The Indians just finished the most winning April in their history, going 18-8 to open up a 4 1/2 game lead in the Central Division, and leaving two of their division rivals (the Twins and the White Sox) already nine games behind.
What will May bring?
We begin to find out this afternoon at 1:05 at Progressive Field, when the Tribe tries to finish a 6-0 homestand against the Detroit Tigers, and win their sixth in a row, as Justin Masterson also tries to go 6-0 for the season against the Tigers’ Phil Coke (1-4, 4.88 ERA).
Masterson has been perfect this year, winning all five of his starts for Cleveland, and will try to match Cliff Lee’s 6-0 start to 2008. Masterson’s last two victories came against the Royals, and in his last start, he went 6 2/3 innings and surrendered five hits and three runs, while fanning seven.
For his career, Masterson has made six appearances against Detroit, including three starts, and is 0-2 with a 6.10 ERA in 20 2/3 innings worked.
Coke has been roughed up in his last two starts — both losses to the Mariners, In those two games, Coke went a total of eight innings and gave up nine earned runs as well as 14 hits.
During his career Coke has faced the Tribe eleven times, all in relief. In 8 2/3 innings, Coke has compiled a 2.08 ERA against Cleveland.
The Indians will be attempting to earn their fifth sweep of a three-game series this season in today’s game, and for their fourth straight sweep at home. Cleveland has not lost at home since April 2.
Detroit, on the other hand, will be trying to avoid their second consecutive sweep, after losing three games at home to Seattle earlier this week and the first two games to the Tribe. The Tigers’ losing streak has dropped them to 12-15 and to 6 1/2 games behind the Indians, after Detroit had got to within a game-and-a-half of the Tribe after games of last Sunday.
After this afternoon’s game Cleveland will be off tomorrow before opening a six-game road trip on Tuesday night in Oakland: a trip that will once again take the Indians to Anaheim for three against the Angels next weekend.
Let’s get ready to hit the road again in style, and move to 19-8