Sunday, May 31, 2009

A win for the Tribe, a Wedgie for Pavano

Jhonny Peralta drove a ball past 3B with one out in the 9th today, giving the Tribe an exciting first victory of the weekend against the dreaded Yanks.

It was Perlta's third ribbie of the day, putting him and starting pitcher Carl Pavano in the spotlight. Pavano didn't win the game, but he should have (more on that in just a second).

Peralta's base hit picked up the ball club today for sure. But more than anyone, the hit picked up Tribe manager Eric Wedge.

Wedgie, working his usual magic, nearly turned this afternoon into another disaster.

Back a couple of weeks ago, before the Tribe's recent hot streak and when they were about as low as they could go, there was a spike in the talk about firing the manager.

Those who pooh poohed all the the talk argued that the manager can't do the hitting or the pitching and it's up to the players to get it done on the field.

Except, sometimes the manager is the problem and today the players saved the manager's backside.

Is it the player's fault when he's sailing through the hefty Yankee lineup - 2 runs, 89 pitches in 7 1/3 innings - and the manager comes out (after a weak infield single) and takes the ball out of his hands?

I don't care what the post-game blather coming from Wedgie will be, there is no explanation for taking Carl Pavano out of the game when he did today.

Derek Jeter's infield hit was apparently enough to send Wedgie thumbing through page 1 of his "How to Manage the Bullpen" book.

It was at that point (again just 89 pitches thrown by Pavano and the Tribe up 4-2 in the 8th) when Wedge decided he simply must bring in lefty Raffie Perez (the same Perez who has blown up so many games already this season) to pitch to lefty Johnny Damon.

Damon, of course, lashed a double to right field and the demise of Pavano's victory was underway.

To be fair, no one anticipated that the next guy in, Raffie Betancourt, would leave after a couple of pitches with what looked like a leg injury. But the more often you roll the dice, the bigger the chance that you get a bad result.

It was obvious that Wedge was going to go with both Raffies in the 8th once he took Pavano out. Why roll the dice twice more, especially when one of the gambles involves Raffie Perez - who so far this year has had a great season at Columbus?

In addition to taking a win away from Pavano and making a very questionable strategic move, Wedge put himself in a position to burn through four relievers in less than two innings, leaving himself vulnerable for any extra innings that might have been ahead today and for tomorrow's game as well - a game that will be started by the unreliable Jeremy Sowers.

Please don't tell me that it's the players who play and the manager doesn't matter.

Win or lose today (and thank God it was a win!), Wedgie had a major negative effect on the proceedings.

1 comment:

Ron Vallo said...

No post tonight.

8 walks in 2 innings. What more do we need to know?

Simply awful.