Thursday, May 7, 2009

New Formula: Use Only Starting Pitchers

A fun-filled day for Tribe fans on Wednesday. The team shakes up its pitching staff and then goes out and polaxes ESPN's favorite team 9-2 at the Fens. It is pretty obvious that Mark Shapiro and Eric Wedge are fed up with what they have seen from the bullpen, so they get active. Refreshing. In the fall, the local football team doesn't do that, they just fool the fans into buying tickets and they trot out the same guys week after week. If Braylon Edwards played for Shappy and "Fred Grindy" (Wedge), his butt would have been designated for assignment just like Vinnie Chulk. At least they are trying something, and it was certainly the right move putting Raffy Perez in Columbus. I could hit his fastball right now. I hope the team can keep Chulk, because he is serviceable.

Aaron Laffey was great last night. Three scoreless inning and at 7-2 in the 7th, he came in and got outs. A five run lead is like a two run lead (I'm being nice here) with that RWAB bullpen right now. When I first heard the news of Laffey being sent to the 'pen and Jeremy Sowers recalled from Columbus, I did not like it. Laffey is a better pitcher, period. He seems more confident on the mound and when his sinker is working it is deadly. I can't say the same for Sowers, who has been extremely unimpressive the last three seasons. Remember, this dude threw back to back shutouts in 2006. That seems like decades ago. Jeremy's ERA was 2.25 at AAA so far, so hopefully he has his confidence back. I saw him pitch at Comerica Park last summer and he was being laughed at by the fans; it was like watching batting practice. Sowers will start tonight against the Sox.

We can complain about the lineup. I can complain about Grady Sizemore and another 0-4 night (now hitting .233.. how about a night off?). Bottom line is pitching. If the Tribe can hold people down, I think they can get on a nice roll. Asdrubal Cabrera and Victor Martinez are winning players. They just are. You find out what you have when the road is bumpy. These guys have driven right over it with no problems. Hopefully the arms can follow their lead.

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