Tribe may just have un-homered itself out of post-season
Let’s see, about a billion strikeouts tonight, 1 run scored in 13 innings (oops, sorry 2 in 13, how could I forget such stunning offensive output), 0 for 25,348 with runners in scoring position, and about 800 arms left laying all over the infield after Indians batters nearly swung them out of their sockets.
Gonna say it again. This team lived by the home run, and it is currently dying by the home run having left the building. The 9th inning, when the Tribe tied the game with some actual situational hitting, is the only inning tonight out of 13 that the Tribe actually looked like a baseball team rather than a sports bar softball team staffed with beer-bellied neanderthals who spend every smoking break at Swings N’ Things attempting to tear the skin off 15 mph meatballs.
These guys simply do not know how to shorten their swing, make contact, and just plain hit. If they ever did, they’ve certainly forgotten now. They look for a home run pitch, and if they don’t get it, they don’t swing, and they strike out looking. Or else it’s the big fat guy softball team show, with guys swinging so hard they almost knock themselves over.
And in the supreme irony of the evening, Ronnie Belliard uncorks one of those gargantuan swings in the 13th for an actual home run, as opposed to the invisible ones the Tribe thought they were gonna hit every time they struck out. Only it wasn’t enough. It was never gonna be enough for the Tribe to just hit home runs. And it won’t be enough to get them to the playoffs, or get them very far should they get there.
A looong night
Tribe loses 3-2 in 13 innings.
The Red Sox win.
I’m either going to cry or puke. My body hasn’t decided yet.
Here’s a scary stat
After leaving the bases loaded in the 11th inning tonight, the Tribe is now 0-for-their-last-23 with runners in scoring position on this homestand.
Even if they make the playoffs, they need to pull their heads out of their friggin’ asses, because this won’t get it done in the postseason, now matter how well the starters are pitching.
Victor Martinez is a stud
This game is still very much in the air (11th inning), but Victor is about the only dependable guy in the lineup right now, and he’s been the only one coming up with big hits consistently these last couple of weeks. Grady’s struggling, Peralta looks lost at the plate and Hafner is hot and cold.
Keep it up, Victor! Please….
Roger Brown at it again?
The prospect of a good QB controversy overcomes Roger Brown.
Have the Browns been quietly giving backup quarterback Charlie Frye extra study work to digest during this bye week – as starting QB Trent Dilfer continues to heal from the battering he took last Sunday against Indianapolis? Hmmm.
Hmm, indeed. Note the utter absence of any sourcing. It’s a complete rumor, perhaps even started by Brown himself. Can’t really tell. Frye might be getting more homework because, well, it’s a bye week. Or not. Who the hell knows? Scene Magazine did a good story on Brown a few weeks ago, noting that rumors are his stock in trade.
Ah, the rumors. Columns like Brown’s are built on secondhand stories and anonymous sources. Speculating about upcoming moves or who doesn’t like whom in the clubhouse is Brown’s job. Yet the accuracy of what he peddles has long been open to debate, even among Plain Dealer colleagues. If there is one criticism of Brown that is troubling, it is this: He makes things up.
The PD already reported on Tuesday that Trent Dilfer is fine. Why is Roger Brown stoking the embers of a cooling QB controversy? Is he just making this shit up?
Cleveland NPR does sports talk
WCPN jumps on the Tribe bandwagon, and like all things NPR, it has to be somewhat intellectual. They had a sports psychologist on who works with the Browns and Indians. Interesting exchange.
Some old timer called in to argue, like every curmudgeon who thinks all young people are a bunch of fools, that Grady Sizemore was more interested in his appearance with sunglasses out in center field than catching the fly ball he dropped in the KC game. That he should have worn eye black, and how typical it is of this “younger generation” that he was instead wearing designer sunglasses.
Snow wants to contend
“We have a chance to do something special,” said Snow, who joined the town meeting along with teammates Ira Newble and Drew Gooden. “We have to set our goals bigger than just to make the playoffs. I don’t see how players can go out and compete without the goal being to win the championship. That’s what we’re striving for. We’re going to compete for a championship just like the other 29 teams.”
It’s pretty cool that the Cavs held this town hall meeting at the Q, but why wasn’t Lebron there?
OK, time to breathe
The three game losing streak is over. Hard to imagine a worse time to uncork a losing streak, but at least it’s done now. Bill Livingston has a good column today, saying, among other things….
When Cleveland gets around to throwing pity parties, which it does at the drop of a fly ball in the sun, this was going to be a September the city might never forget.
Pity parties aside, this week has revealed the stark inner beast that lives inside every Cleveland sports fan. How many times this week have you heard normally sane people start saying things like “The Drive”, “The Shot”, “Jose Mesa”? There’s a vocabulary of woe that Clevelanders can recite almost as an involuntary reaction. Might be knee jerk, but I don’t think that’s the right word.
However you describe it, the phenomenon of Cleveland sports agony unites us. I found myself talking to a complete strange in a bar last night about this stuff. Never would have talked to him otherwise. There’s something about our Cleveland sports experience that really makes such journeys almost a civic engagement exercise. We don’t really want to go there, because it hurts…a lot…but when we do go there, we know EXACTLY the moment that journey begins, and we all sort of look around to find anyone else who senses it too. Anyone at all.
Well, it’s time to breathe again folks. The Indians are still alive, very much so, and even if they don’t make it, we’ll have another story to tell, another invisible connection to every other Clevelander that brings us together.
Tribe lives on
These last three games, the last two particularly, have been painful to say the least but, give this team credit, because when they absolutely, postively, unquestionably needed a win, they came through, beating the Devil Rays 6-0 Thursday night.
C.C. Sabathia was great, going eight, allowing five hits and striking out nine. The offense, meanwhile, finally held up its end of the bargain, delivering two two-run homers in the first.
But the fact that the Indians scored five of their six runs on the long ball (Hafner, Belliard and Peralta), and that the other run scored on Grady Sizemore’s double-play groundout in the third, is certainly cause for concern for a team that has shown an alarming inability to play “small ball” when it matters most. They left seven runners on base tonight and went oh-fer with runners in scoring position. Heading into a pivotal series with the Central champion White Sox and, potentially, a playoff series after that, these are not very encouraging stats.
And where is Bob Wickman? Granted, Wedge didn’t have much of an opportunity to throw him out there during the losing streak, but this guy hasn’t pitched since September 23. Last Friday. That’s a WEEK! This guy needs work, but when faced with the perfect opportunity to get Wick an inning in relief of Sabathia, Wedge instead called on Rafael Betancourt, who’s now pitched three times since Wickman last took the mound. Hopefully, Wickman’s inactivity doesn’t cause a problem this weekend. I’m already nervous when he takes the mound. A rusty Wickman scares me even more.
And for all of you scoreboard watchers out there (who isn’t these days?), the Yankees and Red Sox both won, with the Red Sox scoring a run in the eighth to tie it up against the Jays and another in the ninth to win.
This is going to be one hell of a weekend. Let’s hope we’re still talking about the Tribe next week.
Jose Hernandez sucks out loud
.234, 6 HR, 31 RBI and 60 strikeouts in 231 at-bats.
You hear that sound? Yep, that’s Jose Hernandez sucking out loud.
Worse yet, Hernandez was brought in to hit lefties, but .273 with six homers doesn’t sound like a very special specialist, does it?
Nope, that sounds like sucking out loud.
If the Indians make the playoffs, Hernandez, who at this point is 0-2 tonight with a strikeout and two runners left on base, will be on the postseason roster by default as Ben Broussard’s righty-lefty platoon mate, but he hasn’t done anything this year to earn that spot.
Unless you call a .339 slugging percentage postseason-worthy.
I, on the other hand, call it sucking out loud.