Saturday, June 09, 2007

Tony Hawk Time

One game down (literally) in Cincinnati and the Tribe is going to have to take the next two to salvage a series win against a team currently residing in the cellar of the dreadful NL Central.
Lots to discuss, so let the Tomahawks fly:

Anyone else think it’s a good idea to separate our “Letdown Lefties”?

Pitching Sowers after Lee on a consistent basis simply allows the other team to become accustomed to seeing similar starting pitchers on consecutive days. Setting up the order in a rotation is never an easy thing because of off-days, unexpected events, etc.; but putting a pitcher like Carmona (a hard-throwing sinkerballing RHP) between Lee and Sowers would at leas keep the other team off balance and unable to reach a certain comfort level against our two ineffective LHP. One of the things that has helped Paul Byrd this year is that he’s followed pitchers so different from him (i.e. Carmona) that the opposing team has an adjustment period at the beginning of the game to go from seeing a 94 MPH sinking fastball to 83 MPH junk.

I realize that the schedule maker, and the Seattle make-ups, have thrown a wrench in rotation juggling, but there should be a way to separate Sowers and Lee in the rotation, if only to give the second pitcher an advantage at the beginning of the game during that adjustment period for the other team.

The convoluted C/1B/DH “platoon” has yielded 32 HR and 124 RBI through the first 1/3 of the season. That means that those 3 “positions” (manned by Garkovich, Pronk, the Stick and ShopVac) are on pace for a total of 96 HR and 372 RBI for the year.
Or an average of 30 HR and 115 RBI through the season – per position. I’ll take that.

Speaking of projecting out numbers, how about this?
Right now, our LF Dellichaels is on pace for 16 HR, 79 RBI, and 104 R for the season.
Fantastic numbers? No, but solid enough for a team getting tremendous run production from their C and SS.

The Indians remain near the top of the AL in runs scored. Having Dellichaels in the lineup every day may be frustrating (last night certainly was with Dellucci), but larger needs on this team exist than a LF, or for that matter, a RF.

Speaking of needs, the names being thrown around, in terms of availability of bullpen help, seem to have settled into a list. The list consists of:
Jason Isringhausen – STL
Brad Lidge –HOU
Eric Gagne – TEX
Akinori Otsuka – TEX
Al Reyes – TB

As has been said here before, the Indians don’t need the second coming of Mo Rivera here; they need someone to fill the void created by the Foulke retirement. All of the players above would fit the bill and lessen some of the burden on the Indians’ two effective relievers, Betancourt and the Big Borowski (ERA be damned, the guy closes games).

Until they are able to acquire some bullpen help and slot the current relievers down a spot in the bullpen and bring some continuity to the 7th inning, we’ll be forced to hope that Nasty Boy Tom Mastny can work out his recent problems (unless he’s sent to Buffalo for Eddie Moo soon) or Roberto Hernandez can pretend it’s 1992 (unless he’s sent to Siberia soon).
Don’t get me started on CaBBrera.

The Indians selected Beau Mills with the 13th pick in the Amateur Draft and I’m not going to pretend to know anything about a 3B from an NAIA school in Idaho to offer any kind of expert analysis. The MLB Draft is a crapshoot for every team, but I’ll take John Mirabelli’s track record over most when it comes to drafting these youngsters.

My only thought on Mills is that his name sounds like Smuckers…I mean Kramer (with a bad cough) trying to tell the cops where a crazy big-headed woman is attacking a man with a fork.
“Trouble?!? Trouble? Where? Where’s trouble...Trouble at the Old Mill?! Oh my god! Good boy, good boy! Lead the way! Come on.”

My favorite thing about Homer Bailey (who pitched well enough last night to offer hope to a team 10.5 games out of the NL Central…until they remember that they’re the Reds) is the fact that he goes by the name Homer. The Social Security Administration, who tracks the frequency and popularity of baby’s names by decade list 1,300 Homers born in the 1970’s. Homer does not appear on their 1980’s list. While he was born in 1986 (that makes me feel old) and his given name is David DeWitt, I can’t imagine that he runs into too many Homers his own age, or even within 40 years of him.

Anyone else hear the “Cleveland Sucks” chant at the GAB last night?

Cincinnati, I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but there is no rivalry between our two cities. Not in football, not in baseball, not in anything. The only thing that the two cities have in common is the state that we both appear on a map of the state of Ohio. The similarities end there.

I know that you lack a regional rivalry, unlike Cleveland (who is closer to Pittsburgh and Detroit and holds a dear place in our hearts for the town of Baltimore), but this whole “Battle of Ohio” thing for both sports carries no weight in Cleveland. The Reds fall somewhere under the Tigers, White Sox, Twins, Yankees, and Red Sox in terms of “rivalries” for the Indians; I’ll put you above the Royals, but just barely. In terms of football, recent success be damned, the Bengals rank a far 3rd to the Steelers and Ravens in terms of “rivals” for the Browns.

Not trying to be mean here, just letting you know where you stand.

Tonight (yes, tonight because MLB has nearly completely eliminated Saturday afternoon baseball…which is another post for another day), Sowers goes for the Tribe in what could be his next-to-last start before taking the fast bus to Buffalo.

The Indians have a favorable schedule in the next week (CIN, a SEA team that won’t want to be in Cleveland on Monday, FLA), but they need to seize the opportunity to pad their Central lead while the Tigers take on the Mets and the Brewers.
Tonight would be a good time to start.


Baltimoran said...

you know its bad when giving up 3 dongs is considered a good outing for Lee. agreed they should find a way to mix up the rotation, anything to help them guys get on track.

although, as an announcer said it, would be the equivalent of running a marathon, Brown may have to stick lebron on Frenchy to have any chance at slowing the spurs down. going at bowen and every other spur and chasing parker would be brutal but when has lebron not stepped up to a challenge

screw fox and mlb for killing the sat. afternoon games

Cy Slapnicka said...

mlb sold their soul. i'm sure father's LOVE taking their 8 year old to 7pm saturday games as opposed to 1pm-ers.

of course, the owners and bud decided selling their soul to the devil and turning a blind eye to the juice would be a better way to increase their revenue. so what do i, the simple minded fan know?

that's all i'll say, as i know PC is gonna do this topic justice with a nice long post.

Mike @ MidwesternBite said...

When I moved to the 'Nati for Grad School in '02, my Indians fervor came with me.

This led to constant cat-calls and even thrown items from passing vehicles as I proudly displayed my Tribe lid or jersey for the day.

There were even anti-Indians commercials on the radio for Christ's sake.

So I decided to see what the hell was going on...

Apparently, Cincinnati people absolutely hate Cleveland sports. When asked about it, all I ever got was, "Well, don't you hate the Reds?"

Of course I don't! I never have! I had Reds' pennants hanging in my room when I was little and I always check their box score before any other national league team hoping they got a 'W'.

I'm on a one-man crusade to try to convince the people of Ohio's southern ghetto that we don't look unfavorably upon their redneck, toothless existence.