Tribe’s offensive strength might also be its Achilles heal

I’m a bit worried at the level that this team relies on the long ball for runs. The PD today notes that the Tribe’s home runs are scattered more evenly throughout the lineup than in the glory days of Belle, Thome, and Manny. But still….it bothers me that the team almost seems to need a home run, sometimes multiple home runs, to win. Just look at this from the PD’s story…

The latest example: Ronnie Belliard’s three-run blast that broke a 3-3 tie in the seventh inning of Wednesday night’s 6-4 victory over the Oakland A’s. The Tribe has homered in 12 of its past 13 games, hitting 24 during this span. Other games over the last two weeks when the home run ball was key to winning: Ben Broussard hit two, driving in all five runs, of a 5-2 victory over Oakland on Tuesday night. Three home runs — one each by Belliard, Victor Martinez and Grady Sizemore — accounted for six runs in a 12-4 victory over the Twins on Sunday. During a recent stretch of three wins over Detroit and one over the Twins, home runs accounted for 16 consecutive runs.

Yeah, I love how the whole lineup is a threat to homer, but geez. It’s very easy for a home run swing to turn into a reckless at bat under the pressure of a playoff chase, or in the playoffs. That could be contagious, especially with a young, playoff inexperienced lineup. They might not all start swinging like idiots at the same time, but then again, they might. It’s the only thing about this team that worries me.

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