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Indians Indians Archive Morning Rundown: Masterson Sets Season High in Homers
Written by Nino Colla

Nino Colla

zputnam01When you are in Texas, even if you think it is going to be a pitcher's duel, it isn't. Just learn that lesson right now.


September 13th, 2011

Cleveland Indians - 4

Texas Rangers - 10

W: Matt Harrison (12-9) L: Justin Masterson (11-10)




This one started out as you wouldn't expect. Matt Harrison and Justin Masterson notching zeros. David Murphy hit a solo shot, then Carlos Santana tied it up with one of his own. Then Murphy came back with one and it was a back and forth battle between the offenses.


So it was only a matter of time before one offense went bananas and of course, it was Texas.


This stupid Arlington Park will humble any pitcher. I've been real vocal in the past about how much I hate it. Did Masterson pitch his best game? No, but this should tell you all you need to know about how ridiculous this damn park is.


Coming into the game, Masterson had given up just seven home runs. He gave up three in just five innings in this one. Are you kidding me?

"I guess I was just trying to make up for how well I did all year," Masterson said.

"I made some good pitches, you have to give some credit to them. They had a couple good balls. David Murphy looked like he was hot tonight. There were some times when I got in poor counts, but overall, I felt good out there."

 Manny Acta went on to say that because he fell behind to Hamilton on that third home run, he had to throw the ball over the plate. Masterson went back to look at the pitch over video and said he thought it was a decent pitch away. It was still a fastball and anything someone like Hamilton can get a hold of is likely going to be hit far.

From there on out though things didn't get better. Masterson started the sixth but couldn't record an out, and at that point it was only a one-run game. Nick Hagadone came into a unmanageable situation with two on and nobody out and it went from bad to worse.


Before striking out a pair and retiring the side, Zach Putnam gave up a home run, a double, and a single. It was good to see him debut and settle down after the initial struggle, but again, Texas will humble any pitcher.


Again, I despise this ballpark. It is flat-out ridiculous how easy it is to hit a home run there that it is almost comical. Now does that mean to take credit away from David Murphy and Carlos Santana for hitting a pair of bombs?


No, not really, but that feat doesn't happen often, let alone twice in a game. So just know that.


Speaking of homering twice, Santana actually did something that hasn't been done since 2007 when Victor Martinez hit a home run from each side of the plate in the same game. He's the seventh Indian to do that.


"Other than the batting average, I think it's been a year for him to learn and make adjustments at this level," Acta said. "How can you complain with probably 25 or more [home runs], he's probably going to set the record for switch-hitters for the Cleveland Indians and over 80 RBIs? The batting average, I'm sure that's going to come along. He done a lot of good things for us."


Santana certainly has had a good year. Yes the average isn't where you would want it, but he produces runs and gets on base. He's been very productive this year and he's been there all year, playing through some bumps and bruises. Heck, he was knocked around good last night and is still expected to be back in the lineup today.


And about today. Please Arlington, have mercy. Don't ruin David Huff's psyche.


Random Details...


Asdrubal Cabrera going minus batting gloves last night in the eighth inning. What... What else can I really say about that?


Rick and Matt shared the stat during the game about how Matt Harrison has the worst run support out of all the Texas pitchers at around five runs per game. Oh the poor baby.


Shelley Duncan almost made it a 4-4 game in the sixth inning when he absolutely crushed one off Mike Gonzalez. You win some, you lose some.


This season when Fukudome hits leadioff, he is hitting .263 with a .369 on-base percentage. Just saying.


Three strikeouts for Pronkers. 1-for-8 with four punchouts since returning. It will be tough for him and all the other guys "rehabbing" to get into a rhythm when they won't be playing everyday and likely not days in a row. But hey, gotta live with that.




If you couldn't tell, the Indians were still trying to win every single game. Heck, even when, as Manny says, they put the "X" next to the Indians on the standings, do you really doubt they stop trying?

"We're still trying to win every single game," Acta said. "Then, once they put the 'X' right next to us, then maybe we can change plans."

They might change plans, but they won't stop trying to win. Manny is right, a lot can change in a week, but the Tigers are still red-hot and the Indians are not. The only thing you'll likely see when the Indians are eliminated is more young guys playing, specifically in the bullpen. That portion of that team is likely exhausted and maybe pumping the breaks on their use is the way to go.


Does that mean we won't see a lot of Luis Valbuena until the Indians are eliminated? Bah, whatever. Babes the Louie is a complex player for Manny Acta to figure out.


"He comes up here and sometimes it doesn't translate," said Acta, who was thrilled to see Valbuena break out against the White Sox. "I'm happy for Luis, because he's had enough hard times up here the last two years."


Someone who hits over .300 with 17 home runs and over 20 doubles at Triple-A can't be this much of a AAAA player can he? It really is perplexing. It's one of those deals where you probably have to trade this guy, because he's running out of opportunities in this organization... But on the other hand, there is that possibility in the back of your mind that if he goes somewhere else, he could bust out.


That's the risk you live with though.


The Indians called up Zach Putnam to the active roster yesterday and added him to the 40-man roster. This was something that would have been done in the offseason anyway and even though Columbus is finishing up their postseason run, getting Putnam up and into the game should be good for him.


"He's a guy that we like," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "We feel that he has the stuff to be an option for us next year to be in the mix. We're going to take a look at his last couple weeks and see what he can do up here. He had a pretty decent year for us in Triple-A. We feel he's got some out pitches that can help us out."

This strategy is similar to the one that was used with Vinnie Pestano, who obviously has turned out to be quite the piece.


"At the beginning of the season, he was probably the last guy to make this club out of Spring Training. He has really stepped up the whole season for us and has been one of our toughest guys out of the bullpen."


Look, you've got Chad Durbin and you could even consider Frank Herrmann's spot not secure. There's going to be a shot for some guys to get into the action next year in Spring Training. Putnam could put in an early stake to that especially with Nick Hagadone and Josh Judy not really taking the bull by the horns. Of course Putnam didn't really inspire much last night, but it was his debut.


Pestano is lesson number one in that you can make an early impression in September, take that into next year and run with it. Of course Pestano and Putnam are different types of pitchers, but Pestano has certainly paved the way.


The Indians however are going to look to limit Pestano down the stretch. He's been so good, but with things winding down and the work he's put in, they would like to see him take another step next year and they don't want to overwork the Rookie.


Both Shin-Soo Choo and Josh Tomlin are with the club in Texas and Choo could be activated on Thursday. Jack Hannahan is expected to re-join the team in Texas as well, but it is unclear when or if he'll be used.


Choo returning will create an interesting dynamic. With Fukudome playing well and an everyday guy, and then Crowe, Grady, Duncan, and Carrera all kind of getting time here and there, it will be weird seeing Choo thrown in that mix. The outfield is the main topic of discussion in Jordan Bastian's latest Inbox mailbag. He is asked if the Indians will try and keep Fukudome, which is definitely something that has been rolling around in my head lately with the way he's been playing.


Bastian safely notes that Choo and Brantley are probably coming back. The question now revolves around picking up Grady Sizemore's option, which is worth $8.5 million. That isn't a very large chunk of change, but considering how much time Grady has spent ont he disabled list, that actually is a very large chunk of change.


I can't imagine the Indians picking that option up, but that is a story for the offseason. That all being said, I like what Fukudome has brought to the table and I would like to see the possibility explored.


Zach McAllister went eight innings, but gave up four runs in the first two innings and then another in the ninth before exiting in Columbus' 5-2 loss to Lehigh Valley. Unfortunately, the Clippers are already down 1-0 in the Governor's Cup. The two will face off again for one more game in Huntington Park, the definite last home game of the season for Columbus.


However, Kinston won their opener, 3-1 after Clay Cook went five-plus to earn the win. They now lead Frederick in the series for the Mills Cup, 1-0.


Finally, an interesting link passed on to me by Chris Jaffe from The Hardball Times. Bob Feller fanned 17 hitters 75 years ago yesterday. And he did it as a 17-year-old. One for each year. Holy. Crap.




I'm going to venture off and assume that "stupid" is another way of saying "check" or "accounted for." That's just my assumption though. I don't speak "LeVonese" like L_Wash. Stoopid!


oakley game stupid, Socks game stupid, Cleats game stupid.. AZ tommorow. i'm ready


Cole Cook, strong as always.. Very strong.


Cook and Washington are talking about Instructional Leagues of course, which get going today in Goodyear. It's the first chance to see some players like Eric Haase, Dorssys Paulino, and Anthony Santander for the first time. It lasts for a month with games starting up next week.


Days Without a Tweet: 113


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

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