Zack Walters (recounting his winning home run)
8/26/14: Zach Walters launches a two-run homer to deep right-center to give the Indians an 8-6 lead in the 10th
With the day off today, Detroit prepares for their schedule that will see 17 games in 16 days. The Tigers upcoming schedule looks like
Aug. 26th: New York Yankees
Aug. 27th: New York Yankees
Aug. 28th: New York Yankees
Aug. 29th: At Chicago White Sox
Aug. 30th: At Chicago White Sox (doubleheader)
Aug. 31th: At Chicago White Sox
Sept. 1st: At Cleveland Indians
Sept. 2nd: At Cleveland Indians
Sept. 3rd: At Cleveland Indians
Sept. 4th: At Cleveland Indians
Sept. 5th: San Francisco Giants
Sept. 6th: San Francisco Giants
Sept. 7th: San Francisco Giants
Sept. 8th: Kansas City Royals
Sept. 9th: Kansas City Royals
Sept. 10th: Kansas City Royals
The Tigers have a relatively favorable schedule from now until September 5th when they play San Francisco who has played good baseball all season. Though the Yankees have a record above .500, their run differential suggests they’ve been winning more games than they should have. Detroit has played better on the road, and having an 8 game road trip against the weaker American League Central opponents could see the Tigers making a push for the division lead by the time Kansas rolls into town, assuming Kansas is to stumble on their upcoming schedule. Including the three games in the upcoming schedule, Detroit and Kansas have six games left in the regular season against each other, a series Detroit desperately needs to take the advantage in.
I just have to say that I’m really surprised with your analysis of the “weaker” American League Central opponents that the Tigers have coming up, because the Tigers don’t have the advantage in either season series. The Indians have been significantly better at home all year long, so having the Tigers come out with 4+ road wins might be harder than you think.
Chris Gimenez, on coming back to the Tribe
Things have changed a lot in the Indians’ clubhouse since the last time Chris Gimenez had a locker in the room.
The catcher looked around on Sunday morning and saw players he once knew only as prospects. These days, those kids have developed into leaders for a Cleveland club that is fighting for a playoff spot, rather than playing out the string.
"This is definitely a destination where a lot of people want to come," Gimenez said. "I was here through the rough parts of it. It’s actually pretty cool. Guys like [Jason] Kipnis and [Lonnie] Chisenhall, those are younger guys who, when I was here, were just breaking in."
Gimenez — acquired from the Rangers in exchange for future considerations on Saturday — was officially recalled from Triple-A Columbus prior to Sunday’s game against the Astros. He will serve as the backup catcher to rookie Roberto Perez, while starting catcher Yan Gomes resides on Major League Baseball’s 7-day concussion list.
The 31-year-old Gimenez, who played for the Indians during the 2009-10 seasons when Cleveland lost a combined 190 games, was happy to be back with his first organization. Over parts of six seasons in the big leagues, the catcher has posted a .215 average at the plate and a 26-percent caught-stealing rate behind it, during stints with Cleveland, Seattle, Tampa Bay and Texas.
In 34 big league games this season, Gimenez hit .262 for the Rangers. He was most recently with Triple-A Round Rock, where he hit .283 with six home runs, 22 RBIs and an .843 OPS in 39 games. Gimenez had to fly from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles on Saturday, where he caught a red-eye flight to Detroit, where he hopped on a flight to Cleveland to arrive on Sunday morning.
• Gomes, who is on the 7-day concussion list, slowed his activity on Sunday after still experiencing symptoms on Saturday. Francona reiterated that Cleveland will take its time with Gomes to make sure he is at full strength before returning.
"I don’t think that it’ll be more than [seven days], but there’s phases," Francona said on Sunday. "They ramp up progressively. I think there’s three or four steps, and each one you have to pass. When you pass one, you go on to the next one. How fast, it just depends on how you feel."
• Shortstop Francisco Lindor, Cleveland’s top prospect, went 4-for-4 for Columbus on Saturday, marking his second four-hit game in a row. Through 30 games since being promoted to Triple-A, Lindor has posted a .287/.316/.395 slash line with four homers, 12 RBIs and 19 runs for the Clippers.
• Following Sunday’s action, the Indians’ rotation has turned in a 1.71 ERA, .176 opponents’ batting average and 0.90 WHIP over the past 13 games.