1. Last Night's Game
After a night's sleep, I'm ready to write this off as the stuff of nightmares. This quote by Terry Francona says it all:
"Thankfully, [Jose Fernandez] in the National League," Indians manager Terry Francona said.
As for the self-imposed problems last night, those hopefully will not repeat themselves. Asdrubal Cabrera's range is a topic that has come up off and on since he moved to shortstop, but what happened last night was not due to lack of range. Cabrera, even with the two errors last night, still has a fielding percentage (.980) over the league average (.973). But with Francisco Lindor now in AA, the Indians will have a difficult decision to make this winter as to whether the team will be better off with Cabrera or a combination of Aviles and Lindor in 2014.
2. The future is now.
Last night Danny Salazar struck out 8 batters in five innings, and the AAA staff as a whole came very close to throwing a no-hitter. I think it's pretty clear now that Salazar should be able to help the Indians down the stretch, but how he's used will be key. He has now thrown 99.0 innings between Cleveland, Columbus, and Akron, and that's already 12 more than he threw all of last year. So I think it makes sense to move him to the bullpen with the goal of bringing him up to Cleveland in late August/ early September.
It should also be noted that Salazar is not the only arm that the Indians can make use of. Preston Guilmet now has a 6.6 H/9 rate with a 4.92 SO/BB ratio. CC Lee has been even better in his short time with the Clippers. And then there's Blake Wood, who the Indians claimed on waivers last winter. So if the Indians stay in contention into September, the bullpen will get a big boost from the Columbus crew.
3. Scrabble makes his debut
Last night Scrabble made his Indians debut. He pitched a scoreless inning and his stuff looked pretty good. Although he, like Rich Hill, should be used mainly as a LOOGY, he gives left-handers a different look than Hill. He throws harder than Hill (92-93 mph) and has a slider instead of a curve. It looks like Francona for now is going to alternate Hill and Scrabble, though I'm sure for big games he'll make use of both.
4. Last night's AL action
Most of the news was bad as far as playoff standings goe.
5. Somebody's watching
This nugget was buried at the bottom of the article:
SportsTime Ohio reported that the telecasts for the first three games of Cleveland's series against the White Sox earlier this week each ranked in the top five ratings for all Indians games this season. Only Opening Day against Toronto and July 8 against Detroit drew better ratings.
That's pretty impressive for a weeknight series.
6. List time!
I'm going do something a little different while I have the floor. Here's my personal top list of movie soundtracks:
5. The Godfather (1972) - would this movie had been as revered had it had the normal 70s action music?
4. Oklahoma! (1955) - fantastic adaptation of Rodgers and Hammerstein's classic stage musical.
3. 2001: A Space Oddyssey (1968) - Stanley Kubrick threw out the "modern" score and used a combination of several classical pieces.
2. A Hard Day's Night (1964) - Hard not to include one of the Beatles' masterpieces
1. Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) One of the best westerns ever made has a soundtrack to match.