The Indians were supposed to be enjoying their last day off of the 2011 season on Monday, but instead will be playing a make-up game for a rain-out earlier this season against the Seattle Mariners at 4:05 at Progressive Field. And the Tribe will have a bit of a score to settle as they try to win their fourth game in a row and climb back above .500.
No, it is not the Mariners' fault that this game needs to be played, as Seattle, while known for rainy weather, is not responsible for the weather in Cleveland (he said with tongue in cheek).
But the last time The Good Guys saw the Mariners, the situation in the standings was much different, and Seattle put a dent in the Tribe's hopes by taking three-of-four in Cleveland August 22-24.
The Indians began that series only 4.5 games behind the Tigers in the AL Central, but by the time the Mariners left town the deficit was a full six games.
Cleveland still leads the season-series 5-3 as these two teams prepare for their last meeting of the season.
David Huff (2-5, 3.40 ERA) gets the start for the Indians. Huff will be looking to end a personal three-game losing streak that has seen his ERA balloon to its present number from 2.08 since his last victory, vs. Oakland on August 29.
In his last 16.1 innings Huff has allowed 10 earned runs, and his last time out was victimized by five unearned tallies in a 9-1 loss in Texas on Wednesday.
Huff has faced Seattle twice in his career, and is 0-2 with an 8.64 ERA in only 8.1 frames of work over his two starts.
The Mariners will counter this afternoon with Charlie Furbush (3-9, 4.86 ERA). Furbush came to Seattle in the deal which sent Doug Fister to Detroit.
Furbush is only 2-6 with the Mariners, with a high 5.77 ERA in nine appearances -- including eight starts. Furbush faced the Indians once while he was still with the Tigers, and was the losing pitcher in relief on June 15 in a game the Tribe won 6-4.
In that outing Furbush went an inning and a third and surrendered three hits and a run. It was his first career appearance against the Tribe.
The White Sox come to town on Tuesday for a day/night doubleheader that kicks off a four-game series with Chicago, which currently trails Cleveland by two games in the battle for second place in the Central.