Thursday, August 2, 2007

I'm just sayin'

Nice game today from the Tribe for a change.

Jake Westbrook pitched six, somewhat sloppy, shutout innings. But shutout innings nonetheless.

Although he has been lumped in with Cliff Lee as the poster boys for the Tribe's pitching woes, Westbrook has been fairly decent since his return from injury, at least when you look at the numbers.

Since his return, Westbrook has had eight starts - five of them quality starts. In three of the eight he gave up two runs or fewer. His ERA since his return is 4.05.

Westbrook's difficult starts came in the middle of the stretch, at a time when Lee was blowing up and even C.C. was having difficulty. That set off panic among the faithful (myself included) and made it easy to lump Westbrook in with the Lee meltdown.


Victor Martinez has been the picture of consistency all year but has been in a funk for about 10 days now - going 3 for his last 33 (still with 5 RBI). It had to come sooner or later. It does for every hitter. Let's hope it doesn't last too long.


When I started this blog, the Tribe was 52-36, one game behind the Tigers and - more importantly to a guy living in NY and taking Yankee-fan crap for 24 years - eight games ahead of New York in the wild card race. Some 20 games later - as you'll note on the Yank -O-Meter - that lead is down to three (it was as small as two as of last night).


The Blue Jays are said to be ready to designate SS Royce Clayton for assignment tomorrow. This is interesting to Tribe fans for a couple of reasons. First, it means old friend Johnny Mac has - after all these years - claimed the shorstop job for the Blue Jays. More importantly it gives Tribe management an option to replace Mike Rouse as the utility infielder. Clayton has always been a .250 hitter, but he does have 110 career homers and, from what we've seen lately out of Rouse, seems also to be a superior fielder. I doubt the Tribe would have to give up a whole lot to get Clayton in a waiver deal. At a time when it looks like every game is going to count, even small upgrades are important upgrades.
Tempests in other teepees:
Despite their shoddy play of late, the Tribe still seems to be pulling as one and playing hard every day. But there are some problems in the clubhouses of other contenders of late.

In New York, Johnny Damon isn't playing every day any more and he's not happy about it:

"As a player, you always want to know what your role is and what's happening," Damon said. "If I'm still out there on the margin, especially with Jason coming back . . . Anything's possible. I know a lot of teams are interested. With Jason (Giambi) coming back and a number of outfielders going down, the Yankees could probably get a better player now than what they probably got offered July 31." -- Damon quoted by Newsday.

In Seattle, some of the veterans are more than a little upset at the recall of super-prospect Adam Jones, an outfielder. Among the most vocal is Jose Guillen - oddly enough an outfielder himself:
"This team has been good with what we have and I don't think that's what we need...he's a No. 1 prospect and he's going to be here sooner or later somehow, some way, but I just completely don't understand that move right there.
I don't know what they're trying to do. I hope they don't do something stupid to mess with the lineup that we have. Because I believe we have a pretty good one.''--Jose Guillen quoted by the Seattle Times' Mariners Blog


And, of course we've all heard about the Twins' unhappiness with the trade of Luis Castillo. It's seen by many in the clubhouse - especially pitching ace Johan Santana - as a sign of front-office surrender.

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