That right there.

Cleveland 6, Toronto 1. Box score

To borrow a line from everyone’s mother and father: “now, what was so hard about that?” Those are my thoughts exactly after the win tonight over Toronto. The Tribe making things look absolutely effortless in the 6-1 win, and it just felt so good. The pitching was on the mark, the bats were alive, and this team, at least for a night, looking like it is ready to get serious in 2008. In a battle of former Cy Young winners, both teams were held hitless until the fourth inning, and it looked like we were going to see one of those classic pitching duels. Halladay and Sabathia were both poised to get the win for thier team, but only one did. CC made the Wahoo Warriors proud, and the offense played the role of gathering storm flawlessly. More on the Tribe’s 17th win of the season, after the jump.

Not to rip on Roy Halladay, but he isn’t the pitcher he used to be. He used to be the type of guy who could go out and throw a complete game and shut you down on every fifth day. He still can throw a complete game, but no longer is his stuff fooling people those third and fourth times through the order. He is still a first-class pitcher, but three years ago, Halladay giving up four runs in an inning was almost unheard of. I know there is a Toronto sports blogger right now that could very easily say that CC Sabathia has lost a step since last year, and I would agree with that. Halladay threw 111 pitches, and was touched up in the seventh after dancing through the rain drops in the fifth and sixth innings. In the 5th and 6th, Indians had runners in scoring position with less than two outs, and were not able to convert. Usually this would be seen as a sign of futility, but it really signaled that the Indians were figuring Halladay out. I didn’t think that they would hang six on the Blue Jays in the seventh, but you could see something coming. The big hitters in this one:

Casey Blake: 2-4, 2B (9), R, 2 RBI

Travis Hafner: 2-3, 2B (7), R

Ben Francisco: 1-1, PH 2B (3), 2 RBI– He has been raking ever since the call-up, watch out. Plus, when was the last time the Indians had a pinch-hit extra base hit?

CC looking sharp tonight as well. This was reminiscent of last year when he would really turn up his game when going against the other team’s ace: 7 IP, 6 H, ER, 9 K, 2 BB. Good enough for his second win of the season, his ERA slowly but surely coming back to respectability, currently at 6.55. Jensen Lewis and Masa Kobayashi coming on in the 8th and 9th respectively, giving up just one hit and one walk (both Lewis) between them. One of those games that is just perfect: the bats and the arms getting it done.

Tomorrow game two against the Blue Jays, pitting Dustin McGowan (2-2, 2.95) versus Aaron Laffey (0-2, 2.84) in a battle of the young arms that can’t get any run support.

Note: Those people are not my folks. I googled “mom and dad” and mom and dad Mildenstein were the second photo that the Google spit out. Don’t they just look like evetyone’s mom and dad? I think so. Plus that guy kind of looks like Jim Tressel. I bet he gets that a bunch.

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