Thursday, May 29, 2008

Good For Wedge

Nothing seems to be working, so now Eric Wedge has gone to ripping a player directly, by name, to the media. Said Player: Rafael Betancourt. The best set up man in baseball in '07 has been the polar opposite this year and it is killing the Tribe the same way the lack of clutch hitting is.

Great stuff from Wedge:

"It's nothing I haven't said to him, or Carl [Willis, pitching coach] hasn't said to him, 100 times," said Wedge. "So I'm saying it to you. The bottom line is until he has enough trust and passion about throwing the ball inside, they're going to go out there and hit it.

"That ball was four or five inches off the plate with two strikes. Granted it was up a little bit, but Pierzynski just leaned over and punched it the other way. We've seen right-handers do it to him, we've seen left-handers do it to him."

The Realtor's Response:

"No, not really," said Betancourt, when asked if he's been throwing inside. "It's something they told me to do, I can't say I always pitch like that. When things go wrong, you have to change something. I have to do that . . . especially when you give up a hit like that."

"Maybe last year, no one asked me that question," said Betancourt. "All I have to do is pitch and do my job. If I have to pitch inside, I have to do it. If I have to pitch to the outside corner, I have to do it."

Betancourt is killing us. The guy who was so dominant last year has vanished. Why is it that every other year, the Tribe bullpen turns from Gold to Gas Can? The bottom line here is the Tribe bullpen blew a lead in as meaningful of a game in late May as you are going to find. This was a huge two game swing. The Indians now sit 5.5 games out of first place instead of 3.5. The bats actually rallied for a 5-3 lead thanks to Jhonny Peralta's team-high 11th pizza, yet Rafael Perez and The Realtor failed to do their jobs.

To make matters worse, the Tribe again had a shot to tie or win in the 9th. With runners on second and third and one out for their #3 and #4 hitters, nothing happened....again. Ben Francisco and Victor Martinez both popped out weakly.

To quote Yogi Berra "its getting late, real early." This team's lack of talent offensively and the bullpen struggles continue to waste the best starting pitching in the league. C.C. will be gone at the end of the year, most likely Paul Byrd will be as well. Pitching like this doesn't come around too often and when it does, you MUST capitalize. The Indians flat out aren't doing so.

Now comes word that prized prospect Adam Miller needs surgery on his finger and will most likely be out for the season, wasting another year of development. I'm starting to think this kid will never see his potential as injuries continue to derail him.
The season of dreams has turned into a nightmare.

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