Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Victor goes yard!!

With one swing of his bat, Victor Martinez shook off the 700 pound gorilla that has been on his back all season.

In the bottom of the second inning tonight at Progressive Field, Victor hit a towering flyball to the home run porch in left - his first homer of the season.

After playing the first two-and-half months with a sore hamstring and eventually a sore elbow, Victor was robbed of his power at the plate and became a non-entity with a bat in his hands.

All fixed and rested, Victor has had a hit in each of the three starts he's made since being activated, and tonight - for the first time all year - he went yard.

The joy and relief Victor felt was plain to see.

He stood at the plate and watched as he did what he used to take for granted for the first time in 2008 - send a ball sailing deep into the nighttime sky.

His smile in the dugout afterward was a mile wide and his teammates - especially fellow catcher Sal Fasano - seemed to enjoy the moment as much as Victor.

You had to assume that Victor's power would return with his health. I'm sure most of us felt that way. But it sure was nice to get a little evidence during the heat of battle.

Having said that, it would also be nice to see a little consistency from Fausto Carmona.

Fausto also has recently returned from a lengthy injury, and although he's shown flashes of his old self in his recent outings, he seems to be unable to put it all together for a full game.

It looked like tonight might be the night, as Fausto had a shutout through 5. But in the sixth Carmona lost his control and his poise and allowed 3 runs before departing with two outs in the inning.

In 8 starts since returning to the rotation, Carmona is 3-3 with tonight's decision still in doubt. He's thrown 41 2/3 innings and has allowed 31 earned runs. He's walked 22 batters in the process.

For a guy who is being counted on as No. 2 next year, I sure hope we see a bit more of the good Fausto the rest of the way.

Back to the good news.

Raffy Betancourt continued his late-season resurrection, getting out of a second-and-third, two-out jam left for him by Carmona in the sixth and going on to pitch another 2/3 of an inning in the 7th before giving way to Raffy Perez, who was brought in to get Jim Thome.

While Betancourt has been one of the poster boys for the Tribe's underachievement this season, his work since the middle of August has him looking like a decent bet to be a positive factor again next year.

Continuing in the good-news-bad-news vein, the Tribe today said it will shut down Aaron Laffey for the year due to elbow soreness. MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince reports and MRI showed no structural damage but the Tribe thought it best for Laffey to just call it a year.

Six minor leaguers did get the call-up to the bigs - second baseman Josh Barfield, first baseman Mike Aubrey, right-handers Brian Slocum, Tom Mastny and John Meloan and left-hander Rich Rundles.

1 comment:

the moose said...

hasben francisco lost his starting job to franklin guttierrez ?

I dont get why he isnt playing more - especially over delucci who went 4 for 4 (4 strikeouts on saturday)