Saturday, April 10

Tribe take two from White Sox

While I was pretty optimistic about the Indians this year I can probably be easily convinced that this team won't be that good either. Realistically we have no starting rotation. Jake Westbrook hasn't really pitched in two years, Fausto Carmona hasn't been good since 2007, and then you get into guys that my dad couldn't pick out of a lineup. Remind me again: did we get Justin Masterson in the Victor Martinez trade or the Cliff Lee deal? Either way, the bottom line is: if the Indians can take two out of three from the White Sox then I'll be a happy Indians fan.

Game two against the White Sox on Wednesday saw the pitching matchup of Carmona versus Jake Peavy. Carmona was coming off a strong spring and Peavy was coming in with a lot to prove, like being able to win games for a good team and in the AL. Well things really didn't work out for either of them. Carmona did get the win, I guess, but walking six guys wasn't the way we wanted him to do it. The good news is Fausto really didn't let things spiral out of control like they tended to do last season. This time he held the White Sox to one hit, a home run to a certain player I really dislike, and in the end got tagged for three runs. Peavy, on the other hand, didn't take things so well. Going only 5.0 and surrendering seven hits isn't the thing you do when your team spots you a three-run lead by the top of the fourth. In the end, the Indians offense had ten hits with Travis Hafner and Mike Redmond the only starters coming away hitless. Tribe (1-1) win 5-3.

The rubber match of the series saw the aforementioned Masterson taking the mound. Masterson looked pretty good but only went 5.0 innings, a problem for this Indians rotation so far this year. This being an 11-inning game meant the Tribe used no less than seven pitchers. Following Masterson was Jamey Wright, Tony Sipp, Joe Smith, Rafael Perez, Jensen Lewis, and our closer for the time, that being Chris Perez. Two performances stand out from the six relievers. The first is Jensen Lewis; throwing 1.2 innings of no-hit ball and getting the win is no small feat for a guy who would probably not be labeled "consistent" in his past performances. The other is Chris Perez, who now has two saves after the first three games with one walk and no hits in his two innings. When's Kerry Wood coming back, and is there any way to delay that? Offensively the Indians haven't really been flashing a lot of power but the season is still early and these last two games have been pretty cold. However during this game Grady Sizemore's three hits really made the difference. That and Michael Brantley getting on base twice to eventually be driven in by Grady both times didn't hurt either. I know this sounds simple, but you have to have guys on base to score runs. Tribe (2-1) win in 11, 5-3.

Like I said at the top of the post the Indians taking two out of three from the White Sox on the road is a wonderful thing. The starting rotation is still a little shaky but could go either way this season. The Tribe are currently taking on the Detroit Tigers and lost the first game yesterday in a three-game series. I'll include yesterday's loss in my Sunday night Tigers series wrap up.

Game 1: Was David Huff vs. Rick Porcello
Game 2: Mitch Talbot, RHP (0-0, -.--) vs. Jeremy Bonderman, RHP (0-0, -.--)
Game 3: Jake Westbrook, RHP (0-1, 11.25) vs. Justin Verlander, RHP (0-0, 7.20)

I like the idea that the Tribe is just dropping these home openers out of respect for the home teams only to eventually take the next two games; hopefully that holds up today and tomorrow. Bonderman is still coming back from some injuries in 2007 and 2008 and I for one hope he's not completely healthy again. That and I'm looking forward to Mitch unleashing the fury. Jake's 11.25 ERA goes up against Verlander's 7.20 on Sunday, - I expect them both to lower that ERA a little.

Go Tribe!

(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

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