Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A Wedgie for Tribe fans

At the risk of sounding like one of those morons who post on the fan boards of the newspaper Web sites, I'm wondering, is Eric Wedge trying to lose games?
The Tribe's skipper came into tonight's game with a bullpen running on about three cylinders due to "injury" and ineffectiveness, or at the very least inconsistency. Plus Raffie Betancourt was unavailable because of his two-inning outing last night.

He's playing the best, most disciplined hitting team in the league, but has a 2-1 lead.

He's got a veteran starter on the mound who has completed six innings on 78 pitches, allowed one unearned run and only six hits. Let me repeat one of those numbers - 78 pitches. That veteran has just gotten the No. 3 and No.4 hitters, so he's through most of the meat of the order. And he's cruising.

So of course Wedgie brings in the veteran Paul Byrd to squeeze out at least one more inning and save the pen right?

Of course not. Instead let's bring in Jorge Julio, a non-roster invitee to spring training who hasn't pitched in a close game all year.

Of course Julio walked the first, and only, two guys he faced. A bunt single and a single past the range-less J-honny and the Tribe leaves the field down 3-2.

The Tribe managed to tie it in the bottom of the seventh on a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch, but it's pretty clear the pitching change in the sixth was a key factor in sending this game in the wrong direction.

They say the manager can affect - one way or the other - about 10 games a season. Put tonight down as one of those 10.

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