Monday, May 19

Let us never speak of this weekend, again

After finishing my 26.2 mile race, my wife and mother (my father was in attendance but nowhere to be found) congratulated me and the first thing I said to them was "Let us never speak of the marathon again." That's kind of how I feel writing this post.

So to help with the forgetting of this weekend I've supplied no picture - hopefully that helps. That and I didn't really want to look through the AP photo offerings of happy Reds and head-hung Indians.

How do beat writers do it? Is just finding the little gems that went right, like Ben Francisco (I can't yet just call him by only his last name), or Michael Aubrey finally getting to the majors and hitting a homerun in his first start? Or do they detach themselves from what is still just a meaningless kids' game played by adults making sometimes outrageous amounts of money? Either way. let's get down to my quick series summary so we can get back to what we do best: looking forward and hoping for the best.

OK, to say the least, things didn't go well. First sweep by the Reds over the Indians - not cool. Pitching not stellar except for Carmona, who had no walks. As I've mentioned over at my other blog, my wife was flipping through the channels and I got to enjoy the final two pitches of Saturday's game - again not cool. Did you see Jorge Julio got to pitch? Man, Wedge must have been drunk or something.

I've talked about the disappointing offense before and now it's time to switch gears. What the hell is up with our bullpen? A bad bullpen, I feel, is a more emotional problem, because you're ahead and then some guy whose job is to get three outs comes in and blows it. In that situation you feel justified in singling out one guy on the team for failure, which has its benefits. That and coming at the end of a game makes it that more memorable. Now the offensive struggles, on the other hand, can usually be spread out over at least four or more players and is built up over more than just a inning or game. That and we have all these stats that tell us what these players' averages were their entire career so we always have hope that a long season will allow everyone to rise to at least their median.

So I ask you dear readers (Andy, Nick): what concerns you more right now about the Tribe? The bullpen, the hitting, C.C.'s impending free agency, or the fact that onion will continue to dominate the hot dog race?

Finally moving forward, the Tribe is off today. Thank god I know I needed this day off so I can only imagine this team needed it as well. After playing thirteen games in as many days (one doubleheader allowed for a quasi-break), the Tribe will have a nine-game streak starting tomorrow in Chicago with a three-game series at Swirling Garbage Field. Following Chicago is a weekend series at Progressive Field against some team once run by our current President, and then the White Socks again in Cleveland for three games. Pitching matchups are:

Game 1: C.C. Sabathia, LHP (3-5, 5.47) vs. Jose Contreras, RHP (4-3, 3.35)
Game 2: Paul Byrd, RHP (2-3, 3.61) vs. Javier Vazquez, RHP (4-3, 3.53)
Game 3: Aaron Laffey, LHP (2-2, 1.35) vs. Mark Buehrle, LHP (2-5, 5.27)

Game 2 begs the question of: what kind of Paul Byrd outing will this be? Game 3 is being held on what tells me is Indiana Jones Day. Just to make you possibly feel old the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) is a good four years older than starter Aaron Laffey (1985). It will be interesting to see how much playing time Aubrey gets before being sent down.

One final note: 2007 AL Cy Young Winner CC Sabathia is on the mound this Tuesday as the Tribe Battles the Chicago White Sox. For every strikeout made by any Indians pitcher on Tuesday, May 20 in Chicago, fans can receive $1 off lower reserved, upper box, mezzanine or bleacher tickets for the June 10 Dollar Dog Night game vs. the Minnesota Twins. Tickets can be purchased on from 10 minutes after the conclusion of Tuesday’s game through Midnight, Sunday, May 25 simply by visiting and entering the password STRIKEOUT. (Minimum Ticket Price: $1) Andy's note: I like that they're at least getting that out of you; they don't want CC notching 17 K's and having fans pick up bleacher tix for (-$1).

Let the Hype Begin:

Given the current rotation the writer of this post and the two founders of the FCF blog will be in attendance for Fridays game against the Walker Texas Rangers with one Fausto Carmona on the mound.

Go Tribe!


Andy said...

I'm still most concerned about the hitting. We're LAST in the AL in OBP and OPS.

Laffey is still older than Nick.

I'm glad to see Carmona pitch - I've been to 4 games this year and Sabathia has started all of them, plus the last game I attended in 2007. Nick and I will be there Saturday and Sunday as well, so I'll catch CC in game 3.

Nick said...

Laffey might be older, but I'm better looking.

It has the be the hitting. Nobody can get on base consistently, and we're not hitting enough home runs. The team BA is .236. .236! That stat alone leads me to believe that the hitting will improve.

Just about the only thing that bodes well is that the team's OBP is .081 higher than their BA, suggesting that they're still working the count. If that hitting eventually gets back up to say, .260 (still not very good), all of the sudden the team OBP would be .341, which would currently be good for third in the AL. Eventually the Tribe has to start to come back towards their mean numbers, don't they?

Also: Ketchup will make his move, I have complete confidence.

Andy said...

I can't believe I forgot to comment on this - I think Onion is last in the standings and Ketchup is leading, no?