Friday, July 25, 2008

14-2 For Cliff? Perez as a Closer?

What bizarro universe do we live in where Cliff Lee can go from a clubhouse cancer who gets sent to the minors one year, then goes 14-2 and is the all star game starting pitcher the next? Lee was dominant again in the 5-4 win, but it was almost blown by current and soon to be former Closer Masa Kobayashi.

Cliff's line: eight innings, two runs, six hits, and 10 K's.

Masa's line: ZERO innings, two runs, three hits.

Raffy Perez had to save the day and was magnificent. With the tying run at second and nobody out, he retired Mike Lamb, Brendan Harris, and Nick Punto in succession to get his first save of the year. Will he get the next shot at attempting to be the Tribe Closer?

I was in the car during the beginning of the 9th and Tom Hamilton was classic. He sounded so bitter after Morneau took Masa deep. Here was his quote "you can bet the first thing the Indians will do this offseason is shop for a closer." It was vintage Hammy. Sometimes I think he wants it more than the players do.

As for Masa. His stuff was flat tonight. That happens way too often for someone counted on to finish games. I've said it many times, give me a flame-thrower at the back end of my bullpen. We haven't seen anything but soft-tossers since Jose Mesa, aka the Devil.

Meanwhile, watching Tigers closer Todd Jones give up a two out, two run pizza in the ninth to Jermaine Dye to blow a huge game against the division leading White Sox was just as enjoyable as watching Perez's magic act. Somewhere in Vegas, King Diesel was smiling. Nobody despises the Tigers more.

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