Durham Takes Early Lead, Hangs on to Control Series; Bulls 3, Clippers 2
After losing a heartbreaker on Thursday night in the ninth inning, the Columbus Clippers fell behind early on Friday night. Spotting Durham three runs in the first two innings was enough for the Bulls to hang on to a 3-2 victory and now lead the series, 2-1. Columbus will try to fight off elimination this afternoon at 1 p.m.
Durham plated a pair of runs in the bottom of the first when Jason Christian started the inning with a single off Clippers’ starter Shaun Marcum. After Marcum retired the next two hitters, Jeremy Moore singled in a run and Tim Beckham doubled in another to put the Bulls up 2-0. In the bottom of the second inning Nick Franklin homered to left field to give Durham a 3-0 lead.
Since his call-down in May, Elliot Johnson has continued to bring versatility, consistency and veteran experience to the Clippers lineup in more ways than the average player on the roster.
Johnson was signed by the Cleveland Indians as a free agent in January after spending the first part of the 2013 season with the Kansas City Royals and he was claimed off the waivers by the Atlanta Braves in late August.
It wasn’t quick or pretty, but it was effective.
Despite two errors, a passed ball and wild pitch, the Indians were able to out-hit their mistakes Friday evening, snapping their six-game losing streak, by a score of 12-5 over the Chicago White Sox. The Indians scored five runs in the first inning off White Sox starter John Danks and never trailed, getting Danny Salazar his first win of the season.
What could have been an easy blowout win the Indians was instead a game of constant chase from Chicago. Cleveland’s poor defense kept the White Sox in the game much longer than necessary. It took 13 hits from the Indians’ offense to erase their questionable defense.
Pick a player:
Player A: 9 games, 8 hits, 23 AB, 4 RBI, 3 SB, .348 BA, .484 OBP, .832 OPS
Player B: 4 games, 2 hits, 17 AB, 0 RBI, 2 SB, .118 BA, .211 OBP, .328 OPS
Easy right??? Now pick another player:
Player A: $875,000 in 2014
Player B: $13,500,000 in 2014
Also a no-brainer? Unfortunately, while the answers to both questions are easy, in baseball it seems the more expensive player is going to get the playing time ten times out of ten, regardless of the statistics.
He was the Cleveland Indians’ First Round draft pick in 2008. He boasts a career .305 batting average with the AAA Columbus Clippers and a .374 OBP in that same level. However, Lonnie Chisenhall’s advancements at the minor league level have yet to permanently transpose themselves to Major League success.
Chisenhall’s history with the Indians, as earlier documented here by Mike Brandyberry, has been clouded by missed opportunities and an inability to seize the options which he’s been given. This season has started off no differently – once Carlos Santana approached the Indians about playing third base after Yan Gomes was acknowledge to be the starting catcher, Chisenhall was relegated to be a back-up for Santana.
However, Chisenhall’s current (albeit undefined) role with the Tribe did not come from lack of trying. During Spring Training this season, Chisenhall hit .306 with a .386 OBP. He had 19 hits, one double, two triples and three home runs. He had 33 total bases through the spring and drove in nine runs, while walking seven times and striking out 14 times in 62 at-bats.
Following the Indians’ 2-0 win against the San Diego Padres at 12:05, the team retook the field a little after 3:00 to finish up their traditional doubleheader to make up for Monday’s game, which was postponed due to rain. This marked the Indians second doubleheader (split or traditional) of the season.
Despite a strong and improved showing from Trevor Bauer, called up from AAA Columbus to make the appearance, the Indians offense could not deliver the hits needed to secure a win. They fell to the Padres by a score of 2-1.
Bauer, who currently owns a 1.50 ERA in 6.0 innings pitched, along with nine strikeouts and two walks in Columbus , made four spot starts for the Tribe last season that were less than ideal. He went 1-2 with a 5.29 ERA with the Big League team last season. He pitched against the Padres’ left-handed pitcher Robbie Erlin, who was 0-0, 0.00 coming into today’s game.
Last year the Indians bench, nicknamed the Goon Squad, became famous for their ability to step in for a regular starter and produce just as well as the player he was replacing.
With Yan Gomes graduating from goon to starter and Jason Giambi sidelined with a rib injury, the Tribe’s bench is taking shape with some new members in the early part of the season. Nicknames like the Goon Squad or the Bullpen Mafia often don’t carry over as well to the next season when the clientele changes, but this season’s pack of goons could be just as potent, even if they bring a different skillset.