Well the only way to go is up. The Tribe got rolled by the Texas Rangers 9-1 getting outplayed in all aspects of the game. Reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee came off a brutal spring with an even worse opening day performance: 5 IP, 10 H, 6 R/ER, 1 monster home run to Hank Blaylock.
He got hit in his pitching arm in the second and promptly gave up four runs with two outs for a 4-0 Texas lead. He went unscathed in the third and fourth before Blaylock's jack in the seventh. He couldn't spot his fastball and most of his stuff was up in the the zone and against the potent Rangers, that is a recipe for disaster.
Cliff Lee's worst game last year was at Texas where he gave up six runs in five innings. He had a 6.17 ERA versus Texas last year. He had a 6.42 lifetime ERA versus Texas coming into today's game and it just went up. He historically struggles versus Texas. But let's see how he does on Saturday versus Doc Halladay and the Blue Jays before going ballistic.
I was more disappointed in the Indians managing only five hits and a walk versus the Rangers. Kevin Millwood was brilliant but other than a Shin-soo Choo liner in the 7th, none of them were hard shots. I expect nothing from Travis Hafner until I see something that looks like Travis Hafner and a slap hit to left is not Travis Hafner.
He got into a number of 0-2 counts and those rarely turn out well. He did battle but produced an easy, inning ending double play with runners on first and third in the 3rd.
I will say he actually looks a bit athletic after his weight loss. He scored the only run on a wild pitch that I don't think he scores on at his previous weight. But the Indians need the Pronk version of Travis Hafner not the slap-hitting version.
One game but a crappy one at that. Fausto Carmona looks to rebound from an awful, injuried plagued 2008 on Wednesday. New day, new ballgame. Go Tribe.