Thursday, August 28, 2008

Streaking to redemption

Well, the Tribe has found a way to come full circle. I never thought it would happen back on July 10th when they were hitting rock bottom in Detroit. But they have claimed redemption with a ten-game winning streak to erase the memories of that horrible losing streak, and fittingly, they did it in the same city for a little extra emphasis (isn't it always fun to beat Detroit?). Their 9-7 victory over the Tigers last night was the latest in a shocking turnaround that has them sitting just 2 games under .500 with 30 games left to play.

"You have to stay in the moment," said Wedge. "You don't want to get ahead of yourself and you definitely don't want to look back. You just keep trying to get better."

This streak has been immensely enjoyable for me mainly because of the way it seemed to come out of nowhere. But if you look deeper, the team has played great baseball since the trade deadline on July 31st. In that stretch of 25 games they have gone 19-6 (.760). In those 25 games the bats have come alive, with the team averaging 6.08 runs per game, while allowing 4.76 runs per game. And they've done it with the long ball as well - out-homering opponents 35-20 in that same stretch. The Indians are finally getting consistent hitting throughout their line-up and it is translating into wins. As I said yesterday, it is likely too little, too late for this season, but it should make things a lot better for Tribe fans heading into next season.

Last night the Tribe added two more home runs from hot-hitting Kelly Shoppach (6 HR's this month) in the 4th and then Shin-Soo Choo in the 7th. Fausto Carmona didn't have his best stuff again, but he was able to give the team 6 innings of work and the bullpen was able to hold it down (although there were some scary moments between Rafael Betancourt and Jensen Lewis). So now the Indians will enjoy a day off before starting a weekend series with the Mariners. Hopefully the off-day doesn't get anyone out of their rhthym. But the Mariners are 22-42 on the road - by far the worst in the AL. I'm just happy I care again about an Indians/Mariners series this year!

Choo went deep again last night and has showed some real promise over the last month

Other Tribe Notes: Looks like Victor could finally be back this weekend, with Hafner and Barfield soon to follow. And also some good news regarding Matt LaPorta in Akron.

Browns Update: The Browns will look to avoid any major injuries tonight in their preseason finale at Cleveland Browns Stadium against the Bears. Romeo thinks it's time to look 'decent,' and I can't say I disagree. And here's a Browns season preview along with 'expert' picks (those always make me laugh).