Thursday, August 7

Tribe Stumble Against the Rays

I first want to point out, dear readers, that this isn't going to be easy for me, for two reasons. One, if you are yet unaware, the Indians' series against the Rays isn't going to be appearing on any Indians' highlight reel anytime soon, and two, I spent a large portion of the day running around woods partaking in that pseudo-sport the kids call paintball, so needless to say I'm tired. But enough of my whining - let's examine what went wrong.

Actually the first game of the series featured Cliff Lee going for his 15th win. While not a lights-out performance by Cliff, he did hold the Rays offense to just two runs in his seven innings of work. Perez came in, as the only truly effective guy in the bullpen, to pitch two scoreless innings. With the offense contributing five runs that was all the help Lee needed. This respectable offensive showing was brought to you by the likes of Dellucci (ugh), Shoppach (yeah!), and Cabrera who had a solo shot. Tribe win 5-2 and Mr. Lee is the first AL pitcher to 15 wins.

The second game of the series wasn't so pleasant. While the loss in game two marked the first defeat of the Indians by the Rays this season I can only imagine it was a matter of time really, looking at the Indians' 20-38 road record. This marked the third game back for Carmona and the thought was that his first game was so bad because he was a little excited, and his second game showed that he was in the process of regaining his form. Well the third start the wheels came off. Carmona left after four innings and four runs on three hits and five walks. Five walks! Needless to say, handing the ball over to the the gasoline alley boys of our bullpen wasn't going to result in good things. Here is the rundown; Lewis two innings no runs, Betancourt 0.2 innings three runs on two homeruns (what the hell happened to this guy?), Rincon 0.1 innings 1 run (thanks Juan), and Mujica pitched a scoreless eighth because I'm sure the Rays just want to get to bed early for Thursday's day game. Offensively Peralta had another good game. Tom Hamilton mentioned that people like to be down on Jhonny for all the things he can't do, forgetting what he can do. Tribe lose 4-8.

Wednesday brought only heartbreak. Due to the day game I was able to listen to this one at work, which I like doing because it usually lightens my day. Not Thursday. Sowers started the game off by giving the Rays a three run lead. Garko started his short day at DH by hitting a dribbler to first base during which he never left the batter's box. Now any Indians fan knows Wedge's hatred for not running out a groundball. Garko hitting .239 was summarily pitch-hit for by Andy Marte who ended the day two for four with two RBI. Not too bad a day for Marte! I can only imagine that is better than Garko would have done. Anyway, long story short, Tribe is up 7-4 in the ninth, Rays score six runs. Perez pitched two scoreless innings (not too surprising), Mujica goes 0.0 innings giving up three runs, and Kobayashi does the same (0.0 innings, three runs). The obviously ruined the efforts of Peralta and Marte. Sal Fasano is now hitting .310 and the Tribe lose 7-10.

OK not the best series. I wouldn't be so down on the Tribe if it wasn't for this bullpen. I understand if the offense is sometimes not up to par, but this bullpen is without question the single most demoralizing part of this 2008 collapse. Moving on, the Indians open tomorrow at Toronto.

Game 1: Anthony Reyes, RHP (2-1, 4.91) vs. David Purcey, LHP (1-2, 8.35)
Game 2: Paul Byrd, RHP (6-10, 4.72) vs. Roy Halladay, RHP (13-8, 2.77)
Game 3: Cliff Lee, LHP (15-2, 2.58) vs. Scott Richmond, RHP (0-1, 4.91)

The Indians debut of Reyes is on tap for tomorrow. Reyes went 2-0 with a 2.77 ERA at Buffalo which was good enough to replace Ginter when he hit the DL. Reyes' major-league numbers are from his work out of the Cardinals bullpen, which included a save. The only other real option at AAA was Laffey and he was sent down for a reason and he needs to keep working that out in AAA. Let's hope the Indians play good baseball, win or lose. Of course I would prefer win but as long as we don't have another six-run bottom of the ninth this series I may be happy.

Go Tribe!

(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

1 comment:

Andy said...

I like how you list Mujica and Kobayashi as having pitched "0.0" innings. My feelings on that game are published elsewhere here.