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Indians Indians Archive Morning Rundown: Getting Back on Track
Written by Adam Burke

Adam Burke

chisenhallposeMemorial Day has not been a kind holiday to the Indians. They entered Monday’s game having lost nine of their last ten on Memorial Day and the one win was a game against the Tampa Bay Rays in 2009 where they erased a 10-2 eighth inning deficit to win 11-10 in walk-off fashion.

A lot has changed since that 2009 Memorial Day victory. Fausto Carmona, that day’s starter, now has a different name. Ryan Garko had five RBI and now he’s not even in the bigs. Jeremy Sowers got the win and he’s probably the cashier at your local Aldi. Jensen Lewis and Rich Rundles were the other two pitchers in that game. Jamey Carroll was the leadoff hitter. The Indians were 18-28 and already 8.5 games off the pace in the AL Central.

Monday’s win wasn’t nearly as thrilling, but it was one that the Indians desperately needed.

Oh, and before I get too far, Lonnie Chisenhall's mustache is outstanding.

May 28, 2012

Kansas City Royals 5

Cleveland Indians 8

W: Josh Tomlin (2-2); L: Nate Adcock (0-3); SV: Chris Perez (17)

Lonnie Chisenhall returned to the big leagues in a big way, sending a solo home run to the visitor’s bullpen on his first swing to get the Indians on the board after Josh Tomlin staked the Royals to a 2-0 lead. It would be the first of five runs in the third inning. Luke Carlin singled, Juan Diaz lined out to left, Shin-Soo Choo singled, Michael Brantley walked, and Jason Kipnis banged a two-run single to CF. Then, the fun started. Jose Lopez hit a Baltimore chop right off home plate and Kipnis got overzealous rounding second. It looked like Kipnis wanted to put pressure on the defense if Royals 3B Mike Moustakas threw over to try and get Lopez. Kipnis went too far off second base and got caught in between. Moustakas ran over and appeared to tag Kipnis on the backside, but 2B ump Dan Bellino said that the tag was missed. As Moustakas protested the call with words that cannot be replicated here, Kipnis scampered to third.

The blown call proved to be costly for the Royals as Casey Kotchman slapped a single through the hole between short and third, plating Kipnis and driving in the Indians fifth run of the inning.

Jason Kipnis would, however, give that run back in the fifth. After Brayan Pena hit a “Josh Tomlin Special”, a solo HR to dead center field, speedster Jarrod Dyson ripped a ball past a diving Casey Kotchman down the right field line. Shin-Soo Choo took his sweet, old time getting to the ball and Dyson was in easily with a stand-up triple. In the meantime, Kipnis uncorked a wild throw that caromed into the second row next to the camera bay and Dyson was sent home. Alex Gordon eventually singled to make the run go under the “ER” category in Josh Tomlin’s stat line, but nonetheless, it was an ill-advised throw from Kipnis.

Kipnis came right back in the bottom half of the inning and manufactured a run. After Brantley grounded out, Kipnis put down a bunt that pitcher Luis Mendoza fielded and threw into the runner, pulling first baseman Eric Hosmer off the bag. Kipnis stole second and scored on a Jose Lopez RBI knock.

tomlincamoJosh Tomlin, on a pitch count with this being his first start back from a stint on the disabled list, left with a five-and-fly, allowing four runs, three of which scoring on home runs on a hot, humid day at the ballpark. Both home runs were aided by the weather conditions, although it’s hard to say if they would have been gone at nighttime or on a cooler day. In any event, Tomlin pitched rather well for his first start back. He scattered four hits, three of which went for extra bases, and issued his first walk of the season to a right handed batter. Naturally, that baserunner, Jeff Francoeur, scored on the Eric Hosmer home run. Tomlin threw 81 pitches, 65% of which were strikes.

As has been the recipe for success this season for the Indians, who are now 16-2 when leading after five innings, the bullpen pitched well. Joe Smith, Nick Hagadone, Vinnie Pestano, and Chris Perez combined for 4 IP, 3 H, 1 R/ER, 2 BB, and 4 K.

The Indians finished their scoring in the seventh. Juan Diaz singled and went to third when Jose Mijares’s pickoff attempt hit him square in the middle of the back. For what it’s worth, Diaz was going back to the bag standing up. In any event, Diaz would score on a Michael Brantley broken-bat single to CF. After Kipnis singled and Brantley stole third, Jose Lopez hit a tailor-made, inning-ending double play ball that went right through the legs of Royals 2B Irving Falu. Brantley scored, but the Royals escaped further damage when Lonnie Chisenhall grounded out later in the inning with the bases loaded.

perezscreamkcChris Perez continues to get standing ovations every time he enters a game. Today was no different from the 25,000+ that enjoyed day baseball for the holiday. Perez worked a 1-2-3 ninth, but perhaps drew some ire with his antics. After striking out Jarrod Dyson, a career .229 hitter, Perez did some sort of hand-waving-in-front-of-face mime-like thing, which is apparently done by WWE wrestler John Cena. (Thank you Twitter.) He followed this up by nearly tearing several knee ligaments with some pseudo-spike, awkward-looking celebration after covering first on the game-ending groundout by Alcides Escobar.

Perez is painting himself into this team’s bad ass. They sorely needed a guy with some arrogance to his game and a guy with some swag. However, what they don’t need is a guy who is going to get Choo, Kipnis, Cabrera, Hafner, Santana, or somebody else hit by a pitch. It’s possible that the opposition doesn’t hold the opponent accountable for the antics of closers, since we never hear much about guys like Jose Valverde or Jonathan Papelbon irritating teams enough to throw at the hitters. But, the possibility is still there.

Anyway, it was all hugs and handshakes for the Indians after the game. This was a game that they really needed. It snapped a three-game losing streak and bumped the Indians to 11-5 at home in the month of May. It was a bad baseball game in which the Indians made fewer mistakes and got a couple of favorable breaks.

Even though they got swept over the weekend, the Indians still managed 16 runs in three games. They added eight more today. That’s 24 runs in four games without the services of Cabrera (played part of Friday’s game), Santana, and Hafner, and with guys like Jose Lopez and Casey Kotchman hitting in the middle of the order.

The Indians will send Justin Masterson to the bump in Tuesday night’s game against Will Smith. It has yet to be announced if the KC starter will get jiggy wit’ it or not.

Random details...

How about this from the stat department? With Monday’s win, the Indians are now 25-7 when they have the lead or are tied after the first inning. That, yes, makes them 2-14 if they’re down after the first. The Indians have given up 37 first inning runs this season.

The win guarantees the Indians a winning month of May. They’re now at 16-12 for the month, quite an achievement considering that they went 1-6 combined in the four-game set at Boston and the recent three-game sweep at Chicago. Outside of those two series, the Indians went 15-6.

Congrats to Nick Hagadone for picking up his first Major League hold today. The hold stat is essentially a converted save situation for a non-closer relief pitcher. To further clarify, Vinnie Pestano has 13 of them.


The Indians completed a couple of transactions before the game, activating Josh Tomlin from the DL and recalling Lonnie Chisenhall from AAA Columbus. In order to make room, the Indians placed Jack Hannahan on the 15-day DL with a calf strain and (woohoo!) DFA’d (woohoo!) Jairo Asencio (woohoo!).

It took Aaron Cunningham one at bat to get more hits today than Johnny Damon got in three. Damon is now hitting .152. Furthermore, with that hit in one at bat for Cunningham, every Indians position player had a hit today. Except Johnny Damon.

Luke Carlin had two hits today, in just his second game played. Johnny Damon has two hits in just one of his 22 games played.

Bob Davidson umped an entire game behind home plate and didn’t call a balk. That will fly over the head of most readers, but know that his nickname is Balkin’ Bob Davidson. Davidson was recently suspended by MLB for his actions during the May 15 Philadelphia Phillies game in which he provoked Phillies’ Manager Charlie Manuel and then ejected him for arguing.


AAA: The Clippers lost 7-1 to the Buffalo Bisons as they managed just three hits and made two errors. Zach McAllister pitched just five innings, allowing three runs, two earned, and striking out four.

AA: The Aeros split a doubleheader in Erie, winning Game One 4-0 and dropping Game Two 4-3. In the minor leagues, doubleheader games play just seven innings. Knuckleballer Steven Wright returned from the disabled list and threw three scoreless frames in Game One as the Aeros pitchers combined for seven three-hit innings. Loek Van Mil, a 7’1” righty took the blown save loss in Game Two. Chun Chen had a nice day, collecting three hits and walking twice on the day.

High-A: The Mudcats lost a tough one to Wilmington 4-3 as Michael Goodnight struck out nine in seven innings, but also allowed four runs on 10 hits. It was Carolina’s sixth straight defeat.

Low-A: The Captains gave up a touchdown in the first inning, but the Lansing Lugnuts missed the extra point, as Felix Sterling failed to get through the first and the Captains never caught up. It was an ugly game as the teams combined for six errors. Francisco Lindor came out of his 8-for-42 slump with a two-hit night.


Not as intense as Panda Watch! (Props to you if you get the reference.)

Doug Fister got knocked around by the Red Sox to end the Tigers three-game winning streak. Justin Verlander takes the hill on Tuesday against Daniel Bard.

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