Last night was a crazy night for any fan of the Indians. It started off with the team looking like they were headed to their third straight shutout.
While the offense was struggling, Justin Masterson was pitching a great game. He had a rough start, but got out of the first inning only allowing one run. He finished with two earned runs on nine hits in eight innings. He did not get the win, which went to Tony Sipp, but he proved that he is still the ace of the team.
During the game, Twitter began to blow up with reports of Ubaldo Jimenez being traded to the Indians. The rumors began once Drew Pomeranz was scratched from his start in Akron. This surely signaled a deal, but Jimenez started the game for the Rockies. This seemed odd to Indians fans, and even Jimenez himself, and he was eventually pulled after pitching one inning, in which he allowed four runs.
It was clear that his mind was not on the game, as he knew he was going to be traded. The fact that the Rockies had a pitcher warming up in the bullpen in the first inning did not help Jimenez’s mindset on the mound.
The Indians gave up to pitching prospects Drew Pomeranz and Alex White in exchange for Jimenez, along with Joe Gardner and Matt McBride. This shows a change in the philosophy of the front office of the Indians. The past few years were spent acquiring prospects, mainly draft picks from other teams. This time around, the Indians traded some of their recent top draft picks in order to make a push for the playoffs.
This trade is still pending a physical by Jimenez, but assuming that it all goes well he should join the team in Boston.
During the actual game last night the Indians looked doomed to lose heading into the bottom of the ninth. They were down 2-1 and had to go up against Joakim Soria, who has 19 saves on the year.
Asdrubal led off the inning and reached base after he was hit by the pitch. Hafner then grounded out, but reached first as Cabrera was thrown out at second. Orlando Cabrera came in to pinch run, which would be his last appearance in an Indians uniform.
Carlos Santana stepped up to the plate next and drilled a double, which put runners on second and third with one out for Kosuke Fukudome. He was hitless as an Indian up to this point, and he still remains hitless. However, he hit a sac fly that scored O-Cab and tied the game at 2-2.
After a walk to Chisenhall, Matt LaPorta came to the plate. He had hit a near home run earlier in the game, and this time he put the extra power needed to get the ball out. LaPorta hit a home run that cleared the yellow line on the left field wall to give the Indians the win with a score of 5-2.
This was a crucial win for the Indians, as a loss would have put them at the .500 mark. With the Tigers loss to the Angels, the Indians are only 1.5 games back as they head into the series finale against the Royals today.
As mentioned above, Orlando Cabrera is no longer a Cleveland Indian. He was traded to the San Francisco Giants after the game ended. In exchange for Cabrera, the Giants sent outfielder Thomas Neal to the Indians. He will begin in Columbus.
Yesterday was an eventful day, and today might feature some surprises as well. The trade deadline is 4pm today.