It is difficult to overstate how good Zack Greinke has been so far this season. In eight starts coming into today, he had average 7.5 innings, five hits, a little over a walk, and more than eight Ks. Oh yeah, and half a run. So it didn’t look great for Cleveland. And yet, at least some among us felt today was the day Cleveland would break through against Greinke. And in the early going, the Indians had chances. In the first, Asdrubal made it to 2nd with one out, but Victor and Choo both struck out to leave him stranded. In the second innning, Ben Francisco got himself to 3rd with a 2-out triple, but Shoppach could not get him in. In the third, the top of the order managed to get two runs in and loaded the bases with one out, but again were thwarted by back to back Ks, these from DeRosa and Francisco. In the fourth, the Indians had Cabrera and Sizemore on first and second with two outs and again failed to bring home any additional runs.
Meanwhile, after a shaky first inning involving two doubles and a wild pitch, which yielded two runs, Carl Pavano gradually began to settle down. After allowing a run in the third, Pavano managed to go three additional inning only facing the minimum batters. Pavano also put up good strikeout numbers for the second consecutive outing, taking down 8 Royals via the K versus just two walks.
It was not until the seventh that the Indians managed to take the lead, however, and like seemingly every Indians offensive story this season, it involved a combination of Asdrubal Cabrera, Victor Martinez and Shin-Soo Choo. And in this case, Jhonny Peralta pitched in with the go-ahead RBI double. Four runs in the eighth, which seemed like insurance runs at the time, ended up being unnecessary. The Indians patchwork bullpen featured scoreless outings this afternoon from Luis Vizcaino, Matt Herges, and a save from Rafael Betancourt. And as a nice change, the bullpen decided to throw strikes; fifteen of nineteen pitches for Vizcaino and three of four (in an impressively painless ninth) for Betancourt.
Next up: Reyes vs. Volquez for start interleague play in Cincinnati (7:10 pm)