Sunday, July 13

We’re going streaking!

After taking in these last four games I wondered: a) where did this come from? and b) are the Rays done? They had a good run but now losing seven in a row I think the All-Star break came at a good time for the Rays.

Game 1 of the series saw the Indians offense explode for 13 runs. Again, let me remind you of my “where did this come from?” reaction. Leading the hit parade was Francisco with four RBI and Dellucci and Blake with three each. The first reaction out of most was that at least Blake was showing his worth to the Rays. Casey has done a solid job of hitting these last few months and now sits on a .282 average and 52 RBI at the break. Laffey was the recipient of that run production and went six giving up two runs and evened his record at five and five.

Game 2 saw Cliff Lee taking the mound and leading the team with the help of Perez and Mujica to their MLB-leading (tied with Boston) 10th shutout. Lee’s win gave him twelve and at that point he had 34% of our wins. Yeah, he is important to the fact that the Indians don’t have an even worse record. Peralta chipped in three RBI in the 5-0 victory. Jhonny has actually come around a little over the last few weeks.

Game 3 was all Matt Ginter. Well, he did do a fine job of going five innings and striking out five without giving up a run or a walk. Nothing more could be asked from a guy whose last win was in 2005. It’s also the first callup since Francisco, and to a lesser existent Mujica, that turned out well. I can’t foresee this kind of effort from Ginter in the future but for now I’ll savor this game. Oh, and speaking of callups, Rincon came in for 0.2 innings to toss BP to the Rays to the tune of 4 runs. On the other side of the plate the return of a guy named Garko with 5 RBI is probably newsworthy inasmuch as our first baseman was hitting 8th.

Game 4 had Sowers on the mound for the Tribe and resulted in a win. Of course Sowers didn’t get credit so he still sports a 0-5 record. Scott Kazmir gave up 5 runs to the Tribe in six innings and Mastny got his first win of the season for going two scoreless innings. Mujica followed with 1.1 and Perez with 0.2 and finally Kobayashi earned his fifth save with a scoreless ninth. If you add that up or just watched the game you’ll see Sowers only went four innings in giving up 2 runs. Luckily for the bullpen the All-Star Break brings a reprise. Jhonny had another three RBI game. Have I mentioned his mini-turnaround yet?

So what to make of this series? It comes after a disastrous ten-game losing streak on the road against intradivision rivals and basically sealed the fate of this team this season. However, the Rays now head into the All Star break after being swept in New York and Cleveland. During the highlights for Saturday’s game I saw a guy with a Crawford jersey in the stands when Garko hit his homerun. I wonder how many excited Rays fans went home sad this weekend. To answer my own earlier question I think on the offensive side the Indians are showing a little life. Unfortunately this team has in the past depended on small contributions from everyone and a healthy Victor and Hafner doing their part. With those two guys sidelined those people making small contributions were in a collective slump making it hard for this team to win those close games they did all last season. Not to be left out, the bullpen did a fine this series job outside of Rincon’s blowup. It may be obvious but again those losses in the final innings by the bullpen are a momentum killer. If you didn’t notice Betancourt only made one appearance and pitched 2 shutout innings in Saturday’s Ginter game. The Circle of Trust is dead and I’m glad guys like Mastny and Mujica are getting some time on the mound.

In other news, CC got traded. Prospect Matt LaPorta, who the Indians got back from the Brewers in the deal, had one of three hits by team U.S. in the futures game today, which saw the World win 3-0. I imagine that’s a good thing. If you care, CC won today on a nine-inning 3-2 over the Reds and he also hit a solo homerun.

Coming up we have the All-Star break and game. Sizemore is participating in the derby tomorrow. Lee is probably starting the game Tuesday, or at least he should. After that, the Tribe doesn’t play until Friday in Seattle. This is where I usually go over the pitching matchups for the upcoming series. However I got nothing with the long break. So enjoy the first picture I’ve ever taken that has been posted on the FCF. It’s the Indians-decorated Statue of Liberty on 58th St in New York.

Go Tribe!

Sizemore & Gutierrez Photo REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk

1 comment:

Andy said...

Blake has an OPS+ this year of 113, well above his career average of 105.

Peralta is at 104, above his career average of 100 (i.e. league average). For perspective, he had 100 last year, a sparkling 137 in 2005, and a terrible 83 in 2006.

Just for fun, Sizemore is at 140, Garko a brutal 78, and BenFran 121.