The Cleveland Indians have never had a perfect game thrown against them. For years after last night's ballgame, decades perhaps, baseball fans will ask whether that statement remains true or not.
The game itself will be talked about and analyzed ad nauseum, but I want to take a look at it from the perspective of a Cleveland Indians fan. Obviously, I was rooting for the Tribe to get a baserunner and break up the perfecto, but when Austin Jackson made that amazing Willie Mays catch (1950s Tribe fans shudder at the sight), I knew it was meant to be. But not like that. I didn't want Armando Galarraga to lose his once-in-a-lifetime outing on a blown call by first base umpire Jim Joyce (not to be confused with the famous Irish author by the same name). At that point, I was confused. I immediately understood the impact that call would have on Joyce for the rest of his life, and based on his postgame comments, he did too.
At this point, it's bigger than the Indians keeping their decades long streak of not being "perfected." It was about a man being able to live his life without shame and regret, a journeyman pitcher being recognized as one of a group of 21 all-time, and a sport instituting instant replay. There was no instant replay last night, but hopefully Bud Selig will do what needs to be done: reverse the call. It would certainly be the right thing to do. And I'm sure Jason Donald wouldn't mind. He'll have plenty of infield singles in his future.
Three-fifths of the Indians starting rotation gives the team a chance to win every night. Unfortunately for Tribe fans, the other two-fifths have been plain awful. David Huff and Justin Masterson, a combined 2-11 on the season with a ballooning combined 5.50+ ERA may still be a part of the Indians future. But I really don't want to see them in the present.
Luckily, the Tribe brass sent reliever Aaron Laffey down to Columbus to be stretched out as a starter. The idea was that he would replace Justin Masteron in the rotation, who would either be sent to AAA as a starter or moved to the bullpen. But after Masterson's strong outing in Yankee Stadium and David Huff's disastrous last two outings (sandwiched by a line drive to the head off the bat of Alex Rodriguez), I'm beginning to think he deserves a few more chances.
It's time to send Huff (a pitcher I think was rushed to the majors last year anyway) to Columbus to work on his mechanics and give Masterson a couple more starts with Laffey in the mix. If Masterson continues to struggle, it's time to move him and his electric stuff to the bullpen where I envision him as a back-end setup man. We certainly could use a couple of those. As for replacements in AAA? Yohan Pino, Josh Tomlin, Carlos Carrassco or even Jeremy Sowers could get a look.
I do know one thing: we can't keep sending out this group of five starters if we want to finish out of the basement of the AL Central.