Pregame Notes: Cleveland Indians turn their attention to Toronto

cnorman2
facebooktwitterreddit

Despite avoiding sweep last night, the Cleveland Indians are still searching for their first series win since Opening Day weekend

The losing streak is over and the Cleveland Indians’ bat have finally shown signs of life.

Former All-Star Jason Kipnis clubbed his first home run of the season as the Tribe overcame an early deficit and scored seven runs to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Kansas City Royals. As the first month of the season inches near its end, it was the type of win that could change the tide of what has been a disappointing start to a once-promising 2015 campaign.

But, as famous Cleveland philosopher — or, well, Major League coach Lou Brown — once said, “OK, we won a game yesterday. If we win today, it’s called ‘two in a row.’ And if we win again tomorrow, it’s called a ‘winning streak.’ It has happened before!”

And is this the series it finally happens?

After an impressive rookie campaign, Tribe starter T.J. House has yet to get things figured out in 2015. He owns by far the worst ERA among Indians’ pitchers, starters and relievers alike, and has yet to pitch deep into any of the three games he’s started. 

OK, we won a game yesterday. If we win today, it’s called ‘two in a row.’ And if we win again tomorrow, it’s called a ‘winning streak.’ It has happened before! -Lou Brown, Major League

In just 10 innings spread across three starts, House has allowed 17 hits and 14 earned runs. But it’s not just the hits that are frightening for the southpaw. House made his living last season by commanding the baseball, walking just 22 batters in 102 innings. This season, however, the 25-year-old lefty has walked nine batters and hit two more. He’s been hit hard even when he’s ahead in counts, allowing opponents to hit .400 when the count is in his favor.

He’ll get the ball in the series opener, pitching for far more than just another win. House is pitching to jump-start the Indians’ floundering season and he may very well be pitching for his continued spot in the rotation.

Opposite House will be Blue Jays’ left-hander Daniel Norris, who is coming off the one of the best outings of his career. Through four starts this season, Norris has tallies 20.1 innings while allowing 19 hits and 10 earned runs. Norris, too, has been wildly inconsistent in the early going, surrendering 10 walks and a 4.43 ERA. He pitched seven innings of five-hit, one-run baseball against the Tampa Bay Rays in his last start five days ago.

With all that in mind, here are the starting lineups:

Tonight’s lineup stays true to what has been all season long. Insert the red-hot Ryan Raburn in place of David Murphy with the left-hander on the mound.

News & Notes:

-It was the bottom of the order that stepped up for the Indians  in last night’s offensive outburst. The combination of Roberto Perez, Michael Bourn and Kipnis was 6-for-11 with 7 RBIs on the night. Perez finished a triple short of the cycle, going 3-for-3 with two RBIs. 

More from Away Back Gone

-Since moving out of the leadoff spot, Bourn has seen a significant uptick in production. The speedy center fielder was 4-for-11 with three RBIs and a stolen base in the series loss to Kansas City. This, of course, after going 11 for his first 61 (.180) and recording 16 strikeouts in 15 games. –

Carlos Santana

recorded his

14th three-walk game of his career

in the series finale with the Royals. Since’s he’s been in the majors, only

Joey Votto

,

Adam Dunn

and

Ben Zobrist

have done it more. -After recording his third win in as many starts on Wednesday,

August Fagerstrom of MLB.com

wrote about

Danny Salazar

‘s progression from thrower to pitcher.

Nick Swisher is scheduled to have the day off in Columbus today before playing two more games and being reassessed this weekend. Through four games of his rehab stint in Triple-A, Swisher has absolutely mashed, hitting .412 (7-for-17) with two doubles and four RBIs. Keeping in mind that it is just a minor league assignment, Swisher seems to be seeing the ball well and driving the ball with authority. The Indians could really use a bounce-back season from their prized free agent acquisition from two years ago.

Next: Indians end four-game skid in series finale

facebooktwitterreddit