Live Blogging Indians vs. Twins

The Indians are taking on the Twins again today in the rubber match of a three game set.  Today’s game is set for a 12:05 start time.  Given how slow work has been the past few days, this seems like the perfect time to live blog another Indians game.  Last time I did this things didn’t work out so well, but I’m willing to give it another chance.  Masterson and the Indians got their faces beat in by the Tampa Bay Rays.  This will also give me a chance to complain about the Indians and their struggles as they happen.  Then again, who knows… this could be the catalyst that kick starts another winning streak.  So here’s goes nothing.

Today’s lineups:

Indians:

  1. Michael Brantley, LF
  2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
  3. Grady Sizemore, CF
  4. Carlos Santana, C
  5. Shin-Soo Choo, RF
  6. Matt LaPorta, DH
  7. Cord Phelps, 2B
  8. Jack Hannahan, 3B
  9. Lou Marson, C
  • Justin Masterson, P

Twins:

  1. Ben Revere, CF
  2. Alecxi Casilla, SS
  3. Michael Cuddyer, RF
  4. Justin Morneau, DH
  5. Delmon Young, LF
  6. Danny Valencia, 3B
  7. Luke Hughes, 1B
  8. Matt Tolbert, 2B
  9. Drew Butera, C
  • Carl Pavano

12:05:  Before I can even type this, the first pitch of the game is a strike and Ben Revere strike out on a check swing.  Great start for Masterson.  Seems like he has his good stuff.  Wow, Masterson is working fast.  Alexi Casilla just flew out to Brantely in left.

12:10:  Michael Cuddyer just broke his bat and nearly killed Asdrubal Cabrera in the process.  He’s fouled off about 15 pitches so far it seems.  Masterson and Cuddyer are really battling here in the early goings.  And finally it comes to an end as Cuddyer lines out to Choo in right.  A quick 1, 2, 3 inning for Masterson is exactly what the Indians needed.  Looks like Masterson brought his A game today.

12:15:  Michael Brantley lines a single to left field to get things going.  He has been such a stud so far this year.  He’s looking like the steal from the C.C. Sabathia trade.  At this point he’s been way better than LaPorta.  With Pavano on the mound today he needs to look to be aggressive and steal some bases.  Here comes Asdrubal.

12:19: So much for being aggressive.  Brantley takes off, Cabrera stirkes out, and Brantley is caught stealing.  Sizemore goes quietly to end the inning.  I can’t help but feel like they gave Minnesota a break with that double play.  On a related note, Asdrubal Cabrera is now 0-17 lifetime against Carl Pavano…yes, Carl Pavano.  Yeah… I don’t know either.

12:26: The Twins go quietly again.  Danny Valencia singled with 2 outs, but then was gunned down by Lou Marson trying to steal second and Cord Phelps applied the tag.  Masterson is cruising right now.  Let’s just hope the Indians can get him some runs early to take some pressure off.  Carlos Santana leads it off.

12:32  Santana flies out to start the inning, but Choo finally does something positive and doubles to left.  Has anyone noticed he’s not pulling the ball at all?  Not that he was a dead pull hitter, but everything is the opposite field.  Anyways, time for LaPorta to earn his keep.

12:33: To quote Tom Hamilton, “LaPorta hit high and deep to center. Revere back, to the track, to the wall!!!!!  Caught.”  Thanks, Tom.  I appreciate you getting my hopes up.  Choo advances to third.  Cord Phelps is now up making his major league debut.  And just like that on one pitch, Phelps grounds out up the middle to second base.  The Indians squander yet another opportunity.  On a related note, do you think Phelps is nervous at all?  He only hacked away at the first pitch he saw.  We go to the 3rd still scoreless

12:41: Hughes singles and then Masterson retires the next two batters.  Unfortunately, Ben Revere smashes a single and puts the Twins up 1-0.  Looks like the Indians will be coming back from behind yet again today, but what else is new?  Masterson still looks like he had his stuff working today.  Speaking of having their A game, Lou Marson just nailed Revere trying to steal second.  That’s the second runner he’s caught in as many innings.  That’s huge.  Too bad Marson can’t hit as well as he throws.

12:47: Hannahan grounds out softly to first base.  Here comes Lou Marson.  You’re my boy, Lou!

12:48: And Marson grounds out to second…crap.

12:49: Brantley singles up the middle to center.  He’s been on a tear this entire series, which has really helped dig the LaPorta Potties out of the cellar in my fantasy league.  And Pavano just drilled Asdrubal Cabrera on the back of the right elbow.  This is good for the impending rally, but that probably isn’t good.  Asdrubal, being a short stop is notoriously right-handed.  Time for Grady to send one over the wall in right.  He’s due.

12:52: Pavano jams Sizemore and he pops out to short.  Great. Grand, Wonderful.  Three Innings down and already we’ve wasted three opportunities to score, two of which with a runner in scoring position.  I’m beginning to worry.

12:57: Masterson is dealing.  two quick outs and now Justin Morneau steps to the plate.  On the first pitch he grounds out to Asdrubal.  Alright, let’s get some runs.  Masterson is doing his part. It’s time for the bats to do theirs.

1:00: Carlos Santana does exactly what Carlos Santana seems to do.  No he doesn’t homer or double.  He walks.  Glad to see our cleanup hitter leading the universe in walks.  it’s Choo time.  CHOOOOOO!!!!

1:04: Well… at least Choo made a productive out.  How great is it that we’re happy when our “best player” makes a productive out?  What the hell is going on with him right now?  Santana moves down to second on the ground out.

1:06: And LaPorta strikes out.  At least Tom Hamilton didn’t get my hopes up this time.  Chad Phelps steps for the plate for his second at bat ever.  It’s time for the rookie to come through because no one else seems to want to get the job done.

1:08: On a positive note, Phelps saw more than 1 pitch.  He saw 4 pitches this time.  Unfortunately, the result wasn’t any better.  Phelps strikes out to end the inning and strand yet another runner at second.  Now, I know the reason to bring Phelps up is to try and get a spark that has been missing thanks to Orlando Cabrera going comatose about three weeks ago, but really… is that the answer.  I think I’d still rather see Cabrera over Phelps.  There’s too much at stake to be relying on a kid.  This coming from the same person who’s begging for Chisenhall to get a shot.

1:15: And the Twins are threatening with 2 outs.  They have runners on first and third.  Masterson needs to work some magic right here right now or else they might get into an insurmountable 2 run hole… ugh.

1:17: Ask and you shall receive.  Sizemore snags a liner out in center to end the inning and the threat.  Alright, now it’s go time.  Here comes the inning when the Indians start scoring some runs.  Like how I talked myself into it there.  I’m trying to talk myself out of the impending 1. 2. 3 inning that’s about to happen.

1:19: I’m not sure if it was my positive vibes, or a desire to prove me wrong, but Hannahan singles to lead off the inning.  Now it’s time for Marson to show a sign of life.  Wait, 1 for his last 34 against righties?  Isn’t Carl Pavano right-handed?  Why the hell is Marson in the lineup?

1:22: Marson flies out to left field.  Back to the top of the order and the red-hot Michael Brantley.  I’d kill for a home run or a run scoring double right now.

1:25: After two very close foul liners down the first base line, Brantley flies out to the track in right field.  Once again… my hopes were dashed.  Cabrera comes to bat still looking for his first ever hit off of Pavano.

1:27: Nope.  The drought continues.  Asdrubal grounds out to second.  After 5 very quick innings it’s still Twins 1-Indians nada.  Looks like Masterson is going to have to go back in time and find a way to erase that run he gave up in the 3rd.  And as I type that, Ben Revere gets yet another single to left.

1:31: Michael Cuddyer is up with a runner on 3rd and 1 out.  He’s only batting .185 with runners in scoring position, but his reputation precedes him.  I’m still a bit worried.  A strike out or pop up would be great right about now.

1:32: Cuddyer grounds out to Asdrubal and he’s able to hold the runner at third.  And of course, Justin Morneau comes up and doubles to right rendering the previous sequence pointless.  Great.  2-0 Twins.  They should have walked Morneau and pitched to Delmon Young.  Young has been just as horrible as Morneau this year AND he’s a righty.  Strategy-wise it makes more sense.  Young grounds out to third to end the inning.  The Indians have 3, 4, and 5 coming up this inning.  It’s time to put a rally together and get some runs.  This is just pathetic.

1:37: And they’re on the board!  Grady just homered to left field.  It’s his first homer since May 16th.  Now if only Santana and Choo could find a way to come around.

1:39: Or not.  Santana hits a broken bat pop up to the pitcher.  Choo grounds out to first on the first pitch he sees.  It’s becoming comical at this point just how bad they’ve been hitting.  Two outs for LaPorta.

1:41: LaPorta lines out to the second baseman.  At least he’s hit the ball hard in two of his three at bats today.  Even though he’s scuffling, as long as he keeps hitting the ball hard eventually they will start to find holes in the infield.  And the Indians need LaPorta to hit.  He’s the only real legitimate right handed bat in the lineup.  He needs to provide some pop and do what we thought he’d do when we traded for him.  I sound like John Adams beating a drum over and over on the LaPorta issue.

1:50: After giving up a lead off double to Danny Valencia and a little bit of drama, Masterson finds a way to get out of the inning without allowing Valencia to advance to third, let alone score.  I swear, if the Indians can’t get something going ans put some runs on the board for Masterson it’ll be a shame.  He’s pitched great with the exception of two little flubs here and there.  Of course due up this inning is Cord Phelps, Jack Hannahan, and Lou Marson soooooo… we might have to wait till next inning for something to happen.

1:56: With 2 outs Lou Marson finds a way to get a hit.  That puts the tying run on base for Michael Brantley…aka the hottest Indian going right now.  Again, I’d kill for a home run or run scoring double.  Gardenhire goes to the mound for a chit-chat.  The suspense is killing me.

1:59: Brantley keeps it going with a bloop single to center.  Marson makes his way to third for Asdrubal Cabrera.  I’m feeling good.  Cabrera has repeatedly found a way to deliver in every single one of these situations this year.  I think it’s about time he gets his first ever hit off of Pavano.

2:01: Damn it!  Cabrera weakly grounds out to first to end the inning and the threat.  So much for that.  Pavano’s Jedi mind tricks on Asdrubal continue to work.  I still don’t get it.  There’s just something about that stupid change-up of Pavano’s that Cabrera just can’t solve.

2:08: Masterson pitches another masterful inning.  See what I did there?  However, the Indians still trail 2-1 heading to the bottom of the 8th inning.  3, 4, and 5, are due up so once again… now is the time to get something going.  All three of these players need to get going if the Indians want any chance of keeping this dream season alive.  Grady already got his homer, but Santana and Choo are more than due.  I’m crossing my fingers.

2:12: Luke Hughes just robbed Sizemore.  Grady hit a liner headed for right and Hughes made an outstanding diving play.  Damn.  Santana’s turn.

2:15: Santana and Choo go down without so much as a whimper.  We’re headed to the ninth, folks.  Hang on tight.

2:20: Masterson’s day is over.  He pitched 8 very solid innings.  Now it’s Tony Sipp’s turn and he finishes off the Twins in order.  We head to the bottom of the 9th with the Indians trailing by 1.  Looks like they’ll be facing Twins closer Matt Capps.  Good thing he’s not on my fantasy team… oh wait, he is.  Crap!

2:31: And just like that, with all hope seemingly lost… Jack “Effing” Hannahan comes through and hits a game tying solo home run with 2 out in the bottom of the ninth.  I’m losing it.  And now Lou Marson gets an infield single to bring Michael Brantley to the plate.  He’s only 3 for 4 today.

2:36: Brantley pops out to the catcher, but that’s ok.  The damage has been done thanks to Jack Hannahan.  Looks like we get bonus baseball today.  And say what you will about the lack of offense lately from the Indians, apparently there is no lack of magic.  Chris Perez is in the game looking to get the Tribe to the bottom of the 10th.

2:43: Butera gets a clutch two out doubel to left to put some pressure on Chris Perez.  Ben Revere comes to the plate having already had a good day at the plate.  On a related note, I feel like his parents missed a golden opportunity by not naming him Paul.  Such a waste.

2:46: And Revere singles to left and Brantley’s throw gets past Marson.  Butera scores to put the Twins up 3-2 and now Revere is on third with two out.  I can’t help but feel like the Indians let a golden opportunity slip out of their hands here.  Perez gets Casilla to pop out to end the inning.  At least the Indians have Cabrera, Sizemore, and Sanatana coming to the plate.  Who am I kidding?  We need another miracle.

2:50: Cabrera flies out to Michael Cuddyer in right.  Crap.

2:51: Sizemore pops out to the short stop.  Double crap.

2:53: Santana doubles up the alley in right… interesting.  Choo’s turn.  I’m awaiting the weak grounder to end the game.  Let’s hear it for confidence.

2:56: Choo hits a chopper to the mound.  Did I call that one or what?  In all honesty, I was going for the reverse jinx there, but I guess the baseball gods figured out what I was up to.  How else do you explain Choo going 3-0, then the count going full before he finally grounded out?  I hate being right.

The Indians lose today 3-2.  Again it was another anemic offensive performance.  They wasted opportunity after opportunity and in the end that’s what did the Indians in.  They can’t get that crucial hit when they really need it.  that’s something they were doing so well earlier in the year.  Like they say though, when it’s going good, it’s good but when it’s bad… oye.  That’s the Indians right now.  Choo and Santana are still scuffling and the guys that had been picking them up all year have fallen into slumps.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it till I’m blue in the face, Carlos Santana and Shin-Soo Choo need to start hitting, especially Choo.  Oh well, tomorrow is an off day for the Tribe and then they head to New York for the weekend.  Great… my living situation is going to be unbearable all weekend long.

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