So the Indians and Twins are playing a day game. Guess that means it’s time for a live blog. Hopefully things turn out better than they did last night. Then again considering the lineup the Indians are rolling out with I’m doubtful.
1:10: Ezequiel Carrera is our leadoff hitter today. I’m already regretting listening to this game. But hey, things are looking up, Carrera gets a lead off single.
1:12: And Carrera just got thrown out trying to steal second. Guess major league catchers have better arms than the catchers down in triple A. So much for those 35 steals he has. The Indians go without even a whimper.
1:20: Josh Tomlin is on the mound for today’s game. This is good. Tomlin has been lights out all year despite the fact that he lacks dominating stuff.
1:23: And the Twins take a 1-0 lead thanks to a Ben Revere single and an Alexi Casilla double. Craptastic. And for good measure Joe Mauer just added an RBI single. It’s now 2-0 Twins in the bottom of the first. It looks like Tomlin will be dealing with a very small strike zone, at least from what Hamilton is saying. That’s not good. Tomlin isn’t going to blow people away. He need’s to hit the corners and get calls.
1:28: Called strike three on Michael Cuddyer. Got him with a curve ball. So much for that “small strike zone.” Jim Thome is up and grounds into an inning ending double play, 3-5-1. That’s your typical, just how you drew it up double play. After 1 inning it’s 2-0 Twins. Santana, LaPorta, and O-Cab are due up.
1:36: And they go 1, 2, 3… I’ll try to restrain my excitement…
1:39: Carlos Santana makes an amazing grab on a pop up over by the Twins dugout. The unlucky recipient was Tsuyoshi Nishioka. Apparently, the Twins thought he was going to be really, really good coming over from Japan to play short stop. Turns out a rotting dear carcass would be more productive, at least from everything they’re saying about the guy. Ichiro really set a bad precedent for Japanese imports. He’s a once in a lifetime talent. All these other Japanese imports are just average to below average.
1:43: Lonnie Chisenhall strikes out. Safe to say the Chisenhall experiment is not going as expected. Just goes to show once again that you can’t rely on players with zero big league experience during a pennant race. Can we please make a trade for a legit bat. Kearns grounds out.
1:45: And now we get to enjoy Luis “No Bueno” Valbuena. Keep in mind he’s playing left field again for God knows whatever reason. Not that I want to repeat myself but please… I’m begging… can we make a trade for a legit bat to play in the outfield. “No Bueno” wails away at three pitches and misses on all three. Inning over. The Indians are not winning this game today. Is it too late to pull Tomlin out of my fantasy team’s lineup today? Can I get a mulligan? The Indians aren’t winning this game.
1:52: The Indians finally get Joe Mauer out. He hit a rocket to second that result in a double play. The Indians escape another inning without giving up anymore runs. They need to get the bats going right now. Tomlin is going to keep them in this thing, but they’re going to need runs sooner rather than later.
2:00: two singles and a walk have loaded the bases for Carlos Santana… things are definitely getting interesting. This is where the Indians faltered last night. If they want to win this game, this is the type of situation where they have to score more than one run. That means productive outs… and just like that Santana is down 0-2 in the count.
2:02: And Santana strikes out. Another unproductive out. Not good at all.
2:05: LaPorta sends a drive deep to left, sending Ben Revere back to the wall. It would have scored one run, but Rever went all Luis Valbuena on it and dropped the ball. Two runs scored and we’re tied. Also, LaPorta had a great at bat. He worked the count full, battled Blackburn, and came through. That was a quality at bat.
2:12: Very productive out by Orlando Cabrera. He forced Blackburn to throw him about 20 pitches it seemed like and then grounded out to second and in the process scored Hafner from third. Indians take the lead, 3-2. Chisenhall strikes out again to end the inning. I reiterate… can we please get a bat?
2:17: And Ezequiel Carrera has a massive eff up diving for a ball. It got past him, No Bueno wasn’t there to back him up and Cuddyer was able to score from second. Just like that we’re tied at 3. Somebody please stab me in the face. I can’t take this anymore. Check that… Devin Valencia get a hit to score Jim Thome, 4-3 Twins.
2:30: Austin Kearns walks and then gets thrown out trying to steal second. At this point I think it’s time to abandon the run game. In fairness to Kearns it was probably a hit and run in which Luis Valbuena neglected to execute the hitting part. Other than that it was a well executed run by Kearns. Can we please exile Luis Valbuena to the Island of Misfit Toys. It’s the same song and dance with him every year. He plays great in triple A and then comes up to the big league club and does everything 100% completely wrong. I hate him… with a passion.
2:38: Josh Tomlin gets a desperately needed 1, 2, 3 inning. He is such a battler. Hear of the order is coming up for the Tribe. A-Cab, Pronk, and Santana.
2:41: Cabrera strikes out and then Hafner hits a double. In the process of getting to second Hafner trips and stumbles over himself. Thankfully he’s alright. Last thing we need is to lose him again to the DL. He’s too valuable given the current state of the lineup.
2:44: Hafner gets to third on a Santana ground out and then scores in the most unconventional way possible. Butera lost the ball off his glove, it rolled to the backstop and Hafner barreled his way home, beating the tag by Blackburn. We’re tied at 4. Now please, Pronk, go sit down and compose yourself. You got a little crazy out on the base paths that time. LaPorta grounds out to end the inning.
2:55: Another 1, 2, 3 inning for Tomlin. It seems like he’s finally started to settle into the flow of this game and find his rhythm. It’s time for the Indians to finally take advantage of some shoddy Minnesota pitching. And in the 7th the Twins have gone to their bullpen, aka their Achilles Heel. Right on cue, Orlando Cabrera gets a single to lead things off. Time for Chisenhall to do something productive, like say a sac bunt.
2:59: And Chisenhall comes through with a flair single to left field. The Indians now have two men on with no one out to start off the top of the 7th. I’d say Kearns should bunt here, but we have Valbuena and Carrera coming up next. Of course Kearns lays down a beauty of a bunt. with one out the Indians have runners on 2nd and 3rd. Not that I’m a pessimist, but I’m predicting failure here. Call me crazy.
3:04: Valbuena fouls out to Mauer… half way there.
3:06: Carrera grounds out to 2nd and Mauer makes an amazing back handed pick at first. We’re all the way there. I’m a genius. Don’t ever doubt my prediction powers again, especially when it involves two guys who are hitting .259 and .143.
2:08: Tomlin’s day is done and Joe Smith has made his way to the mound. So far so good as he gets the first two outs in short order. After a single by Butera, Smith finds a way to strike out Ben Revere. Headed to the 8th inning the game is still notted up at 4-4.
3:17: Matt Capps is warming up in the Twins bullpen. It’s almost like the Twins are saying, “We want you to win this game.”
3:19: Leadoff double by Asdrubal Cabrera. Pronk is coming up with a chance to give the Tribe the lead. What I wouldn’t give to see him send one out to the seat in left or fill the gap out in right center. Well… nevermind. Hafner lines out to right field and Cabrera is unable to advance to third. It’s time for Carlos Santana to do something positive. He’s 2-16 in the series. As a cleanup hitter that’s not good enough. And the Twins are bringing in Matt Capps. This should be a layup for Santana. There is no excuse not to take advantage of this matchup against Capps. He’s been terrible this year.
3:26: And Santana grounds out to second again and moves Cabrera along to third. Looks like it’s all up to Matt LaPorta again.
3:29: LaPorta gave it a hell of a ride out to right center, but Ben Revere came through for the Twins, running the ball down and making a leaping catch at the wall. The Indians and Twins are still tied at 4 headed to the bottom of the 8th. Today’s game has been a prime example of why the Indians need to go out and get themselves a legit #3 or #4 hitter. They get runners on base and the guys coming up after just don;t have what it takes to get the runs home. At this point I don’t care if it’s Ryan Ludwick, Melky Cabrera, Josh Willingham, or Carlos Beltran. They need help. Going 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position isn;t good enough.
3:32: And once again baseball proves that when a player is in a position they’ve never been before, the ball will find them. Valbuena and Carrera collide out in center field and the ball bounces over the wall for a ground rule double. Runner on second and no one out for joe Mauer. By the way… Did I mention I hate Luis Valbuena?
3:36: And the ball finds Valbuena again. Mauer hit a liner to left and before he got to it he eased up and the ball fell in for a hit. I swear to God, if the next words out of Tom Hamilton’s mouth are “Ball hit to left…” I will lose my *curse word for poop*.
3:38: Cuddyer strikes out… 1 out and Jim Thome is coming up to bat. This would be the perfect time for a double play.
3:47: Thome walks and Devin Valencia singles off of Orlando Cabrera’s golve, 5-4 Twins. Great.
3:51: The wheels have officially fallen off the wagon. It’s now 7-4 Twins headed to the top of the 9th inning. Due up for the Indians you ask? Orlando Cabrera, Lonnie Chisenhall, and Austin Kearns with the newly reappointed Joe Nathan coming in to close the game out. This is over. For the sake of it, I’m going to say Cabrera grounds out weakly, Chisenhall strikes out, and Kerans flies out to left.
3:58: Cabrera grounds out… I’m 1 for 1.
4:00: Well look at that. Lonnie Chisenhall homers to deep right field, second deck even. It’s now 7-5 Twins.
4:04: Kearns grounds out and Valbuena Flies out to end the game.
Quick thoughts: I’ll keep saying it till I’m blue in the face. The Indians need to get a solid, proven right handed bat to add to the middle of the lineup. So many opportunities were missed today and even yesterday because they are lacking that one guy that can carry them. They also weren’t helped by the fact that they lost three outfielders on this road trip. Sizemore and Buck to injury and Brantley to a stomach ailment. Meanwhile, Luis Valbuena was horrendous attempting to fill in. The starting pitching was great, as is usually the case, but this trip, especially in Minnesota, the bullpen just couldn’t get the job done. They ended the road trip 4-4 and very well could have been 8-0 or 7-1 had they just came up with a few crucial hits when they had opportunities. They head back to Cleveland in second place to take on the White Sox this weekend.