Yesterday was a busy day at the baseball winter meetings. Unfortunately for the Tribe, ‘busy’ does not mean ‘good’.
The Tigers pulled off the trade of the year, getting 24 year old Miguel Cabrera and 25 year old Dontrelle Willis. Both players have won a World Series, and both have multiple all-star appearances. The Tigers parted with two of the top prospects in all of baseball, Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller, and four other minor leaguers.
The Indians in the meantime were rumored to be working on that Jason Bay deal. Well, reports from ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick aren’t good-
You can rule out any talk of Pittsburgh trading Jason Bay to Cleveland for a Kelly Shoppach–Cliff Lee package. That one is dead. Bay is Pirates GM Neal Huntington‘s main trade chip, and the Bucs aren’t going to give him away after he’s coming off such a down year. Continue reading
The latest trade rumor to come from the winter meetings in Nashville is being reported by Peter Gammons. It involves the Tigers and the Marlins. The proposed deal is for Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis. The Marlins would get a plethora of prospects in this package. Can you imagine that offense? Start with Granderson and Polanco, then hit Ordonez, Cabrera and Sheffield. Wow. That is serious power. Scary power. And if Willis can return to form, that would be a significant improvement to the rotation. I guess we’ll have to pay more attention to this one as the meetings continue.
The Celtics came into Cleveland with the league’s best record. They ran into a Cavs team determined to remind them who the defending conference champs are.
This was a truly great game. Both teams made runs, and each had big baskets or defensive stops to keep the game within reach. Back and forth they went. The Cavs won the first period, the Celtics roared back in the second. The Cavs came out strong in the third, then lost the lead in the fourth. They made a serious run with about 5 minutes left in the game, only to see Boston storm back to take the lead again. In the final minute Ray Allen missed on two free throws after Sasha nailed a huge three in the corner. LeBron held for a final shot, but missed sending the game to the OT.
This was one of those games that anyone could have won. Had it gone a few minutes longer I’m sure the Celtics would have made another run to tie it, or take the lead. But the clock ran out on Boston, and the Cavs came away with only the second win against the Celtics this season, 109-104.
LeBron was his usual, pouring in 38 points including 11 in the extra frame. He had a team high 13 assists to go along with 4 boards, 2 steals and 2 huge blocks. The story of the game however was Drew Gooden. Gooden had 24 points and 13 rebounds, but absolutely caught fire in the 3rd with 16 points on only 8 attempts. He grabbed some huge rebounds (5 to be exact) for the Cavs in the overtime as well. Continue reading
The guys at Ghosts of Wayne Fontes have kept their word, and today there is a guest article over there. Thanks to Stan and Rupert, and of course Chris Wells and the Ohio State defense that made the victory possible. So in my five minutes of infamy over there I discussed last week’s game, and talked about the Ohio-Michigan, and Cleveland-Detroit rivalry. It was fun, and I hope that I get to do it again. It seems that Rupert is not an M-State fan, but in fact a UM guy. So he insisted on the same wager for The Game. No problem. That post would be a lot more fun to write I have to say.
So go check out the post. Ok. No really, go check it out. Serious. Why are you still here?
No more magic number…
The Cleveland Indians officially won the 2007 Central Division Championship on Sunday, beating the Oakland A’s 6-2 before a sellout crowd, their last home game of the regular season. It was the first time since 2001 that the Indians have won the title. And there was much rejoicing in Cleveland.
The magic number…
The Indians didn’t get out the brooms yesterday. They broke out the shovels and buried the Tigers. They’re done. They will not make the playoffs. C.C. and the Tribe won 4-2 on a positively gorgeous day at the Jake. (I’m calling it that forever- I don’t care who buys the naming rights.) Continue reading
Filed under Asdrubal Cabrera, baseball, C.C. Sabathia, Casey Blake, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Division race, Franklin Gutierrez, Indians, Jacob's Field, Pennant race, Rafael Betancourt, Sports
The Indians all but burried the Tigers’ post-season plans with 4 homes runs, and a 7-4 victory on Tuesday night.
Ryan Garko hit the first one, a solo shot in the 2nd. Hafner’s 3-run blast in the 3rd tied the game, and Victor put the Tribe up for good in the 6th. Just for good measure, Franklin Gutierrez hit a 2 run insurance shot later that same inning. Continue reading
Filed under baseball, Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Division race, Franklin Gutierrez, Indians, Jacob's Field, Jake Westbrook, Joe Borowski, Ryan Garko, Sports, Travis Hafner, Victor Martinez
John is going to take on the Browns recap, I’ll just say- that’s exactly what I thought was going to happen (shakes head sarcastically.)
I will mention that the Indians took the required two of three from the Royals this weekend. As was described in an earlier post, Casey Blake and the Tribe homered their way to a win on Friday night. On Saturday, Fausto Carmona pitched another gem, going 8 innings while allowing only 3 hits, 0 runs, and striking out 9. His record now stands at 17-8, with a 3.08 era. His 24 quality starts is actually one better than C.C.’s. (His era is too, but we don’t want to start rumors that he should win the Cy Young- it will split the Cleveland vote.) The Indians scored 6 runs on the night, 4 of which came in the eighth inning. It wouldn’t matter though, as Perez came in and struck out the side in the ninth. Continue reading
Filed under Aaron Laffey, baseball, Browns, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Division race, Fausto Carmona, Indians, Jamal Lewis, Rafael Perez, Sports
The Indians lost the final game of the year with the White Sox 7-4. They end the season series up 11-7 against the pale hose. In fact the Indians won each of the series in this rivalry save for one in mid-July. And though we gave away 3 runs in the 5th, I’m really not that upset with the loss. We finished this road trip 7-3, which was a game better than I asked for at the time. We also lost only a half game to the Tigers in that time period (assuming the Tigers finish off the Rangers tonight) and come home with a 5.5 game lead, and a magic number of 11. If the Indians simply play .500 ball the Tigers would need to go 14-1 for 1st.
I prefer to talk about Jim Thome’s place in history. In the fourth inning, Thome hit career home run number 499 off former teammate Jake Westbrook. Obviously this leaves him 1 away from a very special club. Much has been made lately about who is hall of fame worthy, and whether 500 homers or 3000 hits is an automatic pass to Cooperstown. Many say that with the expanded league, quality of starting pitching, and sheer number of players from this era surpassing the 500 homer level that it should not be a bench mark anymore. Others say that with the possibility of so many ‘juiced’ athletes it is impossible to tell whether or not the home runs have been achieved on the up and up. Continue reading
Great win for the Tribe last night. Fausto was strong, but Cabrera and Lofton were perhaps a bit better.
The game started in a steady rain, and it rarely let up until the umps finally called for the tarp after the 7th was complete. The White Sox got their runs in the first, and things looked bleak as Gavin Floyd was cruising allowing only one hit through the first 4 innings. We scored 1 run in the 5th on a hit and an error, and were shut down again in the 6th. As the rain began to fall harder in the 7th it was obvious that if the Indians didn’t score, they were more than likely going to bring the tarps out, and possibly for good. Kenny Lofton wasn’t about to let that happen. Continue reading
Filed under Asdrubal Cabrera, baseball, Ben Francisco, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Division race, Fausto Carmona, Grady Sizemore, Indians, Paul Byrd, Rafael Betancourt, Sports
The Indians wasted no time today, scoring three runs in the first inning. Consecutive doubles by Hafner and Martinez plated all 3 runs. The bats were active all day long, (15 hits) but getting the runners home proved to be a bit troublesome until the ninth. Peralta’s two out double gave the Tribe a nice insurance run, and then Lofton came through with another two out hit scoring another pair. Final score- Indians 6, Minnesota 2.
When the Tribe wasn’t getting doubles (5 of them today), they were striking out. Indian hitters whiffed 11 times today, including several times with runners in scoring position. In the ninth Martinez and Garko both fanned with Cabrera at second and Hafner at first. In the fourth Cabrera struck out with men at second and third, and Victor struck out in the same inning with the bases full. Even in the first, there were no outs with runners at first and second when Peralta and Gutierrez fanned. Fortunately for the Tribe none of those runs came back to haunt them. Continue reading
Filed under Asdrubal Cabrera, baseball, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Division race, Fausto Carmona, Indians, Jhonny Peralta, Pennant race, Rafael Perez, Sports, Travis Hafner, Victor Martinez, Wild Card race
Down to their last out, Cleveland found a way to win last night, thanks to Hafner’s second home run, AND Asdrubal Cabrera’s double. Much will be written about Pronk’s blasts, and there should be. But without Carbera’s two-out double, the game would never have gone to extra innings. Cabrera went 3-6 in the game, including that double off Minnesota closer Joe Nathan.
Hafner had his first multi-homer game of the season (could that be?) with his dad in the stands. His first home run ‘measured’ 424 feet. It was a monster drive into the upper deck in right field. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Pronk hit a ball that far. His 4 rbi carried the Tribe to a win when it looked like a loss. In fact, the Tribe’s 2-4 hitters went 7-15 with 5 rbi.
I have to give the bullpen some love though. Laffey struggled with his command and lasted only 4 innings. Lewis, Mastny, Betancourt, and Borowski combined to pitch 7 shutout innings. Betancourt deserves special mention, as he worked through a tough 10th innning and got a key strikeout against Joe Mauer with the bases loaded. Rafael came away with the win, his 4th on the season. He lowered his era to 1.48 with his 2 innings of work. Thanks to this bullpen the Indians officially buried the Twins, and took advantage of another Detroit loss. The Indians are now 7 games up with only 24 to play. Carmona gets the ball today. I’d like to see him put his last start behind him. He gave up 5 runs to the White Sox if you remember. I have to say that I’m excited Fausto won’t get a start against the Angels. It seems very likely that they could be our first round match-up, and they haven’t seen Fausto this year. That seems like advantage Indians to me.
Filed under Aaron Laffey, Asdrubal Cabrera, baseball, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Division race, Fausto Carmona, Indians, Pennant race, Rafael Betancourt, Sports, Travis Hafner
Lofton walked home the tying run this time, and the Indians rolled to their 12th win in 15 games. This was one of those games I didn’t expect to win. Carmona was not on tonight, even still, he kept the White Sox from making the score out of hand early. He struck out three straight in the first inning after loading the bases. He did not allow a run until the 5th inning, and left the game after 6, having given up 5.
Down 5-0, with the way Buehrle was pitching, I figured this one was probably not going to go our way. But in the sixth the Indians got 2 back thanks to Gutierrez and Martinez. Fultz came on and pitched two near perfect innings to keep the score the same. The eighth inning was disaster for the Sox. Continue reading
Filed under baseball, Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Division race, Eric Wedge, Fausto Carmona, Franklin Gutierrez, Grady Sizemore, Indians, Jhonny Peralta, Kenny Lofton, Pennant race, Rafael Betancourt, Sports, Travis Hafner, Victor Martinez, walk off
Sweet sweep! The Tribe beat Santana for the 4th time this season, in the process they get C.C. his 15th win. Sabathia wasn’t perfect, but labored and got the plays when he needed them. There were some nice defensive plays by Garko, Martinez, and Sabathia. Plus the Boy Wonder, Cabrera, played a good shortstop, and hit a two run homer off Santana in the first. Victor also homered in the 1st, and Lofton singled home a run as the Tribe batted around in the first. That would be all the runs we would need. Sabathia pitched 6 innings, giving up 2 runs, Jenson Lewis pitched a scoreless inning, Betancourt gave up a run in his inning, and Borowski got the save without surrendering a run.
Filed under Asdrubal Cabrera, baseball, C.C. Sabathia, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Division race, Indians, Jacob's Field, pitchers, Rafael Betancourt, Ryan Garko, Sports, Victor Martinez
I may have done something rash in the 4th inning. In the 3rd, we had men at 1st and 2nd with nobody out and failed to score. We had a man on second with one out in the 4th and Shoppach hits the first pitch to shortstop for the out. I was fuming. I’m so tired of the roller coaster ride we have been on lately. We always seem to finish at the bottom of these rides. I was starting to get that sinking feeling. Yeah, that feeling. You know what I mean. That Cleveland is doomed never to win anything feeling. Then with 2 strikes Cabrera singled to center scoring Gutierrez. Lofton, Blake and Sizemore followed with two out hits of their own, and the Tribe was on the way to a victory. Gutierrez hit a no doubt about it homer in the 5th to plate Peralta and Hafner. Turns out we would need those runs and more as the Indians win 11-8.
Asdrubal Cabrera, Fausto Carmona, Franklin Gutierrez, and Rafael Perez are 4 names that the casual fan had not even heard of before the season began. Some would recognize Carmona as a failed closer. Nobody would have predicted that the Tribe’s season would be in serious jeopardy if not for the contribution of these young players.