Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Building Blocks

Yes, they lost 2 of 3 to Boston but didn't you get the vibe that the Indians weren't intimidated at all by the Red Sox? The Red Sox are undoubtedly the best team in all of baseball by far after 1/3 of the 2007 season. After sweeping the then 1st Place Tigers in Detroit the Indians came up short in Boston... but not by too much. The Tribe managed to put up a few runs and keep it close in the first two games but ultimately came up with only 1 win (tonight 8-4).

They ran into two dominating pitching performances from Curt Schilling and Josh Beckett. Both guys were totally unhittable. Throw in the fact that Papelbon and Okajima have been lights out coming in from the bullpen and it was a true measuring stick against the best in the game right now.

The pitching staff while not spectacular held the #1 offense in baseball to 5, 4 and 4 runs. Cliff Lee and Jeremy Sowers didn't pitch great but they didn't pitch as bad as they have been throughout the year. Cabrera, Hernandez and Koplove are still struggling to define their roles but Mastny, Fultz and Betancourt continue to be rocks.

Sizemore, Dellucci and Pronk struggled in the first game but slowly started to show signs of life in games 2 and 3. Josh Barfield continues to deliver in the clutch and I learn to respect Kelly Shoppach, the game he calls and how he plays more an more each time he plays. Yes, there still were missed scoring opportunities in each game but consider the opponent.

So what does this all mean right now? On May 30th, 2007 the Cleveland Indians are somewhat better than the Detroit Tigers, not as good as the Boston Red Sox and probably better than everyone else in the American League. That's not too shabby.

The MLB season is a war of attrition and all about how you respond to it. The Indians came out of the gate, despite Snowgate, at 6-3. After getting hammered in 3 games versus the Yankees, they won 11 of the next 13. After a bad West Coast Trip they swept the Twins. After struggling in KC they swept the Tigers. The just lost 2 of 3 to the best team in baseball... let's see what they have in store for the Tigers who visit The Jake for 4 games, where the Tribe is a league best 17-4.

On a side note I owe an apology to the "Rem-Dog" Jerry Remy. I used to dread getting the NESN feed on DirecTV because of the Rem-Dog's Boston accent. But one you get past that wicked accent he's insightful, genuine and very funny. A homer but not to the point that he's making things up or making no sense. That asinine behavior is reserved for the White Sox broadcast crew, who are so blatantly homers that it makes them look totally inept. My apologies, Rem-Dog!

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