Thursday, April 15

Tribe Struggle to Win One of Three from the Rangers

After today's sweep saving game my first thought was: "this shouldn't be this difficult." Winning your first game in the last six tries shouldn't take a complete game four-hit effort and a game-winning home run in the eighth. But I'm getting ahead of myself - we have some losing to discuss first.

Fausto Carmona took the mound in front of a sold-out house in Cleveland on a beautiful 55-degree day on the shores of Lake Erie for the home opener. Carmona went 8.0 innings and in the process became the first Indians starter to see the seventh inning this year. Unfortunately for Carmona, the Tribe were tied 2-2 at this point and handing the game over to the bullpen is always a gamble. Well not really a gamble recently, because I think we expect them to implode every time at this point. Offensively this game was all Choo who had three hits and scored each of the whopping two runs the Indians put on the board, including a first-inning two-out home run. After Carmona, Chris Perez gave up a hit and two walks to load the bases without recording an out before being yanked. Tony Sipp got his one out, left the bases loaded, and departed, leaving Jamey Wright to work the remaining 1.2 innings of this 11 inning affair. You can probably see where this is going, Tribe (2-5) lose 4-2. (Francis note: Wright did get us out of a bases-loaded, 1-out jam before getting rocked in the 11th. We need to score a damn run in the home half after something like that.)

I'm glad the Indians were able to let Nelson Cruz and Colby Lewis look like the superstars they obviously are. Cruz hit his sixth home run of the young season, while Lewis, who wasn't originally scheduled to start this game, struck out 10 in 5.2 innings of work. Tribe starter Justin Masterson struck out nine in 6.0 innings but he also gave up nine hits. Even the relief of Aaron Laffey couldn't save this one, as Laffey went 1.2 and gave up as many runs as Masterson at two apiece. Guess who had the highest WPA for this game offensively for the Indians? I'm sure you guessed Shin-Soo Choo, who had two hits and two walks. Indians (2-6) lose again 6-2.

Today's game was a win, but you already knew that. Choo's three-run home run in the bottom of the eighth is all the scoring the Indians mustered. The Indians only struck out three times but only walked once while leaving seven on base. With Chris Perez warming up in the bullpen (oh god, no) Huff was able to get out of the ninth and get the complete game. After the game Huff supposedly told Choo he owed him a steak dinner. At this point in the season I think we all owe Choo a steak dinner, but is it too much to ask the offense for a few runs when your starter goes the distance and only gives up two runs? Indians (3-6) win 3-2.

Strangely, four of the last five losses for the Indians have seen them score only two runs. The Indians are not going to win many games scoring only two runs. Wednesday night's game was historic in the sense that it saw an all time new low in attendance at Progressive Field with a reported attendance of 10,071 way fewer than the 10,198 who showed up for today's win. Come on down folks, plenty of good seats still available.

Game 1: Mark Buehrle, LHP (2-0, 2.40) vs. Mitch Talbot, RHP (0-1, 7.20)
Game 2: Jake Peavy, RHP (0-0, 8.44) vs. Jake Westbrook, RHP (0-1, 7.45)
Game 3: Gavin Floyd, RHP (0-1, 4.50) vs. Fausto Carmona, RHP (1-0, 3.21)

How's this for optimism: if we win tomorrow, I will be shocked. Nevertheless, winning this series is still possible.

Go Tribe!

(AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

1 comment:

Andy said...

we all owe Choo a steak dinner
I thought that was terrific.

I can't tell you how much I'd like to fill one of those empties at Progressive Field...