Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Serenity Now...

The stage was set with a playoff-like feel as the Tigers and Tribe were ready to duke it out. The Jake was filled (admittedly, mostly with people blissfully unaware that they sell Sugardale hot dogs, Stadium mustard, and buns at Giant Eagle, more than happy to stand in line for 45 minutes for $1 Dog Night) with an electric atmosphere as nobody sat down from the 7th inning through the bottom of the 9th.

All night, the situation was ripe for the picking:
Grady adjusted quite nicely to the 3 hole with a 1st inning HR to go up 2-0.
C.C. pitched marvelously, allowing just 2 runs in 7 innings.
Betancourt locked down the Tigers for the next 2 innings.

But, (stop me if you’ve heard this before as I feel like a broken record) the offense sputtered and squandered opportunity after opportunity (0 for 10 with RISP), letting down the team in a game they should have won.

Serenity Now…
Serenity Now…


The death of the 8th inning rally wasn’t the burr under the saddle as Granderson’s catch of a sinking ball to his right was superb and there’s no guarantee that the Indians win even if the soft blooper falls to put them ahead going into the 9th.

Ah, the 9th…
Serenity Now…
Serenity Now…

Chris Gomez leads off with a double, so he’s standing on 2B with nobody out. The air is thick with the smell of Rally Pies being baked as the Jake crackled with anticipation of another walk-off winner as surely somebody, anybody, could put the ball in play to advance the runner and get Gomez home.

Not much is needed.
A simple grounder to the right side of the infield.
A sacrifice fly to medium-deep outfield.
Anything to advance the runner!

Instead, we are treated to 3 consecutive strikeouts as Gomez stood like a man on an island as the inning came to an end. Even if someone puts down a bunt to get Gomez to 3B, it doesn’t matter because the last two batters failed to put the ball in play.

Serenity Now…
Serenity Now…

The deflating sound that was actually audible was the departure of hope from the denizens of the Jake. The feeling of, “that was it, that was our shot”, was only exacerbated by the debacle of the 10th inning.

Serenity Now…
Serenity Now…

The Tigers stole a game from the Indians that the Tribe should have won going away if somebody (again, ANYBODY) was driving in runs.

The loss, like so many before it, sits squarely on the offensive players’ shoulders. All of the players, who better collectively right themselves, and quickly, before these games scoring two runs or less become the norm and not the exception.

It has to get better or Lloyd Braun's prophesy will come to fruition.
Serenity Now…Insanity Later.

12 comments:

t-bone said...

Rizzo just said he was told by high-ranking Indians front-office source that if Pronk takes a cut the wrong way or tweaks his knee in almost any way, it'll blow it out at this point. Great.

German Village Media said...

Rick Manning needs to be managing this team.

WCT said...

This game falls on the shoulders of Wedge. Excuse me for copying and pasting my comment from an earlier post, but:

First he pinch runs for Garko in the 7th inning. There are only like 2 or 3 guys in this lineup that are hitting and he can't afford to be pinch hitting for them that early in the game.

Second, he doesn't send Jhonny up there to bunt in the 9th after the leadoff double??? Everyone in the ballpark knew he was going to strikeout after that first swing. The fact that he didn't even attempt to bunt in inexcusable

Pat Tabler said...

Wedge certainly isn't blameless but, ultimately, the players need to perform.

Garko was Pinch Run for in the 7th on 2B with one out. If Peralta or Barfield get a hit or even put the ball in play, Gomez has a better chance of scoring than Garko, and Garko wouldn't even come up again.

Wedge, if anything, was going for it.
Came back to haunt him, although Gomez did hit the 2B in the 9th in Garko's place.

Peralta's AB in the 9th, bunt or not, WAS inexcusable. So were Gutierrez's and Barfield's. Just putrid.

Certainly there are some second-guesses for Wedge (Perez in the 10th with LH Granderson up?), but there's only so much a manager can do if EVERYONE is failing in EVERY situation.

Nye! said...

Wednesday's game -- another PH for Garko. As the ESPN announcers pondered whether Gomez was a defensive upgrade and whether he was more likely to make contact than Garko and therefore drive in at least one run (n.b.: Gomez grounded into a double play), did anyone else catch the extended shot of Kelly Shoppach in the dugout? I am pretty sure none of the announcers knew it wasn't Garko.

Nye! said...

Also, Gomez just got eaten up on that bad hop at first. Chances Garko would have made the play? I say pretty good actually, because he probably would have been out of position, and the ball would have bounced right to him.

OK, I don't know what I'm talking about.

t-bone said...

ha, i kind of think Garko would have gotten that ball by both dumb luck and the fact that he has a wider body.

what a difference 24 hours makes. oh, and facing a rookie pitcher making his ML debut, of course!

Voltaire said...

Was at the game yesterday. There were a ton of Tigers fans around me - pretty fun to stick it to 'em after the ninth.

Yeah, what in the world is up with PH for Garko? Gomez and Garko have virtually the same average (.310 and .304 at the time) and Garko has power, Gomez doesn't. Why in the world do you PH for Garko?

Oh well. They won. I got to see Asdrubal Cabrera play. Borowksi didn't blow up. A good day.

Baltimoran said...

small mention in the pd about garko "straining a hamstring"...hopefully not serious

4 runs on a AA player, i bet they could really nail a single A starter

Voltaire said...

I'll ask again: does anyone know why Mike Koplove is still languishing in AAA?

rodells said...

I'm going back to game 1 vs Tigers.

I'll quote the article to start...

"Even if someone puts down a bunt to get Gomez to 3B, it doesn’t matter because the last two batters failed to put the ball in play."

I'm sorry, but it doesn't get much more wrong than this. Tie game, go ahead run on 2B, 1 out is alot different than that run on 3B with 1 out. Maybe we put the ball in play there b/c they are not pressured with "getting a hit". Maybe the Tigers walk the 8-hole to set up the double play, which could swing the lineup back to the top. I really really disagree with that statement.

Moving to Wedge, he made the wrong play by not bunting. This is as basic as baseball gets. His presser after the game was a joke. He felt Peralta hitting away was best in that situation. I call BULL. I say he didn't think Peralta could get the bunt down and brain froze when he should have pinch hit Asdrubal Cabrera to bunt. Do we not have any bench coaches that disagree with Wedge and will voice it? Has Wedge made everyone "yes" men?

Wedge is nearing that cliff, sad to say. We miss the playoffs, he better be gone.

rodells said...

OK, I'll bite. Who does Koploverboy replace? Mujica? Jensen has been decent when called upon and he's younger than the Loverboy. Mastny isn't going anywhere.

And we're carrying four starters right now, so a 5th will need to be recalled soon, possibly meaning the end of Asdrubal's run until Sept callups.