Tony Sipp relieved Jensen Lewis in the top of the seventh inning with the bases loaded, and proceeded to save the day. Aaron Laffey had started the game off with six solid innings of shutout baseball. Up to the seventh, he had only given up three hits, and three walks, to go along with four strike outs. It wasn't his best performance, but it certainly followed suit with his previous starts in 2009. After getting the first out in the seventh, two singles and a walk loaded the bases and ended his day. He was still up 4-0, but responsible for the runners.
Jensen Lewis relieved, and continued his rubber-band act. promptly gave up a single scoring two of the three inherited runners. He then made matters worse by walking the next batter to reload the bases, and end his day. This seems to be typical Lewis. One day, he's the guy who looked like a closer late last season. The next day, he's Tom Mastny.
Enter Tony Sipp.
Sipp inherited a bases-loaded jam and was facing the daunting task of going up against arguably the Twins best hitter, Justin Morneau. Yeah, I know, without Joe Mauer, there's really no arguing the point. Sipp promptly struck out Morneau on four pitches, blowing a fastball by the Twins slugger on a 1-2 count.
The next batter was Jason Kubel, who had two home runs yesterday for the Twins in their 7-1 victory over the Tribe. Sipp used six pitches on Kubel before striking him out with a pitch that he had obviously taken something off of. As Tony Lastoria, head honcho at Indians Prospect Insider and scribe to theclevelandfan.com, has said in the past,
"He is still developing a changeup and has a good feel for it, and evenIf that last pitch was a changeup, it appears as though Tony's comments are something straight from Kreskin.
though he just started throwing it when he came into the organization
the Indians feel it may end up being his best pitch."
I know it's early, and only Sipp's second appearance, but boy was it electrifying. I would have to imagine that it's going to be the talk of the rags tomorrow. If it's not, it should be.
Rafael Betancourt had his best outing of the young year, throwing an extremely efficient perfect eighth inning. He needed 10 pitches, nine of which were strikes, to get through the inning. Two of the outs were fly balls, but he still did the job he struggled mightily with last season. Hopefully it's a pattern, and not the exception.
Kerry Wood got save #4 today. I can't say that it was a calm ninth inning though. He allowed the first two runners on, before a double play and strike out ended the inning, and the game. It's funny how a 97 MPH fastball can calm your nerves with two men on and the winning run at the plate, in the ninth inning. Let's just say that it's better than an 85 MPH fastball, like we've seen in the past.
Here's a quick thought: If none of our starters can ever get through the seventh inning, how many relievers are we going to burn through before the end of the season? Just something to think about, because we are closing in on May with what, two starts through the seventh, and one that took 120-ish pitches by Cliff Lee? I read somewhere that Carl Pavano is doing just what he's supposed to be doing. Well, if we needed a guy to go five-six inning a game, why didn't we just re-sign Paul Byrd? It's beyond me why we don't just give in and give the ball to guys like David Huff. He's ready...
The Indians avoid a sweep, and lose another series. When is May anyways...
Back to the Cavaliers, who are handling the Pistons 51-42 at the half. Let's just get this game over with. Lebron has 17, and Mo Williams has 16. The Cavs D have held Gollum (Tayshaun Prince) , the Whiner (Rasheed Wallace) and the Phanton of the Opera (Rip Hamilton) to four points total. That's playing some D. Here's to the potential of a sweep, and on their court to boot. Nothing would be sweeter.
Tomorrow, the Indians will become important again. There are only two teams that put the Indians in the category of worthy to mention on any major sports network, and tomorrow they face off against one of them. The Red Sox roll into town, with the Indians facing Tim Wakefield, Brad Penny and Tim Lester. We roll out Cliff Lee, Anthony Reyes and Fausto Carmona.
Yeah, I'll be closing my eyes and holding on as well.