Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Indians I Remember

This is why this season has been so frustrating to this point. Because the Indians are capable of having nights like tonight but have been giving us poo. Fausto Carmona was coming off a crappy outing, had a shaky first inning but hunkered down and got out of a jam. From then on he was on cruise control and life was good. C. C. Sabathia please take some notes.

Then, despite Jensen Lewis' best efforts, the bullpen was fairly incident free as Masa Kobayashi and Rafael Betancourt retired every batter they faced. Jenny thought it best with a 10-1 lead to try and continue Walk-a-palooza 2008, the current theme of Tribe pitching staff. Fausto 1 walk in 6 2/3 innings, Masa o in 1, Raffy 0 in 1. Jenny 2 out of 3 batters. It was 10-1, stop walking fricking hitters. I have you pegged as the closer of the future, this is not the way to go about attaining this.

Now I don't expect 11 runs every game but the way the Indians went about scoring the 10 runs that was pleasant. First off, everybody got a hit so everybody contributed. This has been a novel concept for the Tribe this year.

Despite not scoring in the first, Travis Hafner actually produced a productive out with a ground out to the right side of the infield, advancing runners to second and third. A little thing that really does help out during the course of a game unlike the Indians usual strategy of striking out as much as possible. Now Jhonny Peralta did not strike out after Victor Martinez was intentionally walked he felt it better to ground into an inning ending double play.

Now so far this year, this pound your head against the wall end to the inning would send the Indians into a funk for the rest of the game but they decided to suck it up and play baseball. In the second, Jason Michaels was actually productive with a sacrifice fly and even Casey Blake delivered a hit with RISP. And they happened back to back. I was stunned, happy and confused but the Tribe was up 2-0. Jamey Carroll made it 3-0 memories of Ramon Vasquez and Mike Rouse started to fade. But then I remembered they both wore #15 and that's the number Andy Marte wears now. Then I threw up in my mouth a little bit.

The Tribe kept pounding away with a Ryan Garko 2-run blast in the 5th to make it 5-0. Then unlike in the previous games in this year where they would let the other team hang around and leave the door open for a comeback as the Tribe scored 5 runs in the 6th and made it 10-1. This again included contributions from multiple persons including the much maligned Jason Michaels who is now hitting over .100. Yes, just .100, but its a start. Another insurance run int he 7th just because they could. Those are the things I love.

This is what the Indians are capable of. Bounce back pitching performances, scoring multiple runs in multiple innings and putting teams away. Getting contributions from players not named Grady Sizemore and Victor Martinez. Ryan Garko battling and Travis Hafner going the opposite field. Betancourt looking like his dominant self. It's not the fact that they have been losing some games out of the gate it's been the way they have been losing them.

If they take the approach that they took tonight in all of their games, ti will be a very fruitful season even when they lose. Let's keep this in mind boys. You have a nice little AL Central road trip up next. I expect you to play like you did tonight. All Tribe fans do.

It's Tribe Time Now. Believeland.

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