The Indians just finished off a four game sweep of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Too bad for the D-Rays because they really needed this series. Now they are 17 games back of Boston and it looks like they will miss the postseason again. And I thought they had a chance this year.
With the sweep, the Tribe has won five in a row and finished an eight game home stand 7-1. I said back when the series with Oakland started they had to go at least 5-3. Well, I’m glad they decided to do better than that. Although, 5-3 would have still put the Indians in a tie with Detroit. Now Cleveland has a 2 game lead on the Tigers heading into the important 3 game series. Two out of three would be real nice. That would guarantee Cleveland to be in first place at the All-Star beak.
What a home stand though. It saw two walk off home runs, several come from behind wins, a record-setting walkup crowd last night and featured the Tribe’s possible corner outfielders for years to come.
Franklin Gutierrez and Ben Francisco look to be the real deal. Yes, it’s hard to really believe that when they have played minimal games and against the Devil Rays but to come up from triple-A and contribute right away against any team says something. The Ben Francisco treat hit a walk-off game winning HR in his first major league start and last night went 3-for-3 with three RBI. He as 6 hits in 12 ABs and only Grady Sizemore and Victor Martinez had more total bases in the last seven games.
Gutierrez is batting .288 (17 for 59) but is a great outfielder and has a lot of speed. I was a fan of Shin Sho Choo at the start of the year but now its Franklin and Francisco who I want to see play more. Both have been very successful at every level they’ve played so there’s no reason to think they won’t be at the major league level.
Plus, how fun is it to say The Ben Francisco Treat. Not original but still fun. With the help of those two rookies, the Indians had a huge first week, like they needed, of the final two weeks before the All-Star Break. Let’s hope they can continue it in Detriot the next three days.