All the talk in Cleveland about a top-of-the-rotation pitcher has centered on Kevin Millwood and C.C. Sabathia, but how can Cliff Lee not be part of the discussion?
From Opening Day until now, Lee has been the most consistent winner in the Indians rotation. While he's not been as dominant as Millwood, Lee has been bringing home the wins at a pace that might get him close to 20 wins this season.
That's uncharted territory for Indians pitchers. The club hasn't had a 20-game winner since Gaylord Perry in the 1970s. Such history might be lost on Lee, whose concern is on pitching well and not necessarily on making history.
Besides, just winning his next game will be tough enough. The Tigers aren't a team that Lee has pitched particularly effectively against in the past, so winning No. 15 might be more than a challenge in itself.
Until then, talk of 20 can go into mothballs for a while.
LHP Mike Maroth
11-12, 4.98 ERA in 2005
2-0, 2.13 ERA vs. CLE in 2005
LHP Cliff Lee
14-4, 3.93 ERA in 2005
ד-1, 8.47 ERA vs. DET in 2004
Player to watch
Maroth vs. Cleveland: Left-handers have been tough on the Tribe, and Maroth has been as tough as anybody. He's beaten the Indians twice, so they should have a sense of what Maroth can do. He and the Tigers are no strangers, after all.
"I just think he was a guy that stuck with it. He knows he's a good hitter; we know he's a good hitter. He just kept doing the work." -- Indians manager Eric Wedge, on the heavy hitting of catcher Victor Martinez
On the Internet
Official game notes
DET: WXYT 1270 AM
CLE: WTAM 1100 AM
Ben Broussard's solo homer in the fifth on Monday was his 14th of the season. It was Broussard's second off a left-hander this season. ... In his last two outings, right-hander Scott Elarton has given up 14 runs in 6 2/3 innings. ... Bob Howry pitched another scoreless inning for the Tribe on Monday. Howry hasn't allowed a run in his last 12 appearances, which ties a season high for the Tribe. ... Bob Wickman picked up his 35th save in Monday's win with a scoreless ninth, while Fernando Cabrera picked up his second win of the season. ... The Indians are 46-2 when they score six runs or more.
Friday: at Minnesota, 8:10 p.m. ET
Saturday: at Minnesota, 7:10 p.m. ET
Justice B. Hill is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.