Cliff Lee did on Sunday afternoon what Fausto Carmona was unable to do Saturday night, stop the Indians losing streak, with a brilliant pitching performance in a 7-1 Tribe victory over the Oakland A's. Lee pitched 8 innings of 2 hit, 1 run ball keeping the A's hitters off balance all afternoon by racking up 8 strikeouts. Lee has seemed confident and healthy in both his starts to date and has been able to mix his pitches effectively, something he was unable to do all of 2007.
The Indians offense also showed signs of life as there were able to put up 7 runs in spurts. This is contrary to their recent trend of a couple one run innings of just one big inning. Travis Hafner delivered a 2 run single in the 3rd to put the Tribe up 2-0 and that was all the Indians needed. Grady Sizemore delivered a RBI single in the fifth and then a 2 run knock in the 9th to put the Indians up 5-0. David Dellucci immediately followed with a 2 run hit of hit own to make it 7-1.
Jamey Carroll proved to be a nice spark plug on the afternoon, going 1-1 with 2 walks and a HBP. This led to Carroll scoring 3 of the Indians' 7 runs. With his hustle and stellar glove work, Carroll may be on his way to endearing himself to the Tribe faithful. Even if he doesn't he's proved to be more than adequate when Eric Wedge feels the need to give Asdrubal Cabrera a day off. Hopefully he will not devolve into another Ramon Vasquez or Mike Rouse.
It was also nice to see David Dellucci finally deliver in the clutch. After a very slow start (0-8), I was surprised to see The Looch is hitting .273 with an .467 on base percentage. He drawn 6 walks and scored 6 runs while only striking out 2 times. The power and RBIs have yet to come but The Looch has not been a total waste as Jason Michaels has been to date.
Hopefully this can kick start the Indians' offense that has been dormant for the first part of 2008. Grady Sizemore continues to dialed in but a healthy Victor and revitalized Pronk hold the keys to the offense's future. A great test this week with the defending world champion Red Sox and division rival Tigers in town. A great test for the Tribe's mettle.
It's Tribe Time Now. Believeland.