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Indians Indians Archive Morning Rundown: Jimenez Looking to Finish Strong
Written by Nino Colla

Nino Colla

ubaldo01Well friends, settle in. I'm sure the Browns turned a lot of you away, back to the Indians.


September 11th, 2011


Cleveland Indians - 7


Chicago White Sox - 3


W: Ubaldo Jimenez (9-11) L: Zach Stewart (2-4)




I heard a comment over the weekend that reaffirmed what is very much a reality about the city of Cleveland. It was something along the lines of "The Indians got us through the lockout."


Now I'm no Browns fan, as many of you probably already know or have been able to figure out. And even if I was, I'm more of a baseball person more than anything, so I probably wouldn't be running towards the Browns or any other sport with the game of baseball still being played. The fact that it's not even mid-September means that there is still plenty of baseball left.


We all came to the reality this week that there isn't much Tribe baseball left though. This is the stretch run for our Indians, who "got many people in Cleveland through the lockout."


If that's all the Indians are for some people. That's great. But they gave us one memorable summer and I'll be damned if that's all they go down as. They were not a distraction, they were an attraction for the past few months. Were they a little frustrating? Yes, but the Browns just lost to the Cincinnati Bengals, so save the complaints.


Now that I got on my high horse, let me step down and talk about a big win in the battle for second place. It ended the series in a split, which basically means the weekend wasn't a loss or a gain for the Indians, but it was a good win to end the series on and go into the final off-day of the season with.


This was basically the Ubaldo Jimenez circus show. It was only six innings from The Big U, but it was an eventful six innings as he gave up only two runs, but walked five and gave up three hits.


He was also throwing some serious heat, hitting 98 on the gun, but only striking out a pair of White Sox. But one of those strikeouts (with the 98 mph heater) came at a very crucial part in the game against a pretty darn good hitter.

"He's one of the best hitters in the game," Jimenez said. "I just took a break, I took a deep breath and I said, "I have to throw everything that I have right here.'"

Jimenez struck out Paul Konerko with two outs in  a 3-2 game to end the inning. He went on to put a few on the sixth, but would get out of that too to end his afternoon. All in all, it was an erratic afternoon, but a successful one.

"Jimenez was erratic with his command, but he had pretty good stuff," Acta said. "We saw the fastball whenever he had to go get it. We even saw 98 mph today, so that was encouraging to see. Today I think was the first time where he showed it with more consistency."

Jimenez's control came and went in this one though. There was the fifth inning when he struck out Konerko and retired the side in order, and then there was innings like the sixth when he put a few on, or the third when the Sox scored their two runs on force outs.


Ubaldo ending this season on a good note is going to be important. It wouldn't be cool thinking that this acquisition, that was made more for the next two years more than it was for this year, is giving concern going into the offseason and next year. He'll have a few more starts, and hopefully he makes the most of them.


It can also be reassuring to see a few guys get out there before the season ends for injury sake. Travis Hafner being one, and we'll get to him later, and Trevor Crowe being the other. It was pretty much the bottom of the order that powered the lineup in this one. Every run was scored by the bottom four in the order in this one.


And aside from Carlos Santana knocking in two and Donald one, they also knocked them in. Crowe was in the middle of it all and he talked after the game about how it was good for him to get out there this month after missing the entire season, just so things don't linger and he wonders over the offseason how he's going to come back and adjust.


Crowe was 3-for-4 with a pair of runs scored, a RBI, and a stolen base. Clearly his best game since returning. Trevor will probably never be a full-time starting outfielder, but he's a role player with some value, if not with the Indians, to the Indians as a chip. So it's good that he gets out there and plays. And with Sizemore not playing everyday and Choo out, and Brantley done, the Indians have the space to play him.


Marson had a good game, knocking in two, walking, and scoring another, Chisenhall scored twice, and of course Baby Louie went off and hit his first of the season. The Baby Louis is also someone you'd like to showcase a little and hope he can show something. He may be a AAAA player and he probably doesn't have much of a space in Cleveland with Donald playing well and showing he can be a plus-utility player for this team.


All in all, it was a good win and while the Indians are only playing for second place at this point, there is a lot of good stuff that will come out of this last month of action. The Indians can find out a lot about some players and it is good to do that.


Random Details...


Spooky that Ubaldo Jimenez improves to 9-11 on 9/11.


Fukudome didn't get a hit, but two walks out of the leadoff spot. That's the kind of stuff a leadoff-two guy does when he can't get the hits. He finds a way on base any way possible. Fukes will continue to hit in the leadoff role with Grady Sizemore not playing everyday and Acta wanting to get stability from that spot.


Clean inning for Josh Judy, which came after the Indians made it a 7-2 game, but still encouraging none-the-less.


Now taking your best LOLTribe's for this one.




Travis Hafner was 1-for-4 in his return to the lineup, also coaxing out a walk. The Pronkster says that he would rather not have surgery on his foot. That would be ideal for the Indians, as they would like to insert Hafner into the lineup as their DH.

"I think we have to go into next year thinking that he is our DH," Indians manager Manny Acta said on Sunday. "We can't control the injuries."

It would probably mean a lot to Travis to not have to undergo the surgery process again. Just as he has put the shoulder injuries in the past, for another thing, like the foot, to creep up and be a problem would have to be demoralizing to the guy.


As noted several times when discussing his return, Hafner is going to split time at DH with Jim Thome, which works out great with both of those guys not being able to play full-time. If only they were hitting from different sides of the plate, I'd suggest bringing back Jimmy next year for a straight up platoon.




One thing that was neglected on Friday for me to bring up that I did not get a chance to comment on was the Tommy John surgery for Carlos Carrasco. It really is unfortunate for Carlos, who just can't seem to get going at all with this club.


That will leave the fifth spot to be up for grabs once again when the Tribe reports to Goodyear Arizona next spring, in all likelihood. Make no mistake about it though, now is the time to start that competition.

"Obviously, the Carrasco injury has put a little dent in our depth, for sure," Acta said. "But Gomez and Huff have given us some hope with the way they have thrown the ball, both of them, in the past two months."

Of course the Alex White/Drew Pomeranz trade in a way dents the high-level arm depth. But it produced one spot in Jimenez, so really, the Indians are really in the same position regardless of trade. The Carrasco injury certainly makes things interest.


Don't forget though. Josh Tomlin turned a lot of heads and really put in a lot of work at the end of last season. I truly believe that he went into the spring the favorite for that fifth spot based off coming into the club during the last few months and show himself to the club.


David Huff and Jeanmar Gomez have a great opportunity to start that fifth starter spot battle right now.


You obviously do not need me to tell you that yesterday was the 10 year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The Indians had several strong connections to the city of New York, starting with Sandy Alomar who was playing against the Yankees when with Chicago during that time.


Shelley Duncan was in the Yankees minor league system and playing for the Staten Island club, so he was right in the middle of it as well. Duncan's Yankees were eliminated a day earlier, so he was not in New York at the time.


And Frank Herrmann was still in high school. He was a student at Montclair Academy in New Jersey. His school could see the towers. That has to be weird.


The Columbus Clippers will go for their second straight Governor's Cup on Tuesday when they begin the Championship series against Lehigh Valley. The Clips swept through Durham with ease and now begin their defense with two guaranteed home games. The two teams play through the week, no breaks in between any of the games.


Kinston is also moving on in the playoffs as they took the Southern Division Championship with their 9-2 win over Myrtle Beach on Saturday. They too will start on Tuesday, but they await their opponent for the Mills Cup. Kinston will get the final three games (last two if necessary) at home. Frederick and Potomac are battling it out and after Potomac's series tying win on Sunday, the two will battle it out tonight to decide who will face Kinston.


Jesus Aguilar hit a three-run home run in the fourth to help power the K-Tribe. Aguilar is very much in the running for the Indians Minor League Player of the Year.




Does anyone else find it funny to see Adam Miller questioning someone else's hand?

Damn cowboys giveaway another win. What the hell Romo's hands that makes him fumble so much? He must give the massages before the game

Special honorable mention to Will Krasne for the zinger towards Cam Newton.


Days Without a Tweet: 111


You can read more Morning Rundown and other features on Nino's blog, The Tribe Daily.

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