Wednesday, April 05, 2006

First In-Season Edition of Tomahawks

With a 4-3 victory in extra innings, the Tribe not only takes 2 of 3 from the White Sox in Chicago, but also gets that proverbial “monkey off of their back” by winning the rubber match in a dreaded ONE RUN GAME. I only caught a little bit of the game today, partially on radio and some on TV, but the tomahawks are flying:

  • Game 3 of the White Sox series would seem to be most indicative of how the season should go between the two teams. While Sunday night was a nightmare for the Tribe and Tuesday was equally bad for the White Sox (and Freddy Garcia, in particular), today’s game was highlighted by good starting pitching, solid bullpen work, and the team that gets the timeliest hits winning the game. Both teams squandered multiple opportunities to score and win the game, but the teams (at this point) are pretty evenly matched, which should make for an interesting and entertaining season series.
  • Cliff Lee was really cruising through 5 innings, and just lost it in the 6th when he starting hitting batters and walking people. Let’s hope that it was just a case of early-season fatigue that set in and not an indication that Lee might have trouble with a team the third time through the lineup.
  • After the 1st series between the Tribe and the Sox, here’s how the starting pitching breakdown matches up:
    Tribe – 14 IP, 8 ER, 13 hits, 3 BB, 8 K
    White Sox – 14 IP, 12 ER, 19 hits, 5 BB, 6 K
    Not really sparkling numbers for either team, whose strength is supposed to be their rotations.
  • The most impressive White Sox pitcher of the series was easily Brandon McCarthy, who threw 4 innings and allowed only one baserunner while striking out 4. I don’t know what Guillen’s plan is for McCarthy, whether to keep him as the long man or groom him to be a back end of the bullpen guy (which would really be wasting his arm but would shore up a weakness for the team), but something tells me that by the end of the season Brandon McCarthy may play a big role in the race for the Central.
  • The Tribe bullpen did a great job in the game today, going 5 2/3 innings while not giving up a run. The bullpen, and particularly Guillermo Mota (though Miller, Betancourt, and Wickman were also effective) kept the Indians in the game and allowed them to take the game to extra innings, where it was eventually won.
  • Jason Michaels’ double in the 11th (after a beautifully executed bunt by Grady) brought Casey Blake around for the go-ahead score. Whether it ‘s the way he handles himself on the field or because I know that he’s under the Coco microscope, I can’t help but root for the guy.
  • Anyone notice that Michaels and Mota both played big roles in the game today? Hopefully, their confidence will be high when they get to the Jake, where they are sure to come under some intense scrutiny as the "new guys".
  • One disappointment (and I know it was just one game) was Broussard’s inability to give Wickman some breathing room at the end of the game. With the Tribe up 4-3 in the 11th and with the bases loaded, Broussard was looking at a 3-0 count from Bobby Jenks. A strike and a foul ball later, and Broussard grounded weakly to second for the third out. This was one inning after he was unable to advance the runner from first with no outs by fouling off two bunt attempts, then looking at the called third strike. I know it was only two innings, but it had that 2005 feeling that Broussard just doesn’t seem to have it.
  • Interestingly, when Wickman put a runner on in the 11th (the only little blip during a great inning when he got Konerko and Thome), Wedge got Cabrera up in the bullpen. Was it to give Cabrera some work or was Wedge getting him ready in case of some Sticky Wicky moments? Who knows, but I don’t remember seeing that happen last year.

Home Opener on Friday. Maybe after that, all of these day games can end and I can actually watch a whole game.


t-bone said...

I'm the furthest thing from a Broussard apologist, but it's not like pulled an 0-fer.
- 2-out walk in the first.
- Lead off the 6th with an opposite field single, Belliard hit into a double play.
- Singles in the 8th after Hafner ties it up, Belliard interference puts him back to first, gets to second on the wild pitch, and is stranded.
So I guess while his last two at-bats obviously could have ended the game earlier, 2-5 with a walk isnt horrible.

MLB extra innings package free the first week every season on digital cable is among my more favorite things in life. While dozing in and out of consciousness this evening, saw Big Sexy double in two in SEattle, Jimmy Rollins extend his streak, doze off for a couple hours, woke up to Gameboy bringing the A's within one of NY, flipped just in time for a Bonds at-bat, to AZ winning on a strike-em-out, throw-em-out, to Matty Morris possibly getting back on track in SF, blah blah blah. I love baseball.

No opener for PC?

Friday late-afternoon opener? Is this heaven? No, it's the Jake.

ploni said...

I thought we should have been watching Eduardo Perez pinch-hitting for Benny the Bumble B there at the end. I thought that's what they brought him here for.

Paul Cousineau said...

I know that Benny the Bumble B (I really like that) had a good overall game. Maybe it was just the two at-bats that I saw were SO miserable, it made me ache for Jeff Liefer.

I don't know why they didn't pinch hit with Perez in the 10th.

No home opener for me. Palm Sunday too close (sadly, that's the truth).