Series Preview: Indians vs. Red Sox

The Indians had a rough opening weekend against the White Sox. The starting pitching struggled, but the offense was surprisingly potent. Can the Tribe’s offense keep it up against the reeling Red Sox?

April 5-7, 2011

Progressive Field

Scouting Report

  • Boston – The Red Sox were swept in their opening series against the defending American League Champion Rangers. Boston hasn’t dropped four straight since they started 0-5 in 1996.  This Boston club is a team that struggled in Spring Training and it appears to have carried into the onset of the 2011 campaign.
  • Cleveland – The Tribe’s opening weekend didn’t fare much better than the Red Sox. Cleveland belted out 20 runs over the weekend but still posted a 1-2 record. That can mostly be attributed to their starting pitching laboring to get outs. Opening Day saw Fausto Carmona charged with 10 runs on 11 hits in three innings of work.  All in all an eight run fourth inning proved to be the nail in the coffin for Cleveland. Their bats awoke late but it wasn’t enough to overcome the late deficit. Day two of the series didn’t prove to be much better as Carlos Carrasco labored through 6.2 innings and was charged with seven runs on eleven hits. Luckily Justin Masterson saved the sweep on Sunday going seven strong and only allowing one run. On the offensive side of things, Carlos Santana picked up just where he left off, going 6 for 13 over the weekend while driving in three and scoring two more. Travis Hafner also had a productive weekend at the plate, going 5 for 13 and clubbing his first home run of the season.  Did anyone think Shin-Soo Choo would struggle as much as he did? Didn’t think so. If Choo’s bat comes around in addition to Sizemore in late April, it should bode well for the Indians offense. Defensively the Indians were also solid, committing just one error throughout the weekend.

Pitching Match-up

  • Josh Beckett – 21 Starts 6-6, 5.78 ERA,  1.54 WHIP

Ever since the 2007 post-season, Josh Beckett hasn’t been his normal self. This is evidence by his career high 5.78 ERA last season. But he’s fully healthy and is looking to catapult the Red Sox into contention and return to his form. His numbers against the Indians aren’t staggering,  only 3-4 with a 5.56 ERA. HOWVER, in that 2007 ALCS he was 2-0 with a 1.98 ERA and 18 strikeouts. He will try to limit the amount of home runs that the staff has given up this far. Conversely, Cleveland will look to continue their success with the long ball, as the Tribe as a club has gone deep four times over the weekend.

  • Josh Tomlin – 12 Starts 6-4, 4.56 ERA, 1.25 WHIP

Tomlin has only pitched once against the Red Sox, where he went seven innings all while allowing four runs on four hits. He also struck out five. Tomlin’s job will be similar to what manager Manny Acta asked of Justin Masterson, that is “to help us win the first inning.” If Cleveland can limit the heavy bats in Boston’s lineup the momentum should swing in favor of the feather heads.

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