After a dominant sweep of Kansas City, the Indians will go to Safeco Field in Seattle to take on the Mariners. Get ready for some late night baseball as all three games start at 7 pm, Pacific time. The Indians and Mariners are have built a little history between the two teams the past couple seasons with the Indians basically stealing their best two minor league players, Shin-Soo Choo and Asdrubal Cabrera. In the past off-season two more players have switched sides with former Indian Kevin Millwood joining the Mariners and former M Jose Lopez coming to Cleveland.
The Mariners have had some early success in 2012 for what was predicted by many to be a cellar dweller. They are currently 6-5, right behind the powerful Texas Rangers in the AL West. The Indians have finally found some success as well. With their sweep of Kansas City they have moved to third in the Central and marched back to .500. Hopefully the Indians didn’t leave their hitting shoes in Kansas City as they will need them all season.
Justin Masterson, RHP, 0-1, 2.77 ERA vs. Kevin Millwood, RHP, 0-1, 1.50 ERA
The Indians will be going into their fourth series of the season and somehow, Justin Masterson will be making his third start. Although he was not as strong as his first outing, Masterson maintained his poise in his last time out and did not let the game get away from him. Masterson did only go 5 innings though, so he should be well rested for this start.
If it seems like Kevin Millwood has been around forever, then you may have been born in the mid 1990’s. When Millwood pitched for the Indians in 2005 it was his 10th season and 3rd team. He is now entering his 17th season with his 7th team. Millwood is out to prove that he still has something left in the tank and he just might. His junk-ball style of pitching should be well suited for the Tribe as many of the Indians hitters are already among the league leaders in walks. Patience is a key against Millwood and that is something the Indians have in abundance.
Lowe leads the Indians in wins as he took the only win that happened before the Royals series and another one during that series. His 1.98 ERA is completely unsustainable, but the Indians should enjoy it while it lasts. If he can keep his good luck and injury free lifestyle going on he could be a total surprise and lead this team in wins for the whole year, just by going out there 33 times.
Jason Vargas hasn’t had much success against Cleveland in his career, going 1-2 with a 6.75 ERA, but most of that was against hitters that are no longer with the team. The only player on the current roster that has had consistent success against Vargas is Asdrubal Cabrera, who is 5/10 with a home run.
Just one appearance after Jeanmar Gomez was used in relief to bail out Justin Masterson, Tomlin was needed in relief to take over for Gomez after he was ejected against the Royals. Josh Tomlin fell apart in that game, but one can hardly blame him as it was his first ever appearance out of the bullpen and his appearances this year have been anything but regular. Indians fans should just go ahead and consider this his first start of the season and try to forget what has happened already. Barring anymore rain outs, suspensions or off days, the Indians should be able to make their rotation actually rotate and get Tomlin his regular starts.
Former Cy Young Award winner King Felix is starting this season in dominant fashion as usual. He currently sits third in the AL with 19 strikeouts and has been dominant in two out of three starts. All three starts have come against Oakland, but if you exclude the one that actually happened at the Coliseum he has pitched 15 innings allowing 3 runs on 12 hits with 12 strikeouts. His command has also been impressive, only walking 4 batters compared to his 19 K’s.