I’m still not sure that the situation that I said I would not talk about anymore ended the way it rightfully should have, but when things are goin’ good, things like that tend to happen in your favor a lot more frequently. Sometimes you just have to roll with the good fortune, because the Tribe are currently unable to do any wrong in going 4-0-1 in their last five series.

But winning baseball games typically boils down to pitching, and the most pleasant surprise lately is unquestionably Ubaldo Jimenez, who has had himself a heck of stretch. Obviously, we are very apprehensive to say that this is nothing more than a positive aberration, but one can’t help but hope that something has clicked. He’s been everything that we, and the front office, were envisioning he would be when he was brought over here. This has been his first run of extended success. Is it real? No one knows, and a pitcher is only as good as his last start. But he’s been fantastic as of late.

Scott Kazmir deserves his mention, too. From being out of baseball with a plus-five ERA in an independent league to being shut-down dominant against a tough Oakland lineup, watching him work on Thursday was such a pleasure.

Not even the Tigers could shake the Tribe. Yeah, Corey Kluber got the boots put to him by Cabrera and Fielder on Friday by a 10-4 score, but here’s the thing about the Indians under Terry Francona’s watch: They don’t fold, and they don’t fear the Cy Youngs. They make opposing pitchers work, and Saturday was no exception. They made Justin Verlander tap out after only five innings and held on latedespite a rare defensive gaffe by Nick Swisher. And then, in what can only be called as a typical pulling-teeth game yesterday, late clutch hits saved some earlier shakiness in all facets. Zach McAllister battled and fought his control all day (yet only gave up three runs, two earned) and the offensive execution wasn’t very good early (we’re all looking at you Lonnie and Drew). But there’s a reason why we have guys like Michael Bourn and Mark Reynolds. And they are the heroes of the day and a big reason why we are sitting tied in first place with Detroit.

First place in May doesn’t mean a whole lot when you look at the team’s recent history, but they are clicking right now. If Jimenez, McAllister and Kazmir can augment Justin Masterson’s typical steadiness, look out. Maybe we won’t have the summer swoon this time around.

3 Comments

  • DaveR says:

    “Since giving up seven runs in a 12-6 loss to the White Sox on May 27 that ballooned his ERA to a season-high 5.79, Jimenez has a 2.93 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 46 innings.” –July 7th, 2012. Yikes, but definitely pulling for him to keep his current run going as long as possible.

    One big note of encouragement is that last year while the Indians were in 1st at this point in the season their Run Diff was shockingly bad -16 (147 total runs). This year they are +29 (178 total runs). That’s with only one extra game played.

  • Chris Burnham says:

    They are a feast or famine team, though. The big-run explosions seem to come in short blasts. But it doesn’t matter if they win by 13 or by one.

  • thirdsaint says:

    I’m more inclined to think that the mark of a good offense isn’t that they consistently score 5 runs a game but rather that they are dangerous enough they can put up 5 in an inning at any given moment. Feast or famine, yeah, but deadly to teams holding on to a slim lead against them.