Monday, May 12, 2008

Indians Squander Away 4 Game Sweep

When you play a double header and both your starting pitchers go 9 strong innings without giving up a run and you turn an unassisted triple play, you should win both games, unless you are the 2008 Cleveland Indians. The Indians got gems from Fausto Carmona in the afternoon affair and Cliff Lee in the nightcap but only managed a 3-0 win for Carmona and rewarded Lee with a no decision and a 3-0 loss for his effort.

Lee went 9 shutout innings giving up 7 hits and 2 walks but it was all for naught. The Indians wasted a number of amazing defensive plays including two in the 9th inning with Victor Martinez's snare of a liner and Franklin Gutierrez's diving catch to end the inning. The Tribe also wasted Asdrubal Cabrera turning the 14th unassisted triple play in major league history as he snared a Lyle Overbay laser beam in the 5th inning.

The offense continues to kill the club as the Indians managed only 3 hits in 10 innings of the second game and had no one reach base after Victor Martinez led off the fourth inning with a single. After that 19 Indians went to the plate and 19 Indians made an out. Travis Hafner hit a bloop double down the left field line in the 10th to end the string but that was as big of a threat as the Indians mounted in Game 2.

We also got to see that when the Cleveland Indians closer comes into a game with the game tied, even if his name isn't Joe Borowski, bad things happen. After Lee's 9 dazzling innings, Rafael Betancourt came on for the 10th an promptly gave up two singles. After a sacrifice bunt, intentional walk, sacrifice fly and another single it was 3-0 Toronto and all hopes of an Indians' sweep were dashed. Betancourt now sports a 6.89 ERA and has yielded 21 hits in 15 2/3 innings on the campaign.

The Tribe notched a 3-0 win in the afternoon contest when David Dellucci delivered a clutch 2-out single in the 6th for a 1-0 lead and Asdrubal Cabrera drilled a 2-run HR in the 7th for a 3-0 lead. Fausto Carmona's 4 walks were the only blemish on the 5 hit complete game shut-out he tossed. But it still was a grind as the Indians managed 5 hits in the afternoon affair despite the victory.

The Indians got above .500 for the first time April 3, when they were 2-1, by winning Game 1 but promptly failed to stay there for more than 4 hours later with the loss in the nightcap. They now sit at 19-19, still muddled in the middle of the AL Central pack, unable to get over the proverbial hump that is .500.

They have won 2 series in a row, against the Yankees and Blue Jays, both solid AL East foes. They continue to look a little better with each recent contest, but the fact that the offense seems to disappear with the best pitching performances is maddening to all Cleveland Indians fans. The Oakland A's come in for a 3 game set before a 6 game road trip to Cincinnati and Chicago (AL). Let's win a couple more series and get the offense back on track before we come back to The P for Memorial Day Weekend.

It's Tribe Time Now. Believeland.

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