The Indians beat Boston 7-3 Tuesday night, on the strength of good pitching and a seven run 5th inning. Hmmm, 7. That’s a good number for the Indians. How about a recap in seven parts, or more specifically the 7 reasons the Indians are 1 win away from a date with Colorado.
#7 Outstanding Defense
Not really known as a good defensive team, the Indians have made the plays in this series. In game 4, there were outstanding plays by Asdrubal Cabrera, who went high in the air to snatch a base hit away, plus Victor Martinez made a couple of really nice plays at first. Kenny Lofton and Franklin Gutierrez are providing outstanding coverage flanking Sizemore in the outfield. Then there are the double plays. 1 tonight, 3 last night, 3 Saturday night, even 1 in Friday’s loss. 4 games and 8 double plays. More than just the number of doubles turned, 6 of those were in key situations. The defense so far has been the pitching staff’s friend. Continue reading
Filed under Aaron Laffey, ALCS, Asdrubal Cabrera, Boston Red Sox, C.C. Sabathia, Cleveland Indians, defense, Fausto Carmona, Franklin Gutierrez, Grady Sizemore, Jacob's Field, Jake Westbrook, Jhonny Peralta, Kenny Lofton, Paul Byrd, Rafael Betancourt, Rafael Perez, Victor Martinez, World Series
Paul Byrd wasn’t perfect, but he was good enough to get the Indians to their bread and butter relievers with the lead. Byrd allowed base runners, but got the big outs when he needed them most. The Tribe took advantage of Wang, touching him up officially for 4 earned runs, while only getting 3 outs. Torre was forced to go with Mike Mussina, and the Indians worked 4 walks and 4 hits off him in his 4.2 innings of work, scoring 2 more off the aging vet. Perez pitched two strong innings, allowing a solo homer, and Betancourt absolutely shut down the Yankees in the eighth. Borowski, as he usually does, made things interesting in the ninth. He gave up a solo homer and had a 400 bomb cross a few feet on the Tribe side of the foul pole. He finished the game off however, and the Tribe will meet Boston in the ALCS!
Filed under ALDS, baseball, Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, Eric Wedge, Indians, Jhonny Peralta, Joe Borowski, Kenny Lofton, Paul Byrd, Pennant race, play-offs, Rafael Betancourt, Rafael Perez, Sports, Victor Martinez
Sometimes a moment, or a game can define a season or a team. Friday night the 2007 Indians might have had that moment. By now you know the story. You watched as 23 year old Fausto Carmona pitched the playoff game of a lifetime. You saw him strike out 5 Yankees, including soon to be AL MVP Alex Rodriguez 3 times. You watched him limit baseball’s most potent offense to 3 hits. One lone home run accounting for the only Yankee to get past second base. And yet it almost wasn’t enough.
Filed under A-Rod, ALDS, Asdrubal Cabrera, baseball, Casey Blake, Cleveland Indians, Fausto Carmona, Indians, Jacob's Field, Jake Westbrook, Jhonny Peralta, Kenny Lofton, LeBron James, New York Yankees, Paul Byrd, Rafael Perez, Sports, Travis Hafner, Victor Martinez
Bases loaded, 2 outs, bottom of the 11th with a 3-2 count and in steps Travis Hafner. Every kid dreams of this situation as he plays whiffle ball in the back yard. Travis was 2-6 on the night but saved the biggest at bat for last. Travis singled to left to drive home Lofton and take a 2 games to none lead over the Yankees in the ALDS.
The Tribe got an amazing performance from Carmona. He pitched 9 super innings giving up 1 run on only 3 hits and striking out 5 including A-Rod 3 times. Continue reading
Filed under A-Rod, Asdrubal Cabrera, baseball, Cleveland Indians, Division race, Fausto Carmona, Grady Sizemore, Indians, Jacob's Field, Kenny Lofton, New York Yankees, pitchers, play-offs, Rafael Perez, Sports, Travis Hafner
Major League Baseball in all of its wisdom has made the nation wait an extra day to start this series. Yes, I know Boston got to choose, but I am really not seeing the reasoning behind it. Wouldn’t it make sense to start one of the NL series today too? But that’s not why you’re here.
Chances are you want to find some words of hope about tonight’s game. Chances are you have been surfing the Internet the last few days and have found ‘expert’ after ‘expert’ predicting a Yankee series win. You’ve been bombarded with the stats. You’ve compared the line-ups. You know all about Joba Chamberlain. You’ve read 57 articles on why Joe Borowski will cost the Tribe the chance to play on. (I hope he has read them too- and I hope it ticked him off!)
You want me to tell you that the Indians can beat the Yankees. You want me to convince you that Cleveland’s hitters will not wilt under the pressure. You want me to remind you that good pitching beats good hitting. You need something…anything to lift your spirits before tonight’s first pitch.
Alright. First, watch this.
Now, about that encouragement. I believe the Indians will win. Great pitching beats good hitting every time. And the Indians have great pitching. C.C. Sabathia will set the tone tonight. Betancourt and Perez are rested and eager to go. The bats will come to life. We have two lead-off men. Sizemore at the top of the order, and Lofton in that 7 hole. It’s perfect. Even when the top of the order has struggled the past month, Lofton always gets us started at the bottom. He’ll draw a walk, or send one up the middle. Then he creates disorder. He makes fielders play out of position. He distracts pitchers. He gives Blake and Gutierrez fast balls to hit. Victor Martinez will get big hits. Travis Hafner will continue his hot streak. We will win. And then we can really celebrate!
Filed under baseball, C.C. Sabathia, Cleveland Indians, Fausto Carmona, Indians, Kenny Lofton, New York Yankees, pitchers, play-offs, Rafael Betancourt, Rafael Perez, Sports, Victor Martinez
The magic number…
What I especially liked about tonight’s win over Oakland was the workman like way the Tribe approached the game. There could have been a letdown. Big series sweep, then a day off? Yeah, that’s a recipe for a trap game. But Fausto and the Indians handled their business and came away with the W. It was Carmona’s 18th for the season. He pitched well, though he gave up more walks than usual, which led to a higher pitch count early. He finished the sixth inning, giving up 5 hits, 1 run, striking out 7, and walking 4. A bigger story tonight might be that Rafael Perez gave up 2 runs. I guess he’s human after all. Continue reading
Filed under Asdrubal Cabrera, baseball, Cleveland Indians, Fausto Carmona, Indians, Jhonny Peralta, Rafael Betancourt, Rafael Perez, Ryan Garko, Sports, Video
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 magic number is down to 11. Perhaps more importantly, as my friend at the DiaTribe points out, we are only 2.5 games from having the best record in all of baseball.
I didn’t get to see the game until Garko was walked to ‘drive in’ a run in the 6th. A few pitches later Peralta walked, and the game was basically over. Chicago looked like they were more interested in going home than in trying to rally and win the game. Of course, with the Tribe relievers they didn’t have much of a shot. Jensen Lewis replaced Paul Byrd with one out in the seventh, and promptly punched out the next two hitters, stranding men on second and third. Continue reading
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
Did someone forget to tell the Indians they had a game tonight? They didn’t show up until about the seventh inning. By then it was too late. It’s not worth wasting much effort to describe this ridiculous game. Apparently, the Tribe left Detroit thinking they had won the Central. THERE’S MORE BASEBALL TO PLAY MEN! C.C. had his usual inning of complete and utter non-concentration. What was odd is that he got Victor involved this time. In the fifth inning Sabathia hit Pena, then on a pitch that was exactly where Martinez wanted it, Victor simply missed the catch. It bounced off his mitt and sent the runner to second. Gathright, who was up there to bunt him to second took the opportunity to bunt him to third instead. Hmmm…imagine that, a sacrifice bunt executed called for and executed correctly. Runner on third with only one out, next batter hits a sacrifice fly to center. Second run crosses the plate. Ball game. Oh, we still had to play 3.5 more innings, but that essentially ended the game. Continue reading
Filed under baseball, C.C. Sabathia, Casey Blake, Cleveland Indians, Division race, Eric Wedge, Grady Sizemore, Indians, Jhonny Peralta, Kenny Lofton, Pennant race, pitchers, Rafael Perez, Ryan Tucker, Sports, Travis Hafner
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.