Tuesday, May 8, 2007

A weekend in Balti-whore

Oriole Park at Camden Yards is a beautiful ballpark. It just has the misfortune of being located in Baltimore, Maryland. I feel bad for you Camden Yards. I really do.

I attended the last 3 games of the series braving DC traffic to make the trek up to Baltimore. Well worth it considering the Tribe managed a 2-2 split after the bullpen pissed away Game 1. Rather than touch on every game since I was there live the was some good, bad and some interesting from the weekend.

The Good
  • After losing the first two games the Tribe rallied to split the series. Yes, they should have WON the series but I get the feeling that the 2006 Indians may have just rolled over and ended up losing the series. With the 2007 Tribe, I get the feeling they actually take some pride in their performance against inferior opponents.

  • Starting pitching was outstanding (minus one person to be addressed later) again. Needed after Westbrook went on the DL. Byrd was great, should of won Game 1. C. C. his normal solid, spectacular when necessary, self. And Fausto, holy crap! I have to admit I was wrong. I thought he was done for good after the Closer-in-Training debacle. Unsalvagable. His last two games have been incredible and the amount of ground balls, Sweet Lord. A masterfully pitched game and when he got in a jam he was calm, didn't panic and pitched his way out of it.

  • The Thunder Sticks Awaken. After a total of 4 runs in the first two games (both losses) the Indians exploded for 9 runs on Sunday and 10 runs on Monday. Barfield has been getting it together. Trot Nixon was just SICK with the stick and hopefully Pronk's Grand Slam will get him back in the zone.

  • New SI cover boy Grady Sizemore deserves it. If he's up in a clutch situation he's delivering faster than Mr. McFeely in Mr. Rodger's Neighborhood. He's only hitting .250 now, but do you honestly think he'll be stuck there all year? Imagine when he's hitting .290 by September. And when this guy finally hits 3rd in a few years. Wow.

The Bad

  • Jeremy Sowers looked bad. Real bad. I don't know if it was because it was cold and wet Saturday night and he couldn't get a good break on his pitches. Lucky he didn't give up more than 6 runs in two innings. Painful to watch from I guy I think could be great.

  • Pronk in a funk. One hit in the series for Travis Hafner until the Grand Slam. Hopefully it gets him locked back in. The inning before his Grand Slam O's skipper Sam Perlozzo intentionally walked CASEY BLAKE to LOAD THE BASES to pitch to Pronk. And it worked. Pronk struck out. But as the old Klingon proverb says, "Revenge is a dish best served cold."

  • Jason Davis pitched himself out of the Cleveland Indians organization. Three ugly innings on Saturday night that did nothing to impress. No pressure, no one on base. All you have to do is keep the game from getting out of hand. Yeah, you didn't do that. CUT! Sad. I thought a few years ago that he could be our closer of the future. Never took advantage of any opportunity given to him. Perfect model for his Cleveland tenure... I went to the Tribe O's game in Baltimore back in 2003. Jason Davis started that game (he was in the rotation in 2003). The Tribe jumped out to a 4 or 5 run lead after 3 innings and Jason Davis slowly but surely gave it back in innings 4 and 5. Walks, bad pitch placement. All he had to do was pitch, he was up 5 runs. And he couldn't do it.

  • No Cleveland Stadium Mustard. Just the regular yellow stuff. It just doesn't taste right at the ballpark like that.

  • A lot of purple on the stadium patrons. Purple is awful. Just awful.
The Interesting

  • I am not joking. Mike Rouse hit a ball that hit the bottom of the outfield wall.... on a fly. Seriously. It didn't roll and hit it. It was on the fly. I almost fell over!

  • Trot Nixon went 5-5 on Sunday which isn't surprising since he is a good hitter. But the first 4 were against left handed pitching. I believe Trot hits around .200 against lefties. And all were rips, no ground balls with eyes or dying quails.

  • The Tribe was up 10-1, bottom of the 9th and the newly promoted Edward Mujica didn't come into pitch. Roberto Hernandez did. Isn't this the opportune time to get a young arm his first action of the season?

  • I talked to a couple guys in town from Seattle. Their dislikes of Mike Hargrove's managing style in Seattle are the same ones we had in the 1990's in Cleveland. Some things never change.

All in all a good weekend. Could have been better. Could have been worse. But all in all worth my time and money.

In closing there's only one thing left to say...
Hey Baltimore! Go F yourself!