Bugs in my pockets, bugs in my shoes, bugs in the way I feel about you
Hey, remember Game 2 of the ALDS, when those bugs got all over Joba Chamberlain and he gave up a run, and the Indians tied the game and they ended up winning? Yeah, I completely forgot about it, too. I guess it happened last October or something. Really, really crazy. If you need to refresh your memory, you can read about it here. Or here. Or here.
Seriously, enough already. That game was six months ago, and I’m already sick of hearing/writing about it. They were bugs. They invade this ballpark at least once a year. And instead of focusing on how much they rattled the iconic, the great, the otherwise-unstoppable Joba, let’s not forget just how dominant and how focused Fausto Carmona was that night, even with about 35 dead midges stuck to his face.
I’ll get called a homer for saying this, but it’s true: The better team won that series. The Indians had better pitching, and that’s why they won.
Now, I don’t know who the better team is this weekend. The Yankees’ rotation is suspect, as is the Indians’ lineup. But we’ve got four games to sort it all out, don’t we?
Here are the lineups for Friday night. For the Tribe, Asdrubal Cabrera and Ryan Garko are both getting a night off. They’ve played more games than anybody this season, aside, of course, from Grady Sizemore and from Travis Hafner.
Indians: CF Sizemore, 2B Jamey Carroll, DH Hafner, SS Jhonny Peralta, RF Franklin Gutierrez, 3B Casey Blake, LF Jason Michaels, C Kelly Shoppach. Byrd is hurling.
Yanks: LF Johnny Damon, SS Derek Jeter, RF Bobby Abreu, 3B Alex Rodriguez, DH Hideki Matsui, C Jorge Posada, 1B Jason Giambi, 2B Robinson Cano, CF Melky Cabrera. LHP Andy Pettitte.
EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY:
- Cliff Lee is having a good month. His 0.28 ERA is the lowest by a pitcher winning his first four appearances of a season since Roger Clemens had the same 0.28 mark after four starts in 1991. Let’s hope the good folks at Elias, who provided that information, aren’t misremembering.
- Lee’s ERA, his .109 average against, .125 OBP against, and .139 slugging percentage against are all tops in baseball.
- The Indians hit .319 in the three-game sweep of the Royals. This is progress.
Thanks to everybody who has submitted a name for the blog so far. Keep those suggestions coming, please. I’ll provide an update in the next few days.