MTAF Morning News – Wednesday, August 3


By Ryan Isley

Red Sox Walk Off On Indians:

Jason Kipnis and Lonnie Chisenhall both homered off Boston starter Josh Beckett and David Huff pitched well, but the Indians offense could not get anything else going and the Red Sox came up with timely hits to beat the Indians 3-2.

Just when it looked like the Indians might be able to take the first two games of their four-game set with the Red Sox after Chisenhall’s homerun in the 4th inning gave them a 2-1 lead and then Huff threw two more scoreless innings, Kevin Youkilis took a 2-1 pitch from Rafael Perez and deposited it high over the Green Monster in left for a homerun to tie the game at 2-2 in the 6th.

The Indians went 1-for-10 against the Red Sox bullpen after that, which set the stage for Boston in the 9th.

Vinnie Pestano came into the ballgame and immediately retired the first batter he faced, Mike Aviles, on a fly ball to center. Jason Varitek and Josh Reddick followed with singles, with Jarrod Saltalamacchia running for Varitek. Jacoby Ellsbury delivered the third straight single and Ezequiel Carrera could not throw out Saltalamacchia at the plate, giving the Red Sox a 3-2 win.

Of course, the Tigers beat the Rangers 6-5 to stretch their lead in the AL Central back to 2.5 games.

The Indians will send Carlos Carrasco to the hill tonight as he appeals his six-game suspension for his little headhunting incident in his last start (Which I still do not think was enough). After allowing the Royals to hit three homeruns in 3.1 innings in his last start and giving up at least one homerun in each of his last eight starts, Fenway may not be too kind to Carrasco. The Red Sox will counter with 76-year-old (ok, so that might be an exaggeration) Tim Wakefield.

How Tweet It Is:

Proving once again that Twitter and other forms of social media are not always a player’s best friend, former Indians pitcher Alex White (@Alex_White6) tweeted on Tuesday that he preferred Denver to Cleveland. Cleveland fans took it as a slap in the face to a city that has already been through so much negativity when it comes to sports and voiced their displeasure with the new Colorado Rockies right-hander.

White later tried to clarify his statements with a few more tweets about how he wished he could have brought a championship to Cleveland and that it was not his choice to leave.

Lisa and I both weighed in with blogs on the situation. Lisa was originally fired up, but cooled down after thinking about it and I was behind Alex 100%.

Reds Finding Their Groove Again?:

After sweeping a three-game series from defending World Series champion San Francisco this past weekend, the Reds went into Houston and promptly lost the first game of their series with the Astros.

Thanks to Homer Bailey and Edgar Renteria, the Reds beat the Astros 5-1 on Tuesday night for their fourth win in five games after they were handed a four game sweep by the Mets.

Ramon Hernandez started the scoring in the 5th inning with a ground-rule double that scored Chris Heisey and then with the bases loaded, Renteria hit his ninth career grand slam to give the Reds a 5-0 lead. Bailey made that lead stick by giving up just one run in eight innings of work, allowing only five hits.

It was a solid (and much-needed) bounce back game for Bailey, who was torched by the Mets for nine runs in four innings in his last start.

Cincinnati will send the D-Train, Dontrelle Willis, to the mound tonight to try and keep the Reds on track. Willis is 0-1 with a 3.52 ERA in his four starts this season. Houston will counter with Jordan Lyles, who is 0-6 with a 4.41 ERA.

Browns Training Camp:

Another year, another Browns player done for the season before the season even starts. This time, it was punter Reggie Hodges who found himself needing medical attention. Turns out, Hodges tore his ACL and will miss the entire 2011 season. While most teams may not worry too much when their punter goes down, the Browns rely on Hodges a good deal. Hodges last season averaged 43.9 yards per punt and routinely set the Browns defense up in good position.

It was not all doom and gloom in Berea, however. The Browns finally came to terms with first round pick Phil Taylor on a four-year deal and reports are that he will be in camp on Wednesday and begin practicing Thursday.

PGA Tour Invades Akron

The World Golf Championships Bridgestone Invitational has made its way back to the South Course at Firestone Country Club for yet another year with a field that is full of the best golfers in the world.

The field includes defending champion Hunter Mahan, FedExCup points leader Nick Watney, reigning Masters Champion Charl Schwartzl, current U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy, British Open winner (and former winner of this event) Darren Clarke, Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler and Luke Donald.

Also in the field is some golfer who has not won in almost two full calendar years and who has only played in seven full tournaments and one in which he withdrew after nine holes. And oh by the way, this golfer – of course it is Tiger Woods – has won seven times at Firestone, including his 11-shot win in 2000 when he shot a 259 with the help of a second-round 61, one of the most iconic moments in the history of the event.

After seeing Mahan post a winning total of 268 last year (the second consecutive year that 268 was the winning score), Firestone decided to make it a little tougher on those who do not find the fairway off the tee this week, lengthening the rough around the course. They are expecting the rough to be around 5 inches by the time players take the course for the final round on Sunday, which is more than an inch longer than last year’s final round.

From past experience my advice would be if you have tickets, get there early, especially with Tiger in the field. If you are going on Sunday, look for me – I will be the one wearing the bright orange Rickie Fowler shirt and hat.

If you do not have tickets but still want to go, they are still available.

Hall of Fame Weekend:

There may not be a Hall of Fame Game this season (thanks again NFL lockout) but that does not mean Canton will be a quiet city this weekend.

The Hall of Fame weekend kicks off on Friday morning as members of pro football’s storied past will return for the groundbreaking ceremony for the Hall’s Future 50 Expansion and Renovation Project. Later Friday, fans can pack the NFL Films Theater to watch a live broadcast of the Enshrinee’s Dinner and enjoy dinner stations and access to the museum.

Saturday morning, the streets of Canton will be lined with fans as the annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Parade takes place, starting at 8 am. It is an all-day event Saturday, as there are autograph sessions and a fan party following the parade.

Saturday night, the main event of the weekend will take place at Fawcett Stadium starting at 7 pm. Marshall Faulk, Deion Sanders, Shannon Sharpe, Richard Dent, Chris Hanburger, Les Richter and Ed Sabol will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame to take their place among the greats.

There are also events on Sunday, from an ensrinee’s roundtable to an autograph session to a tailgate party.

You can get more information on all events, including ticket information, by visiting the Pro Football Hall of Fame website.

Follow Ryan on Twitter at @isley23 and like More Than A Fan on facebook.


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