Friday, May 2

Goodbye Mariners & Hello KC

I don't know if you noticed but with four writers this blog cranks out some content, some of it is even good.

The Tribe closed out their most recent series with the Mariners of Seattle last night in a nail-biting 11 inning 3-2 win. For those of you who didn't sweat it out here is my 30 second summary. Tribe up 1-0 in 9th. Mariners tie it, damn Betancourt. Top of 10th Sexson HR off Masa, damn bullpen, M's up 1-2. M's walk in tying run in bottom 10, but Tribe ends inning with two bases loaded K's, damn. Masa pitches scoreless 11th. Tribe loads bases again, but Frank K's with one out. Asdrubal hits single! Tribe Wins!

What went well? The Tribe kept battling back. Garko got was 2 for 4. Hafner returned to the lineup at the 6th hole and had 2 doubles. Byrd pitched 7.2 scoreless innings.

What didn't go so well? Betancourt may not be a closer. Blake struck-out 4 times. The Erie Warriors left 18 on base.

A win is a win.

Looking at the series as a whole (loss-win-win) going 2-1 at home against a team with a similar record is an outcome I'll take every time. The loss being the 2-7 drubbing you can chalk up to Betancourt and Breslow giving up 5 in the 9th to break the tie. Is the 9th Betancourt's Kryptonite? Will we ever see Breslow or even Mastny pitch in a meaningful situation? Up until the ninth Carmona (6.1 innings), Masa (1.0), and Perez (0.1) had held the Mariners to 2 runs. The offense however failed to do much except tie the game in the bottom of the 8th.

The win Wednesday is thanks to 6 players credited with RBI's and Franklin Gutierrez accounting for 3 himself. Cliff Lee appeared near-human, giving up 3 runs in 6 innings, inflating his ERA to 0.96. You could speculate that this performance by Cliff may be due to the high number of innings in his previous two starts.

After last night's game during the post-game interview, manager Eric Wedge sounded less than happy with his team's effort to date. He was a gruff about how he is trying to stay postive but that some of his players aren't getting it done. Luckily for Eric the Al Central isn't the gauntlet it has been in previous seasons. The Tribe sit in a three-way tie for 2nd and trail the 1st place team, the black sox, by only 1.5 games.

With that all taken into consideration, the Tribe welcome the Royals to Progressive Field for a three game weekend series.

Game 1: C.C. Sabathia, LHP (1-4, 7.88) vs. Luke Hochevar, RHP (1-1, 5.91)
Game 2: Aaron Laffey, LHP (0-1, 6.35) vs. Gil Meche, RHP (1-4, 7.22)
Game 3: Fausto Carmona, RHP (3-1, 2.60) vs. Brett Tomko, RHP (1-3, 6.26)

The Laffey-Meche matchup is the only game I wouldn't put money down as the Tribe winning. Luckily, the Tribe miss KC's best two starters this season, Brian Bannister (3-3, 4.04) and Zack Greinke (3-1, 1.47 in 43 IP). The Royals come in sporting a 12-15 record and are only 1.5 games back of the three teams (Tribe, Twins, Tigers) in second. Go Tribe!

GENERAL LEE: LHP Cliff Lee is off to a phenomenal start, posting a microscopic ERA of 0.96 and .151 (19 for 126) average against, which are the lowest marks in the AL…He has also allowed just .163 on base %, 198 slugging % and 5.00 runners per 9.0IP, all tops in the AL. He is T-1st in wins (5) and T-4th in strikeouts (32) in the AL.

ACCORDING TO ELIAS his .163 on-base % allowed is the lowest on-base percentage against a pitcher over his first five starts of a season in 99 years (Frank Smith, 1909 CWS, .159 OB%)

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