August 15, 2014

Reds 9, Indians 2: Cueto is Cueto and Tomlin is Tomlin


Baseball has a long, grueling and agitating season. Life might be especially annoying as a baseball fan of a .500 team.

When you’re a bad team, almost every game is bad. It’s like being a Cubs fan. When things are good, yes the expectations are high, but again, you’re winning. The ‘90s were so much fun. But the 2014 Cleveland Indians are the epitome of what can make baseball a frustrating sport.

Just after a four-game winning streak filled with drama and excitement, they fell back down to earth with a 9-2 loss on Tuesday to the Cincinnati Reds. It was the second game of this four-game Ohio Cup series. The two teams square off for the final two in Cincinnati starting tonight.

Johnny Cueto, one of the game’s best, silenced the Tribe’s bats and Josh Tomlin had a very disappointing kind of Josh Tomlin game. It’s an understandable loss. But at the same time, still maddeningly frustrating. [Read more...]

Indians 7, Reds 1: Commander Corey, long balls, lead Wahoos to fourth straight W

Corey KluberI am running out of superlatives to describe the Tribe’s Corey Kluber. So this is what it’s like to have a real ace? The Indians haven’t seen anything like this since Cliff Lee’s 2008 Cy Young season. But even then, I don’t think we truly appreciated what we were watching. Lee was dominating with unbelievable command, but the Indians stumbled out of the gate and never were close to being a playoff team. CC Sabathia (Michael Brantley) and Casey Blake (Carlos Santana) were was sold off in July and another rebuild was about to begin. Kluber on the other hand, is driving the bus for a team suddenly surging, just two and a half games back of Toronto for the second AL Wild Card spot. He was money once again in the Tribe’s 7-1 series opening win against the Cincinnati Reds.

Watching Kluber work never gets old. He is so in control, so composed. Nothing seems to phase him on the mound—not even a Ryan Raburn spiked throw. The high level of dominance continued Monday night against a team that had not seen him yet this season. The Reds are a banged up and struggling bunch, yet they entered last night with the same record as the Indians. By the time the ninth inning rolled around, Reds manager Bryan Price lamented the blown chances his team received, thanks to some early shoddy Indians defense.

“What was disappointing and unacceptable tonight was the fact that we didn’t have our head in the game at all,” said Price. “Especially those first five innings. We had two guys that forgot how many outs there were, we had a pitcher that didn’t cover first base on a ground ball to the right side. We had five baserunners in the first three innings. That’s just not the way we play. We haven’t played that way all year. That lack of fight and lethargy, that’s just unacceptable type of play right there.”

[Read more...]

Reds have talked to Grady Sizemore about possible comeback

Grady SizemoreThe Cincinnati Reds have recently talked to former Cleveland Indians All-Star outfielder Grady Sizemore about a comeback.

Reds beat writer Mark Sheldon shared the news on Friday via team general manager Walt Jocketty. Jocketty said he that he’s talked to Sizemore, but he’s “not sure where that is right now. With the holidays, not much has happened.” Jocketty said he believes Sizemore “appears to be” healthy.

The Reds are currently planning on playing rookie Billy Hamilton in center field next season. They had rental Shin-Soo Choo in that role last year after a trade with Arizona and Cleveland. Choo recently signed a mega seven-year $130 million deal with the Texas Rangers. Sizemore could then theoretically provide some insurance in Cincinnati’s outfield.

Now 31, Sizemore last played in a professional baseball game in September 2011. He then signed a $5 million deal with the Indians for 2012, but was never healthy enough to play. Last season, he shared that he would potentially join a team mid-season if healthy, but that also never came to be. Thus far this offseason, he’s reportedly already drawn interest from various teams.’s Ben Reiter listed Sizemore as one of 10 under-the-radar free agents, noting that he could make a late-career comeback a la Carlos Beltran. He theorized that the New York Mets would be a great fit. FanGraphs’ Dan Szymborski tweeted out a very depressing chart on Thursday about Sizemore’s rest-of-career projections as of the end of 2008. Former MLB outfielder and current Fox Sports Live analyst Gabe Kapler tweeted that he’d roll the dice on a Sizemore signing.

I’d think that more likely than not Sizemore won’t end up in Cleveland because of the team’s impressive MLB outfield depth, even with the recent trade of Drew Stubbs. Teams like the Reds or Mets make a little more sense for him to get a fresh start on his new career. I’m sure all Indians fans will wish him nothing but the best even as we lament on what could have been.

[Related from Aug. 2011: Have We Seen The Last of Grady Sizemore?]

MLB News: Shin-Soo Choo turns down $140 million from Yankees

The Cleveland Indians’ track record is far from perfect, but it appears they were right on the mark with regard to Shin-Soo Choo. Choo was an absolute steal when the Indians traded Ben Broussard for him before the 2006 MLB season. The team also sold pretty high on him when they traded him to the Reds for Drew Stubbs and Trevor Bauer. Even as WFNY has debated what Choo would garner on the open market, I really had no idea that it would come to this. Jeff Passan of Yahoo! reports that Choo turned down $140 million from the New York Yankees.

In the aftermath of Robinson Cano’s defection to Seattle, New York presented Choo a seven-year, $140 million deal, three sources outside the Yankees’ organization told Yahoo Sports. When Boras countered asking for more money – one source indicated he wanted “Ellsbury money,” or $153 million over seven years – the Yankees pulled the offer and signed Carlos Beltran to a three-year, $45 million deal.

That’s right. The Yankees preferred to sign a three-year deal with a guy who is going to be 37 years-old near the end of April than offer any more than the $140 million they offered to Choo.

None of this is to mock out Choo, who I loved as a Cleveland Indians regular. The point is just how crazy the market has become for even somewhat flawed players. I loved Choo’s bat and loved watching him throw the ball in from the outfield, but to call him an All-Star level player is likely only occasionally true when he’s having a particularly good season.

Or maybe the market’s not as crazy as I thought. The Yankees walked away.

[Related: MLB Trade News: Indians reportedly trade Drew Stubbs to Rockies]

Indians 5 Reds 2: The Great Giambino to the rescue!

Jason GiambiYour Cleveland Indians, losers of five straight and seven of eight, arrived back in Cleveland in dire need of a pick me up. “We needed to get a victory because we’ve been playing good baseball without much to show for it,” said last night’s starter Justin Masterson. The Big Nasty was the perfect pitcher to take the mound to attempt to end the skid. This is his job as the Tribe’s ace. Be a “stopper,” and streak-buster. Go out, give your team a solid pitching performance and hope that the offense takes care of the rest.

That is pretty much what happened last night as the Tribe took down the Cincinnati Reds at Progressive Field.

It didn’t start out that way as in the top of the first, all-world first baseman Joey Votto took Masterson deep over the center field fence for a solo homer. Votto is such a stud at the plate (Did I mention I still can’t believe that Terry Francona allowed Nick Hagadone to face Votto with first base open in a tie game in the eighth inning Monday night? I swear, I will let it go!). But from that point forward, Masterson was in control. [Read more...]

Reds 8, Indians 2: Streaky Tribe loses fifth straight

Asdrubal CabreraI have written this many times before;  the Indians are a streaky team. They are as volatile as the stock market. They can win 18 of 22 and can lose 10 of 12 right after. The bats can club 12 homers in six games and follow that up by going homerless for five.

The sky is not falling. This is just what this team is. They get hot. They get cold. Unfortunately, during this difficult portion of the schedule, they aren’t playing their best baseball. The bullpen issues aside, the Indians aren’t coming through with the clutch hits all of a sudden either. Oh, and defensive mistakes are starting to pop up at inopportune times.

Take last night’s game for example. Terry Francona’s club was in desperate need for a win. Yet despite being in the game into the seventh inning, the Tribe was just 2-12 with runners in scoring position. One of those hits was Michael Brantley’s eighth inning RBI single with the Indians down by six.

How did we get there? [Read more...]

Bullpen spoiling wins, Francona’s decisions come into question

Nick HagadoneWhile it was a long weekend for all of us, it was a looooong weekend for the suddenly embattled Cleveland Indians. I’ve said it so many times, but baseball is such a crazy game and the season is a marathon, not a sprint. I come back to that often because it is important as a fan to not get too high or too low, especially in May.

This month has seen the best and the worst of the Tribe. It wasn’t more than a week ago that the Wahoos were pulling rabbits out of their hats in a four-game sweep of the Mariners. Now here we sit in crisis mode, losers of six of seven.

The sudden fall off of the Tribe shouldn’t freak everyone out the way it is. This is water returning to its level. The Indians were not as good as that 18-4 run and they are not as bad is the current 1-6 mark would indicate. [Read more...]

WFNY Stats & Info: Tough road ahead for Indians

Although the Tribe already has played in back-to-back difficult series against Detroit and Boston, the upcoming schedule doesn’t get any more favorable. Beginning with the start of this four-game road-and-home series against Cincinnati, the Indians have a very tough 19-game map ahead.

Team H/R Opponent Wins Losses Pct # of Games
CLE @ CIN 31 19 0.620 2
CLE CIN 31 19 0.620 2
CLE TBR 25 24 0.510 3
CLE @ NYY 30 19 0.612 3
CLE @ DET 28 20 0.583 3
CLE @ TEX 32 18 0.640 3
CLE WSN 26 24 0.520 3


Overall, when factoring in number of games, the strength of schedule for the Indians over this 19-game stretch is .583. On the year, the team already has a combined record of 4-8 against Tampa Bay, New York and Detroit. When factoring away those games from the opponent’s season record, the strength of schedule still sits at .580.

This stretch will help to shape what direction the Tribe goes for the rest of 2013. The team is 27-22 right now. Last season, the team similarly started 26-18 and then collapsed en route to a 68-94 record, the worst such collapse for a team that started with that record.

[Related: The Diff: Historical finishes for 26-18 MLB teams]

Shin-Soo Choo to Indians: “I will always be thankful”

It’s easy to dismiss some of the meaningful stories that can occur with success in baseball. For Indians fans in February 2013, filled with optimism after the signing of two high-profile free agent outfielders, that means the amazing ascent to relevance by former fan-favorite Shin-Soo Choo.

In a fairly emotional article by Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that just posted early this morning, Choo made public a letter that he sent over to Indians General Manager Chris Antonetti this offseason shortly after the trade that landed him in Cincinnati and Trevor Bauer (among others) in Cleveland.

Choo’s letter said: “I want you to know that my family and I will always be thankful for this opportunity and want you to know how much I will remember the chance I was given in Cleveland … Because I firmly believe that without this opportunity, there is no Shin-Soo Choo and I would not be remembered.”

Rosenthal’s article also shared Choo’s initial reaction (shock) when he heard he’d be playing center field for the Reds. Among the other quotes related to Antonetti and the Indians, this also was very touching: “You have a lot of young and talented players … but most importantly … players that will listen and follow your leadership … As a result, I know you will get great performances and results in the near future.”

Of course, going to the way-back time machine as you might recall, Choo was one of several Mariners prospects the Indians somehow poached in the mid-’00s. Acquired along with Shawn Nottingham for Ben Broussard and cash in July 2006, he appeared in only 14 MLB games with the Mariners.

With more steady playing time in Cleveland, the now-30-year-old South Korean then blossomed into one of the better outfielders in the American League, as highlighted by back-to-back 5+ WAR seasons in 2009-10. He is likely to reel in a huge payday this coming offseason after his potential one-year rental stint with the Reds.

[Related: Cleveland Indians makeover is fun, but will it work?]

WFNY Top 10 Cleveland Sports Stories of 2012: #9 The Trade of Shin-Soo Choo

2012 was one crazy year in the wild wacky world of Cleveland Sports. Some would tell you 2012 was as bad as it has ever been here. As the year comes to a close, like we have done the last four years, WFNY will take a look at what we view to be the 10 biggest sports stories affecting our local sports scene. Each day through the rest of the year, we will be counting down from ten to one. We started earlier today with the Buckeyes Final Four trip . Number nine is something that happened just a short two weeks ago.

#9 The Indians send Shin-Soo Choo to Cincinnati in a blockbuster three-team deal that netted them the ace of their future, Trevor Bauer.

It literally came out of nowhere. Sure, there was a lot of speculation both at the 2012 trade deadline and all winter long that the Indians would move perhaps their best player, Shin-Soo Choo, but the price was reported to be very steep. No true rumors have been floated or names bandied about. All seemed quiet on the Choo front. After the Winter Meetings ended with Choo’s name never mentioned, I was resigned to the fact that the Tribe would hold Scott Boras’s flavor of the month, hope he had a great year, and then move him to the deadline.

Then it happened. [Read more...]

Antonetti pulls off a coup for Choo

To quote the great Nick Gilbert…. “What’s Not To Love?”

I have killed Chris Antonetti time and time again for his head scratching roster decisions, but none of those will be mentioned in this piece. I am here to stand up, clap, and give the much maligned Tribe GM his proper due.

Throughout this offseason, the Indians have been in the center of activity in baseball’s hot stove league. They have a powerful and well respected new manager in Terry Francona, and a roster with a young core group of players, four of whom were prime trading chips. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that the Indians needed a makeover.

But would they actually have the stones to go through with it? And if so, how would they go about it?

It started with the trade for Mike Aviles. It seemed like a small move, but it was one that would start the facelift. On Sunday, the Indians decided they no longer wanted to wait on Kevin Youkilis and instead signed free agent first baseman Mark Reynolds for half of the cost (one year, $6 million) of Youk (who signed a one year, $12 million deal tonight with the Yankees).  But as I said on Monday, there was no chance Antonetti was done. [Read more...]

MLB Trade Rumors: Indians and Reds nearing deal for Choo

The Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds are reportedly in advanced talks in a deal that would send Gold Glove-nominated outfielder Shin-Soo Choo down Interstate 71.

CBS Sports’ Danny Knobler reports that the Indians would receive center fielder Drew Stubbs and shortstop Didi Gregorius in return. The Reds are expected to receive another player in addition to Choo. Choo would play center field for the Reds while batting lead-off. Gregorious would provide even more depth at the shortstop position as the Tribe continues to work the phones in hopes of trading All-Star Asdrubal Cabrera.

Choo had a .373 on-base percentage and an .815 OPS last year for the Indians. As Knobler points out, he led off 98 times, and had a .389 on-base percentage in those games.

The 2012 season was rough for Stubbs as the 28-year-old hit .213 with an OPS of .610. He did manage to steal 30 bases, giving him three consecutive seasons of such a feat. In 604 at-bats in 2011, Stubbs nabbed 40 bases, scoring 92 runs. He has seen a considerable year-over-year regression since his 2010 season of 22 home runs, 77 runs batted in and 91 runs scored (.773 OPS).

Stubbs would likely play center field with the Indians sliding Michael Brantley to left. Given his speed, he would undoubtedly be in contention to be the team’s lead-off hitter.

[Related: Tribe Adds Reynolds, But Can’t Stop Here]

Shin-Soo Choo Trade Rumors Heating Up

After getting swept by Minnesota this weekend, it is pretty reasonable to assume the Indians won’t be buyers at the trade deadline. The rumors are also heavy that they could be sellers with Shin-Soo Choo at the top of the list.

Suitors include the aforementioned Reds and the Pittsburgh Pirates.

It’s all so sad for Indians fans. Instead of being contenders themselves, the Indians can potentially make small market dreams come true for the Pittsburgh Pirates. This comes only a few years since the Indians helped fuel a playoff run for the equally small-market Milwaukee Brewers with the C.C. Sabathia trade.

Maybe some day the Indians’ small market dreams will come true. It doesn’t appear to be happening this year, though.

[Related: Defining Sports Failure]

MLB News: Indians Trade 1B Beau Mills to Cincinnati

The Beau Mills era in Cleveland has officially come to an end as the Indians have traded the long-time minor league first baseman to the Cincinnati Reds for cash.

Mills, the 13th-overall selection in 2007, had long been the poster boy for underachieving draft picks of the naughts, selected one pick ahead of Atlanta’s Jason Heyward who was an All-Star during his first year in the league.

The 6-foot-3-inch, 220-pound Mills had a promising start, clubbing 21 home runs and driving in 90 for the Kinston Indians at age-21, but failed to gain any traction though the other, more-elevated clubs, seeing his OPS drop year-over-year with the Akron Aeros and presently hitting .197 (with 34 strikeouts compared to 25 hits) as a 25-year-old in Columbus. Following the trade, Mills was immediately assigned to the Reds Double-A franchise in Pensacola.

In a recent address, Indians manager Manny Acta exclaimed his disappointement with the bats at the higher levels of his team’s system, but reiterated that the hitting at the lower levels is improving by the day.

[Related: Expanding the MLB Playoffs and Unintended Consequences]

Tribe Sweeps Reds In A Masterpiece

For the first two months of the season, the Cleveland Indians were a first place club despite several underachieving parts. Nowhere was that more evident than the front end of the starting rotation. Justin Masterson and Ubaldo Jimenez, slated to be the 1-2 punch that would allow the Indians to compete, were in no way meeting expectations. The Tribe relied on hot starts from Derek Lowe and Jeanmar Gomez to carry them, but as both of them have regressed back to the mean, it was time for Masterson and Jimenez to step up. In his last three starts, Justin Masterson has been nearly unhittable. He continued that last night as Justin stifled the Reds and led the Tribe to a 8-1 victory to complete the sweep of Cincinnati.

Masterson was able to keep the Reds lineup, an absolute dynamo in Cincinnati and the first game of this series, whisper quiet. His sinker and slider were both on, with Acta pointing to the sinker as his best on this evening, “He pounded the strike zone with that heavy sinker1 , and then he was able to throw the ball by guys with the four-seam [fastball] at 95 miles per hour and mix in a few good sliders. He was under control the whole time.” Masterson scoffed when asked what’s working for him right now. He said he was able to throw strikes early and locate. He makes it sound so simple, and right now for Justin, it is. Masterson went the distance in this one, allowing just one unearned run due to an Asdrubal Cabrera error, which ended his 18 inning scoreless streak. However, Masterson allowed just three hits and one hit batter while striking out nine and walking none, needing just 110 pitches in the effort. With just six walks in his last five appearances and six of his last seven starts being quality, Masterson has been in total control. On a night where the bullpen needed it, they took the night off. [Read more...]



  1. That sinker helped induce 13 groundball outs []

Box Score: Indians 8, Reds 1

Justin Masterson couldn’t possibly be more dialed in right now. The Tribe right-hander has assumed his rightful role as the ace of the staff, throwing his third straight gem as he led the Indians to a 8-1 victory to complete the sweep of the Cincinnati Reds at Progressive Field and split the six games of the Ohio Cup. Masterson went the distance, scattering three hits and one unearned run in the eighth inning while striking out nine. The Indians put a five spot on the board in the fourth with home runs by Johnny Damon and Asdrubal Cabrera. Lonnie Chisenhall added a three-run double for good measure in the bottom of the seventh to put the game out of reach. The Tribe is now 36-32 and currently sits in first place, one game ahead of the Chicago White Sox, pending the outcome of their game tonight. The Tribe is off tomorrow before opening a three-game series in Houston on Friday night. Ubaldo Jimenez will face Lucas Harrell.

Scoring Summary
Bot 4th: Cleveland
- J. Damon homered to deep right, C. Kotchman scored
- A. Cabrera homered to deep right center, L. Chisenhall and S. Choo scored
Bot 7th: Cleveland
- L. Chisenhall doubled to shallow right, C. Santana, C. Kotchman and J. Damon scored
Top 8th: Cincinnati
- W. Harris grounded out to second, J. Bruce scored, T. Frazier to third
Z. Cozart ss 4 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .262
C. Heisey cf 3 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 .265
J. Votto 1b 4 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 .367
B. Phillips 2b 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .288
J. Bruce rf 3 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .251
S. Rolen 3b 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 .175
T. Frazier lf 3 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 .265
W. Harris dh 3 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 .114
R. Hanigan c 3 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 .288
 Totals 29 1 3 1 0 0 9 0 4
2B - T Frazier (11, J Masterson).
RBI - W Harris (2).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out - R Hanigan 1.
GIDP - J Votto.
Team LOB - 2.
 Base Running
CS - C Heisey (3, 2nd base by J Masterson/L Marson).
E - J Votto (3, throw).
DP - 1 (B Phillips-Z Cozart-J Votto).
S. Choo rf 4 1 2 0 0 1 2 0 2 .276
A. Cabrera ss 4 1 1 3 1 1 0 0 2 .300
M. Brantley cf 5 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .282
C. Santana dh 5 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 4 .232
J. Lopez 2b 5 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 2 .238
C. Kotchman 1b 4 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .228
J. Damon lf 2 2 2 2 1 2 0 0 0 .203
    A. Cunningham lf 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .194
L. Chisenhall 3b 3 1 2 3 0 1 0 0 2 .271
L. Marson c 3 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 3 .242
 Totals 35 8 11 8 2 6 6 0 17
2B - S Choo 2 (22, B Arroyo 2); J Lopez (8, A Simon); L Chisenhall (2, A Simon).
HR - A Cabrera (8, 4th inning off B Arroyo 2 on, 2 Out), J Damon (3, 4th inning off B Arroyo 1 on, 1 Out).
RBI - A Cabrera 3 (31), J Damon 2 (13), L Chisenhall 3 (9).
2-out RBI - A Cabrera 3, L Chisenhall 3.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out - S Choo 1, C Santana 1, L Chisenhall 1, L Marson 1.
GIDP - C Santana.
Team LOB - 9.
E - A Cabrera (7, field).
DP - 1 (J Lopez-A Cabrera-C Kotchman).
B. Arroyo (L, 3-5) 4.0 8 5 5 2 2 2 1.31 4.19
A. Simon 2.2 3 3 0 2 2 0 1.39 1.98
J.J. Hoover 0.1 0 0 0 1 1 0 1.06 3.00
L. Ondrusek 1.0 0 0 0 1 1 0 1.31 3.04
J. Masterson (W, 4-6) 9.0 3 1 0 0 9 0 1.30 3.98
HBP - C Heisey (by J Masterson).
Pitches-strikes - B Arroyo 90-57; A Simon 42-26; J Hoover 10-4; L Ondrusek 16-10; J Masterson 110-76.
Ground balls-fly balls - B Arroyo 6-6; A Simon 4-4; J Hoover 0-0; L Ondrusek 1-0; J Masterson 15-3.
Batters faced - B Arroyo 21; A Simon 14; J Hoover 2; L Ondrusek 4; J Masterson 30.
Game Details
Umpires: HP–Ron Kulpa. 1B–D.J. Reyburn. 2B–Jim Wolf. 3B–Derryl Cousins.
Weather: 107 degrees, clear.
Wind: 10 mph, out to center.

Contest Time: Celebrate the Battle for the Ohio Cup!

With the Cleveland Indians officially staying ahead of the Cincinnati Reds in terms of all-time head-to-head record, we thought it would be a good time to celebrate the ongoing battle for the Ohio Cup by having a bit of a contest.

Hey, at least it’s not “The Barge.”

Today’s giveaway is brought to you by the kind folks at Team CLE Tees. This specific contest will reward one of you with the t-shirt pictured to the right, but they also have plenty of team-specific threads for the having over at their website

Like what you see there? Then follow them on Twitter and/or become a Fan of their swag on Facebook.

In order to walk away with today’s prize, answer the following question:

[Read more...]

Indians 3 Reds 2: Asdrubal Blasts Tribe Into First Place

He owed us after Sunday’s three-error debacle. He knew it, we all knew it. And with one mighty swing of the bat, Asdrubal Cabrera got his redemption.

A long night of ill-fated run-scoring opportunities looked like a painful loss as the Indians headed to the bottom of the 10th inning. Tribe starter Josh Tomlin was long gone at this point, despite putting together a solid performance for six and two-thirds innings (one run on six hits).  Gone too were the Tribe’s “Big Three” in the bullpen, Joe Smith, Vinnie Pestano, and Chris Perez. All had entered the game and had been replaced. Also missing was the air that had come out of Progressive Field after the Reds scored a run in the top of the 10th thanks to two wild pitches with two outs from left-hander Nick Hagadone (the second of which Carlos Santana has to come up with in that spot. Breaking balls in the dirt happen all the time).

Reds flame-throwing close Aroldis Chapman entered the game with a 1.06 ERA. He had 59 strikeouts in 34 innings and lefties were just 4-41 against him. The odds certainly didn’t seem in the Wahoos favor.  [Read more...]

Indians 10, Reds 9: Its Bizarro World as Tribe Outslugs The ‘Nati

I said yesterday that the Indians are going to have to win this division with their pitching and defense. Naturally a night later they come out and tear the cover off the ball. I believe yesterday I also wrote the following sentence “the bottom of the order continues to be a black hole.” The 7-8-9 of the Tribe order then proceeded to drive in seven RBIs while the guys who have been carrying the offense, Jason Kipnis and Asdrubal Cabrera, didn’t get a hit. This was just another in a long line of reasons of you never know what you are going to get on any given night in baseball.

This one was supposed to be the big rematch between the Indians Derek Lowe and the Reds Mat Latos, less than a week after the Lowe/Baker flap in which Latos got himself involved. Instead, it became a battle of the bats. All-World first baseman Joey Votto got Lowe with a two-out solo shot in the first to put the Reds on top. Shin-Soo Choo led off for the Tribe and answered with a deep solo blast of his own. It was on from there.

The Reds pounded Lowe with a double and three singles to take a 3-1 lead in the second. However, the Tribe countered with some offense of their own. Michael Brantley opened the second with a ground-rule double. Carlos Santana, moved to the six hole to help his slumping bat, singled sharply up the middle moving Brantley to third. He would score on Johnny Damon’s groundout. With two out, Lonnie Chisenhall blasted a two-run shot into the Reds bullpen to put the Tribe on top 4-3. [Read more...]

Reds’ Latos Accuses Indians of Stealing Signs

While Cleveland Indians starter Derek Lowe answers every Reds-based question with a roll of the eyes, Mat Latos, the formerly feather-haired hurler for Cincinnati, has taken last week’s drama a bit further by accusing the Indians of stealing signs.

“I was a little up in the zone,” said Latos after giving up a seven runs in four innings and seeing his ERA baloon to 5.20. “I thought I made some good pitches that they spit on with a runner on second. I suppose it was kind of ironic. We changed up the signs, for the last hitter unfortunately. The outcomes changed when we changed up the signs today.”

When asked about the path that he was taking, Latos continued.

“When you go back and look at video, a couple runners on second base, they put better swings on the ball than they did most of the time without a runner on second base.”

Two of the Indians’ three home runs off of Latos on Monday night came with a man on second base. Five of the Indians’ hits against Latos came without a runner on second base, and all of those went for extra bases.

It was Latos who was on the mound during the Indians-Reds series last week when the Reds and manager Dusty Baker were accused of head-hunting Indians starter Derek Lowe.

[Related: The Little Offense That Couldn’t and Its Struggling Pitching Staff]

(h/t WFNY reader Josh N)