Tagged: Cliff Lee

Series at a Glance: Tribe @ Reds

 First off, Much congrats to Melissa http://clemsongirlbaseball.mlblogs.com/ for cracking the top 10 in the MLBlogoshpere! if you didn’t see, her pic was featured on the MLBlogs main page! Ironically, Her pic was next to MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, who’s own MLBlog inspired me to make this one! Coincidence? 

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This weekend, The Tribe started interleauge play vs. the Reds for the “Ohio Cup.” What’s the Ohio Cup? I have no idea… It’s the first time I’ve heard of it and I’ve followed this series since interleague play started in 1997! But, whatever. I do know that the Indians went into Cincinnati after winning two vs. KC to face their NL counterpart, The Reds.

In game 1, Grady give us early hope. After going 1-for-14 in the four game before Friday’s, Sizemore went 2-for-4 with a 1st inning homer and did a good job in the outfield. The lead didn’t last long though as the Reds responded when Phillips hit sacrifice fly to left in their half of the 1st.

Just when I started to think the starting pitching was getting better…Anthony Reyes proves me wrong… again. He walked six batters and hit another in only three innings on work. Still, He did only allow the one run in the 1st, so maybe there is hope…

Of course, the Bullpen blew it again in the 8th with Laffey giving up 2-runs to give the Reds a 3-2 win. But overall, I was OK with this loss. I mean, it wasn’t like they lost by 5 or 6. Your gonna have games like this where you just can’t pull out the win. I give the Tribe credit on this one. They really kept it close.

Game 2 went a little better. After the Reds scored on a homer in the 1st, Mark DeRosa responded with a 2-run long ball of is own! Add Cabrera’s 2-run RBI Single and after 1 1/2 innings the Tribe have a three point lead…

…which David Huff quickly blew after giving up two more home runs making the score CLE 4 CIN 6 after 2 innings. *sigh*

But the game wasn’t over! DeRosa hit a 2-run RBI single to tie in the 5th and Cabrera hit the game winning RBI on a sac-grounder in the 8th to give the Indians a 7-6 win! DeRosa did alot to get this win, so did Choo. He went 2-for-3 with a run and some great catches in left that could of killed us in the end if they weren’t made.

Lee got the start in game 3 and did pretty well only giving up 2-runs in 6 innings. His ERA is hovering around 3.00 now.  And I don’t know what it is with Grady in the #2 spot, but it’s working! He went 2-for-4 with a RBI and a Triple that may as well be called a Inside-The-Park Homer as he was able to score on a throwing error to tie the game at 3-3.

The Tribe did all they could but ended up losing in the 11th when Alex Gonzalez it the game-winning RBI double. But even though we lost this series 2 games to 1, I ok with it. The Indians keep all the games close and you really can’t place blame on anyone or anything other than these just being though-luck loses.

The good thing about this series was it gave Hafner a chance to improve his swing in the minors seeing how there’s no DH in NL games. From what I’ve heard he’s hit a few Homers and RBI’s playing down in Columbus.

Reyes and Laffey were placed on the DL after game 1. Even though they haven’t gotten the job done, we really can’t afford to lose any more pitching…

Overall, we might not have won this series, but I’m happy with how they did.

Just remember Tribe, Next time we see the Reds… It’ll be in an AL ballpark. Ours.
~Casey 

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Not The Return I Had Hoped For…

First off, let me say how sorry I am for the lack of posts lately. I spent most of my free time studying for finals and when I was finished with those I came down sick (NOT with Swine Flu, just a bug) So, sorry about that! Back to the blog!

I’ll get to why the Tribe lost in a minute, But let me start by saying that Cliff Lee pitched great tonight! 8 innings after only 101 thrown and 2 ER. This was by far the best start the Indians have seen all season. Which of course, begs this question… WHY NOT LET HIM PITCH FOR THE COMPLETE GAME?!?

I mean, what you have to lose? Even if he lets another run or two score, you still have the closer and one or two out to work with! $20 bucks says we would of won tonight if Lee stayed in!

Everyone did his job tonight except Wood! Now, I like Kerry Wood. But if he keeps blow not only saves, but games as well, We might as well be getting ready for the 2010 season.

I might come back to this and on into detail about it sometime tomorrow. But, as for now…

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YOU CAN GO AHEAD AND HIT IT NOW!!!

~Casey

A Win for Your Easter Basket

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   (5-2)      Blue Jays    4
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   (1-5)      Indians     8          Final

The Tribe was determined to make sure the fans at Progressive Field didn’t go home with a rotten egg this Easter…

It took about a week, but the Indians FINALLY got their first win today against the Toronto Blue Jays by beating them 8-4. After getting destroyed by Texas in all three games in the season openers, losing the home opener that took WAY too long and just missing a chance to pull a 9th inning comeback yesterday, We get our first W on the year.

This means a lot to the Tribe. Not just as a boost of confidence, but many questions were answered…

Bats are awake and Pronk is BACK! Hafner hit his third Home Run in four games. Well, maybe ‘hit’ isn’t the right word… ‘Crushed’ seems more fitting. I know he won’t stay this hot all season, but it’s just great to see that his slump is over. As for the other batters, so far no real complaints. DeRosa got his first homer as a member of the Tribe. I’m very glad that whatever was holding him back at Texas seems to have let go. I just wish we could start getting base hits with guys in scoring position.

Kerry Wood can help save this team! Ok, Maybe it IS a little early to say that, but today, he stuck out all three of the batters he faced in the 9th in epic fashion! I think the Tribe will do just fine with him as our closer.

Those being said, There are still things that need to be worked on before the Indians can start seeing true success.

Fix the starting rotation.  Anthony Reyes played six innings and got the win today but a wild pitch and a badly thrown ball kept the Jays in the game until the Indians bats attacked in the 8th. But, thus far, he still had the best game any Tribe starter has had yet! Cliff did better on Saturday but still only pitched five innings. And Carl Pavano’s ERA is 81.00! I didn’t even think you could have an ERA that high!!! Let’s hope Carmona can bounce back tomorrow night at KC. I don’t want to talk about this issue all season long…

Get hits with guys in scoring position. I know I talked about this a little already, but this as been a problem for the Indians for some time now. We always seem to leave that one guy on 2nd or 3rd at the end of an inning with no runs to show for it! Thankfully, with the bats as hot as they are now, we may solve that problem soon.

I’m so happy that we won’t be falling to our worst record since 1914. This win was something we needed and we got it because of a team effort and it wouldn’t surprise me if it’ll be used as motivation for many wins to come.

…A happy Easter indeed…
~Casey

(PS: And congrats to Trevor Crowe on getting his first MLB hit and RBI today! Way to go!)

Bats Are Awake, Pitchers Still Asleep.

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   (0-3)     Indians   8   
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   (3-0)     Rangers   12            Final

Ok… I won’t lie to you, Tribe. After the 2nd inning of today’s game, I was in search of that ‘Panic Button’ I was talking about on Opening Day. I mean, I had my doubts on Carl Pavano starting today but… down 9-1 at the end of the 2ND?! DAMN!

What is it with our staring pitching so far? I can give Cliff Lee some slack for his performance. After all, He was struck by a line drive just above his throwing elbow right before he let four 2-out runs get on the board. So what was Carmona’s and Pavano’s deal? Nerves? Or was it that we just really didn’t know how to stop the Texas hitters?

Whatever the reason, Zach Jackson did his best to get try and get us out of the hole. He’s not anywhere near taking over a starting job. But, a few more games as the long man and we could see some great things from him in the future.

The good news is for the second game in a row, the Indians didn’t just just lay down and die like they did in game 1. The bats finally came alive today with 5, yes FIVE, home runs from the Tribe in hopes of getting back into the game. Grady Sizemore hit two 2-run homers, but also struckout three times. It seems as if Victor’s slump may have been snapped as he hit also homered and Pronk hit the ball so hard in the 9th it may as well had made it half way to China is the stands weren’t in the way! Kelly Shoppach was also able to touch-’em-all today

I’ll bet if they had to play one more game vs Texas, Cleveland would of won…

Bottom Line: Texas came into this opening series ready to play… we weren’t. And by the time we were, The Rangers already knew our weak points. I have faith that the next time we let that happen won’t be for a EVERY long time.

Also, It was nice to see Omar Vizquel on the field again. I miss him here in Cleveland.

The Tribe FINALLY comes home to Progressive Field (aka “The Jake”) tomorrow for a weekend series against the Blue Jays. We’ll have Scott Lewis on the mound who had a 2.63 ERA last year. Will he fair better than our last three starters? If the Indians do their job at the plate, I think so. But, just remember… Offense scores runs, but pitching wins games.

Last time the Cleveland Indians went 0-3 to start a season, they when on to win close to 100 games that year. Once when the Yankees went 0-3, they won the ALCS… Maybe getting swept on the road to start off wasn’t the way we wanted to begin the 2009 season, but at least we know it’s not the end of it… and that we get to come home tomorrow.

Tomorrow’s a new day, Tribe. A new game. A Home Opener…

Tomorrow is Opening Day again…

Let’s make it count!
~Casey

(PS: I’ll be trying to do a LIVE MLBlog tomorrow! I’ll be updating throughout the Home Opener with my thoughts and opinions about every inning or so, or whenever a big play happens. I’ll start posting about half-a-hour to an hour before the game. Be sure to check it out!)

A Few Opening Day Thoughts ‘Round the League

C.C. Gets Lit Up in Yankee Debut Vs O’s: I can’t say I wasn’t happy when I saw the highlights of C.C. blowing it on the mound on Monday. I also can’t say I didn’t see it coming. Playing for a new team (especialy the Yankees) where everyone expects everything from you has to be nerve racking and it showed vs the O’s. And as I said last blog, the same thing happened last year, when he still played for the Tribe, after he won the Cy Young and he was fine a few starts later. If you have C.C. on your fantasy team, don’t worry. He’ll bounce back.

 

Tim Lincecum Can’t Control Pitches in SF Opener: It seems Cliff Lee wasn’t the only 2008 Cy Young winner to get rocked on Opening Day. While Lee had an excuse for his bad day, (was hit on his pitching arm, remember? Why is no one talking about that?) Lincecum just had problems finding the strike zone. Maybe being on the cover of MLB 2K9 with it’s terrible pitching control caused him to forget how to take control of his pitches in the ream game. *half-sarcasm*

 

Josh Beckett K’s 10 in Win Vs Rays: Payback is a B*tch… and the Sox got thier’s against the team that beat them in last year’s ALCS. If I had to choose who was the best pitcher in MLB, it’d be Beckett.

 

Ken Griffey Jr. Hits Homer in Return to Mariners: Talk about coming Full Circle. There must be something about that Seattle uniform.

 

World Champion Phillies Fall to 0-2: More proof that just beacuse you find success one year, doesn’t mean you’ll find the same success the next year right away.

 

Three Teams Get Walk-Off Wins Yesterday: Wouldn’t be baseball without ’em.

 

More to come later tonight after the Indians game.

 

Later,

~Casey

Don’t Hit The Panic Button Just Yet…

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  (0-1)   Indians     1

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  (1-0)   Rangers   9      Final 

Ok people, Today was bad… REALLY BAD! But, you need to keep a couple things in mind before you all start fliping out like all of us Cleveland fans just LOVE to do…

#1. Cliff Lee Will Be Fine.
The man was hit with a line drive that left a knot the size of a golf ball on his throwing arm. That was right before he let four 2-out runs score in the 2nd. Getting hit on the elbow of your pitching arm is going to take you out of your game and it’s not surprising that it took Lee out of his. Plus, he has to try and live up to being a Cy Young winner and preform like one on every start. Most people can’t live up to that right away! Look at C.C. at the start of last season. It took him 3 or 4 starts before he finally got his rhythm back after winning the AL Cy Young in 2007. Just give Cliff some time to find his.

#2. The Rangers Know How to Play in Their Park. Rangers Ballpark is hands-down, a hitters ballpark. So who better knows how to win in that park than the team who plays half their games there? They know how the winds are on the diamond. They know how to work the corners both on offense and defense. If anyone knows how the win in Rangers Ballpark, it’s definitely the Rangers.

#3. It’s Only One Game! 161 More to Come! The season just started. Sure, it didn’t go the way we all hoped it would. But, every team is going to have more than one game like this. It’s good to get a game like this out of the way now so we can figure out what the problem is and fix it before we get to the meat of the season. Don’t jugde a team based on the Opening Day game.

We have 161 more games to go and a night off tomorrow…

The Indians will be fine… Have faith, Tribe.

~Casey

Quick 2009 Tribe Preview…

I’ll likely go into full detail into what I think about this year’s team later this week. (I like to see or listen to a few games before I can truly give my opinions on things like this.) So, before the Tribe’s Opening Day game, here are my thoughts on the 2009 Cleveland Indians!

Grady Sizemore: I don’t think he’ll have another Gold Glove year, but he’ll deffinitly do his job in the outfield as well as in the batter’s box. I think if the #8 and #9 hitters do their work, Grady could make a run for the RBI Title.

Mark DeRosa: Sizemore’s finally getting the help he needs as the leadoff man. He played great in the WBC with a .316 AVG and I think he’ll stay hot throughout most of the MLB season and give the Indians a push when they need it. This guy is our new Casey Blake.


Victor Martinez:
I’m not sure about Vic… I’m not 100% sold on the fact that shifting him to 1st base is a good thing. I think he’ll have a much better year at bat, but not knowing where he’ll be defenseivly through most of the season worries me a little.


Travis Hafner:
I believe Pronk will have a much better year as well. As long as he stays healthy, he’ll snap out of his slump. I also think shifting Hafner to 1st and puting Vic at DH for part of the season is a better choice… But so far, every time I say that I get confused looks from everybody so, maybe I’m just crazy.


Jhonny Peralta:
I don’t really have much to say about Peralta. I just think He’ll have a year just like last and could be in talks for the Shortstop Gold Glove. (But likely won’t win it.)


Shin-Soo Choo:
I’ve always liked this guy for some reason I just can’t seem to place my finger on… The Tribe was a little worried about him in the WBC while hurt, but he played great for Korea continued to play well in Spring Training. Expect a lot of base hits and home runs from “Big League Choo” this season.


Kelly Shoppach:
Maybe Shoppach’s a better choice at 1st than Victor… I don’t know. This is another guy I have little to no opinion or predictions on. I just wish Eric Wedge knew what to do at Catcher.


Ben Francisco:
I think Ben will do OK. I just see more defense rather than offense coming from him.


Asdrubal Cabrera:
Remember that Unassisted triple play he pulled off last season? It’s a bit of a stretch to say that he’ll pull something like that off again, But I think it’s save to say that the Indians are good at 2nd base.


Cliff Lee:
I honestly believe that last year’s Cy Young winning season was a fluke for Lee. Not to say he won’t have a good year this year, but if you’re looking for him to pull off another 20+ win season, you’re crazy. I think he’ll get somewhere between 15 and 18 wins this year.


Fausto Carmona:
This kid has what it takes if he could just learn to settle his nerves. I think he’ll finally figure that out this year. I can see him getting at least 14 wins this season.


Kerry Wood:
I’m not going to lie… when ESPNews broke the story that Wood was traded to Cleveland, I got the biggest grin on my face! He is the final piece to our bullpen puzzle. Wood can definitely get the most saves in the AL this year.


Final Thoughts:
After our heartbreak in 2007 and the disappointing season last year, I think we really have a chance this year if the Tribe can stay healthy. The AL central will be a battle between the Tribe and the Twins… with whoever coming in second winning the Wild Card.


Bottom Line:
The Indians have what it takes and the tools to win. Our road to a World Series starts now!

Man, I can’t till tomorrow!

IT’S TRIBE TIME NOW!
~Casey