2013 Spring Training Game #17: Indians 9, Cubs 2
Huff, McAllister pitch Indians to victory
The Wahoos taste victory once again in the preseason on a day which provided much in the way of good signs regarding the Tribe's rotation. More on those signs, as well as other notable performances from the day, but first the lineup:
Bourn - CF (Fedroff and Latimore - both LF)
Kipnis - 2B (Raburn)
Giambi - DH (Francisco)
Swisher - 1B (McDade)
Chisenhall - 3B (Rohlinger)
Marson - C (Santos)
Carrera - RF (Carson)
Diaz - SS (Lindor)
Hunter LF (played whole game, later moved to CF)
Huff - 3 IP
McAllister - 4 IP
Albers - 1 IP
Martinez - 1 IP
First off, how about those starting pitchers! David Huff struggled at the very beginning of the game giving up a double to Cubs CF David DeJesus followed by a two-run homer off the bat of SS Javier Baez. However, he followed it up by pitching three innings worth of shutout baseball on two hits while striking out three and walking no one. The good "starting" pitching continued with Zach McAllister's four shutout innings. He gave up three hits and, like Huff, struck out three without conceding a single walk. Before you write off McAllister's middle-inning performance as the result of facing second-string opposition, keep in mind that he only faced one non-starter in today's game: Cubs reserve LF Brian Bogusevic in the 7th. Also keep in mind that Bogusevic got one of the three hits the Cubs managed off of Huff.
In the hitting category, highlights among those players either assured of or competing for a spot on the Big Club's roster included a solo homer to centerfield by 2B Jason Kipnis in the 4th which put the Indians on the board as well as an impressive 6th inning in which the Indians manufactured five runs and put the game away with many regulars still in the game (well, at least until they were pinch-run for in the same inning). Contributions by those with at least a chance to open the season in Cleveland included singles by 1B Nick Swisher and RF Ezequiel Carrera, walks from DH Jason Giambi and C Lou Marson, and a sacrifice fly from 3B Lonnie Chisenhall.
Finally, while he has almost no chance to make the Major League roster, LF-CF Cedric Hunter continues to do nothing but help his chances to make the opening Day roster in the Arena Distirct (or maybe even with another organization in the Major Leagues) as he went 3-for-3 with a walk and a three-run homer which capped off the aforementioned 6th inning offensive explosion.
I tried to look for negatives from this game to balance out this report, but outside of Huff's disastrous first two batters that he faced, I couldn't really find anything that caused me any great concern, So, all is good in Wahooland, though not so much in Team USA-land, however. I am seriously concerned going into last night's matchup with Italy and today's matchup with Canada. I still can't believe that I am typing such a sentence with a straight face, but I am.
So go Tribe and go USA on Sunday!