Thursday, April 17, 2008


It feels like the circus elephant just got off my chest.

After the fiasco last night and six losses in seven games, tonight's blowout win against the Tigers is a huge relief.

Just when you were sure this team had forgotten how to hit, pitch and field they did all three tonight.

It started out a little rocky with Fausto needing about 50 pitches to get through the first two innings, which he was able to do without giving up a run and leaving runners on second and third both times.

After that he was the Fausto we know, allowing only four more hits and one run in his remaining 4 2/3 innings, in command all the way.

Given the offensive outburst there was no pressure on the Tribe pen, but the managed to close out the remaining 2 1/3 innings in solid fashion.

For the record it should be noted that Jensen Lewis came in with two outs and a man on second in the seventh and promptly walked the first two batters he faced, so there were a few blemishes.

Meanwhile, something sparked the moribund Cleveland offense tonight.

I don't know if it was the tongue-lashing Eric Wedge gave his sluggish, impatient, clueless hitters, the spark provided by Jamey Carroll who played 2B and hit second tonight, or the 88 mph fastballs being lobbed up there by Justin Verlander, but the guys in the home uniforms looked a bit more like they guys we've gotten to know over the past couple of years..

Every Tribe batter had a hit and several had 2 as the Tribe put up 11 runs on 13 hits.

Travis Hafner went deep - to left field - which is a terrific sign that he may be getting back to making contact and not trying to jack every pitch. Ryan Garko also had a dinger and the long-missing Franklin Gutierrez had two hits.

Jason Michaels had two hits and three RBIs and cut down a standing-up Gary Sheffield at the plate when the game was still a game.

Carroll went two for four with two runs scored and two RBIs and seemed to be in the thick of every Tribe rally.

Whatever the reason the Tribe came alive tonight, it was not a moment to soon.

I should also take a second to point out that the bad J-honny appears to still be with us. He had a meaningless single late in the game, but went one for five and left five runners on base, including a bases-loaded DP in the first inning to kill off a possible early rally.

Back to Verlander.

While the Indians are wondering just what is wrong with their ace CC Sabathia, the same has to be true of the Tigers and Verlander.

Verlander gave up five runs in five innings, surrendering seven hits and four walks. And as we said, he was topping out at about 88 mph on the fastball. Prior to tonight the Tiger ace has given up 19 runs, 14 earned, in 19 innings over three starts.

Verlander is 0-3 on the year and struggling nearly as much as Sabathia. The difference between Sabathia and Verlander though is the fact that the Tiger ace has a much thinner rotation around him to carry the load while he tries to figure things out.

And so, for the Tribe, it's on the Minnesota with a badly needed confidence builder under their belts.


the moose said...

thank goodness for cliff lee - what a pleasnt surprise -cliff lee for cy young this year

the moose said...

once the tribe helps another no name pitcher blackburn get his first major league win -

8 hits and 4 double plays

if all goes as planned I will get "byrd brain" pitching against the yankees when I go next weekend - Maybe I will get a home run call in the upper deck right field seats !!!!

the moose said...

wheres the hitting ??????????