"Never give in to the fight".
"Work thru it".
Eric Wedge is constantly repeating those phrases, both to his team and to the media, and last night the RWAB responded. Down 10-0 in the 4th inning to the Rays, the Tribe scores 11 unanswered to win 11-10. It was a crazy comeback, but very Tribe-esque because the boys were patient at the plate and got some help. Per usual, Team Grind hit into its share of double plays and stranded its share of runners in scoring position. But, they never quit and finally we saw some things we were supposed to see. Ryan Garko hit a couple of home runs (finally) and former number one pick Jeremy Sowers got some hitters out. Huh? What? Yep, I did see it. Sowers throws five scoreless innings!
Some might say that Garko and Sowers are terrific in that spot... a no pressure blowout game. Ryan should be driving the ball more consistently and Sowers.. well, he should just not be giving up three homers per outing. It is one game, but these guys aren't going anywhere so let us see what they have. I hope Wedge plays Garko tonight and Wednesday. See if he can get hot. Sowers? I'd love to leave him in the bullpen, but this rotation right now is "Pavano and Lee and Pray For the Next Three". It is brutal. Fausto Carmona is just a mess and I don't think he even knows where the ball is gonna go. The Tribe has to stick with him because they do not have anyone else, he has a nice meaty contract, and some innings he is unhittable. Last night in the first against Upton, Crawford, and Longoria he looked filthy.
Pitching is (as Wedge would say) the seperator. We can whine about the offense all we want, but the Tribe has scored the most runs of any team in the division, 244. It does look like Matt "Gator4God" LaPorta is not ready for the bigs just yet, and Benny Francisco and Mark DeRosa are good "bit" players and that is it. But the club has got to find some dudes that can get outs. Pitching is why the Tigers and Royals are on top of the division. I watched KC swing the bats against Justin Verlander yesterday and it wasn't fair. It was like watching Famous Dave's try to match wits with Pigfoot BBQ at the Rib Cook-Off. Mismatch. Who starts Wednesday and Thursday for the Wahoos? No answer yet, so we just keep grinding. It is what we do.