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Game Thread: July 23, 2006

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Minnesota at Cleveland, 1:05 PM (WKYC)

Starting Pitchers:

Cleveland: Jake Westbrook (7-5, 4.44 ERA)
Minnesota: Francisco Liriano (11-2, 1.94 ERA)

Well, the Indians derailed the runaway Twins last night -- but then again, it was a blowout, and we all know what that means.  Actually, now that I think about it, the whole losses-after-a-blowout thing probably has been somewhat overblown -- after all, these Indians obviously don't need a blowout victory to inspire losing.  They can lose seemingly at will.

Arguably the Cy Young frontrunner, Liriano suffered his worst start of the season by far ten days ago at the hands of the Indians, who scored five times off him in as many innings.  Liriano has surrendered 11 runs total in his other 11 starts, however, so expecting a repeat performance is probably just wishful thinking.

Westbrook meanwhile is fresh off a horrendous start of his own in Anaheim, but since the start of 2005, he's thrown six quality starts against the Twins in six tries, including an April 9 gem this year, with a 2.52 ERA.

So what we may have on tap today is two interesting battles: the Indians' great offense vs. Liriano's great pitching, and the Twins' hapless offense against the Indians' hapless defense.  Then again, this being baseball, it probably won't look like that at all.