Monday, August 18

Indians Take Two From The Halos

In the previous series review, I mentioned that there was a chance the Tribe could win this series. Of course, I also mentioned that due to the bullpen's continued efforts to make me swear off baseball altogether, I wasn't sure what would happen past Cliff Lee's start. However, things went the Indians' way and here we sit, the first AL team to win a series against the Angels since mid-May.

Cliff Lee was the Indians' starter for game one of this series. With Cliff on the mound going for win number 17 you suspected he would do well but it is always a question with this bullpen of how deep into a game he should go. The quick answer is the longer the better and Lee didn't disappoint in this game. Lee pitched a complete game, giving up just two runs on eight hits and lowering his ERA to 2.43 on the way to his AL-leading 17th win. This against one of the best teams in baseball is impressive, but that has been Cliff Lee this entire season. Offensively the Tribe needed three runs for this win and that was all they got. Peralta, Garko, and Cabrera accounted for the driving in of those three runs. Both teams put up eight hits but the Indians drew five walks to the Angels' two. One of those walks was Kelly Shoppach, who later scored. Actually, Kelly was the only walk to score but never mind that. Tribe win 2-3.

Oh Cleveland Indians of 2008, the second game of this series was not your best effort. I'm sure this is the type of game that gives Wedge headaches. Carmona, he of the inconsistent starting, took the mound for game two of the series. Carmona pitched well going seven innings and only earning two runs. Usually that is all you can ask from a pitcher. However Carmona had some hard luck with the Indians posting four errors on the evening. Of course one of those errors was by Carmona himself so he still takes some of that blame too. But with half of the four Angels runs unearned, things weren't looking easy for the Indians. Betancourt did make a relief appearance and pitched two lights-out scoreless innings. His line was all zeroes except for that one strikeout, a glaring blight in the box score. On the offensive side of the field the Indians only mustered three runs off of starter Lackey, which is all you could ask of the offense on a usual night. Next came the Angels bullpen going three innings only allowing a hit per inning and no runs. The Indians did strand thirteen compared to the Angels' six. Indians lose 4-3.

The rubber match for the series, game three, brought with it so many questions. Would Sowers pick up win number two? Would the bullpen explode again? Would the score involve a team scoring three runs? Would Sal Fasano continue his dominance of all things facial hair? Well Sowers pitched a solid 6.2 innings, surrendering only three runs. Perez followed with 1.1 scoreless and Lewis picked up save number three after giving up two hits. Offensively the Indians had contributions from Gutierrez, Garko, and Sizemore. Garko batted in four of the Tribe's nine runs during this series so he seems to have picked up a little on his hitting of late. Strangely Grady was hit with only his second error of the season and once again looks to be on an all out effort to jeopardize any future he has with this team. Oh and Sowers takes home win number dos. Tribe win 3-4.

Amazingly the Indians did it. While not a sweep, this is probably the best this team could hope for, but those errors in game two still hurt. The Indians won this series on great-to-solid starting pitching and a consistent, but not overpowering offense. This series reminded me a lot of last year. Not so much that I became delusional, just that the Indians won games that were close and had contributions from enough guys to close out these games.

In other news, Martinez homered last night for the Aeros, scoring one of their two runs in a loss. Tonight Barfield and Hafner are in Buffalo, soon to be joined by Martinez. Hafner is already 1 for 2 on the night with a double.

Thank the scheduling gods for this Monday home off day for the Indians. KC is up next. Yes, a team a solid 1.5 games back of the Indians.

Game 1: Luke Hochevar, RHP (6-11, 5.44) vs. Anthony Reyes, RHP (3-2, 3.67)
Game 2: Gil Meche, RHP (10-9, 4.13) vs. Zach Jackson, LHP (0-0, 5.19)
Game 3: Zack Greinke, RHP (9-8, 3.92) vs. Cliff Lee, LHP (17-2, 2.43)

I'll take these matchups. I'm a little worried about Jackson against Meche, but we'll see how the Tribe handles these three righthanders. The Indians have been playing decently these last few series and are 7-3 over their last ten.

Go Tribe!

(AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

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