Give credit where credit is due to Ubaldo Jimenez of the Cleveland Indians. Four weeks ago, we were all ready to crucify him and send him packing. All he’s done since then is pitch very solid and helped stabilize the Tribe’s rotation. The Indians found their way back over the .500 mark with Monday night’s victory over the Oakland Athletics.
Jimenez continued his dominance with the win. In his last three starts, Jimenez has allowed just six runs, struck out 16 batters, and has given up 11 hits. He is 2-0 in those starts. Against the A’s, Jimenez had a wicked breaking ball and nice smoke on his fastball, striking out eight hitters. Jimenez is now 2-2 on the year and the Indians have won 10 of their last 14 games.
It’s probably safe to say that Mark Reynolds was the steal of free agency this off-season. With his home run that went one-tenth of a mile, Reynolds now has ten home runs on the season and is hitting .300. The Tribe went deep four times on Monday night, including two by Asdrubal Cabrera, and continue to lead the AL in home runs with 44 homers. That’s amazing considering where this team was a year ago.
Jason “The Dirtbag” Kipnis also continues to put a nice stroke on the ball. With still a long way to go, Kipnis has raised his batting average up to .217 on the year. At least it’s better than where it was a couple of weeks ago in the .160’s. The Tribe’s second baseman hit his fourth home run of the season. No. 22 continues to get in to deep counts and makes pitchers give him a good pitch to hit. His average will rise.
The four game series against Oakland continues tomorrow night as Zach McAllister faces off against left-hander, Tommy Milone. The Indians need to finish this home stand strong before they head north to face the first place, Detroit Tigers this coming weekend.
Ryan Ruiz is the Cleveland Sports Beat Writer for The Inscriber. You can follow him on Twitter @ryanpruiz24 and Facebook: Ryan (BrownsWriter) Ruiz.