I’m sending today’s blog entry out to Andy “Hawk” Call, the Indians’ beat writer for the Canton Repository. Today is Andy’s last day on the job. He’s headed off to a new role in life, where he’ll be a hireling in the haughty world of higher education — in Wisconsin, no less. I wish him and his family nothing but the best in this new endeavor, for Andy is that rarest of rare breeds — a sportswriter who is 100 percent pleasant to be around. Amazing.
It’s Weather Education Day at the ballpark, which means about 6,000 screaming kids will be in attendance. I love these games. Every fly ball is met with a high-pitched shriek as if it might escape the yard. It’s kind of like going to games with my brother Bill, who pronounces every fly ball “Gone” the second it jumps off the bat, only to watch said ball turn into a high pop-up to shallow right field.
This stretch by the Indians’ starters is truly amazing stuff. If you’re like me, and are a fan of well-pitched ballgames, this past week has been a treat. But if you work for Elias Sports Bureau, it’s been a nightmare. The Indians have made those guys work overtime. Here’s what they’ve come up with…
- The last Major League team to have a scoreless streak of at least 41 1/3 innings was the 1974 Baltimore Orioles (Jim Palmer, Mike Cuellar, Dave McNally and Ross Grimsley threw 54 scoreless innings in September of that season).
- The Indians are the first Major League team to record four shutouts in five games since the Orioles of 1995 ended the season with five in a row. This is the firth time in the Tribe’s history that the pitchers have had four shutouts in a five-game span. The Indians also did it in 1903, 1913, 1948 and 1965.
- As reported yesterday, this is the longest scoreless streak by Indians starters since 1948, when Bob Lemon, Gene Bearden, Sam Zoldak and Satchel Paige all threw complete-game shutouts in succession (47 innings).
Let’s see if Aaron Laffey can keep it going today…
INDIANS (21-19): CF Grady Sizemore, SS Jhonny Peralta, LF Ben Francisco, 1B Ryan Garko, DH Travis Hafner, RF Franklin Gutierrez, C Kelly Shoppach, 2B Jamey Carroll, 3B Andy Marte. LHP Laffey gets the start. Will be interesting to see if he’s the odd man out when Sowers is promoted for tomorrow’s game in Cincy.
A’S (23-18): CF Rajai Davis, 1B Daric Barton, RF Emil Brown, DH Frank Thomas, LF Jack Cust, SS Bobby Crosby, 3B Jack Hannahan, 2B Donnie Murphy, C Rob Bowen. LHP Greg Smith on the mound.
EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY…
- The Indians’ ERA on this homestand is 0.65.
- The Indians’ rotational ERA is 2.96, which is the best in baseball.
- Tribe pitchers have allowed runs in just one inning in their last 49 innings pitched.
- With just 17 errors thus far, the Indians are on pace for 70 for the season, which would break a club record set in 2000.
- The Indians are batting just .199 this month, but that’s countered by the 1.64 ERA the pitchers have sported.