The Indians have to be exciting about splitting the series with the Red Sox and will now take their losing season to Anaheim. This series will be about change. A change in the rotation as one unlucky starting pitcher will be pulled randomly from the rotation and either placed in the bullpen or demoted (by random I mean either Corey Kluber or Chris Seddon). A change in name as Fausto Carmona will make his first appearance as an Indian wearing the name Hernandez on the back of his jersey. A change in time zone as the Indians will be on the west coast. So, there aren't actually going to be very many changes, just Roberto Hernandez joining the starting rotation. At ten games back the Indians could change the entire roster and it wouldn't change their fate.
The Indians will get to see what money can buy as they take on an augmented version of the Angels. Unlike last time the two teams played, they will have to face the Angels big money starter C.J. Wilson and Albert Pujols, who has remembered his name and started hitting home runs again. The Indians were lucky to win four of their first six against the halos, but they will have to really step things up as the tables have turned. While the Indians are scuffling, the Angels are just hitting their stride and making moves to take over first place in the AL West. If there is any sign of weakness, Wilson has just started struggling in his last few outings after pitching like the ace he is all season. Three of his last five games have been awful by his standards and the Angels have lost six of his last seven starts.
The newest Angel is a familiar foe for the Tribe. Greinke has faced the Indians 27 times and struck out 120 Indian batters, more than any other team he has faced other than the White Sox. The Indians have had some success against him however, as his 8-9 record against Cleveland shows. He certainly hasn't been unbeatable since arriving in Los Angeles and the Indians will look to make the Angels feel as bad about this trade as the Indians do about the Ubaldo Jimenez trade.
August 15th, 10:05 PM EDT: Roberto Hernandez, RHP, 0-0, 0.00 ERA vs Ervin Santana, RHP, 5-10, 5.82 ERA
Just 105 games into the season and Mr. Hernandez is finally ready to join us. His punishment is finally over (both those of the Dominican Republic and Major League Baseball) as is his "Summer Training" session and he has been deemed to be just as good as any other Indians starter. The fact that he will be starting at all this season is a travesty and reeks of the Indians front office trying to make up for two awful off-season re-signings. We might as well see what he has left now, because there is no way Roberto Hernandez should be pitching in Cleveland after this season.
Thankfully the Angels will be throwing their whipping boy against the Indians again this time around and not either of their two aces, Dan Haren or Jared Weaver. The Indians have beaten Santana already twice this season (not unlike most of the rest of the league) and last time he was thoroughly shellacked. This game has the makings of a barn burner. Everyone make sure you bring your hitting shoes to California! Don't worry Zeke, you can borrow a pair from Rick Manning, he always brings extras.