Thursday, May 8

Tribe Take Two Of Three From Yankees

I have to admit my motivation for this series review / look forward isn't helped by the mystery illness now harbored within my body, but I can see the avalanche of Cavs game 2 posts and comments from a mile away so let's get down to it.

I'm sure you've read it elsewhere but this series over the Yankees (win, win, loss) gives the Tribe their first outright season series victory against the Yankees since going 7-6 vs. the Yankees 16 seasons ago in 1992. Also, the last time the Indians won a single series in Yankee Stadium was in June of 2001; they were 3-17 in the regular season in the Bronx from 2002-07.

Game 1: Tribe 5-3 win. With neither starter figuring into the decision you can say this one wasn't your straightforward baseball game. For the Tribe the keys to this win were a 2 run HR from Jhonny Peralta and a 3 run pinch-hitting blast off Joba and his stupid round face from David Dellucci in the 8th. The COT of Perez, Lewis, and Betancourt pitched 4 scoreless innings only giving up 2 hits, with Perez getting the win.

Game 2: I can sum up this game, a 3-0 Tribe win, with two words - Cliff Lee. Coming into the game, if Cliff had pitched a 1 run complete game his ERA would actually go up. Good for him he pitched 7 scoreless innings, scattering 6 hits. This was the usual Cliff Lee performance we have seen all season, spotting his fastball, getting ahead in the count, and using his off-speed stuff to dominate in situations you knew the Yankees had to be waiting for a fastball. If you haven't already, go to and watch the Cliff Lee highlight reel they have with all of his 7 strikeouts. In the bottom of the sixth the Yankees had two runners in scoring position and Lee was ahead of Matsui 1-2 with 2 outs. Matsui obviously looking fastball swings years ahead of Cliff's looping curve for strike three, inning over, awesome. Dellucci, a stiff-necked Victor Martinez, and Casey Blake each had RBI's. With another Lee gem cue Elias for the ridiculous stat of the week:

Since the end of World War II, only three pitchers have won their first six starts while posting a lower ERA than Lee's 0.81 mark. They are Feranando Valenzuela (0.33 in '81), Roger Clemens (0.73 in '91) and Pedro Martinez (0.79 in '97). All three of those pitchers went on to win the Cy Young Award.

Game 3: Paul Byrd on the mound for the Tribe and Mike Mussina throwing 85 mph heaters and 69 mph off-speed stuff, resulting in a Yankee 3-6 win. Bryd gave up 5 runs in 6.1 offering up batting-practice-like homeruns to the likes of Damon, Giambi, and Cano. Not one of the finer outings from Byrd, who had pitched well over his previous 4 starts, though his record now stands at 1 win and 3 losses. This is looking like a team that you should be happy to get three runs from, especially with Victor out of the lineup and Hafner flirting with the Mendoza line.


Victor sat out games 1 and 3 with a stiff neck. Wedge commented that Victor really gutted out his game 2 DH assignment. Here's hoping he is back in the lineup soon. This offense (well what is left of it) really needs his bat in the lineup.

Do you remember when we had guys on the team named Mastny and Breslow? Me neither. At least Julio got to play major league reliever today.

Hafner got a rare two days off not starting in games 2 or 3. He did pinch hit for Marte, making a rare two game start and getting a also rare hit, in game 2 with the bases loaded and one out. His at bat? A three pitch outing resulting in a force at home by the catcher Molina who then threw to first for the DP. Indians beat writer Anthony Castrovince described it as not even getting to the grass in front of home plate. (Shaking head) Travis, Travis, Travis.

Speaking of Anthony Castrovince, he now has a MLBlog called CastroTurf. It offers insight that's a little more interesting and humorous than just the straight game information - you know, what I strive for here, without any god given talent.

What's Coming Up: A four game series with Toronto (17-18).

Game 1: Roy Halladay, RHP (3-4, 3.00) vs. C.C. Sabathia, LHP (1-5, 7.51)
Game 2: Dustin McGowan, RHP (2-2, 2.95) vs. Aaron Laffey, LHP (0-2, 2.84)
Game 3: A.J. Burnett, RHP (3-3, 5.19) vs. Fausto Carmona, RHP (3-1, 2.95)
Game 4: Shaun Marcum, RHP (4-2, 2.59) vs. Cliff Lee, LHP (6-0, 0.81)

Who shows up for game 1, good C.C. or crappy C.C.? This reminds me of three seasons ago when you weren't sure which Jake Westbrook would show up to pitch a game, but you at least knew he would pitch quickly.

Aaron Laffey has pitched impressively this season and Sowers, now at AAA, hasn't been too shabby himself. That's at least a little heart warming.

Fausto Carmona, whose record and ERA don't show it, has become sort of a BB machine. Hoynes over at the PD has a story quoting Carmona as saying his sinker is actually going up. Either way I have faith that Carl Willis will figure this out, well I hope he does anyway.

Jason Michaels, after being DFA'd, was traded to the Pirates for, wait for it. . . a player to be named later. I can only imagine the PTBNL that is just waiting in the wings from the Buccos. At least we didn't accept their rumored first offer, four cases of Iron City. No thanks.

Go Tribe!

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