Backe's back is bothering him, and Garner has already said he might miss a start. It's never a good thing when a starting pitcher begins the season with an injury, but on the positive side, we can just move Wandy and Buchholz up a start to give Backe some extra rest. Backe's sore back may also have accounted for his terrible outings at the end of spring training. Backe will undoubtedly be a huge factor in the team's success this season. I don't expect a 3.50 ERA or 15 wins, but he needs to have the best season of his young career if our team wants to have a shot at the postseason.
By the way, I'm don't really buy into the whole "one-run game" stat, but a team that knows how to win close games is usually a playoff team. The Indians' run differential was much better than the White Sox's, but the White Sox won a ton of close games, and the Indians lost a bunch — many of them to their Central rivals. So last night's 1-0 win, while not particularly encouraging, can be seen as a good sign. I have a feeling we're going to need to win a lot of close, low-scoring games.
Pettitte vs. ex-Cub Sergio Mitre tonight.