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Indians Indians Archive Morning Rundown: Doing the Splits
Written by Nino Colla

Nino Colla

pestano001Know what I hate more than an Indians loss? An Indians loss that I don't get to see.

July 20th, 2011

Cleveland Indians - 5

Minnesota Twins - 7

W: Matt Capps (5-3) L: Tony Sipp (4-2) S: Joe Nathan (6)


Because it makes these game recaps entirely too hard to dive into. I could comment on something, but how do I know how it exactly went down?

So here I am, with a 7-5 Tribe loss, a few highlights, and a box score. Let's go to work.

Because the bullpen certainly didn't. The formula was as follows. Josh Tomlin goes six, gives up four, keeps team in tie game. Bullpen comes in, goes at least four, hopes for a run.

Good news, the offense got a run, but not before the bullpen gave up three. Whoa really?

It was a collective effort between Tony Sipp and Vinnie Pestano. No runs were charge to Gangster, but he gave up all three inherited runners from Sipp in a demoralizing eighth inning. This after Joe Smith put in a brilliant seventh, striking out a pair.

Sipp loaded them up and Pestano emptied them, the go-ahead hit coming from the same guy that did it last night, Danny Valencia. What is it with that guy? He's the new Tribe killer from the looks of it. Two days in a row, he's king cat.

Do you want to blame Orlando Cabrera's crappy range or something? You can, but that's a no-win situation with the bases loaded and just one out. You just gotta put the ball in play and that's all Valencia did. Rough spot to bring Pestano in, but it was clear Sipp didn't have it and the results were probably not going to be any better if Acta let him in.

As for Josh Tomlin he continues to go six innings and give his team a chance to win. He though didn't benefit from the hot weather like two of his predecessor's did.

"I just kind of had to battle," said Tomlin, who struck out two and allowed eight hits. "I felt like I had good stuff sometimes. You try to make a pitch to a certain guy in a certain situation and you just leave the ball up a little bit. That's what happened to me today. I left the ball up a couple times and they made me pay."

Some spotty defense and a bullpen let-down didn't help. But at least Tomlin did battle, and that's something you know he's going to do regardless.

Acta put it on the offense when all was said and done, leaving some open opportunities with runners on. I hate to blame the bullpen, because as we've become accustomed to, they go out and do their job most of the nights. They've blown the last two, but they've also preserved way more than that.

Let's not play the blame game though. Let's look at this missed opportunity.

Random Details...

The reasoning, and or excuse, depending on your perspective and or opinion, as to why Matt LaPorta was not in left field and Luis Valbuena was yet again, has to do with LaPorta's ankle. I can't find this anywhere. So how true that is... You'll have to ask Bruce Drennan, who is the one who I got that perspective from, as he made it sound like fact.

Whether it's an excuse or not. I don't know, but I do know that LaPorta was the emergency outfielder if need be today. He should have been the left fielder and Luis Valbuena should have been the emergency outfielder, as he was Tuesday. That was in a pinch with no other options. Yesterday, Acta had options.

"I got scared," Valbuena said. "I thought I had the ball and I felt Carrera next to me. I thought we were going to [run into each other]. It happens."

Baby Louis... Sigh. I almost feel sorry for him. I mean, I don't want to blame him. It's not his fault that he's playing out of position. But it's just a tough spot to be in. In a way, you can't blame Manny Acta either because apparently, LaPorta can't play there either. But whatever. Let's hope Brantley or Buck are healthy for Friday.

Hey, Lonnie Chisenhall hit a home run.

Hey, the top of the lineup did their part. Hafner, Carrera, Cabrera on base six times. Santana, five left on base 0-for-4, I wonder who to blame?


I had an interesting conversation yesterday on Twitter. I threw out a comment about the Indians and the trade deadline and said something to the extent of, If you hear a Tribe fan say anything about Hunter Pence or Carlos Beltran, slap them. It's just not realistic.

It set off an @ storm that I quite frankly, have never been a part of. I got people who agreed and naturally disagreed. Some logical responses, and some, that just made me shake my head.

Look, we've got a smart crowd here. I pride myself knowing that everyone who reads my blog is at least making an educated and informed opinion on a matter. I know the people at The Cleveland Fan know what they are talking about and even if they disagree, or think Shapiro is a shill, or think Dolan is cheap, they've got sound reasoning and evaluate something with knowledge and information.

Do I want Matt Kemp? Do I want Hunter Pence? Do I want the Indians to be able to go out and get a big name who can really make an impact? Of course. I think we all do. But it's just not probable. Unless of course you are willing to give up not just one big time prospect, but likely one or two next-to-top prospects. Probably more if you are looking at Kemp or Pence.

That doesn't sound like the right way to go to me. This is a team that needs to hold onto it's talent that they've drafted because that's the only way to sustain winning. I'm not interested in contending for the playoffs this year if it means the Indians don't contend next year and the year after. Because let's be honest. Does this team have the best chance to win the World Series, even if they add someone in the outfield, even a Beltran?

I know, you could probably get a guy like Pence or Kemp for a few years. But there's the other problem. Those guys are even closer to Free Agency and closer to cashing in than anyone and they are in their primes. You really think they are going to sign long term deals with Cleveland. Do you even think the Indians have the funds to do that? Jayson Werth got $100 million last year. Do you really think Matt Kemp is going to get any less?

Please temper your expectations as the final days of July approach us. We're getting down to the wire in terms of the trade deadline goes. I feel like I'm repeating what I said yesterday, but here's an additional point.

There's nothing this or any other ownership can do. This is the market that the we live in. The only ownership that can take over this team and spend lots of money is an ownership that should prepare to lose money every year, a lot of money. Unless they are selling out every night and going deep into the playoffs, this team isn't going to be making enough money to support a big time payroll.

With that piece said. Dolan is Cheap Fan can complain all they want. But if they don't have any basis for their argument, other than "He doesn't spend money and doesn't care about winning," then I have no time to consider that person's opinion.


You know Manny Acta had it right. You'd normally be satisfied with a sweep on the road in two four-game sets. But not against two teams in fifth and fourth place. Not the way you started off both of these four-game sets with two wins each. That's now how you want to split. You want to win three in each one, perhaps sweep and the Indians very well could have done that in both cases, losing a few close ones.

And while I'm thinking about it. Not only do we have to worry about seeing the Detroit Tigers challenge the Tribe, with a similar amount of games played. Not only do we have to remember the Chicago White Sox are hanging around.

But don't forget about the Minnesota Twins, who pretty much evened out after that series and are right back in this thing after the slow start. They still have a ways to go, but this is getting even more interesting by the week.


Michael Brantley should be back Friday, but it sounds pretty bad according to Manny Acta.

"Michael is in pretty bad shape," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "He's still not able to eat and process food properly. He's just not playable."

Sounds like the heat got to Mikey. The heat isn't that much better in Northeast Ohio. At least not right now. So we'll see how this plays out with Brantley.

Travis Buck on the other hand has passed all his tests for a concussion and said that his accident in New York earlier this season felt worse than getting conked in the head. This is someone who's had a history with concussions though. So you have to be really worried and take the situation on with a lot of caution.

A little more on what Justin Masterson did the other day with his approach and game plan.

"I was able to mix and match," Masterson said. "There's good movement on the sinker. Even within the fastballs, there was a mix, a range of velocities that also helped kind of keep them off-balance. And being able to control the inner and outer half, that's what kind of made it effective. It was almost like having two or three different pitches just within a fastball."

I'm just like... Ready for this guy to start tomorrow. Like, I really can't wait to see him pitch again. If he can do that type of stuff more times than not, he ventures into Cliff Lee territory in terms of just waiting til his next start, just so you can see him throw the baseball. What he did Tuesday was solid entertainment.

Speaking of pitching tomorrow. The Indians tweaked the rotation a tad bit. They have David Huff going Saturday and pushed Fausto Carmona to the series against the Angels. Given Fausto's two starts against the White Sox, if you can avoid him starting against the Sox, you do it. Let's not ruin what confidence he gained in Monday's game. Carrasco will go against Gavin Floyd, Huff faces Edwin Jackson, and Justin Masterson goes up against Philip Humber.


Nino's TV Reference of the Day: "Phil Dunphy on Meeting the Boyfriend" - Modern Family

My eyes are saying, we cool Baby Louie... But we not!

Days Without a Tweet: 58


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

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