It's difficult to sweep a team in a four-game series at home, never mind a series on the road. First of all, a four-game series isn't all that common, and more importantly, even the worst teams will pull off at least one win in four tries against an opponent. But today the Rangers pulled off a rare four-game series sweep in Cleveland. This is the first time Texas has pulled off the feat in 33 years. The key to the sweep? The Indians managed just six runs over the four games, and none in the last two games.
Today Mitch Talbot pitched as well as you could have hoped, holding the Rangers to two runs over six innings of work. Like yesterday, all the Texas runs came via the longball, but unlike yesterday, both home runs were solo shots. Mitch Moreland crushed a home run over the center field fence in the second, and Elvis Andrus just cleared the left field wall in the third. That was the end of the scoring.If you're looking for a bit of good news, it's that Mitch Talbot has been effective in his last two starts, both coming against good lineups.
But the story of the weekend was the combination of the Rangers' pitching and the Indians' hitting. Today Michael Brantley reached base 3 times in 4 plate appearances, but nobody behind him could drive him in. Six of the starters took an 0-fer against C.J. Wilson and the Texas bullpen. Manny Acta has been tinkering with the lineup for the last week or so, but if nobody other than a couple of players are actually hitting, it's not going to matter in what order the outs come.
Jack Hannahan sat out his third game in a row today with a strained hamstring; you wonder if the Indians will just place him on the DL and bring up one of the Columbus infielders. Vinnie Pestano was also held out of action with a bad back, but will probably be available for tomorrow's game against the Twins.
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