It’s been a relatively eventful weekend of Tribe baseball, as the Indians pulled a page out of the 95 Indians and scored 8 runs in the top of the 9th to rally from a 2-0 deficit at Baltimore on Saturday, followed by Jake the Snake tossing a gem today, and the Indians winning 5-1.
It hasn’t all been bubblegum and daffodils though, as Grady Sizemore is now day-to-day with a right knee contusion. He injured it diving back to first after a single. The Indians will take a wait-and-see approach with Sizemore and will asses the situation tomorrow at Tampa Bay.
This makes the recent call-up of Trevor Crowe wonderfully convenient, as you don’t need to make a snap judgement on Sizemore as you have an extra outfielder hanging around. (By the way, the Indians are not allowed to release why Andy Marte is on the DL, but all signs point to it not being serious. You can breathe again.) Crowe connected on a two-run homer during the 8-run ninth inning on Saturday, and also made two baserunning errors. Go figure.
And while there were a lot of things in that inning to make you smile as a Tribe fan (that huge Austin Kearns 3-run blast, Hafner and Peralta not getting out), let’s not forget that the Immortal Mitch T kept this thing close. Talbot has been a godsend for this team as a fourth starter, with a 3.23 ERA and usually keeping the game close. It’s hard to believe the Indians got this guy for just the arbitration-eligible Kelly Shoppach (who many insiders figured the Indians would just end up releasing).
In today’s game, Jake Westbrook came within an out of a shutout, his only real blemish was a solo homer to Luke Scott in the 9th. He definitely was Jake the Snake, scattering nine hits and just one (ONE!) walk. (Good things happen when you don’t walk people.) It’s great to see Westbrook start to come around, even if this does hasten his eventual departure from the Tribe. If Westbrook is pitching well, he could easily net a valuable player in a trade, and I fully expect the Indians to explore this option with Westbrook.
Another guy the Indians could deal this season is Russell Branyan, who continues to go yard, hitting his 4th homer in five games. If Branyan proves he’s healthy (and usable), he also could land the Indians a decent prospect. You may laugh at me, but remember who the Indians got for Eduardo Perez and Ben Broussard (both were sent to Seattle in separate deals)? Arguably two of the best players on the team in Asdrubal Cabrera and Shin-Soo Choo. Now, Mark Shapiro fleeced Seattle in those deals, so it’s not likely the team will get such an impact player in return for Branyan, but you never know.
Oh yeah, and Matt LaPorta FINALLY hit a home run today, a two run shot that was his first of the season. The Indians desperately need LaPorta to become the player they thought they’d get when the Indians traded CC Sabathia. He’s been pathetic this year but hopefully this home run is the first of things to come.
I said at the start of the road trip that this stretch versus Kansas City and Baltimore would be a great opportunity for the Tribe to get some wins and some confidence. They did that, and they will need it when they roll into Tampa Bay tomorrow for a two-game set with the Rays.
Topics: Andy Marte, Asdrubal Cabrera, Austin Kearns, Ben Broussard, Eduardo Perez, Grady Sizemore, Jake Westbrook, Jhonny Peralta, Kelly Shoppach, Luke Scott, Matt LaPorta, Mitch Talbot, Russell Branyan, Shin Soo Choo, Travis Hafner, Trevor Crowe