The objective throughout a baseball season is pretty simple: If you can consistently win two out of three, then you are making the lives of other teams within the division very uncomfortable. When both strong pitching and a hot offense converge on top of that? Fun, fun, fun!
It didn’t start out that way, though. Kansas City smacked Masterson and the Boys around pretty good by a score of 9-0 in the first game of the double-dip last Sunday. But something happened in the time before the nightcap. Whatever it was, it would probably be a good idea to keep that on the daily list of things to do. Mike Aviles and Corey Kluber got the Tribe’s week of mojo rolling, cruising to a 10-3 win.
But the most satisfying day of the week had to be on Monday, in which we were finally able to witness the Ubaldo Jimenez that we were expecting (7 INN/3 H/4 SO/3 BB) when the Indians brought him over in the ill-fated trade with Colorado. One start does not make a turnaround (he gets the call tonight against Oakland), but we are at the point now–both organizationally and as fans–that we are looking for any signal of Jiminez being able to turn the proverbial corner. For one fleeting night, however, we saw the potential. But I don’t blame you for banking on the “aberration” side of things. Because I’m right there with you. But that’s a worry for…today. It was a nice split of the four-gamer considering how it started. It was also our official introduction to Ryan Rayburn, who was impossibly hot for about four days.
You would have been forgiven if you were dreading the prospect of facing the prospect of facing Roy Halladay, who had apparently righted himself from a rare early season slump. But spring finally decided to show up, and the bats were cooking. It turned into a night of baseball ping-pong as the outfield walls were sitting in at little league depth. Nine homers for both sides as the Tribe romped. The most interesting subplot in the short two-gamer against the Phillies was Cliff Lee’s return to Jacobs/Progressive Field. The offense wasn’t was bambastic as they had been, but the Tribe still managed to knock around their former ace for four runs en route to a 6-0 win and a two-game sweep.
It’s always good to take series from divisional opponents, and it’s always a plus to take the first two when you have a shot for a sweep. But the offense ran out of gas yesterday, and the Twins get just enough offensively to halt the Tribe’s winning streak at six games. We’ll take stretches like this at any time.
Baseball’s much more fun when it all clicks. Let’s start another one!