The Tribe closed out a rough road trip with another tough loss to the Rangers in the series finale. This time it was another late inning rally for Texas, and another unusual letdown from an otherwise stellar bullpen. A day off on Monday will certainly help the Tribe regroup as they head into an important series with division leading Detroit on Tuesday. It’s the first of 12 the Indians and Tigers will play over the final month and a half of the season, and there’s plenty at stake.
August 9-11, 2011
- Detroit - The Tigers took two of three from the Royals over the weekend to extend their lead in the American League Central to four games. That’s a large lead considering that, prior to this weekend, the Indians and Tigers were never more than a game-and-a-half apart from June 6 to July 22. They have won six of their last ten and are up against an Indians club that is struggling mightily. BUT they have lost 11 straight at Progressive Field, including getting swept back on May 1. The Tigers, however; took two of three from the Tribe in Mid-June and will be primed to take firm control of the AL Central after a day off themselves. The Tigers acquired Doug Fister before the trading deadline in hopes that he will help deliver the team’s first division title in 24 years. Detroit could be without a pivotal piece of their lineup, as Victor Martinez sat out of Sunday’s finale in Kansas City with a sprained left knee. Manager Jim Leyland would not commit to whether or not Martinez would return to the lineup Tuesday, saying “I think so, but I can’t swear to that. I don’t know what’s going to happen. We always say, the only thing that ever takes care of injuries is time. But I don’t think it’s going to take that much time.”
- Cleveland -The Indians are coming off of a tough road trip in which they went 3-4, but had the lead late in the game in all four of those losses. The culprit? The bullpen, surprisingly. The Indians offense came through early in Texas, giving Ubaldo Jimenez seven runs to work with in his Cleveland debut. It wasn’t enough as they failed to find the scoreboard again after the third inning. Carlos Santana recorded a career high five RBI’s in that contest, but it proved to be not enough. In the finale, Josh Tomlin turned in a stellar performance, but a five-run implosion gave way to a 5-3 loss.The last time the Indians played the Tigers in Cleveland, they swept Detroit in three games. Since then, they are just 20-30 at Progressive Field. It’s the first of 12 meetings the two clubs will have over the final month of the season.
Game 1 – Doug Fister vs. Justin Masterson
- Doug Fister 1-0, 2.57 ERA
Fister’s Tigers debut earned him his first win since May 30, thanks to timely run support and quick outs over seven innings of two-run ball. He now has a matchup against one of the teams the Tigers acquired him to try to beat.
- Justin Masterson 9-7, 2.63 ERA
With Carlos Carrasco serving a six-game suspension, Masterson will get his turn early. He’s been as good as ever the last two months, with a 1.97 ERA over his last 12 starts.
Game 2 – Rick Porcello vs. Ubaldo Jimenez
- Rick Porcello 11-6, 4.49 ERA
Porcello has been skipped in the rotation twice this year, but when Justin Verlander was moved up to face Cleveland, so was Porcello, who is 5-0 in his past six starts. He pitched seven innings of two-run ball in Cleveland in April.
- Ubaldo Jimenez 0-0, 9.00 ERA
In his first start with Cleveland, Jimenez yielded five runs in five innings, striking out seven. He didn’t factor into the decision. Jimenez beat the Tigers on June 18, allowing three runs in five innings.
Game 3 – Justin Verlander vs. Fausto Carmona
- Justin Verlander 16-5, 2.30 ERA
The Tigers switched up their rotation order to pit Verlander against their closest division competitors. He endured a scorching night in Kansas City to beat the Royals and join CC Sabathia as the Majors’ only 16-game winners.
- Fausto Carmona 5-11, 5.19 ERA
Carmona allowed four runs (two earned) in a no-decision Saturday at Texas. Since returning from the 15-day disabled list on July 18, the right-hander is 1-1 with a 2.81 ERA in four starts.
- CF Austin Jackson
- KF Brennan Boesch
- 3B Ryan Raburn
- 1B Miguel Cabrera
- DH Magglio Ordonez
- Carlos Guillen
- SS Jhonny Peralta
- C Alex Avilla
- RF Andy Dirks
- LF Michael Brantley
- 2B Jason Kipnis
- SS Asdrubal Cabrera
- DH Travis Hafner
- C Carlos Santana
- RF Kosuke Fukudome
- 3B Lonnie Chisenhall
- 1B Matt LaPorta
- CF Ezequiel Carrera