This morning at the Y, my friend Roger said, “Hey, they’re on a winning streak!” That’s the kind of smart-alecky comment that only becomes mildly amusing around lunchtime. At 6:00 a.m., it’s just annoying. I told him to shush. The fact remains that the Indians have now won their first two games after the All-Star break. Two games doesn’t make a streak any more than one game does, however, it’s nice to see the Indians remember how hit the bat, how to string together hits to score runs, and how to go yard when necessary.
On Thursday night, Justin Masterson (8-6) had 8 strikeouts in 6 innings but still gave up 4 runs on 8 hits. It wasn’t his best outing; neither was it horrible. I kept feeling like the June Indians would have just given up, left 10 guys on base, not scored (or only scored a single run), and given him another loss. Three of Masterson’s losses this season have been one-run games (and two of those were 1-0 losses). Even when a pitcher is on it and pitching at his very best, you can’t win a ballgame if you don’t score. It was great to see him get the run support he needed last night.
Tonight, Josh Tomlin gave up 5 runs in as many innings. Any other night and that could easily be a loss, but it wasn’t. Home runs by Asdrubal Cabrera and Grady Sizemore, an RBI single by Matt LaPorta and RBI double from Lonnie Chisenhall gave the Indians a 6-5 win. One of the things I liked about tonight’s game is that every time Baltimore scored, the Indians reciprocated. They didn’t roll over and let themselves be beaten.
It’s way too soon to make any predictions about how the second half will go, but it’s great to see the team come back from the break looking like they know what they’re doing. I was especially heartened to see Lonnie Chisenhall go 2-4 with the game-winning RBI. He showed heads-up base running going from first to second when Markakis tried to throw out LaPorta at home. (Let’s not talk about that play at third. I’m sure he knows he got lucky being called safe.) He seems to be coming back from his injury with no major problems and has repeatedly shown why he was a top prospect and that he can hack it with the big kids in the majors.
When I see my friend Roger at the Y on Monday morning, I hope I can say, “They’ve extended their streak to 4.”