Thursday, May 8, 2008

Two out of three .... well, it sucks actually

If you had told me before the Indians' final regular season series ever at Yankees Stadium that the Tribe would take two out of three, I'm quite sure I would have taken that deal.

With two games in the bag heading into this afternoon I tried to tell myself that a win today would be the "eating it too" part of that cliche' about the cake.

Even as I sat down to write this post I was going to go with the Meatloaf angle - you know, 'two out of three aint bad.'

But frankly, if the one loss comes at the end of the series, than two out of three sucks.

Especially against the Yankees.

Do you have any idea how much mileage I would have gotten at the office out of a three-game sweep?

And wouldn't it feel a whole lot better if the Tribe was sitting at .500 instead of two games under, even though it doesn't make a damn bit of difference at this juncture?

After the first two or three innings today you could tell that some of those flyballs the Yankees were hitting off of Paul Byrd were eventually going to leave the park.

It was just a question of how many and how full the bases would be at the time.

As it turns out, three of them made it out of the yard, good for four runs. Not a great outing for Byrd but the kind of game you know will come up fairly frequently with an old-goat fifth starter who uses nothing but his head and the tips of his fingers to stay in the game.

The real problem today, as always, is you have to be able to expect more than three runs out of your offense.

Unfortunately, three seems to be about all we're gonna see out of this group.

I liked the idea of seeing Ben Francisco and Franklin Gutierrez in the same outfield.

But at this point - at least while he's hot - David Dellucci should play too. I have no problem with Dellucci DHing a few more times until he cools off.

Right now Travis Hafner is a seemingly irretrievable mess. So what is there to lose by keeping him on the bench? I'm not say give up on him, but a week off might not hurt.

Ryan Garko is nearly as hopeless right now as Hafner.

Frankly I would like to have seen Andy Marte in there again today, with Blake at 1B if you really feel the need to have him in there.

I've said it before, I'm not a believer in Marte but while the team is hitting this poorly you might as well take a couple of weeks to see if he's got anything.
He had a hit last night, and a fly out to the deepest part of Yankee Stadium.

So I'm not sure Eric Wedge did much for his confidence by pinch-hitting Hafner for him with a three run lead and the bases loaded in the ninth. It wasn't a max-pressure spot and a hit there might have lifted him up a little.

Today Marte found himself back on the bench.

If they are not going to use the guy, they might as well pull the plug on him. Why waste the roster spot?

Which brings me to my next point.

Why are Tom Mastny, Jorge Julio and Crag Breslow on this team?

In the
FIFTH inning Wedge had Jensen Lewis up throwing. Was he really going to use him that early? Especially with Raffie Left pitching two nights in a row already in the series?

You can't make it through an entire season using three or four relievers. You have to expand beyond the Raffies, Lewis and Masa Kobayashi. At least if you want them to be able to pitch beyond the All-Star break.

Julio did get in today for the last inning with the Tribe down three.

Wedge has to either show a little more faith in the middle-inning guys or he's got to farm them out and bring someone in who he does have confidence in.

I realize with this team every run counts, but you just can't keep throwing the same guys out there day after day as early as the fifth or sixth inning. Not if you want them around in September.


Triple said...

I thought the same thing last night about that based loaded spot in the 9th. I realize Hafner coulda used the confidence but he seems completely lost and could use a good week off as you suggested. His timing is off and his hands seem overactive as if he's trying to compensate for something. I think if you leave marte in that spot and he gets a double or even a deep fly it does wonders for his confidence and the mere fact that he knows the manager wanted him in that spot has got to help. I agree though with marte completely, get him out there playing 4-5 days a week see what he's got. No one else is hitting their weight let alone carrying the team so see what the kid can do.

Also im beginning to think a trip to AAA might do Asdrubal some good if he continues to struggle with pitch recognition. The problem with that move is barfield hasn't exactly been tearing it up but he may be struggling with the redemotion like garko and francisco did before him.

Pitching: I love the way the Cobra battles but how much longer is he going struggle thru games with laffey and sowers pitching lights out down in Buffalo?

good series and hopefully they can get CC and fausto back on track against toronto because runs will hard to come by with their rotation dealing the way it is now. Wouldn't it be funny if this is the series the offense comes out of their winter hibernation.

Jack said...

Hey, Ron. Fellow NYC Tribe fan and former MVN Tribe Report blogger here. Remember me? I actually went to all three games this week and, saw two wins, but none of them all that impressive offensively. Lee was staggering as it was the best pitching performance i've ever witnessed in person. As far as yesterday's game, I went there expecting to lose because it was set up as a game we would lose: we'd won the first two games and were playing an afternoon getaway game, which they almost never win. Byrd was starting, and he rarely seems to string more than two good starts together (although he wasn't a disaster and looked great for four innings). I just didn't like our chances. But I was really impressed with our first three run rally, and I, too, like seeing Francisco and Gutz in the outfield together. At least for now, it makes sense with Dellucci hot and Hafner, you know, NOT hot.

I'm not as frustrated as I thought I'd be though. I'm starting to see a little life in the offense, if only in spurts. We'll see if this series carries over into this weekend as something to build on. Either way, I think 88 wins will win the division, and if that's the case, I won't care about anyone's record -- including ours -- all year!

Ron Vallo said...


good to hear from you. can't believe the tribe/yanks series is over for the year already. Bad week for me. Couldn't make it out there. Last year I caught all three at Yankee stadium, including the A-Rod/Borowski game.

There does seem to be a little life coming back, but let's see it progress for a week or so before we get too excited.

Welcome aboard. The Asdrubal idea is something I've thought of too. It would be a more onvious move in Barefield were forcing his way back up. I really think they have to see what they have in Marte. But it's hard to bench your RBI leader. Maybe Garko should sit for a while.