Inside the Wigwam

By: T.J. Zuppe

Cleveland Indians (44-61) vs. Boston Red Sox (60-45)

  • Pitching Probables

Monday: RHP Fausto Carmona (10-8 – 3.92) vs. RHP John Lackey (10-5 – 4.26)

Tuesday: LHP David Huff (2-9 – 6.04) vs. RHP Josh Beckett (2-1 – 6.33)

Wednesday: RHP Justin Masterson (3-10 – 5.55) vs. LHP Jon Lester (11-6 – 3.05)

Thursday: RHP Josh Tomlin (1-0 – 1.46) vs. RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (7-3 – 4.22)

  • Inside the Wigwam

Indians Pitcher Jeanmar Gomez

Rolling Rookies: The Indians were saved over the weekend by a pair of rookie right-handed pitchers, Josh Tomlin and Jeanmar Gomez, both of which were pitching on short rest. Gomez also became just the fifth pitcher for the Indians since 1922, to win his first two major league starts. However, it has not just been a recent development, with rookie pitchers leading the way for the Indians. Currently the Tribe has 11 wins by rookie pitchers on its staff, which include Mitch Talbot (8), Gomez (2) and Tomlin (1). That ranks the Indians first in the American League in wins from first-year pitchers, and fourth in the Major Leagues trailing only the Mets (16), Reds and Nationals (14). On the season, that trio of Indians starters has combined for a record of 11-9 with a 3.65 ERA in 24 starts. The trend should continue for the Indians, as four of the 12 hurlers on the staff are of the rookie variety. To contrast against the Red Sox, knuckle-baller Tim Wakefield, 44, is now 11 years older than anyone on the Tribe’s roster and 22 years the elder of Gomez.

Choo-Choo Train Back on the Tracks: No one is surprise that outfielder Shin-Soo Choo has come back from the disabled list and continued his terror of opposing pitching, but even the most optimistic of Indians’ faithful have to be pleasantly appreciative of how good he has been in his triumphant return. In 10 games, Choo is hitting .351 (13-37) with six doubles and four runs driven in. His OPS during those games is .914. Overall, he is now sixth in the American League in on-base percentage, at a .391 clip. He is also tied for 20th in the league in stolen bases, with 13.

Awaiting Brantley’s Return: Indians general manager Mark Shapiro made it clear, that outfielder Michael Brantley will be back soon, following the trade of outfielder Austin Kearns to the New York Yankees. However, as rules dictate, following an option to the minor-leagues, a team must wait 10 days before recalling that player. As the team awaits his return, Brantley is making the most of his time at Class-AAA Columbus. On Sunday, for the first time this season, Brantley collected a three extra-base hit game in Louisville. Brantley was 4-5 in the game, also knocking in a run, and crossing the plate once. Since being sent back to the Clippers, Brantley is not messing around, hitting .421, going 8-19 with a homerun and two runs batted in. He currently leads the International League in hitting at .323. However, in Cleveland Brantley has had abundantly less success, only hitting .157 (16-102), with only three extra-base hits. He will have a chance during the final two months to prove he should stay in the team’s future plans.

Reyes Rattled in Akron: Indians pitcher Anthony Reyes is continuing his rehab back to the big leagues from major elbow surgery, but experienced a setback of sorts, not with his arm, but in performance in Akron. In his first appearance with the Aeros during his rehab, Reyes only lasted a 1.2 innings, giving up six hits and nine runs. He walked four and only struck out one. It was clearly not the type of performance he was hoping for in his first appearance at Class-AA, but says he feels fine as far as arm health is concerned. It will just take some time to get the feel back, not only on a major league mound, but any mound period.

Indians Closer Chris Perez

Priceless Perez Pitching: New Indians full-time closer Chris Perez has been dazzling in his last 13.1 innings of work. He has not allowed a run in that stretch, dating back to June 28th. That is a season-high of work without allowing a run for an Indians’ bullpen arm this season. He also picked up saves number 11 and 12 in Toronto over the weekend, continuing a streak of saves for the Tribe right-hander, that stretches back over his last seven save opportunities. His 12 saves ranks him 14th in the American League in that department. With the trade of Kerry Wood, Perez will continue to get the work at the back-end of the pen, the position the Indians envisioned with they dealt for him from the St. Louis Cardinals, one year ago.

Soto So Good: Giovanni Soto, the pitcher the Indians acquired in the Jhonny Peralta trade with the Tigers, made his Indians organizational debut on Saturday, and was very impressive. The 19-year old left-hander went five innings, allowing only one run on one hit (Harry Doyle would not be pleased), and struck out seven in the Lake County Captains victory over the Silver Hawks. He lowered his low Class-A ERA to 2.57 and the win was his seventh on the season.

Huff Update: The Indians announced on Monday that left-hander David Huff will make a start for the Indians on Tuesday in Boston. Huff on the season for the Indians is 2-9, with an ERA of 6.04. However, Huff has been near unhittable at Class-AAA Columbus, where he is 6-0 with an ERA of 3.80 in seven starts. Huff was expected to be recalled late last month for a spot start, due to a double-header, but he prematurely tweeted it on his twitter account, and was not given the call as punishment from the team. Gomez was instead given the start, a game in which the Indians won in his major-league debut.

Follow T.J. Zuppe on Twitter @TJZuppe

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