Home runs, Kazmir lead 9-2 Cleveland win over Oakland
Cleveland sweeps Oakland thanks to Kipnis, Swisher, Reynolds' home runs
By Nathan Kemp
May 9, 2013
With the win, the Indians completed a four-game sweep of the A’s and have now won 10 of their last 11 games.
After Wednesday night’s controversial call in the ninth inning, the Tribe sluggers left no room for error against Oakland starter Bartolo Colon and company. Major League Baseball announced on Thursday that Angel Hernandez’s double call was an "improper" ruling, but the play will stand.
"Given what we saw, we recognize that an improper call was made," MLB executive vice president Joe Torre said. "Perfection is an impossible standard in any endeavor, but our goal is always to get the calls right."
In the first inning, Kipnis punched a 2-1 pitch from Colon deep to left field, just over the railing that sits atop the 19-foot-high wall. The two-run homer was his fourth of the season, all coming in the first inning, and put the Tribe up 2-0.
"I was happy that it stayed up there and someone caught it,” said Kipnis. “Just to make sure there was no confusion about it."
Cleveland tacked on three more runs in the second inning with catcher Yan Gomes, center fielder Drew Stubbs and Kipnis each driving in a runner. Swisher hit a solo shot off Colon in the third, his fifth of the season, putting the Indians up 6-0.
Colon (3-2, 4.57) took the loss after giving up six earned runs and two home runs in four innings.
The Indians jumped on Colon’s replacement, Evan Scribner in the fifth inning. Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera doubled to open the inning and scored one batter later when designated hitter Jason Giambi blooped a single to left. Reynolds followed with an opposite field, two-run blast that put the game out of reach at 9-0. It was Reynolds’ 11th homer of the season, good for first in the American League.
Kazmir (2-1, 4.87) dazzled his way through six innings of work, striking out 10 batters along the way. He allowed just one run, a solo homer in the sixth, on five hits and no walks. It was his first double-digit strikeout game since August 26, 2009, his final game for the Tampa Bay Rays.
Following the game, Barnes was optioned to AAA Columbus to make room for Michael Bourn, who is coming off the 15-day disabled list (finger laceration).
Cleveland will now hit the road to start a three-game series in Detroit. Game one will be played Friday night at 7:08 p.m. as Corey Kluber (2-1, 3.06) goes for the Indians against Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer (4-0, 3.43).
Notes: Oakland had not been swept in four games by the Indians since 1999. … Cleveland now leads the majors in home runs with 49.
Nathan Kemp graduated from The University of Akron in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in English. He plans to pursue a graduate degree through NEOMFA in the fall. Follow him on Twitter @NathanCKemp.
Point is, he is unsignable at the moment. People want the Indians to resign him, which I believe they should, but there is no way he is taking anything less than market value and then some to lock him in before FA. He's very likely going to hit FA, the Indians offer him the qualifying offer, and they either take the 1st round pick as compensation or it scares him into a deal of some sort with the Indians at that time.
I'm just not ready to make that kind of commitment based on 32 games. We need more data and games. If he is worth keeping, then simply extend him the qualifying offer in the offseason which puts the 1st round pick tag on him and probably could scare him into a fair deal with the Indians.
I'd like to see them re-sign him. He's only 29 and can play both first and third base. They have a nice setup going with five players (Reynolds, Chiz, Santana, Gomes, and Swisher) sharing four spots (3B, 1B, C, and DH). Everybody gets plenty of AB's but nobody has to play 162 games. I'd like to see them keep that going for at least a couple more years.
Keep in mind that Chisenhall has yet to prove he can be a productive every day third baseman and that he can hit left-handed pitching. Right now the Tribe's best lineup has Reynolds at 3rd, Gomes catching, and Santana/Swisher at 1B/DH.
I don't see any 3rd basemen in the farm system that look like future major league players, especially ones that can hit 40 HR's. Letting Reynolds get away means we're putting all our eggs in one basket with Chiz.
When it comes to the signing budget for next year, this years attendance could be a serious issue when it comes to signing any FAs, including Reynolds. The Indians have already deferred payments to Bourne and Swisher and it would be nice to have some payroll money from attendance.
Sure, he will cool down but hes still worth it. Plus, its not like this has come out of nowhere. He once hit what? 44 homers in a season. Is only about a year older then Matt Laporta. Can play a solid first base and even 3rd when needed. Hes going to have bad streaks same as everyone but the strike outs have been down and he just looks like a different hitter. He is actually becoming a true hitter where homers are not the only thing in his bag of tricks. I think hes going to have at least 4 more very solid years in him.
Sure, you could wait until the season is over to be sure but then your never going to sign him. He will get big money somewhere else. Do it now and there is a chance he might listen if the price is right. Add money to this years contract, perhaps that will get his attention. Even if hes playing above his head right now he seems like a very solid guy as well as player. He can play 3 of our weakest positions right now and his huge power from the right side has a made such a difference in this lineup.
Id try to at least add one more year to the contract with an option for the next. I would even go two more years with an option for the third. Everyone else is still around here next year. Loss Reynolds and its a different team.
I think believing Reynolds has anywhere near as a good of a glove as Chisenhall, is just not seeing much of Reynolds. Lonnie's got a canon and makes some nifty plays. He's looked real good defensively this year. Reynolds doesn't have the range, hands or the arm that Chisenhall does.
I would think he would stay for a deal next yr with an option for '15. ok, so we wait until july or august to see how things go. your assuming a lot about gomes though. but I like what I see so far.
we needed a big right handed bat, seemed to luck out here, so lets keep him around. we have zero in columbus to do what he is doing now. and he's no dh only like hafner, who gets hurt tossing a ball from 1st to the pitcher. he's actually very good with the glove. better than lonnie.
as far as motivation, why wouldn't he sign if we gave him a good offer in the summer? my lord, he was just basically released last yr. I think a one yr deal with an option for 2 yrs would sound pretty good to him.