Friday, October 12, 2007

Fenway fizzle

Ya my head hurts too!

The Indians, as it turns out, are in this post-season with a 51-card deck.

They're missing an ace, and maybe I'll go far enough to say they are missing their ace of hearts. Or maybe their ace of balls.

When CC Sabathia put in a sub-par, yet still winning, performance against the Yankees in Game 1 of the ALDS, I was convinced it was a miniscule strike zone that kept him from being the CC that we know. After tonight's disaster, I'm beginning to wonder if the post-season CC might be the CC we used to know. The one with no control, over the ball or himself.

Six walks in five innings last time. Five walks in 4 1/3 innings tonight. That's almost one-third as many walks as the big man had all season.

What happened?

It's fairly obvious.

CC caved.

The Red Sox took him back up the middle four straight times in the first inning (one happened to land in his glove) and he never settled in, and - more importantly - he never settled down.

CC pitched like the old CC. He got flustered easily, and quickly. He started overthrowing everything. He lost his arm slot. Missed the strike zone. Looked horrible. The bases-loaded walk to Manny - after having him 0-2 - is something Cy Young Award winners simply don't do. It was inexcusable, though far from his only sin.

That's not meant to take anything away from the Red Sox.

Their hitters had a terrific game plan tonight and they executed it flawlessy.

The Sox drove the ball back up the middle relentlessly. When they weren't driving it up the middle they were slashing it to the opposite field, or turning 0-2 counts into walks. How many pull-field hits did they have tonight, at least when the game was still a game?

For everything CC did wrong, the Sox did something right.

They didn't look like a team of sluggers tonight. They looked like hitters. And that spells trouble.

And so, with 1-A crapping out, 1-B has quite a load to carry tomorrow. Fausto has been handed a bag of chicken shit by CC. It is essential he turn it into chicken salad.


Some other thoughts.

I'm not too concerned about what the other pitchers did tonight. Lewis was due for a dud. He should be fine. If we see Fultz or Mastny again, it will be in another blowout like tonight. Borowski - obviously - needed some practice against the middle of the Sox order. What better time to find out how he'd make out against them? Inspires confidence, no?


With Becket being taken out after six innings and fewer than 80 pitches thrown, the questions about him starting game four on short rest are already being asked. I hope he does. If we see Becket in game four it will be because the Sox are down 2-1. Any other scenario and Tim Wakefield goes in Game 4.


There'll be thoughts of bringing CC back on three days rest in Game 4 as well. My question is why? What has he shown in the post-season that would make you want to see him pitch three times in this series?

I suppose there is one excuse we can offer for CC. Both of his post-season starts - thanks to the TV god - have come with two or three days of extra rest. Maybe that has been his problem. Maybe.


Franklin Gutierrez looked awful tonight, but you need to keep him in for defense, especially tomorrow night with Fausto needing to pitch another gem.

Guess we're not gonna get a shot at Eric Gagne when it counts huh? What a complete flameout he has been.

It's been a few years since we Cleveland fans have been involved in the playoffs and it's easy to forget how many ups and downs there are, especially in a seven game series.

It was horrible, but it was only one loss. If Fausto is on again tomorrow things could be even with the series heading back to Cleveland for three.

1 comment:

moose said...

oh to be a colorado fan !!!

I am tired of ther FOX announcers already - they talk to much

manny this and manny that !!!

a few guys better wake up quickly - experience - or lack - is showing quickly

beckett was dominating and some indians looke clueless against him

have a great day - get those fantasy football lineups set - at least that is only weekly - not daily like baseball