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Indians Indians Archive Morning Rundown: Austin Kearns Loves America and Beating Yankees
Written by Nino Colla

Nino Colla

kearns002Happy Birthday America. Austin Kearns certainly salutes you. And for one night, I salute him for his greatness. Well, maybe not his greatness, but at least the greatness of his one swing.

July 4th, 2011

New York Yankees - 3

Cleveland Indians - 6

W: Josh Tomlin (10-4) L: A.J. Burnett (8-7) S: Chris Perez (20)


As Trevor Crowe would say... Kearns?????


Yes Kearns! Austin Kearns! The three-run home run he hit on Monday gave the much-agonized over outfielder more RBI than he had all season in over 100 at-bats. But with one swing, he erased a lot of bad energy from this first half of the season.

It won't make for all his struggles though. He's still struggled and the fact that he did hit that three-run home run only brings to light his struggles and puts them into perspective. You can't make up for lost time with one swing. It certainly will buy him some time, but it better be a "turning the corner" type of a hit, rather than just a job saving hit.

The hit did more than saved Kearns' job for now. It saved Josh Tomlin from being denied his 10th win of the season. The Cowboy went six hitless innings, walking just the second hitter of the ball game. He was on point in this one as usual and after he completed the fifth, he officially broke the record for most consecutive starts of five innings or more to start a Major League career.

"The fact that this guy just set that record is really impressive," Tribe skipper Manny Acta said. "He has to be proud of what he has accomplished, because it's going to take a while before somebody else does it."

Acta went on to say he doesn't back down from anybody and he attacks the zone. The no-hitter was great at the time, but a guy like Tomlin is unlikely to ever throw one. He wants hitters to make contact because he wants them to pound the ball into the ground or get themselves out. He's more than likely going to give up a hit at some point over the course of nine innings.

Tomlin said he made adjustments from the last time out. The Yankees hit him around, so he adjusted his approach to pitching their left-handers.

"My last outing against them, I didn't really go in to lefties much at all," Tomlin said. "I made it a point today to try to throw it in and make them conscious of that part of the plate, so the stuff away plays a little better."

It only was right that he got that win, but it was going to take some serious magic to get him in-line for that after he gave up a pair of runs in the top of the seventh. A sharp single by Teixeira to lead off the inning broke up the no-no and then a single would set up Nick Swisher's two-run double. But Tomlin buckled down and got a few groundouts and kept it close enough for Duncan to come through with a simple chuck shot to score one.

And then Kearns.... KEARNS! Kearns who was actually having a good night as far as making some solid contact and putting some good swings on the ball.

Granderson's 23rd off a mistake pitch from Vinnie Pestano made it a one-run game, and then Santana hit 13 after Hafner's infield single. Plenty for Pure Rage, who retired the side in order.

What a great way to spend the Fourth of July. America! Kearns! America! Home Runs! Yankees Suck! America!

Random Details...

Ahhh Travis Hafner was back. He only had an infield single, but it was good to have him back in the lineup full time. He couldn't make much of an impact during Interleague as he was pretty much pitched around.

"It was painful to go nine days without having him in the lineup, especially with the way he's swinging the bat," Acta said. "He's such a big part of our lineup, so we're very happy to be able to put him out there every day."

Hopefully his re-adjustment to being a full-time player once again is a real short one.

Grady Sizemore 0-2, but he walked twice... Sight for sore-eyes to see Sizemore walking that much in one game. In the past, those walks could be turned into doubles.

The only starters not only base last night were Michael Brantley and Orlando Cabrera.

More Kearns factoids: He had not knocked in a run at home all year until last night. In three games in July he's already matched his total of extra-base hits that he had in all of June.

Kearns had just six hits in the seventh inning or later coming into last night's game. He had 14 hits in the first few six innings.

Interestingly enough, Kearns had just one hit in nine previous at-bats against A.J. Burnette. The one hit was a grandslam in Kearns' rookie season back in 2002. Make 'em count at least.

"It's a funny game," Kearns said. "I haven't really sniffed A.J. -- ever. For whatever reason, I had some good at-bats tonight."

Detroit lost last night. What a glorious day.

Jeter went 0-4 and it seems to be the biggest story on the universe. What the heck gives with this guy? Is he the ONLY player in baseball?


Let's be serious about the Austin Kearns hit for a moment. With Mike Cameron nearing the point where he will clear waivers (because he will), the Indians are going to have to make a decision as to what they realistically want to do with Kearns. If they want to take a chance on Mike Cameron and Cameron wants to sign up for  a shot in Cleveland, Kearns is going to have to be moved.

You are going to have to release him. There really is no other option. You need a 40-man spot (perhaps you could 60 day Choo, I guess) and you need to oust an outfielder. Is Travis Buck's hamstring something more serious? He hasn't been seen since he suffered that injury. He could go on the disabled list and the Indians could make a move to get a look at Cameron.

But it makes sense to just replace Kearns with Cameron. They would be serving the same purpose and we know what Kearns is about at this point. Yes, that one hit last night was great and he actually won the game for the Indians, but you can't boil his season down to one hit. Sure it erases a lot of the bad energy and I'm a little more nice to him here Tuesday morning.

But he's had a pretty crappy season up until last night. I wouldn't let this one home run change the perspective they have on Kearns, because if Mike Cameron can be an improvement off the bench for dirt cheap, you have to make the switch. You're already paying Kearns and will pay him the rest of the season whether he is producing for you or not. But the thing is, it isn' t the largest salary in the world. 

Coming off a hit like that, it may seem weird to be getting rid of Kearns, but will there be a better opportunity presented at some point? I thought Juan Rivera would be a great fit, but even if you want to go with him when he clears waivers and becomes a free agent (because he too will), the decision still has to be made.


Yesterday was the Fourth as we all know and for new United States citizen Orlando Cabrera, it had a little more meaning.

"Being from Colombia, with all the problems and the stuff you hear about drug wars, they're always skeptical, looking for stuff," Cabrera said. "You can never understand why. Why do they have to treat me this way? I wanted to become a U.S. citizen and see how they treat me."

It's a shame, but it is the world we live in at this point. But it's good that he went ahead and went through the process to become a United States citizen. He also recounted his knowledge of U.S history.

"Even before I took the test," he said, "my interest in U.S. history was great. I read a bunch of books about it. And the story of July 4th, it's incredible. A bunch of guys got together and fought for what they believe. The meaning of signing the Declaration in 1776 -- right now we still believe in what those guys wrote."

Matt LaPorta is closer to returning to the club after he ran the bases on Monday. LaPorta also took BP and fielded some grounders. He should begin his rehab assignment soon, if not get get activated almost immediately after he goes at it again on Tuesday. That would be nice to see

Meanwhile, Trevor Crowe, who's been out for the entire season said via Twitter that he will play this season. That's just him talking, but it does show his determination. Yesterday he took swings in the cage off soft toss and played catch at 90 feet.

And MRI yesterday showed a "moderate" quad strain for Fausto Carmona. If that impacts how long he will be out, I wouldn't know.

However David Huff made his scheduled start for Columbus last night. He gave up four runs in seven innings of work off five hits and a walk. He clearly will not be starting on Thursday instead of Fausto Carmona, which likely means Zach McAllister will get the call.

Occasional Baseball Tonight anchor Dari Nowkhah set the Twitter world on fire in Cleveland when he made a joke at Cleveland's expense in regards to Josh Tomlin's then no-hitter.

"Josh Tomlin will go 8 2/3 IP of no-hit baseball, then give up a HR and lose the game. #itscleveland"

The world blew up at Nowkhah. It spun into people bashing him in ESPN and Nowkhah defending himself and of course, patronizing the fans saying how he "loves Cleveland" and he's "rooting for the Indians."

Yeah right. Still I think, much like it is always the case, the city kind of over-dramatized this whole issue. I don't think Nowkhah hates the Indians. I don't even think ESPN hates the Indians. They just really want ratings and they know the Yankees give them ratings. I also think they want attention and those "Cleveland Misery Montages" that they run give them just that, so they run them.

Boys and girls. Lay off Dari Nowkhah, he's harmless and he meant very little by his comment. Nowkhah, don't be so defensive about it. Yes the fans are a little sensitive and can tend to blow stuff out of proportion, but that's the Cleveland fan sometimes and that's what makes it unique. It Cleveland polarizing enough to hate? No, but it's polarizing enough to make this an issue.

I forgot to mention yesterday that I was a few rows over from the Shelley Duncan home run on Sunday. But I was even closer to the Chris Heisey home run. In fact, it was just to my right, literally two rows behind. There was no one next to me, so I could have probably moved over and leaped, but let's be honest.

I have no hops and would have probably tripped on the chair and injured myself. That being said, I could have made a better effort instead of waiting for it to drop and come down a few rows like I did. You can see me in the video.

bullpenmafiathumb[STAT OF THE DAY]

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

The Mafia is scared of no one! The Bullpen has issued just three intentional walks all season, tied with Boston for the least amount in all of the major leagues.


Nino's TV Reference of the Day: UH-OH! - Sealab 2021

What A.J. Burnett said after Kearns hit that home run.... UH-OH!

Days Without a Tweet: 42


You can follow Nino on Twitter @TheTribeDaily where he tweets about running into Manny Acta on the streets of Cincinnati. You can also read more Morning Rundown and other features at his blog, The Tribe Daily.

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