Cleveland bounced back from two straight losses to the Twins and went on the road to take on Detroit. Cleveland would win games one and two convincingly and give up game three. The Tribe enjoyed the return of Santana to the offence and seemed to click with everyone chipping in for the three game set. The Tribe won this series on the back of their bullpen and stunning defe
nsive plays. Things look a lot better for Cleveland and I’ll break down the series and tell you were I think the Indians got it right in the motor city.
Cleveland’s Bullpen were lights out against Detroit this series. In a total 9 &1/3 innings pitched by the relievers in three games, they put up phenomenal numbers and shut down the Tigers offence. Cleveland’s reliever combined to only allow 4 hits, 1 walk, 1 run and racked up 7 strikeouts. These stats are good by themselves but when the Cleveland’s starters combined for 16 & 2/3 innings and allowed 20 hits, 4 walks, 13 runs and struck out 8 batters these numbers are amplified. Detroit’s batters weren’t terrible our relievers were just better.
Vinnie Pestano and Scott Barnes were two of the best relievers from where I sit. Pestano was perfect in his 2 eighth inning appearances and doing his job well to set up Chris Perez for the close in games one and two. Scott Barnes pitched the sixth and seventh innings in game three yesterday and was six up and six down with one strikeout to his name. Both these guys did exactly what I said needed to happen, if Cleveland were going to win and that was pitch ahead in the count and make the batters put the ball in play.
Jimenez was fantastic in his 6 & 2/3 inning start in game one and besides hitting the first batter of the game, had great control and was only three batters over the minimum by the end of the fifth but gave up 4 hits in his next 2 & 2/3 digs. He has great promise for the future and looks very good when he pitches to contact. If he can keep his head once he gives up a base hit and stops trying to toy with the corners, he will be fine and a big part of Cleveland’s rotation down the stretch.
Cleveland’s defence was unfaultable against the Tigers with Cabrera making amazing play after amazing play and defensively has to be one of the best shortstops in the league. I would try to explain the plays he made but words can not do them justice, all I can say is that he is as good with his bare hand as he is with his glove. If you missed the games then just switch on sports centre, I’m sure he is getting plenty of coverage.
Now on the offensive side of the game, Cleveland batted well off of left handed pitching, which I’m sure had Cleveland fans everywhere breathing a sigh of relief. What is really promising is the amount of guys on hitting streak’s at the moment and even better is that some of these guys aren’t everyday players. We have Choo leading us off on a 7 game streak; Cabrera backing up his amazing work on defence with a 9 game hitting streak; Lopez has hit his way onto base in his last 8 games; and Marson, when he has been in the team, has hit in his last 7 games. Probably the most impressive batter at the moment is Brantly with his 15 game streak and the big three run homer he hit in game two. This tells me he has his eye well and truly in.
Now the biggest problem for Cleveland Managers, is who they’ll drop in the inter-league game series, with no DH available in the next 3 game set. At least they have guys on the bench that will have their eyes in for the pinch hit.
All in all a very positive performance in Detroit. Even though they lost in game three, it was good to see that they still batted right to the end and chipped away at the early lead that the Tiger’s had. The biggest issue in the Cleveland dugout at the moment, is how to break out of getting behind in the first inning. They have been outscored in the first inning 49 times this season. If we can turn this around who knows how far this team could go.
About the Author
Written by Luke Lovekin
Hi. I’m Luke Lovekin from Sydney, Australia. Ive been in and around sports my whole life. Mostly Baseball but I’ve managed to try my hand at most sports and I’m always keen to learn more about all sports. I have a love for what we call in Australia “Grass Root Sports”. That for us is the local teams each town has and all Junior sports and High School sports and I dedicate as much of my spare time to them as possible without loosing my wife. Feel free to follow me on twitter @Lovekin028. Hope you enjoy my blogs.