Friday, September 12, 2008

Will they get over the hump?

It seems like lately the Tribe just hasn't been able to get over that hump. Not that .500 is some major accomplishment, but they have crept close to the mark a few times only to fall down again. It happened again last night with a 6-3 loss in Baltimore. The loss leaves them at 71-74, instead of 72-73 with Cliff Lee on the mound tonight. I just want them to get back to .500 or better to make this season easier to swallow. And considering how far they have come to get back to this point, I think it would be a major letdown if they don't at least end the season with 81 wins.

Last night's loss again had the Indians leaving runs on the bases. A total of seven runners were left stranded, with the worst coming when Franklin Gutierrez grounded into a double play in the 5th with the bases loaded and one out after the Orioles giftwrapped two runs to tie it 3-3. Zach Jackson was able to give the Tribe 6 innings, but he did allow 4 earned runs and is still searching for his first Indians victory at 0-3.

And speaking of young Tribe starters, how about the job that Scott Lewis did in his major league debut on Wednesday night? I should have wrote something about this yesterday, but work just seems to keep getting in my way this week... but Lewis was incredible in the Indians' 7-1 win. 8 IP, 3H, 0ER, 3K, and 67 strikes on 97 pitches - those numbers speak for themselves. The only downer on the night was that Eric Wedge didn't leave Lewis out there to finish the job in the ninth. How often do you get to pitch a complete shutout in your major league debut? Well, Lewis will obviously never get that chance again... who knows how his career will turn out, but Wednesday night's gem was one to remember.

Lewis's MLB debut should give Tribe fans even more hope for '09

Other Tribe Notes: Mark Shapiro is excited about 2009 and says Eric Wedge isn't going anywhere. I'm sure that will probably irk a lot of Tribe fans, but I think Wedge has done an incredible job after all the injuries and trades to keep this team fighting. He's had to juggle his starting line-up and pitching rotation all year long and the team has responded well after the trades.,.Wedge is also being careful with starter Anthony Reyes, which makes Saturday's double header with the Royals even more difficult... A few more tidbits from Lewis's great debut... Cliff Lee (21-2, 2.28 ERA) is on the mound for the good guys tonight and I will happily be in attendance, hopefully not dodging raindrops. I hope a few other brave souls show up tonight to watch this incredible Cy Young season from Lee.

Browns Update: With the Browns' Sunday-nighter against the arch rivals from the armPIT of America looming, they got some good news on Thursday. I'm a huge Cribbs guy and I know how he can change a game so this is great news for me. Also, it looks as if the Steelers are trying to bait us into false hope that their QB won't be ready. Trust me, he'll be on the field Sunday night. Tony Grossi knows the key to beating this team will be getting to Big Ben.

Will we see some of the 'Flash' package from Chud on Sunday night?

I honestly don't know what to expect out of the Browns on Sunday. Nothing would really surprise me. Their defense worries me, especially against a quarterback like Roethlisberger. But I also know the offense just can't play as poorly as they did against the Cowboys. I fully expect an aerial assault on the Steelers defense, with Braylon looking to atone for the drops against Dallas. Remember, I'm not in the business of predicting and I never gamble myself because I'm so bad at it... but I just have a feeling the Browns will finally get over the mental hurdle of Big Ben and the Steelers. I'm going with Browns 33, Steelers 21.

Cavs Update: We sort of got to know Mo Williams in an online chat yesterday and I'm liking him more already:
Demetri (Cleveland, OH): Is it true that you listen to "In The Air Tonight" by Phil Collins before every game? If so, I'd just like to say that that is incredible.
Mo Williams: That is true.

Any NBA player so willing to admit they are a Phil Collins fan (me too) and that they listen to that song before every game is OK in my book. I'm expecting big things from Mo this year, both on and off the court. The guy is entertaining.