that situation.

Choo came through in the sixth, but again, need to do it a lot earlier.

Triple party it seems like. They turned out to be insignificant but that's because we couldn't get two-out hits. I supposed you can't say "they couldn't come through" because they actually did twice with Choo and then Buck's tying RBI single in the eighth.

You going to blame Chris Perez? I think not... He made one mistake. Sometimes you don't have that room as a closer, but it isn't like the Indians didn't have the opportunities.

Three walks to Asdrubal Cabrera? If teams are going to start pinching around Asdrubal to get to Pronk, then he has to come up with the bases loaded and two outs. He has to.

Second time Acta has pinch-hit for Marson late. Here's a question. Why didn't Acta preserve Grady Sizemore's pinch-hit appearance (instead of taking Marson out) for when Hafner's spot came up? Of course, it is about winning the game and unless someone got up, that spot wouldn't have come up. But just something to think about.


Let's not kid ourselves. I'm not booting Fausto Carmona out of the rotation (but I'd still do the idea I proposed yesterday), but I'm not crazy enough to feel Carmona is "close" to anything other than a complete meltdown.

So why does Acta and the "pitching guys" feel Carmona is close to snapping out of it. First off, snapping out of what?

"Our pitching guys feel that he's actually on the way to snapping out of it," Acta said. "It was just one big, ugly inning."

Here's the thing though... It was one big ugly inning, but he's had many of them so far. Acta says they aren't thinking of doing "anything" with him right now and that he "THINKS" that Tim Belcher has found "SOMETHING."

Anything, thinks, something. Great words.

Grady Sizemore got the day off yesterday from starting. Acta has been switching him in at DH, giving him days off, finding ways to keep him fresh. It's working right now because Sizemore feels good and he looks to be coming around at the plate. He's also working with new hitting coach Bruce Fields to correct some issues.

"He's working with Bruce about not swinging across his body too much and using the whole field," Acta said. "He was stepping into the plate a little too much, which he normally does, but not as pronounced. ... Guys get into those type of problems of chasing and expanding the zone."

That's really what Sizemore needs to do. When he got hurt, two or so years ago, and he returned, he was falling into a bad way. Instead of using the whole field and going the other way, he got pull happy. He became ineffective. If we can see the Sizemore of old, the one who could go the other way, then the power should return.

I'd say Asdrubal Cabrera is closing in on Derek Jeter, but I'm not really sure 411K votes back of Derek Jeter is really closing in. That shouldn't stop you from doing your due-diligence.

Look, you don't have to create new e-mails to get this done If you've used your vote alotment, just use a fake random e-mail. Type something random @something Like or Something. It doesn't matter... It let's you vote. Just do it.

We will not let the Yankees win.

Speaking of All-Star Games. There were two last night that involved some Indians. The Single-A level had their All-Star games last night. High-A Kinston's Carolina League lost to the California League.

Infielder JT Toole was 0-1 in a pinch hit appearance. Drew Pomeranz pitched a scoreless second inning with a walk and Kinston Closer Preston Guilmet gave up a hit and struck out a hitter.

Meanwhile the Captains coaching staff couldn't guide their East All-Star team to a win over the West in the Midwest League All-Star Game, falling 8-3.

Captains catcher Alex Monsalve was 0-2 with a strikeout, and second baseman Argenis Martinez was 1-2 with a strikeout. The Captains sent a large amount of pitchers, but none of them appeared. Mike Rayl, Mike Goodnight, and Clayton Ehlert did not appear for the East.

The Josh Rodriguez book is closed in Cleveland. After losing him in the Rule V draft, and not getting him back initially since he made the Pirates 25-man roster, the Indians got him back when the Pirates didn't want him on their 25-man roster anymore.

Now the Indians don't even want him on their Columbus roster. Or at least they don't have room for him. With Jason Donald returning and Lonnie Chisenhall on his way back, it's getting crowded once again. Even with Cord Phelps in Cleveland, Rodriguez was the odd-man out ever since he got back.

So the Indians dealt him back to the Pirates for cash. And this time it's final. Now the Indians had to give back half of the 50K they got when Rodriguez was selected. I wonder if the Pirates just gave that 25K that the Indians gave back, back to the Indians?

bullpenmafiathumb[STAT OF THE DAY]

For your amusement the "Bullpen Mafia, Stat of the Day."

With that home run last night by Seth Smith off Chris Perez, 28.2 straight innings without a earned run came to an end.


Archer Quote of the Day: "*Breaths in and out* RAAAAAAAAAAAAMPAAAAAAAAAAAGEEEEE!!!!"

Days Without a Tweet: 35


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

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