Monday, July 27

Obviously Betancourt was weighing this team down.

If you don't already know the results of this weekend's Cleveland Indians series in Seattle, I hate to ruin it for you upfront, but the Cleveland Indians have now won four in a row. This series the Indians offense scored 9, 10, and 12 runs, while the Mariners mustered a grand total of just six runs, with three runs apiece coming in the last two games of this three game series.

Getting things started for the Indians was Aaron Laffey. Laffey pitched a gem, going 7.0 innings, allowing only three hits and recording a career-high seven strikeouts. Laffey was backed by an Indians offense that only scored one run the first six innings. Both Travis Hafner and Ben Francisco homered in the seventh to give Laffey a relatively safe margin of four runs. Joe Smith and Tony Sipp split the eighth inning two outs to one, respectively, and Rafael Perez pitched a two-strikeout ninth to close the book on the Mariners. Oh and the Indians scored five runs in the top of the ninth too. Indians (39-58) win 9-0.

Saturday's game saw a bench clearing, well it wasn't a brawl really. Everyone just stood around but the benches were cleared nonetheless. Anywho, Jeremy Sowers took the mound for the Indians and the last post I may have referred to him as pretty much just a AAA pitcher. Let's not get too excited about this, but Sowers also went seven innings giving up, wait for it, zero runs. Offensively the Indians spread the runs out a little more this time scoring two, four, two, and two runs starting in the third inning and ending in the sixth. Chris Gimenez, Asdrubal Cabrera, and the hot-hitting Ryan Garko all homered with one guy on. Gimenez also had an awesome catch in right field to take away a home run. As for the fight, I'm not even going to go into details. However I will point out Jose Veras has pretty much sucked since we picked him up. This game's effort saw him give up two runs on three hits before getting out of the ninth. Tribe (40-58) win 10-3.

Today's series finally begins with me saying Cliff Lee started and pretty much ends with Jhonny Peralta hitting a grand slam. That's all you need to know. Sure, Lee gave up two runs in the first but that was it. Did the Indians hit any home runs this series? Yes Grady Sizemore, the aforementioned Mr. Peralta, Hafner, and Francisco all homered bringing the grand total for the weekend to 11. Tribe (41-58) win 12-3.

Make no mistake: the Indians destroyed this Mariners this weekend. Tons of offense, amazing starting pitching were my ridiculously obvious reasons for this series sweep. Laffey's outing was encouraging, Sowers' was more maddening but as always well see him pitch again later, and Lee was his usual self. The offense coming alive was something we haven't seen over a sustained stretch of three games yet this season. Sure, that series against the Yankees in New York was nice but this was different. So what does it mean? Probably very little. The Mariners are still over .500 and this is the same team the Indians lost three out of four in Cleveland just a week ago.

An interesting note is that the Indians will have faced nine straight left-handed starters coming Monday. I hope Garko and Francisco have enjoyed it.

The Indians now head to California to take on the Angels.

Game 1:Carl Pavano, RHP (8-8, 5.48) vs. Joe Saunders, LHP (8-6, 4.94)
Game 2:David Huff, LHP (5-4, 6.39) vs. Jered Weaver, RHP (10-3, 3.57)
Game 3:Aaron Laffey, LHP (4-2, 3.71) vs. John Lackey, RHP (6-4, 4.22)

I like our chances against Saunders tomorrow. Hopefully, the good Carl Pavano shows up. Jered Weaver and John Lackey are two pretty good pitchers. Weaver has been good all year and Lackey is coming off two strong starts. Starting pitching is what has really impressed these last two series and hopefully David Huff and Laffey can keep it going.

Go Tribe!

(AP Photo/John Froschauer)

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