Series Preview: Indians vs. Rockies


First place.  That’s where the Indians are once again after a series sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates. They did it with solid pitching and timely hitting as they were able to take advantage of a Pirates team who’s bats looked eerily similar to those of the Indians throughout their recent struggles. Friday night it was Travis Hafner sparking a late inning surge in his return. Saturday night it was Carlos Carrasco carrying a no-hit bid into the top of the sixth inning while Grady Sizemore collected two hits and scored two runs. Sunday afternoon neither team was at their best as the Pirates stranded runners, but it would be rookie Cord Phelps who would garner all the attention courtesy of a walk-off three-run homer in the bottom of the 11th. The Indians will now take test their perfect interleague record against the Colorado Rockies who are also perfect in interleague play.

 

June 20-22, 2011

Progressive Field

Scouting Report

  • Colorado – The Rockies were best friends to the Indians this weekend as they were able to take two of three from Detroit and help Cleveland claim a one-game lead over the American League Central. They have won six of their last ten and sit 3 1/2 games out of first place in the NL West coming into Monday. Rookie Charlie Blackmon has continued to impress since his June 7 call-up going 5-for-10 over the weekend while also scoring three runs. Ty Wigginton was another key contributor for the Rockies going 4-for-10 with four runs scored. Wigginton and teammate Troy Tulowitzki have each recorded a hit in their last five games coming into the series against the Indians.
  • Cleveland – The Indians got just what they needed this weekend and are back atop the standings in the AL Central. To that point they had gone 6-16 in their previous 22 games and had been outscored 127-61 during that span. They hadn’t won a series in June, where they were outscored 80-43 and had only averaged scoring 2.9 runs per game as opposed to giving up 5.3. Aside from scoring 13 runs on the first day of June the Indians only scored five runs or more twice and were shutout twice. That changed this weekend when the starting pitching allowed just four earned runs over a total of 18 innings. The Tribe was directly aided by Travis Hafner’s return on Friday night while Carlos Santana and Shin-Soo Choo showed signs that they may be breaking out of their slumps as the weekend progressed. Choo posted an OBP of .615 this weekend after going 4-for-9 with four walks. Santana went 5-for-10 against the Bucs knocking in four and scored two more.

Pitching Match-up(s)

Game 1 – Juan Nicasio vs. Fausto Carmona

  • Juan Nicasio  2.1, 3.38 ERA

The rookie right-hander is coming off one of the best starts of his young Major League career, which came against San Diego on Tuesday, when he struck out nine Padres while giving up two runs on two hits over six innings.

  • Fausto Carmona  4-8, 5.79 ERA

Carmona has allowed at least four earned runs in each of his last seven starts. However, he ended a personal five-game slide Wednesday in Detroit, earning the victory after giving up four earned runs and eight hits in five innings.

Game 2 – Jhoulys Chacin vs. Mitch Talbot

  • Jhoulys Chacin  8-4, 2.81 ERA

Hammel earned his first win since April 30 on Friday, despite giving up six runs over 6 1/3 innings. In six games (two starts) against the Indians, Hammel is 0-2 with a 6.27 ERA, with 19 strikeouts over 18 2/3 innings.

  • Mitch Talbot  2-4, 5.02 ERA

Talbot struggled in a start Thursday at Detroit, allowing six earned runs and nine hits over four innings. He has pitched more than six innings in just one of his seven starts. He has never faced the Rockies.

Game 3 -Jason Hammel vs. Josh Tomlin

  • Jason Hammel  4-6, 4.00 ERA

Hammel earned his first win since April 30 on Friday, despite giving up six runs over 6 1/3 innings. In six games (two starts) against the Indians, Hammel is 0-2 with a 6.27 ERA, with 19 strikeouts over 18 2/3 innings.

  • Josh Tomlin  8-4, 3.93 ERA

Tomlin was stellar on Friday, allowing just one run over 6 2/3 innings for his team-leading eighth win. The right-hander had allowed six earned runs in each of his three previous starts.

Probable Lineups

Colorado

  1. CF Carlos Gonzalez
  2. 2B Chris Nelson
  3. 1B Todd Helton
  4. SS Troy Tulowitzki
  5. DH Jason Giambi
  6. RF Seth Smith
  7. 3B Ty Wigginton
  8. LF Charlie Blackmon
  9. C Chris Iannetta

Cleveland

  1. CF Grady Sizemore
  2. LF Michael Brantley
  3. SS Asdrubal Cabrera
  4. DH Travis Hafner
  5. RF Shin-Soo Choo
  6. 1B Carlos Santana
  7. 3B Orlando Cabrera
  8. 2B Cord Phelps
  9. C Lou Marson