Saturday, May 27, 2006

These are the DETROIT Tigers, right?

After attempting to give myself a worldly perspective by attending the U.S. Men’s Soccer game at Cleveland Browns Stadium, imagine my surprise that the Tribe game was already over by 9:30PM, with the Tribe on the short end of an 8-3 contest against that rolling train that is the Motor City Kitties.

Let me get this straight, Westbrook made it through to the 5 innings, allowing only 3 runs, then fell apart his 3rd time through the order? Sounds about right. It seems that the complete game that Westbrook spun against the Royals is the aberration, and last night’s performance in Detroit is closer to the norm for the 2006 version of Jake.

Last night’s loss was not a great start to this crucial 7 game stretch, particularly with the Tigers throwing Kenny Rogers (and his superb wood-roasted fire rotisserie Chicken…wait, that’s a different Kenny Rogers?) on Sunday against Jason Johnson. Hopefully, Sunday will be the final chapter of Jason Johnson story in the Tribe rotation this year.

Has anyone else already chalked that one up as a loss and made other Sunday afternoon plans, in an attempt to keep the blood pressure down and the TV screen safe from flying objects?

Looking at that pitching match-up on Sunday makes tonight’s game that much more important, because the Indians are looking at the distinct possibility of getting swept by the Tigers and being 12 ½ games out before Memorial Day. Let’s hope Paul Byrd continues his success against the Tigers (he’s 6-1 lifetime with a 2.71 ERA) and that the Tribe can get to young flamethrower Justin Verlander, something that hasn’t been done very often this year.

Lord knows I’m trying to be positive throughout this stretch, but it’s time for a little bit more fire in the Indians’ game. Maybe more than an annoyed manager commenting that his middle infielders gave a “half-assed” effort. How about questioning the desire of the team and playing with a sense of urgency, regardless of what the calendar says?

I realize that it’s May 27th, but the Tribe is 10 ½ games of the Central and would be better served if they didn’t put themselves in a position that they had to fight and claw back into the race.

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