Tuesday, April 07, 2009

All Is Not Lost

After all of the excitement, all of the anticipation of Monday’s Opener in Arlington, I have to say that Opening Day 2009 could really not have gone worse for yours truly. From being home with a sick 2-year-old – no, seriously, not just to watch the 2 PM game, I have a doctor’s trip to prove it…juxtaposed right between watching Hafner looking like he did last year (hello, inning-ending GIDP) and listening to Hank Blalock making Cliff Lee look like he did in 2007 – to watching the snow fall all day long on the North Coast, it was pretty rotten.

Factoring in that I didn’t see the Blalock HR until 5:45 this morning on the 2nd replay on STO as I sat on the couch with a sick little boy who couldn’t sleep (yes, the last 48 hours have been that bad) because yesterday was so hectic…and I hope you start to feel my pain.

Just a brutal day, even if I got to talk Tribe with the Doctor as The DiaperTribe sat, sad face and all, on the paper covering for the patient table. By the way, he thinks the Indians’ year is a “real black box”, because nobody knows what we have in store for us and wishes he could get a team of nine Grady Sizemores…this, of course, after prescribing an antibiotic for my wearied and worn boy.

For a moment, though, let’s all remove ourselves from “Suicide Watch” after 1 game and put our shoelaces back in and put our belts back on. It’s time to remember that, as much as we all looked forward to the Opener as it represented a new beginning and an end to a long winter (though not really as the snow is still falling in Cleveland), Monday’s game represents 0.62% of the season, which is comparable to about the first 6 minutes of a 16-game NFL season. That’s season…not game.

We’ve got a LONG way to go and while there were certainly some discouraging signs, namely Lee, Lewis, and the lifeless offense, let’s all take a deep breath and relax.

That is, unless Fausto walks 8 on Wednesday night in 3 innings and the Indians get shut down by Vicente Padilla.
Because if that happens, make some room on that ledge.
Just kidding…I think.


Bob said...

hey! quit pushin!

A.G.B said...

Look, I don't want to come across as the happy-go-lucky optimist but...

Cliff Lee wasn't as bad as his stats suggest yesterday.

After his 4-run inning, he really seemed to settle in and find a rhythm. Then of course, he made one significant mistake to Hank Blalock which he really shouldn't have made. You factor that dumb decision out and Cliff's line would like this:

6 IP, 1BB, 5 Ks, 4 ER

That isn't too bad for Opening Day in the pure definition of a hitter's park.

Also, you have to remember that there were two out s when "Salty" broke the game open. If Cliff makes the right pitch to Jarrod and strikes him out, then his line COULD have looked like this:

6 IP, 1 BB, 6 Ks, 0 ER

I know he DID make those two bad pitches and the difference was +7 runs. But I don't think his performance was nearly the train wreck that his stats made it seem to be.

Having said that ... Jensen Lewis WAS a train wreck. 89 MPH fastballs right down the pipe is not going to cut it. He is essentially a right-handed Lee, before Lee learned how to paint the corners.

And even though Travis got a hit and scored the Tribe's only run, he did look pretty awful. Any semblance of plate discipline that he used to have is gone. He gets up there and before you know it, he has fouled off two pitches and is in the hole 0-2. And I would have bet my life that he was going to ground into a double play. He is just giving off the "weak grounder to 2B" aura right now.

Again it is early, and 1 game our of 162 means essentially nothing but I am not sold on Hafner, and AM kind of/almost/semi confident that this was an aberration for Lee.

milwaukeeTribe said...

Poor little guy. I hope your son feels better.

Coupled with an opening day trouncing, the only thing worse than 1 sick kid is two...

My wife had to leave work to pick up the kids, as our two year old daughter was kicked out of daycare with a stomach flu. That enabled her the opportunity to sit at home and "experience" the game, shown here in Brewtown on ESPN thanks to the cancellation of the more ESPN-friendly games.

But I digress.

So somewhere after the 7th run, my 4-year old son tells her: "Mommy, I farted and it's wet".

Although I laughed hysterically when my wife told me this, I didn't have the nerve to ask her the obvious question...

What was messier: Cliff Lee's performance, or the kids?

Paul Cousineau said...

Can't disagree with you on Lee, though it was odd to see him give up that "one mistake" after all of last year when he got out of everything so cleanly.

This "Hit the Other Way" Hafner...um, that's not a good look for him and makes me extremely worried about bat speed. Forget timing and all of that other nonsense, it doesn't look like he can get around on the ball.

Thanks for giving me that laugh on a day that, at 2:00 PM, I've already been up for 9 hours...and that's not normal for me.

I think your son's line should become some sort of catch-all for bad pitching performances.

Pavano (being pulled out of the game in the 3rd inning): "Wedgie, I farted...and it's wet."

Les Savy Ferd said...

I'm gonna come back around on the whole Lee thing. You make it sound like he didn't allow the baserunners before the game was broken open or before the Blalock shot.

I agree that Lee's performance wasn't as bad as the numbers suggest, certainly not as bad as say, Justin Verlander's was yesterday, but this shouldn't be sugar-coated. It appears Lee has some things to iron out, very CC-2008-like, before he regains his Cy Young form.

Which he will. You don't pitch an entire year (220+ innings) and have a 2.54 ERA for your troubles and NOT have a truckload of talent.

Reading some baseball messageboards (I know, and I am ashamed) you'd think an entire year can be written off as a fluke. One start can be written off, or even a dozen (Sowers 06?). But Lee proved he had some great stuff well before last year's campaign.

Anyhow, spotlight's on you, Fausto

davemanddd said...

i just love it when people try to downplay a bad performance saying if they only took away "this" or took away "that" then it wouldn't be so bad. sort of reminds me when butch davis said if you took away 4 or 5 carries by jamal lewis that the browns defense didn't play that badly, this after giving up a then nfl record 295 yards on the ground to lewis when he was with the ratbirds.

A.G.B said...

"Pavano (being pulled out of the game in the 3rd inning): "Wedgie, I farted...and it's wet.""

MilwaukeeTribe I think you have set off a chain of laughter, because THAT made my day. I wouldn't mind using the "I farted ... and it's wet" motif throughout the whole season.

But in all seriousness, I hope everyone's kids start to feel better. Are children just wired so that they all break at the same time like iPods?

davemanddd said...

yeah, that was pretty funny. very similar to a school play i went to watch and one of the kids stepped up to the microphone, obviously nervous, and asked his mom "do farts have lumps???". there wasn't a dry eye in the gym after that one. hee-hee!!!

Baltimoran said...

Hilarious...but if "I farted and it's wet" is our motto for the 2009 Indians, it will be a long summer.

I can't remember being less confident in an at bat then watching Hafner with runners on, I was hoping for a strikeout rather than the weak grounder.

GM-Carson said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
milwaukeeTribe said...

ah jeez....this is not looking good, especially since Pavano's first start was even messier than Paul's premonition.

Baltimoran said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Baltimoran said...


i feel like they always struggle with the Rangers, but this is not good. Jackson pitching well or they could be down 30...as i typed that he gave up an RBI to Omar who is 58 years old.

Cy Slapnicka said...

i wonder when dolan will realize he gave shapiro $1.5M and he lost it playing keno instead of craps. and will he be angry?

by baseball standards, its not a lot, but its still $1.5M!!!