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.

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