Well hey there, second place in the AL Central! Good to see you again. Yes, the 31-31 Indians are in sole possession of 2nd place in the AL Central, 4.0 games behind Detroit. It’s kind of bunched up in there–the White Sox are 4.5 games behind and the Royals and Twins are each 5.0 games behind. Last year at this time the Tribe was 30-32, so they’re just a shade ahead of 2013′s pace. I know it’s hard to get pumped up about the fact that your team is in 2nd place, but this is the first time the Indians have been there since April 9th. They’ve gained 6.5 games on the Tigers in the last 20 days. What was it Satchel Paige said–don’t look back, something might be gaining on you?
Today, Justin Masterson (3-4, 4.72) starts for the Indians against lefty Joe Saunders (0-1, 3.68). Masterson had a couple of sketchy starts this season, his velocity was down, and we’ve all been worried. But in his last start against Boston, he struck out 10, including striking out the side on only 9 pitches and throwing 25 consecutive strikes. It was a fantastic start by any standard. Will he have the same command of the strike zone today? Let’s hope.
For those of you listening to the game on the radio, you’ll be pleased to know that Tom Hamilton will be back in the radio booth for today’s game. He was at his son Brad’s graduation on Saturday from Avon Lake (OH) High School. Tom, we miss you when you’re gone.
Indians’ starting lineup:
Rangers starting lineup: