Carmona Pads His Stats and Branyan Comes Alive

I know it’s hard to believe, but the Indians have won three straight and are not only out of the AL Central cellar, but are in sole command of third place in the division, for whatever that’s worth.  How did the Indians manage to pull this out? Well in the case of the two victories over the Royals, it’s been good starting pitching + solid bullpen work + timely hitting = beating out the worst team in the division.

The good news is that even if the Indians lose today (which is a high possibility given that Zack Greinke is pitching for the Royals, and David Huff is pitching for the Indians), they get to face the Baltimore Orioles, proud owners of a 10-24 record and sitting firmly in last place in the AL East. This is an excellent chance for the Indians to get some wins and pad their statistics.

Speaking of padding statistics, I’m slowly beginning to accept the fact that Fausto Carmona might be back from the brink. He only went five last night, but that was due to him sitting through two rain delays. His pitch count was only at 70, so he could have easily gone another inning or so had their been no rain. Five hits and only two walks is definitely something I will take from Fausto. I’d like to see him make the next step into dominance, like he did in 2007, but honestly, on a team like this, I’m content with a pitcher who just keeps the Tribe in games, as Fausto has done this season. That 3.43 ERA isn’t a fluke by Carmona. He’s been putting runners on base, but has been doing an excellent job in keeping them from scoring. And in the end, isn’t that what pitching is about? Preventing runs?

And how about Russell “The Muscle” Branyan coming alive? (I didn’t make up “The Muscle” – that’s all Anthony Castrovince). After doing nothing his first 12 games, Branyan has exploded for three home runs, going 5 for 9 in his last two games. Maybe he needs to see more of Kansas City’s pitching. Or maybe he realized he was stealing money and decided to pitch in a little. I’m not sure, but either way I’ll take it. I didn’t like the Branyan signing but now that it’s happened, I want to see him do well. Hell, maybe the Indians will be able to trade him for a prospect if he’s been good enough (and healthy enough).

Tribe game is on at 2:10 Eastern time, and the Cavs game isn’t till eight. There’s no excuse for you not to watch both (unless you’re working, which I suppose is a valid excuse). Hang in there Cleveland. It will all be better soon.

Tags: David Huff Fausto Carmona Russell Branyan Zack Greinke

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