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Cleveland Indians

4-26-09 Morning RoundUp

By jcfortun Published: April 26, 2009

What positives could be taken from Saturday night's 7-1 loss to the Minnesota Twins at Progressive Field?

Starting pitching?

Carl Pavano allowed five runs and 11 hits in five innings. He walked one. But as Sheldon Ocker points out, the Twins two, fourth-inning runs were made possible by four consecutive groundballs.

relief pitching?

Rafael Perez is being brought back into the fold. He relieved Pavano in the sixth with the bases loaded and no one out. The first batter hit a sacrifice fly, followed by a strikeout and a ground out.

Joe Smith picked up two strikeouts and allowed no runs in his two innings of work.

Then there is Masa Kobayashi who served up back-to-back home runs to Jason Kubel and Joe Crede in the ninth.

How about hitting?

Manager Eric Wedge raised his voice for the first time this season to the media, according to Ocker:


''I think where we are, off to a poor start, we have to address everything,'' Wedge said. ''I don't want to dig too big a hole for ourselves.''


For the first time this season, Wedge's voice rose in anger in talking to the media.

''What bothers me more than anything is that we're not making good outs,'' he said. ''With the exception of a couple of guys, we've had a very poor approach at the plate. There's no excuse — a lack of discipline, lack of confidence — they better figure it out pretty quick. I'm not going to sit around and watch this. They're not kids anymore.'' 


Travis Hafner, Victor Martinez and Shin-Soo Choo each had doubles. Martinez finished 3-4 on the night. Hafner and Choo were both 2-4.

The rest of the team: 2-23.

It didn't help them that Minnesota starter Kevin Slowey was on top of his game, but then again, how much of that was Indians induced? Check out these numbers from the Minneapolis Star Tribune on Slowey's game:

• He faced 32 batters, and only three times did he reach a three-ball count.

• It was the 21st time in 42 career starts that he didn't walk a batter.

• He threw 22 first-pitch strikes.

• He entered hitter's counts (2-0, 2-1, 3-1 or 3-0) against just three batters.

• He threw 114 pitches, 84 for strikes


Per MLB.com:
"I can't remember seeing him a whole lot better than that," catcher Mike Redmond said of Slowey. "You could just see it in his face that he was locked in. It's fun to catch guys like that."

Despite the early season slump and 6-12 record, Sheldon Ocker isn't ready to wave the white flag yet.

In Saturday's game alone though, The Indians appeared to be waving it pretty early. According to this Win Probability graph the game was over long before the ninth.

Via Fangraphs:

WHATS HAPPENIN' IN AKRON

The Aeros beat Altoona 4-3 Saturday behind starter Chuck Lofgren's no-hitter in six innings of work. He was removed before the seventh inning due to a high pitch count.

Carlos Santana and Jerad Head each hit solo home runs.

COLUMBUS CLIPPINGS

Outfielder Matt LaPorta was a a double away from the cycle Saturday. He hit his fifth home run of the season.

The game got interesting though when Clippers second basemen Luis Valbuena hit a first inning, two-run home run.

Valbuena and Indianapolis second baseman Chris Barnwell exchanged words when he rounded the bases. Both benches cleared, but no punches were thrown.

Per the Dispatch:

Indianapolis manager Frank Kremblas said that his team took exception to Valbuena's reaction to the home run.

"The way he acted when he hit it, we didn't appreciate that," Kremblas said. "He stood in the box like Barry Bonds, and flips his bat and does his little dance thing. We let him know that we didn't appreciate that. Then he said something back from the dugout."


The Clippers won 6-3.
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