The kids were in the lineup yesterday. It still didn't matter as the Indians fell 3-1 to the Tigers.
Detroit starting pitcher Justin Verlander reminded everyone why he is considered one of the best arms in the game, although he hadn't shown that form as of late. The Indians have a way of bringing out that talent.
Verlander struck out 11 Indians Sunday, allowing just two singles. Per the Detroit News....
It was the most strikeouts by Verlander since he whiffed 11 on June 23, 2007, at Atlanta. And following a masterpiece against the Yankees last week, it seemed to say to the baseball world that a right-hander's 2008 troubles are just that: a 2008 event.
It is Indians pitcher Cliff Lee who has looked foolish as of late though. Not because he has pitched bad. He has been more than stellar in his last three starts. He just hasn't had any help around him. Per Ocker...
Speaking of ill fortune, Cliff Lee is becoming the team leader in that department. Sunday, he gave up all three runs on 12 hits and one walk in seven innings to suffer the defeat and drop his record to 1-4 with a 3.92 ERA.
In Lee's past three starts, his offense has produced one total run, that after he had already left the game. In those outings, Lee has given up five runs in 23 innings for a 1.96 ERA.
''It happens,'' Lee said of the lack of support. ''That's out of my control. It's something I don't worry too much about. It's nice to pitch with a lead, but there's nothing I can do about that.''
-- Expect Masa Kobayashi to be used more in the struggling pen. Is struggling an understatement? Left handers Tony Sipp and Rafael Perez will be forced to face righties as well.
-- Patrick MacManamon wonders in his blog if LaPorta or Luis Valbuena should have been lifted for a pinch hitter with the bases loaded in the seventh inning. LaPorta fought hard, before being frozen on the inside corner with a curveball. Valbuena grounded out to shortstop for a force play.
LaPorta struggles against off-speed pitches so he’s going to see a lot of them early on in his MLB career. His career minor-league average is .292 but don’t expect him to hit for a high average right away. The power, though, should be there right from the get-go. He may get platooned early on, but he’s never really hit southpaws all that well with a career .237/.327/.452 line against them (compared to righties at .311/.407/.626).