Sunday, June 16, 2013

Kluber outduels Strasburg, Indians win 2-0

By: Stephen Parsons

Washington came into this weekend with their 3 best starting pitchers Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmerman, and today Stephen Strasburg. For the Indians it would take Corey Kluber to slam the door shut for a series win which slipped through their fingers last night. Kluber would dominate this game today getting the Indians back to .500 with a 2nd consecutive series win.

Stephen Strasburg was making his 1st start since returning from the disabled list. And he was being watched closely by Nationals manager Davey Johnson. He would be pulled after 5 innings of work, throwing only 82 pitches.

In the Bottom of the 4th inning Jason Kipnis drew a walk to reach base safely. He would then steal 2nd base, then score on a single by Carlos Santana giving the Tribe a 1-0 lead.

Strasburg’s line would read 5 innings pitched allowing 1 run on 1 hit, he would strike out 4 and walk 4. Corey Kluber would have 2 times in this game where Washington had runners on 1st and 3rd with no one out, but was able to escape with no runs allowed.

The turning point in the game was in the Top of the 7th inning, the bases were loaded with no one out. But after a quick double play and a routine ground ball to short, Kluber had done it again. Kluber would come out for the Top of the 8th to get one more inning, and he did just that, 1-2-3 inning. This was Kluber’s 2nd consecutive start in which he pitched 8 innings.

Kluber’s final stats read 8 innings pitched, allowing 0 runs on 7 hits. He would strike out 8 Washington hitters, and walk no one.

In the Bottom of the 8th, Michael Bourn would hit a lead off double. Mike Aviles would move him over on a sacrafice bunt, and Jason Kipnis who earlier extended his hitting streak to 10 games, hit a sac fly to deep right field. This easily scored Bourn from 3rd giving the Indians a 2-0 lead.

Vinnie Pestano came out for the Top of the 9th and got the save. 2-0 Ball Game.

Corey Kluber gets the win he is now 5-4 this season with a 3.58 ERA. Stephen Strasburg takes the loss, he is now 3-6 with a 2.50 ERA. Vinnie Pestano recorded his 1st save of the season.
Time of the game was 2 hours and 38 minutes. Game attendance was 21,845.

My Thoughts:

Corey Kluber has improved so much this season coming from last year. Whateer they are doing with him is clearly working. You have to keep him on this roster. I do not care if you signed Brett Myers, keep him off this team Kluber is progressing very well.

Coming Up Next:

A big 3-game series against AL Central opponent Kansas City Royals. The Royals are right behind the Indians in the standings.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Indians Fall to Tigers 4-1, Streak Hits 7

By:  Stephen Parsons
 
The Indians are 0-6 on the current road trip with 3 more games starting tomorrow in Arlington when they take on the Texas Rangers.  They have dropped their last 7 games dating back to last Sunday against the Tampa Bay Rays.  The Tribe is now 30-32 on the season and 5 and 1/2 games behind Central Division leader Detroit.

The pitching match up favored the Cleveland Indians.  Justin Masterson, Cleveland’s ace, faced off against a minor league call up Jose Alverez.  Alverez was called up due to Anibal Sanchez being placed on the 15-day disabled list with shoulder stiffness.

The Tigers fired first on the scoreboard with Alex Avila hitting a sacrifice fly to center scoring Prince Fielder to give Detroit a 1-0 lead in the Bottom of the 2nd inning.

In the Top of the 5th, former Detroit Tiger Ryan Raburn, hit a solo home run to left field, tying the game at 1 each.  However this would be the only time that Cleveland would score in this game as Detroit’s pitching was dominant today.

In the Bottom of the 6th, Don Kelly hit a 3-run jack to right field, scoring Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder opening it up to a 4-1 Tigers advantage.

Not a horrible day for Masterson today.  He would pitch for 7 innings allowing 4 runs on 6 hits.  He would strike out 4 while walking 3 batters.  With a team like Detroit who averages over 5 runs a game, not a terrible outing at all.

This was the Major League debut for Jose Alverez, he pitched very well going 6 innings allowing only 1 run on 3 hits.  He struck out 7 while walking only 1.

Jose Alverez got the win, the 1st win of his major league career.  Justin Masterson took the loss, he is now 8-5 with a 3.68 ERA this season.  Joaquin Benoit got the save, his 3rd this season.

Time of the game was 2 hours and 31 minutes.  Game attendance was 41,262, a sell out crowd at Comerica Park in Detroit.

My Thoughts:

This was a game that Cleveland could not afford to lose.  For the 1st time this season the Tigers saw Justin Masterson, who has been the ace of this staff.  He didn’t pitch horrible, but not great either.  When the Tigers average over 5 runs a game this season, and you only allow 4 over 7 innings you will take that every time.

However the Indians bats need to get out of this funk, Jose Alverez coming up for his major league debut and fanning 7 Indians batters.  Ryan Raburn was the only batter to get a run on the scoreboard.  Swisher, Santana, Kipnis and Reynolds need to start driving in runs in clutch spots.

It’s not going to get any easier, 3 games starting tomorrow in Arlington against the Texas Rangers a team that the Indians have had issues with over the past 4 years.

Coming Up Next:

A 3-game series against the Texas Rangers begins tomorrow night in Arlington.  Scott Kazmir will take the mound for the Indians, he is 3-3 with a 5.24 ERA this season.  Kazmir is 6-3 vs the Rangers in this career with a 2.87 ERA.  He will be opposed against Josh Lindblom who is 0-1 with a 7.71 ERA this season.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Indians Light Up Hernandez as Tribe Rolls 6-0

By:  Stephen Parsons

Felix Hernandez vs Justin Masterson, ace against ace, Progressive Field.  What a way for Sunday baseball.  The Tribe would seek their 7th win against a Cy Young pitcher this season, and it is only May 19th.  Masterson would pitch a Masterpiece today as the Tribe would win decisively 6-0.

It all started in the Bottom of the 1st inning, Michael Brantley batted well out of the 3-hole today.  He drove in Michael Bourn with a single to right field.  With the throw going to the plate, this allowed Brantley to advance to 2nd base.  This set up Nick Swisher to drive in Brantley, unconventionally. 

Swisher reached safe on a fielding error by Justin Smoak, and Brantley was able to score, so just like that 2-0 Cleveland. 

In the Bottom of the 2nd inning, Michael Brantley connected again, hitting a 3-run home run to deep center field.  This scored Michael Bourn and Jason Kipnis making it 5-0 Tribe.

In the Bottom of the 4th, Andrew Stubbs grounded out scoring Mike Aviles to extend the lead to 6-0.
Felix Hernandez only lasted 5 innings today.  He was tagged for 5 earned runs on 8 hits.  He struck out 8, Andrew Stubbs twice, and walked 2 batters. 

Justin Masterson would pitch 7 brilliant innings allowing no runs on 3 hits.  He struck out a season high 11 batters and walked only 2.

Justin Masterson earned the win improving to 7-2 with a 2.83 ERA.  Felix Hernandez took the loss falling to 5-3 with a 2.07 ERA. 

Time of the game was 2 hours and 39 minutes.  Game attendance was 19,744.

My Thoughts:

Outside of Justin Masterson, the offensive player of the game hands down was Michael Brantley.  Giving the off day to Asdrubal Cabrera, Brantley did very well in the 3-hole today going 2 for 4 with a home run and 4 runs batted in. 

Indians are now 7-1 against Cy Young pitchers this season.  Cleveland has won 17 of their last 21 games.

Coming Up Next:

The Indians will attempt to go for the 4-game sweep tomorrow afternoon.  Seattle will start Hisashi Iwakuma.  He is 5-1 with a 1.84 ERA this season.  Cleveland will start veteran Scott Kazmir who is 2-2 with a 5.33 ERA this season. 

First pitch is at 12:05 PM ET at Progressive Field.
This has been the Parsons Report

Reynolds PIcks Up Perez For Another Walk Off Win

By:  Stephen Parsons
 
Last night the Indians had their 3rd walk off win of the season.  It was so much fun why not another?  Except this one could have gone much smoother if you ask Chris Perez.  Perez would blow his 2nd save of the season.  However the Indians intended on keeping their streak of leading in the 8th inning or later and winning going through today’s game.

Zach McAllister took the mound for the Tribe today, he was phenomenal.  Joe Saunders would get hit quite a bit by the Indians bats in this one.

In the Bottom of the 1st inning, Mark Reynolds singled in Asdrubal Cabrera giving Cleveland a quick 1-0 lead.  Saunders would settle down for the next 4 innings.

In the Bottom of the 5th, Mark Reynolds hit a home run over the left field wall.  This was Reynolds’ 12th home run on the season as Cleveland now lead 2-0.

In the Bottom of the 6th, Cleveland would add on two more.  First Michael Bourn hit into a fielder’s choice scoring Mike Aviles.  Then Jason Kipnis continued his hot streak driving in Yan Gomes with an opposite field single.  Just like that it was now 4-0 Cleveland.

In the Top of the 8th, the Mariners would finally put some runs on the board off McAllister.  Brendan Ryan hit his 1st home run of the season, scoring Justin Smoak cutting the deficit to 4-2.

In the Top of the 9th, Chris Perez came on to convert the save.  Only problem is after getting the 1st 2 batters out, he allowed back-to-back jacks from Raul Ibanez and Justin Smoak, and just like that it was a new ball game tied at 4.  This was Perez’s 2nd blown save of the season.

In the Bottom of the 9th, who else but Jason Kipnis started off the inning with a single.  Then Asdrubal Cabrera failed at two bunt attempts, then decided to hit a double off the wall to put Cleveland in a great 2nd and 3rd with nobody out situation.  Nick Swisher would be intentionally walked.

Mark Reynolds hit a line drive to Brendan Ryan, he made a great stop threw home to Jesus Montero, for some reason Montero’s foot came off the plate, so Jason Kipnis was safe at the plate.  5-4 Ball Game!

Chris Perez got the win he is now 2-0.  Oliver Perez took the loss he is now 1-1.
Time of the game was 2 hours and 55 minutes.  Game attendance was 17,574.

My Thoughts:

Yes Chris Perez blew his 2nd save of the season.  However the Tribe picked him up in the Bottom of the 9th to secure the win.

This is Cleveland’s 3rd win in a row.
This has been the Parsons Report.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Kipnis Lifts Tribe in Packed House Over Mariners 6-3

By:  Stephen Parsons

There was a trend heading into tonight's game.  The 2 previous Friday night games at Progressive Field were walk off wins for the Tribe.  Tonight would make it 3 out of 3, as Cleveland kept rolling over former manager Eric Wedge 6-3.

Ubaldo Jimenez was the starter for Cleveland.  He has been the hottest starter for the Tribe winning his last 3 starts, including last Saturday over former MVP Justin Verlander.

The scoring would start in the Bottom of the 2nd inning.  Jason Giambi hit a sac fly to deep right field, this scored Nick Swisher and advanced Carlos Santana to 3rd base.  Brandon Maurer would throw a wild pitch which scored Santana from 3rd base making it a 2-0 Cleveland advantage.

In the Top of the 4th Kendrys Morales hit a ball that still hasn't landed yet.  It was his 5th home run of the season and it cut the lead to 2-1 Indians.

Cleveland would respond in the Bottom of the 5th inning, Andrew Stubbs hit a solo home run extending the lead to 3-1 Tribe.  This was Stubbs' 3rd home run of the season.

Rich Hill would come on to relieve Jimenez in the Top of the 6th, however he would blow the potential 4th straight win for Jimenez.  Raul Ibanez hit a 2-run home run off Hill tying the game at 3.  This was Ibanez's 7th home run of the season.

The book was officially closed on Ubaldo Jimenez.  5 innings pitched allowing 2 runs on 7 hits.  He struck out 9 and walked only 2.  He lowered his ERA to 5.31.

There it would stay tied until the Bottom of the 1oth inning.  Andrew Stubbs would reach base safely with 2 outs.  Stubbs would then steal 2nd base despite a pick off attempt by the pitcher Lucas Luetge.  Then Michael Bourn would reach base safely on a swinging bunt.  So just like that the Tribe had runners on 1st and 3rd with 2 outs.

Enter Jason Kipnis to the plate.   Kipnis pulled a ball and drove it over the right field wall for the 6-3 win, walk off home run by Jason Kipnis, his 7th of the season.  Ball Game!

Vinnie Pestano go the win in his return, he is now 1-0 with a 2.00 ERA.  Lucas Luetge took the loss falling to 0-1 with a 10.50 ERA.

Time of the game was 3 hours and 37 minutes.  Game attendance was a season high 34,282 at Progressive Field.

My Thoughts:

Great win for the beginning of a 4-game series.  Jimenez continues to look great each start.  Baseball is a 162-game marathon, I don't expect it, but I will enjoy it, maybe he has finally developed to a point where he doesn't need his velocity at 97 mph to be effective.  We shall see more, loving what I am seeing at this point.

Ever since Jason Kipnis has been moved back to the 2-spot in the batting order we have seen the results.  I said 2 weeks ago that I felt he was heating up.  He has his batting average up to .244 with 7 home runs and 23 runs batted in.

Coming Up Next:

They pick it up again tomorrow afternoon for Game 2 of the 4 game series.  Cleveland will start Zach McAllister who is 3-3 with a 2.68 ERA this season.  Seattle starts Joe Saunders who is 3-4 with a 5.51 ERA this season.

First pitch is at 1:05 at Progressive Field tomorrow afternoon.
This has been the Parsons Report.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Tribe Takes Series Behind Francona's Key Substitutions, Tied For 1st Place

By:  Stephen Parsons

Last night the Indians shocked Detroit in beating Justin Verlander.  It was also the 1st time Ubaldo Jimenez  had won 3 straight starts since 2011.  Cleveland had a chance to accomplish another milestone, win 4 straight series for the 1st time since 2008.  They would also tie Detroit in the standings with a win today.  If they wanted it, they would have to earn it, and be willing to work a little overtime.

The pitching matchup was Zach McAllister against Rick Porcello.  McAllister has been one of Cleveland's most reliable arms this season.  Detroit would strike 1st on this day.

In the Bottom of the 2nd, Bryan Pena hit a 2-run shot over the head of Andrew Stubbs.  This scored Jhonny Peralta, and was Pena's 2nd home run of the season and would give Detroit the early 2-0 lead.
The Tribe would not wait long to respond, in the Top of the 3rd inning, Jason Kipnis hit his 6th double of the season to score Yan Gomes and Michael Brantley, tying the game at 2. 

In the Bottom of the 4th Omar Infante would hit a ball to deep right field, it was deep enough to score Jhonny Peralta from 3rd on the sacrifice fly, 3-2 Detroit.

In the Top of the 5th Cleveland had a chance to not only tie the game, but take a lead.  The situation was bases loaded, 1 out with Asdrubal Cabrera at the plate.  He swung at the 1st pitch right to the 2nd baseman Omar Infante for the inning ending double play.
 
There it would stay for quite a while.  Zach McAllister would pitch for 6 innings allowing 2 earned runs, 3 total runs, on 8 hits, striking out 5 and walking 3.  Rick Porcello went 6 innings as well allowing 2 runs on 4 hits, striking out 6 with 2 walks.

It came down to the Top of the 9th when Tigers closer Jose Valverde came on for the save.  Valverde had not allowed a hit in his 6 previous appearances this season. 

Michael Bourn pinch hit for Ryan Raburn to lead off the inning.  Bourn took a 6-pitch walk, then stole 2nd base.  Lonnie Chisenhall with a runner in scoring position struck out on a full count where the ball was high and outside. 

Yan Gomes then hit a foul ball to Prince Fielder to get the 2nd out of the inning. 

It would have been Andrew Stubbs' turn in the lineup, but with him going 0 for 3 with strikeouts
today, manager Terry Francona decided to pinch hit Jason Giambi.  Giambi took a walk to put 2 on for Michael Brantley.  Brantley took a fastball the opposite way past shortstop Jhonny Peralta.  Bourn easily scored from 2nd base giving Cleveland their 3rd run to extend the game.

Joe Smith came on in the Bottom of the 9th, after allowing a lead off single to Andy Dirks, Torri Hunter hit into a double play.  Miguel Cabrera then flew out to deep right field to end the inning.  Extra innings coming up.

In the Top of the 10th, Asdrubal Cabrera hit a lead off double.  Nick Swisher would ground out next, advancing Cabrera to 3rd base.  Carlos Santana would draw an intentional walk.  Michael Bourn would hit a ball to Jhonny Peralta, he threw to the plate getting Cabrera out at the plate.  With Bourn on 1st and Santana on 2nd Mark Reynolds was called on to pinch hit for Lonnie Chisenhall. 
Mark Reynolds came threw again, this time a clutch single to left field scoring Carlos Santana putting the Tribe ahead for the 1st time all day 4-3.
Chris Perez would not come on for the save as he was given the day off.  Rich Hill would pitch instead.  Prince Fielder flied out to center field for the 1st out.  Victor Martinez would then strike out on a foul tip in the glove of Yan Gomes. 

Cody Allen was then called on to get the final out, Matt Tuiasosopo would be called on to pinch hit.  Allen would get the strike out for his 1st career major league save.  4-3 Ball Game!

Joe Smith got the win he is now 1-0 with a 0.66 ERA.  Darin Downs took the loss, he is now 0-1 with a 2.55 ERA this season.  Cody Allen getting his 1st career save.

Time of the game was 3 hours and 35 minutes.  Game attendance was 35,260.

My Thoughts:

Another phenomenal start by Zach McAllister.  His ERA is now 2.68 this season.  This game came down to good pitching and excellent decisions by manager Terry Francona.  Knowing how to use your bench.  Getting Bourn into the game in the 9th was huge.  He drew the walk, stole 2nd and Giambi drew a walk getting Brantley the chance he needed to extend the game.  Mark Reynolds hitting for Chisenhall was huge as well putting Cleveland ahead in the 10th. 

Also, knowing the situation of Chris Perez having a high pitch count last night, and the fact it was a day game following a night game.  Play the percentages, let Rich Hill pitch against the left handed hitting Prince Fielder and switch hitter Victor Martinez, then bring in Cody Allen, who is believed to be a future closer in this league, to shut the door.

This win puts Cleveland in a 1st place tie with Detroit.

Coming Up Next:

Tomorrow will be a double header in Cleveland against the New York Yankees to make up 2 rained out games from 1st home stand.

In Game 1 New York will start David Phelps who is 1-1 with a 5.02 ERA this season.  Cleveland will start ace Justin Masterson who is 5-2 with a 3.67 ERA this season.

In Game 2 New York will start Vidal Nuno who has no record with a 0.00 ERA this season.  Cleveland will start Trevor Bauer who is 1-1 with a 2.70 ERA.

The Doubleheader starts at 12:05 PM ET from Progressive Field.

This has been the Parsons Report. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Indians Sweep A's for 1st time since 1995 9-2

By:  Stephen Parsons
 
Cleveland has been rolling as of late winning 9 of 10 games.  Today they attempted to sweep the Oakland Athletics for the 1st time in Cleveland since 1995.  That series had a signature moment, Dennis Eckersly allowing a walk off grand slam to Manny Ramirez.  Eckersly was so surprised how far it was hit, it made him say WOW.

The signature moment in this series might be a few different factors.  The Indians pitching, Nick Swisher, or just how many home runs can Mark Reynolds hit.

The Tribe would face another former Cy Young award winner in Bartolo Colon.  Colon began his career in Cleveland before being traded to Montreal for prospects Brandon Phillips, Grady Sizemore, and Cliff Lee.

The Indians did not waste any time getting on the scoreboard today.  Jason Kipnis hit a 2-run home run scoring Michael Brantley.  This was Kipnis’ 4th home run of the season.

In the Bottom of the 2nd inning Yan Gomes hit a double which scored Mark Reynolds.  Gomes advanced to 3rd base due to a throwing error by Brandon Moss.  Andrew Stubbs continued the assault scoring Gomes with a single.

Jason Kipnis hit a sacrifice fly to score Andrew Stubbs making it 5-0.

In the Bottom of the 3rd inning, Nick Swisher smashed his 2nd home run in the past 2 games over the right field wall.  This was Swisher’s 5th home run of the year.

Jason Giambi drove in Asdrubal Cabrera to make it 7-0 in the Bottom of the 5th.  Then Mark Reynolds belted his 11th home run of the season making it 9-0 Cleveland.

Scott Kazmir was flat out dominant today.  He pitched 6 innings allowing only 1 run on 5 hits.  He also struck out 10 Oakland hitters.

Oakland would scratch across 2 runs late in garbage time, but the Indians would prevail 9-2.
Scott Kazmir got the win he is now 2-1 with a 4.87 ERA.  Bartolo Colon took the loss falling to 3-2
with a 4.57 ERA.

This win gives the Indians 5 wins against former Cy Young award winners this season.  R.A. Dickey, David Price, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and now Bartolo Colon.

Time of the game was 3 hours.  Game attendance was 12,477.

My Thoughts:

Excellent series by the Indians, great home stand.  They win 8 of 9 on the home stand, and 10 of their last 11 games.

This was a great series against one of the best scoring teams in all of baseball.
It all means nothing if they get swept this weekend in Detroit.

Coming Up Next:

The Indians begin a 3-game series in Detroit starting tomorrow night.

Corey Kluber will start for Cleveland, he is 2-1 with a 3.06 ERA this season.  Max Scherzer will start for Detroit.  He is off to an impressive 4-0 start with a 3.43 ERA.
First pitch will be at 7:08 PM ET at Comerica Park in Detroit.

This has been the Parsons Report.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Indians Beat Athletics in Controversial Form 4-3

By:  Stephen Parsons
 
The Indians have been playing very well entering Wednesday’s game.  They have won 8 of the previous 9 games and were looking to secure another series win against the Oakland Athletics.  The Tribe had their ace on the mound, so Cleveland felt confident they would win this game.  No one would be able to predict how this game would unfold.

Justin Masterson was smooth sailing until the Top of the 5th inning.  Clutch hitting by the A’s put a 3 spot on the scoreboard following singles by Brandon Moss and Daric Barton.

In the Bottom of the 5th, the Indians started to roll offensively.  Michael Brantley grounded into a fielder’s choice.  Ryan Raburn scored.  Brantley reached base safely due to a throwing error by Adam Rosales, this allowed Lonnie Chisenhall to score the 2nd Cleveland run of the night.  Cleveland’s rally for the inning ended at 3-2 after 5.

In the Bottom of the 6th, Cleveland continued the attack, this time via the long ball.  Nick Swisher hit a homer run to right center field.  This was Swisher’s 4th home run of the season tying the game at 3.
Carlos Santana then hit a solo home run to deep center field.  This was Santana’s 7th home run of the season, and would give Cleveland a 4-3 lead.

Masterson went 7 strong innings, with Vinnie Pestano on the disabled list with elbow tendinitis, Joe Smith came on for the 8th inning.  He struck out 2 and allowed no runs.

Then the 9th inning came, Chris Perez would attempt to convert saves on back-to-back games for the 1st time this season.  He got the 1st two batters out, then Adam Rosales took a 93 mph pitch over the head of Michael Brantley.  It was originally ruled a double, instant replay showed it clearly went over the yellow line.  After review, it was called no home run.  Oakland manager, Bob Melvin, came out to argue the call and was ejected.

Perez then hit Eric Sogard with a pitch, putting him on 1st base.  Perez then had a long battle with John Jaso, which resulted in a walk.  So with the bases loaded Seth Smith hit a comebacker to the mound, which Perez took to 1st base himself.  4-3 Ball Game!

Justin Masterson gets the win, he improves to 5-2 with a 3.67 ERA on the season.  AJ Griffin took the loss, falling to 3-3 with a 3.83 ERA.  Chris Perez earned his 5th save in 6 opportunities.
Time of the game was 2 hours and 26 minutes.  Game attendance was 11,125.

My Thoughts:

No doubt the Indians caught a break in the Top of the 9th.  Baseball is a game of breaks, Cleveland took advantage of one and got their 9th win out of 1o games.
Indians improve to 17-14, and the A’s fall to 18-17.

Coming Up Next:

12:05 start tomorrow for the series finale.  The A’s will attempt to avoid the sweep as they put former Cleveland Indian and former AL Cy Young award winner Bartolo Colon on the hill.  Colon is 3-1 with a 3.62 ERA this season.  The Indians will counter with left-hander Scott Kazmir, who is 1-1 with a 6.28 ERA this season.

1st pitch is at 12:05 PM ET at Progressive Field.
This has been the Parsons Report.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Tribe Keeps Rolling Past the Twins 7-3

By: Stephen Parsons

The Cleveland Indians are the hottest team in all of baseball. They entered Saturday's game winning their last 5 games, getting back to the .500 mark after a walk off hit by Andrew Stubbs last night in Cleveland.

Scott Kazmir took the hill today looking for his 2nd quality start in 3 attempts. He would be opposed by right hander Kevin Correia. The Indians would strike 1st, something that has been common during the winning streak. Jason Kipnis hit a solo home run in the Bottom of the 1st inning giving Cleveland a quick 1-0 lead. 
 
Nick Swisher returned to the lineup serving as the team's designated hitter today. He wanted to make sure no one forgot about him, so he also hit a solo home run in the Bottom of the 1st inning. Just like that it was 2-0 Cleveland, but Minnesota would not wait to react.

In the Top of the 2nd inning, Pedro Florimon hit a line drive to left field, scoring Trevor Plouffe.
Cleveland would again retaliate, it would be Michael Brantley hitting a line drive to left field. This would score Lonnie Chisenhall, and advanced Ezequiel Carrera to 2nd base.

Jason Kipnis, who has been heating up since returning to the 2-hole, drove in the Tribe's 4th run on a bloop pop up to short stop. Pedro Florimon was unable to make the grab as Ezequiel Carrera was able to score giving Cleveland a 4-1 lead.

Minnesota would claw back into the game in the Top of the 5th. Aaron Hicks hit his 1st home run of the season making the score 4-2 Cleveland.

In the Bottom of the 7th the Indians would effectively put the game away. Asdrubal Cabrera hit a double scoring Jason Kipnis and Mark Reynolds hit a single scoring Asdrubal Cabrera giving Cleveland a 6-2 lead.

In the Top of the 8th Ryan Doumit hit a single to center field, this scored catcher Joe Mauer and cut the deficit to 6-3.

In the Bottom of the 8th inning Ezequiel Carrera hit line drive to center field scoring Andrew Stubbs, extending the lead to 7-3.

In the Top of the 9th, Chris Perez came in a non-save situation and closed the door on the Twins. 7-3 Final, Ballgame!

Scott Kazmir gets the win, he is now 1-1 with a 6.28 ERA after 3 starts this season. Kevin Correia gets the loss, he falls to 3-2 this season with a 2.83 ERA.

Time of the game was 2 hours and 51 minutes. Game attendance was 17,830 at Progressive Field.
Player of the game was Jason Kipnis. After a 4-rbi game last night, Kipnis went 3 for 4 with 2 runs batted in and 2 runs scored. His batting average now sits at .229.

The Indians are above .500 for the 1st time since they started 2-1.

My Thoughts:

Somebody break up the Indians, what has been the reason of this 6-game winning streak? Consistent pitching, quality hitting? Fact: This is the 1st time the Indians have scored at least 6 runs in 6 straight games since 2005. Maybe it's the blue uniforms? What ever it is, it is working and everyone is playing well.

It also seems that both Jason Kipnis and Asdrubal Cabrera are batting much better since switching spots in the batting order.

Coming Up Next:

It's Cinco de Mayo!! Tomorrow Corey Kluber takes the mound for the Indians. Kluber is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA this season. He will be opposed by Mike Pelfrey who is 2-3 with a 7.66 ERA this season.
The Tribe will have the brooms ready, as they attempt to go for the sweep and their 7th straight win.

First pitch is at 1:05 PM ET at Progressive Field.

This has been the Parsons Report.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Indians Shutout Phils in Lee's Return 6-0

By:  Stephen Parsons
 
In 2008 Cliff Lee became Cleveland’s 1st 20 game winner since 1974 when Gaylord Perry won 21 games.  Cliff Lee went 22-3 that season, winning the AL Cy Young, before being traded to Philadelphia in 2009.  This was his 1st return to Cleveland since the trade, but it would end as it has this season for most former Cy Young award winners.  Cleveland would prevail over the former Indian 6-0 behind a strong outing by Trevor Bauer.

Bauer was called up to make a start due to the day-night double header on Sunday against Kansas City.  Bauer walked his way into trouble, very similar to his 1st start against Tampa Bay.  He would end up walking 6 Phillies in the 5 innings that he worked.  He would get himself out of trouble with solid defense and clutch strike outs.  Bauer struck out 5 allowing only 1 hit in shut out baseball.
Cliff Lee would give up a run in the Bottom of the 2nd with a Mike Aviles sac fly scoring Carlos Santana giving the Tribe a 1-0 lead.

In the Bottom of the 3rd inning, Asdrubal Cabrera came through with a clutch 2-run double putting the Tribe up 3-0.  Later in the inning, Ryan Raburn would hit an infield single, 1 of 7 on the night for Cleveland.  This scored Asdrubal Cabrera making it 4-0 Cleveland.

In the Bottom of the 5th Ryan Raburn struck again, this time hitting a double scoring Mark Reynolds, extending the lead to 5-0.

Cliff Lee’s return to Cleveland went for 6 innings pitched allowing 5 runs on 9 hits.  He struck out 4 and walked 2.

In the Bottom of the 7th, after a couple of infield hits, Drew Stubbs hit another infield hit to score Carlos Santana, giving Cleveland a 6-0 lead.

The Indians bullpen combined the efforts of Bryan Shaw, Rich Hill, Joe Smith and Cody Allen.  They combined for 4 strike outs and allowed only 2 hits.

The Indians got their 2nd shutout in 3 games.  This win gives the Tribe a 4 game winning streak.

Some notes for the winning streak:  The Indians team as a whole have batted 59/152 (that is 14 hits or more in 4 straight games)  an average of .388.  They have outscored opponents 39 to 5 in the streak.  Michael Brantley has batted 9 for 16, Asdrubal Cabrera has batted 6 for 16.  Mark Reynolds has batted 7 for 18, Carlos Santana 8 for 14, and Ryan Raburn 12 for 18 including 12 for his last 14.

Trevor Bauer gets the win, he is now 1-1 with a 2.70 ERA.  Cliff Lee takes the loss falling to 2-2 with a 3.46 ERA.

Time of the game was 3 hours and 4 minutes.  Game attendance was 12,730.

My Thoughts:

The Indians have beaten 4 former Cy Young Award Pitchers this season.  R.A. Dickey, David Price, Roy Halladay, and Cliff Lee.  And it’s only May 1st.  It is a great sight to see the offense continue to explode not at full strength.

With the win, the Indians have won 7 of their last 11 games.  The Indians sit 12-13, only 2 and 1/2 games back of Detroit.

Coming Up Next:

The Indians open up a 3-game series against the Minnesota Twins on Friday night.  Justin Masterson will start for Cleveland, he is 4-2 with a 3.12 ERA.  Minnesota will start Pedro Hernandez who is 1-0 with a 2.35 ERA.

First pitch will be at 7:05 PM ET at Progressive Field.
This has been the Parsons Report.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Jimenez Shuts Down Royals, Tribe Wins 9-0

By: Stephen Parsons
 
The Tribe bounced back well in the night cap of the double header yesterday against Kansas City.  Tonight they picked right up where they left off, but Ubaldo Jimenez wanted to get in on the action.

The Indians were flat out dominant from the 1st pitch till the 27th Royals out recorded.  Jason Kipnis hit a solo home run in the Top of the 1st inning off Wade Davis, giving Cleveland the early 1-0 lead.  Davis would get into more trouble in the 1st, with runners on 2nd and 3rd he struck out Carlos Santana escaping with no further damage.

In the Top of the 3rd Kipnis had another opportunity to drive in a run.  He was unable to, however Asdrubal Cabrera would single driving in Michael Brantley making it 2-0 Cleveland.

In the Top of the 5th the Indians blew it wide open.  It started with Asdrubal Cabrera lining a double down the right field line, scoring Michael Brantley again making it 3-0.

Nick Swisher was unable to drive in any runs.  Mark Reynolds did hit a single following Swisher’s at bat, scoring Kipnis, making it 4-0.

Carlos Santana would get his turn, he lined a double down the right field line as well, scoring Cabrera making it 5-0.

Ryan Raburn would then drive a ball over the left field wall for his 1st home run of the season.  This was a 3-run home run extending the lead to 8-0.

In the Top of the 8th, Raburn drove a ball over the right field wall this time for a solo home run, his 2nd of the night making it 9-0.

Ubaldo Jimenez was dominant tonight.  Jimenez pitched 7 innings allowing no runs on 3 hits.  He struck out 4 and only walked 2 Royals batters.

Nick Hagadone and Cody Allen each pitched scoreless innings in the 8th and 9th to seal the win 9-0.

Ubaldo Jimenez picked up the win improving to 1-2 with a 7.13 ERA.  Wade Davis took the loss falling to 2-2 with a 5.55 ERA.  Davis only lasted 4 and 2/3 innings allowing 8 runs on 12 hits.  He struck out 3 and walked 3.

Cleveland’s win split the 4-game series and ended the road trip 5-4.

Time of the game was 2 hours and 37 minutes.  Game attendance was 14,255.

Kansas City falls to 13-10.  Cleveland improves to 10-13.

My Thoughts:

Just when you are ready to give up on Ubaldo he does this.  Something about Jimenez having more than 5 days rest, he just pitches better.  It’s still a long season, but this was a step in the right direction.  I need to see more from Jimenez to trust him, but great start by him on a day where it was needed.

Great job by Indians bouncing back after dropping first two games of the series.  Cleveland improves to 5-4 against AL Central opponents.

Coming Up Next:

Cleveland comes back home for a home stand.  They start with a 2-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Tomorrow night Cleveland puts Zach McAllister who is 1-3 with a 3.52 ERA this season against Roy Halladay who is 2-2 with a 5.08 ERA this season.

First pitch will be at 7:05 PM ET at Progressive Field.

This has been the Parsons Report.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

THE FINAL COPY

By: Jason Snider

The 2013 NFL Draft is just 48 hours away! Wow that went fast! We have had players sky rocket up and plummet down draft boards without playing a single game but I guess that's why they say the eye in the sky doesn't lie. This to me could be a very long first round as I expect many trades to occur on Thursday evening. I did not project any trades in my final mock, but that doesn't mean there will not be any. Again these selections are my thoughts of what the teams will do not what I would do if I were their general manager. I do not sway a pick one way or another just to have a certain player fall to a team that needs that player. As always feel free to comment/criticize in the comment box below or tweet your thoughts to me at @jsnider33. So sit back and enjoy as I have given an in depth breakdown on all 32 first round picks.

1 CHIEFS- Luke Joeckel OT Texas A&M 6-6 306- The Chiefs addressed the quarterback situation by acquiring Alex Smith from the 49ers for a second round pick and they also added Dunta Robinson and Sean Smith to help shore up the corner back position. The franchise tag was placed on OT Brandon Albert but there are talks of the Chiefs looking to trade Albert and get back the second round pick they gave up for Smith. Even if they keep Albert, they released right tackle Eric Winston so the biggest need this young talented roster has is at the offensive tackle position and Joeckel or Eric Fisher should they go that route, would solidify that position for years to come. In my opinion the only other possibility here is a trade down if the price is right and the move down is not too far for them to still get one of the top three tackles.
2 JAGUARS- Geno Smith QB West Virginia 6-2 3/8 218- The Jags are notorious for questionable picks and you can question this selection all you want, but to me it makes total sense. New general manager Dave Caldwell and new head coach Gus Bradly have no allegiance to Blane Gabbert and when you look at the numbers, Jacksonville is not that deep in the hole financially with Gabbert as you may think. His contract totaled 12 million dollars and was fully guaranteed. With only two years remaining on his contract in which he will make only 1.46 million in 2013 and 2.01 million in 2014, the Jags are in a position to take Geno Smith if they see him as an upgrade at the most important position in ALL OF SPORTS! Defensive end Dion Jordan from Oregon is the other possible selection here should they not want to take the risk of another QB selection becoming a dud. Recent news is buzzing that the Jags could take the number two offensive tackle here as starting left tackle Eugene Monroe is in the final year of his rookie contract and no talks have happened regarding a new contract. Monroe was rated Pro Football Focus's 9th ranked left tackle last season.
3 RAIDERS- Ezekiel Ahsah DE/OLB BYU 6-5 1/4 271- Should the board fall this way the pick would come down to Ansah and Jordan in my opinion. Jordan brings versatility as he can play DE/OLB but Ansah brings even more versatility. I like to refer to him as a human Swiss Army knife. Ansah can play DT/DE in a 4/3 defense and he can play DE/OLB in a 3/4 set. With the Raiders still not locked in on which defensive philosophy they will use, Ansah is the pick because he can bring so much to the table. This could be a boom or bust pick, but aren't they all? The Raiders could easily take either Star Lotulelei or Sharrif Floyd here as they have a big need on the interior of the defensive line as well.
4 EAGLES- Dee Milliner CB Alabama 5-11 7/8 201- Many experts have a pass rusher going to the Eagles at this spot, but the Eagles are in a good shape with Connor Barwin, Trent Cole and Brandon Graham all competing for two OLB spots. They could easily take Eric Fisher or Lane Johnson here as well as both of their starting tackles is over thirty years of age and both are coming off of injuries. The Eagles signed Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher to try and replace Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, but Williams is the only one that is an NFL caliber starting corner back. Milliner is the number one corner in this draft and that to me is the Eagles biggest need when you think about playing the likes of Eli Manning, RG3 and Tony Romo twice a year! I don't buy the recent injury concern about Milliner. Teams have had his injury report for months now and all of a sudden now they are concerned? To me this is a team or two trying to get the snow ball rolling so that they can be there to stop it when it comes rolling to them.
5 LIONS- Eric Fisher OT Central Michigan6-7 1/4 306- The Lions had concerns with the tackle position to start with and then the retiring of Jeff Backus and the loss of RT Gosder Cherilus to the Colts made it priority number one! While they have Riley Reiff to man one of the tackle spots, they must address what is most likely the left tackle position as Reiff seems better suited for the right side. The Lions are in a tough spot, as they also lost their two starting defensive ends this off-season with Cliff Avril signing with Seattle and Kyle Vanden Bosh will not return. Dion Jordan could be the choice here should they deem Reiff as the long term solution at left tackle and the void at DE to be of greater need.
6 BROWNS- Dion Jordan DE/OLB Oregon 6-6 1/4 248- This would be a VERY interesting situation for Cleveland. You have the number one rated outside linebacker fall to you, but you also have the highly coveted Lane Johnson in your lap as trade bate. I will put Jordan here because I feel he is their number one rated player and the only player that would make them pick at six and not try and trade out but you could not argue if they held an auction for Johnson. While you can make the case that the Browns signed OLB Paul Kruger to a big contract, the fact remains that the Browns still do not know if Jabaal Sheard can man the OLB position. Many people will complain that we still need to address the CB position, but of the teams in the top 6, the Browns have the best corner in Joe Haden. The Browns have shown a lot of interest in Florida State quarterback EJ Manuel during their preparation for the draft and if they do move out of the sixth spot and acquire an additional second round pick they could target Manuel as head coach Rob Chudzinski made comparisons between EJ and his former QB in Carolina Cam Newton. A trade down in my opinion is the most likely scenario here.
7 CARDINALS- Lane Johnson OT Oklahoma 6-6 303- Anyone who watched the Cardinals play last year had to feel like they were watching a reenactment of the Longest Yard when Paul Crewe's offensive line refused to block for him and he got pummeled. Unless they want Carson Palmer to play Crewes role, they must address this awful o-line. Arizona gave up an NFL high 58 sacks last year! They were 28th in the league in passing and dead last in rushing. Should a team jump in front of the Cardinals to grab Johnson, Chance Warmack or Jonathan Cooper could be the choice as the guard position isn't any better than the tackle spots. Mingo could land here as well as the Cardinals could use another pass rusher opposite Daryl Washington.
8 BILLS- Barkevious Mingo OLB/DE LSU 6-4 1/4 241- Mark Anderson didn't exactly earn his contract last year when he totaled only 1 sack. With the Bills going back to a 4/3 defense Mario Williams should return to form. Mingo is nasty and with Mario on the other side to take the double teams, Barkevious could flourish for the Bills. Some think Ryan Nassib could go here but I feel number eight is far too high. Look for the Bills to finagle there way into the end of the first round to snatch Nassib because Kevin Kolb is not the long term solution at QB. Tavon Austin is a sleeper pick here as Doug Marrone could look to add another weapon to the Bills arsenal. The Bills lost Andy Levitre in free agency and could take Warmack or Cooper here but Levitre was a second round pick so the Bills will address that position later in the draft.
9 JETS- Tyler Eifert TE Notre Dame 6-5 1/2 250- Eifert is by far the top tight end in this draft and what sets him apart is his ability to go up and grab the ball in traffic with no fear. With only a couple days remaining before the draft, Eifert is sliding into the top ten of some draft experts mock drafts. Tavon Austin is the most explosive play maker in this draft and could be the selection here, but that would give the Jets two smaller wide receivers. The Jets foolishly signed Santonio Holmes to a ridiculous 45 million dollar contract in 2011 that has left them strapped for cash. Trading Darrelle Revis opened up some cap space, but Holmes contract along with Mark Sanchez's(another horrible move) have the Jets in a tough place financially while they are in total rebuild mode.
10 TITANS- Star Lotulelei DT Utah 6-2 1/2 311- The Titans 24th ranked rush defense gave up 127 yards a game on the ground and 16 rushing touchdowns. With Kamerion Wimbley and Derrick Morgan on the outside, Star could help to clog the middle and while he's not the greatest pass rushing defensive tackle, he has the strength to physically dominate guards and centers in the NFL. Sharrif Floyd could be the choice here should they look for the better penetrating tackle but Star is the higher rated player on my board as long as his heart condition checked out with the Titans doctors. Warmack or Cooper would be a luxury pick here after Tennessee added Andy Levitre via free agency to improve their offensive line. Chris Johnson would not be upset if they went in that direction.
11 CHARGERS- Chance Warmack OG Alabama 6-2 317- Thought by many to be the best player in this draft and a lock to be a perennial pro-bowler, Warmack would help an offensive line that has become a turnstile in recent years. The Chargers would love for one of the top 3 tackles to fall to them or they may even attempt to trade up to select one, but in this situation they come away with a very solid selection. They could go best CB on their board or even Cordarrelle Patterson as their wide receiving corps left a lot to be desired last season. With a new general manager it will be interesting to see the Chargers new strategy come draft day.
12 DOLPHINS- Jonathan Cooper OG North Carolina 6-2 1/8 311- I still think the Dolphins try and use one of their two second round picks to move into the top six to grab one of the top 3 left tackles. They have been in discussions with the Chiefs about left tackle Brandon Albert, but if that trade is not complete by the time the draft starts on Thursday night, then Miami can't sit and wait and risk losing out on the top 3 tackles and potentially not get Albert either. Cooper to me is every bit as good as Chance Warmack and is ahead of him as an athlete. Cooper and center Mike Pouncy could form one of the best young center/guard combos in the league. Corner back is another position of need that the free agent happy Dolphins may address here with possibly Desmond Trufant or Xavier Rhodes, depending on their preference in CB style. This is a deep corner class and should they hold on to their two second round picks they could easily address that need their.
13 JETS- Jarvis Jones OLB Georgia 6-2 3/8 245- Jones didn't have a great pro day as he ran a 4.9 forty yard dash but if there is one team that should know a good workout doesn't equal a great player, it's the Jets. Remember Vernon Gholston? Jarvis dominated the best conference in college football the past two years to the tune of 28 sacks and 9 forced fumbles. I gave them Eifert at number nine but could they go all in on offense and take the electrifying Tavon Austin to try and spark Mark Sanchez? The Jets now are the most interesting team to watch on Thursday night.
14 PANTHERS- Sharrif Floyd DT Florida 6-2 5/8 297- The Panthers number one need is the defensive tackle position and I don't buy Floyd going in the top 10. His production was never that good at Florida, and DT is one of the hardest positions in the NFL for a rookie to adjust to because of the physical monsters that man the center and guard positions in the league. Tavon Austin would not surprise me here one bit. In fact, if I were picking here he would be my choice, but these are not my picks, they are what I think these teams will do. Austin would give Cam Newton an absolute play maker and would finally give the 33 year old Steve Smith some relief.
15 SAINTS- DJ Fluker OT Alabama 6-4 5/8 339- The Saints lost Jermon Bushrod to free agency and we ALL known Drew Brees is the straw that stirs the Saints drink so protecting him must be priority number one. I found it very hard to not pencil in Tavon Austin here. I know they have weapons all over the place, but would it surprise you if they added another one? The Saints are without a second round pick here after the Bounty Gate fiasco so could they lean more need than best player available here because they don't pick again until the 75th pick? Outside linebacker is a need as they are switching to the 3/4 defense, but with all the top guys off the board, Fluker is the choice.
16 RAMS- Tavon Austin WR West Virginia 5-8 1/2 174- The Rams front office will feel as if they are sitting on a chair of nails for the first fifteen picks of this draft as they rub their lucky rabbits feet hoping that the electric Austin falls to the sixteenth pick. Should it happen nobody will be happier than Sam Bradford in this scenario. The Rams have failed to deliver Bradford a true elite weapon in his time with the franchise and it would not shock me if they attempt to move up to grab Tavon. Kenny Vaccaro would be the choice here should Austin be off the board when the Rams are put on the clock.
17 STEELERS- Kenny Vaccaro S Texas 6-0 214- With the best outside linebackers off the board and no nose tackle worth the 17th pick, the Steelers address the future with Vaccaro. Ryan Clark(33) and Troy Polamalu(32) are both on the decline of their careers and Vacarro won't just sit on the sideline and wait to play. Vaccaro can play the slot and he can play it well as he waits for one of the aforementioned  safeties to hit the road. They could go Cordarrelle Patterson to fill the void left by Mike Wallace's departure or they could fill the nose tackle position with a mountain of a man like Johnathan Jenkins if they have him rated the highest player at their draft slot. We know the Steelers will not reach as much as we would like them to!
18 COWBOYS- Sheldon Richardson DT Missouri 6-2 1/2 294- Offensive guard and safety are the biggest needs for the Cowboys but in this scenario Vaccaro and the top two guards are off the board here so they go with the lighting quick penetrating defensive tackle from Missouri. With DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer on the outside, Richardson would give Dallas three top tear pass rushers on a four man defensive line. Protecting Romo is a huge need and the Cowboys could look at the guard position with the 47th pick in the second round.
19 GIANTS- Alec Ogletree LB Georgia 6-2 1/2 242- The Giants have holes at weak side linebacker and corner back on the defensive side of the ball that must be addressed. Ogletree is the higher rated player here as he is my number one 4-3 linebacker. He is one of the best athletes in this draft and the Giants 25th ranked run defense and their 28th ranked pass defense would both benefit from the addition of Ogletree. Alec should also benefit from the veteran locker room of the Giants as he has had some maturity issues off the field. The lack of sacks (only 33) had an impact on the pass defense last season so that ranking is a bit skewed in my opinion. They could go best CB available here as well as that is another big concern for the Giants.
20 BEARS- Manti Te'o LB Notre Dame 6-1 1/4 241- Manti's off-season has been very interesting to say the least. He will look to put the past behind him and the Bears will hope that he can as they will ask him to replace future Hall of Fame linebacker Brian Urlacher. Chicago addressed the left tackle position during free agency by signing Jermon Bushrod away from the Saints. Bjoern Werner could be a sneaky selection here as the Bears lack any kind of pass rush other than Julius Peppers.
21 BENGALS- Cordarrelle Patterson WR Tennessee 6-1 7/8 216- Patterson has slid down draft boards a bit and while wide receiver isn't the most pressing need the Bengals can't pass on the opportunity of adding the dangerous Patterson to go along with AJ Green and Jermaine Gresham. Cordarrelle excels at running with the ball after the catch and that should be the focus as he learns how to run routes at the NFL level. Having Green across from him will put him in many favorable one on one situations. Alec Ogletree would be the selection here should he be available as the Bengals have a solid but extremely slow linebacking corps.
22 RAMS- John Cyprien S Florida International 6-0 1/4 217- Many may put Eddie Lacy here but he is not even my top running back in this draft and he did nothing to improve his stock with his disappointing pro day. Cyprien is the best true coverage safety in this draft and the Rams have two corners that like to take chances in Cortland Finnegan and Janoris Jenkins so they need that true center fielder. St. Louis could still draft Lacy or my number one running back Johnathan Franklin in the second round with the forty sixth pick. This is a young and talented Rams roster that with the additions of Tavon Austin and Cyprien could make some noise as a possible wild card team in 2014.
23 VIKINGS- Xavier Rhodes CB Florida State 6-1 1/1 210- You can make a great case for the corner back position being the biggest need for the Vikings and that is why I have them taking him at 23. They could not wait till the twenty fifth pick as the Colts have a need at CB as well. I look for the Vikes to go with the best WR available at number twenty five and then take the best defensive tackle on the board with the 52nd pick in the second round. Johnathan Hankins or Jesse Williams(bring back the Williams twins) could be the choice in the second round.
24 COLTS- Desmond Trufant CB Washington 5-11 5/8 190- The Colts did a great job of addressing needs via free agency without spending too much money. This is almost a close your eyes and throw the dart kind of pick for me. They could go wide receiver as Reggie Wayne isn't getting any younger, best available corner or possibly look to add depth/competition along the offensive and defensive lines.
25 VIKINGS- Bjoern Werner DE Florida State 6-3 1/4 266- While I said they could go wide receiver here, Werner would give Jared Allen (74 sacks in 5 seasons with Min) a little help on the other side and Allen would be a great mentor to Werner on and off the field. In a division with Aaron Rodgers, Jay Cutler and Matthew Stafford you can never have too many pass rushers. Justin Hunter or Keenan Allen could be the choice here but the signing of Greg Jennings has eased that need a bit. They could look to fill the wide receiver need with the 52nd pick in round two.
26 PACKERS- Eddie Lacy RB Alabama 5-11 231- The Packers were 20th in the league last year in rushing with only 106 yards a game and 9 rushing touchdowns. You can talk about the offensive line needing to protect Aaron Rodgers but a little threat of a run game would go along way. Again the Packers could look to address that offensive line or take their top rated safety to try and shore up the secondary. Could the Vikings going defense at 23 and 25 force the Packers to go offensive line?
27 TEXANS- Justin Hunter WR Tennessee 6-4 196- The Texans say it every year. We are going to get Andre Johnson some help on the other side. Then they wait till the middle rounds to address the issue and it remains a big need. With both Hunter and Keenan Allen on the board Houston would almost be forced to take one. Andre Johnson is 31 years old and if you keep waiting your going to be looking to replace Johnson himself and not trying to get the compliment to him. The time is now for the Texans before their window of opportunity closes.
28 BRONCOS- Cornellius Tank Carradine DE Florida State 6-4 1/4 276- The Broncos lost Elvis Dumervil is an odd way and have yet to replace him. They did however address the CB situation by signing Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and also added Wes Welker and offensive guard Louis Vasquez. The Broncos roster is loaded so again this is a team that could go a number of ways with this pick. Carradine had an impressive pro day that should improve teams outlook on him coming off of ACL surgery.
29 PATRIOTS- Keenan Allen WR California 6-2 206- The Patriots wide receiving corps is just a bunch of guys at this point after losing Wes Welker via free agency to Denver. If they plan to rely on the often injured Danny Amendola or the average Michael Jenkins and Donald Jones to be play makers for Tom Brady they may be extremely disappointed this season. New England resigned Sebastian Vollmer to protect Brady and that was a big move for them as that would have been a huge necessity. The Pats could go corner back here as well but if there is one position Bill Belichick has failed at hitting in the draft it is that one.
30 FALCONS- DJ Hayden CB Houston 5-11 1/8 191- The Falcons have a huge need at the corner position after losing Dunta Robinson and Brent Grimes and in case you didn't know Asante Samuel is thirty two years old. Hayden's story is remarkable. He severed his inferior vena cava after taking a vicious hit in practice and his life was on the line but thanks to the quick reaction of the Houston medical staff he was able to survive and now is Mike Mayock's number one ranked corner ahead of Alabama's Dee Milliner. Zach Ertz could be the long term solution at the tight end spot and would also get a year to learn from the best tight end to ever play the game. ( In my opinion of course)
31 49ERS- Johnathan Jenkins DT/NT Georgia 6-3 5/8 346- Find me a weakness on this team! Coming off of a Super Bowl loss the 49ers had questions at corner(signed Nnamdi Asomugha), defensive end (signed Glenn Dorsey) and wide receiver (traded for Anquan Boldin). You can argue that safety may be a bigger need than nose tackle after losing Dashon Goldson to Tampa Bay but this team knows that it all starts in the trenches. You are going to tell me that a team of this caliber that added what they did in free agency is going to add a 346 pound monster in the middle and then be back on the clock with the second pick in the second round? The rich get richer!
32 RAVENS- Menelik Watson OT Florida State 6-5 1/8 310- We have all seen the movie "The Blind Side" but the truth is Michael Oher really isn't that good on the left side. He is better suited on the right side and the Ravens and every team that plays the Ravens knows it too. Watson is raw but has great athleticism for his size. Oher could stay on the left side for the '14 season while Watson gets his feet wet on the right side and then they can make the change moving forward. Michael Huff was added during free agency and that makes the safety position less of a immediate need. Rolando McClain was added at the linebacker spot but it didn't take long for him to return to his home away from home otherwise known as the Decatur Alabama police station. Ultimately this will lead to his quick departure out of Baltimore so the Ravens could look to address linebacker with the 62nd pick in round two.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Masterson Throws Another Gem, Tribe Wins 3-2

By:  Stephen Parsons
 
Justin Masterson had a fantastic April already.  Tonight in Chicago, he earned his 4th win of the season, pitching well against division rival Chicago.

The Indians got off to the lead first tonight, it was Lonnie Chisenhall hitting a RBI double scoring Jason Giambi making it 1-0 Indians.

In the Bottom of the 2nd inning, Conor Gillaspie hit a solo home run to tie it at 1.
In the Bottom of the 4th inning, catcher Hector Gimenez hit a double to deep center, scoring Alexi Ramirez.  This would put the White Sox up 2-1.

Masterson would continue to battle, he would pitch 7 innings allowing 2 runs on 4 hits.  He would walk 4 but struck out 5 Chicago hitters.

In the Top of the 8th inning, Asdrubal Cabrera finally came through with a clutch hit.  He hit a 2-run single scoring Drew Stubbs and Michael Brantley, putting the Tribe up 3-2.

Vinnie Pestano would pitch a 1-2-3 8th inning earning his 4th hold of the season.

For the 2nd game in a row, closer Chris Perez would come on for a save opportunity.  Perez would strike out Paul Konerko looking.  Conor Gillaspie would hit a single.  But Alexi Ramirez would foul out, and Tyler Flowers would ground out to 3rd to end the game giving Perez his 3rd save of the season and improve the Indians record to 8-10 on the season, and 3-1 against the White Sox.
Justin Masterson got the win improving to 4-1 with a 1.85 ERA on the season.  Matt Thornton took the loss, falling to 0-1 with a 4.76 ERA.  Chris Perez got the save, his 3rd in 4 chances.

Time of the game was 2 hours and 48 minutes.  Attendance was 14,950.

My Thoughts:

Masterson was able to battle through another start where he did not have his best stuff.  5 walks has been uncharacteristic of him this year, but he only allowed 2 runs.  It was good enough for a win behind a clutch hit by Asdrubal Cabrera.

Great team win, need to win these road series against AL Central teams.

Coming Up Next:

Tomorrow night, Zach McAllister will go for the Indians, he is 1-2 with a  3.12 ERA this season.  He will be opposed by Jose Quintana who is 1-0 with a 2.55 ERA this season.
First pitch is at 8:1o PM ET at U.S. Cellular Field.

This has been the Parsons Report.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Perez Escapes Disaster, Tribe Wins 5-4

By:  Stephen Parsons
 
The Indians demolished the Astros last night 19-6, but it only counts as one win.  It would take a complete team effort to win the most important game of the season thus far.  It would take the 2-time all star closer Chris Perez to dig deep and seal the deal for the Indians.

The series finale would feature two starting pitchers who are no a shell of what they once were. Ubaldo Jimenez and Erik Bedard each have had previous success.  Lately not so much, as Jimenez hasn’t won a game since August of 2012.

In the first inning, Jimenez allowed a 2-run home run to Fernando Martinez before getting an out.  It seemed that Ubaldo was picking up where he left off last Tuesday against the Red Sox.  Jimenez would settle down and eventually retire 14 Astros in a row.

Bedard would not last long in this one.  In the 2nd inning he would allow a solo home run over the left field wall to catcher Yan Gomes.

In the Top of the 3rd inning, Ryan Raburn would drive in Carlos Santana with a single, making the score 2-2.

Erik Bedard would pitch 4 innings allowing 2 runs on 6 hits, walking 2 but struck out 8 Indians hitters, including Drew Stubbs.

Brett Oberholtzer would relieve Bedard in the 5th.  He would allow 2 solo home runs to Cleveland.  First, in the Top of the 5th to Carlos Santana over the left field wall.  Second, to Drew Stubbs in the Top of the 6th over the right field wall.

In the Top of the 6th, the Astros would get to Ubaldo Jimenez.  Jose Altuve hit a RBI triple, scoring Marwin Gonzalez.  Jimenez was then relieved by left hander Nick Hagadone.  Chris Carter hit a fly ball to right field, scoring Altuve on the sac fly, making the score 4-4.

In the Top of the 7th, who better than Mark Reynolds, hit a solo home run to center field putting the Tribe on top again 5-4.

Joe Smith and Vinnie Pestano pitched the 7th and 8th inning getting hit around but allowing no runs, earning holds.

In the Bottom of the 9th, it was Chris Perez’s opportunity to earn just his 2nd save of the season.
Rick Ankiel hit a lead off double.  Matt Dominguez was hit by a pitch, then Marwin Gonzalez moved both runners over with a sacrafice bunt.  Jose Altuve was intentionally walked to load the bases with only 1 out.

Chris Carter would then strike out on a slider down and away.  Then with 2 outs and the game on the line, Jason Castro hit a line drive to Mark Reynolds, who scooped it up throwing him out to Carlos Santana for the put out and the win.  5-4 Ball Game!

Cody Allen was the winner improving to 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA.  Hector Ambriz took the loss falling to 0-1 with a 3.97 ERA.  Chris Perez earned his 2nd save of the season.

Time of the game was 3 hours and 19 minutes.  Game attendance was 22,005.

It should be noted that Indians pitcher Brett Myers was placed on the 15-day disabled list who had been bothered with tendinitis in his right forearm.  Corey Kluber will step into the rotation in his absense.  Long reliever Fernando Nieve has been called up from Triple-A Columbus.

My Thoughts:

Absolutely most important game of the season thus far.  After dropping Friday night’s game, you could not afford to lose this series to the Astros who are not a good team.

Say what you will but Chris Perez got the job done, when it did not look like he would be able to.  Remember, Perez has not had a save since the season opener against Toronto.  Rust may have been a factor.  It was great to see on  a day where he only had a one run lead, and could not consistently command his slider, he was able to battle through and get the save.

Mark Reynolds has hit 7 home runs so far this season with 18 runs batted in.  Last season in the month of April, he had 0 home runs with onlhy 3 runs batted in.

Coming Up Next:

It’s AL Central rapid fire, as the Indians will play their next 7 games against the White Sox and Royals.

Tomorrow night in Chicago, Justin Masterson who is 3-1 with a 1.67 ERA.  He will face off against Dylan Axelrod who is 0-1 with a 4.70 ERA.

First pitch will be at 8:10 PM ET at US Cellular Field.
This has been the Parsons Report.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Peavy Dominates Tribe for a 3-1 White Sox Win

By:  Stephen Parsons
 
Yesterday, the Indians pounded Chris Sale for a 9-4 win.  Today was once again a completely different story, Peavy would be dominant, the White Sox prevented a sweep in Progressive Field.

Last season, Jake Peavy went 11-12 with a 3.37 ERA with 194 strikeouts.  It was the first time he
went over 200 innings pitched since 2007, that was his career year going 19-6 with a 2.54 ERA and 240 strikeouts.  Peavy was looking to continue his dominance this season.  Today he gave as good of an outing as you can get when you are down trying to prevent a series sweep.

Michael Bourn hit a home run in the Bottom of the 1st inning giving a quick 1-0 Indians advantage.  But that would be all the Indians would be able to do against Jake Peavy.  He would only allow that one run on 5 hits through 7 innings.  He would pick off Ryan Raburn at 1st base.

The Tribe left 5 on base today, but only had one chance with runners in scoring position, which they went 0 for 1.  That is how good Peavy was today, striking out 11 Indians batters.

As far as the Indians side of pitching, Brett Myers had his best outing of the year.  He went 6 innings allowing 2 runs, off the Paul Konerko home run, on 6 hits.  He struck out 4 White Sox batters while walking one.

Alejandro De Aza hit a solo home run off Vinnie Pestano in the Top of the 8th inning making it 3-1 White Sox.  Matt Thornton and Addison Reed would shut the door on the Tribe in the 8th and 9th innings to seal the victory 3-1 White Sox final.

Michael Bourn left the game with a right hand laceration.

Jake Peavy improves to 2-1 with a  3.93 ERA, Addison Reed picked up his 4th save of the season.  Brett Myers takes the loss, falling to 0-2 with a 8.82 ERA.  Time of the game was 2 hours and 48 minutes.  11,682 were in attendance.

My Thoughts:

Jake Peavy is a tough customer for the Tribe, last season he averaged over one strike out per inning in 21 innings last season.  Very positive sign from Brett Myers today.  Myers looked horrible in spring training, awful in his first start against Toronto, and looked worse in relief last Tuesday against the Yankees.  A quality start going 6 allowing 2 on a home run is a great sign, hopefully he can pick it back up going into his next start.

Another positive, Carlos Santana returned to play today, taking a walk in a pinch hit appearance.

Coming Up Next:

The Cleveland Indians host the Boston Red Sox this week following an off day for the Indians tomorrow.  The 3-game series begins Tuesday night at Progressive Field at 7:05 PM.  Ubaldo Jimenez will take the mound, he is 0-1 with a 6.97 ERA through 2 starts this season.  He will face off against Felix Doubront who is 0-0 with a 5.40 ERA after 1 start.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Swisher and Reynolds Pound Chris Sale for 9-4 Win

By:  Stephen Parsons
 
Last night at Progressive Field, it was a pitchers duel deep into the Cleveland night with only 1 run on 3 Indians hits.  This afternoon was a completely different story as the Indians beat up lefthander Chris Sale for a 2nd consecutive win to improve 2-0 in the AL Central this season.

Chris Sale had a very impressive  season in 2012, his first as a starting pitcher.  He was especially tough on the Cleveland Indians going 2-0 with a 2.18 ERA.  In 20 and 2/3 innings pitched against Cleveland, he struck out 12 batters last season.  He finished with a 17-8 record with a 3.05 ERA striking out 192 batters last season.

However today the Indians would get to Sale.  It started how it ended last night, Nick Swisher hit a 2-run home run in the Bottom of the 1st inning, once again with 2 outs.

Granted, the White Sox got on the score board first due to a throwing error by Mark Reynolds, and a RBI single by Paul Konerko.  With Swisher tying the game at 2, it would be the Indians again striking in the Bottom of the 3rd inning, this time it was Mark Reynolds hitting a single to center field scoring Nick Swisher giving the Tribe a 3-2 advantage.

Fast forward to the Bottom of the 5th inning, the Indians would blow it wide open.  Mark Reynolds would hit a grand slam over the left field wall, his 5th home run of the season, to make it 7-2 Indians.  But the Tribe wasn’t done for the 5th, Yan Gomes would hit a solo home run to center field, scoring Michael Brantley, making it a 9-2 Indians lead.

That would officially close the book on Chris Sale, in 4 and 1/3 innings pitched he allowed 8 runs on 8 hits, striking out 3 batters, walking 2 and allowing 2 home runs.  8 runs allowed for Sale is a new career high for him.  He would take the loss dropping him to 1-1 this season with a 5.21 ERA.
The White Sox would get 2 more runs during garbage time off Bryan Shaw in the 7th and an unearned run off Joe Smith in the 9th.

Zach McCallister would get his first win of the season.  His line read 6 and 1/3 innings pitched allowing 3 runs, only 1 earned, on 5 hits, striking out 6 White Sox batters.  McCallister improves to 1-1 with a 2.19 ERA this season.

My Thoughts:

Great win today against a pitcher who quite frankly dominated this team last year.  Getting on the score board early was a huge key for today’s game.  Chris Sale loves pitching with a lead, not so much when pitching from behind.  As previously stated, 8 runs a new career high for Chris Sale.
Great job by recognition of getting the series win early and going for the sweep tomorrow.  This win puts the Tribe back at .500 at 5-5.

Coming Up Next:

The White Sox ace Jake Peavy will be on the mound tomorrow he is 1-1 with a 5.56 ERA.  He will be opposed by Brett Myers who is 0-1 with a 12.19 ERA this season.  Myers missed his last start due to having to make a relief appearance on Tuesday after the Carrasco ejection.  Myers pitched 4 and 1/3 innings allowing 7 runs against the Yankees.

First pitch is at 1:05 PM at Progressive Field.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Masterson Throws Masterpiece to Silence White Sox 1-0

By:  Stephen Parsons

It has seemed like an eternity since the Indians last won a game.  It was Justin Masterson’s last turn in the rotation ironically.  But somehow the Tribe losing streak ended at 2 tonight.  That is because the past 2 games at Progressive Field were postponed due to rain outs in the final 2 games in the Opening Series against the New York Yankees.

The last time the Indians played, the rotation was in big trouble due to having to pitch Brett Myers in a day he wasn’t scheduled to start.  Corey Kluber was called up from Triple-A Columbus to pitch on Wednesday.  Then Zach McCallister was scheduled to start yesterday.  With both games being rained out, Masterson started today in a game where you need the ace of the pitching staff to take over and pick the team up for a win.

Masterson proved to be The Masterpiece tonight, pitching a complete game shutout, giving up only 5 hits.  He also struck out 7 White Sox batters, only walking 1.  It was a night of dominant pitching for both teams.  Jose Quintana pitched 7 innings of shutout baseball as well.  He allowed just one hit, to Michael Brantley, striking out 7 Indians batters.

In the bottom of the 9th, Michael Bourn got a one out double down the left field line.  With Asdrubal Cabrera unable to drive in Bourn, Jason Kipnis drew a 2-out intentional walk.  Nick Swisher would officially introduce himself to the Indians fans, and the AL Central with a walk off single driving in Michael Bourn securing Cleveland’s first home win of the season.

Justin Masterson improves to 3-0 with a 0.41 ERA after 3 starts.  The time of the game was only 2 hours and 19 minutes.  The home attendance was 11, 864 at Progressive Field.

My Thoughts:

That is what your number one pitcher is supposed to do.  The Ace of the team steps up and puts the team on his shoulders when you need a win.  Masterson has taken the role of ace since last season when he was named opening day starter.  But not till tonight has he really shown that he wants to be that guy.  Masterson has set the bar for the rest of the staff, he is now leading by example.

As far as the low attendance for tonight, I won’t make a big deal about it.  The weather was around 40 degrees with rain conditions, so I wont make a big deal.  The weekend should be nice days to see the Tribe.

Nice to see Nick Swisher come through.  Swisher is a player who is going to take pitches and be clutch, your two newest additions came through tonight, with Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher in the bottom of the 9th for the win.

Coming Up Next:

Tomorrow afternoon Zach McCallister face off against left hander Chris Sale, first pitch is at 4:05 at Progressive Field.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Cano Burries Carrasco and Indians Inside an Empty Stadium 14-1

By:  Stephen Parsons

The Indians were looking to get yesterday’s bad start at home behind them.  Good news for tonight, Carlos Carrasco was back making his season debut for the Tribe.  The bad news, Carlos Carrasco was making his season debut for the Tribe.

It started off well, Carrasco battled through the 1st inning after allowing a lead off double to Brett Gardner and a fielding error giving the Yankees 2 on with no body out.  He would go on to strike out Youkilis, then Hafner would ground into an inning ending double play.

The Tribe would stall in the bottom of the inning which would be the start of a phenomenal effort by veteran Andy Pettitte.  The 2nd inning would be the Yankees big push to put the game away early.

The 2nd started off well with Vernon Wells reaching on an error, but Ichiro would hit into a double play.  So, 2 outs no problem right?  Wrong, back to back singles by Nunez and Overbay followed by a walk to Cervelli loaded the bases for lead off hitter Brett Gardner, who already hit a double in the 1st inning.

Gardner had a great at bat, hitting a single to right center field, scoring both Nunez and Overbay.  The Yanks were not done this inning, Robinson Canon hit a double over the head of center fielder Drew Stubbs  scoring Cervelli and Gardner.  Just like that it was 4-0 Yankees picking up where they left off yesterday.

The bottom of the 2nd inning would feature ground outs from Mark Reynolds, Michael Brantley, and Ryan Raburn.  Carrasco came back out for the 3rd hoping to have a quick inning, Ichiro pulled a ball into the Yankees bullpen making it 5-0 Yankees, once again with 2 outs.

The 4th inning is where the bottom really fell out for Carrasco, after once again getting the 1st two batters out he walked Brett Gardner.  Robinson then hit a towering home run to center field the deepest part of Progressive Field into the bleacher seating, making the score 7-0 Yankees.

Next batter, Kevin Youkilis was hit by a pitch on the left shoulder near the head.  Carrasco, who just came off a 6-game suspension from nearly 2 years ago, would be immediately be ejected.  Brett Myers would come into the game to help save the bullpen.  Myers was scheduled to start tomorrow’s game, was ready in case of emergency, Indians manager Terry Francona says.

Carrasco’s final line read 3 and 2/3 innings pitched allowing 7 runs on 7 hits, allowing 2 home runs, struck out 2 and walked 2 batters.  Myers got Carrasco out of the jam in the 4th, and following a 5th inning lead off double by Vernon Wells, pitched out of trouble to allow no runs.

In the top of the 6th, Kevin Youkilis got his revenge the conventional way, on the scoreboard, hitting a 2-run home run, making it a Yankees 9-0 lead.  Asdrubal Cabrera would respond with a solo home run in the bottom of the 6th, cutting the deficit to 9-1.  The Indians would get two runners on base but would not score in the inning.

They wouldn’t score again for the remainder of the game.  But the Bronx Bombers were not, Lyle Overbay hit a solo home run in the top of the 9th, Robinson Cano, surprise, hit a RBI double, and Brennan Boesch hit a 2-run home run scoring Cano.  13-1 was the lead at this point.

The Yanks would add on one additional run in the top of the 9th, making the final score 14-1.  The Yankees improve to 4-4 while the Indians fall to 3-5.

Robinson Cano finished 4 for 6 with 1 home run and 5 runs batted in.  The past two games he has hit 7 for 10 with 3 home runs, 7 runs batted in, while scoring 6 runs.  Cano loves Progressive Field this season.

My Thoughts:

I was in attendance tonight for my first game of the season.  But it ended the same way my last in game experience did.  Literally, my last game was August 12, 2012 against the Boston Red Sox.  Indians lost that game 14-1 as well, just my luck right?  Carrasco needs to mature, you can’t be throwing at guys when you just got off a suspension.  I do not buy that he slipped on that pitch, he threw at him and needs to grow up.  You cannot hit batters when you give up home runs.  Hopefully for him he won’t get suspended again, but more than likely he will to send the message.

Stat of the night, 12,663 total attendance for this game, that is 28% full.  For a fan base that claimed last season that the concession prices were too high, the ticket prices too high, and not spending the money, this is a true embarrassment.  The Indians organization has answered to the fans issues., the fans need to follow through on their end.  Shocking it was that empty, it was a beautiful night for baseball, 78 degrees around 1st pitch.

Andy Pettitte continues to play well regardless of age, 41 years old recording his 247th career win, and if he continues to have the passion to pitch I believe he could hit the hall of fame mark 3oo wins.  Tough to beat tonight, he went 7 innings allowing 1 run for his 2nd win of 2013.

Coming Up Next:

The Indians rotation will be moved up due to Brett Myers having to pitch tonight.  Zach McCallister will pitch tomorrow night, he will go up against New York’s Ivan Nova tomorrow night.  The Tribe will try to stop another losing streak, first pitch at Progressive Field at 7:05 PM ET.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Hafner and Yankees Spoil Indians Opener 11-6

By:  Stephen Parsons

Opening Day in Cleveland is here, a 4-game series with the New York Yankees who have a depleted roster, then Travis Hafner said HEY GUYS, REMEMBER ME?  The Yankees bats came to play today pounding Indians pitching to a 11-6 win.

Travis Hafner came into this game batting .300 with a home run and 2 runs batted in the first week of the season.  In the 1st inning he made Ubaldo Jimenez pay with a 3-run home run putting the Tribe in an early 3-0 hole.

The Indians did respond quickly though, Michael Bourn walked, Asdrubal Cabrera singled, and Jason Kipnis hit a sac fly scoring Michael Bourn from 3rd base.  Nick Swisher singled and Michael Brantley singled, scoring Cabrera.  With Carlos Santana, the Tribe's hottest hitter coming to bat, Santana drew a walk to load the bases for Mark Reynolds.  Reynolds got under a pitch lifting it to deep left field to the warning track.  This fly ball resulted in Swisher scoring from 3rd base, tying the game at 3 a piece.

In the top of the 3rd, Robinson Cano led of with a double, Travis Hafner struck again with a single driving in Cano putting the Yankees back up 4-3.  In the top of the 4th Chris Stewart reached base on a 2-0ut single, then stole 2nd base off Ubaldo Jimenez setting up Brett Gardner with a 2 out rbi extending the Yankees lead 5-3.

The 5th would be Ubaldo's last inning of the game.  Robinson Cano again hurt him, this time with a solo home run.  After walking Travis Hafner, Matt Albers came into the game to relieve Ubaldo Jimenez.  Ichiro Suzuki would hit a single that would score Hafner putting more gas on the fire, Yankees now lead 7-3.

Robinson Cano started the top of the 6th with yet another solo home run.  In the 7th inning the Yankees would add on 3 more runs to give the Bronx Bombers a 11-3 advantage.

All hope was lost at this point, but in the bottom of the 8th, Mike Aviles hit a 2-run home run.  Michael Bourn then hit a triple, scoring on a wild pitch during the next at bat.  Indians were now suddenly down 11-6.

But that was as close as it got, Final score Yankees 11, Indians 6 as the Indians dropped their 5th straight home opener.  To make matters worse Carlos Santana left the game with a thumb contusion.  X-rays are negative and he is listed day-to-day.

Ubaldo Jimenez went 4 1/3 innings, allowing 7 runs on 7 hits, he struck out 4 and walked 3.  Allowing 2 home runs.

My Thoughts:
Pronk came back hitting well as he normally does in the month of April, he has hit 36 career home runs in the month of April, and has more hits this month than any other month in his career.  Runners in scoring position, Yankees hit 5 for 12, Indians hit 2 for 11.  Kuroda weathered the storm of throwing over 30 pitches in the 1st inning, and getting into the 6th inning.  It was good enough for his first win of year, good job by him.  At the end of the day, no matter how bad a showing, it goes down as one loss, come back tomorrow and even up the series.

Coming Up Next:
Carlos Carrasco makes his season debut against veteran Andy Pettitte tomorrow night at Progressive Field.  First pitch is at 7:05 PM.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Tribe Smash Rays 13-0 in Series Finale

By:  Stephen Parsons

The Indians offense had been completely stunned by Tampa Bay pitching this weekend.  You wouldn’t be able to tell if you only watched today’s series finale against AL Cy Young winner David Price, as the Tribe ended a 3 game skid pounding Tampa pitching 13-0 and it was early and often.

It was all started by the number 9 hitter Drew Stubbs.  He hit a 2 out rbi single in the top of the 2nd inning giving the Indians their first run since Thursday.  It really got opened up in the 3rd inning, 2 walks started off the 3rd, followed by a 3-run home run by Mark Reynolds, his 3rd on the season, putting the Indians up 4-0.  Something Masterson was not used to last year was an early lead, and he did not waste it.  Masterson would go on to pitch 7 innings of 2 hit baseball.  He would walk 3 batters but struck out 8 Rays hitters, lowering his season ERA to 0.69.

The Indians offense wasn’t even close to being finished.  Lonnie Chisenhall would hit a 3-run home run in the 5th inning.  Mark Reynolds wasn’t done either hitting a 2nd home run in the 7th inning, this time a solo home run giving him 4 on the year.  Michael Bourn would hit a solo home run in the 8th inning.

Carlos Santana capped off a 5 for 5 day with a 2-run home run, his 2nd of the year, in the top of the 9th inning off of Fernando Rodney who was just getting some work in a blowout situation.  Santana and Reynolds combined for 3 home runs and 7 runs batted in.

It was just a day to forget for Rays ace David Price, he would only last 5 innings giving up 8 runs on 10 hits and 2 home runs allowed.  Early numbers for Price this season are 0-1 with a 8.18 ERA.
Cleveland was able to avoid the sweep and get back to .500 at 3-3, Tampa with the loss drops to 3-3 as well as they move on to the Ballpark in Arlington to face off against the Texas Rangers.

My Thoughts:
The Indians offense was contained so well by Tampa pitching in the first 2 games of this series that it was only a matter of time until they broke it open, and did they ever.  Working the count and getting clutch hitting against David Price was the last thing I expected today.  Stat of the day, is the same as the previous 2 games, runners in scoring position.  Indians hit 7 for 18 today with RISP, they hit 0 for 10 the past 2 nights.  Tampa didn’t have many chances to hit with runners on, only hitting 0 for 3 as they suffer the shutout 13-0.

Coming Up Next:
The Indians return to Cleveland for their home opener, they will start a 4-game series with the New York Yankees.  Tomorrow’s opener will feature Ubaldo Jimenez against Hiroki Kuroda.  The Yankees come into Cleveland with a record of 2-4.  First pitch is at Progressive Field tomorrow at 4:05 ET