What's Buzzing:

Big League Stew

Please hold: Indians’ Joe Smith jumps the gun on relief appearance

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

View photo

.

Joe Smith emerges, and then retreats. (MLB.TV)

The bullpen phones at Progressive Field were fully functional on Thursday afternoon, yet Cleveland Indians manager Manny Acta and his bullpen still managed to mix their signals during their 2-1 victory over the Detroit Tigers.

The awkward moment occurred while the Tigers were mounting a threat against starter Justin Masterson in the seventh inning. With two men aboard and one out, Acta casually strolled to the mound to discuss strategy, and perhaps gauge how much Masterson had left in the tank as he approached 100 pitches.

Meanwhile, out in the Indians bi-level bullpen stationed in right-center field, the interpretation was that Acta's appearance signified the end of Masterson's afternoon, which is an understandable assumption. It's very rare that a manager's visit doesn't involve a pitching change. But in this case, the signal never came, and reliever Joe Smith, who had jogged down the stairs and made it about 10 yards into the outfield, was forced to make a U-turn and camp out in the lower portion of the bullpen.

[MLB Full Count: Watch live look-ins and highlights for free all season long]

As it turned out, Smith's services were not required at any point during the game. Masterson escaped the inning without any damage. Setup man Vinnie Pestano followed with a perfect eighth inning. And then closer Chris Perez converted his 16th consecutive save since opening day, as Cleveland expanded its lead to four games in the American League Central overall, and six games over the heavily favored Tigers.

Looking for more baseball chatter?
Follow @bigleaguestew, @Townie813 and check out the BLS Facebook Page

Other popular content on the Yahoo! network:
Pau Gasol enters offseason wondering if he will remain with the Lakers
Robert Griffin III will be first NFL player with Roman numerals on jersey
Pat Forde: Conference realignment comes down to blaming others, passing checks
Y! Health: Eight easy to spot signs you might be sick

View Comments (181)
  • Engine failures and reprimands add to Hamilton's woes

    Engine failures and reprimands add to Hamilton's woes

    By Alan Baldwin SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - As if Lewis Hamilton did not have enough on his plate already, with two successive engine failures and Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg on a seven-race winning streak, the Formula One champion now has the … More »

    Reuters - 11 minutes ago
  • Leicester's Drinkwater escapes extended ban - reports

    Leicester's Drinkwater escapes extended ban - reports

    REUTERS - Leicester City's Danny Drinkwater has escaped an extended ban, British media reports said on Monday after he reacted angrily to being sent off in the 1-1 draw at Manchester United over the weekend. Drinkwater is automatically suspended for … More »

    Reuters - 25 minutes ago
  • Haas 'between Earth and the Moon' after Sochi

    Haas 'between Earth and the Moon' after Sochi

    By Alan Baldwin SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - The Haas Formula One team came back down to earth with a bump in China two weeks ago but Sunday's Russian Grand Prix put the U.S.-owned newcomers back into orbit. Romain Grosjean delivered their third … More »

    Reuters - 48 minutes ago
  • Undrafted FCS players get shot at NFL

    Undrafted FCS players get shot at NFL

    (STATS) - If the start of the NFL draft is like Christmas morning to many NFL teams, then the post-holiday bargain shopping starts instantly after its conclusion. … More »

    AP - Sports - 50 minutes ago
  • Sanchez Flores future as Watford manager in doubt

    Sanchez Flores future as Watford manager in doubt

    Quique Sanchez Flores seems less than sure that he has a future at Watford despite keeping the club in the Premier League and leading them into the semi-finals of the FA Cup. Promoted Watford are 12th in the table with three games to play but their … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 0 minutes ago