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In Cleveland, hope dies last

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The Song Remains the Same for Tribe

Things seemed oddly familiar on Saturday when the Cleveland Indians took on Toronto.

Strong solid pitching? Check.

Ubaldo Jimenez carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning and left the game after pitching seven innings of one-hit, two-run ball.

“One of the main keys was that I was throwing my breaking pitches for strikes,” Jimenez told The Beacon Journal. “I think as I went along, that is what worked. I was able to throw every one of my breaking pitches for strikes. Carlos Santana called a great game. Whatever he put down, I went with that.”

We never doubted Jimenez for a moment.

Read more…

You have to laugh …

… to keep from crying.

It probably should come as no surprise that the Indians were no-hit on Wednesday by Ervin Santana. The offense has been in such a prolonged slump that it feels almost inevitable that they be on the wrong end of a no-hitter.

Oh, and did we mention that Santana came into the game 0-6 with a 4.98 ERA in 10 career starts against the Indians?

And that left-handed batters entered the game hitting almost 20 points higher than right-handers? Naturally, the Indians lineup featured seven lefties who combined to go 0-for-22 with six strikeouts.

“Lots of guys get to five, six innings, but that’s when things get a little complicated,” Santana said after the game.

Not against this Indians lineup, they don’t.

The way things are currently going, it’s not too much of a stretch to imagine it happening again this season.

In the three-game series against the Angels, Tribe starters David Huff, Josh Tomlin and Fausto Carmona threw 19.2 innings and gave up just three earned runs – a 1.37 ERA – but the Indians found a way to lose two-of-three.

Tuesday night it was failing to score with the bases loaded and no outs in the ninth; Wednesday it was the first no-hitter in the 17-year history of the Tribe’s home park.

Over the past nine games, the Indians have gone 3-6 despite receiving the kind of starting pitching that would make most teams green with envy:

  • Huff has a 0.71 ERA over 12.2 innings of work, but is only 1-1
  • Tomlin has a 3.86 ERA over 14 innings of work, but is 0-1 with a no decision
  • Fausto Carmona has a 1.50 ERA over 12 innings of work, but is 1-0 with a no decision
  • Justin Masterson has a 0.61 ERA over 14.2 innings of work, but is 0-1 with a no decision
  • Carlos Carrasco has a 4.26 ERA in 6.1 innings of work (but that was the result of a single bad pitch against the White Sox) and is 0-1

How is that even possible?

And no trade before Sunday’s non-waiver deadline is going to make much of a difference. Unless the Tribe is getting Manny Ramirez or Jim Thome in their prime, no one they acquire is going to be able to get this offense turned around.

No, the Tribe lineup is going to have to do it itself, starting this weekend against Kansas City. The Royals are scheduled to start Jeff Francis (3-11, 4.65 ERA), Felipe Paulino (1-8, 4.54 ERA) and Kyle Davies (1-9, 6.75 ERA).

If the Indians can’t get it going offensively against that trio, they may never get it together.

And with training camp opening this weekend for the Browns, the Tribe picked the worst possible time to go into a funk.

(Photo by The Plain Dealer)

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