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?
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.
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!