I’m just going to say it: even though Seattle still has a full six games left to play against Cleveland, I’m already sick of the Indians. To be fair, it’s not so much that I have beef with a lineup full of ex-Mariners; but the way the current Mariners fell short during last month’s unfortunate homestand keeps replaying in my head.
Tomorrow, Felix Hernandez looks to repeat his outstanding performance, this time against RHP Ubaldo Jimenez. On Thursday, Hector Noesi faces RHP Zach McAllister.
Current record: 20-16
Last game: vs. Twins. Cleveland took the two-game series with another 5-run win, blanking the Twins on a complete game performance by RHP Derek Lowe.
Right now, the Indians are sitting atop a 2-game lead in the AL Central. They’ve taken 9 of 16 games this month, and currently maintain a streak of 2 consecutive wins following today’s shutout.
Last series against Seattle: April 17 – 19, 2012. Backed by home runs from Ichiro and Chone Figgins, Jason Vargas put up his second win of the year on a 4-hit, 1-run outing. However, the standout performance in this series belonged to Felix, who pitched a gorgeous 8.0 innings for 12 strikeouts and 5 hits… only to have Brandon League blow the lead—and the game—in the 9th.
Over the past five years, Seattle kept a 16-20 record against Cleveland, 4-12 at Safeco Field and 12-8 at Progressive Field. This marks the second of three Mariners-Indians series in 2012, and the only one played in Cleveland.
Toughest player: Asdrubal Cabrera. Although he has yet to face the Mariners this season, Cabrera made impressive headway against Charlie Furbush in last September’s makeup game. He came one triple shy of hitting for the cycle, putting up 3 runs on an RBI double and 2-RBI home run, with a base hit thrown in for good measure.
This year, Cabrera holds a batting line of .319/.413/.521 in 138 PA. After a scoreless three games against Boston, he went 2-for-5 this morning with a solo shot and RBI single off Minnesota’s Jason Marquis.
Weakest link: Casey Kotchman. Following a peak year batting .306/.378/.422, Casey is off to a slow start with an average of .206/.289/.318 in 122 PA. During the Indians’ last 3-game meetup with the Mariners, he went 1-for-12 with a double, leaving 6 runners stranded and striking out to Millwood and Felix 3 times.
Expected result: Last weekend, the Red Sox pummeled the Indians with a 3-game sweep. Then, Cleveland bounced back to sweep the Twins. This week, the Red Sox swept the Mariners. Do you get where I’m going with this?