1992. The Cold War officially came to an end. NAFTA was signed. Bill Clinton elected President for first term. Stamps cost .29. Silence of the Lambs wins Oscar for Best Picture. Duke beats Michigan to win the Final Four. The Redskins beat the Bills in the Superbowl. And the Indians win the season series against the Yankees 7 games to 6.
Why bring up all that fascinating trivia about 1992? Because that series win over the Yankees was the last time the Indians have beat the Yankees for a season. Seriously. Those great teams of the 90′s? They didn’t beat the Yanks for the season. We had a couple of playoff series wins, but when it comes to the regular season, the Yankees absolutely own the Indians. That’s why yesterday’s win over Wang and the Yankees felt so good. After Lee’s superhero like performance, the Tribe goes for the first 3 game sweep of the Yankees in New York since 1989. That’s nearly 20 years ago! But what better way to say goodbye to that crappy stadium than to sweep their way out.
Paul Byrd throws for the Indians today against Mike Mussina. Byrd has been effective as of late, but doesn’t have much to show for it. In his last 4 starts, he has given up 5 runs, but has only a 1-0 record in those starts. That win came against the Yankees in Cleveland, though Byrd gave up 4 runs in the win. Look for the Yankees to start Jason Giambi today, as Giambi has a rich history of beating up on Byrd. In fact Giambi, Melky Cabrera, Abreu, Jeter and Matsui all own better than .300 averages against the Cleveland right hander.
Perhaps the big question today is what line-up will Eric Wedge throw out there? Andy Marte started his second consecutive game last night and went 1 for 3. Will Victor Martinez be available to catch or play first today? Doesn’t sound like it, which means that Hafner will likely sit the bench and be prepared for pinch hit bunts. Will Garko get the nod at first, or will Casey Blake be there again today? What about Ben Francisco? I suppose we’ll find out soon enough. First pitch at 1:05.