Series Preview: Indians vs. Orioles

The back-to-back losses the Indians suffered against the Angels shouldn’t tarnish the 4-2 record on the road trip. The Tribe still played good baseball but they ran into some quality pitching from the opposition. Dan Haren and Ervin Santana are two of the better pitchers in the American League which should serve as no surprise as to why the Indians offense appeared to be lacking in this recent series. Now the struggling Orioles come to town and the Indians return home to the Jake (still not calling it “Progressive Field”).

April 15-17, 2011

Progressive Field

Scouting Report

  • Baltimore – The Orioles got off to a hot start but have since cooled down. They have lost four straight and have been outscored 29-10 during that span. They have just the guy on the mound in the opener in Zach Britton to get them out of their funk.  The Orioles have been very good in opening games of the series this year and particularly under Buck Showalter. They are 17-5 since he took over. Baltimore’s bullpen has been struggling and their relievers have allowed four homers and given up 11 runs during the team’s four game slide.
  • Cleveland – The Indians concluded their “left” coast road trip with a 4-2 record. The winning streak was halted at eight but they still played quality baseball in the two losses in the Anaheim series. The starting pitching was still stout, but the bats weren’t as thunderous as they had previously been. That’s probably because they faced Dan Haren and Ervin Santana, who have been close to  un-hittable this year. Cleveland comes back to the Jake to face a team that is struggling, but the pitching won’t get any easier as they will face Zach Britton who is 2-0 with a microscopic .066 ERA. IF they can weather the early storm they may have some success against an Orioles bullpen that has been struggling.

Pitching Match-up(s)

Game 1: Zach Britton vs. Justin Masterson

  • Zach Britton  2-0, .066 ERA

The O’s only rookie, Britton dominated Texas on Saturday night, tossing 7 2/3 scoreless innings. He allowed the leadoff man to reach in five innings but exited to a standing ovation in his first career home start.

  • Justin Masterson  2-0, 1.35 ERA

Masterson used a heavy dose of sinkers and a strong slider to limit the Mariners to one run over 6 1/3 innings in his second outing of the season. After recording no strikeouts in his 2011 debut vs. the White Sox, he fanned nine vs. Seattle. The Indians leaned on Masterson to end their last two-game skid and they will hope he can be the force for them again this weekend.

Game 2: Jeremy Guthrie vs. Josh Tomlin

  • Jeremy Guthrie  1-1, .064 ERA

Guthrie is coming off six innings of one-run baseball, allowing only a solo homer to the Texas Rangers in Sunday’s loss. The ace of the staff, Guthrie’s outing was even more impressive given that he was coming off a bout of pneumonia.

  • Josh Tomlin  2-0, 2.64 ERA

Tomlin was just as successful in his second outing of the season as he was in his first. He tossed 6 2/3 innings after going seven strong against a powerful Red Sox Lineup.

Game 3: Brad Bergesen vs. Mitch Talbot

  • Brad Bergesen  0-1, 3.18 ERA

Bergesen has made just one start this season and is coming off two innings of scoreless relief against the Yankees on Wednesday night. The 25-year-old Bergesen will try to get back into a rhythm in the series finale at Cleveland.

  • Mitch Talbot  1-0, 1.46 ERA

After lasting 4 1/3 in his first start against the Red Sox, Talbot was a magician against the Angels in the opener. He nearly went the complete game after holding the Angels scoreless through eight, but the first batter of the ninth inning, Bobby Abreu blasted a leadoff double on Talbot’s 112th pitch and that was all she wrote for Talbot.

Probable Lineups

Cleveland

1. CF Michael Brantley

2. SS Asdrubal Cabrera

3. RF Shin-Soo Choo

4. C  Carlos Santana

5. DH Travis Hafner

6. 2B Orlando Cabrera

7. LF Austin Kearns

8. 1B Matt LaPorta

9. 3B Jack Hannahan

Baltimore

1. 2B Brian Roberts

2. RF Nick Markakis

3. 1B Derek Lee

4. DH Vladimir Guerro

5.  LF Luke Scott

6. CF Adam Jones

7. 3B Mark Reynolds

8. C    Matt Wieters

9. SS Cesar Izturis

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