Sunday, April 26

Oh the Tribe played some games too

Maybe you were glued to Mel Kiper's hair this weekend and forgot that the Indians play in Cleveland and have uniforms and everything. Yeah, while the Browns were busy not drafting a linebacker, kinda, the Indians were busy trying to free up their October months.

Before this series started, you knew the Twins would be a tough team to beat. The Twins might just be what the Indians continually try to be, a team built around pitching and young hitters signed through their arbitration years. Owning the other members of the AL Central has been a key to a winning season for the Tribe in years past.

Friday's game had a lot of blame to go around. Fausto Carmona went six innings but gave up six runs, five earned, on eight hits. The pitching highlight was two hitless innings pitched by Vinnie Chulk. Offensively things were just as depressing. The Tribe were one for five with runners in scoring position with one run batted in, with Grady Sizemore winning the door prize for this game's singular RBI. Twins starter Nick Blackburn scattered six hits over seven innings, but more importantly he he didn't allow a single walk. Oh please don't let these kind of performances continue into May. Tribe (6-11) lose 5-1.

Saturday's game was supposedly attended by FCF editors Andy and Nick. I imagine they spent most of the three hours of the game discussing the Browns multiple trades to take a center as their first round pick, because there was very little about the game that was probably interesting otherwise. Pavano had another one of those outings going five while no so much scattering 11 hits, earning himself five runs. Kobayashi's ninth-inning appearance led to the other two Minnesota runs. Others making pitching appearances were Perez in a scoreless sixth and Smith showing up for the seventh and eight and only allowing a hit. Both efforts went a ways towards lowering their respective ERA's. On the other side of the ball this game's "I hit the only Tribe RBI" goes to Kelly Shoppach. The Tribe were a miserable two for twelve with runners in scoring position. You may have heard Wedge was mad after this game.

“What bothers me more than anything is we're not making good outs. Outside of a couple of guys, our approach has been very poor. It's something we pride ourselves on and work hard at it. There's just no excuse. Whatever the hell it is, we better figure out it pretty damn quick because I'm not going to sit around and watch what we've been watching. We're beyond all this. They aren't kids anymore.”

Yeah losing the first two games of this series is a real kick in the teeth. Tribe (6-12) lose 7-1.

Sunday's game saw our most consistent pitcher on the mound in Aaron Laffey. Yeah, I know he only made two previous starts, but nevertheless. I can't say this was a must-win in April, but being swept at home by a division rival is not a good sign. Luckily for the Tribe, Laffey did his best to throw to contact and worked six and a third innings whlie allowing only two runs, our best outing by a pitcher this series. The real story this day was Tony Sipp. Jensen Lewis replaced Laffey and didn't record an out, allowing a hit and a walk. In comes Mr. Sipp. Maybe Sipp is our bullpen savior, or maybe the fact the Twins have never faced him helped, but Sipp recorded two strikeouts to end the seventh with the bases loaded. Talk about a performance. Sipp was called up last series but I neglected to mention it since we won that series and all. Today however Sipp was the difference getting the coveted highest WPA at .235. Offensively, the Indians were kind of able to do a little against Twins starter Perkins. Shin-Soo Choo continues to perform as best we could hope, with Cabrera and Garko also making big contributions. Wood gets a save against a team not the Kansas City Royals, as the Tribe (7-12) win 2-4.

The starters haven't exactly been pleasing to watch. The offense sputtered over these last few games. The bullpen is anyone's guess. Few things about the Indians right now make you think this will all be alright in the near future. Sure, Pavano is giving us a few innings but is it worth it? Why do I have to see Graffanino in the lineup so often? Can Tony Sipp and Laffey pitch every game? A topic around the internet these last few days is with LaPorta cruising in AAA why not bring him up? Of course let us not forget Dellucci lurks in Columbus as well, oh the humanity. The good news, if you're still clinging to such notions, is that the Tribe is only 3.5 games back in the AL Central.

Game 1: Tim Wakefield, RHP (2-1, 2.45) vs. Cliff Lee, LHP (1-3, 5.25)
Game 2: Brad Penny, RHP (2-0, 7.80) vs. Anthony Reyes, RHP (1-0, 4.76)
Game 3: To be announced vs. Fausto Carmona, RHP (1-3, 7.36)

Wakefield has pitched two straight complete games - the last was a rain-shortened seven-inning affair, but still complete none the less. Penny has never made a start against the Tribe. What is it with these teams not being able to announce three straight pitchers? The interesting thing being that I kind of like TBA over Fausto right now.

Go Tribe!

(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)


Andy said...

Carmona, Peralta, and DeRosa continue their assault on the FCF fantasy league team. These guys are embarrassing us. Long-term, I like our club though.

Saturday's game sucked. The team was totally lifeless - offense, defense, pitching, everything.

One thing I'd like to point out is that Pavano pitched way better than his line indicates. The Twins epitomized "hit 'em where they ain't." They really weren't hitting that great, just a parade of cheap hits and seeing-eye singles. Happens some time.

Kobayashi, on the other hand, man were those home runs crushed. Hey, at least the weather was nice.

Sipp was awesome - it's worth a mention that he did his work against Justin Morneau and Jason Kubel, the Twins' top two sluggers, and just blew them both away in a pressure situation. Color me impressed.

Does Boston coming to town make me nervous? Yes. Yes it does.

John said...

Yeah Boston coming in winning ten straight is less than desirable.