Jake Westbrook pitched the Indians into a 2-1 lead in the ALCS tonight. Inducing 13 ground ball outs, and 3 double plays Westbrook put gave the Tribe faithful more than could be expected. The bullpen was excellent as usual. In fact, this game looked more like the 96 wins we saw over the course of the regular season. Jensen Lewis replaced Westbrook in the seventh and shut the door on a Sox rally. Rafael Betancourt was tremendous, striking out Youkilis, and getting Ortiz and Ramirez in the eighth. Borowski even recorded a rare 1-2-3 ninth for the save.
Providing the spark for the Tribe offense was again Kenny Lofton. Kenny hit a 2 run shot in the second, giving Westbrook room a little room to breathe. Cabrera came through with an rbi single, and Hafner added an rbi of his own in the 5th. The Indians managed only 6 hits, but they capitalized on those hits. Continue reading
Filed under ALCS, Asdrubal Cabrera, baseball, Boston Red Sox, C.C. Sabathia, Cleveland Indians, Indians, Jacob's Field, Jake Westbrook, Joe Borowski, Kenny Lofton, Paul Byrd, play-offs, Rafael Betancourt, Sports, Travis Hafner, World Series
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
Indians 12 Yankees 3!
Just like we thought it would be! Alright not exactly. C.C. Sabathia struggled a little, but not the Tribe offense. Pumped up from the log wait, C.C. didn’t have his best command tonight. He was high in the strike zone an awful lot. He threw an ungodly amount of pitches. And I might add that the strike zone was pretty small tonight. But what he did was keep the Yankees in check. Though he went only 5 innings, he left the game with the lead, and pitched his way out of a couple of serious jams. Obviously, the 5th inning was the big one. With the bases loaded and one out, and a 3-0 count on Jorge Posada, Sabathia struck him out on high fastballs. Now, a Yankee fan would be quick to point out that the pitches Jorge swung at were more than likely balls. Yep. I’ll agree to that, with the exception of the first one. So what? Your guy swung at them. After a weak pop up by Matsui, the Tribe and C.C. had held strong.
Filed under A-Rod, Asdrubal Cabrera, baseball, C.C. Sabathia, Casey Blake, Cleveland Indians, Indians, Kenny Lofton, LeBron James, New York Yankees, Ryan Garko, Sports, Travis Hafner, Victor Martinez
You may have noticed a lack of Indian’s posts lately. This was not a lack of interest by Halftime Adjustments in watching the Tribe, but rather a lack of decent things to report about them. The past few games have looked like split squad spring training games. The Tribe has been resting players (which it needed to do) but the guys who have been out there just seem to be on autopilot. Honestly, I can’t say as I blame them.
Sure I could blast Joe Borowski for his consecutive blown saves. I could point out that he was dangerously close to another one last night. But I’ve talked at length about my trouble with Borowski before, and it isn’t going to do any good to bring it up 3 days before the play offs begin. I still maintain that Borowski will probably cost us a game in the post season, let’s just hope that game doesn’t cost them a series. Continue reading
Filed under baseball, Boston Red Sox, C.C. Sabathia, Cleveland Indians, Fausto Carmona, Indians, Jacob's Field, Joe Borowski, Pennant race, play-offs, Sports, Travis Hafner
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
Uh, Casey…you got something on your chin…never mind.
The Indians came from behind to maintain their 5.5 game lead, reduce their magic number by one, and get C.C. off the hook for a loss. It’s strange that Sabathia’s career high for strikeouts in game came last night, in a game that he gave up 4 runs. Still, 4 runs over 7 innings is not a lot, it’s just un-Sabathia like. The offense struggled last night, but did just enough to win, this time with the long ball. Continue reading
Filed under baseball, C.C. Sabathia, Casey Blake, Cleveland Indians, Division race, Franklin Gutierrez, Grady Sizemore, Indians, Jacob's Field, Rafael Betancourt, Travis Hafner, Victor Martinez
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
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
The Indians beat Minnesota yesterday 5-0. C.C. Sabathia got his 16th win of the season, pushing his record to 16-7. His era dropped to 3.24, close to his career best (3.22 last year). As good as Sabathia was yesterday, the real story was the Tribe getting to Santana once again.
(Come on, I haven’t used the Santana joke all year…)
This is one of those baseball oddities that is just hard to explain. Obviously Santana is one of the best pitchers in the league. He has a 3.14 era this year. He ranks 2nd in strikeouts, and 1st in whip. His record, if you take the Indians games out, is 14-6. But the Indians have beaten him 5 times this year. Putting it in perspective, the last time a reigning Cy Young winner lost to the same team 5 times was…well never. In fact, the Indians will probably be the reason that Santana doesn’t win the Cy Young this season. Had Santana pitched well enough to win 3 of his 6 games against the Tribe, he would have close to triple crown numbers this year (wins, era, strikeouts.) Continue reading
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
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.
The good news is the Tribe wins, Tigers lose and the Indians lead the division by half a game. Paul Byrd pitched 6 solid innings giving up 1 run on 9 hits improving his record to 11-5. It was not a pretty win; the Tribe is still struggling to cross the dish, only managing 2 runs despite 12 hits and they left a pretty depressing 14 runners stranded. They also made some poor choices (in my humble opinion) in the 7th inning.