Cleveland came back home, and played like it, winning 5 of 6 games at the Jake this week. Home...Sweet...Home...
Before I get into the BIG CLUB, am I the only one that noticed that Adam Miller missed a start this past Thursday? It appears as though Miller had a "sore middle finger(no, I couldn't have made that up if I tried)." He'll pitch in his next start on Tuesday, but it sent up a small, slight red flag. Miller has a history of arm injuries early in his career. These minor injuries that "pop-up" tend to be a sign of things to come. My hope is that Miller just has a "sore middle finger," and not another injury on the road of many injuries. People are toting Miller as the reason not to give CC his money. Well, I'm not saying break the bank, but having CC is imperative.
Shhh, Paul Byrd won 2 games this week. This was a valuable Paul Byrd week. Can he continue this pace? You know the Yankees will be calling, but the facts are the facts. The Yankees have nothing we want. Let's ride this Byrd hot streak as long as we can. Why worry about what we can get for him, when ultimately, he could be the MOST important cog in getting us to the dance. What do I mean? Well, I don't think I'm the only one that thinks Byrd is going to falter at some point. So be it. This will give the Tribe brass the time they need to continue developing Miller, let Sowers work out his obvious issues, and see if Carmona is really the stud we all think he is. There's a lot that needs to be worked out, and Byrd is allowing it to happen. Dealing him now would be a monumental mistake. As I've said from the start, all World Series teams have a Paul Byrd.
Carmona became the first pitcher since 2004 to beat Johan Santana twice in one year. What do you think the odds were at the start of the season that THAT would happen? Nothing more needs to be said there. Carmona is that good, and there's really no reason to kick a dead horse.
Sizemore is obviously the poster boy for Cleveland this year. So, Grady is starting to hit more. Is there really anything different? He is still getting on base. He is still scoring runs. Like I said, it was the strangest slump I've ever seen. Sizemore still managed to dictate the pace of the Tribe by getting on base and creating havoc on the bases. He was 15 for 15 in stolen bases. Well, that streak has changed. Sizemore was thrown out for the first time today. So I say to you this. How many players do YOU know that can remain not only effective, but dominating, while only batting .230. Yeah, you'd have to be a pretty special player to do it. I wonder how far ahead in the MVP run he'd be this early in the season if he was batting .320.
Cleveland is 16-4 at the Jake. The last and only time Cleveland had the same mark was in 1995. I'll let you make any and all comparisons that you'd like. I'm not ready to go there yet.
Mike Miller is back and throwing rehab in Buffalo. He hasn't been electric, or anything like that, but I can't imagine he's going to be in Buffalo all that long. He's still working on his control, but he isn't an Indian to pitch for the Bisons. Mike Koplove and Brian Sikorski have also been pitching well for Buffalo...in particular Koplove. I like having spare relief arms in Buffalo. Wow. Cleveland has spare arms in the pen...AND...starters? John Hart must be quivering right now, wherever he is.
Jhonny Peralta is back. Enough talking about the fielding. He's improving. But the hitting? Peralta has 10 dingers already, leading the Indians. Even more impressive, is that Peralta has 30 RBI. It really makes you wonder what would have been different last year if at the very least, Peralta's bat was there. It was only a matter of time.
Next week is an important week. First comes a make-up game with Seattle. Then comes three games at Kansas City, as well as three games at Detroit. KC is a comer, and Detroit, is Detroit. It should be a match-up for first place. A big series for Cleveland to prove their mettle.
Monday vs. Seattle-- Cha Seung Baek, RHP (1-1, 5.16) @ C.C. Sabathia, LHP (6-1, 3.65)
Tuesday at KC-- Fausto Carmona, RHP (5-1, 2.55) @ Odalis Perez, LHP (2-4, 5.29)
Wednesday at KC--Cliff Lee, LHP (2-0, 4.15) @ Scott Elarton, RHP (1-0, 5.23)
Thursday at KC-- Jeremy Sowers, LHP (0-4, 7.13) @ Jorge De La Rosa, LHP (4-3, 3.59)
Friday at Detroit--Paul Byrd, RHP (4-1, 3.55) @ Nate Robertson, LHP (4-3, 3.62)
Saturday at Detroit--CC Sabathia @ Justin Verlander, RHP (5-1, 2.68 )
Sunday at Detroit--Fausto Carmona, RHP (5-1, 2.55) @ to be announced
Should be an interesting week. And heading to next week? How about at Boston. This is the week walking the tight rope won't be acceptable.