Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Climbing our way out

Don't look now but there's a new last place team in the AL Central. For the first time since July 26th, the Tribe has emerged from the cellar and put the Royals back in their rightful place. I'll try not to get too far ahead of myself, but I see we are only 3-1/2 back from Detroit now too. And just so you don't think I'm kidding, visual proof:

The Indians won their fifth straight game last night, this time a 7-5 victory over the Orioles. They did it with more solid hitting and again overcame some shaky bullpen work late in the game. They were also helped by Baltimore kicking the ball all over the field, amassing four errors in the process.

Jeremy Sowers was in line for his long-overdue second victory of the year (he has gone at least six innings in five straight starts, yet has nothing to show for it) but Masa Kobayashi quickly put an end to that. Kobayashi's line for the night - 0 outs, 2 hits, 1 earned run, and 1 inherited runner scored on 13 pitches. Not good. But Rafael Perez was good (his ERA is down to 2.80 after a disastrous start to the season) and he enabled the Tribe bats to get another win over an AL East team.

Asdrubal Cabrera was the hero at the plate again last night, getting the game-winning RBI in the bottom of the eighth. Cabrera is now hitting .324 for the month of August (8 hits in his last four games) and appears to finally be comfortable again at the plate. And Jensen Lewis did some nice work in a 1-2-3 ninth inning to get the save in the ever-changing closer experiement for the Tribe. They will look to extend the winning streak tonight at the Prog with another one against Baltimore. Newcomer Anthony Reyes will make his home debut for the good guys.

I could get used to this winning thing

Bye-Bye Birdie: It wasn't all good news from the Prog yesterday. Paul Byrd was dealt to the gates of hell to play for Satan's team (otherwise known as being traded to the Boston Red Sox). I wasn't aware that Byrd had even cleared waivers when I learned of the deal yesterday afternoon. As I've said before, he wasn't the greatest pitcher ever to wear an Indians uniform. But he had a lot of heart and I will always fondly remember his Game 4 start in New York last year in the ALDS. And Byrd was treated so unfairly in last year's ALCS with the whole HGH thing. I will always wish him well personally, but I hate seeing him go to Boston. Ugh. The Indians will either get cash or the infamous player to be named later in return...
"I don't know if the trade is ironic because of the HGH thing," said Byrd. "I think it's more ironic because it's the team that beat us. I wasn't a Red Sox fan this off-season, let's put it that way. Putting on that Red Sox jersey may take a minute or two."

Other Tribe Updates:
The neverending search for bullpen help was again a topic of discussion yesterday. And with Byrd's spot in the rotation coming up again tomorrow, it looks like Aaron Laffey may be coming back up to Cleveland.

Browns Update: Just when I thought it was safe to type "arthroscopic surgery" in an earlier Browns update, we're hit with this. I know we are deep at tight end, but it's still not something we need. And Tony Grossi had been saying that depth may help us land a defensive back in a trade, so now, who knows? At least Donte Stallworth wasn't really trying to win the number one receiver job.