The Cleveland Indians completed a 3-game SWEEP of the Kansas City Royals this afternoon as Cliff Lee earned victory #18 in his impressive season! Center fielder Grady Sizemore led the 10 run attack as he went 4 for 5 at bat and capped his day with a three run homer run, his 29th of the season. He is one home run away from having a 30/30 season in home runs and stolen bases. Sizemore had two singles, a triple, and the home run, all accounting for 7 RBI's.
Cliff Lee improves his record to 18 - 2 on his quest for the American League Cy Young award, whether or not he wants to acknowledge it.
Final score, Cleveland 10 - Kansas City 3. You gotta love the enthusiasm this team is playing with lately. For some reason, everything is coming together. They are playing at a level that was expected of them, despite losing catcher Victor Martinez and DH Travis Hafner to injuries for most of the season. Also, when things got their bleakest, three free-agents-to-be were traded; CC Sabathia, Casey Blake, and Paul Byrd. However, the guys remaining would have all had to experience strong seasons for this team to repeat as divisional champs again. There is hope for the future when you think of the possibilities;
Grady Sizemore CF
Ben Francisco LF
Franklin Gutierrez RF
Ryan Garko/Victor Martinez at 1st (with Matt LaPorta coming fast)
Josh Barfield at 2nd
Astrubal Cabrera at SS (where he belongs)
Jhonny Peralta at 3rd (where he belongs)
Victor Martinez/Kelly Shoppach at C
Travis Hafner/Victor Martinez
Pitching (biggest need/biggest questions)
Cliff Lee LH starter
Fausto Carmona RH starter
Rapael Perez LH relief
Raphael Betancourt RH relief
Jensen Lewis RH relief
Jeremy Sowers LH starter?
Jake Westbrook RH starter?
Other Question Marks
Michael Aubry P
Trevor Crowe OF
Jeff Stevens P
Brad Snyder OF
Wyatt Toregas C
Yow! The question marks are big! However, the nucleus appears to be solid. We need to trade for a RH starter and we need a minor leaguer to step up to the starting rotation. We need to trade or develop a closer. Jensen Lewis appears to have the talent and the poise for the job.
Bring back Mike Hargrove to manage this bunch and we make the playoffs in '09!
Go ahead, laugh!
I called the Indians stretch run in 2005 that came up one game short.
I called the Indians' magical 2007 season from the start last year! (I also called it for this year too, but with very guarded optimism.)
3 years ago, I called the T.B. Rays becoming a playoff team by 2009. (They surprised me by a year, but ya gotta love 'em now!)
I called the Yankees making the playoffs last season when they were 14 games out of 1st! Don't you just love 'em this year? (Watch out for them, they want you to believe they are toast...I am not buying it!)
And I will call it right now...The Kansas City Royals are building for the somewhat near future, say 2011!
Give us Grover!!!!!!