Monday, August 18, 2008

A little breathing room

The Tribe finished a nice weekend series win on Sunday, taking two of three from the Angels, the owner's of the best record in baseball. They really could have taken all three from L.A. (or Anaheim, whichever you prefer) if not for some very sloppy defense on Saturday. But as a hefty singer from the 70's once said, two out of three ain't bad, especially in a season like this one for the Tribe where most fans are just hoping to squeeze out any positive vibes.

My wife and I were at the Prog on Friday night to see Cliff Lee go the distance for win #17 in a 3-2 victory (even if it did cause us to miss this). Lee has found the winning formula for the Tribe this year - just keep the game out of the hands of the bullpen. He induced four double plays in that victory, and watching him pitch this year really is great if you followed his struggles last year. By my estimation (and barring any injuries) he should get about 7 more starts before the season is over, and if he pitches anywhere near the level he has so far, win #20 should be here around mid-September.

Sunday's 4-3 win featured a Houdini-like escape in the top of the 9th by Jensen Lewis to get Jeremy Sowers just his second win on the year. Grady Sizemore gave the Indians the lead for good in the 6th. And to illustrate how well the Angels have played this year, this was their first series loss to an AL opponent since May. That is pretty impressive. With the win the Tribe has now won 7 of their last 10 and they have opened up some breathing room in the fight to stay out of the basement in the Central. They currently stand a game and a half up on the Royals and only 3-1/2 behind the Tigers. They will enjoy a day off today to make room for the Browns on MNF :)

Jeremy Sowers finally notched win #2 on Sunday

Other Tribe Notes: The Indians will have some big names in the line-up on Tuesday night in AAA Buffalo. Martinez homered in Akron on Sunday. And Jensen Lewis wants to be the closer of the future. Personally I'll settle for dumping a boatload of money on K-Rod (and his 47 saves already) this winter.

Browns Update: The Browns finally get back on the field tonight for their second exhibition game, this one on Monday Night Football against the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants. Today's PD jokes about a possible Super Bowl preview, but is it really that far-fetched? There are plenty of reasons to watch this one, even if we will possibly play this team twice more after tonight. Want another reason? It's the debut of the Browns in brown pants. I'll admit, I'm excited for a peek at the new look. And of course, don't forget Tony Grossi's noon chat today.
"I've seen a highlight reel of Braylon [Edwards] catching the ball and me running for touchdowns. We're not the team to look over anymore. Cleveland is in the house. Put us on prime time and let's see what we can do." - Josh Cribbs

Cavs Update: LeBron and Team USA destroyed Germany today, 106-57 to finish pool play in the Olympics. His stat line reads 18 points (7-of-10 from the field, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range), 3 rebounds, and 2 steals in just 18 minutes of action. If you missed the game, it can be seen in its entirety here (not that I would ever condone watching something like that in the office). Team USA will continue play on Wednesday in quarterfinal action against Australia.

"Going against Greece and going against Spain, it was really easy to get up for," James said. "And we could have easily came in and had one of those games where we make excuses, but we didn't take a step backwards today and that was good, it was really good."

And speaking of LeBron, we've finally found an article about him in a national publication that is worthy of reading. Stop the presses, there is sanity out there. While I don't agree with everything in there (particularly the Ferry bashing - and granted, this was written before we acquired Mo), it is the first national story I've seen that presents valid points as to why LBJ would want to stay here. Imagine that.