Tagged: Mark DeRosa

Series at a Glance: Tribe @ Reds

 First off, Much congrats to Melissa http://clemsongirlbaseball.mlblogs.com/ for cracking the top 10 in the MLBlogoshpere! if you didn’t see, her pic was featured on the MLBlogs main page! Ironically, Her pic was next to MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, who’s own MLBlog inspired me to make this one! Coincidence? 

Photobucket

This weekend, The Tribe started interleauge play vs. the Reds for the “Ohio Cup.” What’s the Ohio Cup? I have no idea… It’s the first time I’ve heard of it and I’ve followed this series since interleague play started in 1997! But, whatever. I do know that the Indians went into Cincinnati after winning two vs. KC to face their NL counterpart, The Reds.

In game 1, Grady give us early hope. After going 1-for-14 in the four game before Friday’s, Sizemore went 2-for-4 with a 1st inning homer and did a good job in the outfield. The lead didn’t last long though as the Reds responded when Phillips hit sacrifice fly to left in their half of the 1st.

Just when I started to think the starting pitching was getting better…Anthony Reyes proves me wrong… again. He walked six batters and hit another in only three innings on work. Still, He did only allow the one run in the 1st, so maybe there is hope…

Of course, the Bullpen blew it again in the 8th with Laffey giving up 2-runs to give the Reds a 3-2 win. But overall, I was OK with this loss. I mean, it wasn’t like they lost by 5 or 6. Your gonna have games like this where you just can’t pull out the win. I give the Tribe credit on this one. They really kept it close.

Game 2 went a little better. After the Reds scored on a homer in the 1st, Mark DeRosa responded with a 2-run long ball of is own! Add Cabrera’s 2-run RBI Single and after 1 1/2 innings the Tribe have a three point lead…

…which David Huff quickly blew after giving up two more home runs making the score CLE 4 CIN 6 after 2 innings. *sigh*

But the game wasn’t over! DeRosa hit a 2-run RBI single to tie in the 5th and Cabrera hit the game winning RBI on a sac-grounder in the 8th to give the Indians a 7-6 win! DeRosa did alot to get this win, so did Choo. He went 2-for-3 with a run and some great catches in left that could of killed us in the end if they weren’t made.

Lee got the start in game 3 and did pretty well only giving up 2-runs in 6 innings. His ERA is hovering around 3.00 now.  And I don’t know what it is with Grady in the #2 spot, but it’s working! He went 2-for-4 with a RBI and a Triple that may as well be called a Inside-The-Park Homer as he was able to score on a throwing error to tie the game at 3-3.

The Tribe did all they could but ended up losing in the 11th when Alex Gonzalez it the game-winning RBI double. But even though we lost this series 2 games to 1, I ok with it. The Indians keep all the games close and you really can’t place blame on anyone or anything other than these just being though-luck loses.

The good thing about this series was it gave Hafner a chance to improve his swing in the minors seeing how there’s no DH in NL games. From what I’ve heard he’s hit a few Homers and RBI’s playing down in Columbus.

Reyes and Laffey were placed on the DL after game 1. Even though they haven’t gotten the job done, we really can’t afford to lose any more pitching…

Overall, we might not have won this series, but I’m happy with how they did.

Just remember Tribe, Next time we see the Reds… It’ll be in an AL ballpark. Ours.
~Casey 

What $1.5 Billion Can Get Ya!

Photobucket
   (4-8)      Indians     22
Photobucket
   (6-6)      Yankees     4              Final

Oh Hell Yeah!

After game heartbreaking loss yesterday afternoon (which was caused only caused by a home plate ump who didn’t know what a ball or strike is…) The Indians showed the Yankee fans just what a brand new, $1.5 Billion dollar, state-of-the-art stadium can get them.

Before really getting into the game itself, after the past three games, I think it’s safe to say that the New Yankee Stadium is DEFINITELY a hitter’s ballpark. At least 3 home runs a game have happened thus far and winds are carrying pop-flies over the wall in right field. I want to see what happens later in the season and see if all the games here will turn into a home run derby.

Now, on to today’s game! I was little worried about Carmona after that 2-run home run Teixeira hit in the 1st. But, he calmed down, got out of the inning and the Tribe’s offense did the rest! Carmona then did his part by going 4 scoreless innings and finally going 6 full only giving up another 2 runs.

I think it’s safe to say that this one was over in the 2nd. Why? 14 runs in one inning! The Indians beat up on Chien-Ming Wang like he was a rented mule! Then went on to beat up the guy who relived him! I can’t help but feel bad for Wang though. He only lasted 1/3 inning longer than his last start. He (and the rest of baseball) knows he’s better than that.

Now, without going over EVERY run scored for the Tribe in this one, I’ll just do a quick recap of the home runs…

Shin-Soo Choo: 3-Run Home Run into the Indians bullpen in left in 2nd.
Asdrubal Cabrera: Grand Slam to Right Center in 2nd.
Grady Sizemore: Solo Shot to Right in 2nd. (right after Cabrera’s)
Mark DeRosa: 3-Run Home Run into the Indians bullpen in left in 5th.
Victor Martinez: Solo Shot to Right in 5th. (right after DeRosa’s)
Travis Hafner: Solo Shot to Left in 8th.

Bottom Line: 13 Runs out of 22 scored off of 6 Home Runs!

The Bullpen took over for Camona and didn’t let the Yankees intimidate them (Not that they really could) and left them with just the 4 runs. 
Photobucket

Overall, a good game… 😀

I am a little worried about tomorrow. It’ll be Pavano vs. Burnett so New York as the advantage. But who knows? Maybe this big win will give us the motivation to play like we used to…

But today’s game will be like the 22-0 victory we had vs the Yanks in 2004…

One we will always remember.
~Casey

A Sobering Win…

Photobucket
   (2-7)    Indians    5
Photobucket
   (5-4)    Royals    4      Final

Finally, another win! After a ‘close-but-no-cigar’ loss on Friday and another bullpen collapse  last night, this was much needed.

Sizemore had a great game, going 2-for-4 with a RBI to give the Tribe the lead which they kept for most of the game. My olny fault with his performance today is the he shouldn’t of tried to steal home on that wild pitch. There was NO chance that he was going to be safe unless the ump was blind. C’mon Grady! You know better than that!

The starting pitching and the bullpen are slowly but surely getting better. Aaron Laffey just pitched the best game of any starter thus far. The scary thing about that? He was only bought up to fill in for the injured Scott Lewis who is on the 15-day DL. Laffey went 5 1/3 innings and 5 K’s in the no decision while his relief Jensen Lewis (1-0) issued three straight walks in the bottom of the seventh but still got the win.

DeRosa now has a 5-game hit streak going and had a RBI single today. Pronk went 2-for-3 with a RBI and a run. And Wood got his first save of the season and as a Cleveland Indian. Overall, a very well played and entertaining game.

The Indians may have lost the first two games, but they’re starting the click on what needs to be worked on to win. The offense is good. The defense on the field is good. The starting rotation is (slowly) getting better. So it seems the bullpen is the main problem to focus on. This game today almost went into extras today because of a KC homer if it wasn’t for a Royal trying to turn a single into a double and getting thrown out at 2nd. The bullpen is giving up WAY to many runs and the the trends of the starters continue, we can kiss any hope of seeing the Postseason goodbye…

But, I’m going to stay optimistic. I believe the Tribe now knows how to win and is ready for the Yankees and whatever the fans have for them in the New Yankee Staduim. Tomorrow, we’ll have a battle of the last two AL Cy Young winners! Lee vs Sabathia. I’ll be doing a live MLBlog of the game tomorrow so be tuned in for that.

Until then, let’s just sit back and enjoy today’s win, Tribe… The guys on the field deserve it.
~Casey

[EDIT] OH! I forgot to mention, today was Jackie Robinson Day across Major Leauge Baseball. It was nice to see most, if not all of the players today wear #42 in tribute to the man who helped change the game for better.

A Win for Your Easter Basket

Photobucket
   (5-2)      Blue Jays    4
Photobucket
   (1-5)      Indians     8          Final

The Tribe was determined to make sure the fans at Progressive Field didn’t go home with a rotten egg this Easter…

It took about a week, but the Indians FINALLY got their first win today against the Toronto Blue Jays by beating them 8-4. After getting destroyed by Texas in all three games in the season openers, losing the home opener that took WAY too long and just missing a chance to pull a 9th inning comeback yesterday, We get our first W on the year.

This means a lot to the Tribe. Not just as a boost of confidence, but many questions were answered…

Bats are awake and Pronk is BACK! Hafner hit his third Home Run in four games. Well, maybe ‘hit’ isn’t the right word… ‘Crushed’ seems more fitting. I know he won’t stay this hot all season, but it’s just great to see that his slump is over. As for the other batters, so far no real complaints. DeRosa got his first homer as a member of the Tribe. I’m very glad that whatever was holding him back at Texas seems to have let go. I just wish we could start getting base hits with guys in scoring position.

Kerry Wood can help save this team! Ok, Maybe it IS a little early to say that, but today, he stuck out all three of the batters he faced in the 9th in epic fashion! I think the Tribe will do just fine with him as our closer.

Those being said, There are still things that need to be worked on before the Indians can start seeing true success.

Fix the starting rotation.  Anthony Reyes played six innings and got the win today but a wild pitch and a badly thrown ball kept the Jays in the game until the Indians bats attacked in the 8th. But, thus far, he still had the best game any Tribe starter has had yet! Cliff did better on Saturday but still only pitched five innings. And Carl Pavano’s ERA is 81.00! I didn’t even think you could have an ERA that high!!! Let’s hope Carmona can bounce back tomorrow night at KC. I don’t want to talk about this issue all season long…

Get hits with guys in scoring position. I know I talked about this a little already, but this as been a problem for the Indians for some time now. We always seem to leave that one guy on 2nd or 3rd at the end of an inning with no runs to show for it! Thankfully, with the bats as hot as they are now, we may solve that problem soon.

I’m so happy that we won’t be falling to our worst record since 1914. This win was something we needed and we got it because of a team effort and it wouldn’t surprise me if it’ll be used as motivation for many wins to come.

…A happy Easter indeed…
~Casey

(PS: And congrats to Trevor Crowe on getting his first MLB hit and RBI today! Way to go!)

Quick 2009 Tribe Preview…

I’ll likely go into full detail into what I think about this year’s team later this week. (I like to see or listen to a few games before I can truly give my opinions on things like this.) So, before the Tribe’s Opening Day game, here are my thoughts on the 2009 Cleveland Indians!

Grady Sizemore: I don’t think he’ll have another Gold Glove year, but he’ll deffinitly do his job in the outfield as well as in the batter’s box. I think if the #8 and #9 hitters do their work, Grady could make a run for the RBI Title.

Mark DeRosa: Sizemore’s finally getting the help he needs as the leadoff man. He played great in the WBC with a .316 AVG and I think he’ll stay hot throughout most of the MLB season and give the Indians a push when they need it. This guy is our new Casey Blake.


Victor Martinez:
I’m not sure about Vic… I’m not 100% sold on the fact that shifting him to 1st base is a good thing. I think he’ll have a much better year at bat, but not knowing where he’ll be defenseivly through most of the season worries me a little.


Travis Hafner:
I believe Pronk will have a much better year as well. As long as he stays healthy, he’ll snap out of his slump. I also think shifting Hafner to 1st and puting Vic at DH for part of the season is a better choice… But so far, every time I say that I get confused looks from everybody so, maybe I’m just crazy.


Jhonny Peralta:
I don’t really have much to say about Peralta. I just think He’ll have a year just like last and could be in talks for the Shortstop Gold Glove. (But likely won’t win it.)


Shin-Soo Choo:
I’ve always liked this guy for some reason I just can’t seem to place my finger on… The Tribe was a little worried about him in the WBC while hurt, but he played great for Korea continued to play well in Spring Training. Expect a lot of base hits and home runs from “Big League Choo” this season.


Kelly Shoppach:
Maybe Shoppach’s a better choice at 1st than Victor… I don’t know. This is another guy I have little to no opinion or predictions on. I just wish Eric Wedge knew what to do at Catcher.


Ben Francisco:
I think Ben will do OK. I just see more defense rather than offense coming from him.


Asdrubal Cabrera:
Remember that Unassisted triple play he pulled off last season? It’s a bit of a stretch to say that he’ll pull something like that off again, But I think it’s save to say that the Indians are good at 2nd base.


Cliff Lee:
I honestly believe that last year’s Cy Young winning season was a fluke for Lee. Not to say he won’t have a good year this year, but if you’re looking for him to pull off another 20+ win season, you’re crazy. I think he’ll get somewhere between 15 and 18 wins this year.


Fausto Carmona:
This kid has what it takes if he could just learn to settle his nerves. I think he’ll finally figure that out this year. I can see him getting at least 14 wins this season.


Kerry Wood:
I’m not going to lie… when ESPNews broke the story that Wood was traded to Cleveland, I got the biggest grin on my face! He is the final piece to our bullpen puzzle. Wood can definitely get the most saves in the AL this year.


Final Thoughts:
After our heartbreak in 2007 and the disappointing season last year, I think we really have a chance this year if the Tribe can stay healthy. The AL central will be a battle between the Tribe and the Twins… with whoever coming in second winning the Wild Card.


Bottom Line:
The Indians have what it takes and the tools to win. Our road to a World Series starts now!

Man, I can’t till tomorrow!

IT’S TRIBE TIME NOW!
~Casey