6/2/11: Indians vs. Rangers

Tonight the Indians welcome the Texas Rangers to town.  Luckily, Chuck Norris isn’t traveling with them otherwise I would be a bit worried.  The last thing we need is Manny Acta taking a flying roundhouse kick to the face.  He has enough to worry about what with pitching matchups, and lineup changes, and figuring out a witty way to explain what he ate for lunch on Twitter… but I digress.

The Rangers come into Cleveland red-hot.  They’ve won 7 out of their last 10 and find themselves a game and a half up in first place in the AL West.  You’d almost think they just got both Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz back from the disabled list.  Oh wait, they did just get them back from the disabled list.  Of course they’re back and hitting on all cylinders just in time to take on the Tribe, who’s 5 and 5 over their last 10 and struggled to score runs in most games.

I almost think I’d rather take the flying roundhouse kick tot he face.  Is that an option in this situation?  No… damn.

The Rangers can be scary good when their lineup is locked in.  They show it year after year playing in that fan box of a stadium in Arlington.  Now that they actually have some relatively decent pitching and good luck.  There’s a reason they made it to the World Series last October.  True, Cliff Lee is back in Philadelphia, but that doesn’t change the fact that the rest of their core is still in place.  If the Indians want to be considered a true contender, they will need to have a decent showing over the next four games against the Rangers.

If the Indians want to get off to a good start in this series, then tonight would be a hell of a night to do it.  The Rangers are sending Dave Bush to the mound tonight.  Yes, Dave Bush… I haven’t heard of him either.  Apparently he’s only started 2 games this season and his other 7 appearances came out of the bullpen.  He comes in sporting a record of 01 with an ERA of 4.43 and as the weak link of the rotation can be had easily.  Things will be a lot harder tomorrow, Saturday, and Sunday when they face Alexi Ogando, Derek Holland, and C.J. Wilson.

For the Indians, there is a bit more lineup tinkering going on.  Most notably in the middle of the order.  Carlos Santana, fresh off of a successful week or so at the plate is being moved back into the cleanup spot.  Following Santana in the 5 hole is Grady Sizemore with Travis Buck moving down to the more appropriate 6 spot.  I like what Acta is doing here trying to take advantage of the confidence built up by Santana and Sizemore over the past handful of games, but he is still neglecting the real issue in the lineup. 

Acta should really consider dropping Choo in the lineup.  I’m not saying from 3rd to 8th or something drastically crazy like that, but rather, swap him and Sizemore.  It’s become increasingly obvious that Sizemore is eventually going to be hitting in the 3 spot.  Whether it’s for the Indians or someone else, that’s where he’s headed given his skill set.  Why ignore the obvious and in the process avoid addressing an issue that is not fixing itself on its own.  Why not at least try it?  I at least think the idea should be given some consideration.

But then again, who am I?  I’m just some shmuck with a website speaking random nonsense.  Anyways, here are the lineups for tonight’s game.

Indians:

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

Rangers:

  1. Ian Kinsler, 2B
  2. Elvis Andrus, SS
  3. Josh Hamilton, LF
  4. Chuck Norris, DH… err… Michael Young, DH
  5. Adrian Beltre, 3B
  6. Nelson Cruz, RF
  7. Mitch Moreland, 1B
  8. Yorvit Torrealba, C
  9. Endy Chavez, CF
  • Dave Bush, P
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