Thursday, August 30, 2007


Blogging and the first week of classes definitely don't get along very well; might have to hire a secretary or something. On to the Tribe...

Get happy Tribe fans.

Cleveland swept the Twinkies in style Wednesday by becoming the only team in the history of the universe to hand Johan Santana three losses in a season, going 3-1 in four meetings against the lefty. C.C. Sabathia was finally awarded his 15th win of the season after suffering from poor run support in his last four tries. Asdrubal Cabrera started off the Tribe's 4-run first inning with a 2-run uppercut blast over the mini-monster in left field. Victor, Gutz, and Lofton homered, doubled, and singled off Santana to score the other two runs. The Tribe's offense collected 10 hits on the night (only Hafner and Blake failed to reach base), although Santana was able to prevent any further scoring.

Cleveland dominated the Twins during the three game series, scoring 18 runs with a team ERA of 3.67. Minnesota never held a lead over the 27 innings played. Minnesota marks the Tribe's fourth straight series win, plus a two game split with Detroit.

On July 31, the team had a 60-46 record and trailed Detroit by a game, but Cleveland has quietly built a winning record in August. By going 15-11 this month (with two games remaining), the Tribe has pushed their second half record back over .500 at 23-20.

The Tribe's offense has been running on all cylinders since their 11-8 win over Detroit, averaging 5.87 runs per game. Add that to an already white hot pitching staff (3.31 ERA in August) and you're looking at a serious momentum shift in Cleveland.

I think the combination of getting demolished by the Yanks and having to go into Detroit a half game down really woke this team up. It's almost like lighting struck, but that Detroit series in the middle of the month seems to be the where the Tribe started to play with the fire and focus that had the rest of the league sweating the first two months of the season.

It might just be a coincidence, but AstroCab did make his major league debut a week before the team really took off again. Hmmm... More on #13 in my next post.

Meanwhile, Detroit has continued to free-fall and now sits 4.5 games back with only three head-to-head games remaining with Cleveland. The Tigers pitching continued to get battered this week as they lost their latest series to the dangerous Kansas City Royals. K.C. actually has a better second half record (20-22) than Detroit (19-27) and has posted a winning record the past two months.


It's the end of an era in Cleveland. Once Kansas City finishes its overhaul of Kauffman Stadium in 2009, Cleveland will lose the title of Largest Freestanding Scoreboard in the United States. KC's trademark crest scoreboard will be remodeled as a video screen, beating out the Jake's 149 by 36 foot A/V monolith. Losing the Jake's claim to fame to a division rival just doesn't seem right. I think Dolan should take some of that free agent money Shapiro is selfishly hoarding away and blow it all on an even bigger scoreboard. That'll show KC who runs the Central. What else do Cleveland fans have to brag about? Wait, we're still in first place? Oh. Well, nevermind then.

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