Thank you DirecTV (and WKYC) for not carrying the Indians/Royals game Sunday afternoon. Actually, it probably is a good thing considering the Indians had to scratch and claw to an 11 inning win, 5-3, to stay 2 1/2 games up of Detroit who took 2 of 3 from the Yankees.
Fausto Carmona apparently ran out of gas in the 6th allowing 3 runs but Asdrubal Cabrera came through in the 9th and Travis Hanfer and Victor Martinez came through in the 11th to notch the series win for the Erie Warriors.
The concern still remains the hitting. Against a Kansas City club that would struggle in AAA, they lost 2-1 on Friday and barely made it out with a win today. Strikeouts, failure to move runners and not delivering with runners in scoring position continue to be the running theme of the season. In 2005, the Indians were done in by their starting pitching. Last year, it was the return of "The Bullpen From Hell" of the mid 1980s.
This year, to every one's surprise, the offense will determine where the Indians go in 2007. With C. C., Fausto and Jake in a groove and Byrd and Laffey giving the Tribe a chance to win when they take the ball, if the Indians can manage to score more than 3 runs a game they will make some noise in September. If not, they will fade away.
September should also be full bullpen audition mode as I am surprised that the arms of Iron Joe and the Raffies are still functional. Someone (or two) has to step up and be effective out of the pen. The last thing the club needs is the 3 key bullpen arms to run out of gas in September due to overuse. I'm looking at you Aaron Fultz and Tom Mastny.
The Indians return home for 7. Three against the Twins, a Snow Make-Up Game versus Seattle and 3 against the White Sox before spending most of September on the road.