Last Night's Game
Ubaldo Jimenez dominates again in another Indians victory - Let's Go Tribe
The Indians won their third straight game Saturday night, getting 8.1 excellent innings from Ubaldo Jimenez and home runs from Asdrubal Cabrera and Lonnie Chisenhall.
Ubaldo Jimenez leads Cleveland Indians to 11th straight victory over White Sox | cleveland.com
Ubaldo Jimenez won his third straight start and the Indians scored five runs in the fourth inning to beat Chicago on Saturday night for the 11th straight times this season.
What more can you say about Ubaldo? When the Indians have most needed him to step up, he's done so. In the second half he's been the best starter in the American League, and now not only has he been been extremely with the runs (the ninth inning run was only the second earned run allowed in September), but he's also saving the bullpen in his starts. Thanks to his 8.1 innings and the eight runs scored by the offense, every relevant relevant got the night off, and with Chris Sale going today for the White Sox (and McAllister for the Indians), that's a big deal.
Lonnie Chisenhall is hitting .348/.400/.739 in the month of September, but what's even more impressive is that he's only struck out one time in 25 Plate Appearances. Now it's helped that he's being platooned now, but still, that's an encouraging sign for the 24-year-old.
Really interesting stuff. Some of the reasons given is that talking to the opposition might give you a bit of an edge. For example:
-Catcher Kelly Shoppach: "I always talk to the umpires. Communication is a big part of a relationship with umpires. . .They're just like us, they're just guys. Unfortunately, they're never right, which is a big part of why I talk to them so much to make sure they're focused and calm. When dugouts start hollering at them, they get worse. It's important that they feel comfortable with me back there and know I'm going to shoot straight and be honest with them."
With so many relievers on the roster, there's two problems Francona has to deal with: 1) making sure the regulars aren't overworked, and 2) making sure the callups aren't underworked. Rusting out tends to be a bigger problem than wearing out (Cody Allen notwithstanding), and if you have to use a CC Lee or a Nick Hagadone in a high-leverage situation, you need to make sure they've gotten some work. That's why I think it was big that Lee got some work in last night's game: you never know when you're going to have to go to him.
AL Central News
When Prince Fielder walked to lead off the ninth inning last night, I thought it was a given that he'd be pinch-run for, but Jim Leyland left him in. And boy, did he get burned for it. Although Alex Gordon made a great throw from the fence in left field, just about every other player on the Tigers roster would have been safe. The argument that Leyland gave was that he didn't want to take Fielder out of the game in case they went into extra innings, but Fielder was the tying run, and have to first get to extra innings.
The other side of the play. Had the Royals lost that game, they would have been dealt a major blow to their playoff chances. And today the matchup is Max Schezer vs Jeremy Guthrie, not exactly a favorable one. If the Indians can pull off a win today, they would only have to win one out of the three games in Kansas City to maintain a lead over the Royals. The way the Royals are playing, I'm definitely not expecting a series win.
The White Sox held a pretty cool promotion last night: it was Half-Way to St. Patrick's Day, and everyone got a free green White Sox hat, the team wore uniforms with green pinstripes, and I presume green beer was available in the various concession stands.
The Twins aren't that far away from having a scary lineup. Buxton and Miguel Sano are two of the best prospects in baseball, and Buxton in particular is a star in the making. He hit .326/.415/.472 in the Florida State League as a 19-year-old, which is an amazing feat. He also stole 55 bases between the Midwest League and the FSL, and most scouts think that he's a Gold Glove fielder. The comparisons to Mike Trout have already begun.
Today's Classic Clip
Last week the Pittsburgh Pirates clinched their first winning season since 1992. This is how the Pirates' 1992 season ended.