Monday, April 6

Well That Was Uncool

Before I get to the actual game recap I wanted to point out a detail of this post's associated photo. Yes, Cliff that arm has betrayed you.

If you remember my usual Indians coverage from last year you may recall I usually stick to series wrap ups. Well unfortunately, Opening Day means today's loss has to fester for a day before Carmona and the rest of the Indians try to salvage this series with game two on Wednesday. So to pass the time here's my game recap.

Sobering is a word that I would use for game one of the 2009 season of the Cleveland Indians. While Cliff Lee has struggled through much of spring training, getting touched up for four runs in the second and three in the fifth, his last inning of work, is not exactly a Cy Young-like performance. Actually, I’m sure Cy Young had plenty of days like that but you know what I mean. Toss in Kevin Millwood’s one earned run over seven innings and we have the makings of a head-shaking Indians defeat. To add salt in the wound on all this is the fact that MLB Audio left me without WTAM available. Sure I could listen to our former President George W. Bush over on the Texas side of the house but I’ve gotten enough bad news from him since 2000 so I decided that good old free GameDay would have to do.

Offensively no single player sticks out for their accomplishments or deficiencies, because they all pretty much had an off day. Shoppach struck out twice, nothing surprising there. Hafner scored our lone run (on a wild pitch thank you very much) going 1-4 on the day, which was kind of a surprise, the run not the 1-4 line. Hafner and Martinez both hit into inning-ending double plays. Overall if the Indians had looked flat in the last few weeks of spring training then yes they carried that over to today's game. As far as pitching goes, Masa pitched a scoreless sixth much to my surprise, and Perez did his normal inning of perfect relief in the seventh. Jensen Lewis giving up two runs in the eighth was a letdown. Cliff Lee (0-1) and the Tribe lose 9-1.

The good news is one game does not make a season. However, unlike 2008 I would really like to see a good start to this season.

Game 2: Fausto Carmona, RHP (0-0, -.--) vs. Vicente Padilla, RHP (0-0, -.--)
Game 3: Carl Pavano, RHP (0-0, -.--) vs. Brandon McCarthy, RHP (0-0, -.--)

Padilla didn't have a particularly nice spring going 0-2 with a 4.80 ERA. McCarthy is a career 10-14 pitcher with a 4.56 ERA. The Indians hold the distinction as the only team McCarthy has beaten twice. All said and done if the offense can make a showing Thursday we have a decent chance at taking the next two games in this series.

Go Tribe!

(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)


Ernest said...

I would be concerned about Cliff if not for the fact that he has averaged 15 wins (and 7 losses) over the past 5 years. He's a proven quality starter. My prediction for this year: an acceptable but not spectacular 15-10 record with an ERA around 4 (also close to his career average). He will be okay as will the Tribe!

John said... beat writer Anthony Castorvince had this to say over at his blog:

On my end, I'm not sure what to make of Lee's struggles this spring and in this start. His velocity is intact, and his command doesn't appear to be too terribly out of whack. It's worth keeping in mind that he's never really pitched well in this ballpark (3-3, 9.19 ERA in six career starts here). Today's loss boiled down to a poorly pitched second inning and one particularly bad pitch to Blalock in the fifth. The looming question is whether those rough patches are going to creep up once or twice in each of his outings (they were rare, at best, in '08). If they do, it's going to be a long year.

If anything the offense is more worrisome than Lee.

Is Millwood in a contract year? That could explain his performance yesterday.

As for Jensen Lewis getting roughed up he was never one to pitch well in low pressure situations. This may be why he did so well as our closer late last year. Of course that doesn't explain his pretty good pitching this spring.

Andy said...

I couldn't get the Indians feed on GameDay either, but I could get Dallas' spanish feed. Wow.

In the GameDay forum about 10 min before the first pitch, someone posted a concern that the WTAM link wasn't up yet. MLB support wrote back:

"That game hasn't even started. Let them prepare the links."

What a fucking jerk. You know there's pregame radio, right? And that the game is starting soon? The game hasn't started - when will the link go up, 3rd innig or so? What an irresponsible answer.

John said...

As we all know the WTAM feed never came up and looking at the archive no link has been provided. At least the game sucked. Hopefully this will be fixed tomorrow.

Andy said...

What will be fixed, the Tribe's performance?