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Second Thoughts: Game #112 - Red Sox 3, Indians 5

Second Thoughts: Game #112 - Red Sox 3, Indians 5
August 10, 2012
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  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
BOS 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 3 9 0
CLE 1 0 0 0 3 0 0 1 X 5 10 0
W: U. Jimenez (9-11) L: F. Doubront (10-6) S: C. Perez (30)

Pre-Game Notes:

A few things before we get going.

Before the game Travis Hafner was placed on the DL with lower back inflammation and the Indians recalled Jason Donald.  Also before the game the Indians dismissed pitching coach Scott Radinsky, replacing him in the interim with Columbus pitching coach Ruben Niebla.

Before the game I was discussing the Indians with a friend and I said that in my opinion Scott Radinsky needed to be fired, and I was shocked to see when I got home, that he had in fact been fired.  While certainly the pitchers themselves need to shoulder much of the blame, the Indians rotation has been a mess the whole year, and the recent losing streak was simply the nail in Radinsky’s coffin.

As far as Thursday night’s game, the Red Sox came to town last night to begin a four-game set against the Indians.  Felix Doubront got the start for the Sox and Ubaldo Jimenez got the nod for the Tribe.

Scoring Recap:

- Jason Donald, leading off for the Indians, clubs a solo shot down the right field line to start the game, Indians lead 1-0.

- Adrian Gonzalez strokes a two-run homerun to right field, scoring himself and Dustin Pedroia who reached on a single, Red Sox lead 2-1.

- Dustin Pedroia singles home Jacoby Ellsbury from second base, who reached second on a single and a stolen base, Red Sox 3, Indians 1.

- Lou Marson singles, Jason Donald walks and Asdrubal Cabrera rips a single down the left field line to score Marson and move Donald to third, Red Sox lead cut to one at 3-2.

- Shin-Soo Choo walked to load the bases and Carlos Santana singled between third and short to score Jason Donald. The game is tied 3-3  and Red Sox starter Felix Doubront is pulled from the game.

- Michael Brantley’s sacrifice fly to left field scored Cabrera and put the Tribe on top 4-3.

- Zeke Carrera and Brent Lillibridge both reach on infield hits, Lou Marson walked and Jason Donald drove a run in with another infield hit. Indians on top 5-3

The Starting Pitching:

Ubaldo Jimenez: 6 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 10 K

- Jimenez basically breezed through the Red Sox order the first time through.  The second time through he ran into some trouble that basically centered around his pitches catching too much of the plate.  The Red Sox (especially at the top of their lineup) will not let these mistakes go.

- All in all Jimenez had a very nice start.  He paid for a few mistakes, but he walked only one hitter and showed some serious swing-and-miss stuff racking up 10 strikeouts total and twice striking out the side.

- Games like this show you how dominant Jimenez can be, but I’m not sure if it makes me happy or sad to see those flashes.

The Offense:

- Some early offense from Donald always helps but several times last night the offense looked patient and under control.  As always, this offense is designed to be successful when everyone is patient and taking their walks instead of forcing the issue.

- Hits with the bags full. The Indians didn’t exactly have breakthrough hits with the bases loaded, but they have been so bad all year with bases juiced it’s just nice to see them get two singles.

- Call me crazy but I have always been a fan of Zeke Carrera. I know he has his flaws, but why did we have to suffer through Aaron Cunningham for so long this year?  As a fourth outfielder his speed and hustle could certainly have helped this team.

- Great at-bat by Asdrubal Cabrera in the 8th, down 0-2 he fouled off several pitches right back to the screen and worked the count to 2-2 before the Red Sox just put Cabrera on.  When the pitcher just essential gives up and says, “Let’s try the next guy,” you know you had a good at-bat.

The Defense:

- Two steals in the first inning for Jacoby Ellsbury. This is getting old.  Maybe Ruben Niebla can help these pitchers control the running game.

- Great double play in the 7th inning to help Tony Sipp get out of a sticky situation.  It started when Asdrubal Cabrera back-handed a ball in the hole at shortstop.  Several times in the past two weeks Cabrera has let runners advance to third in front of him on this same play.  Last night Cabrera came up quickly and fired a shot to third, where they got one out, then on to second for another.  Great play all around and nice to see Cabrera finally nail this play.

The Bullpen:

Tony Sipp: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
Vinnie Pestano: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
Chris Perez: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K

- Pestano worked himself into some trouble in the 8th by suddenly losing his control, but worked himself out of it by regaining it just as quickly.  The Indians did begin to warm up Joe Smith as Pestano struggled but in the end it wasn’t necessary.

- The newly beard-less Chris Perez got the save, although the stadium was deathly silent essentially the entire time Perez was out there.  There was some cheering after there were two outs but I think everyone was just holding their breath waiting for Perez to self-destruct again.

Wrap-Up:

A new streak is born! Seriously though, a huge win for the Indians.  I have to be honest, earlier in the week, in the midst of the streak, I saw that this game was going to be broadcast on MLB network and I was worried that this game could be pretty embarrassing.  But luckily, Jimenez put together a very nice start, the offense, defense and bullpen all came to play and the Tribe took the first game from the Red Sox. Chris Seddon will get the start Friday night against Clay Buchholz for the Red Sox.

Finally, not to read too much into one start, but I do find it interesting that Jimenez had such a nice start the same day that Scott Radinsky was let go.  I’m not saying that Radinsky and Jimenez clashed, but if Radinsky was as well liked by the players as everyone claims, then perhaps his firing will light a fire under some of these players to step up their game. Some accountability can only do this team good.

User Comments

Jason Ruggiero
August 10, 2012 - 9:53 PM EDT
Rich - there was no accountability on this team until recently and honestly, they need even more. If the pitchers do step up their game because Radinsky got fired, they didn't do it before because they probably never believed he would get fired. That's what happens on a team that allows players who hit .175 to hang around for 2/3 of the season.
Rich
August 10, 2012 - 7:58 PM EDT
By the way, this game followed the usual Indians formula for a win - a strong performance by the starting pitcher, a lock down job by the back of the bullpen, and scraping together just enough runs to win. Oh, and solid defense as exhibited by Asdrubal's play to throw the runner out and third.

Unfortunately, the Indians need all four elements to get a win. If anything is missing they're in trouble. It's not like they can hit themselves out of a bad performance by the starter or a key error that leads to several unearned runs.
Rich
August 10, 2012 - 7:54 PM EDT
I don't understand the last paragraph. If Radinsky was well-liked, wouldn't the pitchers get fired up to save his job and pitch better before he got canned?

As opposed to saying, "Geez, what a shame Rad got fired, let's bear down and pitch better." All that will do is make it look like the firing was justified.

Rob
August 10, 2012 - 5:46 PM EDT
Is it true that Orlando consulted with Antonetti and Shapiro on the Dwight Howard trade??
Jason Ruggiero
August 10, 2012 - 5:33 PM EDT
Thanks. Hopefully Ubaldo's start was a sign of things to come.
dennis
August 10, 2012 - 11:16 AM EDT
Loved your last paragraph

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