By Ryan Isley
Tribe Splits Double-Dip:
The Cleveland Indians and Seattle Mariners decided that one game was not enough, so they played two on Tuesday. In a much needed change of events, the Indians decided to win a ballgame in dramatic fashion in the afternoon instead of finding excruciating ways to lose them. Unfortunately, that momentum did not carry into the second game of Tuesday’s doubleheader.
Justin Masterson pitched eight outstanding innings for the Indians in game one, allowing just three runs on eight hits and he took a 4-3 lead into the 9th inning. Instead of using Chris Perez to close the game, manager Manny Acta decided to allow Masterson (who was at 110 pitches after eight innings) to start the inning. After getting an out on the first pitch, Masterson allowed back-to-back-hits and then Acta brought in Perez. Perez promptly gave up a two-run double that gave the Mariners a 5-4 lead and gave Indians fans a headache.
The Indians sent just three batters to the plate in the bottom of the 9th, but that was plenty. Ezequiel Carrera led off with a double (and did not get thrown out doing something stupid on the bases) and Dustin Ackley tried to get Carrera out at 3rd on a grounder hit by Asdrubal Cabrera, but everyone was safe. Shin-Soo Choo then sent the crowd home happy with a three-run walk-off home run and a 7-5 Indians win.
On to the second game, which did not provide the same kind of dramatics. The Indians actually held a 1-0 lead after the 2nd inning but that was the last time they would be on the positive side of the score. Seattle scored five runs in the 3rd and five runs in the fourth to chase Zach McAllister after only 3 1/3 innings pitched. He was tagged with 10 runs (eight earned) on nine hits.
The Indians still had their chances, but went 3-for-15 with runners in scoring position and fell 12-7.
With the Tigers come-from-behind win over the Rays, the Indians are now six games out in the American League Central Division, but are still in 2nd place thanks to a White Sox loss to the Angels.
The Indians and Mariners will wrap up the series Wednesday afternoon when Josh Tomlin (12-6, 4.03 ERA) takes the mound for Cleveland against Felix Hernandez 11-11, 3.38 ERA) for the Mariners.
Alex White Struggles in Rockies Debut:
Alex White, traded by the Indians on July 30th to the Colorado Rockies along with Drew Pomeranz, Matt McBride and Joe Gardner for Ubaldo Jimenez, was finally activated off the disabled list on Tuesday and made his Rockies Major League debut.
In his last three starts for Double-A Tulsa on his rehab assignment, he was lights out, tossing 15 1/3 innings and allowing zero runs on just seven hits. All told for the Drillers, he was 1-1 with a 1.65 ERA.
White started off strong Tuesday night, retiring 10 of the first 11 he faced. The one hitter he did not retire was Carlos Lee, who sent White’s 0-1 pitch over 400 feet into the left field stands. The Rockies had a 2-1 lead going into the 3rd, but White gave up the lead (sound familiar Indians fans?) with no help from his defense as back-to-back infield singles plated the two runs allowed in the inning. White induced a double play to end the inning after an error by Carlos Lee loaded the bases with one out.
White settled down and retired the side in order in both the 4th and 5th innings and the Rockies regained the lead at 5-3. Once again, White gave the lead right back as Jimmy Paredes hit a laser beam into the second deck in right field to tie the game. White retired Clint Barmes to end the inning and his evening was finished.
White picked up a no-decision, going six innings and allowing five runs on seven hits. He struck out four and walked two, throwing 86 pitches.
The Cleveland Browns will get an up-close-and-personal look at the team many are favoring to win the NFC wshen they face the Philadelphia Eagles Thursday night at Lincoln Financial Field. It will be a real test for the Browns, as the third preseason game is usually the one where teams allow their starters to play the most snaps.
Quarterback Colt McCoy will look to impress yet again as he has done twice already this preseason with games against Green Bay and Detroit. McCoy has completed 19-of-28 passes for 231 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions for a passer rating of 156.9.
Besides McCoy, the biggest story for the Browns last week was injuries as they were without the services of Peyton Hillis, Monterio Hardesty, Eric Steinbach, Scott Fujita, Chris Gocong, T.J. Ward and Usama Young and then lost Evan Moore with a mild concussion during the game. The Browns are expected to welcome back at least Hillis and Hardesty, while Moore should be able to go as well.
The Browns will also try to clean up the penalties from last week, when referee Mike Carey may have needed to be treated for elbow tendinitis after flagging the Browns 12 times for 88 yards and the Lions 14 times for 123 yards.
Not much positive can be said about the Cincinnati Bengals at this point except that they have not had a player arrested in more than a month now, which may be a new longest streak for them.
On the field, it is not pretty as the Bengals have been tamed in both games so far this preseason by a combined score of 61-10 at the hands of the Detroit Lions and New York Jets. It would have been worse, but the Jets took a knee on the Bengals 8-yard-line with two minutes left.
They will welcome Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers into Paul Brown Stadium Thursday night in what is sure to be their third straight loss.
For Bengals fans, they can be hopeful that a terrible season will net them the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft but do they have the confidence that Mike Brown will do the right thing and take Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck? Yeah, me neither.
Drink up Cincinnati – it is going to be a long season.