The Tribe showed something tonight that every playoff team should have: the ability to come from behind to win games.  It is certainly too early to determine if the Indians are indeed a playoff contender, however, they showed flashes of it during tonight’s game.  After being blanked for five innings, Cleveland battled back to take down the Orioles.  Solid hitting from Michael Brantley and Nick Swisher, coupled with strong pitching from Ubaldo Jimenez and the bullpen helped get the job done.

The Orioles jumped on top in the first inning off a Nick Markakis homerun to center field.  When this happened, I, along with many others I’m sure, figured it would be a rough outing for Ubaldo.  However, Ubaldo went on to yield only one more run in the fourth on a Matt Wieters homer to center.  For all the grief he gets, Ubaldo has been solid enough for us to start giving him some credit.  Compared to what we’ve seen in the past, we should all be pretty appreciative of what the inconsistent starter has been giving us.  For the year, he is 6-4 to go along with a 4.58 ERA.  It is certainly not great, but he has been solid enough to keep the team in games long enough to win.

On the offensive side, Michael Brantley had quite a night at the plate.  Dr. Smooth continued to show how impressive he truly is at the plate, going 2-4 with 4 RBIs.  You can put the guy anywhere in the order, and he will produce.  He doesn’t get worn down under the pressure of batting cleanup, or fed up with batting seventh; either way, he will be effective.  It was also nice to see Nick Swisher finally have a good day at the plate.  Swish had an RBI in Cleveland’s big sixth inning while going 2-4.  It was Nick’s first multi-hit game since May 29th.



-The Tribe called up lefty T.J. House to the big league squad and optioned Carlos Carrasco to Triple-A before tonight’s game.  Carrasco could still pitch in Friday’s double header against Chicago.

-Asdrubal Cabrera could be activated from the disabled list here fairly soon, giving Mike Aviles a relief from his everyday duties.  Aviles has struggled at the plate lately, as his average has been lowered to .253.


  • Gvl Steve says:

    Ubaldo had a 10.06 ERA in his first four starts, and 3.06 since, covering 11 starts and 61.2 innings pitched. That’s pretty good for a significant stretch of time.

  • DaveR says:

    I’m ready to believe Ubaldo is serviceable again. He’s pitched great overall and you just have to know he’ll get killed vs Detroit, NY, or Boston.

  • Cale says:

    I’m not quite ready to jump on the Ubaldo bandwagon yet. The guy is still walking way too many and is not going to continue to strand all the baserunners he allows. Since that rough start, his LOB% is almost 85%. That has to regress at some point (league average is 70%). He hasn’t seen the 6th inning since June 1st, which is also taxing on the bullpen.

    • The Doctor says:

      the two things you’ve pointed out are my two biggest problems with him (other than that watching the games he starts is consistently unpleasant) – the sheer volume of baserunners he allows has to come back to haunt him eventually, and that if we’re in contention down the stretch, the work ubaldo (and, in fairness, several others) has subjected the bullpen to is going to come back to haunt us eventually.

      on a side note, did anyone see that stat they flashed up about the ERA of the bullpen leftys we’ve used this year? something like a 7+ ERA over 53 innings or so. wuff.

  • shaun says:

    swish made me eat my words last night…

    • The Doctor says:

      eh, let’s hold off on the word eating until he does something quasi-similiar several games in a row.

      though i have to say, it did look like someone must have finally kindly suggested that he simply work on putting the ball into play as opposed to trying to hit the ball 6000 miles with every swing.

  • Jeremy says:

    For all the criticism Ubaldo has suffered this year at the feet of Tribe fans, I think he’s pitched pretty solid baseball over the course of the season. Not great, and certainly there were some rough outings, but overall he goes out there and gives you a chance to win.

  • Drew says:

    Please remember that through 75 games, this team is 3 games over .500. While the schedule is easier over the next 87 (52 against teams <.500), it will take luck and health for the team to finish with more than 85 wins. I think the Red Sox, Texas, and Oakland are secure playoff teams as of today and the Indians have the steepest hill to climb of the remaining teams (Baltimore, Yankees, Rays, Blue Jays, Tigers). I think winning the AL Central will be easier than getting a wild card. While I am hopeful for meaningful baseball to be played in September, it's a tall order to expect a playoff team from the 2013 Indians. I hate to wish injury on anyone, but Max Scherzer having TJ surgery or a Miguel Cabrera failed PED test may be the only types of events that will help the Indians take the division. Since I won't wish for those events to plague the Tigers, if the Indians win 87 or 88 games and come in 2nd, miss the playoffs, at least they won't be fully-eliminated until late September and it will have been an enjoyable season (for the most part).

    • Cale says:

      Couldn’t agree more. We (myself included, I’m one of those pessimistic fans that always assumes the worst) come out here and nit pick about every little thing that goes wrong and how this and that should be changed…but the fact that the Tribe is going to be playing meaningful baseball in September should outweigh any negativity. I will try to be more positive in the future.

  • Gvl Steve says:

    Ubaldo does put a lot of guys on, but he’s throwing more strikes and is better able to pitch out of the stretch than last year. Last year, once a guy got on it was a 3-run inning every time. Yeah, he’s only going 5 but it’s a good 5, and with an 8-man bullpen there shouldn’t be anybody getting overworked.

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