I’m still not sure that the situation that I said I would not talk about anymore ended the way it rightfully should have, but when things are goin’ good, things like that tend to happen in your favor a lot more frequently. Sometimes you just have to roll with the good fortune, because the Tribe are currently unable to do any wrong in going 4-0-1 in their last five series.
But winning baseball games typically boils down to pitching, and the most pleasant surprise lately is unquestionably Ubaldo Jimenez, who has had himself a heck of stretch. Obviously, we are very apprehensive to say that this is nothing more than a positive aberration, but one can’t help but hope that something has clicked. He’s been everything that we, and the front office, were envisioning he would be when he was brought over here. This has been his first run of extended success. Is it real? No one knows, and a pitcher is only as good as his last start. But he’s been fantastic as of late.
Scott Kazmir deserves his mention, too. From being out of baseball with a plus-five ERA in an independent league to being shut-down dominant against a tough Oakland lineup, watching him work on Thursday was such a pleasure.
Not even the Tigers could shake the Tribe. Yeah, Corey Kluber got the boots put to him by Cabrera and Fielder on Friday by a 10-4 score, but here’s the thing about the Indians under Terry Francona’s watch: They don’t fold, and they don’t fear the Cy Youngs. They make opposing pitchers work, and Saturday was no exception. They made Justin Verlander tap out after only five innings and held on latedespite a rare defensive gaffe by Nick Swisher. And then, in what can only be called as a typical pulling-teeth game yesterday, late clutch hits saved some earlier shakiness in all facets. Zach McAllister battled and fought his control all day (yet only gave up three runs, two earned) and the offensive execution wasn’t very good early (we’re all looking at you Lonnie and Drew). But there’s a reason why we have guys like Michael Bourn and Mark Reynolds. And they are the heroes of the day and a big reason why we are sitting tied in first place with Detroit.
First place in May doesn’t mean a whole lot when you look at the team’s recent history, but they are clicking right now. If Jimenez, McAllister and Kazmir can augment Justin Masterson’s typical steadiness, look out. Maybe we won’t have the summer swoon this time around.