5/31/11: Indians vs. Blue Jays

And I’m back.

I’ve missed the past few days and the past few games and well, just about every major story that’s taken place.  I was back home in Ohio taking care of a few things and never had a chance to sit down and really write anything.  I also didn’t really feel like writing anything either.  I was keeping really weird hours and when I did have a chance to sit down and unwind I either wanted to shut my brain off and watch TV or take a nap.  Don’t judge me.

I’m back though so I guess that means I should get back at it.  So here goes nothin’.

Let’s just get it out in the open right now.  The Indians are playing like crap… plain and simple.  They aren’t hitting, they aren’t pitching, they aren’t fielding, and they aren’t running the bases well at all right now.  They’ve been outscored roughly 44-15 over the course of their last 6 games.  Ouch.  Needless to say this is the first real slump of the Indians 2011 season thus far.  The explanation of course is injuries.  Over the course of the past two weeks the Indians have lost Grady and got back a colder version, they lost Hafner to the DL with a strained oblique, and Carlos Santana’s bat has gone back into hibernation (not that it ever really woke up to begin with).

Right now the Indians have been forced to plug holes by any means necessary.  This has meant finally shuffling the lineup by moving Santana out of the 4 hole, moving Sizemore down to fill the run production gap missing thanks to the Hafner injury, and shuffling the trio of Duncan, Kearns, and Buck between DH and left field.  Compounding things has been the fact that the Indians have been playing some pretty solid competition between the Red Sox, Rays, and now the better than advertised Blue Jays.  Things won’t get any better as the Tribe travels home to take on the Rangers for 4 games.  Good luck with that.

On the flip side, even though the lineup has been absolutely awful of late, the pitching has finally hit it’s first major rough spot.  Fausto has pitched like crap, Mitch Talbot got hammered in his first start back, and Masterson has also gotten beaten around the ball park.  When it seems like the Indians do get a decent outing, they don’t score any runs or make a stupid mistake.

Simply put, if the Indians want to remedy their current situation they need to start getting back to the basics and playing smart fundamental baseball.  You know, the kind of baseball they played the first month and three quarters of the season.  Otherwise, things might start to get a lot more interesting with the Tigers lurking in the weeds ready to pounce.  The last thing the Indians want to do is lose the lead they worked so hard to build up early in the season only to find themselves in a street fight.  I’m not so sure this team is equipped enough to deal with that kind of pressure, not right now.

The Indians will look to get back on track tonight in game 2 versus the Blue Jays.  The pitching matchup for tonight’s game will be Mitch Talbot versus Brandon Morrow.  Here are the lineups.

Indians:

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

Blue Jays:

  1. Yunel Excobar, SS
  2. Corey Patterson, LF
  3. Jose Bautista, RF
  4. Juan Rivera, 1B
  5. J.P. Arencibia, C
  6. Aaron Hill, 2B
  7. Eric Thames, DH
  8. Rajai Davis, CF
  9. Jayson Nix, 2B
  • Brandon Morrow, P
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