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Game Thread: April 16, 2006

Season 106, Game 12

Cleveland (7-4) at Detroit (6-5), 1:05 PM (STO)

Starting Pitchers:

Cleveland: Cliff Lee (1-0, 3.97 ERA)
Detroit: Mike Maroth (1-0, 1.69 ERA)

Cliff Lee has had a solid start to the season.  He looked terrific for five innings in his last start, then extremely hittable in the sixth.  It will be interesting to watch how his stamina improves as the season rolls on.

The Tigers are throwing three lefty starters at us in this four-game series, so we take comfort that the biggest overall change in the Indians roster in the offseason was becoming more righthanded.  Michaels replaces Crisp, Perez replaces Broussard, and against lefties, there can be no question that this is a much stronger lineup.  The front office has to be feeling pretty damned good about the 900-ish OPS emanating from their seemingly pricey first base platoon.  And it doesn't hurt that Manny Ramirez seems to have magically reappeared in right field, at least for a few weeks, improbably reborn as a very good defender with a big white chin.

Maroth is off to a terrific start this season.  Is there any rule that says a 28-year-old starter can't have a breakout season, just because he's never gotten a lot of strikeouts and isn't exactly an extreme groundballer?  Actually, there is such a rule.  Sorry, Mike, but you'll be regressing to the mean shortly, and this afternoon seems like as good a time as any to get started.