What Could Possibly Happen Next?

Two runs apiece in the first 2 innings, a 2 hour rain delay, a missed suicide squeeze, 12 innings of shutout pitching from the bull pen, a swing and a drive deep to right that went just foul, and a walk of hit by pitch at 2 in the morning.

I do believe we have reached the point where we might have seen everything when it comes to the 2011 Cleveland Indians.  Seriously, think about how this season has gone so far.  We’ve seen walk off home runs, walk off grand slams, a walk off walk, walk off base hits, dramatic come from behind wins, dramatic come from ahead losses.  It’s been a hell of a ride.  At this point, you could tell me that Satchel Paige was starting tonight’s game with Joe Charboneau out in center and I might actually believe you.

Ok, maybe that’s a stretch of epic proportions… anyways.

The Indians beat the Tigers for the fourth straight time at home this year, all of which have come in dramatic, last at bat fashion.  This was also the 12 straight time the Indians have beaten the Tigers at Progressive field.  If anyone out there can figure that out I’d really like to know the explanation.  Sure it seems plausible, but given the fact the Tigers have Justin Verlander it just makes you scratch your head and say “Huh?”

If the Indians have any hope of catching up with the Tigers and really putting themselves back in contention for the AL Central they’ll need to keep that streak going.  If they can do the unthinkable and somehow take the next two games and sweep the Tigers, the Indians will be back within 1 game of the Tigers with 9 games still remaining against them.  Again, that’s easier said than done thanks to the fact that Justin Verlander is lying in wait for Wednesday night (can we end this debate over who should be the AL Cy Young winner?  Verlander has been the best pitcher in the AL, hands down.  No offense to C.C. Sabathia and Jared Weaver, but Verlander has been damn near unbeatable).

If the Indians want to make up any ground in this, tonight’s the game they have to win.  Making his first start in Cleveland, Ubaldo Jimenez will face off against Rick Porcello.  No offense to Porcello, but this is the type of game Jimenez was brought to Cleveland to pitch in.  He has to dominate tonight and he has to put the Indians in a position to win.  That means going 7 or even 8 innings and shutting the Tigers offense down, especially after last night’s pitching marathon in which the Indians used every pitcher in their bullpen.  Tonight is when we’ll find out whether or not the trade was worth it.

Here are the lineups for tonight’s game:

Indians:

  1. Ezequiel Carrera, CF
  2. Jason Kipnis, 2B
  3. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
  4. Travis Hafner, DH
  5. Carlos Santana, 1B
  6. Kosuke Fukudome, RF
  7. Shelley Duncan, LF
  8. Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B
  9. Lou Marson, C
  • Ubaldo Jimenez, P

Tigers:

  1. Andy Dirks, CF
  2. Brennon Boesch, LF
  3. Maglio ordonez, RF
  4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
  5. Victor Martinez, DH
  6. Ryan Raburn, 2B
  7. Alex Avila, C
  8. Wilson Betemit, 3B
  9. Ramon Santiago, SS
  • Rick Porcello, P
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