Indians pitcher Jake Westbrook is making his first start off the disabled list against the first place Chicago White Sox. He'll face Gavin Floyd, one of the great success stories in the ChiSox rotation this year. Four out of five starters have an ERA under 3.52, led by Floyd at 2.93.
The real story with Chicago, however, is how a first place team can have so much goddamn drama. Manager Ozzie Guillen is feuding with shortstop Orlando Cabrera, conditioning coach Allen Thomas is feuding with reliever Octavio Dotel, and DH Jim Thome is feuding with pancakes.
Your liveglog begins after the jump.
12:00 PM: Your Cleveland announcers today are Tom Hamilton and Mike Hegan. I've never listened to them before so I can't say whether or not they'll be entertaining or insightful or just plain horrid.
12:05 PM: As usual, you can get your lineups and follow the game action with the MLB.com Gameday doo-hickey. You can also see video highlights of ding dongs and other interesting plays.
12:10PM: Ozzie Guillen's favorite player Orlando Cabrera leads off the game by grounding out to Jake Westbrook. As per Mr. Hamilton, there's a breeze coming in so don't expect any tater tots today...unless Thome really gets into one. The Indians slugging power is pretty much non-existent anyway. Hafner's out of the lineup but he's having another off-year.
12:12PM: Pierzynski flies out and hot-hitting Carlos Quentin strikes out swinging to end the top of the inning. Good start by CTC's enemy.
12:17PM: Bunt attempt by Grady Sizemore to start the Cleveland slugging attack. Crede couldn't handle it so Sizemore gets a single. Jamey Carroll lines a base hit to right on an 0-2 pitch. Indians have 1st and 2nd and no outs.
12:20PM: Broadcasters are talking a bunch about Gavin Floyd's two near-no-hitters. Big deal? Sizemore swipes third but Carroll stays put at first. Francisco lines a foul ball to left and Hamilton reacts as if it was a Joe Carter walkoff World Series ding-dong. He got excited as shit! Francisco dribbles a grounder in front of the plate; Floyd picks it up and throws past Konerko at first. Error on Floyd, Sizemore scores, Carroll to third and Francisco to second.
12:22PM: Vic Martinez grounds weakly to short and Cabrera has no play. Carroll scores and it's 2-0 Indians. Shit's not going well for Floyd, who has yet to give up a hard hit.
12:27PM: Nobody out, runners on first and third, 2-0 Indians, David Dellucci at bat. He's fouling off pitches and works the full count. Dellucci strikes out.
12:30PM: Jhonny Peralta lines out and Michael Aubrey strikes out to end the threat and get Floyd outta his jam.
12:35PM: As per Hamilton, today is like, Weather Education Day at Progressive Field, so it's full of screaming kids. Then he comments "There just aren't a lot of day games anymore." Yes there are! Liar! Jermaine Dye singles but is erased on a Jim Thome-shift induced double play, 4-5-3. Konerko strikes out looking. Westbrook is workin' it.
12:40PM: Remember when Jacobs Field sold out every game? Nowadays, they have to teach kids about cumulus clouds to fill the place up. There is allegedly a Casey Blake day camp this summer. How does Casey Blake get enough time to teach kids macrame during the Indians hectic schedule? Blake strikes out on a Floyd slider. He just made tons of children cry.
12:45PM: Andy Marte singles. Say, when is Andy Marte going to reach his potential? July 2085? Sizemore flies out to center. Wind kept it in the park (allegedly). With Carroll at bat, Marte steals second off a slow throw by Pierzynski. Carroll strikes out. That's 4 K's for Floyd.
12:52PM: The White Sox center fielder today is named Dewayne Wise. I don't know his work, but he grounded out to start the third. Crede lines out and Alexei Ramirez reaches on a Peralta error. Cabrera grounds into a fielders choice to end the inning.
12:59PM: Francisco pops out to Alexei Ramirez. The White Sox play Vic Martinez pretty deep and in a near shift. What gives? This guy has zero ding dongs. He grounds out anyway, followed by a Dellucci out to end the inning.
1:05PM: Pierzynski grounds out to start the fourth. Speaking of AL catchers, who is everyone voting for that position in the All Star Game? I got Mauer. Carlos Quentin grounds out, and then Dye ding-dongs! It's 2-1 Indians. That's Dye's 4th tater tot off Indians pitching this year, ninth overall.
1:10PM: Hamilton is decrying the White Sox for relying too much on the home run. Oh boo-hoo they have 61 home runs and a winning record and the Indians have like 5 and a losing record. Thome walks and Konerko grounds a single up the middle. The Indians pitching coach is coming out to say something clever to Westbrook, perhaps a bon mot about the Bush administration or a neat riddle. Something worked, because Wise lined one up the middle but Westbrook snagged it. Middle 4th.
1:15PM: Floyd has thrown 60 pitches so far through three innings but 42 of them were strikes. Westbrook has thrown 61 pitches through 4 innings; don't expect him to go more than six today. Good work, sir. I guess he learned something after leaving the Phillies. Peralta strikes out and Floyd has five K's. Michael Aubrey grounds out. Two away. Blake flies out. End of 4.
1:20PM: OSU hoops coach Thad Matta is in the booth. I'm booing as loud as I can but I don't think he can hear me. Crede and Ramirez single but we must be quiet and listen to Matta's ramblings.
1:25PM: Orlando Cabrera, who really really misses Anaheim, is gonna bunt. He's working the count right now. It's full. Matta is droning on and on about academics and Greg Oden and whatnot. Cabrera walks so we've got bases loaded and no out for Westbrook. Jake has painted himself into a corner, and he used a really ugly chartreuse color.
1:27PM: Pierzynski grounds out to first but a run scores. Game's knotted at 2. Seriously though, I think Thad Matta put me to sleep. Runners on second at third with one out for Carlos Quentin.
1:32PM: Blah blah Mike Conley blah blah NBA blah blah Greg Oden. ZZZZ. Quentin works a full count. Westbrook is NOT long for this game. The ChiSox really know how to take pitches. Quentin flies out to shallow right and Ramirez is tagging...he's...SAFE AT THE PLATE! White Sox take the lead. Francisco had a good throw home but Martinez missed the tag. 3-2 Chicargo.
1:37PM: Jermaine Dye strikes out on a full count and we're headed to the bottom of the fifth. And Thad Matta is headed back to 'recruit' 'students' to play 'basketball'.
1:42PM: Floyd strikes out Andy Marte to start the inning. Grady Sizemore comes up and the kiddies are screaming as if he was the second coming of Ricky friggin Nelson. Sizemore flies out to Wise. Two out. Floyd has retired 11 straight, as per Mr. Hamilton. HE ALMOST HAD TWO NO-HITTERS. Jamey Carroll doubles.
1:43PM: Francisco grounds out to end the fifth inning.
1:48PM: Jake Westbrook's day is D-U-N done. Rafael Perez is on in relief to start the sixth inning. Thome chops one back to the mound but Perez gloves it and gets Thome out at first. Konerko grounds out to Marte for the second out.
1:50PM: Hamilton blames the wind on a pop fly that Dellucci chases into foul territory, Dewayne Wise strikes out to end the top of the sixth. Still 3-2 White Sox.
1:55PM: Vic Martinez works a full count and then doubles down the right field line. First real hard hit by the Indians today.
1:58PM: Dellucci doubles past Jermaine Dye in right field and Hamilton starts screaming as if it's the second coming of Donny Osmond. It's 3-3 now as VicMart hustles home. Jermaine Dye committed a 'hack job' and is a 'defensive liability' as per Mr. Hamilton. That's kinda harsh, eh? HOLY SHIT PERALTA DING-DONGED. 5-3 Indians.
2:03PM: Seriously, y'all, Hamilton screamed about that Peralta home run as if it was the second coming of Leif Garrett. Aubrey flies out and Blake grounds out and Floyd is trying to get his shit calmed down. Marte is the recipe for calming down as he strikes out.
2:06PM: Holy shit it's the seventh inning and I'm still glogging? What gives?
2:09PM: Crede hits a hard grounder that goes off Marte's glove into foul territory. He is charged with an error as Crede reaches safely. Perez gives up a single to Ramirez so the tying runs are on with zero out. Here comes Cabrera again, who faced a similar sitch earlier and failed to get his bunt down.
2:14PM: Rafael Betancourt is your new Indians pitcher following a brief pitching change. Cabrera puts down a hard bunt but Betancourt fields it quick like a bunny and he guns down Crede at third. Whoops!
2:18PM: Betancourt used to be a middle infielder in the Red Sox organization back in the mid-90s? Who knew? Pierzynski doubles in Ramirez, who might have pulled a muscle rounding third. It's 5-4. Cabrera moves to third.
2:21PM: Quentin doubles down the left field line past Marte, driving in Cabrera and Pierzynski. It's 6-5 now as the White Sox regain the lead. Poor poor Raffy Betancourt.
2:25PM: Betancourt gets some slight relief and strikes out Jermaine Dye to finally record the second out of the inning. Thome is up now with Quentin on second. The shift is on again. Thome lines out to Sizemore and it's seventh inning stretch time!
2:30PM: Gavin Floyd's day is done and he's been replaced by Octavio Dotel. Watch out, conditioning coaches! Dotel walks teen heartthrob Grady Sizemore, who will certainly be looking to steal second and steal the hearts of the girls and confused boys in the stands. Instead, Carroll sac bunts Grady down to second. One out.
2:35PM: This is Ben Francisco's big chance to shine! He's got a seven game hitting streak on the line! Also, the game! And he struck out swinging! Whoops. Vic Martinez is up now to try and collect the vaunted two-out RBI. Instead, he flies out to shallow center. Oh well.
2:40PM: Betancourt is back out for another coupla batters. First up: Paulie Konerko. Konerko pops out, as is his wont. Attendance today at the Prog is 31,740, but 12,000 are schoolchildren who cannot pay $9 for beers. Sorry, Coors Light vendors!
2:45PM: Holy shit, we're almost one-third of the way through the season? BUT I HAVEN'T EVEN DYED MY HAIR YANKEE BLUE YET! Wise strikes out looking, two down. Crede grounds out to...whoops! Andy Marte has an oopsie! Crede is on first with a single as Marte simply cannot field today.
2:48PM: It's actually the SECOND Weather Education Day at Progressive Field this month. WTF? Check out the ridiculous list of promotions. Ramirez strikes out to end the top of the eighth.
2:53PM: Scott Linebrink is your new ChiSox pitcher. CTC has a total boner for Scott, and I don't know why. Dellucci just hit a high hard one to the warning track that Jermaine Dye collects for the first out. Jhonny "Bhambino" Pheralta is up now.
2:58PM: Peralta lines a SCREAMER down the third base line but it's right at Crede, two away. That's the second time that's happened today for Jhonny. Had it not been for Crede's glove, Peralta would have a three-hit game and Crede would have a very sore hand. Aubrey singles to right and the inning continues...but Blake grounds into a fielder's choice and the inning is over. Let's go to the ninth!!!
3:03PM: Masahide Kobayashi is the new Indians pitcher; he'll try to keep the Cleveland deficit at one run. The White Sox closer Bobby Jenks is 13-of-15 in save opportunities this year; he's given up 22 baserunners in 21 innings so he's not unhittable. Orlando Cabrera grounds out; Pierzynski grounds out.
3:06PM: Quentin strikes out to end the top of the ninth. The Indians have one walkoff victory this year. It was against the Yankees. Sad tomato!
3:07PM: Marte, Sizemore, and Carroll will face closer Jenks here in the bottom of the ninth. Travis Hafner is unavailable today, so don't expect any heroics off the bench. I SPOKE TOO SOON. Here comes Ryan Garko off the bench to pinch-hit for Marte,
3:10PM: Garko grounds to third, Crede bobbles but recovers, and nearly throws out Garko. This is scored an error. The tying run is on first, in the person of pinch-runner Asdrubal Cabrera.
3:12PM: Grady Sizemore is not bunting in this spot. That'd be nuts. He's worked a 3-1 count. Sizemore NEARLY fouls out but the wind pushes the ball onto the tarp.
3:13PM: Sizemore walks.
3:14PM: Jamey Carroll sac bunts the runners over to second and third. Jesus, I'm about to finish a fucking liveglog. DON'T GO TO EXTRA INNINGS!
3:15PM: Ben Francisco POPS OUT TO KONERKO. Two away.
3:16PM: No intentional walk to VicMart but we'll see how close to the plate Jenks gets here.
3:17PM: Martinez flies out softly and the game is over! MORE IMPORTANTLY I FINISHED A GLOG!
3:19PM: And here's your "Rob Finished a Liveglog Celebratory Video"!
Gavin Floyd got the win, Bobby Jenks got the save, and Raffy Betancourt gets the blown save and the loss. The Chisox move to 29-23 while the Indians fall to 24-29. Peralta and Dye provided the tater tots today. Thanks for joining me, commenters and readers!