Monday, April 17, 2006

Return to Byrdland

The Tribe split with the Tigers today as they tallied 10 runs in an easy 10-2 victory. We certainly could’ve used some of those runs on Sunday as Mike Maroth and the Tigers’ bullpen shut down the offense for a 1-0 victory, wasting a great pitching performance by C.P. (Clifton Phifer) Lee.

Today, the Indians' attack was paced by Casey Blake (!), Eduardo Perez (!!), Aaron Boone (!!!), while Paul Byrd pitched like the Paul Byrd that we were all expecting when he signed this off-season, as he went 7 solid innings and allowed Guillermo Mota and Bob Wickman a chance to get some work in.

A great sign is Byrd throwing 88 pitches over those 7 innings, 64 of those for strikes. What that means is that Byrd was “throwing to contact”, inducing 14 fly outs. What is even more positive is that he walked only 1, after walking 6 in his first 9 2/3 innings.

If Byrd can put together some quality starts in a row, the Indians could get some nice momentum going in Baltimore to close out the week.

The Indians’ struggles against Maroth on Sunday afternoon could be another example of a possibly disturbing trend – the Indians’ continued struggles against soft-tossing lefties. Whether it’s Kenny Rogers or Mike Maroth, or that immortal Tribe nemesis, Jamie Moyer, this team struggles to find its groove against a lefty who nibbles while throwing in the high 80’s. Maybe they should call Paul Assenmacher to throw some BP on the days that they’re facing these guys.

After 13 games, the Indians’ 1B production is a .327 average with 3 HR and 10 RBI. Not too bad for the platoon of Perez and Broussard thus far. As long as they can keep up that consistency, the Indians will stick with it.

Also, after mentioning Boone’s sudden drop-off at the plate on Saturday, Boonie went 4 for 8 with 3 RBI in the past two games to raise his average 45 points to .276. So much for the demise of Aaron Boone. But regardless of a few good games, Boone needs to find the consistency of a veteran bat to avoid the Broussardesque streaks.

Some quick Lazy Sunday notes, one day late due to Easter:
Paul Hoynes mentions Brandon McCarthy as a possible White Sox closer and how Jonathon Papelbon has thrived in the Red Sox closer role, something to watch with the success of Fausto Carmona and the lack of an opening in the rotation for him. Also of note is the fact that Ozzie Guillen is still upset that Pronk got more MVP votes than Konerko. Get over it, Ozzie – you won the World Series, leave it alone. Finally, the immortal Brook Jacoby is the interim hitting coach for the struggling Texas Rangers. Maybe he’s teaching them how to pop-up with 2 guys on and one out.

Terry Pluto weighs in on the Fausto Carmona phenomenon. Not really a phenomenon to anyone but me. His performance on Saturday, though, was one of the more exciting things of the past few years. That is, to see a highly touted Indians’ prospect perform well in his debut.

We’re all expecting inning-by-inning recaps from the Baltimoran, who will be at Camden for each of the Indians-Orioles games the next 3 days.


Baltimoran said...

the lack of funds after spring break should certainly keep me sober during the games, so I may actually see whats going on.
I can't wait to see Carmona on Thurs., its nice that the biggest tribe concerns right now seem to be getting time for marte and carmona to play in the bigs.

Cy Slapnicka said...

bags, i've already wired the funds to your beer man for vodka bombs. pay no attention to the bottle of absolut in his beer tub.

tell johnny i said whats up.

t-bone said...

a) who's wahoorange?

b) is it any coincidence that wedge's kid came roughly 9-months after he shaved his 'stache?

c) 2006 BB softball begins tonight! believe it!

rodells said...

Laker pitched a scoreless 9th in Buffalo. Let's keep him and Sowers on the radar. If he gets his slow pitch working he can catch at the same time, saving Dolan some more money.

rodells said...

And it was good to see Perez bat against a righty yesterday. Wedge had been pulling him in favor of Broussard when the lefty comes out. Yet when a lefty comes in to face Broussard, Perez has yet to pinch hit (I think), possibly to keep Ben's glove in the game. Broussard has looked foolish in just about all those AB's. He is a flat out disaster against lefties. I will not stop until he is in another uniform.

t-bone said...

Wedge wasnt there yesterday, though.

Rockdawg said...

How about the Cavs winning again without LBJ? The people I work with (besides the ones from Ohio) seriously cannot name 3 players on the Tribe. Will this be the year that they start to get some real recognition on the media? It's really a struggle to get games here.

Paul Cousineau said...

Welcome to D-to-the-izzO-Z-to-the-ER to the club.

I think that you will see some recognition of this team as they continue to win. The national media is always about a year behind where they need to be.

Hafner, Martinez, and the pitching staff are going to be hard to ignore this year.

Cy Slapnicka said...

rockdawg, i hear ya. had to go to espn zone on michigan ave to catch the game. they confirmed my memory from 2000, food is still awful. worst part is, they haven't upgraded to flat screens yet. they have little crappy TVs everywhere, wasn't even worth sticking around. the guy at the bar told me they aren't upgrading til next month. i can't wait until i can get my own place and get extra innings. at least i got to see a couple SWINGS AND DRIVES....WAYYYY BACK......