4/26/11: Indians vs. Royals

For the third time this year Justin Masterson takes the mound looking and do what he apparently does… stop a losing streak.  So far he’s 3 for 3.  Overall Masterson is rocking a 4-0 record with an ERA of 1.71.  Yes, the same Justin Masterson who at times last year looked completely lost out on the mound is one of the best pitchers in baseball to start the season.  All of the sudden the trading away of Victor Martinez one and a half years ago isn’t looking so bad.  Of course if he keeps pitching this way Masterson might inevitably be punching his own ticket out of town, but that’s a cy young winner rant for another day.

The Indians have hit a bit of a cold stretch the past few games having lost 3 in a row.  Still, they find themselves sitting on top of the American League’s central division with another chance to put space between them and their next closest competition.  This week finds them facing off for a three game series with the second place Royals and then a three game set with the third place Tigers.  I said it yesterday and I’ll say it again, this could potentially be a make or break stretch for the Indians here in the early stages of the season.

The Indians have gotten off to an incredible start, but now we are beginning to see the type of obstacles stand between them and a dream season.  The big elephant in the room ready to let rip a ginormous elephant sized fart is injury.  The Tribe already lost Mitch Talbot to forearm stiffness for about 6 weeks, now they await word on the status of Carlos Carrasco’s stiff elbow.  Losing one pitcher early is hard enough to overcome, but two?  Hold on folks, things could get bumpy.

The other issue that is gradually going from smoldering tinder to a full on raging inferno is the state of the Indians lineup, specifically Shin-Soo Choo, Carlos Santana, and Grady Sizemore.  The problem is that Grady is killing the ball right now.  Choo and Santana… not so much.  In fact, I’m not even sure Choo and Santana realize they’re actually supposed to hit the ball right now.  They’ve been that bad and it’s not even a case of catching tough breaks.  They aren’t hitting at all.  Many think Santana should be dropped in the order.  Those same people are beginning to think it may be for the best to drop Choo as well.  Right now the best possible lineup being thrown around by the Indians pro-bono, couch potato coaching staff is Brantley, Asdrubal, Sizemore, Hafner, Choo, Santana, Orlando, LaPorta, and Hannahan… as if a steady diet of beer and peanuts actually qualifies someone to be making such decisions.

Now… I agree that this is becoming a problem the longer it drags on, but is it really necessary to change the lineup right now?  If the Indians keep on their losing track and start slipping in the standings and fail to produce runs, then yes by all means mess with the lineup.  That’s not the case though.  The Indians are doing fine offensively and given the track records of both Choo and Santana you have to believe they’ll hit eventually.  At this point it’s probably a case of trying a little too hard.  Hitters hit and a lot of time all it takes is one or two decent games in a row to get things going.  They just need to relax and let the magic happen.  It’s only April 26th after all.  There is plenty of time left in the season for this to all work out.  In the meantime, I agree with Acta.  Keep the lineup as is and let them figure it out. 

"Damn it, Acta! I told you to bat Grady third! Didn't you get my 16 emails on the subject and excel spreadsheet of statistical analysis!?!?"

Anyways, you all know the drill by now…


  1. Grady Sizemore, CF
  2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
  3. Shin-Soo Choo, RF
  4. Carlos Santana, C
  5. Travis Hafner, DH
  6. Orlando Cabrera, 2B
  7. Michael Brantley, LF
  8. Matt Laporta, 1B
  9. Jack Hannahan, 3B
  • Justin Masterson, P


  1. Mike Aviles, 3B
  2. Melky Cabrera, CF
  3. Alex Gordon, LF
  4. Billy Butler, DH
  5. Jeff Francoeur, RF
  6. Kila Ka’aihue, 1B
  7. Alcides Escobar, SS
  8. Matt Treanor, C
  9. Chris Getz, 2B
  • Luke Hochevar, P

One thought on “4/26/11: Indians vs. Royals

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