Finally! The wait came to an end last night. The man, myth and legend, Lonnie Chisenhall, is finally on the Indians. He didn’t disappoint either going 2-4 with a double and RBI in his debut. He provided the spark that this team has been so sorely lacking for the past month. Now here’s hoping that the plague that has spread throughout the rest of the team’s lumber doesn’t make its way to his. In fact, let’s prevent any sort of slump and just keep Travis Buck wedged between Chisenhall and Sizemore.
Chisenhall kept the momentum going from his super human week last week. His presence in the lineup as someone who can potentially deliver a hit in a key situation will make like more difficult on opposing pitchers. No offense to Jack Hannahan who played as well, if not better than could have been expected up to this point, but he’s not a major league caliber hitter. Chisenhall, on the other hand, is. He’s not the Indians top rated prospect for nothing. Of course there is one downside to Chisenhall possibly tearing up big league pitching… yes, there is a downside. It will make people wonder why he wasn’t up here to begin with, or why his call up didn’t happen sooner. In other woods, Chisenhall being the prescription for the Indians hitting woes will do nothing bad add fuel to the fire of the Dolan hatred inferno that is already raging.
Speaking of Sizemore… ugh. I know yesterday that I called for the Indians to pursue a trade involving Sizemore, but honestly… I don’t know who would want him. What major league baseball team is in need of a windmill that can also get singles with no one on base? He’s been terrible at the plate, his strikeout rate is soaring through the roof, and his outs are no longer productive. They’re just pathetic. If not for Michael Brantley coming out of nowhere to make a running catch in shallow center all the way from left field Sizemore would be the goat today. He’s noticeably a step or two slow, the holes in his swing have become gaping, and yeah… it’s not good. In fact it’s bad man… real bad. He needs to sit at this point because he’s more of a hinderance than a help. Maybe a few days off would serve him some good. I don’t know.
Playing the part of hero last night and showing a sign of life for the first time in weeks was Orlando Cabrera. Maybe Manny Acta was on to something when he said that turning Cabrera into a part-time player was necessary. He looks fresher and last night clutch at bat was just the icing on the cake. While Cord Phelps hasn’t exactly wowed anyone at the plate he’s done enough to allow Acta to get his near elderly veteran some much-needed rest. Thanks to that rest Cabrera was able to step up to the plate last night in the top of the 9th and deliver the game winning home run. Could we possibly be seeing Cabrera return to his clutch self? I certainly hope so.
Lastly, Mitch Talbot continues to be a conundrum. He came out and coughed up three runs in the bottom of the first following a 2 run shot from Asdrubal to put them up 2-0. However, unlike his most recent starts, Talbot didn’t turn 3 runs into 6, and then 6 into 8 etc. He was lights out from the second inning on. Hopefully, we can look back at this performance in a few weeks and realize that it was the moment Mitch Talbot turned the corner in 2011 and began looking like the Mitch Talbot or 2010. If he can keep this form and continue to pitch well it might help patch up the gaping hole in the rotation currently being inhabited by Fausto Carmona.