Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Pocket Aces

With C.C. absolutely dominating the Twins today with a complete game 6 hitter that ran his record to 4-1 and lowered his ERA to 1.52 (and a WHIP of 0.90!), the Tribe split with the Twinkies in Minneapolis.

The way that C.C.’s pitching, can we say that he’s “gotten it” (for those of you who thought that he hadn’t yet) in regards to figuring out how to be a dominant ace. His last two starts have been so overwhelming that the opposing team never even makes solid contact. The hits are all broken-bat jam jobs or soft liners that fall in front of outfielders.

Again, he has that free and easy motion working, where he’s nonchalantly throwing his fastball around 91 and throwing nasty breaking pitches. When he needs to, he rears back for a 95 MPH heater; but if you don’t have to use it, why tire yourself out?

In his last 4 games, he’s lasted 8 innings, 8 innings, 9 innings, and 9 innings (with pitch counts of 105, 112, 102, and 102) while allowing 3 earned runs in those 34 innings. That’s an ERA of 0.79 over his past 4 starts in which he’s posted a WHIP of 0.71! Those results and that consistency is exactly what the Indians need right now and solidify C.C.’s status as a bona fide ace.

C.C. - let me welcome you to the club of truly elite pitchers in all of baseball.

Luckily, with C.C. going the distance today, he saved us all from a Guillermo Mota sighting. Because you can’t spell FLAMEOUT without an M, an O, a T, and an A. After the Tribe battled so hard to get back into the game last night (particularly against Johan Santana), it’s a shame that Mota lost it for them.

One has to think that Mota won’t continue to struggle topside. Whether he gets DL’d remains to be seen, but he obviously has to work out some kinks or has something wrong with him. With the rest of the bullpen finally hitting cruise control, Mota can’t be the anvil weighing it down.

Elsewhere, let’s look at what Jeremy Sowers continues to do for Buffalo with his 8-shutout innings against Toledo today. He lowered his ERA to 0.94 and his WHIP to 1.03 by giving up only 3 hits and no walks today. Though the Bisons lost in the 10th, denying Sowers his 7th victory (he's 6-1), isn’t this what the Front Office asks its top prospects to do? They want their prospects to “force a decision” by excelling at the AAA level.

I would file Sowers’ performance this year as one that forces a decision. Maybe one that involves Jason Johnson…I don’t know, I’m just saying.

Looking ahead, If it’s possible for a make-or-break stretch this early in the season for a team, this is it for the Tribe.

They play 3 games in Detroit, and then welcome the White Sox to the Jake for 3. The Tribe trails those teams by 8 ½ and 7 ½ games in the early season.

We can’t be looking at going 3-3 in those games, the Tribe needs to string together some wins to close the gap between them and the current division leaders.

It’s not time to worry about whether the Tigers and White Sox can keep up their current pace; the Tribe needs to take care of the business at hand, when it’s under their control.

1 comment:

Rockdawg said...

OK Bachtel, we all know that you were named 3rd singles for no good reason, except that Hagen is an idiot....I recall our challenge matches being even steven, and I got all GCC, having to play doubles with the rotation of partners of Seth Valinski, Scott Rosen, Massie, and Scott Snyder.

On to REAL sports news, that Cavs can sign an extension on Lebron after July 1st. If he doesn't have a max deal by 10:00 AM, I will start to panic.

Why are poeple saying "maybe" it's the time for the Sowers - JJ switcharoo. It's past time for cryin out loud...How many more games can we afford to lose because Johnson is just downright not good. If CC isn't really getting tired these days, can he just pitch every game?