Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Oh What a Night!

...Or not. My beloved Cleveland Indians have officially became an offensive disgrace. I don't know how much more of this I can take. One night after another, the second place (not for long) Detroit Tigers hand us a chance to grab another game lead, and the Indians offense acts as if they don't want it. Tonight was another prime example and has driven me back into blogging. With ace Fausto Carmona on this hill and the Tigers trotting out 21 year old, never pitched above AA, Jair Jurrjens making his second major league start, I dubbed this "must-win night" in Detroit. The Indians could take a 2.5 game lead in the AL Central and put the pressure on the Tigers to take the next two games at home to stay within a game and a half of the Tribe before welcoming the sizzling hot Yankees this weekend.

But no...the Wahoo sticks decided to stay asleep against the rookie. How many hits did they have you ask? five? nope. six? Guess Again. four? Getting Warmer. one. That's right. one. To quote the great Harry Doyle from Major League "one hit. that's all we got, one goddam hit." You are correct Harry. Only Jhonny Peralta's 6th inning Solo Pizza kept the Indians from getting no-hit. Kenny Lofton has provided nothing since his first night in the Red, White, and Blue when he went 3-5. His at bat in the 9th was sad. You cannot K looking against Todd Jones, who usually does his best Joe Borowski/Bob Wickman impersonation in big games. #2 hitter Casey "The Dog" Blake is back to being what he is - an unclutch, below average utility man. To quote my friend Ags - "you get what you pay for." Fake is still well below .200 with Runners in scoring position and is "raking" at a .234 clip with 1 HR and 10 RBI since the break (Thanks Ari). Travis Hafner has been asleep for months, Victor Martinez seems to have caught Pronk's disease, and nobody else has come to the rescue, save for Asdrubal Cabrera, who has seven hits in his eight games since being recalled from Buffalo. When you are counting on contributions for a 21 year old rookie who has been up for one week, that is usually a sign that panic time is here. The good news is that Eric Wedge has been extended for three years, so we can welcome years more of "taking it one game at a time" and "grinding it out." Don't even get me started on how Wedge continues to be loyal to a fault to the ancient Trot Nixon when you have a far superior and younger Franklyn Gutierrez sitting on the bench.

Poor Carmona - the guy has been an absolute beast since they all star break. Tonight was no different. He dominated the Kitties with his power sinker. He made two mistakes - back to back jacks from Mags Ordonez and Carlos "E-6" Guillen in the 5th. How would you like to pitch a complete game, three hitter, with no walks and five strike outs in a tidy 77 pitches and lose? It seems to be the same fate every start for Carmona and his partner in crime C.C. Sabathia. They pitch their balls off and come away empty thanks to the gang that can't hit straight. Here are some great stats that go along with tonight's debacle:

Fausto Carmona's record since the all star break: 4-4.

Carmona's ERA since the all star break: 1.87

Travis Hafner's numbers over the last month: .192 BA, 2 HR, 7 RBI

Victor Martinez's numbers over the last month: .227 BA, 1 HR, 11 RBI

Tomorrow the Tribe must face Tiger ace Justin Verlander. If they couldn't hit Jair Jurrjens, what makes you think they'll hit Verlander? I don't know how many nights over a two month period I can say to myself this was an absolute killer loss, but it seems like every night. We'll see if they can bounce back tomorrow night as Paul Byrd takes the ball for the Tribe.

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