Acta Support Update: Chris Antonetti came out in support of Indians manager Manny Acta today. Burning River Baseball also supports Acta. There is nothing he could have done to change the Indians record to this point this season. He has made marginally few errors in baseball decisions (removal of pitchers, batting order, etc) and seems to be a fine motivator. The Indians aren’t under .500 because they don’t want to win. Just watch Jason Kipnis sprint down to first on a grounder to second (he forced an error this way tonight that lead to the Indians first run) or Vinnie Pestano come sprinting in from the outfield. As a unit the Indians stuck with a few players longer than they should have (Josh Tomlin, Derek Lowe and Johnny Damon are three), but that is not Acta’s decision alone to make. If Indians management doesn’t give him a new starting pitcher, who should he replace the old one with? Manny Acta has done nothing to deserve getting fired and any speculation at this point is completely unfounded.
Player of the Game
With a meaningless two run home run, Carlos Santana continues his dominance in winning the Player of the Game as he takes his team leading 11th of the year. He has now won 6 in the Indians last 18 games while just three other players have more than 6 total for the year. Of course his home run was meaningless because of his own stupid play, but we’ll have more on that later. Since, on that particular play, the error was given to Jason Kipnis, he managed a score of -7.32 driven mostly by 7 unearned runs. Kipnis did score two runs and get a single to make the score as good as it ended up being.
Cody Allen allowed just his seventh baserunner in seven appearances with the Tribe as he walked a batter in the 7th. Allen is yet to give up a run and has only allowed a single hit.
Scott Diamond did not throw a complete game shut out. He did, however, go 7 innings, only giving up a two run home run in addition to an unearned run for scoring.
Rehab Update: Roberto Hernandez struggled in his third start with the Lake County Captains. He now has a 5.19 ERA in those three starts with five home runs allowed. Rather than bring up a pitcher who is allowing more than 5 runs per game against single A hitters, why not go with a knuckleballer who has allowed just 2.44 runs per nine in double A, two whole levels above where Hernandez is pitching. The reason why not is because the Indians traded Steven Wright to the Red Sox for a piece of garbage. Of course there are still other options better than the pitcher formerly known as Fausto. In fact, every single starter in AA has a better ERA than Hernandez. At this point it would be best to give him a couple more rehab starts while allowing the current rotation to struggle through their own problems.
If the Twins manage to complete a second sweep of the Indians this time around it will put the Indians in 4th place for the first time this year.
Juan Nivar, the Indians best pitcher on their Dominican Summer League (R) team was suspended 50 games today for MiLB’s substance abuse policy. So far this year he has a 1.36 ERA through 10 starts and 54 strikeouts. If Nivar was juicing then we better watch out for news on Luis Gomez (0.77 ERA, 0.71 WHIP) and Anthony Vizcaya (0.92 ERA, 0.92 WHIP).
Play of the Game
The play that lost the game. Jason Kipnis fielded an easy grounder with two outs in the second with the score 2-1. Carlos Santana pulled his foot off the bag before he caught the ball, leading to an error being called on Kipnis. The Twins scored 8 more that inning.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 3 – Minnesota Twins 14