Getting Back Off the Mat

The Indians, in a bizarre game, beat Detroit 9-6 last night. The game featured two instances of starting pitchers self-destructing after a run of pretty good pitching. Fortunately for the Indians, Nate Robertson’s implosion resulted in nine runs being scored, which was enough to overcome Sabathia’s five-run seventh inning. CC had looked pretty good up to that point, only allowing one run on one hit through six innings. The win was encouraging because it came in the wake of probably the most devastating loss of the season.

Some transactions:

Reinstated 1B Travis Hafner from the Disabled List

Optioned OF Jason Dubois to Buffalo (AAA)

So the Indians, instead of trying out Dubois at the very least against left-handers (note how Coco Crisp and Grady Sizemore do against southpaws), the Indians keep Jeff Liefer around, who has the same defensive ability as Dubois, plays the same positions, and who is five years older than Jason. How exactly does Liefer fit in the lineup, except as a replacement to Casey Blake? I don’t get this move; yes, Liefer is out of options, but who’s going to claim him now when they could have had him for a song when he was with Buffalo? I wrote when the Gerut-Dubois deal was made that the Indians owe it to themselves to see what Dubois can do. And that hasn’t really happened yet. Dubois will probably put up some great numbers for the Bisons in the interim, but that wouldn’t be anything unexpected.

Placed LHP Arthur Rhodes on the Bereavement List

Recalled RHP Fernando Cabrera from Buffalo (AAA)

Rhodes, who is attending to a sickness in his family, will be gone a minimum of three days, which puts even more of a strain on the Indian bullpen, especially the back-end folks. Bob Wickman was not available last night, and Scott Sauerbeck has been used a lot lately. The Indians could have a used a blowout on Friday, but thanks to the five-run seventh inning, the Indians had to use Bob Howry to save the game. Cabrera hasn’t been inserted into any high-leverage situation, but he has the stuff to handle a seventh inning assignment right now. Of course Brian Tallet is still in the bullpen, and yes, he hasn’t been used yet; that can be looked at as a good thing, because no starter has been taken out early since CC Sabathia’s blow-up in Oakland. But like it or not, the Indians will have to use a relatively inexperienced pitcher sooner or later, and Cabrera is the best young relief arm in the system right now.

MLB Suspended RHP Kevin Millwood for five games, RHP David Riske for four games, and Eric Wedge and Robbie Thompson for one game apiece

What really got me is the guy who started the whole mess, Shigetoshi Hasegawa, only received a fine. Obviously the umpire that night believed that Hasegawa threw at Sizemore intentionally, so why does MLB not believe so? Take for example Cliff Lee’s suspension last year: he was thrown out of a game for throwing behind Ken Griffey, Jr, and he was suspended for six games (one start). How are the circumstances different here (besides the fact that Hasegawa actually hit Sizemore)? Is it because Grady Sizemore isn’t the superstar Griffey was? To me, this smacks of a double standard. Here’s what Millwood had to say about it:

“[Hasegawa’s] the one that started the whole mess,” Millwood said. “If he doesn’t get suspended, then it’s pretty much a joke.”

Millwood, who will make his next start on Thursday in Kansas City, gleaned a message from the discipline dispensed after Cleveland’s 10-5 victory.

“I guess it’s OK to throw right in the middle of somebody’s back when you’re getting your [backside] whooped,” Millwood said. “But it’s not OK to [stick] up for your teammate.”


4 thoughts on “Getting Back Off the Mat”

  1. I know I’m a homer, but it seems like for years Cleveland pitchers have been treated more harshly by MLB than some others.
    Buerhle beans Hafner in the face – no MLB action. Then in same game after a warning was given he hit another batter and didn’t get tossed.
    Radke and Santana have great control any very few walks yet they can bean our hitters with no action from MLB
    Jason Davis pitches inside to Hunter and gets in trouble
    Cliff Lee doesn’t hit Griffey and gets suspended.
    Any Indians fan can add a dozen other examples (Jaret Wright, anyone?)

  2. I see the MLB players’ union finally jumped into the fray to threaten to sue whomever leaked the specifics of Raf’s drug testing. Yeah, the players’ union is interested in the welfare of baseball. Unions wonder why they fight an uphill image battle?
    (Elsandito, now testing positive for Robitussin)

  3. Here’s a thought. Chuck LeMarr gets fired in the off season. Let Broussard go. Blake and Hafner split time at 1B and DH. Blake is a decent number 7 hitter. The problem this year is he was pressing early and also he was put in spots in the lineup that he was over qualified for. Trade Baldelli for some pitchers like Carmona ,Cruceta, and Tallet (maybe an Andrew Brown).

    Can you an imagine an outfield of Crisp, Sizemore, and Baldelli?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The lineup could be this
    Sizemore OF
    Baldelli OF
    Peralta SS
    Hafner 1B
    Martinez C
    Boone 3B
    Blake DH
    Belliard 2B
    Crisp OF

    Vasquez INF
    Gautreau INF
    Phillips INF(2 out of 3 INF make it)
    Don’t Know OF
    Bard C

    In this lineup you could flop Baldelli and Belliard until Rocco is 100% swinging and healt-wise.
    Millwood and Elarton will get us good compensation in the draft.

    Between Tallet, Traber, and Stanford we should get 2 starters. The other could be the second lefty/long man.

    Relief could be an issue. Wickman, probably won’t come back
    Howry, bring back at setup man money vie for closer.
    Riske, bring back at setup money as well.
    Sauerbeck, 1 million, no more.

    However, most setup men can’t make the jump to closer.

    Since Lee and Sizemore have performed wonderfully. Keeping Phillips long-term should only happen if he’s making serious progress at the plate.

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