Games six and seven: Anaheim
Despite Jake Westbrooks solid performance, Jhonny Peraltas solo home run was all the offense the Indians could muster. Angels lefty Joe Saunders gave Cleveland problems all game long but not without opportunities. several times the indians had runners in scoring position with less than 2 outs and couldnt capitalize. The always tough Anaheim bullpen easily ended the game giving the Angels a 4-1 victory.Game Six was a pitching contest for most of the game until a 3 run bomb off the bat of Travis Hafner put Cleveland in front 4-2. It was Hafners 1st home run of the season and he made it count. Grady Sizemore homered earlier in the game for his 4th longball of the year and Joe Borowski was able to record his 3rd save of the year.Cleveland finally returns home (weather permitting) to begin a 3 game series against the hated white sox. Game time Friday night is 7:05. its Rick "wild thing" Vaughn glasses night.
game 5: Anaheim
The two double headers against seattle were finally canceled due to the continously bad weather in Cleveland. MLB decided to "fix" this problem by reporting that they would make the Indians fly out to California to play their 3 game set against the Angels but decided to move the games to Milwaukee instead. A reported 18,000 indians fans made the trip up north to finally watch some baseball.That bullpen of ours? Not fixed. C.C. Sabathia put in another good performance holding the Anaheim angels to 3 runs over 8 innings only for that sore thumb to start throbbing and allow the angels to come within a run of tying the game. Aaron Fultz and Roberto Hernandez werent fooling anybody until Joe Borowski finally got the final out even though it was Kelly Shoppach who should be granted the save considering he nailed Erick Aybar trying to steal second to take away the tying run.Andy Marte looks good. He had 2 doubles and 3 rbis and hopefully Travis Hafner is quietly coming out of his funk with a couple of hits throughout the game. Still no word on when Victor might return to the lineup but Shoppach is proving that he can be an every day catcher, at least in my mind. Trot Nixon might seem to be in a slump but he is hitting the ball well, just right to somebody.
Game 4: versus Seattle
The snow was coming down in buckets friday night at Jacobs Field and would eventually postpone the game. Starter Paul Byrd was probably more unhappy about it than anyone else considering he took a no hitter into the 5th inning. Byrd started to get into trouble and just could not find the strike zone. He walked the first 3 batters he faced and somehow got the mariners down to 3 outs. Jose Lopez was at the plate and with only one more strike needed for the contest to qualify as a complete game Lopez asked for time and complained about not being able to see.Arguments insued between the umpires, Mike Hargrove, Eric Wedge as the weather worsened by the second. I dont think Lopez would have stopped the game if those runners werent on base. Seattle hadnt really been able to do much all game long so I'm pretty sure Lopez would have just conceded his opportunity but it was Byrds fault in the first place. A double header was scheduled for today (saturday) but both games were canceled due to more snow. Make up dates are set for sunday and monday.
Games two and three.
In game 1 Jake westbrook looked just awful. surrending 5 runs on 7 hits with a 3 run blast by Jim thome and 2 run home run by Tadahito Iguchi but somehow the indians prevailed 8-7. Grady Sizemore hit his 2nd home run in as many games to put the indians on top but Joe borowski made it interesting with the usual drama provided by the indians bullpen.with runners on 1st and second borowski was able to record the next 2 outs relatively easy but with Joe Crede at the plate it seemed the indians wouldnt escape this one. Crede lifted a deep fly ball that kept carrying in the fierce chicago wind and had Jason Michaels practically running in circles to try to track the balls landing spot. As Michaels got to the warning track he lost his footing and instinctively reached out for the ball with his throwing hand and it miracously fell right to him giving the indians the win. the catch was number 1 on Baseball Tonight's web gems.Game 3 was lost by young gun Jeremy Sowers in another tight battle but with little offense. the white sox won this one by the tally of 4-3.
The Indians for the 3rd straight year opened the 2007 MLB season on the south side of Chicago and from the 2nd pitch completely took control of the game. The atmosphere at U.S. Cellular field wasnt the same as it was last year when the White Sox held a world series championship ceremony and the indians made sure that it wouldnt become anything of the sort.Grady Sizemore got a high and inside fastball and parked it in the cleveland bullpen. the hit parade was on and White Sox starter Jose Contreras barely made it out of the 1st inning. The Indians tagged Contreras for 5 runs in the 1st and 4 runs in the second. Contreras, clearly frustrated decided to show up A.J. Pierzynski. A.J. was coming out to the mound to talk with his pitcher and before Pierzynski even got there Contreras turned his back to him and started walking towards the white sox dugout. He was quickly pulled after that only for the white sox bullpen to surrender even more runs to a very alive and hungry Indians offense. the final line was 12-5 Cleveland but those five runs came when the game was already well out of hand. Chicago simply didnt show up.Sabathia wasnt great getting showered for a couple of hits and 3 earned runs but he made his pitches when he had to and got the outs before the white sox could put together any kind of rally.Nothing to really get excited about though considering Cleveland got off to a 6-1 start last year and werent a very good team soon after that. Game 2 is wednesday night. We'll see Westbrook face off against leftie Mark Buerhle.