Tag Archives: Seattle

5/13/11 Indians vs. Mariners

It’s Friday the 13th… so far so good.  I’ve managed to make it through the day without being hacked into a million pieces by a hockey masked maniac with a machete.  Of course I still have to make it through the night, but I like my odds.

But enough about that.

The Indians look to get back on the winning track after a rough series against the Tampa Bay Rays that saw them lose two of three games and make more errors and ruin more scoring opportunities than the number of horny teenagers Jason murdered in the Friday the 13th movies combined.  In fact, they played so bad that it might have actually been just as terrifying.  Needless to say, it wasn’t good.

Luckily for the Indians the cure for what ails them comes to town tonight in the form of the Seattle Mariners.  The Mariners have had a rough go of it so far.  In fact, they’ve already started throwing in the towel.  Earlier this week the began releasing veteran players in order to give younger players a chance to show what they could do.  The most notable of these cuts was Milton Bradley.  Considering his history with Mariner manager Eric Wedge I’m surprised he made it this long.

Speaking of Wedge, this is his first return trip to Cleveland since being let go as the Indians manager at the end of the ’09 season.  Despite your opinion of him or the fact that he gave most of us migraines during his tenure as the head honcho of the Tribe, he deserves to get a nice round of applause.  After all, he was part of the brain trust that took the Indians to within one win of the World Series.  Despite his flaws he did some good things in his time as Tribe manager.  I’m not saying he deserves an 5 minute Omar Vizquel style standing ovation, but a nice applause would be nice.

Milton, why can't I quit you? You had me at hello... Aww hell... Milton, I love you, man!

Going to the mound for the Tribe tonight will be Fausto Carmona.  He’s been pitching lights out over his past few starts.  Hopefully he can keep it going.  Let’s also hope he can get some decent run support this time.  It would be nice to see the Indians offense put some runs on the board and take pressure off of the pitching staff for the first time in weeks.  It would also help alleviate ulcers and prevent heart attacks amongst the fan base.  When was the last time the Indians were on the right side of an ass kicking, the Kansas City series?  They’re also not facing Felix Hernandez or Michael Pineda tonight so they have to take advantage of that.

Here are the lineups.

Indians:

  1. Michael Brantley, CF
  2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
  3. Shin-Soo Choo, RF
  4. Carlos Santana, C
  5. Travis Hafner, DH
  6. Orlando Cabrera, 2B
  7. Matt LaPorta, 1B
  8. Austin Kearns, LF
  9. Jack Hannahan, 3B
  • Fausto Carmona, P

Mariners:

  1. Ichiro Suzuki, RF
  2. Chone Figgins, 3B
  3. Justin Smoak, 1B
  4. Jack Cust, DH
  5. Adam Kennedy, 2B
  6. Carlos Peguero, LF
  7. Brendan Ryan, SS
  8. Michael Saunders, CF
  9. Chris Jimenez, 3B
  • Doug Fister, P

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Breaking Out the Brooms…Again

The Indians did just enough on Sunday to beat the Mariners 6-4 and sweep their second straight series in the process.  The win is also the seventh straight for the Tribe.  They now stand at 7-2 and first place all by themselves in the AL Central, a game ahead of the rival White Sox.

Josh Tomlin was great once again.  He pitched 6.2 innings, giving up 3 runs on 3 hits.  Seattle never really had an answer for him.  It’s the second straight start in which Tomlin has looked like the real deal.  If he keeps pitching like this, it makes you begin to wonder how far the Indians can really got this year and in the future.  Absolutely awesome job by Josh Tomlin.

The Mariners countered with left hander Eric Bedard.  Things didn’t go so well for the former Orioles ace.  Bedard gave up 6 runs in only 4 innings of work.  He was erratic walking 6 and never seemed to find a groove.  It’s hard to believe at one point he was thought to be an elite pitcher and hoped to be the long time ace for the Mariners moving forward when they acquired him from the Orioles.

The Indians did their damage early, jumping out to a big lead in the early stages and then holding on.  Asdrubal Cabrera hit another 1st inning home run to get things started.  Shelley Duncan followed with an RBI single and the Indians were up 2-0.  In the second, back to back doubles by Marson and Brantley led to a 3-0 lead and a single by Asdrubal made it 4-0.  In the third, Shin-Soo Choo scored on a rare throwing error by Ichiro to make the score 5-0.  Jack Hannahan would then end the Indians scoring the following inning with a solo shot out to right.  The Mariners hit a pair of homers and manufactured another run, but could never get close then the 6-4 final.

Chad Durbin, Rafael Perez, and Tony Sipp followed up Tomlin from the bullpen and Chris Perez retired the Mariners in order for the second straight day to earn his fourth save of the year.  It was a great game all around.

The key to the series against Seattle was all about getting out to leads early and putting the pressure on the Mariners and their pitching staff.  Playing from ahead is so much easier than playing from behind.  It’s demoralizing to have to come to the plate in the bottom of the 1st in three straight games and already be down multiple runs.  That’s what faced the Mariners this weekend and ultimately that’s what did them in.

Kudos goes out to Asdrubal Cabrera.  He had a monster series.  He helped get the Indians out to big early leads with home runs and timely hitting.  If he keeps this up, he may very well find himself on the all-star team.  I can’t begin to tell you how impressed I’ve been with him early on this season.  He has come a long way from the rookie on the 2007 team.  He’s no longer an offensive liability, he’s a legit threat.

The Indians will travel to Anaheim to take on the Angels in a three game series starting tonight.  They’ll look to continue their winning ways and keep a strangle hold on first place in the central.  It should also be a good test to see where exactly the Indians stand.  The wins over Boston and Seattle were impressive in their own right, but we have to be realists here.  Boston was off to an 0 for the century type of start and Seattle is quite possibly the worst team in the AL.  Anaheim is usually a contender and has a lot more talent both in their lineup and in their starting rotation than the Mariners.  If they can come away from this series with 2 more wins I’ll be happy.  A sweep and I’ll be over the moon excited.

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4/10/11: Indians vs. Mariners

The Indians go for lucky #7 today in a Sunday Matinée showdown with the Mariners.  Another sweep would be nice, but the Indians have already accomplished the goal going into any three game series.  Win 2 out of 3.  Of course, it would be nice to see the Indians stay hot and keep the pressure on the rest of the AL Central to keep pace.

That brings me to a crucial point starting out the 2011 season…

This team wasn’t meant to compete for the AL Central.  I’ll be the first to admit that.  Realistically they’re another season or two away from being legit contenders.  But here they are first place in the central a week in and building some absurd momentum against a favorable schedule.  If this team can keep building on that momentum and develop not just confidence, but some swagger, we could be looking at a very special year.  Remember, back in 2005 the Indians weren’t supposed to compete either, but they called up Sizemore, got hot and the next thing you know they finished one game out of a playoff spot.

So why not this team this year?  Why can’t this team continue to compete?  It’s not like these have been fluke victories.  This team is playing sound baseball built around pitching, solid defense, and timely situational hitting.  They aren’t relying on the long ball to score runs.  They aren’t squeezing out 13-12 slugfests with zero pitching.  This team has done all the little things; the same little things that a team is able to control for an entire season.

Everyone has bitched and moaned about how they want a winner and want a real major league team.  Well right now you have what you asked for.  Start showing up to games and supporting this team.  They’ve done what you’ve been asking for.  Don’t take it out on them that Dolan is cheap.  Go to the games when they get back and give them a home field advantage like we know you’re able to.

Anyways, today’s lineups…

Indians:

  1. Michael Brantley, CF
  2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
  3. Shin-Soo Choo, RF
  4. Carlos Santana, DH
  5. Shelley Duncan, LF
  6. Orlando Cabrera, 2B
  7. Matt LaPorta
  8. Jack Hannahan, 3B
  9. Lou Marson, C
  • Josh Tomlin, P

Mariners:

  1. Ichiro, RF
  2. Chone Figgins, 3B
  3. Adam Kennedy, 2B
  4. Jack Cust, DH
  5. Justin Smoak, 1B
  6. Ryan Langerhans, CF
  7. Luis Rodriguez, SS
  8. Michael Saunders, LF
  9. Chris Gimenez, C
  • Eric Bedard, P

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Indians Make it 6 Straight

Six in a row?  Sure, why not?

The Indians beat the Mariners last night, 2-1.  Justin Masterson pitched another fantastic game and the Indians did just enough offensively to get the win.  Kudos once again to the bullpen.  They were great once again as Rafael Perez, Tony Sipp, and Chris Perez closed it out for Masterson.  It was also a 1, 2, 3 inning by Perez to get the close.  When was the last time an Indians closer had a 1, 2, 3 inning?  Doug Jones in the early 90′s?  I’m so traumatized by the Bob Wickman era that this was a nice change.

The Indians scored both of their runs on a sac fly by Orlando Cabrera.  with bases loaded and two out, he sent a fly ball out to left field.  Milton Bradley secured the catch and then threw to third base.  The only problem is that there was no one anywhere near third base.  The ball bounced, rolled, and then trickled into the dugout.  Shin-Soo Choo was awarded home.  I’m not wondering if Bradley wasn’t trying to bean someone in the stands who made fun of him and his irrational anger.  I bet Eric Wedge is enjoying being reunited with him… and vice versa.

Anyways, the Indians will close out the series and go for the sweep later this afternoon.  Then they head to Anaheim to take on the Angels for a three game set.  Hopefully they head into Angels Stadium with lucky #7 in their back pocket.

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4/9/11: Indians vs. Mariners

The Indians are in first place by themselves, they have a record of 5-2, and they’re on a 5 game winning streak.  The only way things could get better was if Travis Hafner looked and swung the bat like he did 4 or 5 seasons ago.

Oh wait, that’s right… he is!

Hafner has been a beast in the middle of the Indians line up to start the season.  It’s a good thing too.  Hafner’s 2 home runs, 6 RBI, and .375 batting average are picking up the slack for Shin-Soo Choo.  Choo has been anything but hot to start the season.  He’s currently batting only .111 and his one home run is the only ball he’s hit hard so far.  I’m not saying I;m worried about Choo, but if they could get him going along with Santana and Hafner, this line up could be unstoppable right now.

By the way, the Matt LaPorta watch update is as follows: .300 avg, 1 double, 1 home run, 3 RBI.  He’s not hitting for power yet, but at least the average is up.

Moving on to the pitching, Carlos Carrasco showed what he’s capable of last night and why the Indians have been so high on him for so long.  He was outstanding.  All of his pitches were dancing and he had the Mariners baffled.  The end result was 6 innings pitched, 4 hits, i run, and 6 strikeouts.  Very impressive.  We’ve seen now from the Indians that this starting rotation has scary good potential.  This is a nice turn of events based on the fact that it was one of the major question marks heading into the season.  Let’s see if they can keep it up now for a prolonged period of time.

The Indians look to go for win number 6 and 6 in a row tonight in game two of their three game set against the Mariners.  Here are the Lineups for the game which starts at 9:10 eastern time.

Indians:

  1. Michael Brantley, CF
  2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
  3. Shin-Soo Choo, RF
  4. Carlos Santana, C
  5. Travis Hafner, DH
  6. Orlando Cabrera, 2B
  7. Travis Buck, LF
  8. Matt LaPorta, 1B
  9. Jack Hannahan, 3B
  • Justin Masterson, P

Mariners:

  1. Ichiro, RF
  2. Chone Figgins, 3B
  3. Milton Bradley, LF
  4. Jack Cust, DH
  5. Justin Smoak, 1B
  6. Miguel Olivo, C
  7. Adam Kennedy, 2B
  8. Brendan Ryan, SS
  9. Michael Saunders, CF
  • Doug Fister, P

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