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Second Thoughts: Game #117 - Indians 6, Angels 9

Second Thoughts: Game #117 - Indians 6, Angels 9
August 15, 2012
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  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
CLE 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 2 0 6 11 0
LAA 4 0 0 4 0 1 0 0 x 9 13 0
W: Z. Greinke (1-1) L: U. Jimenez (9-12) S: E. Frieri (14)

The Recap

This game seemed to be extremely characteristic of the Indians’ season.  Coming off a strong start, Ubaldo Jiminez let up four runs in both the first and fourth innings.  The Tribe clawed back into it but were never able to bounce back from the deep deficit.  This was the second game of their West Coast road trip.  The team dropped to 54-63 after the loss.

Scoring

Bottom 1st:Torii Hunter singled to center, scoring Mike Trout
Bottom 1st: Kendrys Morales singled to left, scoring Torii Hunter
Bottom 1st: Mike Trumbo singled to right, Albert Pujols scored
Bottom 1st: Chris Iannetta singled to left, Mike Trumbo scored
Top 4th: Michael Brantley homered to right, Carlos Santana scored
Bottom 4th: Eric Aybar hit solo Home Run to right.
Bottom 4th: Albert Pujols homered to left, scoring Iannetta and Trout
Bottom 6th: Pujols doubled to center, scoring Hunter
Top 7th: Ezequiel Carrera reached on infield single, Michael Brantley scored
Top 8th: Jason Donald scored on RBI groundout by Jason Kipnis
Top 8th: Casey Kotchman homered to right, scoring Brantley.

3 Up

Michael Brantley: Brantley entered the game hitless in his last 11 at-bats.  Brantley jumped on the first pitch he saw in the fourth inning, sending a home run into the right field bullpen.  It was very encouraging that he hit the ball hard in every at-bat Tuesday night. Brantley has been the most consistent hitter for the team all season, so it is good to see him come out of his mini-drought. His continued development from the time he entered the big leagues makes me believe that he could absolutely become an all-star in the next few years.

The Bullpen: Frank Herrmann and Chris Seddon combined to give up one run over four innings of relief work.  Both of these guys aren’t considered big-time prospects by any means, but it would be nice if they could develop into bullpen assets down the line.  Herrmann has fastball velocity in the low to mid-90s.  The Indians should work with him on his developing spike curveball as he seems to have promise in the ‘pen.   Seddon is a soft-tossing lefty that reminds me of Jeremy Sowers and will live and die by his ability to paint corners throughout his career.  I was impressed with the movement that he had on his off-speed pitches Tuesday night.

Jason Donald: I realize that Donald didn’t do anything particularly exciting Tuesday night, other than hit a routine single in the 7th inning that sparked a nice inning, but I have always been a fan of him.  I think that Donald fits the “super utility” role perfectly for this team, as he can play most every infield position.  He’s a relatively cheap option that carries a decent bat (career .265 hitter) for a bench player.  I hope the Indians can give him more consistent playing time in the next month, as they determine his future role within the organization.

3 Down

Inconsistency: This word epitomizes the Indians’ 2012 season.  Ubaldo rebounded from his 10 K performance last week with a horrendous start getting shelled for four runs right out of the gates in the first inning and then bombed again in the fourth inning for four more runs.  He was unable to locate his fastball and got hit rather hard and at this point continues to be an unknown with what we will get from him on a nightly basis.

Albert Pujols: Why did this guy have to come to the American League?  In the first two games of the series, he is 4-for-8 with two homers and six RBIs.  His third at-bat in Tuesday’s game proved why he is one of the best hitters in the game, when he was able to foul off every pitch in Chris Seddon’s arsenal before smoking a double to left center.  It’s not a good feeling knowing that the Indians have to face Pujols for the next five years (as well as Mike Trout).

First Pitch: The Indians were pitching from behind all night. As a team, the pitchers threw 19 first-pitch strikes to 40 total batters.  Ubaldo had only ten first-pitch strikes to the 23 batters he faced.  When you compare that with Grienke’s 18-of-29 rate, it is easy to understand part of Ubaldo’s struggles.  According to FanGraphs, Ubaldo walks approximately 20% of the batters that begin their at-bat with a ball.  If nothing else, I hope that Ubaldo can find some control between now and the start of next season.

Up Next

The Indians face the Angels in the rubber match of this series Wednesday night at 10:00 EST.  Roberto Hernandez (formerly known as Fausto Carmona) gets his first start of the season.  Hernandez will face Ervin Santana (5-10, 5.82).

Will Biggar is a rising senior at Colgate University.  You can reach him on twitter @will_biggar or wbiggar@colgate.edu.

User Comments

shy
August 15, 2012 - 12:52 PM EDT
I let my feelings be known when Antonetti did the Wildbaldo deal- there was no intelligent way to defend it at the time. I watched both Pomeranz and White pitch against the Giants. They both got hit hard this week, but they were impressive. Duane Kuiper ex-Indian and Giants broadcaster was very impressed w both of them- compared Pomeranz's cutter to Greg Maddox and said he has the look of a front-line starter. Alex White had some command issues, but he is now throwing a splitter that is absolutely filthy- if he can learn consistency w it, and I believe he will, they're both intelligent and tough kids. I agree Antonetti is in his own little corporate management world. Tunes out the people in the stands, and probably the people on the field as well. I'm sure he listens to Dolan cause that's who signs his checks, for now.
matt underwood
August 15, 2012 - 11:32 AM EDT
What is wrong with admitting failure - why does this FO have such an issue? I think more respect would be given if they were willing to stand up and say "we tried, we really did, it just did not work out the way we expected it to". I could honestly say I would look at them with more understanding.

Instead it of saying "we screwed up" it is more of "the team needs to play better" or (worst of all) "the talent is there and needs to play to the potential" - F-ing BS. This team sucks. It sucked when they were winning, it sucks now.

So sick of the corporate speak of this regime. Just be freaking honest and straight forward and not try and hide your mistakes - you'll get a lot more leeway with people. Especially when the BS meter is off the charts!

Since I am ranting, STOP signing/playing over the hill vets and keep running the kids out there for christ sake!
Tony
August 15, 2012 - 9:31 AM EDT
Just an awful trade. And sadly, even though he has arguably been the worst starting pitcher in baseball this season, the Indians will probably pick up his option for next season (I wouldn't) simply because it would be admitting failure on the trade.
Bob Collins
August 15, 2012 - 9:18 AM EDT
When you're ERA is pushing six, you have a losing record and you've pretty much sucked since you were traded for two top pitching prospects in the organization, it's hardly an unknown what Ubaldo is going to give you on a nightly basis. The good performances are rare and can adequately be described as what his Cy Young season was -- a fluke. Hoping for anything better or believing he is two pitchers in one uniform is merely wishful thinking.

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