Covering the Bases: Game 12
Indians 4, A’s 3
FIRST: Kids, don’t try that at home. That headfirst slide that Jason Kipnis did at home plate, that is. With one out in the fifth inning, Kipnis was hit by a pitch before stealing second base. Then, on a base hit to right field from Shin-Soo Choo, Kipnis bolted around third base toward the plate.
The relay throw from right fielder Josh Reddick was on target, and catcher Anthony Recker nearly had Kipnis with the tag. Kipnis’ slide allowed him to miss the tag and swipe the plate with his left hand. It was a technique that worked, and proved critical as it was Cleveland’s fourth and decisive run.
It’s just not a technique that’s encouraged.
“It’s not something that we teach,” Indians manager Manny Acta said. “It’s very dangerous, but it’s something that happens in the heat of the moment. It’s tough, because guys just want to score and get to the plate the best way possible.
“That was a very nice slide. A great throw by Reddick, but the slide was just fantastic.”
SECOND: Ubaldo Jimenez admitted he had a very rough night. He didn’t have command of any of his pitches and labored through a 107-pitch outing. The Big U walked five, allowed six hits, including a home run, and only struck out three. The thing is, though, he only allowed two runs. Good starters find a way to gut out a solid showing on nights when nothing is working. That’s what Jimenez did against the A’s en route to his second win of the year. That said, Ubaldo noted that he still has a lot of work to do and he’s hardy satisfied to simply walk away with a win.
THIRD: Prior to Friday’s game, we chatted with Acta about the Indians’ early success with drawing walks. He said it was one result of the Tribe’s emphasis this spring on cutting down the team’s strikeout rate. Well, Cleveland drew another nine walks in Friday’s win, upping their American League-leading total to 66 through 12 games. The Tribe’s on-base percentage stands at .342 at the moment.
HOME: Jack Supermanahan stuck it to his old team on Friday night, but really, Hannahan’s been sticking it to just about every team to this point. The third baseman went 1-for-2 with a double, walk and three RBIs. On the year, he’s hitting .324. So far, Hannahan has gone 5-for-6 with eight RBIs with two outs and runners in scoring position. He’s gone 5-for-12 with two outs, 9-for-22 against right-handed pitchers, 6-for-18 on the road and 6-for-10 with runners in scoring position. Now that’s a solid start to a season.
Indians (7-5) at A’s (7-8)
at 9:05 p.m. ET on Saturday at the Coliseum