Wednesday, May 14

Belated Preview & Garko Smash

OK I don’t want to be monopolizing the FCF here, but isn’t there some basketball going on? No? Anyway a baseball game was played tonight by the Tribe. Travis Hafner had a RBI for the first time in like nine games or something (specific stats aren’t important to me, OK?) This particular one, Hafner’s 460th, put the Tribe up 1-0 in the first and broke the tie he had with Andre Thornton for the most RBI by an Indian DH. Paul Byrd went a terrific seven and a third scoreless innings, striking out seven. Byrd was the recipient of some fine defense by Sizemore, Dellucci and Cabrera. The defense over this stretch at home has been part of the reason why the starter's ERA's have been steadily decreasing. Starting pitchers now have 34 consecutive scoreless innings. So, to recap: Byrd and relief, Perez for one batter and Kobayashi for the rest, awesome. The offense had some clutchness with two-out walks and hits resulting in all the RBI's with the majority coming from Ryan Garko's three-run home run, his first since the 17th of April, that gave the Tribe some breathing room in the eight. Tribe wins 4-0.

Game 2: Joe Blanton, RHP (2-5, 3.82) vs. C.C. Sabathia, LHP (2-5, 6.55)
Game 3: Greg Smith, LHP (2-2, 3.00) vs. Aaron Laffey, LHP (1-2, 1.83)

I like today’s Blanton-C.C. matchup of two and five starting aces. The weather may not favor a game getting done today, with t-storms at a 70% chance. Thursday’s series finale with the A’s is a 12:05 pm day game.

In case you hadn’t heard, Jeremy Sowers is scheduled to pitch Friday at Cincinnati. It sure is nice to have Aaron Laffey and Sowers to fill in situations like this.

Jake Westbrook threw a simulated game against the hard-hitting trio of Tyner, Marte, and Carroll. I’m told these three guys bat against Jake until reaching three outs at which time Jake takes a normal length, simulated between-innings break. Then Westbrook goes out there again until reaching a specified pitch count. I wonder if they have ghost runners? Supposedly Tyner said that these things are pretty hard on a hitter given the number of time you have to face the pitcher and it’s hard for the batters to maintain as much adrenaline for the situation compared to the pitcher who I’m sure is just excited to be facing live batters again. Either way the word around the clubhouse was the Westbrook’s pitches had good movement and he felt good enough to hope that all he’ll need is one rehab start.

Borowski is scheduled to throw a simulated save situation (I guess) today so we’ll see how that goes. I wonder if Borowski isn’t so much on a pitch count but will instead pitch until he gives up three runs for his simulated game. You know just so he can carry that feeling with him to the showers like usual.

Speaking of pitching, the Tribe now has the lowest starter ERA in the AL at 3.16. Hey we’re winning! Oakland is second at 3.54.

Tom Hamilton mentioned last night that the Rays of Tampa are now six games above .500, which is the highest they have ever been. Given this amazing start the Florida fans are so excited about their team had a whopping 13,000 in attendance against the Yankees last night. Hamilton speculated that 10,000 of those had to be Yankee fans. He then berated Florida for having a team as a joke and sees no reason why MLB is in Florida. Well, I hate to point out the winning traditions of the Marlins, but . . .

On tap for the Tribe following this home-stand against the A’s is a three game inter-league tilt against the Reds of Cincinnati in the 'Nati. So we get to see the likes of Sowers, Carmona, and Cliff Lee hit, supposedly. Of course given the right situation we also may get to see C.C. pinch hit, a guy who I hear had DVD’s made up of his homerun at Cincinnati three years ago (a game this blogger attended) and gave them to his friends as Christmas gifts.

Go Tribe!
(AP Photo/Mark Duncan)


Nick said...

Hammy's probably right; with NYY's spring training complex in Tampa, it's likely that there are more Yankees fans than Rays fans. I've been to Tampa three or four times, and it's probably the case. Also consider that Florida is where the North goes to retire/die, the overall popularity and wide fan base of the Yanks, and the relative youth of the Rays' franchise.

JHH said...

I'm glad the Rays are in first and NYY is last.

I just wish some people in Florida would be as happy.