Sunday, July 17, 2005

Concession of the Central

To say that the Indians conceded the AL Central this weekend is not entirely true. The White Sox went out and took away any chance that the Indians had of making a run at the division. They did so with their superior pitching, defense, and timely hitting. While the Indians left an alarming amount of runners on base, it seemed that every White Sox player that got to second (or first for that matter) scored. The Sox are a very good team who do most everything correctly in their victories, by making very few mistakes and capitalizing on ANY and ALL opportunities afforded to them.

The bats have gone silent again, and typically at the worst times. GIDP's are becoming more frequent (usually after the leadoff hitter of an inning gets on) and the patience that was the hallmark of the lineup during their hot June is gone. No White Sox pitcher was forced to throw a lot of pitches the way that C.C. was on Friday (comments on C.C. and his emotions are an upcoming topic), and it was apparent as the Chicago starters dominated what looked like an overmatched team.

Not a great start to the second half, but as our little red-headed friend said, "the sun will come out tomorrow", in the form of the Royals, then the Mariners. An 0-4 start to a homestand could still end up at 5-6 or 6-5. And, the Twins haven't exactly put a winning streak together to pull away in the Wild Card, while the AL East continues to batter each other. The Tribe is still very much in this (despite the humiliating sweep), but they need to cure what ails them in a hurry, before the Wild Card becomes a distant memory.

All indications from different sources indicate the discussions to acquire that desired RH bat (Soriano, Mench, Kearns, Pena, Randa, Alou) are not going very well. Most articles that address the issue end with phrases like, "it doesn't look like anything is going to get done soon".

Matt Miller hit the DL on Saturday and, after a little Buffalo shuffle, prized prospect Fausto Carmona joined the parent club (presumably until Rocky Betancourt is ready). This was an interesting move in that there are more experienced relievers in Buffalo (Brown, Robbins, Diaz) that were passed over to give Carmona a look. Now the two pitching prospects most confused for each other, Fernando Cabrera and Fausto Carmona (also two of the brighter prospects), will be taking some throws in the CF pen. Could this be precursor to trading a veteran bullpener, to see what the young guys can do to determine if Howry, Riske, or Rhodes is expendable?

After a loss on Friday night, I'm passing up tickets to Tuesday and Thursday's games to do my part.

Indians Fever feels more like a hangover right now.

1 comment:

Cy Slapnicka said...

I witnessed the "end of major combat operations" in the Central on Friday.

- PC, while it was good to see you and your lovely wife at the game, could you please forget where the Jake is? And I don't care who's grave you swear on, I don't believe your story about G. Williams and B. Bush and the farm animals. I never knew Bush was that flexible.
- The best seats in the house are along the railing in the batters eye bar. Next time I go, I have to get there early enough to score them. You can get a table and chairs (complete with an umbrella) out there and order boat drinks all for the price of a standing room ticket. I lurked for 5 innings before giving up hope the occupants would get up.
- I am fed up with hearing how young CC is. He is an emotional basket case on the mound when he starts getting beat and he's been in the show for 5 years now. How long will this take? How many more years do we have to hear how "he's young a most guys his age are in the minors." Thats great. Most guys his age aren't millionaires too. I think he is a vicious beating away from having to be reminded by Tom Hanks that there's no crying in baseball.
- Westbrook needs to come after more meat when he's protecting our guys. Why didn't he just lob a Nerf ball in there? I don't need it to be in someone's ear, but at least give him a charley horse for pete's sake!
- Has anyone seen wedding crashers yet?