Monday, August 4, 2008

Locked in the cellar

The Tribe ended another 'blah' weekend in Minnesota yesterday with the Twins taking two out of three in the series. Friday night featured Nick Blackburn shutting down the Indians' offense yet again (he's 3-0 with a 1.30 ERA in four starts against the Tribe this year) in a 4-1 Twins' victory. The Indians did put a nice game together on Saturday night behind another strong start from Paul Byrd for a 5-1 win. Byrd has only given up five earned runs over his last four starts, totaling 26 innings of work. But the same old Tribe reappeared yesterday when they had a chance to win a series, this time in a 6-2 loss to the recently reactivated Francisco Liriano (of course his first win of the season). The Tribe is now 17-30 (.362) vs. the Central Division, and that is the main reason they are now firmly locked in the Central cellar, a full three games behind the Royals. The series loss also makes them 19-36 (.345) on the road and by my unofficial count, 12-20-4 overall in series this season. I guess the good news is there are only 52 games left.

The Twins are now 10-5 vs. the Tribe this year... compared to 4-14 last year

The Indians continue their road trip tonight when they open a three-game series vs. the AL East leading Tampa Bay Rays (only five sellouts this year???). The Rays should have revenge on their minds in this series after losing four in a row at the Prog back in July. At least we get to see Cliff Lee pitch tonight.

Other Tribe Notes: Not that this is really news, but Eric Wedge would like a new closer by next spring (I'm begging, please be K-Rod, please be K-Rod). And the Red Sox have reportedly offered Joe Borowski a contract. Not exactly the recipe for repeating as World Series champs.

Browns Update: Remember Travis Wilson? The Browns used a third round pick in 2006 on the receiver from Oklahoma and so far he has given us just two career receptions for 32 yards. With the injury to Joe Jurevicius the Browns are looking for someone to step us as a reliable third receiver and he has impressed his coaches thus far in training camp.
''Travis has had a particularly good OTA (organized team activities) period, he began to show up and make some plays, and I think that has carried over to training camp here because when the ball comes his way, he's been catching them,'' Crennel said.
The Browns may also have found a diamond in the rough to fill in for the injured Antwan Peek. And today is Monday so don't forget about Tony Grossi's noon update from training camp (if you can't tell by now I'm a big fan of these).

Cavs Update: Terry Pluto reports that the Cavaliers are talking to Denver about J.R. Smith. Personally I'd be shocked if we gave an offer sheet to a restricted free agent at this point. I think a trade would be the only possibility, but I've been wrong before.

Could Smith soon be wearing wine and gold?

And from China, LeBron James chipped in 10 points in 24 minutes to help lead Team USA to a 21-point win over Russia. The Redeem Team has one final tune-up vs. Australia tomorrow before the real games begin.