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Series Preview: Indians vs. Royals

It’s palpaple, you can feel the division slipping away. The Indians lost five games in the division race, all in this past week. They also could have lost Travis Hafner for the season with a foot injury. Even on an off day they were presented the news that Josh Tomlin will miss his next scheduled start for undiscolsed reasons. The Tribe is searching for a boost, of any kind. Fortunately, they will get that boost with the addition of Jim Thome from Minnesota. Though he’s on the last leg of his career, and possibly the last month, he will (or at the very least SHOULD) be welcomed back with open arms. Will it help? Probably not, but Jim is back where he belongs. Wearing a Wahoo cap.

 

 

August 26-28, 2011

Progressive Field

Scouting Report

  • Kansas City – Losers of eight of 12 against the Indians this year, Kansas City rolls into Cleveland after taking two of three from the Blue Jays. Kansas City has shown some offensive power this season, just not against the Indians. For the first time since 2003, Kansas City has four players with 30 doubles or more. Against the Indians, Kansas City is averaging just under four runs per game. A majority of those runs came the last time the two clubs squared off in late July, where Kansas City blasted the Indians 12-0 in the series opener, and took two of three from the Tribe. That 12-0 drubbing was part of an evening where Carlos Carrasco was ejected for throwing behind the head of Billy Butler, all after giving up a grand slam.

 

  • Cleveland – The Indians aren’t doing much of anything right nowadays. There’s no pitching, the hitting is sparse and they’ve been suffering from even more injuries. The starting pitching has been a real bust most recently, as they are a combined 0-5 over their past seven starts with an ERA of 9.61. Hopefully, the addition of Jim Thome will provide the Tribe with a boost as they head down the stretch. He won’t be playing every day, but he will be fill the void adequately that Travis Hafner has left behind since he was sent to the DL. Since the All-Star break, Hafner has hit .220 with three homers, five doubles and 14 RBI’s. Thome has batted .278 with six dingers, eight doubles and 21 RBI’s in that same time frame. He will be a welcomed addition to the Indians lineup, and if things fall into place, just might help the Indians limp into the post-season. To add to the list of ravaging injuries, Michael Brantley and Josh Tomlin were also added to an already croweded disabled list.

Pitching Match-ups

Game 1 – Felipe Paulino vs. Ubaldo Jimenez

  • Felipe Paulino  2-5, 3.91 ERA

An eight-run inning helped Paulino earn just his second win of the season. Paulino said he needs to work on keeping his pitch count down, but went six innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and three walks.

  • Ubaldo Jimenez  1-1, 7.29 ERA

Jimenez imploded in a seven-run third inning in Detroit during Sunday’s 8-7 loss. In all, he allowed eight runs and nine hits in 3 1/3 frames. In three road starts with Cleveland, he now has an ERA of 11.77.

Game 2 – Danny Duffy vs. Fausto Carmona

  • Danny Duffy  3-8, 5.48 ERA

The rookie had one of his most impressive outings against the Red Sox last Sunday, going six innings and giving up two runs on five hits. Duffy kept his pitches low, managed his pitch count and was aggressive. His last win came against the Indians.

  • Fausto Carmona  6-12, 4.76 ERA

Carmona pitched well on Monday for the seventh straight time since returning from the 15-day disabled list on July 18. The right-hander held the Mariners to two runs (one earned) in six innings, but didn’t factor into the decision in a 3-2 loss.

Game 3 – Bruce Chen vs. Justin Masterson

  • Bruce Chen  9-5, 4.12 ERA

Chen had arguably his best game this season on Tuesday in Toronto, his 7 2/3 innings marred only by a three-run homer. This was his fourth straight winning start in August, a month in which he’s 18-9 in his career.

  • Justin Masterson  10-7, 2.83 ERA

Masterson allowed five runs in a start on Tuesday for the first time since May 29, though he nearly hurled a complete game. He departed after 8 1/3 innings, and his offense avoided the loss with a ninth-inning comeback.

Probable Lineups

Kansas City

  1. LF Alex Gordon
  2. CF Melky Cabrera
  3. DH Billy Butler
  4. 1B Eric Hosmer
  5. RF Jeff Francoeur
  6. 3B Mike Moustakas
  7. 2B Johnny Giavotella
  8.    C Salvador Perez
  9. SS Chris Getz

Cleveland

  1. CF Ezequiel Carrera
  2. 2B Chord Phelps
  3. SS Asdrubal Cabrera
  4. DH Jim Thome
  5. 1B Carlos Santana
  6. RF Kosuke Fukudome
  7. LF Shelly Duncan
  8. 3B Jack Hannahan
  9.    C Lou Marson

 

 

 

Topics: Billy Butler, Indians, Jim Thome, Josh Tomlin, Michael Brantley, Royals

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