Two out of three from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays is not enough. Especially with your ace on the mound, primed for a sweep, and a chance to put the Tigers another game back. The theme of the Indians season is their failure to capitalize on the current situation and put distance between themselves and their closet competitors.
They still fail to hit when it counts and it has cost C. C. Sabathia dearly. He has allowed 2 earned runs or less in his last 6 starts and the Indians have won 1 of them. Let me repeat that, C. C. Sabathia has allowed 2 earned runs or less in his last 6 starts and the Indians have won 1 of them. That is how putrid their offense has been. After logging 8 runs on 15 hits last night they followed it up today with 4 runs today on 9 hits, with the customary 10 runners left on base. The Tribe offense single handedly costing Big C. C. a shot at a 20 win season.
Also a concern is the bullpen as Iron Joe Borowski, Rafael Betancourt and Rafael Perez have all had a shaky outing or outings lately. Iron Joe blew his fifth save today and was unable to work effectively in a tie game against Detroit. This is especially concerning as there will come a time when the Tribe will need him to actually work a crucial game down the stretch that they just need him keep tied. He has shown no ability to do that this year.
The Indians have made some moves to try and improve. The demotion of Cliff Lee and Jeremy Sowers. The acquisition of Kenny Lofton. The release of Roberto Hernandez, Jason Davis and Fernando Cabrera. Recently, the demotion of Mike Rouse and the benching of Josh Barfield. The insertion of Grady Sizemore into the 3rd spot in the line-up. Whether these moves have an effect will be known in a month.
The Tribe gets to go head-to-head with the Tigers in Detroit this week followed by a trip to Kansas City. The Tigers get to battle the Yankees again during the same time. The Indians have yet another chance to put some distance between them and the Tigers again. It is an opportunity they have failed to capitalize on time and time again in 2007.