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Indians Indians Archive Morning Rundown: Tribe Hit Season Low With No Hits
Written by Nino Colla

Nino Colla

nohitterWhat's worse... Five errors or Zero hits? I'm struggling to make a decision. Thankfully, they only add up to one loss.

July 27th, 2011

Los Angeles Angels - 3

Cleveland Indians - 1

W: Ervin Santana (6-8) L: David Huff (1-1)


Sometimes I ask myself, how it's humanly possible to sit down 150-some days a year and dissect and break down each and everyone of these games. There's days that I just don't feel like doing it, because I'm so attached to the events that happen, it depresses me.

There's days I just don't feel like saying anything coherent, like yesterday when we discussed that foul up by Matt LaPorta.

And that foul-up, makes yesterday afternoon's game, a complete debacle, even worse. You need to win series if you want to remain in this race. Granted, Detroit isn't do much to pull away and Chicago keeps spinning their wheels, so they aren't exactly hot on the trail. They're there, but they aren't quite there.

But you can't be giving away winnable games like Tuesday's game, because games like Wednesday happen.

But do they happen like this?

No-hitter? Five errors? The Angels only had one more hit than the Indians had errors! I'm almost glad I wasn't able to watch this one, because I might have jumped out my window (with it still down) after the third error and the sixth no-hit inning.

Here's the even more frustrating part of this. Ervin Santana has A) Hasn't been lighting the world on fire this year. He's been good, but not tremendous like his rotation mates. And B) Has ALWAYS struggled against the Indians. Before yesterday, He was 0-6 against the Tribe with a 4.98 ERA in 10 starts. Yeah that's not horrible, but he could never beat the Indians and always seemed like someone the Indians took advantage of.

Yet he goes out there and throws a no-hitter? Of course...

"A lot of times with a no-hitter, you do have to have good stuff, but it doesn't necessarily mean you have your best stuff," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "But he was terrific today. He had a very good fastball and a very good slider."

Do we chalk this one up as a no-hitter and say, Yup, Santana got us, congrats to him! Sure, give him his credit. But that doesn't mean you look at the zero in the hit column and give the Indians a mulligan. It makes it even more pressing to go out and get a bat. This can't continue. I simply don't agree with Travis Buck in saying that this is a "lull" or whatever.

"Each team goes through lulls like this," Indians outfielder Travis Buck said. "Granted, it's kind of a stressful time for us, just because we're a couple games behind the Tigers, and now you've got the Trade Deadline coming up. You try to block all that out, but it's still in the back of your head."

This is a problem. Not a lull. The Indians played out of their minds in the first month of the season. They came back down to earth, went through a horrible stretch, then regrouped. Are they going through a little streak? Perhaps, but the overlying problem is glaring through and it won't be fixed by "getting out of the lull." This team is nearing the .500 mark now. That doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things, because this division is proving to be mediocre, so the winner will probably have a mediocre record.

But the lull isn't the problem.

I usually spend this time talking about the game, but quite frankly, I didn't see it and there's not much you can break down offensively with a no-hitter. You guys sucked offensively, end of story.

I do think it shouldn't go without mentioning, but David Huff turned in another good start and had the offense not been no-hit, put in a very winnable performance.

"Today, it was just bad luck," said Huff, who turned in 5 2/3 admirable innings.

That's all it was. For how bad the defense played behind him, I'd say it was an excellent performance to just get through 5.2 innings with only two runs and one of them earned. And maybe in the midst of this horrible game for the offense, we're seeing a new David Huff. I look at the play-by-play and in the third, there were two errors.

That's essentially five outs that Huff had to record and he didn't let a run score. In the past, he might have broke down and it would have been completely over there.

So hats off to David Huff, the one good thing in a crappy game that we should just forget about after today.

Random Details...

Chris Perez, haven't seen you in awhile! He gave up an unearned run and walked a hitter. You really don't like your closer gaining this type of rust. His last appearance was on the 19th. Start getting a lead, this guy needs to be sharp and to be sharp, he needs to pitch.

I really don't care that they scored a run in this one. It was unearned, they didn't earn it. It doesn't save from the fact that they couldn't get a hit.

Lost in the shuffle too was the bullpen keeping the club in it after Huff went out. Vinnie Pestano striking out the side in the eighth inning? Yep.


With the off-day, and the Indians charity golf outing, I'd be surprised if anything happened, but you never know. I'm not sure if this is something Antonetti is participating in, but if it is, I'm sure he'll still be glued to his phone.

We've got confirmation from Jordan Bastian on the failed Carlos Beltran deal. It turns out the Indians only set up a preliminary discussion, in saying that they were willing to assume a lot of Beltran's salary and offer up a "good player" within a package. So there were no actual names thrown out, but only that they were willing to give the Mets a decent package.

Beltran had the Indians on his no-trade list, so before anything could progress, the Indians were turned down by Beltran. And now, he's off to San Francisco to make the Giants the favorite to take the NL West and perhaps repeat as NL Champions.

And Antonetti, said something that made it sound like he's very serious about completing a deal. Almost to a point, I'm worried about him possibly making the wrong deal, just so he can say he did something.

"I'm confident we'll do everything we can to make a deal," Antonetti said. "We are willing to trade good players, and we're willing to take on salary to improve the team."

Sometimes the best deal you make is the one you don't make. So you have to be careful. I hope Antonetti remembers the other stuff he's said, and doesn't give up a big part of the future just to rent someone for two months for a simple play-off birth.

Breath easy...

"To trade our best players that have multiple years of control, it would have to be a compelling deal," Antonetti said. "It would be difficult for me to see us trading a very select few of our best young players for a player that would only be here for two months."

Anyone else, I'm open to trading if it's right. I'd keep the core four, and find a deal that matches with one of those other prospects. I'd probably hold on to Hagadone too.

It's a long way til September. Even if Grady and Choo come back and make an impact, staying afloat til then is going to be really hard without an addition to the offense.

But how about the pitching...

Is it even needed? Huff pitched well yesterday. Carmona seems to have rounded the corner. Masterson and Tomlin are firing and Carrasco is still there pitching okay. We'd like to see him hit his stride from a month ago, but the rotation is in good shape, the bullpen is even better.

But if you can add a head-lining ace? You may not need much offense...

Yesterday I dismissed Ubaldo Jimenez and continuing the trend of things I dismiss entirely, Jimenez now seems like a strong possibility for Cleveland according to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal. At least, there is a strong desire from the Indians side to get him.

Again, let me repeat this. Teams can want Jimenez, but that doesn't mean the Rockies want to give him up.

Rosenthal says the Indians are strongly in the mix and a source said the Indians match up best with the Rockies. Heck, the Indians match up best with anyone if they'd give up any of their four best prospects, but they don't want to do that.

ubaldojimenez01Jimenez might cost a lot though as he has a nice friendly deal that is signed through 2013 if you count the club option.

Then of course you have Danny Knobler, who's always been one to shoot down the Indians, saying that they're a "real long shot" behind the Yankees, Reds, and Red Sox to get Jimenez.

How is that even possible? The Indians have a better farm system than all of those teams. If this was a case like Beltran who had a no-trade clause, I'd agree, but if you have the better prospects, you have the better shot. This isn't free agency where you out-bid the small-market teams. This is the trade deadline and everyone has a chance and teams like the Indians, probably have the most ammunition to get a deal done.

Again though, it's all dependent on Antonetti using those bullets.

(Side Note: Hey wouldn't it be cool to get Ubaldo? Not only would the Tigers not get him, we'd have clearly made the best pitching addition. They have no one in their rotation outside of Verlander and are really in need of a starter. It would be a huge blow to them in many ways.)

Either way, you can be sure Antonetti is doing his due-diligence and is truthful in all his comments. Jeff Passan says that they remain aggressive and are ":in on a lot of guys." One of which was already traded yesterday in Colby Rasmus. Passan also mentions B.J. Upton and Hiroki Kuroda, two names that have been thrown around as possibilities, but only Kuroda as an actual target up to this point. So for those of you who wanted Upton, smile wide as it's now a real possibility.

Kuroda though, still has that "west coast preference."

I wouldn't go after him myself. He shows tentativeness about leaving LA and that might be bad news. And there's a lot of stuff around him in terms of what he's owed and some other notes about him in free agency.


Mentioned it yesterday, but the reason that Manny Acta loves Josh Tomlin so much is that he throws strikes. That's all Manny asks of his pitchers and Tomlin does, it rain or shine, boom or doom, whatever. It happens.

"This kid takes the same approach in every game," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "Whenever he's not making his pitches in his spots, due to the stuff that he has, he might get in trouble here and there. But when he's on, he's fantastic against anybody."

Tomlin says his goal is to get hitters out in the first two pitches. Which is why he throws strikes early and often. Hitters know that and are swinging early, so in way, if Tomlin makes a really good first or second pitch, he is winning and doesn't need to out-pitch or make adjustments or anything like that. You saw that on Tuesday. That's exactly textbook as to how Tomlin wants to pitch.

Like I mentioned earlier, it would be cool if the Indians did get Ubaldo Jimenez. He'd be a headlining ace of the staff. He might have to share that though, because Justin Masterson right now is the ace of this staff and he's doing a damn good job filling that role.

"Last year, it was just every five days I had to sit here and defend our decision to have him start," Acta said. "It paid off. We let him get out there and develop himself, and he's a guy right now that we can't wait to see out there every five days. He's been fantastic. I'm very happy and proud of him."

Alex White won't be joining the rotation, which is perhaps why the Indians are looking to make an addition there. But White is excited about the opportunity to relieve, mostly because it lets him return sooner.

"I'm looking forward to that," White said. "It's going to be fun, and I'm glad I'm able to come back a little sooner and help."

White threw a simulated game in Akron yesterday and if all goes well he will make three to four rehab appearances. Acta said if he doesn't show he's ready, they can always have him go a few more outings.

I think the Mafia would make room for White, who could really have his fastball play up as a reliever if he just throws it as hard as he can for an inning or two.


Nino's TV Reference of the Day: "Soft Kitty" - The Big Bang Theory

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You can follow Nino on Twitter @TheTribeDaily where he doesn't tweet curse words to Tribe players. You can also read more Morning Rundown and other features at his blog, The Tribe Daily.

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