Where to start with this one?
Well how about the fact that we’re only 12 games in and Chad Durbin is already giving me an ulcer and not in the fun Bob Wickman I’m going to make you sweat bullets while I MacGyver my way to a save kinda way. This is more like I’m going to make you want to kick a squirrel. Manny Acta put him in to pitch the bottom of the 12th and things did not go well… at all. He struggled with his command, an alarming trend that presented itself in spring training and has carried over into the regular season. He was brought in to be the veteran of the bullpen having been an integral part of the Phillies pen the past few seasons. Now you have to wonder, with Joe Smith ready to return from rehab is Durbin that gets sent away to make room for him instead of Frank Herrmann? It’ll be an interesting decision.
There were a lot of positives from last night’s game. Carlos Carrasco pitched great again. He only allowed 2 runs, only one of which was earned (more on the other one in a few), and kept the Indians in the game. He finally looks like the stud picture he was billed as when we originally acquired him. It’s also the 10th game in a row in which the Indians have had a quality starting pitching performance. If that keeps up the Indians are going to win and be in a lot more games than people thought.
Another positive was the pitching by Vinnie Pestano, Tony Sipp, and Chris Perez was amazing. Again they combined for four innings of no hit relief pitching. Throw in the early season work by Rafael Perez and the Indians have one os the best bullpens in all of baseball, which as it just so happens, also happened in both 2005 and 2007. The bullpen serves as the back bone of the team and right now the Indians have one hell of a back bone.
The turning point of the game, the Durbin debacle aside, was the unearned run the Angels scored in the 4th inning. Howie Kendrick doubled to left field. No big deal… well, at least until Asdrubal Cabrerra decided to throw it to nobody. Kendrick took off for third and after he hit the base the ball rolled into the dug out. Kendrick was awarded home. Game tied 1-1. With a young pitcher on the mound, mistakes like that have to be avoided at all cost. One play can completely knock the wheels and that’s what happened with Carrasco. Bobby Abreu got on base and then Torii Hunter hit a homer to left, 3-1 Angels. The Indians were then forced to play catch up. In Carrasco’s defense he did hit the reset button and recovered nicely. It was his only hiccup of the game.
The downfall of the game was the inability of the tribe to score with a runner on third and less than two outs. It happened four times on Wednesday night and they were successful only once. That has to change. Part of the problem is the continuing struggles of Choo, Santana, and LaPorta. The three of them are not hitting the ball very well right now. I’ve made no secret about the fact that without Choo and Santana hitting the Indians will struggle to score runs. It’s just a fact. Maybe a day off and a return home will help. We’re just gonna have to wait and see. All I know is it’s been 8 or 9 games since I’ve been able to run around my apartment screaming Choo! at the top of my lungs confusing the neighbors in the process.