Tribe – Getting ahead of myself…

12 04 2010

Just as I was about to kick off the baseball season with my first article praising the early maturity of the Indians bullpen, they showed me how young they still are. Sundays game went a little like this: the Tribe never hits against Verlander (3 runs is 30 innings against Verlander in ’09), yet they hopped on him early and put up five runs in the first inning. Westbrook looked much better in his second outing and wasn’t working behind in the count to every batter. The five run lead inched to four in the seventh inning, to two in the eighth and was finally blown when the Tigers put up three runs in the ninth. The main culprits for the Tribe’s demise? A guy who is struggling to find a spot in the bullpen- Rafael Perez (who posted 60+ innings in ’07 and ’08 with a 9.2 and a 10.14 K/9 but only appeared in around 40 games with an ERA of over 7 in ’09) and a guy who looked very solid in his first two appearances- Chris Perez (he got the saves in both 5-3 wins over the dreaded White Sox). Chris Perez couldn’t find the strike zone on Sunday against the Tigers, allowing three walks- and you suddenly remember why St. Louis was willing to part ways with him. There are still 156 games left and these two, along with the rest of the young arms in the pen- Aaron Laffy (who looked great in his hold of the lead last Wednesday night against the White Sox), Jensen Lewis (solid in all four appearances this season), and Joe Smith (who the Tribe hopes can give them a healthy ’10) have a lot to prove if the Indians have any shot of being competitive in the AL Central.

Final Thoughts

  • Coming up next: The Rangers. The Indians posted an abysmal 1-8 record against Texas last year. Carmona, who is the Opening Day starter, has never gotten a win against the Rangers at home in 6 opportunities.
  • While the power stroke may never return, Travis Hafner is still proving he can be productive- driving in 3 runs in his last 3 games.
  • Grady sat out the last game of the Detroit series with a bad back and he is expected to miss the home opener on Monday as well.
  • Carlos Santana hit his 4th home run in as many games for the AAA Clippers on Sunday. Just one step closer to joining the big league team.

– Dave

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