Cleveland Indians: What We've Learned After Three Games

Nino Colla@TheTribeDailySenior Writer IApril 3, 2008

The Cleveland Indians certainly haven't shot out of the gate quite like the Kansas City Royals have, winning all three games and completely shutting down that vaunted Tiger lineup.

But they've shown that last year was no fluke, and that all their pieces from 2007 are not mirages.

So after three games, here is what we've learned about the 2008 Cleveland Indians.

Fausto Carmona is not fazed by expert-analyst voodoo.

All I've read and heard about Fausto Carmona and his 2008 season is, "He won't repeat that year!" and, "Can he do it again? I don’t think so!"

I've said that time and time again. He won't do it again, but that's not what Fausto Carmona has to do.

Fausto Carmona needs to go seven innings and keep his team in the ballgame.

Gosh, I’m starting to sound like Eric Wedge.

But really, that's exactly what Carmona did in the second game of the series with the White Sox. 

In less-than-stellar conditions for a pitcher that likes to control his pitches, Carmona managed to work his way through seven innings, surrendering a few hits, giving up only one run, and getting plenty of ground ball double plays.

So, what do all you smart baseball expert have to say now?

Maybe he will repeat his 2008 year. He's already off to a great start, and he can pitch that well in cold weather, when it's very tough to grip a baseball.

I can't wait to see what he's got in that hot and muggy weather, where he is sweating a bathtub full of sweat and making that sinker do all sorts of wonderful things.

Franklin Gutierrez knows how to hit the ball, for real!

Last year Franklin Gutierrez was hitting the ball everywhere.

The problem is he was also striking out and not taking pitchers deep into at-bats.

Now in three games, Gutierrez has two walks and two strikeouts. But as a witness, one of those strikeouts was taken deep into the count.

Gutierrez's plate discipline has really improved over the off-season and spring training.

His two walks have been in high pressure-situations. One was with the bases loaded that knocked in a run, and the other set the table for a Casey Blake three-run double in which Gutierrez scored from first.

His three-run homer set the tone for the Indians' offense in the opener.

So, I now ask you baseball experts.

Oh wait, no one knows about Franklin Gutierrez?

Okay, mark my words then. Soon all the experts will be talking about him.

What have we learned? We've learned that soon everyone will learn about Franklin Gutierrez. How’s that for learning?

What else have we learned?

We've learned that Joe Borowski still knows how to get under your skin and make you break out the old Marlboros.

Rafael Betancourt is still one of the best relievers in baseball.

Masahide Kobayashi doesn't like cold weather, and in Japan the bullpen spent their time in the clubhouse until called upon. Those crazy Japanese pitching methods!

Victor Martinez's legs don't like first games at home; two years in a row he has suffered injuries at the home opener.

Travis Hafner is currently producing the movie, "How Pronk Got His Swing Back." Expect this production to continue for the rest of the year.

Jhonny Peralta really can't hit in the three hole. If Victor Martinez isn't back in the lineup soon, Eric Wedge needs to make a change.

This isn't really about the Indians, but I myself have learned that Bobby Jenks is now fifty times scarier with his new long blonde goatee.

Jason Michaels likes making heart-attack-worthy catches late in the game against Chicago on opening day.

Hey, he's just helping Joe Borowski out!

So what have we learned after three games?

I myself haven't learned much, I've just been reminded about how much I love Tribe baseball.

Here's to many more, specifically 159 more, and the postseason, of course!


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