At the end of the 2010 season, there was a time when the Indians were 62-91 and winning 70 games seemed to be an absurd hope. After all, eight wins in the last nine games would have been necessary.
The Tribe didn’t make it to 70, but they did run off a seven-game streak to get to the very cusp of the "goal" before falling short in the final two games.
Today, at Safeco Field in Seattle, the Indians will try to match that streak in games that actually mean something more than a cosmetic, feel-better number.
Josh Tomlin, who was brilliant against Boston on Tuesday (but then, who hasn’t looked brilliant on the starting staff as of late?) gets the call this afternoon as the Indians look for their second straight sweep, and to remain alone atop the AL Central.
Tomlin (1-0, 1.29 ERA) allowed only three hits and a run in seven innings against the Red Sox,, and will have a tough act to follow in his second start after Justin Masterson, in HIS second start yesterday, won for the second time and worked into the seventh before Rafael Perez let Masterson’s inherited runner score, for the only tally against Masterson in a 2-1 win over Seattle.
The Mariners will send out Erik Bedard, who missed all of 2010 after multiple shoulder injuries. Bedard (0-1, 5.40 ERA) allowed five runs — three earned — and four hits in five innings against a pretty potent Texas Rangers’ lineup in Arlington. The ERA might look high after only one start, but the venue where that start took place has been known to inflate some numbers, so don’t expect — hope for, but don’t expect — similar numbers from the Tribe.
Cleveland, with their win last night, retained its one-game lead over the White Sox and the Royals, who both also won yesterday. The Indians have not been alone in first place, before this marvelous early-2011 run, since May of 2008.
Seattle, on the other hand, has lost six straight, and already trails Texas by five full games in the West.
Look for today’s lineups in a subsequent update, and updates throughout the game, as Indians’ fans get out the brooms for the second time in four days — let’s hope that there will be a chance to use those brooms again.