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.