Friday, June 13

Is this all she wrote?

Well we have a few things to talk about, don’t we? Let’s start off with the good stuff first. The Tribe seems to have hit an offensive streak here recently. Over the last eleven games the Tribe has scored 75 runs. This series win against the Twins (win – loss – win) marks the first series win since the Indians swept Oakland in mid-May. In his Tuesday night outing, C.C. pitched a complete game shutout, allowing 5 hits. This, of course, was in a game in which the Indians only scored one run, so they needed that kind of performance from their ace. Now onto the bad.

- No Hafner (DL sore shoulder)
- No regular second baseman (Cabrera sent down, Barfield DL)
- No Carmona (DL sore hip)
- No Jake Westbrook (Tommy John, out over a year)
- No Victor Martinez (DL sore elbow)

Now on the face of it that looks like a season-ending list of injuries for this team. I on the other hand am only really dismayed by Westbrook’s injury. Having Jake recovering from TJ for a good portion of his three year $33 million contract isn’t the best use of the Tribe’s money. The Hafner situation isn’t too much of a concern. The man was hitting .217 and if this gets him back or at least closer to normal then the Tribe isn’t going to miss him that much. The Carmona injury hopefully isn’t a big deal and he’ll be back soon enough. The second baseman issue is a concern in the sense that we may not have a offensively viable option there. The injury to Barfield in his first game up is depressing, but nothing more really. Victor was hurt from the beginning of the season. A sore hamstring seems to have limited him at the plate, as he still has zero home runs this season. Which would you rather have; Victor gutting it out the rest of the season hitting no home runs or Victor sitting for two months and some return to his former self? Neither is what I would call ideal, but if Victor can come back healthy I’m OK with Shoppach, whose name can not be put in print without the “would be a starter on most teams” tag, in there everyday. So while the Indians continue to put guys with names like Santos, Haad, and Velandia on the 40 man roster I’m not ready to say the season is over because of these injuries on the plain fact that the team wasn’t doing so great offensively before and I suspect Hafner and Martinez weren’t going to get much healthier while playing regularly anyway.

What does concern me is the crap-tacular bullpen.

In other good news the Tigers swept the AL Central leading White Sox. This puts the depleted Indians 6.5 games back. Is that insurmountable? No. Is this team capable of a turnaround? Maybe. The offense scored 12 runs last night, thanks to Francisco providing 3 RBI on 4 singles and Shin-Soo Choo, who also had 3 RBI. Laffey pitched six innings of one run baseball and sports an ERA of 2.83, this from a guy who started the season in Buffalo's starting rotation. So once again, the thing I’m worried about is our bullpen. And in case you don’t believe me, Terry Pluto came along the other day and stole my thunder, which shouldn’t be surprising since this is his job after all.

OK enough talk of the past, let's do what I always like best in these tough times for the Tribe - look ahead. The gimmick that is interleague play once again graces Cleveland as the San Diego Padres make a visit.

Game 1: Josh Banks, RHP (2-0, 0.39) vs. Jeremy Sowers, LHP (0-1, 6.91)
Game 2: Cha Seung Baek, RHP (1-2, 5.01) vs. Cliff Lee, LHP (10-1, 2.52)
Game 3: Greg Maddux, RHP (3-4, 3.33) vs. C.C. Sabathia, LHP (4-8, 4.34)

Sowers' last outing against the Tigers was less than impressive - let’s hope the softer Padres (a team actually hitting worse than the Indians) provides Sowers a opportunity to pick up his first win this season. The game to go see live is obviously Sunday’s matchup of “maybe the greatest right hander of our time” vs. C.C.

Hot weather, hotter bats: After struggling the first 2 months of the season, the Indians offense has been better of late… The Indians are batting .277 (108-390) with 64 runs scored (5.8 RS per game) in their first 11 games in June, raising their team batting average from .234 to its current state of .242. The Indians hit .266 (105-394) w/65 RS (5.9 RS/G) on their last road trip the Indians currently rank 9th in the AL in runs scored (289).

Go Tribe!

(AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

1 comment:

Andy said...

I heard Wedge say on the radio that he expects Carmona back before the end of the month.

I'd like to see how June has affected the Indians' OPS and SLG.

I went to the game last night - I'll post some pics later this week.