Another series, another series loss. It seems like I was writing that the opposite way earlier this season. Oh, wait I was. The Tribe was able to salvage one win in the series on Monday night and will travel to Detroit for a big series against the Tigers. Whichever team comes out of this series with the victory will have sole-possession of first place in the American League Central. As bad as the Indians are playing, that’s how good the Tigers have been playing. The lineup shake-up Monday night helped a bit but the Tribe still needed a stellar performance from Carlos Carrasco. The good news for that lineup, Travis Hafner will be returning soon.
June 14-16, 2011
- Cleveland – Do you really want me to tell you how bad things have gone for the Indians? Losers of 14 of their last 19, averaging 2.8 runs per game and are coming off a series loss to the Yankees in which the bats were listless and we saw fundamental mistakes in the field. They have been shut out three times in their last 11 games and have scored a total of two runs over their last three games. The last time these two teams met up the Indians swept the Tigers. Hopefully this series isn’t reversed this time around. Comerica Park has not been a friendly place to the Indians. The Indians have dropped five straight and been outscored 101-49 while losing 15 of 17 at Comerica Park.
- Detroit – The Tigers are hot, plain and simple. They have won 11 of their last 16 and have gone 14-7 since the Indians slide has begun. Former Indian Victor Martinez is 4 for 8 with two doubles against Masterson, and 8 for 16 with six RBIs his last four games overall. Martinez scored on Ramon Santiago’s triple to give Detroit a 2-1, 10-inning win over Tampa Bay on Monday. Magglio Ordonez went 0 for 2 in his first game after missing a month with an ankle injury. The Tigers slugger is batting just .168 this season, but .363 with 21 RBIs his last 24 games versus Cleveland at Comerica.
Game 1 – Justin Masterson vs. Justin Verlander
- Justin Masterson 5-4, 3.18 ERA
Masterson hasn’t won since April 26, going 0-4 with a 3.79 ERA in his past eight starts. On Wednesday against the Twins, he took a no-decision after allowing two runs on nine hits over eight innings, in which he struck out three and walked none.
- Justin Verlander 7-3, 2.89 ERA
Verlander had won six straight decisions against Cleveland until losing last September at Progressive Field. That was a little different atmosphere than he’ll face at Comerica Park to open a clash for the AL Central lead.
Game 2 – Fausto Carmona vs. Brad Penny
- Fausto Carmona 3-8, 5.71 ERA
Carmona has labored of late, posting an 0-5 record with an 8.49 ERA (33 earned runs/35 innings) over his past six starts. On Friday, the righty gave up six runs on eight hits in four innings in a loss to the Yanks. He walked three and hit one batter
- Brad Penny 5-5, 4.69 ERA
Penny is 3-0 in four starts against the AL Central this year, but he’ll see his first matchup with Cleveland. He has one win in his last four outings despite seven quality innings in defeat Friday night against the Mariners.
Game 3 – Mitch Talbot vs. Max Scherzer
- Mitch Talbot 2-3, 4.01 ERA
Talbot has thrown well over his past three starts, posting a 2.45 ERA over that span. Due to a lack of run support, he only has a 1-2 record to show for his effort. Talbot allowed two runs over 5 2/3 frames in a loss to the Yanks on Saturday.
- DH Grady Sizemore
- C Carlos Santana
- CF Michael Brantley
- SS Asdrubal Cabrera
- RF Shin-Soo Choo
- 2B Orlando Cabrera
- LF Travis Buck
- 1B Matt LaPorta
- 3B Jack Hannahan
- CF Austin Jackson
- 3B Don Kelly
- RF Brennan Boesch
- 1B Miguel Cabrera
- DH Victor Martinez
- LF Andy Dirks
- C Alex Avila
- SS Ramon Santiago
- 2B Ryan Raburn