Wow! So I just got over gushing about Masterson and here I go again - this time in the bag for Ubaldo! I can't say that he has bowled me over at every start this year but he's been consistently "decent" (however, consistently short) and when he "gets it" he really does great and has a spectacular game.
Today was his best game by far - only 2 hits over 8 innings! Whatever struggles he has that keep him from going more than 5 innings, or giving up fewer than 3 runs, were off the table today and it was smooth sailing. After the first, it was smooth sailing. He only got 6 strikeouts but in turn only walked 3. And did I mention it was a two hit shut out? It was!
Texas really helped Ubaldo out by swinging early, making contact and getting themselves out. Which is why Ubaldo needs to throw that delicious-looking fastball down there and let guys swing away. He also got some help in the field today! To which Ubaldo responds:
A bunch more hits for the Tribe today - 13! I think that's over 10 hits per game for the last 4 or 5 games. Cool!
Michael Bourn is becoming our RBI guy, with 2 more today giving him 10 in his last 4 games. Ten RBI for the leadoff man?? IMHO he's been a consistently good hitter for us this year so I think his recent success is a bit of a tribute to the end of the lineup who obviously must be on base in order for him to knock them in! Bourn's only hit was a 2-run double he hit with 2 men aboard. He's got a 6-game hitting streak! Feels like we're going to make up on what we missed when Bourn had his month off in the beginning of the season.
Swisher had a good day, going 3 for 5, but never came around to score and didn't get any RBI.
Kipnis was back in his groove today, going 2 for 4 with an RBI. He's been on and off lately - getting 11 hits over 10 games, but 4 of those games saw him with no hits. I'm ready for him to be our hero every day now. Come on, Kip!
When it comes to heroes, both Asdrubal and Raburn were shut down today. Sigh. But - You saw Raburn's awesome catch linked up there, right?!
Michael Brantley continues to roll along! He's got a 6-game hitting streak with hits in 26 of the 21 games he's played so far in July. He's got 24 hits in those 21 games, too!
Santana went 2 for 4 today and came around to score both times. He was the DH...which we love, right? Very possibly that contributed to Ubaldo's success today and having him come around to score twice didn't hurt either! He's got 6 hits and 3 walks in his last 4 games. Let him DH more pleeeeease!
Chisenhall is cooling off a bit, after being consistent for a few games. He didn't do anything at the plate today, but then they brought in Aviles and he got himself a 2-run homer. Boom!
Can we gush over Yan Gomes today?
So everything really fell into place today - great pitching, no need for the bullpen, hitting like we know they can. With all this trade deadline stuff being talked about, I don't know why anyone is even talking about Cliff Lee. Unless Cliff Lee is at a point in his career where he is ready to become an every day long reliever or something? Our starters are just fine. Our bullpen is awful. Our bats are just fine. Our bullpen is awful. Whoever can come in and give us a few shutout innings per week, THAT is the guy we need. If we can't get that then the Indians need to just stay with what they've got.
Tomorrow we face the White Sox at home, which is good because the White Sox are still awful. So if we can take 7 games from 2 awful teams it'll still be awesome! Then we go down to Miami to face the last-place Marlins so really it could be 10 "gimme" games and I am fine with that! We're just 2 games out of the wildcard and it's almost August!
It'll be Z-Mac against LHP 4.81. Oh man - it's gonna be sweet!
No radio chatter today because I was in front of my parents' TV. Although I did catch the beginning of the game on the radio, where Tom Hamilton declared both that "a meal that requires no utensils is where it's at" and that he is a farm boy and knows how to chow down on pig. See what you're missing by not watching?
7:05 tomorrow, see you there!