By Mike Brandyberry
Sometimes good just isn’t good enough.
Friday evening the Indians probably played good enough to win but could not find enough offense to seal the victory and a poor throw by Joe Smith resulted in the Tribe losing to the Marlins, 3-2. The effort would squander a well-pitched effort by Justin Masterson.
Today, the Tribe and Marlins will each play their 40th game of the season. Managers often feel they know what they have in their team after 40 games. Regardless of today’s outcome what Cleveland has is a first place baseball team. The Tribe will work to keep their three game lead on the Detroit Tigers.
The Indians will try to even the series against the Marlins Anibal Sanchez (2-1, 2.28). The right-handed pitcher has shined this season for Miami. The Indians have never faced Sanchez.
“I don’t try and do anything differently,” Tribe left fielder Shelley Duncan said. “I just watch a lot of video and make a plan and stick to it.” Duncan will start today in left field and has not faced Sanchez since 2005 in Double-A.
Meanwhile, Jeanmar Gomez (2-2, 3.75) will take the mound in hopes to get the Indians back on track. Gomez took a no-decision on Monday in Minnesota after he only allowed one unearned run over seven innings, but the bullpen could not hold the lead, in an eventual 5-4 Indians win. He pitched well enough to win. Today marks Gomez’s 13th career start at Progressive Field, where the Tribe is 9-3 in those contests.
Jack Hannahan will continue to remain sidelined with a sore back. “He’s feeling better and making progress,” Indians manager Manny Acta said. “He’s gonna take ground balls during batting practice and take soft toss in a controlled environment.”
Acta felt Hannahan could be an emergency option today and felt with the off day on Monday, he should be back in game action soon.
Bench coach Sandy Alomar Jr. is away from the team this weekend. He is with his daughter, Leanna, for her graduation from San Diego State. Tim Tolman, who was the bench coach last season will fill in for the next two days.
“It’s nice to get him back,” Acta said. “He’s been busy in the minor leagues but it’s nice to have him for a couple days.” Tolman requested a new position in the organization at the end of last season, citing the travel and grind of a full major league season to be too much. Now, he works in the minor league system and lives in Tucson, Arizona.
The Tribe will try to get their first Interleague Play victory of the season today. A year ago the Indians were 11-7 against the Senior Circuit and winners of seven of nine at Progressive Field. Game time is scheduled for 4:05 ET. The game can be seen on WKYC-3 or heard on the Indians Radio Network.
Cleveland Indians Starting Lineup
1. Shin-Soo Choo, RF
2. Jason Kipnis, 2B
3. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
4. Travis Hafner, DH
5. Carlos Santana, C
6. Michael Brantley, CF
7. Jose Lopez, 3B
8. Casey Kotchman, 1B
9. Shelley Duncan, LF
Miami Marlins Starting Lineup
1. Jose Reyes, SS
2. Omar Infante, 2B
3. Hanley Ramirez, 3B
4. Greg Dobbs, RF
5. Giancarlo Stanton, DH
6. Logan Morrison, LF
7. Gaby Sanchez, 1B
8. Bryan Petersen, CF
9. John Buck, C
Photo: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images