Tag:Indians
Posted on: September 5, 2011 11:43 pm
Edited on: September 6, 2011 12:49 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Jesus connects twice



By Matt Snyder


Jesus Montero, Yankees. Monday was quite a day for the Yankees' heavily hyped young slugger. The 21 year old hit his first and second career major-league home runs in an 11-10 Yankees' victory. The locals were excited enough that Montero got a curtain call after each homer. Meanwhile the Yankees opened up a 2 1/2 game lead over the Red Sox in the AL East with their fifth consecutive victory.

Doug Fister, Tigers. You think the Tigers don't have a good starting pitcher after Justin Verlander? Think again. Fister dominated the Indians for eight innings, allowing only four hits and one earned run while striking out 13 in a 4-2 win. His ERA is down to 3.17. If you insist on looking at his win-loss record (7-13), at least concede his playing for the Mariners until late July drastically hurt him.

Brett Lawrie, Blue Jays. Neither the Red Sox nor the Blue Jays scored a run through 10 1/2 innings Monday, but the Jays' rookie third baseman came through with a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 11th. He also stole a base earlier in the game as he continues to pretty much do it all for his ballclub. Though it's tough for the Blue Jays to compete with the Yankees and Red Sox in terms of payroll in the AL East, an offensive nucleus of Jose Bautista, Adam Lind and Lawrie looks pretty damn solid for the next several years.

Also take note of the efforts put forth by James Shields (click here), Cliff Lee (click here) and Zach Stewart (click here), who had big Labor Day outings in their own right.



Andrew Bailey, Athletics. He only faced four hitters in the 10th inning, but it was enough to gather the loss after giving up three hits and being charged with three earned runs while only recording one out in an 11-6 loss.

Padres offense. The Padres managed two runs against the Giants, which wouldn't normally be that bad, but it's a season-long issue that we're going to point out. Giants starter Madison Bumgarner struck out 13 while reliever Santiago Casilla struck out two as the Padres fell 7-2. It marked the 11th time this season the Padres' offense has collectively struck out 13 or more times in a game (Follow the Padres via Twitter). When power is an issue (the Padres rank dead last in the majors in home runs) and speed is a strength (the Padres are first in the majors in stolen bases), it's probably a good idea to put the ball in play as much as possible.

Twins offense. They managed one run on eight hits Monday ... in a doubleheader. The Twins also had two walks and only one extra base hit. They only left nine men on base, which wouldn't be so awful for two games, except for the fact that they only got 10 guys on base. In light of this, the 4-0 and 2-1 losses shouldn't be surprising.

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Posted on: September 5, 2011 5:51 pm
 

Playoff Race: Tigers strengthen grip on Central

By Matt Snyder

Here's a breakdown of the AL Central race -- or what's left of it -- with all data through games of Sept. 5.

Detroit Tigers
Record: 79-62
21 games remaining: 11 road, 10 home
Winning percentage of remaining opponents: .456
Baseball Prospectus expectancy of division title: 97.5 percent

Cleveland Indians
Record: 70-68, 7.5 games back
24 games remaining: 13 road, 11 home
Winning percentage of remaining opponents: .492
Baseball Prospectus expectancy of division title: 0.9 percent

Chicago White Sox
Record: 69-69, 8.5 GB
24 games remaining: 13 home, 11 road
Winning percentage of remaining opponents: .472
Baseball Prospectus expectancy of division title: 1.6 percent

Playoff race

When the Tigers won Monday against the Indians, things seemed to get a lot more set in stone in what used to be a competitive race. Still, the Indians have five games left against the Tigers, so anything is possible. The White Sox have eight games against the Indians and three against the Tigers, so we can't completely count them out based upon mathematics, either. Still, with Justin Verlander likely to get four more starts and the easiest remaining schedule, it's awfully difficult to see the Tigers cough up more than a week's worth of games' lead in just three weeks. The wheels would have to completely fall off. With games against the Indians Tuesday and Wednesday, the Tigers could essentially nail down the division this week.

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Posted on: September 5, 2011 12:04 pm
 

Indians activate Sizemore from DL

By Matt Snyder

Center fielder Grady Sizemore has been activated from the 15-day disabled list by the Indians. The move happened in time to get Sizemore into the lineup Monday, as he'll hit leadoff for the Indians. There was no corresponding move necessary, as rosters are expanded and Sizemore only gives the Indians 27 active players on the major-league roster.

Sizemore, 29, finished a three-game minor-league rehab stint this past weekend in his return from surgery on a sports hernia in his right groin area. He's hitting .237/.304/.466 with 10 home runs and 21 doubles in 61 games this season. He's been on the DL twice.

The Indians open a huge three-game series against the Tigers Monday.

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Posted on: September 5, 2011 11:16 am
Edited on: September 5, 2011 11:46 am
 

On Deck: Labor Day baseball

OD

By Matt Snyder

Follow all game action live on CBSSports.com's scoreboard.

Cardinals last stand: The Cardinals swept the Brewers last week in Milwaukee. Now the Brewers visit St. Louis for three games. Being 9 1/2 games out int he NL Central, the Cardinals need to sweep the Brewers again, otherwise you'd have to consider this race over. Even if they do sweep, 6 1/2 is a tall order, but it's at least feasible. Jake Westbrook (11-7, 4.72) is the Cardinals' starter Monday, and last time out he gathered the win -- and hit a grand slam -- against the Brewers. Randy Wolf (11-9, 3.58) was the starter for the Brewers that game, and it's a rematch Monday. Brewers at Cardinals, 4:15 p.m. ET.

Shields rematch: The Rangers have a 3 1/2 game lead in the AL West -- which is one of the few remaining intriguing races. Monday, they'll open a series in Tampa Bay. James Shields (13-10, 2.84) is the starter for the Rays, and last time out he handcuffed the Rangers for eight shutout innings, only allowing four hits. Only the Yankees and Red Sox have scored more runs among AL teams than the Rangers, so it's a tall order to hold them down once, much less twice. Scott Feldman (1-0, 2.86) will start for the Rangers in what was supposed to be struggling Alexi Ogando's spot. Rangers at Rays, 1:10 p.m. ET.

Big week for Cleveland: The Indians trail the Tigers by 6 1/2 games and have a two-game lead over the White Sox in the AL Central. This week, the Indians have three games at home against the Tigers and four in Chicago against the White Sox. Monday, Ubaldo Jimenez (8-10, 4.70) looks to get things off to a positive start for the Indians, while Doug Fister (6-13, 3.26) will try to bury them. This could be a huge series, as the Tigers could essentially put the division away, but an Indians' sweep brings things to within 3 1/2 games. The two then have another three-game series later this September.

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Posted on: September 2, 2011 10:21 pm
Edited on: September 2, 2011 11:14 pm
 

Cabrera hurts knee, hits home run, leaves game

By Matt Snyder

Indians All-Star shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera was forced to exit Friday night's game against the Royals with a left knee contusion (MLB.com). It was later reported that X-Rays were negative and Cabrera is listed as day to day. He'll be re-evaluated Saturday (Jordan Bastian via Twitter).

Call it a triple crown, because Cabrera's leaving the game was out of sequence.

Cabrera first fouled a Bruce Chen pitch off his knee and appeared in pain, but stayed in the game for the rest of his at-bat. He then hit a two-run home run. Still, the pain must have gotten worse, because Cabrera was pulled from the game in the bottom of the third inning and limped down into the clubhouse.

Cabrera, 25, has been one of the more pleasant surprises in baseball this season. He came into the campaign with just 18 career home runs in over 1,400 plate appearances, but the home run Friday night was his 22nd of the season. He also has 80 RBI and 79 runs scored as the Indians remain to hover in contention in the AL Central -- something almost no one believed would happen when the season began. If they were to lose Cabrera, it would obviously be a huge blow to their chances.

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Posted on: September 1, 2011 5:33 pm
 

September Storylines: What races?



By C. Trent Rosecrans

If I were a conspiracy type of guy (and I'm most certainly not), maybe I'd suggest Bud Selig rigged this whole thing to get people on board for expanding the playoffs. I don't believe that, or even believe Selig has dreamt about that, much less thought about it -- but the lack of a pennant chases this September may make adding another playoff team to the mix more desirable.

September Storylines

As September began, only two division leaders had a competitor within five games of them for the lead, and one of those -- the American League East -- has both teams pretty much as shoe-ins for the playoffs. Both wild card leaders are up by at least 7 1/2 games over their nearest competition. In short, it may be a boring September.

So, with that buildup, let's look at the race for the eight playoff spots as we enter the last month of the season:

AL East: While the revamped Rays gave it a nice run, Tampa starts the month nine games behind the Rd Sox and virtually out of the race, so we're down to the usual suspects -- the Yankees and Red Sox. The rivals finish their series on Wednesday with Boston leading New York by 1 1/2 games. A difference could be the two teams' schedules -- Boston doesn't leave the Eastern Time zone the rest of the season, while the Yankees not only have a swing out West, they also have 26 games in the last 27 days. Boston does as well, but a doubleheader on Sept. 19 against Baltimore gives them two off days in the game's last month. Boston is 35-20 against the five teams remaining on their schedule while the Yankees are 39-31 against the seven teams they have left on their slate. While many may say it doesn't matter which team wins the division, there's something to be said for home field advantage and opening against Detroit over opening at Texas.

AL Central: The Detroit Verlanders lead the division by 5 1/2 games over the Indians and are six games ahead of the White Sox. However, both the White Sox and Indians have six games left against Detroit, so it's hardly over -- but it could be by the middle of the month. Detroit and Justin Verlander welcome the White Sox to Comerica Park on Friday. Detroit follows that series with a trip to Cleveland. A nice run here by the Tigers could go a long way to letting them work their rotation so Verlander can get ready for Game 1 of the ALDS.

AL West: This is where it could get interesting -- Texas led the division by as many as seven games in August, but enter Thursday's game just 3 1/2 games ahead of Los Angeles, which has won eight of its last 12 games and returns for Seattle for a nine-game home stand on Friday. The Angels are a .500 team on the road and 38-28 at home entering Thursday's game in Seattle. The two teams have just three games remaining against each other, but they come the last series of the season, Sept. 26-28 in Anaheim.

AL Wild Card: Red Sox or Yankees. Yankees or Red Sox.

NL East: Much like the American League East, the top two teams can smell the postseason. Philadelphia is rolling and nobody wants to face Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels in the postseason. The Phillies improved to 87-56 with a win over Cincinnati on Thursday.

NL Central: The Cardinals have looked spunky by taking the first two games of the series in Milwaukee headed into Thursday afternoon's game, but it still leads by 8 1/2 games. The Cardinals welcome the Brewers at Busch Stadium next week after a weekend series with the Reds. The Brewers are still in control, so St. Louis needs to win the rest of its series remaining (including a trip to Philadelphia for four and three games against Atlanta) to make the Brewers sweat. St. Louis does follow that trip to Philly with series against the Mets, Cubs and Astros to finish the season, so the schedule helps them once they get back from Philadelphia.

NL West: Last year the Giants entered September four games back in the National League, this year it's six. But there's a lot different feeling than there was a year ago when people were wondering if the Padres could hold on to first (they couldn't), while this year the division-leading Diamondbacks enter the season's final month riding a nine-game winning streak. The two start a three-game series in San Francisco on Friday in what could turn out to be the knockout punch. However, the Giants miss Daniel Hudson, while they also put on the mound their three top starters in Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum and Ryan Vogelsong. The two teams also have another series in the season's last weekend at Chase Field. Arizona plays all its remaining games in either the Pacific or Mountain time zones. The Diamondbacks are 30-23 against the teams remaining on their schedule, with a 4-8 record so far against the Giants. All of San Francisco's remaining games are against NL West teams, which helps because those teams are the Padres, Dodgers and Rockies.

NL Wild Card: The Braves will play, but a more interesting question is who they will play. This isn't exactly about the wild card, but more about which team dodges the Phillies in the first round of the playoffs.

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Posted on: September 1, 2011 1:18 am
Edited on: September 1, 2011 1:22 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Pitchers muscle up



By Matt Snyder

Derek Lowe, Braves/Jake Westbrook, Cardinals. Lowe worked six innings, allowing just three hits and one earned run while striking out six in the Braves' 3-1 win. He even helped set up rookie sensation Craig Kimbrel for his record-setting 41st save. But none of that is why Lowe is here. We don't put run-of-the-mill quality starts in the "up" section. Pitchers hitting bombs does get our attention, though, and Lowe hit his first career home run. Westbrook decided to outdo Lowe, however, as he also hit his first career homer -- it's just that Westbrook's was a grand slam, helping to propel his Cardinals to an 8-3 win over the division-leading Brewers.

Jack Hannahan, Indians. Hannahan hit two solo home runs to help get the Indians to extra innings knotted at 3-3 with the A's. He then came through with an RBI single to end the game in walk-off fashion in the bottom of the 16th inning. The win moved the Indians back into second place and kept them within 5 1/2 games of the Tigers -- who came through with a win after an eighth-inning rally.

Madison Bumgarner, Giants. The Giants badly needed someone to step up. They had lost four of six games to the two worst teams in the National League and had fallen to six games behind the upstart Diamondbacks in the NL West. Bumgarner stepped up. His performance shouldn't be all that surprising, because when he's good, he's as good as anyone in the game. Still, he's been inconsistent this season, so you never know. But Wednesday's effort was a beauty. He tied a career high with 11 strikeouts in eight shutout innings as the Giants won 4-0 to keep pace with the D-Backs -- who won their ninth straight.



Alexi Ogando, Rangers. In July, Ogando's first-half performance got him to the All-Star Game in Phoenix. Come September, he may be out of the Rangers' rotation. Ogando couldn't even get through the third inning during Texas' 4-1 loss to the Rays Wednesday. He allowed five hits, two walks and three earned runs in just 2 2/3 innings, pushing his August ERA to over 7.00. And Scott Feldman is waiting in the wings in case manager Ron Washington wants to bump Ogando.

Jake Peavy's 1st inning, White Sox. The White Sox are trying to chase down the Tigers in the AL Central and have a decent-sized gap, so every game is of vast importance at this point. Wednesday, Peavy coughed up six runs in the top of the first inning to the Twins and the White Sox lost 7-6. Meanwhile, the White Sox fell to third place and are six games out.

The Orioles. Maybe the "Man in White" traveled to Baltimore? The Blue Jays thoroughly dominated the Orioles in every facet of the game Wednesday in a 13-0 victory. The Jays pounded 20 hits -- 10 of which were of the extra-base variety -- including Jose Bautista's major-league leading 39th bomb. The Orioles didn't just limit their ineptitude to the mound, though, as they were equally futile in the batter's box. Henderson Alvarez threw eight shutout innings for the Blue Jays and Rommie Lewis closed the Orioles down in the ninth. They only managed five baserunners all game.

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Posted on: August 31, 2011 5:19 pm
 

On Deck: Ubaldo digs his new digs

OD

By C. Trent Rosecrans


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Ubaldo JimenezHome sweet home:
This season Ubaldo Jimenez was 3-5 with a 5.55 ERA at Coors Field, but he likes his new digs much better. In two starts at Progressive Field, he's allowed just 12 hits and struck out 16 batters with a 0.60 ERA. On the road, he's struggled with his new team, allowing 25 hits and 11.77 ERA in three starts. But hey, tonight the Indians and Jimenez are in Cleveland, so the A's should watch out. Rich Harden (4-2, 4.55 ERA) goes for the A's, who have lost four straight and five of their last six. Athletics at Indians, 7:05 p.m. ET

Nine on the line: The Diamondbacks can extend their season-long winning streak to nine with a victory against the Rockies tonight. Arizona right-hander Josh Collmenter is 2-1 with a 1.73 ERA in his last four starts, giving up just five earned run during that run. Arizona starters have a 0.83 ERA during the eight-game winning streak. Not only has Arizona won eight straight overall, it's won its last 11 at Chase Field, tying a team record set in 2000 and matched in 2003. The Diamondbacks have also won 13 of their last 17 against the Rockies at Chase Field and 10 of 14 in all games against Colorado this season. Rockies at Diamondbacks, 9:40 p.m. ET

Felix HernandezDan HarenMarquee matchup: You want pitching? Look west as Felix Hernandez and the Mariners face Dan Haren and the Angels. Hernandez, last year's Cy Young Award winner, has struggled in his career against Los Angeles, going 4-9 with 4.01 ERA against the Angels, but is 0-1 with a 2.40 ERA in two starts in Anaheim this season. Haren, on the other hand, loves pitching at Safeco Field, where he is 4-1 with a 2.26 ERA in eight career starts. He's 9-4 overall against the Mariners with a 2.52 ERA. Angels at Mariners, 10:10 p.m ET

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