Thursday, August 30, 2007

Two-out hits (and walks) send Tribe to sixth straight win

They say two-out hits win ballgames.

How about two out walks?

Tonight the Indians used both to push their current winning streak to six.

The winning run was scored in the bottom of the ninth as Ricky Gutierrez walked to load the bases with two out and Kenny Lofton took a free pass for the game winning RBI.

But what happened earlier in the game is the major difference between this week's Cleveland Indians and the team that has been so inept at the plate for most of the last month or more.

The Indians banged out 10 two-out hits in 18 at bats tonight. Four of those hits knocked in the first five runs for the Tribe in a game they won 6-5.

Lofton's bases loaded walk will get the headlines, but it was all of those two-out hits -- with batters intent merely on driving the ball somewhere rather than taking it deep -- that led to this win. A change in approach is bringing better results.

A couple of other things:

I guess Wedge finally read my blog. He put Chris Gomez in at 3B tonight, giving Casey Blake what we can only hope is the first of at least a few nights off.

Gomez was two for four, with an RBI in the Indians' three-run second. Gomez is 8 for 21 (.381) since joining the Tribe and has a hit in every game in which he's had more than one AB.

I'm not saying Gomez is an everyday player. But I am saying they should find a spot for him in the infield every day until he cools off. Since Casey Blake has shown himself to be unable to hit in the clutch, 3B seems like a good spot for Gomez for now, with Jhonny Peralta taking a seat once in a while too.
Three Tribe runners have been picked off in the last two nights. Actually, Grady was picked off twice and Jason Michaels once. Needless to say you can't have that on a team that has trouble pushing runs across the plate,

One last little note -- on stadium "noise." The Tribe was on a five-game winning streak. They had just blown a lead in the top of the ninth but loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning. Things were pretty exciting all on their own. Do we really need that sing-songy recorded voice to say "everybody clap your hands." Duh!@!


moose said...

a few stats

mesa the season save leader was 46 for 48 in 1995

wickman was 45 for 50 in 2005

borowski is 39 for 45

give shapiro credit on gomes
and as it turned out all the guys people wanted - gagne, dotel, etcc are all busts

this was a nice win - its amazing how teams go on streaks - yankees over sox, LA over seattle

dont think the tribe will go into a long losing streak with their pitching

Ron Vallo said...

we can credit shapiro on gomez, but to be honest, had they lost, I was going to hang the loss on him.

with Raffy Betancourt needing a day (or three) off, Wedge had two choices in the seventh inning - bring in lefty Raffy Perez (who has done the job and built the manager's confidence) or righty Jensen Lewis (still a crapshoot).

Wedge went with Perez who quickly gave up two singles and the lead to two right-handed hitters - Adam Jones and Y. Betancourt.

If Shapiro had obtained an experienced righty in a trade Wedge could have had an experienced righty to go to in that spot.

Trying to win with only three late-inning relievers is tough and those guys could wear out before the playoffs.