Baseball at Progressive Field all of a sudden got a lot more exciting over the last week.

The Indians had a four-game set against the Boston Red Sox, winning two of those games, Carlos Santana was called up, and now Stephen Strasburg will be toeing the mound to the delight of baseball fans everywhere.

Once it was announced that Strasburg would be starting, tickets for today’s game started selling like crazy. The good part of that equation is there will be a much fuller house today than has been the norm at Progressive Field this year.

The bad news is that a lot of these people, even though they may be Indians fans, probably are there to watch Strasburg dominate the Indians lineup.

On the other hand, you know the people who bought tickets are baseball fans, so they’ll be there to watch the game and it should be a great atmosphere.

On the Indians side, they’ve tried to counter the Strasburg hype by calling up Santana, who had a great night on Saturday with a homer and a double.

Strasburg, the No. 1 overall pick in 2009, struck out 14 batters in seven innings of his winning debut last Tuesday in front of a home crowd. He allowed no walks, an amazing feat for a rookie debut.

According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Indians are expecting a crowd of at least 30,000, which would be the second-largest home gate behind the Opening Day sellout.

In a season that never really began for Cleveland, it’s nice to see the front office trying to give the fans a reason to show up for the games by calling up Santana and really hyping the Strasburg appearance, even if he does play for the other team.

The only game comparable to this one in my memory would be in 1993, when Nolan Ryan made his last appearance on the mound in Cleveland during Municipal Stadium’s last year.

I was fortunate enough to attend that game, and the Indians lost, but Ryan was fantastic.

It will be great if the Indians find Strasburg’s number, but if Strasburg pitches another gem, it’ll be one of those rare occasions where the losing experience is just as fun.

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