Tagged: Team USA

Indians this Week

Sorry if this is boring but I thought I would post the article I wrote for MLB Center this week. I have already mentioned some things in the article but it is a good general overview of Tribe happenings in the past week.

The WBC was bittersweet for me tonight. I want Mark DeRosa in camp but I want the US to do well too. They were playing with Japan for awhile but they just let it get away from them. It was a good run for the US though. They faced a lot of difficulties and still managed to have strong showing on an international stage. Good job guys!

The Indians made their second cut this week. They cut
fifteen players trimming their roster from 59 to 44. They sent down one
prospect for the fifth rotation spot and three prospects for the last bullpen
spot. Some notable cuts include Tony Sipp, LHP, David Huff, LHP, Carlos
Santana, C, and Wes Hodges, 3B. Tony Sipp is still recovering from Tommy John
Surgery so the Indians are being careful with him. He has made a good
impression so far in camp. David Huff was somewhat of a surprise to be cut but
recently suffered some soreness in his arm, which slowed his progress. He was
competing for the fifth rotation spot but is no longer being considered to get
the spot out of Spring Training. Carlos Santana has lived up to expectations
offensively and has highly impressed the Indians. However Eric Wedge thinks he
needs a little more practice handling a pitching staff. Santana has been called
the Indians’ top minor league prospect. Wes Hodges was very successful
offensively but needs a little more work defensively at third.

            In
Sunday’s Cactus League game Cliff Lee started against the Rockies at Hi Corbett
Field in Tucson, Arizona. Lee looked commanding giving up two runs and striking
out three. He said after the game that he feels ready for the season. He added
that from now on in Spring Training starts he will be pitching as if he is
pitching a regular season game. So Lee should start to look like he should look
in the regular season in the last couple of weeks of the spring.

            Fausto
Carmona is reportedly fine after taking a line drive to his arm in an
intrasquad game at Goodyear Park in Arizona. He threw a bullpen session
Saturday and felt fine. He is scheduled to start Tuesday’s game against the
White Sox at Goodyear.

            Anthony
Reyes has had a very strong spring so far. He threw five scoreless innings on
Saturday. As long as he stays healthy he should be a lock for the fourth
rotation spot.

            Carl
Pavano has allowed twelve runs so far on fifteen hits. He has not had a very
impressive spring so far according to the numbers but he says he feels better
than he has in years and feels he is making progress. As long as he continues
to feel good he will be in the rotation.

            The
fifth rotation spot will probably come down to Scott Lewis and Aaron Laffey
although Jeremy Sowers is another possibility. Zach Jackson was formerly
competing for the spot but now he seems to be more likely to get the last spot
in the bullpen if anything. Scott Lewis has made a strong showing this spring
and has thoroughly impressed Eric Wedge. Wedge says that Lewis is definitely
high on the list for the fifth spot. Aaron Laffey came into to Spring Training
as the favorite for the job. However he has a rough spring so far with an ERA
of 6.92. But Wedge does not place too much stock in Spring Training statistics;
he is more concerned with seeing progress from his players. Wedge also stresses
that there is a lot of time still left in this year’s extended Spring Training.

            With
Team USA’s nine to four loss to Japan Sunday night, Mark DeRosa will be heading
back to Goodyear. Wedge cannot wait until he returns so he can get him some
more typical Spring Training work to ensure that he is prepared for the regular
season. DeRosa’s return should also help him become more acclimated to the
team. Shin Soo Choo, the Indians only player left in the Classic, will be
playing in the final game tomorrow night for South Korea against Japan. The
winner will be the new World Baseball Classic Champion. Choo has been out of
camp since February 24. He has had two hits in the Classic in only twelve at
bats. There is some concern that he has not been getting the work he needs to
prepare him for the season.

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9th Inning Fireworks!

wrightwalkoff.jpgI just watched the most exciting baseball game I have seen so far in 2009. And yes it was a WBC game. I was not a huge fan of the WBC; I thought it was too risky but I understand how it is good for baseball. I was torn. This game may have convinced me. It was exciting and fun and was one of those close games that Jane can not stand. I was unable to watch a lot of the beginning of the game because my mom wanted to watch American Idol. I enjoy American Idol but I was feeling baseball tonight and I am just getting really sick of Paula Abdul.

We started watching around the 7th inning. Puerto Rico was ahead 4-3. It stayed like this until the top of the ninth when Puerto Rico scored another run to make it 5-3. At this point my parents kept saying, “It’s over. Turn on hockey!” I am not a huge hockey fan and this was an exciting game. I refused to change the channel. Good thing I did too because the bottom of the 9th inning was when things got interesting. Shane Victorino led off with a single to right. Brian Roberts followed with another single. Derek Jeter, “Captain Clutch”, was up next. He did not fail completely (what I expected) but hit a fly ball to right moving Victorino to third. Roberts stole second. Jimmy Rollins was walked. Bases loaded, Youkilis up. Not good for Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico makes a pitching change. The next pitcher walks Youkilis and the US is now within one. This brings David Wright to the plate. I can not help thinking of Elizabeth’s Facebook status I had read earlier in the night at this point. It said something about David Wright hitting her a walk-off because he owed her. Well that is exactly what he did. on a 2-1 pitch he swung at a ball out of the strike zone and hit it down the right field line scoring Victorino and Rollins. The USA wins the game 6-5 and I proved my parents wrong! I was so excited! Team USA may not have played up to potential earlier in the game but they showed a lot of heart and a lot of perseverance. 
Fun Fact
brothers.jpg
Today while driving to the mall my mom and I were behind the school bus. It let off a little boy who could not have been older than 5. Guess who picked him up? His older brother! His brother held his hand and his backpack and walked him home talking to him the whole way. It was quite possibly the cutest thing I have ever seen!
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Oh yeah the Indians lost today. The loss featured 10 runs given up by Cliff Lee and an error by Grady Sizemore. The 10 runs do not worry me; Lee threw only fastballs and the Rangers figured that out pretty fast. Grady’s error though… he dropped a fly ball! What the heck? I hope he got his one error a season out of his system! Just Kidding.
This has nothing to do with baseball, it just makes me happy.
Pictures:
1) mlb.com

DeRosa shines in USA’s WBC win

Hey everyone!

I am so sorry I did not post anything yesterday! I do not know what happened. I failed you and I take full responsibility. 🙂 haha
Indians at A’s
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The Indians played the A’s yesterday and lost 8-5. The good news was Kirk Sarloos pitching 3 scoreless innings and just basically dominating his former team. More good news was Travis Hafner showing maybe he is getting his swing back in his 2nd ST game this year. He hit an RBI double in his first at bat yesterday. Also good, Grady returned yesterday! He walked and flew out. He also broke up a double play in the first inning though because he is tough like that. 
WBC: USA vs. Venezuela
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First of all I love the name Venezuela; it is just so pretty. That does not mean I was cheering for them or anything. I was really good and took notes on the game and everything! Even when my friends told me that was nerdy.
Through the first three innings or so I was really impressed with both pitchers. The first inning they were both really good. I was a little concerned because Venezuela’s pitcher, Galarraga, pitches for the Tigers and I really do not want him to be that good this year. However he did hit Mark DeRosa in his first at bat of the WBC. Welcome to the WBC, Mark, from a Detroit Tiger. I guess he just thought he would go ahead and get Mark ready for all of the Indians/Tigers rivalry games this year. In the bottom of the fourth, Oswalt really started to lose it. They did eventually take him out but I think they waited too long. When they put Linstrom in he did better but did almost break Iannetta’s wrist when he forgot about the “sequence of signs” the announcers said. This sequence seems like something a pitcher should know by now so I do not really know what happened. In the top of the sixth the US really broke it open. I guess pitching just went downhill after the starters came out. The US scored eight runs in the sixth to give them a 10-3 lead. They would score five more runs and Venezuela only three to give the US the 15-6 lead. 
Interesting notes for the game:
1) Indians fans should be thrilled with DeRosa’s performance. He had a 4 RBI night. He also showed great plate discipline in the sixth when he worked the count full and fouled a pitch off to force the pitcher to throw a bad pitch and walk home the tying run. The Indians are very good at working the count full and fouling pitches off until the pitcher messes up or throws what they want so he should fit right in. he showed some aggressive base running in the same inning and scored on a close play at home.
2) Iannetta, also making his debut, had a 4 RBI night as well and showed some great defense behind the plate.
3) Cabrera and Ordonez were both hitless last night. I think that had a lot to do with Venezuela losing. The Tigers better hope they figure that out before the season starts.
4) Everyone seems to be having a good time in the clubhouse. At one point Jimmy Rollins was dancing around and apparently DeRosa always has a joke or two to get everyone’s spirits up (another reason for Indians fans to be excited; you can not teach that stuff). 
5) It is really weird to see Youkilis and Jeter joking around like old buddies. Just plain weird.
Overall this was a great game for the US. It was fun to watch and showed off some new talent that people probably were not very aware of. I also want to give a shout out to the Venezuelan fans who never stopped cheering or having a good time last night no matter how far behind their team was; that was really classy.
Pictures:
2) mlb.com