Arlington has been a house of horrors for the Indians in the past couple of years. I don’t know if it’s just a bad place for Indians pitchers, or if the Rangers hitters have figured out something that the rest of the league hasn’t. That made last night’s victory a welcome sight. The Indians used a first-inning implosion by Pedro Astacio to build a seven run lead, and held on in the late innings to beat the Rangers 8-6.
Grady Sizemore made two defensive plays in the field: one good, and one outstanding. The “good” play came in the 7th, where he made a catch against the wall; the “oustanding” play occurred in 5th inning, when Grady took away a Gary Matthews home run. Cliff Lee, who was pitching, doffed his cap to Sizemore, and deservedly so. But the catch was more important than it seemed at the time; the Rangers were down 8-1 at the time, but from the 6th inning on, they scored 5 runs and forced Eric Wedge to bring in Bob Wickman to close things out.
Cliff Lee, whose stuff doesn’t really mesh with Arlington, pitched well enough, though he was the beneficiary of some fine defensive plays. Fellow flyball pitcher Scott Elarton pitches tonight, which doesn’t bode well for the Indians; Scott hasn’t won a road game in four years, and he’s pretty close to pitching himself off the roster.
I think a swap of Jason Davis and Kaz Tadano would be a good move for both parties. The Indians still don’t really know what to do with Davis, so I’d rather send him down to Buffalo and let him pitch regularly there until they figure out what his role is. Tadano, who has been the Bisons’ long-man, has held opposing batters to a .209 average, and has walked 5 in his 24.1 innings of work. Brian Tallet would be a nice replacement for Scott Elarton; he’s holding International League hitters to a .204 average.
By the way…Aaron Boone hit second in the order last night?!