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Royals at Indians, August 26, 27 & 28

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Royals at Indians, August 26, 27 & 28

Postby Pork Chop Pough » Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:39 pm

Entering the series...
Indians: 63-64, 2nd place in AL Central, 6½ GB the Tigers. 34-28 at home. 3-7 in last 10.
Royals: 54-77, 5th place in AL West, 17½ GB the Tigers. 21-40 on the road. 4-6 in last 10.
...The Indians have all but thrown away their season this past week, dropping 5 games in the standings in 7 days. Anything short of a weekend sweep, and realistically they'll be playing for nothing more than 2nd place in September. The Royals are the worst road team in the AL, but that shouldn't be a problem since the Indians just dropped 3 at home to a Seattle team that had lost 20 out of 23 on the road. Kansas City trails Minnesota by 1½ games and is still hoping for their first finish out of last place since 2008.

Friday, 7:05 ET
Ubaldo Jimenez, RHP (7-10, 4.88) vs. Felipe Paulino, RHP (2-9, 4.40)

Jimenez will try to pick up the pieces from the disastrous start to his Cleveland career (1-1, 7.29). He'll be hoping for the advantage of unfamiliarity, as only three players in the Royals lineup have ever faced him -- Jeff Francoeur is 2-for-16 with 2 home runs, while Melky Cabrera and Alcides Escobar are a combined 0-for-8. • With a lifetime record of 8-30, there's no one in baseball less likely to win a game than Paulino, but that didn't stop him from pitching 6 shutout innings against Cleveland last month in a no-decision. He's coming off back-to-back starts against the Yankees and Red Sox, in which he's posted a 7.15 ERA in 11.1 innings with 8 walks.

Saturday, 7:05 ET
Fausto Carmona, RHP (6-12, 4.76) vs. Danny Duffy, LHP (3-8, 5.48)

Carmona has been Cleveland's most effective starter of late, allowing just 2 earned runs over his last 2 starts (14.1 ip), both on solo home runs, and has a 2.49 ERA in 7 second half starts. He's split 2 decisions against the Royals this season with a 3.77 ERA. • The 22-year-old Duffy had pitched a total of 15 games above A-ball before making his MLB debut in May. He's lost all 4 of his starts this month, but made quality starts in 2 of them, including 6 innings of 2-run ball against the Red Sox his last time out. His last win came July 31st against Cleveland, when he limited their lineup to 2 runs over 5 innings, despite allowing 8 hits and 3 walks.

Sunday, 1:05 ET
Justin Masterson (10-7, 2.83) vs. Bruce Chen (9-5, 4.12)

Masterson's last trip to the mound -- a 7-5 loss to Seattle -- was the first time he allowed as many 5 runs in a game in his past 16 starts, but he still ranks 5th in the AL in ERA. He's 2-0 with a 3.05 ERA in 3 starts against the Royals this season. • Chen has somehow continued to tease MLB teams' interests for the past 13 years, and is continuing to do so again, winning each of his last 4 starts. He's holding opponents to a .193 BA during that stretch, with a 3.18 ERA. Chen has allowed more than 4 earned runs only once in his last 13 starts, and held the Indians to 2 runs over 7 innings during a win in April.

NOTES:
• The Indians reacquired franchise home run leader Jim Thome on Thursday for a PTBNL. He'll replace injured Travis Hafner as the team's primary DH for the remainder of the season. Thome is also Cleveland's all-time walks leader, and needs just 3 free passes to reach 1,000 in a Tribe uniform.
• Shin-Soo Choo will sit out Friday night's game with soreness, but is not expected to need time on the DL.
• Michael Brantley (wrist) & Josh Tomlin (elbow) have both been placed on the 15-day DL. Thome fills Brantley's spot on the 25-man roster. It's believed that Tomlin is more a case of fatigue and poor performance than a legitimate injury.
• The Indians have promoted left-handed reliever Nick Hagadone. The 55th overall pick in the 2007 draft fills Tomlin's spot on the roster. Hagadone was acquired as part of the package the Indians received from Boston for Victor Martinez.
• Over the past 7 games, the Indians rotation has an ERA of 9.61 and is averaging less than 5 innings per start.
• The Royals have the youngest team in the majors -- every player on the 25-man roster, except Chen and Jeff Francis, is younger than 30.
• Mike Moustakas is 14-for-27 (.519) over his current 8-game hitting streak, with 4 doubles, 4 walks and only 2 strikeouts. He's still hitting .222/.280/.280 over his first 61 MLB games.
• Royals 2B Chris Getz has 8 xbh in 357 ab's, giving him a .283 slg. pct. That's the worst of any regular in the majors (he's 4 pa's short of being a qualified batter).

Cleveland is 8-4 against Kansas City this season.
Last series…
7/29 • L • 0-12. Win: Francis. Loss: Carrasco.
7/30 • W • 5-2. Win: Sipp. Loss: Soria.
7/31 • L • 3-5. Win: Duffy. Loss: Carmona.

[edit: I need to fire my editor.]
Last edited by Pork Chop Pough on Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Royals at Indians, August 26, 27 & 28

Postby GeronimoSon » Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:32 pm

Putting Hags into the pen for some BIG LEAGUE experience at this time is another step in this year's evolving season. This move folds nicely into the long term plan of bringing the next wave of talented players to the ML's for contending seasons to come.

It should be a beautiful night for a baseball game...
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Re: Royals at Indians, August 26, 27 & 28

Postby entertheshoe » Fri Aug 26, 2011 8:40 pm

So Cord Phelps batting 2nd in the order, someone explain that one to me...
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Re: Royals at Indians, August 26, 27 & 28

Postby Prosecutor » Sat Aug 27, 2011 9:56 am

Great performance by Ubaldo. Maybe they straightened him out, or maybe he just needed a few starts to adjust to the new environment. If the Indians are going to have even a remote chance of winning the division this year, UJ needs to pitch like this in each of his remaining six starts.

Great to see that shot of Grady sprinting in the outfield before the game. And even better to see Choo make an appearance. If he goes on the DL we're screwed.

The more I see of Zeke the more I like the little guy. He drew two walks from the leadoff position last night and also sacrificed. That walk he drew off Collins (a lefty) to force in the winning run was the play of the game. He just kept fouling off those 97 mph fastballs until he got ball four. Once he sharpens up his base stealing skills and learns to be a little more selective at the plate he could be an effective everyday player.

Good to see Fuku heating up. He's another National League player that struggled initially, but he's been hot lately. With Brantley and Kipnis out we need guys like Fuku and Hannahan to step up offensively, and they have been.

Now they have to face lefties today and tomorrow. Hopefully that means Donald at 2B. Phelps is picking right up where he left off before - hitting below the Mendoza line and making at least one bad play in the field every game. Pulling his foot off the bag last night on a simple forceout was inexcusable for a high school player.

Duncan, Marson, and Hannahan have been hitting lefties very well this year so we need them to continue that this weekend. And anytime Thome wants to get started is OK with me. I'm also looking forward to my first Hagadone sighting. It won't happen in a close game, though - Raffie or Sipp will get the call first.
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Re: Royals at Indians, August 26, 27 & 28

Postby Prosecutor » Sun Aug 28, 2011 6:26 am

Wow, great game last night. More Progressive magic, plus Thome's first HR in a Tribe uniform in nine years. Tremendous save by Perez after Zeke turned a bloop single into a double to lead off the 9th. I hate that "no doubles" defense. All is does is allow pop-ups, bloops, and routine ground balls that would have been easy outs to become singles because the corner infielders are standing on the foul lines and the outfielders have their butts up against the fence. No more of that defense, please.

Unfortunately, Choo had to take himself out of the game. I honestly don't see how the Tribe can make up six games on the Tigers in six weeks without Choo, Brantley, Hafner, Sizemore, Kipnis, Carrasco, and Tomlin. Maybe they get two or three of these guys back at some point, but that's a lot to lose. I know we added Thome, Fukudome, and Ubaldo, and that helps, but when Duncan and Ezquiel Carrera are starting it's not an ideal situation.

Fukudome and Hannahan are really stepping up and providing much-needed offense. And we're getting Donald back just in time. It's not over yet but if Choo is out for more than a couple of days we're in deep trouble.
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Re: Royals at Indians, August 26, 27 & 28

Postby GeronimoSon » Sun Aug 28, 2011 8:33 am

Not lost in last night's "Progressive Field" Magic, was the Lonnie Chisenhall's AB in the 8th inning.. After fouling off two pitches up in the zone (the one down the RF Line was as scary as foul balls get), Lonnie was able to get on top of another high fastball that he laced to left field against the RH'er for a single.

Betcha Lonnie doesn't see another fastball up in the zone until 2013..... (just kidding)..
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Re: Royals at Indians, August 26, 27 & 28

Postby entertheshoe » Sun Aug 28, 2011 3:34 pm

Boy, Alex Gordon really took off this year.

I know it's tough to compare the two but guys like Alex Gordon who struggle early on are why I'm always hesitant to throw in the towel on a guy like Matt LaPorta who are highly touted prospects that struggle early on.
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Re: Royals at Indians, August 26, 27 & 28

Postby GeronimoSon » Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:19 am

entertheshoe wrote:Boy, Alex Gordon really took off this year.

I know it's tough to compare the two but guys like Alex Gordon who struggle early on are why I'm always hesitant to throw in the towel on a guy like Matt LaPorta who are highly touted prospects that struggle early on.


Alex Gordon was on record at the beginning of the 2011 season saying that he was going to dominate this year. While he isn't dominating, he's pretty close to it. With the addition of Bubba Starling to the Royals system already solid with Wil Meyers on the brink of becoming a ML OFe'r, their OF is just going to keep getting better..
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Re: Royals at Indians, August 26, 27 & 28

Postby Prosecutor » Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:05 am

Once again no run support for Masterson as the Tribe loses to a quality lefty. And on top of that, Brantley is done for the year. I can't see any way the Tribe makes up 6 games on the Tigers, not with only 32 to play. If the Tigers play .500 ball the rest of the way the Indians would need to go 22-10 with half of their top run producers out with injuries.
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Re: Royals at Indians, August 26, 27 & 28

Postby Hermie13 » Mon Aug 29, 2011 12:26 pm

Prosecutor wrote:Once again no run support for Masterson as the Tribe loses to a quality lefty. And on top of that, Brantley is done for the year. I can't see any way the Tribe makes up 6 games on the Tigers, not with only 32 to play. If the Tigers play .500 ball the rest of the way the Indians would need to go 22-10 with half of their top run producers out with injuries.


Well we have 6 left with the Tigers...so that would be one way to make up the difference. Agree though, gonna be very, very tough...
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Re: Royals at Indians, August 26, 27 & 28

Postby daingean » Mon Aug 29, 2011 1:01 pm

Hermie13 wrote:
Prosecutor wrote:Once again no run support for Masterson as the Tribe loses to a quality lefty. And on top of that, Brantley is done for the year. I can't see any way the Tribe makes up 6 games on the Tigers, not with only 32 to play. If the Tigers play .500 ball the rest of the way the Indians would need to go 22-10 with half of their top run producers out with injuries.


Well we have 6 left with the Tigers...so that would be one way to make up the difference. Agree though, gonna be very, very tough...


Yes, it will be tough (very tough) but I am not ready to throw in the towel yet. Even if we come up short, the experience of being in a pennant race can only help the team. I do see ways to make up the 6 games and that includes Thome, Asdrubal, Choo, Santana (or someone else) going on a torrid streak (at least 2 of them) like Dan Uggla and Freddie Freeman did for Atlanta from mid July to mid August this year.
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