I have to admit when Casey Blake grounded into the inning ending fielder's choice in the bottom of the first with the bases loaded I was worried that Andy Pettite would get dialed in and that would be all she wrote. But the Tribe used the formula that made them successful in 2007 to notch their 4 consecutive victory, a 6-4 win over the New York Yankees. Clutch two-out hitting, a solid yet unspectacular effort from their starter, a couple timely homer runs and bullpen domination were in full effect.
The Indians scored all their runs with two outs. That in itself is phenomenal. Now, I don't recommend this as the only way to score. Scoring as much as possible no matter how many outs their are is preferred but we'll take just scoring with two outs as long as it equals a win. Jhonny Peralta came through twice with an RBI single in the first and the 3-run jack in the fifth to make it 4-3. Franklin Gutierrez followed with another homer to make it 5-3 and Jamey Carroll delivered the ever important insurance run with a broken bat bloop in the sixth.
Now Paul Byrd got the win but many will say he had a bad outing for attempting to start Yankees Homer-Palooza 2008. My retort to that is this: IT'S PAUL F'N BYRD! He give up lots of hits and homers but can hunker down and give you a solid effort and keep you in the game. Anything more is a bonus. This has been his M.O. since he's been here. He didn't walk anybody, didn't strike out anybody and gave up three homer runs. THIS SHOULD NOT SURPRISE YOU! This is why he's the 4th Starter. The one thing I like is that Uncle Eric has been playing it safe and pulling him a little too early rather than a little too late. I think this is sound strategery for the Byrd-man. Yes, I said strategery.
Perez, Betancourt. 3 and 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, 10 outs in only 32 pitches. This is a good formula. My only concern, just like last year, is that if these guys pitch in 80+ games their arms are going to fall off and we are screwed for the Fall stretch run. Jenny Lewis needs to gets sorted out and I know they are trying to work Masa K. into the back end but where has Craig Breslow been? What did he do? He has been solid, yet unspectacular, but they need to get him some work so Perez's arm doesn't fall off.
The Indians get the National TV games on Fox today and on TBS tomorrow so let's see how they handle their recent success. The 2007 formula for success seems to have been reinstated which is a good thing. It won them 96 games last year. Keep that in mind, gentlemen.
It's Tribe Time Now.