Sunday, October 7, 2007

Get it while you can!

No one said this would be easy.

No one can be too surprised that things turned out as they did tonight.

When you throw a contact pitcher against the biggest bashers in the league – surprise – they make contact.

Jake Westbrook was going to need to shoot the ball through a pin head in order to escape tonight’s outing without giving up three-to-five runs. His control was decent, but it needed to be perfect against this team.

But you do have to ask two things:

Why did Westbrook go back out for the sixth?

Why does Aaron Fultz ever the see field in this series?

You can not manage a five-game series like the regular season. Sure the Tribe has two more tomorrows. But tomorrow comes quickly.

We’ve seen Betancourt for one inning so far. The same was true of Jensen Lewis at the time Westbrook departed.

You can’t say Fultz is unproven. He’s proven since coming back from injury that he’s pretty much useless.

Westbrook needed to be yanked. But you have to put somebody out there who has shown something.

No one in the pen, except maybe Raffie Perez, has been overworked in this series. And save the lefty-righty crap. Lewis, Perez and Betancourt have been getting both out with regularity.

So tonight is water under the bridge. It’s time to look at tomorrow.

Paul Byrd is a contact pitcher if there ever was one. To say the least, or perhaps to put it kindly, he does not match up well against the Yankees.

Eric Wedge insists he will use Byrd Monday no matter what. That he will manage the team the way he has all year. But – again – this is not the regular season. There aren’t 159 more games to go. You can’t manage like its July. Loyalty or reward don’t enter into it. You play to win. Tonight!

There are several reasons why it might be iffy to start CC tomorrow on three days of rest. He pitched only five innings on Thursday, but they were a grueling five innings He threw 114 pitches. many in tough situations.

If you start Sabathia tomorrow - even if he’s on, and even if there’s an umpire with an actual strike zone out there to give him what he deserves - you may still get only six innings out of him

If you save him for game five, you can have CC start and Fausto backing him up if necessary.

If Byrd should pull off the improbable you’d have both CC and Fausto ready for lots of action in the next series.

But, in the playoffs you can’t worry about the next series, or you might be watching it on TV.

You can’t give the guy the ball just because he won his share of games in the regular season. If his stuff doesn’t match up, he sits. Period. Especially if he’s a hittable righty against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium.

There's one final thing to think about. Whether Chien-Ming Wang pitches tomorrow or not you are staring at Pettitte on Wednesday.

Give yourself two good shots instead of one.

You have to go with CC.


Just one other thing.

Thank God Joba got hit a little bit in the eighth. If not we would be hearing more than ever how Chamberlain’s Sunday outing was proof that Friday was a bug-induced fluke.

Maybe the difference between Chamberlain tonight and Friday was the scoreboard. He had only one run to work with on Friday and five tonight. The collar of his jersey was much looser tonight

Or maybe tonight’s outing confirms what may have been the case Friday. He’s great for an inning but has difficulty pitching two. He did it only once or twice during the season as they Yankees babied their big 230-pound youngster.


moose said...

if you pitch CC tonight and it does not work out - who on wednesday - fausto
do you want to put the pressure on him

I agree with fultz not pitching
if yankess dont score in sixth - different game

would guttierrez caught canos ball
chances are pretty good he would

will shoppach catch tonight and garko sit

wednesday forecast in cleveland
56 as a high cloudy, rainy overcast translates to NO bugs

can you tell I dont have a good feeling about tonights game

got any other ideas -maybe snowflakes

angels looke bad or red sox real good

Ron Vallo said...

if you don't pitch CC tonight, you lose.

Byrd is not going to get the Yankees out, not even for five innings.

They just do NOT swing at off-the-corner pitches. Byrd specializes in nibbling. The Yankees will just make him get it over and then clock him.

So why not give yourself two decent chance to win instead of putting all of your hopes on game 5? Carmona has not been hurt by the pressure so far. I'd rather take my chances on him Wednesday than Byrd tonight.

The Fultz thing is indefensible.

Watching the 5th and 6th inning disasters, it all sort of runs together. I don't remember Cano's hit. I do know Nixon misplayed a ball in the outfield, three runs scored but two would have anyway. Still it was disgusting. When you rely mostly on pitching you have to play your best defense. There's no comparison between Nixon and Gutierrez.

Garko was hittting 4-something for the series midway through the game last night. Can't even recall what he did the last couple at bats. But you have to have him in there. Byrd's not going to need his own personal catcher for long anyway. Maybe about 2 2/3 innings.

I hope the forecast gets better for Wednesday. Living where I do, I just want this damned series over so I don't have to listen to these people anymore.The last thing I want is for it to get dragged into Thursday.

One further note of caution. Wang is starting tonight. Don't fooled by his first outing. He is better than that. He - like CC - was getting squeezed all night. CC just handled it a little better. If you get an umpire in there with a reasonable strike zone he can/will be tough.

bobbydb19 said...

But "The Wanger" has never pitched on 3 days rest. Should be interesting. If the Tribe lose tonite, it is going to be a very stressful Tuesday and Wednesday at work. Now there are no early starts. So I have to sit around longer and wait and then have trouble going to sleep.

In this series we have to expect the unexpected. Maybe Byrd pitches well or at least keeps it close so we can get to our and their bullpen.

Steve J. Rogers said...

Hey Ron, I'm heading to the Stadium tonight, GO TRIBE!

Have a good weekend, I'm actually going to Atlanta where I should do some work on the event assignment this weekend. Which is a good thing because it will take my mind off of doing something horrible on Turner Field's grounds...

Damn Mets, ruining my AUTUM!


Ron Vallo said...


Are you trying to tell me you are cutting class just to go a Yankee game?

moose said...

1hour 20 minutes and 2 innnigs

how is it only 4-1 - byrd wont make it 3 - looks like a mussina / - middle reliever battle

our bullpen is going to have to win this one

one question - what was fatso froeming watching on mienkiwicz check swing or alck off
any other ump calls that strike three !!!!

need more runs -

this wont be over to midnight