Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Unlikely Sources

With the team looking for that clutch hit and that big hit, raise your hand if you thought that AstroCab (the 2-out hit to start the rally in the 4th) and Frank the Tank (the 3-run bomb in the 5th) were the players in this lineup that would come through in the clutch.

Whether Frankie’s HR started the FRANK THE TANK, FRANK THE TANK chant in Comerica, I’m not sure.
I am acutely aware of one place where it WAS happening.

Look, I didn’t care who it was going to be.
I was ready to suggest giving Big Daddy Jeff Datz a look in pinch-hit situations (forget 25-man roster rules) to give this lineup a shot of adrenaline.

But the icebreakers proved to be two youngsters from Venezuela who started the season in Buffalo and Akron, respectively. The 21-year old and 24-year old Venezuelans performed on a night that the players that we’ve expected to break through and haven’t (Vic, Pronk, Grady) continued to scuffle as the game progressed. After Tuesday night’s loss, the offense was under the microscope like never before and the troika of Tribe stars started off much like they have for the past month stranding 13 runners (Grady - 4, Victor - 4, Hafner - 5).

Enter “Los Muchachos” (or “The Boys”, for those who didn’t take Spanish in High School), who took the burden off of the lineup to get the team over the hump in terms of getting clutch hits, which then came in bunches. Apparently unaware that they’re playing in Detroit (and not Toledo), Gutz and Droob calmly went about their at-bats and produced, setting the tone for the night and taking the onus off of the lineup to press and grip their bats a little too tightly. Seemingly unburdened by having to be “The Man” to get the hit, Hafner and Shoppach came through with two run-producing doubles in the 8th, cushioning the lead for the Erie Warriors, which came in handy at the end of the night.

One offensive explosion certainly doesn’t mean that the slump is over, but it’s nice to see some double digits on the board. The fact that they were led by two young Venezuelans should loosen the team up a little bit, as the main cogs (term used loosely) of the offense can perhaps relax and not try to do everything on their own going into the Detroit finale and the Royals’ series (while the Tigers have to face the Pinstriped Ones in Motown).

It’s well past time for the Indians to put the best players on the field, regardless of age, experience, or committed dollars. Count Frank the Tank and AstroCab in that category for the foreseeable future.

Viva Los Muchachos!


Vegas Watch said...

Sadly, the Tigers play the Yankees in Detroit.

t-bone said...

To echo our leader's thoughts, I loved beginning of the AP game story.

DETROIT (AP) -- Before the game, Cleveland Indians manager Eric Wedge explained that he put Franklin Gutierrez in the lineup to create more offense.

Gutierrez did just that, hitting a three-run homer to help Cleveland rebound from a tough loss and beat the Detroit Tigers 11-8 on Wednesday night.

Gutierrez also doubled to start a four-run rally in the fourth inning. He scored twice and made a nice running catch on a drive by Magglio Ordonez to deep right-center in the third.

"He's a huge reason why we won this game," Indians pitcher Paul Byrd said.

Quite unfortunate that it took until game 126 (or 37th after the break), to figure this out, and hopefully like AstroCab, this move stays the course.

Paul Cousineau said...

Made the change on the venue for Tigers-Yanks.

Thanks, VW!

t-bone said...

Grady back to leadoff. Frank still there. Assuming AstroCab just getting a day off...

G Sizemore CF 0 0 0 0 0 0 .275
C Blake 3B 0 0 0 0 0 0 .264
V Martinez C 0 0 0 0 0 0 .301
T Hafner DH 0 0 0 0 0 0 .254
R Garko 1B 0 0 0 0 0 0 .307
J Peralta SS 0 0 0 0 0 0 .274
F Gutierrez RF 0 0 0 0 0 0 .282
J Michaels LF 0 0 0 0 0 0 .265
C Gomez 2B 0 0 0 0 0 0 .304
Totals 0 0 0 0 0 0

rodells said...

I'll take that one, boys. Who'd a thunk we'd take two of three and the game we'd lose would be a complete game, 77 pitch effort from Carmona?

2.5 game lead. Onto KC for 3. Detroit has the Yanks for 4. We could open this up. Or is that "should"?

Wedgie, keep Franklin in the lineup versus righties. TIA.