The day was filled with signs of near organizational panic. The sudden and unexpected promotion of the best performing starter at Columbus (Jeremy Sowers) and transition of one of the best performing starters in Cleveland (Aaron Laffey) to the bullpen. Rafael Perez and his wayward slider were shipped off to Columbus, with 35-year old major league veteran Matt Herges taking his spot. During the game, GM Mark Shapiro came as close as he probably ever will to saying that, short of players playing better, the organization does not have any solutions. And the game? The 10-17 Indians were facing the 17-10 Red Sox in Fenway. Hope was not at an all-time high.
And what proceeded was one of the most pleasantly unremarkable games of the season. The Indians offense was led by its core, as the 2 (Cabrera)-3 (Victor)-4 (Choo)-5 (DeRosa) hitters combined for 12 hits and 8 runs before Ben Francisco knocked in the 9th and final run with a single in the 9th. For Victor, it extended his hit streak to 15 games with his second consecutive 3-hit night. For Asdrubal, his 3 hits made it eight straight games reaching safely, the last three with multiple hits. DeRosa, coming off a slow beginning to the season, has now hit in 8 of his past 9, a stretch in which he is 15-40 with 3 HRs and 5 2Bs. On the down side, Grady and Jhonny continue to scuffle, but tonight that didn’t matter.
On the pitching side, after giving up two runs in the 2nd, Pavano battled off a fluctuating strike zone and kept the Red Sox comfortably at bay for 6 innings. For his fourth straight outing, Pavano showed the ability to induce groundball outs, recording 10 of them tonight. Pavano’s quality start left the Indians with a 4-2 lead after the 6th. But with a pitch count over 100, it was time for Eric Wedge to once again put a call into the dreaded bullpen. And, given the events of the day, it wasn’t surprising the name Wedge called for was new bullpen member Aaron Laffey. And Aaron Laffey was decidedly and delightfully boring. A couple of hits, a strikeout, and a typical game-ending double play – good enough to give the rest of the beleaguered bullpen crew a night off.
And so for a night, the Indians looked, at least in result, like the team we have been expecting for the first five weeks of the season.
|V. Martinez||.249||D. Dellucii||-.135|
|A. Cabrera||.161||G. Sizemore||-.129|
|C. Pavano||.133||J. Peralta||-.087|