Game #118: Cleveland Indians (54-63) at Los Angeles Angels (61-56)
By Mike Brandyberry
Last night Ubaldo Jimenez allowed two, four-run innings and buried the Tribe quickly. The offense made a great attempt to come from behind and win, but it was too little too late, losing to the Los Angeles Angels, 9-6. Jimenez continues to be an enigma for the Indians and their starting rotation.
“I’m a work in progress,” Jimenez told Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer after the game. This season it has been hard to see much progress from Jimenez as he is now 9-12, with a 5.62 ERA and American League leader in walks (79) and wild pitches (13).
Speaking of enigmas, before Jimenez was wild, inconsistent and frustrating to Indians’ fans, there was Fausto Carmona. The 28-year old right-hander returns to Major League action as a 31-year old named Roberto Hernandez. Hernandez was arrested in the Dominican Republic in January for falsifying records and identity when he tried to renew his United States visa. It was revealed at that time that Carmona, was actually Hernandez, and was three years older than thought to be. After being granted a visa in July, he has served a three week suspension from Major League Baseball. Tonight is his 2012 Major League debut after making four minor league starts where he was 2-1, with a 4.07 ERA. Hernandez will have to demonstrate midseason control in his first start, or the Angel lineup will make short work of him like they did Jimenez last night.
Los Angeles will counter with Ervin Santana (5-10, 5.82 ERA), who is having a very frustrating year of his own. He allowed four runs six and one-third innings against the Seattle Mariners last Friday. Santana is 1-8, with a 5.03 ERA against the Indians in 13 career starts, however, his one victory was a no-hitter last season at Progressive Field. He has struggled mightily at home this year, but even more recently. In his last eight innings at home, he’s allowed 11 runs and five home runs.
Cleveland is still carrying 13 pitchers on the 25-man roster and since Chris Seddon and Frank Herrmann were each used in long roles last night, that shouldn’t change today. If Hernandez struggles, it would likely have to be Esmil Rogers to eat the innings. If Hernandez could give the Indians some quality innings, combined with an off day on Thursday, the Wahoos may be able to option a pitcher off the roster in trade for a hitter.
Hernandez admitted in his final start at Lake County that he would be a little nervous but excited to pitch again in the big leagues. His first start of the season can be seen beginning at 10:05 pm ET on SportsTime Ohio or heard on the Indians Radio Network.
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