Second Thoughts: Game #148 - Twins 6, Indians 5
The Cleveland Indians used the most pitchers they have ever used in a single game last night, but it was not enough to defeat the Minnesota Twins as they fell 6-5 in 12 innings. The Indians had their chances, but more struggles with runners in scoring position (1-for-13, 9 LOB) left the Indians out in the cold and dropped them back into a tie for last place with the Twins at 61-87.
1. Shin-Soo Choo, RF
1-for-6, 1 R, 1 SO
Shin-Soo Choo scored after leading off the game with a single, but his bat went cold from there. It happens to the best hitters, though, and Choo remains one of the best hitters the Indians have.
2. Jason Kipnis, 2B
Jason Kipnis went ice-cold in August, but recently, he seems to be getting it back together. He still has some way to go (.245/.322/.358 slash line in September, though SSS caveats do apply), but at least he's on the right path.
3. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
1-for-5, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SO
It was Asdrubal Cabrera who got the Indians back in the game by knocking in Choo in the 1st inning, but like Choo, Cabrera's bat went cold after that. I like Cabrera, but after his second consecutive post-All-Star break swoon (.244/.297/.341 slash line), it's time to seriously doubt Cabrera as a top-line shortstop.
4. Carlos Santana, C
2-for-6, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 SO
Carlos Santana started off the Indians' two-run 6th inning with a single and also tried to get the Indians back in the game with a two-out home run in the bottom of the 12th. Don't look now, but even with his cold start, Santana has put together a pretty good year (.255/.358/.425 slash line) and is slowing but surely becoming the middle-of-the-order bat the Indians so desperately need.
5. Michael Brantley, CF
1-for-5, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 SO
Michael Brantley also scored after a single in the 6th inning, but it wasn't his best overall night. I'm not too concerned, however, as Brantley really has had a breakout year for the Tribe (.281/.339/.399 slash line, 2.5 fWAR).
6. Russ Canzler, DH
1-for-5, 2 SO
Russ Canzler may have a nice batting average (.278), but he has struggled to get on base so far (.304), has had some trouble with plate discipline (11:2 SO:BB in 56 plate appearances) and still hasn't shown much power (.093 ISO). Things may work out for Canzler, but right now, I'm not buying it.
7. Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B
1-for-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 SO
Lonnie Chisenhall may have only managed one hit last night, but he made it count, launching a 428-foot blast (per Jordan Bastian) in the second inning. Chisenhall may have had some hiccups along the way, but it looks like he's starting to come into his own as a Major Leaguer (.278/.314/.485 slash line in 102 plate appearances this season).
8. Casey Kotchman, 1B
Casey Kotchman continues to take at-bats on this team and not do much with them (.227/.281/.336 slash line). At this point, I'd rather see LaPorta/Canzler every day at first base than run Kotchman out there anymore.
Matt LaPorta, PH-1B
Manny Acta pinch-hit Matt LaPorta for Kotchman in the 11th inning, but he grounded out. LaPorta also figured greatly into the Twins' two-run 12th due to a fielding gaffe (again, per Jordan Bastian). The Indians are in need of a first baseman for 2013, and right now, it's hard to see LaPorta filling that role.
9. Ezequiel Carrera, LF
1-for-5, 1 RBI, 1 SO
If Cody Allen had been able to hold the lead, Ezequiel Carrera would have driven in the winning run by beating out a double play-ball in the 6th inning. As it is, Carrera's speed remains intriguing, but his inability to get on base with it (.243/.285/.383 slash line) will keep him as a fourth outfielder long-term for the Tribe.
David Huff, SP
ND, 4.1 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO
It wasn't the best of outings from David Huff, but it could have gone much worse. Huff got himself into trouble early on, allowing two 1st inning runs, but he mostly got it under control from there. Huff would have had the chance to make it through at least five innings (he left with one out and one on in the 5th), but he was held to a pitch count since this is his first start after being in the bullpen upon his callup to Cleveland. Personally, I would have left Huff in the bullpen since I think his stuff plays up enough to make him a serviceable Major Leaguer, but it can't hurt to see if Huff can stick in as a starter one more time.
Chris Seddon, RP
0.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO
Chris Seddon did his job well, coming in and keeping the score 3-2 Minnesota. Seddon hasn't stood out in his time in Cleveland (4.00 ERA, 4.06 FIP, 5.01 xFIP) and I find it hard to see him sticking with the Indians next year.
Frank Herrmann, RP
1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO
It was a nice, routine 1-2-3 6th inning for Frank Herrmann, who has been good but not great in 2012 (3.55 ERA, 3.41 FIP, 4.25 xFIP). Herrmann isn't flashy, but he's a steady, solid arm out of the bullpen.
Cody Allen, RP
BS (1), 0.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO
I love Cody Allen and his future prospects, but last night wasn't his finest moment. Allen allowed two singles and a walk in the 7th, with Josh Willingham's single driving in Denard Span and knotting the score at 4-4. There is no doubt that Allen is a future back-end option for the Tribe, but he's still working on pitching at the Major League level.
Scott Barnes, RP
0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO
Scott Barnes did his job effectively, inducing Justin Morneau to ground into an inning-ending double play on his only pitch. Barnes hasn't been great in his limited time, but he knows how to pitch and should improve as he gets more work.
Vinnie Pestano, RP
1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO
It wasn't easy going tonight for Vinnie Pestano, as he allowed a leadoff double to Ryan Doumit. Pestano managed to get Trevor Plouffe to ground into a fielder's choice at third base, however, and Pestano retired the next two to get out of the 8th inning unscathed. As if it would go any differently for Pestano, who has been about as good as they get out of the bullpen this season.
Chris Perez, RP
1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 SO
It wasn't a shutdown effort from Chris Perez, but he managed to work around the two runners he put on base and kept the score tied. Plus, Perez was just fine in a non-save situation. Perez may have a loud mouth, but the Indians will miss his pitching next year if he is traded.
Joe Smith, RP
1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO
Joe Smith sat the Twins down 1-2-3 in the 10th inning. Many things have gone wrong this year for the Tribe, but the Smith-Pestano-Perez trifecta is not one of them.
Esmil Rogers, RP
1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 SO
It was a fairly routine night for Esmil Rogers, who remains proof that sometimes these scrapheap pickups work out well for the Tribe.
Scott Maine, RP
L (1-1), 0.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO
Maine was the 10th pitcher for the Indians last night, setting the team record. Unfortunately, he let the bottom fall out in the 12th inning, letting in two runs and losing the game. Maine might be able to be a decent Major Leaguer, but right now, he's just not there.
The Indians will try to avoid taking sole possession of last place tonight as RHP Zach McAllister (5-7, 4.15 ERA, 4.12 FIP) will take on RHP Liam Hendricks (0-7, 6.14 ERA, 5.31 FIP).
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