Sunday, July 12

They were who we thought they were.

The Tribe played a three-game series against the very much still in first place in the AL Central Detroit Tigers in that expanse of a ballpark they call Comerica. Were there some highlights? Sure - this is baseball - but mostly it was pretty much the same results we've come to expect from these Indians over the last couple of months.

Friday's series opener saw Edwin Jackson and Cliff Lee taking the mound for their respective teams. While Lee went seven innings and gave up three runs on five hits Jackson's line of seven innings one run on four hits was better. Cliff Lee got no run support and that pretty much says it all. That single run is thanks to Ryan Garko (starting in the huge right field in Detroit) hitting a solo shot in the fifth. Garko in the outfield meant Kelly Shoppach and his .194 average was behind the plate. Having to squeeze Victor Martinez, Shoppach, Garko and Travis Hafner into a lineup is not a part of Eric Wedge's job that I envy. Tribe lose (34-53) 1-5.

Saturday's game was the first STO game I've seen this year thanks to a free MLB.TV preview. I missed the first few frames due to a phone call but I saw what I suspect were the important Cleveland Indians parts. It was Negro League night before a sold out crowd in Detroit, so the Detriot Stars were taking on the Cleveland Buckeyes. Carl Pavano had a really good game for the Buckeyes. He got a first pitch strike on 90% of the Stars batters he faced. That and eight innings of work and Pavano was everything a team playing this bad could ask for. The Buckeyes didn't have a home run, but did hit four doubles and a triple by Grady Sizemore. OK, one of those doubles was stretched into a triple and Luis Valbuena was called out because the umpire couldn't see that a tag was never applied, but that's the way it goes I guess. The play that put the Buckeyes up for good was a two RBI single Hafner blooped into left field that Ryan Raburn had in his glove but couldn't hold on to on a dive. After that Pavano cruised. Kerry Wood, who is our closer and all, was called on to pitch the ninth. Wood walked Placido Polanco on four straight fastballs and after falling behind Miguel Cabrera 1-2 he gave up a two-run homer, making it a one-run game. After that, Wood settled down and got two flyouts and an infield ground out. Kerry Wood's outing aside, this was a nice game. The picture for this article is of an Adam Everett bunt that Peralta fielded barehanded and threw a strike to Garko at first. It was a impressive play. Other than that some guy named Clete Thomas is platooning with Magglio Ordonez in right field. Really Clete? Buckeyes (35-53) win 5-4.

Sunday's match-up was All-Star Justin Verlander against Tomo Ohka. Guess how this one turned out? I'll make this short. Ohka goes 3.2 allowing five, followed by Mike Gosling's 1.1 and three runs, followed by Winston Abreu's 1.0 and two runs, Chris Perez and Rafeal Betancourt finish off the final two bottom frames with scoreless innings. The Indians lone run came in the ninth. Jhonny Peralta walks, Valbuena hits a double, Ben Francisco walks to load the bases and then Jamey Carroll walks. Take that, shutout! Tribe (35-54) lose 10-1.

The good news is we have the All-Star game to thank for a break in this mess of an Indians season. Tomorrow is the sometimes way-too-long Home Run Derby, followed by the game Tuesday and an off day Wednesday, and we don't have to see this team take the field again until Thursday against the Mariners. With Pavano's excellent eight-inning effort on Saturday, his future is almost guaranteed to be with another team come the July 31st trade deadline. So expect to see a lot more of Ohka and Jeremy Sowers since they might not be going anywhere soon.

(AP Photo/Duane Burleson)


Anonymous said...

First off, I hope they trade Pavano because he's gone at the end of the year anyway so we might as well get something for him. Next, it's pretty sad when the guy giving up a two run homer and surviving by the skin of his teeth to get a save is one of our best assets in the bullpen. Also, as much as I have ripped him in the past, (and although I am probably the only one) I still see potential in Peralta (offenively) if he would just get his head out of his backside and focus on hitting the ball to the opposite field. By the way, does anyone have an explanation as to why Garko doesn't play everyday? And when he does, why on earth does he play right field while Choo plays left field with his arm? Whatever, at least we can look forward to the Browns this year... Psych!

Andy said...

I'm undefeated lifetime (1-0) attending Cleveland Buckeyes games when the Detroit Stars host them.

Hey, at least Edwin Jackson's on the FCF fantasy team.

Clete Thomas being white boggles my mind. He's the modern Reggie Cleveland.