With a sellout crowd at Progressive Field the Cleveland Indians hosted the Detroit Tigers in an important opener of 4 game series last night. With ace Justin Masterson on the mound the Indians hoped to get a good start, instead fell flat on their face losing 7 to 0. Masterson was roughed up, the bats went silent and the first non-opening day game sellout crowd was quiet. Of great concern is the lack of hitting in a game that did not have the Tigers Justin Verlander or Max Scherzer on the bump.
In order for the Indians to have success this year they will need to be able to compete with the Tigers head to head. They still have 3 games left to make an impact. One thing this team has limited experience with is playing in front of a packed crowd in high pressure situations. The team brought in veterans, including Nick Swisher, Michael Bourne and Jason Giamibi but there is nothing like playing in the game to learn how to play in the game. Psychologically it is easy for a team to get to excited going into the game. Pitchers grip the ball harder, hitters hold the bat a little tighter and try to hit it a little farther. Even Tito Francona who has World Series experience can over or under react. Francona understands Cleveland, the town’s fans and the desire to root for a winner. Francona wears his heart on his sleeve and cares about bringing a winning tradition to our town.