Saturday, May 20, 2006

And...We're Back

After a weeklong trip to the Windy City, it’s time for our own version of that awful TLC show that the DiaBride insists on watching, despite the presence of multiple amazingly annoying hosts: While You Were Out.

So, this is what great pitching can do for you? The Indians starters went 3-0 with a 2.70 ERA over the last 4 games, all victories. Realizing that the games have been against the Royals and the Pirates, I’ll still take it. A win is a win, just like a quality start is a quality start. Most notable were the performances of Westbrook (nice to see him pitch a FULL GAME, not just 4 good innings, followed by a Chernobyl-like meltdown) and the continued excellence of the Hefty Lefty.

In case you haven’t noticed, C.C.’s gem last night has dropped his ERA to 1.95.
Still, let’s get the guy to a Jenny Craig, right? Wrong.

The only starter not to pitch during this 4 game win streak is Jason Johnson, who sits at 2-3 with a 5.44 ERA. On a COMPLETELY related note, Jeremy Sowers pitched a one-hitter in Buffalo to improve his record to 6-1 with a 1.07 ERA (yes, that number is right) and a 1.12 WHIP (again, that number is right). If Johnson throws a few more clunkers and Sowers continues to dominate International League hitting, change may be afoot.

The bullpen seems to have settled into some roles with the return of Rocky Betancourt, who has allowed Wedge to slot him in the 8th, which moves all the other arms (Cabrera, Davis) down the ladder to strengthen the weak rungs in the pen.

Speaking of Rocky, the Tribe sent Jeremy Guthrie back to Buffalo (as expected), but slotted him back in the Bisons’ rotation rather than allowing him to pitch out of the bullpen. When Guthrie was in Cleveland, the issue he had as a reliever was the preparation and his change in approach. He always seemed to struggle when he first came in (because he wasn’t used to the situation or the difference in preparation), and then got stronger as the innings went on.
So, if Guthrie projects to pitch out of the bullpen in the future, why wouldn’t the Tribe pitch him out of the Bisons’ pen to get him accustomed to doing so.
The Indians need to pick a role for Guthrie. With all of the money that they’ve invested in him, I’m starting to see some similarities to the Danys Baez situation. Live arm, big contract, club wants him to help today – not tomorrow. But where?

The hitting has continued its torrid season, led by Le Pronque and SuperSizemore over the past week. This team is toeing the line of an offensive juggernaut, as even if a few hitters are struggling (Jhonny and The Stick), they are still capable of putting crooked numbers on the scoreboard.

In roster news, Lou Merloni replaced Danny Graves on the 40-man and replaced Ramon Vazquez on the 25-man. Chords of Hallelujah were heard as far away as Chicago.

Coincidentally, Aaron Boone left Friday’s game in the 8th with a tight back, so Merloni may see some games at 3B because Boone is day-to-day.
But, as Keith Olberman says, “Aren’t we all?”

The next 4 games are against the lowly Pirates and the reeling Twinkies, so let’s keep this train rolling.

2 comments:

Brother said...

I'm in the middle of Saturday night's game, right after Jason Johnson got tagged. I agree that Sowers will be a welcome sight to our roster and Johnson can go packing for all I'm concerned. He's had an ERA of 9.74 over the last four games. Kudos to the Jacob's Field Faithful for giving him a hard time. With the commentators noticing that he wasn't paying attention to Carl Willis's advice on the mound, and not holding runners in the middle of an awful inning, it's time for him to go. Please.

On a brief Cavaliers note, it's been great to have playoff fever for the first time for a couple of years. A win in Game Seven would be icing on the cake for all I'm concerned. Go Cavs, Go!

Rockdawg said...

Bron....Bron....Bron...Bron...Bron...Bron...Bron...Bron...Bron...Bron...Bron...Bron 4 1/2 hours away!!

Can anyone tell my why "the belly like jelly" hasn't been moved up to replace Michaels yet?