The Indians have lost four games in a row and have fallen into a tie with the White Sox for second place in the AL Central, while at the same time slipping to .500.
And yet, I have a feeling (unless it is indigestion) that the Tribe is going to sweep a doubleheader today and run off about six wins in a row.
Sweeping would not be without precedent in this season, as Cleveland went into Minnesota earlier in 2011 and swept. Of course they then lost their next two games…
Anyhow, here is the reason for my optimism about today (a better word might be "hopefulness").
Justin Masterson will go for his 11th win of the season in the 1:05 opener of today’s day/night affair against the Mariners. Although Masterson is only 2-0 in his last five starts, the Tribe has won all five of them.
His last time out, Justin went six innings and allowed two runs on the way to a 4-2 victory over the White Sox in Chicago that moved Masterson to 10-7 on ths season, with a 2.71 ERA.
Masterson defeated Seattle on April 9 when he went 6.1 innings and allowed just one run on four hits. For his career, Justin has never lost to the Mariners, going 3-0 in 29.2 innings with a 1.21 ERA.
Blake Beavan will be the opponent in the early-afternoon part of today’s festivities. Beavan (3-4, 4.10 ERA) will be making his first career appearance against the Tribe.
Since beating the Angels on August 6, Beavan has lost his last two starts, giving up a total of 11 runs in 11.1 frames against the Red Sox and the Blue Jays.
Game one — advantage Indians.
In tonight’s 7:05 game, there is quite a gray area with the pitching matchup, as Zach McAllister makes just his second Major League appearance. And McAllister’s opponent? Left-hander Anthony Vasquez, who will be making his big-league debut.
McAllister went four innings and gave up two runs against Toronto on July 7 in his first — and only — outing with The Good Guys. In that game, Zach gave up five hits and three walks to go with two runs in four innings, and did not get a decision in a game the Tribe eventually won 5-4.
So in all fairness, it is hard to say that either team has an advantage in tonight’s game, at least as far as what could be expected from the starters. But if Masterson can get the win that he should be able to get in the opener, I have a feeling the team will relax a bit tonight and just play some baseball, with a losing streak behind them.
Of course, we will see, and that is why they play the games, because you never know what might happen.
But with that being said, I see an Indians’ sweep on this August 23.