Monday, September 15, 2008

The Kansas City Technique

What the hell, since the Browns and the Buckeyes dominated the local scene with two bad losses, why should the Indians fly under the radar after a completely lost weekend against those heavy-hitting Kansas City Royals.

As bad as the Buckeyes were, the Tribe may have been worse, looking like a bunch of dogs who wanted to be sleeping curled up on the couch, rather than to be out in the rain. Friday night’s tilt looked like the start of a big weekend. The Tribe bats were hotter than Alicia Sacramone, putting a 12 spot on the board in a 12-5 win.

Saturday’s day/night double-dip turned into a 3:35 back to backer where Wedge’s crew fell asleep at the wheel. They gave up a combined 16 runs on 31 hits, thanks to the likes of such stalwarts as Bryan Bullington, Masa “I should have been shut down two months ago” Kobayashi, and the seemingly lost Fausto Carmona, who has been doing his best Cliff Lee 2007 impersonation.

Sunday was no better. Jeremy Sowers, who seemingly pitches every single home Sunday game, lasted only three innings as the Tribe was blasted 13-3. Eddie Mujica, AKA Mr. 4A, got two outs in the fourth, then allowed five straight base-runners and took the loss. Tom “Nasty” Mastny continued his miserable campaign, allowing four runs in an inning to bring his ERA to 12.18. The lone bright spot on Sunday was seeing Fat Sal Fasano get a start behind the dish. Man, I love that fu-manchued fat man.

Notes from the weekend:

1. What has exactly happened to Carmona? He became so frustrated with himself after being yanked during Saturday afternoon’s loss that he chucked his hat and glove into the stands. The 19 game winner a tear ago has become a shell of his former self. The injury to his hip cost him seven valuable weeks and his confidence has never seemed to resurface. Last year, opposing hitters couldn’t lay off oh his nasty sinker. This year, the book seems to be out on him, lay off the sinker and sit on the fast ball. Fausto has to get back to his ‘07 form if the Tribe is going to contend in ‘09

2. Cliff Lee won his 22nd game Friday night and coasted into the ninth before he fell into a little trouble and Jenny Lewis had to close it out. Has there ever been a season in Tribe history where a player came in with so much baggage, so much to prove, and came in and just blew the entire league away with his abilities? The man I dubbed “Stiff Lee” in ‘07 have stuck it right to me and all of his other critics and is a lock Cy Young winner in the American League.

3. Not that anyone has noticed, but Shin-Soo Choo has become Tribe most consistent performer, and that includes Grady Sizemore. He ended the weekend hitting .300 with 39 extra base hits and 49 RBI in 273 at bats. Add in his cannon-arm and it makes for an everyday starter in right field you can count on.

4. Watching the Tribe bullpen arms this weekend makes it easy to remember this unti has to be re-built this offseason. As nicely has Jensen Lewis has filled in as the closer in the last 30 games or so, money must be spent on a top flight closer you can count on. Only Rafael Perez has shown any semblence of consistancy all year. Who knows what Masa will come back with next year. Rafael Betancourt’s nightmare season most likely won’t be repeated, but not even he can be counted on. Guys like Juan Rincon, Brendan Donnelly, Mastny, and Mujica? I saw way too much of them this weekend and know these four are not answers for 2009.

5. Bryan Bullington was really the #1 pick in the entire MLB draft in 2002? Really? Seriously? Guess who drafted him? The Pirates. Tells you all you need to know.

6. The Indians smartly did not bring up prized left David Huff to start the game Bullington did. No need to give him a taste yet. Our spies tell us that in the pecking order of Tribe pitching prospects its Huff #1 and then everyone else. Scott Lewis gets his second start tonight against Minnesota. Lets see what he has in store for us.

7. Congrats to Asdrubal Cabrera who was named co- AL Player of the Week. AC hit .455 with eight RBI including three multi-hit games. The kid keeps getting better and better. With Andy Marte falling off the table, it would surprise nobody if Cabrera is moved to his natural position of shortstop with Jhonny Peralta moving to third this offseason.

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