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Game 144: Indians 5, Rangers 4

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Brooks Baseball PitchFX - Zach McAllister

It was shocking to see this result, but then again, even the worst teams will beat the best teams at least occasionally.

The Indians are taking almost full advantage of the September roster expansion, but they didn't call up many actual prospects or even players that have a shot of making the club next year. Russ Canzler and Scott Barnes have a shot of making the club next year, and Cord Phelps will probably be in Cleveland at some point in 2013, but none of these guys should be in prominent roles.This highlights the gap in talent that was between the 2011 "class" of Kipnis/Chisenhall/Pomeranz/White and the next good group of prospects who just finished their seasons in Lake County and Carolina.

But there is Zach McAllister, who was never a highly-recognized prospect (and who was acquired for Austin Kearns, for goodness sakes), but who I think has the potential to be a mid-rotation starter. He's gone through some growing pains recently after a good start, but tonight's start highlights what he's capable of. Against a tough lineup and in a difficult park, he held the Rangers to 2 runs (1 earned) in six innings of work, striking out 6 and not walking a batter. 9 of his 86 pitches were swung at and miss, quite a departure from his last start, in which none of his pitches missed a bat. Obviously there was an adjustment made, and it worked.

The Indians lineup has looked rather ugly, what with Asdrubal Cabrera nursing a wrist injury and Jason Kipnis and Michael Brantley being held out with day-to-day stuff. Tonight featured the worst lineup yet, with Ezequiel Carrera and Brent Lillibridge in the first two spots of the order, and a 5-6-7 of Vinny Rottino, Matt LaPorta, and Thomas Neal. You'd hardly expect this group to do any damage, but they actual did; those three had 5 hits between them, led by Matt LaPorta's two-run homer in the sixth off Rangers starter Derek Holland. Matt went deep on a fastball, which was high and down the middle, so the home run wasn't exactly a sign that had made progress at the plate. I still think that the Indians and LaPorta will be parting company after the season, and it's way too late to change their minds.

The game remained tied until the eighth, when the Rangers another two unearned runs thanks to two errors. Brent Lillibridge's throwing error opened the inning, and Jack Hannahan's fielding error would eventually lead to a second run scoring.

So the Indians had just one inning to try to make up two runs, and the rally would have to go against a rejuvenated Joe Nathan. But the Indians would pull it off thanks to the longball. Ezequiel Carrera took Nathan deep to open the inning, and after pinch-hitter Canzler singled, Jason Kipnis gave the Indians the lead with a two-run shot. Chris Perez closed out the game in the ninth, leaving the tying run on third after a two-out Elvis Andrus triple.

Source: FanGraphs

Post of the Game Thread

Zeke – I think they’re playing you to hit the other way. Time to adjust.

by woodsmeister on Sep 13, 2012 10:00 PM EDT reply actions 1 recs

This was written well before the ninth inning, when Carrera turned on an inside fastball and pulled it out of the park.

Game Thread Stats

Had to say this was one of the more enjoyable game threads in a quite a while. Discussion points:

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  • Jason Morneau
  • DVR Decisions

Roll Call: PortlandVinny, Ryan, Jay, drerikbrady, V-Mart Shopper, ahowie, johnf34, Mr. Bad Example, VA tribe fan, mauichuck, mtg8, Brad D, Brick., westbrook, APV, JimmyAB, rolub, woodsmeister, kennesawmountainwahoo, Joel D, supermarioelia, jayme, darkmenace, hans
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