Thursday, April 29


I had a big explaination for the dire situation of Indians blogging here recently, but then quickly realized I have already used it. Because Baseball Never Stops!, 5 May 2009. So with that out of the way...

The Indians' nine-game road trip was pretty routine. Each series the Tribe won only one game. The Tribe were shut out in three of the games but also scored six, eight, and nine in three others. The last game was lost on a game-winning bunt; meanwhile, a flawed WSJ study shows the Indians are the most hated team in baseball. So yeah, this was an up and down road trip, and on the face of it this might be as good as it gets. The Indians might need to score at least six in game to have a good chance and I'm not sure if you've looked at this offense, but that's not happening too often.

Speaking of offense, let's take a look at the Indians leaders OPS+ wise:

Austin Kearns - 200
Shin-Soo Choo - 174
Asdrubal Cabrera - 101

Yeah that's all the ones over 100. How about the rest of the team, you ask?

Lou Marson - 31
Matt LaPorta - 47
Luis Valbuena - 91
Jhonny Peralta - 78
Grady Sizemore - 59
Travis Hafner - 77

You might be mad at Peralta, as is your wont, but where the hell is Sizemore? Valbuena currently having a higher slugging percentage than LaPorta is not cool either. The offense is pretty weak. Thank goodness for Kearns and his huge ears. His Cincinnati Reds bobble-head on my book shelf might get promoted here soon to desk duty.

Pitching-wise, the Indians have maybe been a little better than the offense. Mitch Talbot and Fausto Carmona are the obvious standouts, with David Huff toeing the line as a number three starter probably should. Jake Westbrook is still having trouble, and if he ever becomes the old Jake I suspect it might not be for at least another month. Justin Masterson has started four games and has pitched only 19.0 innings compared to Fausto's 27.1 in the same number of games.

Baseball Reference has Cleveland's Pythagorean record at 8-13, one less win than the current 9-12, so this might be as good as it gets folks. Sure, the old Westbrook, Sizemore, and Hafner could show up any day but I'm just hoping for improvements from LaPorta and Masterson.

The Tribe have another three-game series with the 14-8 Twins this weekend, this time at Progressive Field, and a couple wins would go a long way.

Game 1: Kevin Slowey, RHP (2-2, 3.42) vs. Fausto Carmona, RHP (3-0, 2.96)
Game 2: To be announced vs. Justin Masterson, RHP (0-3, 5.68)
Game 3: Francisco Liriano, LHP (3-0, 0.93) vs. David Huff, LHP (1-3, 4.10)

You want to see an Indians win this weekend? I would put my money on tomorrow's game. As for Saturday's TBD Twins pitcher, I don't know but if I were them I would bring a guy up from AAA which for the Twins always seems to mean a Indians loss, especially considering he'll be going against the struggling Masterson. Sunday's game against the 0.93 ERA-sporting Francisco Liriano looks to be a game I might skip too. Hey when are the Cavs playing again?

Go Tribe!

(AP Photo/The Plain Dealer,Chuck Crow)

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