06/16/07 4:10 PM ET
Notes: Wedge can take the heat
Skipper not worried about fallout from leaving ace in Friday
By Anthony Castrovince / MLB.com
So on days like Saturday, when fans, writers and radio gabbers were still wondering why the Indians manager sent C.C. Sabathia out to pitch the ninth inning of an eventual loss to the Braves on Friday night, Wedge remains comfortable in his own skin.
"I don't second-guess myself," Wedge said. "Second-guessing is for you guys [in the media] and the fans. That's the fans' prerogative and your job."
Wedge's job, obviously, is to make the moves that help his teams win ballgames. On Friday, sticking with his ace, who had thrown 108 pitches over eight innings, and straying from his bullpen backfired.
As Wedge pointed out, in looking over a loss such as that one, a fine line exists between analyzing and second-guessing.
"I analyze every game from every perspective," Wedge said. "I look at every single game, just like any player, coach or manager. That's part of the process."
But the thought process behind a move is what Wedge is concerned with, more than the results.
On Friday, for example, he decided not to pitch closer Joe Borowski or setup man Rafael Betancourt for a third straight day. That's why he stuck with Sabathia.
"As long as you have a thought process and a good reason to make a decision," Wedge said, "there's no reason to second-guess yourself."
Besides, the scribes, fans and talking heads handle the second-guessing just fine.
"That comes with the job," Wedge said. "I'm fine with it. It comes with the territory."
Here's the question... In the sixth and deciding game of the 1995 World Series between the Indians and Braves, which two Atlanta pitchers held the Indians to a season-low one hit?
Grind it out: Playing with a little bit -- or even a lot -- of pain is nothing new for Trot Nixon. But the injuries he's endured over the past four seasons have taken a toll on his speed in the field.
"I haven't had good days and bad days," Nixon said. "It hasn't been like that. I'm just not happy with the way I'm moving, compared to years before."
When the Indians signed Nixon, they knew they'd be getting a player slowly but surely working his way back from offseason surgery to remove a bulging disc in his back. Though he hasn't had any setbacks in the area, he has had to be patient with how his body gets back to full speed.
"Until he has a true offseason," Wedge said, "he's not going to know how far he can bring it back."
Nixon, who came into Saturday's game in an 0-for-19 funk at the plate, said he doesn't mind playing with a little pain.
"I can boo-hoo all I want," he said. "But there are people laid up in hospitals and this, that and the other. Hey, I've been healthy this year, and I'm very happy and thank God for that."
Westbrook watch: Jake Westbrook will make his fourth and what is expected to be his final rehab start Monday at Triple-A Buffalo, tossing six innings or 90 pitches.
The Indians decided to give Westbrook, coming back from a left abdominal strain he suffered May 2, one more Minor League start to build up his pitch count.
Wedge was asked if this will definitively be the final rehab for Westbrook, who hasn't felt any pain in the abdominal region in over a month.
"Barring something unforeseen, yeah," Wedge said.
Tribe tidbits: A day after signing first-round pick Beau Mills to a Minor League deal, the Indians locked up two more picks Saturday. Left-hander Brandon Taylor, taken with the club's 10th-round pick in this year's First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Oklahoma, and outfielder Matt Brown, selected with the 13th-round pick out of Wichita State University, put their names in writing. ... Casey Blake's 24-game hitting streak, entering Saturday, was the longest active streak in the Majors and the longest by an Indians player since Matt Williams hit in 24 straight in August/September of 1997. ... Travis Hafner made his ninth start of the season at first base Saturday, as Victor Martinez was slotted in at DH and Kelly Shoppach made his regular turn catching Paul Byrd.
Down on the farm: Left fielder Jason Cooper homered and drove in two runs in Buffalo's 5-4 win over Norfolk. Mike Koplove picked up the win in relief by pitching 1 1/3 scoreless innings. ... Cliff Politte, who was recently activated by Double-A Akron after rehabbing from August rotator cuff surgery, worked a scoreless inning, but Joe Ness gave up seven runs on eight hits over five innings in the Aeros' 9-3 loss to Portland. ... First baseman Jerad Head and designated hitter John Drennan both homered in Class A Kinston's 7-6, 12-inning loss to Myrtle Beach. ... Hector Rondon gave up four runs on four hits in 3 2/3 innings to take the loss as Class A Lake County fell, 8-3, to West Virginia.
And the answer is... Series MVP Tom Glavine and Mark Wohlers combined on a one-hitter in Game 6.
On deck: The Indians and Braves will wrap up their weekend Interleague set with Sunday's 1:05 p.m. ET game at Jacobs Field. Right-hander Fausto Carmona (7-2, 3.17 ERA) will oppose right-hander Kyle Davies (3-5, 5.70).
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.