Thursday, September 4

White Sox haven't seen the last of these Indians

After an embarrassing sweep at home at the hands of the worst team in baseball, I had high hopes that the two best pitchers on the Tribe staff, Lee and Carmona (Reyes is a very close third at this point), would help right the ship and return some normalcy. I was not wrong.

Cliff Lee took the mound Monday night on a game televised on Cleveland local channel 3, meaning that Mike couldn't watch it. Anyway this was another vintage Lee gem. At one point he retired 21 straight batters as he pitched his way to the complete game shutout of one of the best offenses in the world. Offensively the Tribe had 10 hits and scored five runs, but the obvious story of the week and probably the season was Cliff Lee's 20th win. Yes, not since Gaylord Perry (1974) and the introduction of the five-man rotation have the Indians had a 20-win pitcher. Wedge remarked that Indians fans shouldn't have had to wait this long. Congratulations for Cliff and for making almost every fifth game worth looking forward to in a disappointing season. Cliff Lee wins, 5-0.

Game two of the series wasn't much different. Sure the White Sox scored and the lead at one point was cut to one run, but the outcome was still the same. Carmona was cruising for the first five innings, but ran into a little trouble in the sixth. While Carmona kept the walks to only three he didn't make it out of the sixth going 5.2 and giving up three earned runs. However the bullpen was in fine form and Betancourt, Perez, and Donnelly all pitched scoreless innings, with Perez going 1.1. Offensively the Tribe came through again scoring two runs each in the second and fourth innings. In the seventh, after the White Sox closed the gap to 4-3 the Indians dropped a five run inning on the boys from the South Side. The offensive highlight was Victor's first home run since September of last year, coming in the second inning. With 13 hits, everyone participated with either an RBI or a run. Tribe win 9-3.

The final game against the White Sox at home this season saw the usual Jeremy Sowers take the mound. He was his usual dominant self for four innings, but as I've mentioned about Sowers before, unfortunately dominating for four innings doesn't always win you games. Not helping was the Indians' offense, which was similarly baffled by ChiSox pitcher Vazquez. The White Sox came alive in the fifth and sixth innings, scoring two runs in each. This ended Sowers' day at 5.1 innings and four runs and ended his attempt at win number three. The Tribe did score two runs in the sixth but that was unfortunately their total offensive output of the day. The big news was the squirrel delay that lasted a minute in the ninth. Other than that the bullpen did a fine job with Rincon going 2.1 scoreless. Rich Rundles made his major league debut with the Tribe in the ninth with two outs and proceeded to give up a walk. Rundles' box score line reading 0.0 innings with one walk, hey it could have been worse. Tribe lose 4-2.

In other Indians news Aaron Laffey has been shut down for the season due to elbow soreness. He supposedly tried to pitch through the pain his last two starts and it showed, trust me. This eliminates the talk of the six-man rotation. Supposedly an MRI was taken and he doesn't require surgery, so here's to his speedy recovery.

Hafner continues his rehab assignment, which makes sense. Unfortunately the AAA season is over and he'll be assigned to another minor league team.

Speaking of the AAA season, the Tribe have informed MLB that they are cutting ties with Buffalo and looking for a new AAA site. Of course this new site is Columbus, OH soon to be vacated by the Washington Nationals AAA team. This is an exciting development for me. I look forward to the day I get to travel a short 1.5 hours to a Cleveland Indians AAA game. This also ends another Buffalo Buffaloes team which my editor so often likes to make fun of.

Moving on, starting tomorrow the Indians will be playing 14 games in 13 days. Starting off this march towards the sea that is the end of the season is a series against Kansas City at Kauffman Stadium.

Game 1: Anthony Reyes, RHP (4-2, 2.93) vs. Brandon Duckworth, RHP (2-0, 4.91)
Game 2: Zach Jackson, LHP (0-1, 6.00) vs. Gil Meche, RHP (10-10, 4.07)
Game 3: Cliff Lee, LHP (20-2, 2.32) vs. Zack Greinke, RHP (10-9, 3.67)

I have complete faith in the Indians for this series. While a sweep is probably out of the question less than two wins would be a disappointment. However winning games isn't exactly the focus of the Indians right now. With all the September call ups I'm not sure who will see playing time, but it should be interesting.

Go Tribe!

(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

1 comment:

Andy said...

Not a bad series for the boys. Lee, Carmona, and Reyes give me confidence when they go out there.

Carmona worries me in that he has one more walk than last season in 114 fewer innings. That's ridiculous! His K-rate is also down 30%, which is alarming. I think both have something to do with throwing strikes, no?

Rundles threw exactly 4 pitches, I believe. I think his name sounds too much like "grundle" for him to be too successful.

The Tribe taking over Columbus is terrific news. It's about time. Remember when it used to be a Yankee franchise? Shudder. Now we have AAA, AA, and two A affiliates all in Ohio. I need to get down to an Aeros game.

If Buffalo has proven one thing over the years, its a resillience when it comes to giving its sports franchises buffalo-related names. Have no fear.