Friday, August 15, 2008

There's the 'pen I remember

During the Tribe's recent five-game winning streak, the relievers actually started to look a little better. Jensen Lewis got a couple saves, Rafael Perez looked outstanding, and I was starting to have a little hope that our bullpen wasn't a complete disaster. Then came the last two games. Brandon Donnelly was shelled on Wednesday night, and Thursday it was Rafael Perez's turn, with some gas thrown on the fire by Edward Mujica for good measure. Those two combined to give up 8 hits and 7 earned runs in the top of the 8th inning, turning a 3-3 tie into an 11-3 deficit, and eventually an 11-6 loss.

No need to delve any further into the details of this one, but 13 hits and 6 runs should be enough to get a win on most nights - unless your bullpen gives you no chance, which has been an ongoing theme all season long. If this isn't evidence enough to Larry Dolan that he needs to spend a lot of money on the back end of this bullpen, I don't know what is. I'm usually not critical of Tribe ownership, but if they don't get something done to fix this over the winter I will be extremely disappointed.

The lone good news from Thursday night was that starter Zach Jackson looked pretty solid in his Indians debut and may end up being a key piece to our future as part of the Sabathia trade. He was the victim of some bad luck in the 5th inning when Grady Sizemore and Shin-Soo Choo lost a fly ball in the lights, allowing for one of Jackson's three runs allowed over five innings. At least the Royals lost again to keep us a half game out of last. The Indians will look to bounce back tonight as they start a 3-game weekend series against the best team in baseball. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of Los Angeles, California in Anaheim (or something like that). Cliff Lee (yay!) gets the start tonight.

The Tribe gets disappointing split after taking the first two from the Orioles

Other Tribe News: Matt LaPorta hit a 3-run shot to help propel Team USA to their first Olympic win on Thursday over the Netherlands. His swing looks pretty nice to me (it can be seen around the 6:25 mark of the video on that link)... Josh Barfield could be back soon... And Travis Hafner finally made it back to Pronkville.
''I think he felt good and he looked good,'' Wedge said of Hafner, the Indians' designated hitter. ''We'll get him back out there Saturday, and hopefully he can go out (on a rehab assignment) next week.''

Browns Update:
Kamerion Wimbley is trying out some new moves for '08. I can't wait to see what he can do now that he has some guys in front of him... Travis Wilson is giving credit to Joe Jurevicius for his improved play... and this Steve Sanders is turning into a favorite of mine, and not just because he's a fellow Bowling Green alum.

Cavs Update: LeBron seems to like the trade for Mo Williams (and I'm loving another article from Brian Windhorst). And Williams insists he can play defense.
"I'm excited about the opportunity to play here. I can reiterate, as far as defense is concerned, I know what it takes to win. It's no secret. It takes defense to win." - Mo Williams

At least we know Mo's D will be better than one former Cavalier...