Wednesday, April 30, 2008

More of the Same

The Tribe lost last night's game to the Mariners (7-2) the same ways they've been losing them all season. Let's run down the checklist, shall we?
  • Adequate starting pitching wasted by anemic offense? Check
  • Lack of clutch hitting? Check
  • Fielding mistakes turn into unearned run(s)? Check
  • Late bullpen collapse by the closer? Check
  • Failure to pound inferior opponent starting pitcher? Check
  • Bad luck on balls hit in play by the Indians, better luck by the opposition? Check

FWIW, the domain was available when I checked last night. Anyone game?

That's all I've got. It's too disheartening now to elaborate.

Andy Marte Watch:

Andy Marte played. He made several really fine barehanded plays, but ole'd a hard-hit ground ball that led to a run. He went 0 for 4 at the plate and hit the ball hard twice right at people and hit the ball weakly twice. He was not asked to bunt, nor was he pinch-hit for. SUMM played first base in place of Garko, who was given a mental health day.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


There's an old maxim that says, "It's better to be lucky than good." That's okay as far as it goes, but it hardly goes far enough. It is best, of course, to be good AND lucky. It is worst to be bad and unluky. The FEDBU, as they pretty much have been throughout their storied history, were lucky last night and the Indians were mostly bad and thoroughly unlucky.

The Tribe dropped a 5-2 decision to the FEDBU, despite a fine pitching performance from Aaron Laffey, because of one bad inning where the FEDBU scored 4 runs while hitting one ball out of the infield. It's particularly annoying to have opponents score runs on crappy, lucky, seeing-eye infield hits, primarily because it means that your pitcher is doing his job - he's pitching so well that opponents can't get good wood on the ball. That being said, the Tribe really only have themselves to blame for not teeing off on the husk of Mike Mussina. They had the chance to have a big inning to blow the game wide open and only got two runs. It wasn't enough.

Oh yeah - Laffey had a no-hitter going before surrendering the first two garbage infield hits.

This represents the second straight game where the offense failed to do anything. The previous day they wasted a gem of a game by CC Sabathia and ended up totally shut down by Chien-Ming Wang and losing 1-0 on a home run by Melky Cabrera. Yeah, that's right, Melky Cabrera. Let that rattle around your innards for awhile and then go get some Zantac.

So much for that 5-game winning streak. The total offensive collapse of the last two games leaves the Tribe at 12-14, with Seattle coming to town. The good news is that it might give Shapiro some face time with his favorite trade patsy, Bill Bavasi.

Mojo Watch:
Indians Pitching:

Indians Hitting:

Andy Marte Watch:

I'm beginning to wonder if Andy Marte is really some sort of advanced three-dimensional hologram that the Indians are testing for scientific purposes. This might explain their reluctance to put him in games.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Back to .500

I know it's been a few days, but I have been extremely busy at work, and then at home in the evening preparing to go to Milwaukee for a few days to visit family and friends.

It's early Sunday morning, and my "niece" Foxy, a 12-week old calico kitten belonging to my brother- and sister-in-law is romping around their living room.

I saw most of the Kansas City series, except the end of the third game, which was too darn late. Playing Kansas City seemed to be good for what was ailing the Tribe. CC looked like CC again. The balls were bouncing in play instead of being hit right at someone or being just foul.

Cliff Lee's Beta Unit continues to perform unbelieveably well while Cliff is on Rylos 4 defending the frontier against Xur and the Ko-Dan Armada, shutting out the Royals on Saturday night.

And now they've taken the first two in the FEDBU series to guarantee no worse than a split. Jeremy Sowers pitched well and the Indians gritted out a comeback yesterday. Age and Treachery held the FEDBU down far enough that the Tribe could ride Jhonny's clutch hitting on Friday night.

So today it's a battle of aces - Wang v. Sabathia. Whuch CC shows up - Good CC or Bad CC? I think good CC is back, folks.

Mojo Watch:

Everyone: 5 wins in a row including two over the FEDBU? Plenty of Elvis to go around.

Andy Marte Watch:
Andy got into the last game of the KC series, were he went 0 for 2 with another sacrifice bunt. He saw mop up duty in the first game of the KC series , the 15-1 laugher. Other than that, he's seen a lot of this:

Monday, April 21, 2008

Lost Weekend

The Indians lost yet another series to a bad team, this time the Minnesota Twins in the Abomination Dome.

The weekend started out promising, as Cliff Lee pitched 8 scoreless and Rafael Perez mopped up a 4-0 shutout on Friday night. Then the Abomination Dome black magic kicked in, as the Indians couldn't buy a break Saturday or Sunday. Saturday, they hammered Nick Blackburn, but you would never know by the box score, as they got their hits with two outs, or smoked the ball right at somebody, or get jobbed by the turf at the Abomination Dome. Westbrook made one bad pitch to Justin Morneau after having a double play grounder glance off the heel of his glove to stake the Twins to a 2-0 lead, and David Dellucci gave the Twinkies a run because of his failure to play two balls correctly in the Abomination Dome lights/roof of horrors. The end result was a 3-0 shutout.

Sunday was perhaps worse. The Indians made Scott Baker look like an ace, wasting the second straight fine performance from Age and Treachery in a 2-1 10-inning loss. Besides the general inability of the Tribe to get a clutch hit off pretty weak pitching, the worst part was that we let the Twins best hitter beat us both games. Why would the Indians pitch to Justin Morneau with a base open with the game on the line and two outs? Walk him, load the bases, pitch to Delmon Young. No brainer.

Quick Facts:
  • The Indians gave up 5 runs and lost the series.
  • The Indians have played 7 series and are 1-5-1, having not won a series since the very first of the season.
  • The Indians are last in the American League in batting average, slugging percentage and total bases.
  • The Indians have allowed 90 runs and scored 79.
  • Only the Baltimore Orioles have allowed more home runs than Indians' pitching.
  • The Indians are last in the major leagues in batting average from the 7th inning on, batting a miserable .200, which indicates that teams are making adjustments on the Tribe and they are not making adjustments at the plate.
  • The Indians pitching from the 7th inning on has an ERA of 5.09. Only the Tigers have a higher ERA after the 7th. More importantly, their WHIP from the 7th inning on is 1.74, which means that nearly two runners are getting on base every inning at the end of games. This is the worst WHIP after 6 in the American League. For the first 6 innings of a game, the Indians pitching ERA is 4.18, 8th in the AL.

Right now, this team is failing at every aspect of the game. They are not hitting early. They are not hitting late. Late inning pitching has been abominable. How long does this team get to be this bad before something is done? Is it time to start the Fire Derek Shelton campaign? These bad early season starts are becoming routine under Eric Wedge - is a Fire Eric Wedge campaign an overreaction at this point?

Mojo Watch:

Cliff Lee:

Age and Treachery: I'd give him more mojo if the team would stop blowing his great pitching efforts.

Everyone else: Joan Rivers has more Elvis than this team right now. They can't hit their way out of a wet paper bag. They've scored 1 run in 21 innings off guys who aren't exactly aces.

Andy Marte Watch:




Friday, April 18, 2008

Hit Parade

Cleveland 11, Detroit 1

Lots of hits going on at Progressive Field last night. Even the pitchers were getting into the act. The tally:

Cleveland: 11 runs, 13 hits, 2 hit batsmen
Grady Sizemore: 1 hit
Jamey Carroll: 2 hits
Pronk: 1 hit (big fly)
Victor Martinez: 2 hits
Jhonny Peralta: 1 hhit
Ryan Garko: 2 hits (1 big fly)
Franklin Gutierrez: 2 hits
Jason Michaels: 2 hits (this brings his season total to 5) with 3 RBI
SUMM: 1 hit
Fausto Carmona: 2 hit batsmen (Santiago, Sheffield)

Detroit: 7 hits, 1 run, 3 hit batsmen
Clete Thomas: 1 hit
Ramon Santiago: 1 hit
Magglio Ordonez: 1 hit
Miguel Cabrera: 1 hit
Carlos Guillen: 1 hit
Edgar Renteria: 1 hit
Brandon Inge: 1 hit
Justin Verlander: 2 hit batsmen (Garko, Michaels)
Bobby Seay: 1 hit batsman (Sizemore)

Among the key takeaways:
  • New name, same house of horrors for Justin Verlander: 5.0 innings, 5 runs allowed. His career numbers in Progressive Field remain pretty hideous.
  • An Indians pitcher finally retaliated after Tribe hitters got plunked. After Garko's home run in the bottom of the 5th, Verlander (who has a history of hitting Tribe batsmen) plunked Jason Michaels (Jason Michaels? Jason Michaels! Jason Michaels?) in the back. It was the second batter that Verlander had hit on the day. Carmona hit Ramon Santiago to open the top of the 6th. Apparently, this was not enough payback, because Carmona then proceeded to drill Gary Sheffield. Hard. Although the MCK got a run out of the inning, they squandered the opportunity for a big inning when Sheffield inexplicably failed to slide at home plate on a Carlos Guillen single and was tagged out by Victor Martinez.
  • Pronk - opposite field home run. Really good sign that things are turning around for the big guy.
  • The Beaded One - Mental Health Day.
  • The Motor City Kitties - still in last place in the AL Central
  • Indians relief pitching looked pretty good, with the exception of Jensen Lewis, who walked 2 in 1/3 of an inning. Kobayashi and Betancourt each went 1 scoreless inning. It sure is easier to pitch with a 10-run lead.
  • The homestand: 2-5 (ouch). The Indians now embark on a 6-game road trip to Minnesota and Kansas City, presenting the opportunity to make up some ground against the teams above them in the AL Central standings (wow, did it feel weird to type this sentence).

Andy Marte Watch:

Not even mop up duty.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Everything Looks Like a Hammer When You Feel Like a Nail

Cleveland 2, Detroit 13

Among the bad things that happened, and there were many, I'm not sure which is the worst:
  • CC Sabathia's continuing implosion: 4 innings, 9 runs
  • Allowing a 26-year-old journeyman making his second major league start to throw 6.2 innings of 1-hit baseball.

David Dellucci hit his first home run of the season in the first inning, staking the Tribe to a 1-0 lead. That was the highlight. It was all downhill from there.

Remember last week when we were mocking the winless Tigers and their massive payroll and inability to score runs? Those were good times. Good times. They seem so far away. At least Pudge is still awful, going 0 for 6. Good thing for Pudge that the Tigers' best-hitting catcher is needed to play centerfield. Frankly, I'm amazed that Detroit picked up his option.

However, as bad as Pudge's .189 is for the MCK, it is absolutely torrid compared to Jason Michaels (.091), SUMM (.146), Asdrubal Cabrera (.173) and Franklin Gutierrez (.182). Right now, the Indians couldn't hit a beachball thrown to the plate by my 6-year-old niece.

And, as bad as things are, we still have a chance to win today to keep the MCK in the AL Central basement. The bad news is that if we lose, we have to look up at them. Carmona vs. Verlander.

Andy Marte Watch

Marte entered the game in mop up duty and made a nifty play at third and had two pretty good at bats with nothing to show for it, including a scorching line drive caught by the left fielder.

Mojo Watch

David Dellucci:

Everyone else who played last night:

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

No Bulls in the Pen

Once again, the Indians come from ahead to lose to the Red Sox, this time 5-3

The Good:
  • Age and Treachery went 6 innings, striking out 6 and giving up 1 run, leaving with the lead. If Age and Treachery can keep the Tribe in games, they have a shot at turning this thing around
  • Victor Martinez went 3/5 with 2 RBI
  • Manny Ramirez got plunked
  • Franklin Gutierrez stole two bases
  • After squandering the lead they came back to tie the game.

The Bad:

  • The Indians' bullpen squandered the lead left to them by Age and Treachery
  • Jorge Julio walked 2 to start his stint relieving Age and Treachery. Both scored.
  • Jensen Lewis pitched well in getting out of a bases loaded jam in the 8th, and then looked good striking out Jed Lowrie to start the 9th. Emboldened by striking out Jed Lowrie, he tried throwing the same pitch, in the same place, to Jason Veritek. The first two times, Veritek could not hit it. The third time he parked it in the left field bleachers for the winning run.
  • Franklin Gutierrez was picked off second base.

The Ugly:

  • The Indians' ability to get clutch hits has turned up missing.
  • Jason Michaels is now batting .097 on the year. Last night, Jed Lowrie, in his major league debut, went 1 for 3 and drove in three runs. In this one game, Lowrie has now passed Jason Michaels total RBI output for the season.
  • The Indians' record on this homestand: 1-4
  • The Motor City Kitties won for the second day in a row, running their record to 4-10, 1 game behind the Indians. Guess who's coming to town tonight, as the battle for the AL Central basement commences for real?

Andy Marte Watch:

Actually, with a knuckleballer going against the Tribe, this is probably a good thing.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

He Who Shall Be Put on the Disabled List and Who Shall Close

He Who Shall Not Be Named was put on the disabled list today. Nasty Mastny recalled to take the spot. Who will close? Take your pick:
  • Rafael Betancourt - Indians' best relief pitcher. Has been saved for high leverage outs as a primo set-up guy. Closing experience earlier in his career not memorable.
  • Jorge Julio - former major league closer. Has a history of throwing gas, but not knowing exactly where it's going.
  • Masa Kobayashi - Japanese league career saves leader. Major league work so far not particularly distinguished, but it's early yet to make a call on him
  • Nasty Mastny - Has closing experience, but the fact that he didn't even make this year's club out of spring training certainly weighs against him.
  • Rafael Perez - Has the stuff. Lefty. Has been somewhat erratic so far this season.

It's anyone's guess right now. I'm betting that it will be Betancourt, with Julio as an outside shot.

It's Starting to Look a Lot Like 2006

Game 13: Boston 6, Cleveland 4

Pronk Needs You has been somewhat of a Joe Borowski apologist over the last year or so. Sure, his saves can induce one to churn up enough stomach acid for most people to digest an entire turkey. But, for the most part he's done the job. I've even given him the nickname "Joe Knows Closing" as a sort of tribute to his ability to get the job done despite his obvious limitations.

Last night, however, has taken me off the Joe Knows Closing bandwagon. Last night's game was the sort of soul-crushing torture that can drag an entire season down with it. Jake Westbrook was sharp, and the Indians were up 4-3 going into the 9th, and it was time for Borowski (hereafter referred to no longer as "Joe Knows Closing," but rather as "He Who Shall Not Be Named") to shut the door.

Here is a recap of the comedy of errors that ensued:
  • Julio Lugo started the 9th by grounding a ball right to the third baseman. Except that Blake, the third baseman was not there, because he was guarding the line to take away the double. Dellucci, being slow and having bad wheels, was slow getting to the ball, and, besides that, he has a Coco Crisp-like arm, and so he was unable to keep Lugo from getting to second base on a double that should have been an easy out.
  • Coco Crisp bunted the runner to third. One out.
  • Dustin PUNKroia hit a sacrifice fly to left. Dellucci, having a Coco Crisp-like arm, had no chance to throw him out at the plate. Two outs. Tie game.
  • David Ortiz hit a shallow pop down the left field line. Unfortunately, they had him played to pull the ball to right. David Dellucci, being slow and having bad wheels (sensing a pattern here?) was unable to run it down for what should have been the third out of the inning.
  • Manny Ramirez then parked an 80 mph fastball in the left field bleachers, as he has done on so many occasions in the past, with a nice long pose at the plate admiring his game-winning shot.
  • For good measure, Casey Blake then misplayed a Kevin Youkilis shot down the line into a double before Rafael Perez came on to strike out JD Drew to end the inning.

The Indians went relatively meekly against Jonathan Riverdance in the bottom of the 9th. Pronk hit a shot to deep center that would have gone out in August, but in April was just a warning track flyout.

There's plenty of blame to go around and Wedge must take a good portion of it. Clearly, playing Blake on the line to prevent a double was a poor decision that backfired, and, I would guess, backfires more often than not. Michaels was unavailable as a defensive sub for Dellucci because he started the game and Dellucci pinch-hit for him in the 5th inning (and struck out against Julian Tavarez with the bases loaded, I add here for effect). He could have put Blake in left field and brought in Marte or Jamey Carroll to hold down third base - either one is clearly a better fielder than Blake at this point, and Blake is clearly a better left fielder than Dellucci. Wedge badly mishandled the end of this game, and should be held accountable.

--4/16/2008 update-- It has been pointed out to me that Blake has never played left field. I retract the argument regarding putting Blake in left and someone else at 3B. It has also been pointed out to me that Dellucci apparently by the statistical metrics has decent range. It is hard to prove this based on his performance thus far with the Tribe. I have a hard time believing a 35-year-old coming off missing the better part of last year with a hamstring injury has good range, but the metrics are what they are. Who am I to argue? I still reserve the right to be disgusted with the "no doubles" defense any time I see it played and upset that we were burned by playing it. Back to your regularly scheduled programming.----

He Who Shall Not Be Named has clearly lost speed on his "fastball" (which was never very fast to begin with) and is unable to throw it at the major league level. He must either be sent to the DL with an "injury" and sent to rehab somewhere until he can recover it, or he must be DFA'd. Today. He cannot close another game for this team. After last night's loss (coupled with the Motor City Kitties' comeback win over the Twins), the Indians are 5-8, 2.0 games ahead of Detroit at 3-10, and pretty much guaranteed to lose tonight with Paul Byrd on the mound against knuckleballer Wakefield, who is going to wreck the Indian's bats for the Detroit series to follow.

The sad thing is that the complete collapse of the 9th inning overshadowed everything that happened in the previous eight. Jake Westbrook is back, giving up only two runs, one of which scored when lucky dillweed Dustin Punkroia hit one that went off Westbrook's glove. The Indians failed to put the game away in the 5th when both Garko and Dellucci both struck out with the bases loaded.

It's starting to look a lot more like 2006 than 2007 for the Indians right now. Their bullpen is a disaster. Key veterans are not producing. They keep finding new and inventive ways to lose games. They need to turn it around fast, or it will become 2006 all over again. The good thing is that there is a lot of season left. The bad thing is that if they continue to lose in inexplicable ways, then things will snowball and they may wake up to find the fans angry and the season lost.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Cursing the Yankees?

If one really wanted to curse the Yankees, why wouldn't one bury a Cubs jersey?

Cliff Lee Saves a Nearly Lost Weekend

After the Tribe's ace and ace-in-waiting both turned in forgettable performances, last year's scapegoat Cliff Lee stopped the bleeding with a shut-down performance in the snow. On to the quick hits:

Game 10: Cleveland 7, Oakland 9

I didn't see the game. I was visiting friends in the Cincinnati area. CC got pummeled, giving up 9 runs on 12 hits in 3.1 innings. The Indians added 6 pretty meaningless runs in the 8th to make it respectable. The good news is that the bullpen shut Oakland down for the last 5.2 innings. Jhonny Peralta homered.

Andy Marte Watch:

Game 11: Cleveland 3, Oakland 7

I didn't see this game, either. My wife and I were at the symphony. At any rate, I'm glad I didn't see it. Fausto Carmona didn't have it. He gave up 3 runs in 3.1 innings, walking 8. The bullpen stopped the bleeding and kept the Tribe in the game until the 7th inning, when Rafael Perez gave up a 3-run shot to Bobby Crosby which broke the game open. The A's ran Lenny DiNardo out to the mound and the Tribe only managed 2 runs in 5 innings. If you can't beat a AAAA pitcher like Lenny DiNardo, you deserve to lose.

Andy Marte Watch:

Game 12: Cleveland 7, Oakland 1

Cliff Lee posted his second solid effort in a row, pitching 8 innings of 2-hit baseball in a game which featured windy, cold conditions, including swirling snow. The Tribe manufactured three runs early in the game, and then broke it open with 4 runs in the 8th.

Andy Marte Watch:


Indians manager Eric Wedge seems to be trying his darnedest to screw up Andy Marte. Marte started at third, and came up in the third inning for his first at bat after Jamey Carroll got hit by a pitch. Here's a potential power hitter that you're supposedly trying to get untracked, and hasn't played in a week and in his first at bat, Wedge asks him to bunt. Marte fouled off two bunt attempts, and then swung meekly at a breaking ball, striking out.

In his next at-bat, in the fifth inning, Jamey Carroll led off the inning with a single and then it's deja vu all over again! Eric Wedge asked his young power hitter to bunt. Again. This time, Marte got the a good bunt down and pitcher Chad Gaudin threw the ball wildly down the first-base line, allowing Carroll to advance to third.

Marte came up in the sixth inning with the bases loaded in two outs, and was finally allowed to swing the bat for the first time in the game. He struck out.

The next time Marte came up, in the 8th inning, the bases were loaded with one out in the 8th. Here's a great chance for your young power hitter to swing the bat and gain some confidence. The bases are loaded with a chance to break the game open, it's the 8th inning, and your pitcher is rolling. Nothing to lose, right? Let the kid swing the bat. Instead, Wedge pinch-hit The Beaded One for Marte. The Beaded One struck out. Grady Sizemore and David Dellucci followed Cabrera with back to back doubles to break the game open.

How are we going to know if Marte can hit in the clutch if Wedge pinch hits for him in nearly every clutch situation. How is Marte going to get in any kind of groove or make any kind of adjustments to the major leagues if he plays once a week, and when he plays, he's not really allowed to swing the bat in meaningful situations? Wedge is mishandling Andy Marte. Badly.

Mojo Watch:

CC Sabathia: Right now, CC has no Elvis. If he wants somebody to show him the money, he needs to start being money on the mound.

Fausto Carmona:
The Indians showed Fausto the money, and he rewarded them in his first game as a rich man by spreading the love, giving everybody a free ride on the Walk To First Base Express. He'll come around.

David Dellucci: Dellucci seems to be coming around. His average is up to .273, and he's put up some clutch hits in the last couple days.

Jason Michaels: Still ain't got any Elvis. He has lots of hair, though. Michaels had a hit Saturday to increase his batting average on the year at .111.

Pronk: Pronk went 2 for 5 with 2 RBI.

Ryan Garko: Garko is batting .325 on the year so far, with OBP of .460., including 10 walks. So far, he's been the Tribe's best offensive weapon, slugging .500 with an OPS of .960 with 1 homer and 6 walks. If we could get guys on ahead of him, we might score some runs.

SUMM: Since his Opening Day heroics, Super Utility Mountain Man Casey Blake has let his average drop to .143 and he's already made 3 errors.

The Indians continue their homestand with the only visit of the year from Boston, who comes in for a two-game set. Yes, the Red Sox only play two games here, while we play 4 in Boston in September. This is just one example of how the people who make the schedule for MLB have gone to great lengths to hose the Tribe, loading them up with home games in the coldest months of the year, in addition to giving them fewer home games against a rival with whom they may be competing for a playoff spot.

All told, considering how poorly the Indians have played at times, they are fortunate to be sitting at 5-7, and only 2.5 games out of first place. In the schadenfreude department, Sunday's win puts them three games ahead of the Motor City Kitties, who are now 2-10. It's no more Mr. Nice Guy from Detroit manager Smokey McChimney (aka Jim Leyland), who apparently went nuclear following their latest loss, an 11-0 spanking by the Whine Sox. The Motor City Kitties have scored 33 runs through 12 games and given up 78.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Travel Day

Sorry, crimestoppers, but real life has kept me from posting regarding the last two games until now. If only I could find some way to get myself paid for doing this. Anyway, today is a travel day for the Tribe, as they come back from a dramatic 2-4 West Coast swing, having split the last two with the Angels.
  • Tuesday night the Indians took some measure of revenge for Toriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Hunter's walk-off slam of the night before when Pronk smashed a two-run shot in the top of the 9th off the Angels of Orange County Which is Kinda Close to Los Angeles closer Justin Speier to win 4-3 behind a complete game from Jake Westbrook. This game was notable for an Andy Marte sighting. Marte came in to play the field after Ryan Garko was lifted for a pinch runner, which slid Casey Blake to first base.

  • Wednesday afternoon, Paul Byrd thought the early start time meant that he was throwing batting practice instead of pitching in a game that really counted. Age and Treachery could not fool the Angels who teed off on him for 3 homers, including a Denny's signature breakfast from Mike Napoli. The Indians were down 6-nil before they suddenly came to the realization that instead of a good pitcher, they were facing Dusin Moseley, and beat him up for 4 runs in the 6th to at least make the game interesting. That didn't last very long as Jensen Lewis gave up a three-run shut to Vlad the Impaler in the 7th. After that, it was all over but the plunking, as Justin Speier, in a blatant display of poor sportsmanship, hit Pronk on his bad elbow in the 9th inning. We shall see if the Indians have the cojones to return the favor when the Angels of Orange County Which is Kinda Close to Los Angeles come to town later this year.

In other news, even as I write this the Indians are holding a press conference to announce that they have locked up Fausto Carmona to a contract extension guaranteed through 2011 with three club option years that will likely keep Carmona in Cleveland until 2014. Huge. Totally Huge.

Oh, and no more lolcats for the near future. The Motor City Kitties have finally won, to up their record to 1-7.

Mojo Watch:

Mark Shapiro: Fausto Carmona through 2014! Enough said.

Travis Hafner: The game-winning shot off Justin Speier was a huge display of Pronkitude, and perhaps getting hit by Speier in that last at-bat will reawaken the Incredible Pronk.

Age and Treachery: Right now, Paul Byrd, like Michael J. Fox, has got No Elvis.

Jake Westbrook: If the Tribe could have managed more than 1 run off John Danks last week, Westbrook would be sitting at 2-0.
David Dellucci: The left field position is now off the schneid, with Dellucci registering 2 hits to raise his average over the Mendoza line to a smokin' .231.
Jason Michaels: Michaels right now has No Elvis. In order to see his .048 batting average, you need one of these:

Franklin Gutierrez: Since his incredible opening day, Frank the Tank is 1 for 22. He was benched in Anaheim for Jason Michaels - against a right handed pitcher.

Andy Marte Watch:

Game 8:

Mop up duty. Field only, 9th inning no at bat. Started nifty double play.
Game 9: