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Game Thread(s): September 17, 2006

Minnesota at Cleveland, 1:05 PM (WKYC 3)

Starting Pitchers:

Cleveland: Paul Byrd (4.68, 49)
Minnesota: Scott Baker (5.26, 19)

Finally, a good matchup, not a "lock" like the last two games, right?  Speaking only for myself, I don't know if there's anything more annoying as a fan than watching your big-bashing offense totally lock up with a thorough mediocrity on the mound -- but that's baseball, I guess, and just an occasional frustration that goes along with having a good lineup to begin with.

My personal protected-draft-pick watch is over, thanks to a 4-9 record since my original post on the subject.  The Indians are now 4.5 games behind the 15th-place Giants and Marlins, with five other teams in between.  They'd have to finish 12-3 to reach .500, and since that's not going to happen, I can't root for any more losses purely to improve our draft position from, say, 11th to 9th.  Let's finish the season strong.

Akron at Portland, 1:05 PM
Eastern League Championship, Game 5 (series tied 2-2)

Starting Pitchers:

Akron: Bear Bay (8-8, 4.17 ERA)
Portland: Devern Hansack (8-7, 3.26 ERA)

Akron won again last night and will now attempt to come all the way back from an 0-2 deficit to take the best-of-five over Portland.  Tony Sipp has saved both wins, so maybe it's time to annoint him the new Indians closer.  Brandon Pinckney unexpectedly starred with four singles, yet never scored and only drove in one run.  (He did advance three other baserunners.)

It is theoretically elite prospect Adam Miller's turn to start today, but Miller's season has been capped at 166 2/3 innings.  The ball instead goes to Bear Bay, a name that has become synonymous with "getting something of at least some small value in a minor trade" for diehard Indians fans.  Bay has dominated in August and September -- 6 ER and 28 K's in 24 IP -- but has been used mostly as a reliever over that span.

The Aeros are going for their third championship in four years.  Free streaming radio broadcast for the game can be found here.