2 out of 3 convincing, sweep would've been better.

Manager Eric Wedge has a severe misunderstanding of his pitchers. I have written about it over and over again. His failure to understand when his man is in trouble has cost the indians so many games that equaled to 25 blown saves last year. He waits until the damage is already in place or done until taking him out.

Today was another prime example.

It was a pitching duel from the start as Scott Elarton put on another stellar performance retiring his first 6 batters, 5 of those outs coming on strike outs coming in just 3 innings. Tim Wakefield had his knuckleball dancing around all day that made the indians bats look silly. Victor Martinez and Blake both hit solo HR's over the green monster but thats all the offense they could muster. 9 runners were left stranded and the team only collected 7 hits.

Elartons undoing came in the 6th inning, surrending back to back doubles that would tie the ball game. The bullpen wasnt even active until Doug Mirabelli, a back up catcher and a number 8 hitter would jack a 2 run home run as the struggling Mark Bellhorn followed with a solo home run.

It would give the Red Sox a 5-2 lead and all they needed to put this one away. Wakefield would get the win putting his record at 6-6 while Scotty dropped to 4-3. The Indians have not swept boston in fenway since 1996.

Cleveland opens a 4 game series tomorrow night against the Baltimore Orioles who have dropped 6 straight contests. The Indians are currently a game behind the Orioles for the wild card. Jake Westbrook (5-9 4.52) gets the call against Bruce Chen (6-5 3.54) start time is 7:05 est.

Note: in the 8th inning with Hafner, Martinez, and Hernandez coming to bat, Wedge should have pinch hit Broussard therefore forcing Terry Francona to use his bullpen immediately. That would mean he would only have 3 relievers available, all 3 pitchers were right handed..the stats of these batters against righties speak for themselves.
once again testifying to wedges inability to play the strengths of his team and once again his inability cost the tribe a win.

The 2005 Cleveland Indians are for REAL.

Tonight I am writing in the form of an absolutely floored and Proud Cleveland Indians fan.

This team did not quit, not once did they wave the white flag. they outhustled, out hit and obviously outscored the Boston Red Sox in cardiac (arrest) fashion.

The indians jumped on the red sox early to take a 2-0 lead on Hafners first of 3 doubles but Cliff Lee would surrender 5 straight runs in the 5th inning to give the sox a 6-5 lead. A usually reliable Tribe bullpen would surrender the other two runs courtesy of Arthur Rhodes and Matt Miller.

Cleveland had 3 different leads throughout the game but boston refused to go away, countering everything the indians threw at them. .. but tonight..the magic would belong to the indians.

The rally began in the 8th inning with the indians behind 8-5. Blake would score on hafners RBI ground out followed by a Martinez single that brought home pronk. In the 9th Cleveland trailed by a run until Gerut got to Keith Foulke, who has blown his last 3 save opportunities behind an even worse bullpen.

Coco Crisp would pinch run for Gerut after Jody hit a one out double That brought Jhonny Peralta to bat who, with two strikes tied the game on a single to right.

With two outs the bases would be loaded for Hafner on back to back walks of Sizemore and Blake. Travis answered on a line drive grandslam to put the indians ahead 12-8. Bob wickman would end the ballgame getting the last 3 outs on 3 pitches.

This game was the most stunning come back of the young teams season including their first grandslam. to follow the recap I have included my personal thoughts ...

Man I tell you. I'll be the first to admit that the week we went on that long road trip before we got hot...that series with the twins and white sox made me panic to the point i was ready to give up on this season.

I'm eating my words in massive amounts and I couldnt be happier. This team blows me away night after night and realizing just how GOOD our bullpen has been is phenomenal.

I'm listening to Keane right now and hes talking about the infectious energy and enthusiasm of Grady Sizemore and how its just contagious. I mean this team is alive every night due to this kids play. to be 22 and THAT good, and hes on OUR team?!?!! are you SERIOUS!>?!?!

along with Travis freakin Hafner..need I say more...is an absolute GODSEND.

The 2005 Cleveland Indians are making some SERIOUS noise and proving to the baseball world that they can hang with ANYone.

my god I love this game and this team. to think 2 months ago I nearly had to move away...oh no, even if i have to live on the street I'm going to be here for the party when the tribe finally gets a WS ring in the next few years.

I swear I nearly had a heart attack tonight when i heard hammy's call. AMAZING


Oh revenge, sweet revenge

Two teams seemed to have traded places Monday Night as the Cleveland Indians took the field at Fenway Park. A rematch from a week ago that saw the indians 9 game winning streak come to a hault.

Well, The Red Sox were about to have the tables turned. They had just come off their best road record (7-0) since 1977 and were riding the momentum of 7 wins in a row. Kevin Millwood would be the deciding factor.

Millwood would give up a leadoff basehit to Johnny Damon only to walk Edgar Renteria to bring David Ortiz to the plate, followed by baseball's hottest hitter in Manny Ramirez. They would go quietly as Milly got ortiz to fly out with manny and Trot Nixon grounding out on one pitch each.

That would be the only real trouble the Veteran right hander would get into. He would go 6 solid innings, striking out 6 with 3 hits and no runs. When Millwood is pitching like this, hes unhittable and shutting down a lineup like this tells you what kind of heat he was throwing.

The Tribes early runs would come on a Mark bellhorn error. a routine double play ball that surely would have ended the inning was hit at Bill Muelller who threw to bellhorn only to have it skip over bellhorns glove into centerfield. it cost the red sox 2 runs and from there Cleveland would keep pounding out basehits.

Jody Gerut would come to bat to single in the runner on 3rd to make it 3-0 tribe

Grady Sizemore and Travis Hafner, accounting for the rest of the offense, seem to find their way into the box scores every night. Both connected for home runs in the 7th inning that broke the game wide open to seal the victory. Sizemores homer should have been caught but as Trot Nixon was retreating under the ball he got turned around and had to try to make the play with his body turned sideways..the ball would hit his glove and bounce over the wall. Hafners blast wasnt so close as the ball cleared both dugouts and left nixon and damon simply watching the ball soar over their heads.

Bronson Arroyo with all due credit pitched a good game but bellhorns error and a few other miscues proved costly. There are two games left in the series.

Cliff Lee will take the mound tomorrow night and will face off against Wade Miller.

Lee has a record of 8-3 with and ERA of 3.28 and has All-Star considerations. Miller is 4-2 with an ERA of 4.83

Note: Cleveland is 9 games better than they were this time last year posting a record of 40-34. They are now only 1 game out of second place in their division and 1 game out of the wildcard. With the Twins playing the hapless royals, these last two games against boston are vital considering the indians play the slumping orioles who are one of the two teams ahead of them and then play the yankees the second weekend of july.

Reds series sees highs and lows, but improvement.

Jake Westbrook benefited from a season-high 21 hits and five home runs on Saturday night as the Indians drew even in their Showdown of Ohio series before a sellout crowd of 42,521.

The offense absolutely exploded from the git go after surrending a first inning run, which the tribe wasted no time in getting back.

There has been something about the 3rd inning this season that the indians just feast on.

The Reds got to Westbrook again to plate 2 more runners. That lead was not to last very long and there was no preparation for what was about to befall the Cincinnati club.

Grady Sizemore lead off with what seemed to be a harmless solo home run. Coco Crisp flied out to center then Starter Luke Hudson walked Travis Hafner.

Up Next: Victor Martinez. The slumping catcher had been showing signs of improvement throughout this homestand taking better swings and being more patient . well, his bat would reiterate this. Martinez drove an 0-1 pitch over the right field fence to make it a 4-3 ballgame. Broussard followed with the first of his two home runs to make it 5-3 tribe.

Ronnie Belliard then singled and Jody Gerut doubled ending hudsons night but it wouldnt matter who was pitching. The storm was just getting started. Next Pitcher: Rick Stone

Aaron Boone singled to score Belliard moving gerut to 3rd. Jhonny Peralta struck out but Stone walked Sizemore. Crisp singled to bring in Gerut and Boone and Hafners single knocked in Sizemore. Martinez would ground out to end the inning but 8 runs on 8 hits was just too much for Cincinnati.

The indians would add 3 more later in the game, 2 coming off a Broussard bomb that was launched into the second deck and Travis Hafner tied a Jacobs Field record of 477 feet with his blast that landed in the center field batters eye bar. Jim Thome hit a ball that distance back in 1999 during a playoff game against Boston.

It seemed to be a repeat of a similar stage that took place against the rockies the previous tuesday in which the indians scored 10 straight runs with 3 home runs in one inning to match a club record. The record being set in '99 against the Kansas City Royals that amounted to 12. all coming with 2 outs.

David Riske gave up 3 home runs in the 9th inning to put a little worry into the cleveland faithful but that would be it as howry came in to close out the game.

Sundays game was a pitching duel that came down to Victor Martinez' pinch hit RBI single giving the indians the go ahead and game clinching run. C.C. Sabathia got into a jam giving up a 2 run Home run to Jason Larue but was able to get out of the inning without a panic and no real damage. C.C. coming into todays game had lost 2 straight and would end up with a no decision.

The Indians finished up their longest homestand of the season with a record of 8-4 and 13-2 against national league teams. Hopefully taking 2 out of 3 from the reds is what will gear up the Indians who face the sizzling Boston Red Sox, the same club who swept them a week earlier.

Note: The Indians bullpen has been nothing short of phenomonal all season but since running into the red sox they've been shaky. Riske gave up 3 home runs that never should have happened, especially the 3rd.
Eric Wedge should have sat him down after the second. Wedges problem all last year and to this point has been failure to recognize a pitcher in distress. ballplayers are human, they're going to make mistakes, but its a managers job to prevent them. lets hope this little skid was a minor setback or its more hopes of next year rather than now.


Indians drop 4th straight. Red Sox move into first.

The Cincinnati Reds Kicked off a 3 game series against the Indians on Friday night in what has been dubbed "the battle of I-71" however, tonight, it was the Hernandez/Griffey show.

The tribe got a quick 1-0 lead in the first inning from a lead off single by Grady Sizemore. Victor Martinez' basehit up the middle brought Sizemore home, but it only took one inning for the reds to strike back.

Griffey took a 1-2 pitch to opposite field for his 13th home run of the year followed by Joe Randas solo shot. It was Randa's 12th and gave the Reds a 2-1 advantage.

The Indians came right back on Jose Hernandez' blast to the home run porch in left field. Jose seemed to be the only bat not coming around after the tribes slow start this season but still maintained an average above .200, his bat has caught fire over the last few weeks.

Hernandez, who had only hit 1 home run in 160 at bats since April 16th, connected for 2 in 2 innings.

Griffey and Hernandez' accounted for 4 of their teams runs but it was Griffeys second that proved one too many for the Tribe. All 4 homers were solo.

Keep your head up: Tribe Starter Scott Elarton pitched a gem going 6 innings while only giving up 3 runs on 7 hits but left the game with a no decision. He struck out 7.

Elarton had started the season losing his first two contests but has since won 4 straight with an ERA of 4.76 and 47 strikeouts. He has been one of the teams more consistent starters.

Around the League:

The Baltimore Orioles and Chicago White Sox both had tremendous starts from opening day winning close ball games against division opponents, but it has been the white sox who have kept the momentum. The orioles have been floundering for a couple of weeks with the Boston Red Sox lurking behind them. Tonight, The orioles collapsed. losing 7-5 to the Atlanta Braves and surrending first place to a red hot boston club that has won 5 straight games.

note: a big reason for the red sox' latest success is the newfound confidence of Manny Ramirez, who with david ortiz may just well be the best 1,2 punch since Ruth and Gehrig. Ramirez has homered in 5 consecutive games with 9 runs batted in.


Hot Tribe has turned corner.

By Justice. B. Hill
writer for MLB.com

Nothing could be finer than to cover a team that's as sizzling hot as the Indians have been this past two weeks.

Their success has stoked the emotions of Tribe fans everywhere, and people everywhere are starting to talk -- perhaps prematurely -- about postseason, the Wild Card and midsummer trades.

What has been absent lately from my inbox are e-mails calling general manager Mark Shapiro and the Dolan family all sorts of names for not signing high-priced talents with inflated demands -- and egos.

Remember the early days of this rebuilding project? Shapiro preached patience then, because he said the turnaround in the team's fortunes wouldn't happen in a day or two. He picked 2005 as the season in which the Indians would contend again.

Now, the man looks like Nostradamus.

The club Shapiro rebuilt is riding a wave of success that a surfer would enjoy. The Tribe is winning with pitching (OK, ignore the 10-9, 9-2 and 5-4 losses to the Red Sox), with defense and with enough hitting to turn that good pitching into wins. This is what Indians fans have longed for since the 2001 season; this is what Shapiro had promised since 2002.

Can it get any better than this? its what fans are asking about the resurgent Indians.


pressure too much for young team.

The indians record in interleague play - 11-1.

games out of wild card spot - 2. 5

indians record against their division - 13-19.

bottom line. inconsistency.

The tribe has had the second best ERA in the majors all season long and had been the hottest team in baseball for the last 2 weeks since interleague play began. Sweeping the rockies, the diamondbacks, and the giants while taking 2 out of 3 from a red hot san diego padres team.

Two of these clubs had winning records, two of them were slumping. The winning began after hitting coach Eddie Murray was fired. coincidence? I hope not considering what kind of player Murray was in his day; but You cant argue, however, that something in their confidence had been awakened allowing them to finally start hitting like everyone expected them to. like last years "1-9" lineup.

that is, until monday night.

with a matchup against a very good red sox team; C.C. Sabathia got an early lead retiring the first 7 batters and looked like he was going to cruise. then, completely imploded. giving up 5 straight hits and 2, 3 run home runs to Manny Ramirez and Jason Varitek. C.C. was pulled in favor of Rafael Betancourt who went 2 3rds of an inning giving up 1 run.

The tribe made it interesting by chipping away at the sox lead. a sacrifice fly by martinez scored another run to make it 9-5. then, the bottom of the 8th. With two men on and 1 out, Travis hafner hit a 2 run bomb to dead center with Victor Martinez following with a solo shot to the the left field bleachers. Jacobs field erupted and every fan couldnt help but think back to the mid/late 90's of the miraculous comebacks they witnessed on this exact field. ..this team was for real and werent going to just lay down.

Until the 9th inning. Johnny damon on a 1-2 count took david riskes pitch 403 feet into centerfield to make it 10-8. silence overfell the 30,000 faithful, but with rally cups abroad throughout the stands, no one was giving up.

Jhonny peralta gave his team one last hurrah..with casey blake leading off with a double, Peralta hit a single to left center that rolled to the wall scoring blake to make it a one run game, but that was as close as the indians would get. Grady Sizemore and Coco Crisp both lined out ending the ball game.

Tuesday night was over before the final out. David Ortiz hit 2, 2 run home runs while Ramirez clobbered his 5th home run in as many games. There were no late inning dramatics this game with a final score of 9-2.

Indians have now dropped 2 straight and fall to 4th in the wild card standings. boston, minnesota, and texas have at least a one game lead.

Note: 9 runs is the most surrended by C.C. Sabathia in his 4 year career. His record is now 5-4 on the season with an era of 4.66 and 83 total innings pitched.


If hot shot indians keep winning, They'll be ahead of schedule

By Peter Gammons
Special to ESPN.com
June 18

It's the 18th of June and the Cleveland Indians are six games over .500, one game better than the Braves in the won-lost column, 1½ better than the Yankees, two better than the Cubs, better than the entire National League West.

Five weeks earlier, the Indians were 12-18 and floundering. Mark Shapiro resisted the temptation that general managers sometime find irresistible -- to feed their egos by making trades to show the fans and media they are "doing something" -- and stuck with what he and manager Eric Wedge believe is a building team that can and will contend next season. "We believed that we are closer to what we hit last season than the first six weeks of 2005," says Shapiro.

Coco Crisp, Travis Hafner, Ronnie Belliard and most everyone other than Victor Martinez has crept toward their expected norms, the Indians have developed two middle-of-the-diamond regulars in their first full seasons. Grady Sizemore, 22, has an .834 OPS, second best among AL center fielders behind Johnny Damon. Jhonny Peralta, 23, has an .848 OPS, third among AL shortstops after Miguel Tejada and Michael Young.
Outfielder Coco Crisp is one of a host of young Indians players meeting expectations.

With the presence of
Bob Wickman at the end of games, Cleveland's bullpen has been the best in the league: Its 2.54 ERA through Friday was .30 lower than runner-up Minnesota, and it has led in strikeout/walk ratio and -- as a stuff indicator -- lowest OPS against. That has allowed C.C. Sabathia, Cliff Lee and, now that he has some support, Jake Westbrook to build as a rotation with Kevin Millwood. Incidentally, Millwood has earned deep respect from his general manager. "This is a guy who threw 200 innings four times before he turned 30," says Shapiro. "When I see that and I see how he stays in games even when he doesn't have his best stuff makes me appreciate how badly he wants it and how he does not ever give in. He's been a very positive influence on the younger pitchers."

Beginning with the 2006 season, the Indians will be able to enter the free-agent market. But they will also have several young pitchers ready for the major leagues, like relievers
Fernando Cabrera (5-0, 0.97, 52-7 K/BB in 37 IP) and left-hander Brian Tallet. And Double-A starters Dan Denham (5-3, 3.10, but .201 opponents' average) and J.D. Martin, who in eight starts has a 2.82 ERA and a 56-7 K/BB ratio in 44 2/3 innings. Then there are also two starters who may be on the horizon by this time next year, top prospect Adam Miller, returning from arm problems, and lefty Jeremy Sowers, their 2004 first-round pick from Vanderbilt.

Not that this season is over. The Indians were three games out of the wild card on Saturday, a far cry from where they were five weeks ago, and right where they thought they might be when the season began. Another reminder that even when you're 12-18, only a fifth of your season has been played.