Thursday, July 9

And the Tribe played on.

I'm going to say that we've hit an all-new low in Indians interest here but they keep playing them so I occasionally listen to them, at least for a few innings.

Game one was a typical Jeremy Sowers start - he was doing OK for a few innings only to see it fall apart after the fourth. Jeremy's customary 5.1 innings resulted in four earned runs on five hits. Newly-acquired Chris Perez pitched the rest of the sixth inning, which resulted in two more earned runs and his second blown save. Yes, he already has two blown saves with us. Chris you're fitting in just fine. Fellow newcomer Winston Abreu did his best to fit into our bullpen scheme by getting one out and surrendering four runs on three hits. I once named a cow Winston, after Sir Winston Churchill. Somehow everyone's favorite back-end reliever Tomo Ohka pitched the remaining 1.2 innings and didn't allow a hit. Offensively, Grady Sizemore did hit two home runs, netting a whole three runs batted in. Shin-Soo Choo and Travis Hafner both had two hits each. If you've added up all the runs given up by Indians pitching you might see where this is going, Indians (33-51) lose 6-10.

Thursday saw the return of Aaron Laffey to the Indians starting rotation. While his rehab starts from the oblique injury were less than spectacular, he is back after missing the required minimum six weeks the oblique injury seems to require. Unfortunately for Laffey and the Tribe they were facing Jose Contreras who has been lights out since being sent down to AAA and recalled. Maybe the White Sox threatened to send him to back to Cuba because Contreras had the Indians swing and missing on his way to striking out nine Indians in 6.1 innings of work. Laffey did OK but maybe six weeks off and some bullpen work hadn't done him any real favors as demonstrated by his 6.0 innings and four runs on seven hits. Actually, four runs in six is above average for this staff, so I guess Laffey did fine. Jhonny Peralta hit and scored the only Indians run with a solo shot off Contreras in the seventh. Other than that the only other highlight was Chris Perez pitching a scoreless and hitless eighth. Indians (33-52) lose 1-5.

Today's day game was intermittently listened to through the flimsiest-constructed free Chinese-made headphones you can find in Mexico. About halfway through the game the right speaker goes out and listening to the game becomes almost unbearable, but not for the usual reasons. Kelly Shoppach had one hit, a grand slam, and two walks and two strike outs. What are the three true outcomes again? Ryan Garko added four hits and Peralta chipped in three and Choo struck out three times going hitless. Pitching wise this wasn't a game to remember. Three of the six pitchers used by the White Sox combined for ten walks. Chicago reliever D.J. Carrasco accounted for five in 1.2 innings alone. On the other side of the coin, David Huff (pictured above since I wasn't even sure what he looked like) gave up a massive eight runs on eleven hits in 4.1 innings. However, the Indians' bullpen some how, some way, (keeps coming up with funky ass shit like every single day) pitched 4.2 innings of shutout ball. The headline was that Kerry Wood pitched his first ever 1.0+ inning save going 1.1 innings. Betancourt pitched a scoreless inning and it was nice to see him back. The Tribe (34-52) was ahead all day and needed every single run to win 10-8.

Well I'm beyond the point of saying stuff like, Garko shouldn't be in the outfield (he had a few hits today and a clutch RBI) and Sowers should be pitching out of the bullpen. What I will say is when our radios announcers spend a good deal of time talking about the Twins and the White Sox playing a series this weekend you get the sense that this season is over for those only interested in competitive baseball.

The Indians head to Detroit for a series against the Tigers who lead this AL Central by 2.5 games...but not over the Tribe.

Game 1: Cliff Lee, LHP (4-8, 3.45) vs. Edwin Jackson, RHP (6-4, 2.59)
Game 2: Carl Pavano, RHP (7-7, 5.36) vs. Armando Galarraga, RHP (5-7, 5.03)
Game 3: Tomo Ohka, RHP (0-2, 5.65) vs. Justin Verlander, RHP (9-4, 3.59)

Wait Ohka? Didn't he pitch in relief Tuesday? Yes, Carmona isn't ready and so To-mo Oh-ka (clap, clap, clap-clap-clap) is taking the mound. The Cliff Lee / Edwin Jackson matchup is obviously the pitching centerpiece of this series.

Go Tribe!

(AP Photo/David Banks)

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