The Indians lost their fifth in a row last night and they may have lost their second baseman for a while too: Jason Kipnis suffered a right abdominal strain while swinging the bat in the fourth inning of the Indians-Angels game. From Jordan Bastian:
Kipnis — Cleveland’s offensive sparkplug — felt a jolt in his right side and back on a swing that resulted in a double-play groundout against Angels right-hander Jered Weaver in the fourth inning. The second baseman ran up the line, slowed as he approached first base and could be seen grabbing at his side in obvious discomfort.
“It knocked the wind out of me,” Kipnis said. “I couldn’t really breathe while I was going down to first base. It wasn’t letting go.”
No decisions have been made about whether Kipnis will be placed on the disabled list. Terry Francona said after the game that they’ll wait until Kipnis shows up at the park later today to see if it was more of a cramping thing or what.
Either way: things couldn’t be going much worse for Cleveland.
Last night’s Angels-Astros game was a long affair with a bunch of homers and the use of 11 pitchers in all. The Angels used six pitchers and all of that business led to plenty of conferences. Six, in fact, which is their allotment under the new rule capping mound visits. As far as I can tell, that makes the Angels the first team to use up all of their mound visits since the advent of the rule.
Sadly, they did not try to go for a seventh, thereby testing the currently unknown limits of the rule. Umpires have been instructed to not allow additional mound visits, but they cannot issue balls or tackle anyone or anything to enforce it. Presumably, if Maldonado had walked out to talk to Cam Bedrosian about the weather or where he was going to dinner after the game, the home plate umpire would’ve simply done the old Robin Williams English policeman’s bit of yelling “Stop! . . . or I shall yell ‘Stop!’ again!” Maybe a fine would issue later, but we’ll never know.
At least until someone breaks the limit. And we know someone will, right? We should have a betting pool on who does it.