The Indians wrapped up their west coast road trip yesterday afternoon falling to the Angels by a score of 6-5. The Indians ended up breaking even on the six game road trip that saw them win 2 of 3 against Oakland and drop 2 of 3 to Anaheim for the second time this season. It’s not a bad result, but considering how close all 6 games were and how they all ended the Indians could very well be headed back to Cleveland having won all 6. But, it wasn’t meant to be and the Indians will have to settle with a split.
The positives to take away from both series are pitching, pitching, and well… the pitching. The pitching, especially the starters were outstanding in all 6 games. Fausto Carmona continued that trend yesterday by throwing 7 innings and giving up only 3 runs. He put the team in a position to win the game. He pitched the way an ace is expected to pitch. If not for a couple of bad breaks and break downs from the bullpen, things could have been even better for the starting staff.
One has to wonder how much longer the starters can keep this up? All signs point to the rest of the season, but really? I said back inSpring Training that the starting staff would be the biggest question mark but right now it looks like the surest answer.
While Fausto was doing his best to keep the Tribe in the game from the mound, Grady Sizemore was continuing his torrid start to the season. Sizemore went 3 for 5 at the plate with a home run and RBI. I thought it would take time for Grady to get his “sea legs” back so to speak when he returned from surgery. When he burst out the gate with a full head of steam in his first 2 weeks I thought for sure he would tail off. He hasn’t. He looks like the Grady of old right now. Add his performance to the pile of things going right for the Tribe in 2011.
The Indians are quickly approaching the 40 game mark when teams know who they are. At game number 33 I’m prepared to say they’re the real deal. I’m not going to go crazy and say that they’re going to make the playoffs or that they’re going to win the World Series, but they’re definitely going to be in this race for the long run. Besides, what have any of the other teams in the central done to make you think otherwise? The White Sox are a mess and the Twins have been riddled by injury and bull pen departures. Their closest competition has been the Royals. How long are they going to be able to keep doing what they’ve been doing? Who knows, but it’s going to be interesting.
Coming home things aren’t going to get any easier. Their next series is a 3 game set against the Tampa Bay Rays. After the Indians, the Rays have been the hottest team in all of baseball. It comes as just as big of a surprise to everyone as the Indians. The Rays started off the season a beleaguered 0-6 and looked like the most anemic hitting team in baseball. As of today they sit tied for first in the AL East with the Yankees with a record of 20-14. Just goes to show how quickly everything can change. This should be a real test for the Tribe and give us an idea of where they stand with what looks to be one of the upper tier teams in baseball.
Until then, the Indians have a day off today. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m going to take advantage of it and watch Game 4 of the Heat and Celtics. More to come on that game and Saturday’s epic game 3 later today.