What a weekend.

After sweeping the longest 18-inning double header in major league history on Friday night, the Indians rallied to win on Saturday afternoon, setting the stage for a historic sweep of the White Sox on a pleasant Sunday in the Windy City. Justin Masterson was at the top of his game in this one, going the distance for a complete game shutout. Chicago starter Chris Sale struck out 11 Indians and only allowed 3 runs en route to another hard luck loss. The Indians turned four double plays in this game, as Masterson faced one more than the minimum through eight innings before leaving two stranded in the ninth. With the win the Indians move into a tie for first place (!!) with Detroit, who lost 3-1 to the Rays.

Masterful Masterson: Justin picked up his 10th win of the season, as he was simply brilliant in this ballgame. Alejandro De Aza was the only White Sox player to reach base more than once (as usual), as he collected two hits and a walk, though he was picked off once by a snap throw from Yan Gomes. Masterson faced only 25 hitters through eight innings, as he had his ground ball pitch working today; the White Sox banged into a double play four separate times today, short circuiting what few rallies they had. Don’t be fooled by the number of hits allowed by Masterson (6 H allowed): this game was not that close.

Yanny Bench’s Growing Legend: Everyone’s favorite Brazilian backstop continues to make good use of his sparse playing time. Gomes collected 3 more hits today, and is now hitting .284/.312/.526 on the season. Gomes also continued to flash the leather with his aforementioned pick-off of De Aza, which begs the question: what does this kid have to do to get more playing time? Santana has been very shaky defensively behind the plate, and with Mark Reynolds continuing to be a bad singles hitter, you would have to think Gomes is going to start seeing more at-bats at some point. I don’t know if the kid is for real, but everything about his batting line looks sustainable. His BABIP of .276 suggests that he’s been a little unlucky, if anything.

Hawk Harrelson Schadenfreude: Chicago broadcaster Ken “Hawk” Harrelson has a special place in my heart. Some people find his unabashed homerism annoying, but I kind of find it endearing. In any case, when things go wrong for the White Sox, listening to the WGN broadcast becomes a delightful experience. Last Tuesday night, the White Sox committed an error that defies explanation, and it sent Hawk into an apoplectic fit. This has nothing to do with the Indians but I can’t resist sharing this video. If you love watching Hawk suffer, you will love this video.

Not Since 1948: The Indians sweep of the White Sox in Chicago was historic; the last time the Indians swept a 4-game series in the Windy City was all the way back in 1948. I’m being told that 1948 was significant for the last time the Indians did something else, but I’m not sure…

Royals on Deck: The Indians will travel to Kansas City for a 3-game series with the Royals beginning on Tuesday. The Indians have gone 14-5 since losing the first game in Texas a few weeks ago, and look to maintain that momentum through the next series. The Indians can’t get too caught up in their success, as a huge four game series with the Tigers looms next weekend. The Indians are in the a tie for first place (again), and look to be back into the swing of things after that May swoon. Jason Kipnis should be an all-star (though that remains to be seen), and the back end of the bullpen has looked fantastic recently. It’s getting exciting in Cleveland again!

Featured Image Courtesy of Kieth Allison.

6 Comments

  • Seattle Stu says:

    wow, doesnt seem we are that talented and yet here we are at the halfway point tied w/ tigers….at least the summer is worth tuning in for…..go tribe.

  • Edward Ennett says:

    It’s starting to look like 2007 again :)

    I absolutely love the ‘team’ The way that everyone seems to contribute or step up to cover for others, is just so wonderful. Do we have a team of all-stars? Heck no. In fact except for a few players, we barely have anyone who would be considered an all-star. What we do have are all Very Good player… Not a single player has a Negative OWAR, which I would have to think is not very common. Even our Bench players are above average. What this does is allow us to platoon, give days off, and cover for injuries. This is the essence of the team concept. Everyone pitches in. Everyone helps, and what is especially true about this team, No One Quits.

    I usually downplay the Managers that are considered genius’s like Torre, Leyland, etc. And their impact on a team. I mean when you have a team of all-stars, you pretty much are on cruise control. It is not that hard to manage the Yankees, or Rangers, or Tigers. I mean really, the lineups never change, the pitchers almost always go 6+, and except for the Tigers, You have bullpens that run 1-2-3, and you can count on that save. I mean would you ever pinch hit for most anyone on these teams?

    All that said, Francona, us making me a believer. After the absolute collapse last year under Manny, I think a lot of us wanted Sandy to become manager. I am glad he did not become manager, yet. I think it would have set him up for failure, and hurt his reputation and standing in town. Francona, has taken these players and made a Team that many gave no chance. After half a season, I think you cannot say it’s a fluke, especially after now coming back from two separate slumps, to be in 1st place again, just a few games before the Break.

    This team in my opinion has a great shot, because they are aq team and do not rely on 1-2 players to win games.

    LETS GO TRIBE!

  • Gvl Steve says:

    Does any team in the league have a better bench than Mike Aviles, Ryan Raburn and Yan Gomes? Not only do they all hit for average and power and play good defense, but they cover all the positions, eliminating the need for a 4th guy and allowing the team to carry 8 relievers.

  • Jeremy says:

    Ok, first off thx for the Hawk clip. That was hilarious! He quit calling the game for a few pitches, and then the end is priceless! Anyways I’ve been saying for awhile now Yan needs more time behind the dish. It’s tough cause I love Santana’s bat but the only place he’s playing is 1st and swish is there. I wonder if either could play the hot corner or rotate as DH? I just know you are right when it comes to d. That pick off was sick

  • GG Allin says:

    We’d be better off if we brought Paul Zuvella up from the minors.

  • Gvl Steve says:

    If Reynolds is not brought back next year, you will probably see Swisher, Santana and Gomes all playing every day at some combination of 1B/DH/C. I like the idea of not overworking Gomes this year, though, kind of like they do with Raburn. Three or four games a week to keep the legs fresh and the bat speed up. It’s working.

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