The Indians have had one of the roughest first-half schedules in baseball, so right now the number one goal should be to remain within shouting distance of the Wild Card lead. Today’s victory over a the sizzling New York Yankees is exactly what the team needed; it kept the team at most two games back of the Twins, it stopped a four-game losing streak, and kept the team in sole possession of second place in the Wild Card race.
The win wasn’t easy. The Indians were leading by four going into the eighth inning, when normally reliable Bob Howry gave up a cheap base hit to Robinson Cano, walked Gary Sheffield before somehow getting Alex Rodriguez to pop up to the first baseman. In came Arthur Rhodes – the left-hander miscast as a LOOGY – who promptly gave up a three-run bomb to Hideki Matsui.
After getting a crucial insurance run in the 9th inning, Bob Wickman was his usual self. First batter of the inning – home run. Second batter – base hit. Third batter – botched bunt. Thankfully Robinson Cano whiffed on his first bunt attempt, for later in the at-bat, he grounded into a 4-6-3 double play. Wickman then walked Gary Sheffield, bringing up Alex Rodriguez. At this point I was in the fetal position, waiting for the end. But, like most of Wickman’s other saves, he somehow extricated himself by getting Rodriguez to harmlessly ground out to short. Is there another player in baseball who has great numbers yet is almost universally reviled by the fans?
Before the game, the Indians swapped out Brian Tallet for a position player:
Recalled 2B/SS Brandon Phillips from Buffalo (AAA)
Optioned LHP Brian Tallet to Buffalo (AAA)
During Friday night’s game, Ronnie Belliard tweaked his hamstring running out a ground ball, so the Indians needed a middle infielder for the last two games of the series. I don’t think Phillips is going to be up for too long (they’ll probably option him back after Sunday’s game), and judging by his at bats, it looks like the same Phillips. Mark Shapiro was talking up Jake Gautreau on the pregame show, so I wouldn’t be shocked if he got the call after the break.
I already detest David Wells, so this comment didn’t really make any difference as to how I feel, but just the same, the comlete and utter stupidity that comes out of his mouth continues to amaze me:
Boston pitcher David Wells said he understands why Texas pitcher Kenny Rogers shoved two cameramen, comparing the situation to a sexual assault.
“Some guy’s being aggressive with a woman, and she says no, and he keeps on doing it. Well, you know what’s going to happen. No is no in anything, when it comes to sexual or you know, whatever it is. No is no,” Wells said during an appearance on Rhode Island radio station WSKO on Friday. “And I’m sure Kenny said, ‘Hey, get it out of my face, don’t do it.’ But no, they want the big story, they want the scoop, you know?”
Wells added: “I probably would have done the same thing.”
Rob Dibble’s rant on Derek Jeter’s absence from the All-Star game is a humerous read as well. I especially liked this blurb:
Second, can you imagine an NBA All-Star game without Michael Jordan or Magic Johnson? Neither can I, and Jeter is the Jordan of baseball.