Cliff Lee's Rough Outing Comes with Upside

chris daviesAnalyst IApril 7, 2009

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 6:  Pitcher Cliff Lee #31 of the Cleveland Indians throws against the Texas Rangers during the home opener at Rangers Ballpark April 6, 2009 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Woe is me, the Cleveland sports fan.

I watched Cliff Lee, our ace-in-the-hole, implode after a rough second inning, en route to allowing seven runs touch home plate through five innings. Cliffy didn't allow his seventh run until his eighth start on May 18 last season!

What will we do?

This is one game. This is only one game, and it's early in the season. We must quell the demon pessimist inside of us Tribe fans, we must move past this outing.

The comment boards are already ringing with the sounds of displeasure.

"Fire Willis!"

"It's going to be an extremely long year."

I know it is hard to put aside the pain that we, the Cleveland sports fan, have endured these long pennant-less years. But alas, we must have faith in our team.

We all hold our grudges against CC Sabathia at this point, given, but we must consider his numbers last year, when he made a strong case for Cy Young in either league. He started the season 1-4 over six starts allowing 28 runs with two outings of less than five innings.

Cliff Lee's rough first outing is just that: the first outing. He was not himself, only gaining three groundball outs to seven flyball outs, but on the positive side more than two-thirds of his pitches went for strikes. On Saturday, he is going to come back and bring the stuff that earned him the title of reigning Cy Young award winner.

Continue to fight that inner pessimist and consider that of the five hits the Indians managed against the dominant Rangers pitching two of them came from Travis Hafner and Victor Martinez.

The keys to the magical 2007 team managed not only to account for 40 percent of the teams hits, but they also managed not to strike out at all. Which is very inspiring considering their injury-riddled 2008 performances.

Another plus to focus on is Masa Kobayashi, one of the biggest questions out of Goodyear, pitched a solid inning against the top of the Rangers order without letting a run cross the plate.

There is good news in this tough first loss. We must swallow this bitter pill, and move beyond it.

There is no Indian baseball tomorrow, so take a breath and forget this. I can guarantee you that is what Cliff Lee will be doing.

Wednesday the team comes back with Fausto Carmona, injury-free and looking to return to his 2007 form. Stay positive Tribe fans, and remember that the Rangers pitchers can't stay strong forever in that hitters paradise of a ballpark.