Well, sticking to last year’s script, the Indians have made it back to .500 after a bad start. This time, though, the pitching is what helped them there. Although I’m seeing some good things from the offense; Victor Martinez is starting to hit the ball with some authority, and Travis Hafner seems locked in again. Carlos Silva was leaving the ball up all night, and he really should have been charged with more runs than he allowed. But that’s what happens when you ground into four double plays. CC Sabathia, who never seems in control of his stuff to start a game, settled down after a couple of rough early innings to get the win.
And then there’s Juan Gonzalez, who injured his hamstring running to first base on his first at-bat of the season. No, you can’t make this stuff up. I would guess someone like Ernie Young comes up for a week or so until Coco Crisp comes back. More importantly, this means a steady dose of Casey Blake and Aaron Boone in the lineup. I’m wishing for a trade (Rick mentioned Jonny Gomes, who looks to be caught up in a numbers game in Tampa), and I’ve already shown support for bring Placido Polanco in. With Ryan Ludwick on the block, it’s time to get creative. Although Ludwick wouldn’t be enough to get any of those two players in a one-for-one deal, the Indians have enough prospects where they could get a deal done.
As for short-term fixes, a couple of Buffalo veterens might be sufficient. Mike Kinkade, who can play third, first, and the outfield, is hitting .295/.382/.511 for Buffalo with pretty good plate discipline (25 K to 16 BB). Ernie Young is having a great first half, hitting .316/.417/.612 with 13 home runs.
Tonight’s game (Lee vs. Radke) might mean the difference between a series win or loss, for the Indians have Scott Elarton going up against Johan Santana on Thursday.