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Spring Training Game #30: Cubs 4, Indians 3

Ubaldo cometh

Spring Training Game #30:  Cubs 4, Indians 3
Jimenez is all smiles after prior to dominant start
March 25, 2013
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LINEUP

Bourn -  CF (Carrera)
Aviles - SS (played whole game, later moved to LF)
Kipnis - 2B (Raburn)
Swisher - 1B (McGuiness)
Brantley - LF (Hernandez - SS)
Santana - C (Jeroloman)
Reynolds - DH (Gomes)
Chisenhall - 3B (Antonelli, Phelps - PH in 9th only, did not take field)
Stubbs - RF (Holt)

PITCHERS

Jimenez - 7+ IP
Allen - 1 IP
Shaw - 1 IP

The story of the day was clearly Ubaldo Jimenez's performance as the Tribe's starting pitcher.  While he was charged with three earned runs, two of them came in the eighth inning as he began to run out of gas.  Seriously, how often does a starter get into the eighth in a regular season game, much less a Spring Training exhibition?  What was even more incredible is that he had to go throw a few extra pitches on the side after being pulled to reach his scheduled pitch count.  This was beyond being both efficient and effective.  This was being both dominant and borderline machinelike.  If he can pitch anything like this when the games begin to count, it portends very well for the Wahoos in 2013.

What we need to hope doesn't continue into the regular season is the utter lack of run support Jimenez received today.  With the exception of SS Asdrubal Cabrera, who was scratched from today's and tomorrow's games after suffering a back injury earlier today in pregame batting practice, the Indians put out their planned Opening Day starting lineup.  They did not do well.  They were shut out through the first seven innings and the offense actually began to pick up in the eighth as substitutes began to factor in the offensive department.  While this was likely an off day by the lineup, it is one that they cannot stand to repeat too often come April 2nd.

Other notable performances included a 2-for-4, 2 RBI outing at the plate by Asdrubal Cabrera's replacement, Mike Aviles. The versatile Aviles moved to left field to begin the 8th inning, showcasing his value to this club both at the plate and in the field. Rekiever Bryan Shaw also pitched a perfect 9th with 2 Ks.  The lone worrying mound performance by an Indian today came from Cody Allen, who appeared shaky in his first go at entering the game in a jam this spring.  Hopefully this is just some nerves that will clear up as he gets acclimated to such situations.  Better to get any such butterflies out of the stomach when the games don't count.

The Tribe rolls on tomorrow with a 10:10 PM first pitch against the Colorado Rockies at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.  Right-hander Brett Myers takes the mound for the Indians, opposing Rockies lefty Jeff Francis.  The game will air live on indians.com and mlb.tv and will be televised on tape delay by MLB Network at midnight.  Both the MLB.TV and MLBN broadcasts will be of Rockies coverage from ROOT Sport Rocky Mountain.

User Comments

Canadian Joe
March 25, 2013 - 7:28 AM EDT
Looks like a lot of tough decisions coming in the next few days for management. Good, because there are some good pieces to pick from, not like other years where there really wasn't a lot to choose from. First couple of weeks will be fun to watch, with some of these moves, and no days off. Don't know what ruling they are after from MLB on Carrasco's suspension. Seems pretty straight forward.
On an outside note, sorry to see Weglarz was dropped from the Rays. Thought he was someone special 5 years ago, and we Canadians were pulling hard for him. Just shows what a bad string of injuries can do to a promising career. Our Tribe flags are at half mast today.

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