I learned two interesting statistics from watching the postgame analysis on Fox Sports Ohio after Saturday night’s Indians-A’s game. The first thing I learned is that the Indians are 24-7 this season in games wherein Asdrubal Cabrera has at least one RBI. Fortunately for the Indians, Cabrera broke an 0 for 20 slump on Saturday, going 2 for 4 with a single and a double. Each hit drove in a run, and the Indians triumphed over the A’s, 7-1.
And although he once again didn’t make it to the end of the sixth inning, Indians starter Ubaldo Jimenez turned in a decent performance, allowing only one run—and only one hit!—over 5 2/3 innings of work. He struck out eight, but he walked five, making it the third time this season he’s walked that many batters in a game. In the third and fourth innings, Jimenez made quick work of the first two batters he faced in each frame, then went on to walk the next two batters before getting the final out.
Things like that drive Indians fans to distraction, and probably to drink, when Jimenez takes the mound. No one expects starters to pitch complete games any more, but it would be nice if they could give you at least six, maybe seven, innings. Jimenez always seems to hit the 100-pitch mark in the fifth or sixth inning. In his 24 starts in 2013, he’s gone seven innings twice and eight innings twice. If he could pitch deeper into the game more often, it would help save wear and tear on the arms of the beleaguered Tribe bullpen.
On Saturday, though, the bullpen was equal to the task. Rich Hill, Bryan Shaw, Joe Smith, and Matt Albers combined for 3 1/3 innings of scoreless ball. The Indians had led 4-1 after eight innings, solo homers from Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn accounting for the other two runs. As the Indians came to bat in the ninth, Chris Perez, expecting to be called on to hold things down for the save, began to warm up in the pen. I’m not the biggest Perez-hater in the world, but I must admit to being relieved (you see what I did there?) when the Indians put together a three-run rally, thanks to four consecutive two-out hits. When you have a 7-1 lead, you can sit your closer down, and instead Albers worked the ninth, retiring all three hitters he faced.
The Indians conclude the three-game series with a 4;05 PM (Cleveland time) game today. Which brings me to the second interesting stat I learned from watching the postgame: seven times this season, the Indians have lost the first game of a three-game series, then bounced back to win the second game. Of those seven times, they went on to win the third game, and thus the series, six times. Sure, it’s just a small sample size, but to me there’s something impressive about that statistic. Let’s hope they can make it seven out of eight with a win today.