It's been a season filled with disappointment. But last night was a bright spot.
The Tribe beat Seattle and their young star hurler Felix Hernandez 1-0 behind a five hit shutout from rookie Jeremy Sowers. It was the second straight complete game shutout for Sowers, who became the first rookie to do so since Dontrelle Willis in 2003. No Indians rookie has thrown back to back shutouts since Dick Tidrow accomplished the feat in 1972. Sowers is now 3-3 with a 3.98 ERA in six starts, and has walked just seven batters in 40 2/3 innings pitched.
Sowers was brilliant all night, constantly getting ahead of hitters, changing speeds, and hitting all his spots with precise location. He almost ran into some trouble in the ninth inning after a bobble grounder by Jhonny Peralta left Mariners at first and second with one out and the Tribe holding a tenous one run lead. With new closer Fausto Carmona warm, Tribe manager Eric Wedge decided to stay with Sowers afte a brief conversation at the mound. Sowers proceeded to finish off the Mariners, much to the delight of the 25,000 in attendance ... who booed loudly when Wedge made the walk out to the mound.
Also adding to the excitement was the fact that the Indians lone run came on a solo home run by the newly acquired Shin Soo Choo. Choo was improbably given the green light on a 3-0 pitch with two outs and no one on in the bottom of the sixth inning. The youngster made the decision pay off, as he blasted a tape measure shot to left center field, giving the Indians the lead, and accounting for what would be the only run of the evening. Choo also walked two times on the night, and hit in the eight hole in the lineup, one spot ahead of the newly recalled Andy Marte.
As for Marte, his Indians debut was a rough one. He was 0-3 with a strikeout and aso grounded into a double play. Marte left five men on base, and also committed an error in the field. Still, I'd rather see that than Aaron Boone at this point. The team needs to use these next couple of months to find out exactly what they have in guys like Sowers, Choo, Marte and others to better prep them for the off-season that looms.