Friday, May 15, 2009

Are we having fun yet?

Long about the top of the fourth inning of Friday night's game, just about the time Shin-soo Choo blasted his two-run homer giving the Tribe a 7-0 lead, I began to think - "I'm finally having fun."

The baseball season is just about six weeks old now, and not one of those weeks has brought any enjoyment to Tribe fans.

That started to change this week.

Going into Friday's game, the Tribe had won 3 of their last 4 games, put together their first winning streak (2 games) since mid-April (also 2 games) and had whittled their deficit in the A.L. Central to 4 1/2 games.

And for the first 3 1/2 innings Friday, they were blowing out Scott Kazmir and the Rays.

And then all the ugliness of the first five weeks returned.

The offense shut down completely, putting up just two hits in the final 5 2/3 innings.

Starting pitcher Anthony Reyes was unable to get out of the sixth.

The bullpen - which seemed to be getting itself together at least a bit recently - took a sharp turn back toward hideous.

Tony Sipp, brought in to get out one lefty, walked that lefty.

Jensen Lewis followed, getting smacked for 3 hits and a run over 1 inning and leaving a mess for Raffie Betancourt in the seventh.

Betancourt came in with one out and runners on second and third and the Tribe still clinging to a 7-6 lead. A strikeout, an intentional walk and a popout later and it looked like maybe things might be OK.

Until the eighth inning, when Betancourt gave up a dinger to the first batter of the inning - Ben Zobrist.

And then the ninth inning when Luis Vizcaino - making his Tribe debut - gave up a blast to B.J. Upton - the first batter Vizcaino faced as an Indian - and we were right back where we've been for the past five weeks.

There was a time when this game was fun. I swear it. Sometimes it feels like it will never be that way again.

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