Showing posts with label Age and Treachery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Age and Treachery. Show all posts

Sunday, June 1, 2008

At Least There Was Probably Some Really Good Barbecue

When we last left our intrepid Tribesmen, they were heading to Kansas City for some baseball and some barbecue.

At least, we can only hope they all got some good barbecue, because the baseball was pretty sad. The quick recap:

  • Friday - Andy Marte and Casey Blake both play. Andy Marte extends his hitting streak to 4 games. Cliff Lee gets knocked around a little bit but get saved by 2 homers by Sizemore and 1 by Blake and the Indians win, 5-4.
  • Saturday - Andy Marte does not play. Casey Blake does. CC Sabathia has, as Steve Buffum calls it, The Inning of Crap. The Indians fail to get their offense going against Kyle Davies, who has just been called up from AAA. Indians lose 4-2. Kansas City losing streak ends at 12 games,
  • Sunday - Age and Treachery starts for the Tribe against Brian Bannister. Youth and Inexperience hit Age and Treachery pretty hard, while Bannister shuts the Tribe down. Final score - 6-1 Kansas City. KC win streak now at 2, and the Indians have lost another series, their 5th in a row. Andy Marte plays, goes hitless ending his hit streak at 4 games. Casey Blake does not play.
More fun facts:
  • When Andy Marte plays: Indians are 11-5. When Blake and Marte both play - 6-4.
  • Pronk is now on the DL with a shoulder injury which he's apparently been battling since very early in the season. Maybe he'll get sent out on rehab and get to devour some Eastern League pitching for a few days and get back in a groove.
  • The Indians' silence about injuries to both Pronk and He Who Shall Not Be Named is extremely troubling - it's as if they are trying to become the New England Patriots or the Denver Broncos of the Major Leagues (that's not a good thing - both of these teams are notorious for being tight-lipped about player injuries). This really makes me wonder what we're not hearing about Victor Martinez - his lack of power continues to be puzzling, and I cannot help but think that there is some physical reason why his power has vanished.
  • Welcome back, Shin Soo Choo. When Hafner got shut down, Choo got brought up.

Onwards to Texas, having lost 2 in a row and 12 of our last 15 (to the Reds, Whine Sox, Rangers and Royals). This is not the way a contending team performs. Aaron Laffey tries to right the ship against Vicente Padilla tomorrow night.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

In Case You Were Expecting Better, I Remind You That We Root For a Team From Cleveland

The slide continues, this time with the Indians losing a very winnable extra-inning game to the Chicago Whine Sox, who are acting like the only team interested in winning the AL Central.

The final score was 6-3, with the final act of utter humiliation being Scott Elarton giving up a two-run double to light-hitting, seldom used outfielder Brian Anderson in the 12th to give the Whine Sox an insurmountable three-run lead. Welcome back to Cleveland, Scott. You'll fit right in with the 2008 Cleveland Indians bullpen.

Age and Treachery pitched well enough to win for a team with a major league offense, giving up 3 runs in 6.2 innings.

The Indians pretty much lost the game in the third inning when they managed to run themselves out of a big inning, with Ben Francisco breaking for home from third and getting caught in a rundown with nobody out on a weak infield grounder in front of him, followed by a strikeout and and a ground out.

The Looch looked like a major league hitter for this game, going 2/3 with a first-inning homer. So, with that anomaly out of the way, we can expect him to swing at hallucinations for the next 5 or 6 games.

So, now we're 5.5 games behind the Whine Sox, having lost 4 straight to them and 9 of our last 10 games overall. That's right - the Tribe has lost 9 of their last 10 games.

In other news, it appears someone has registered firederekshelton.com, though there's nothing but a placeholder site at that location.

Were you hoping that uber-prospect Adam Miller would come up soon to rescue us from He Who Shall Not Be Named (who tightroped through a non-save opportunity last night)? Sorry, pal, your dreams are deferred - he has been placed on the DL.

Rafael Betancourt, on the other hand, has looked pretty good since the weight of the 9th inning has been lifted from his shoulders. Senor Slow may very well be best suited to putting out brush fires and not closing out the game.



Even Indiana Jones couldn't find Andy Marte, who still has not played since May 15. My brother and sister-in-law came into town this weekend for a wedding and we saw the film yesterday morning. There was more action in 5 minutes of this movie than the Tribe bats have provided since the beginning of the season. Like the Tribe bats, however, most of the action was pretty gratuitous and with little plan and purpose.

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


Saturday


Sunday

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.

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:

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

All He Does is Throw Strikes

Thoughts on the ALCS Game 4:
  • Who knew that Paul Byrd was such a big game pitcher? All he does is throw strike 1, then strike 2, and then make you swing at his pitch. It's Pitching 101, and the old guy can do it through the lineup twice. It's age and treachery overcoming youth and skill. He beat the Yankees, and for 5 innings, confounded the Red Sox. If the Indians had not batted for over a half hour in the bottom of the fifth, allowing Byrd to get cold, I wonder whether Byrd might not have been good for another two innings.
  • The problem with knuckleball pitchers without another good pitch is that they are prone to hang that one knuckleball that gets clobbered. Tim Wakefield hung that one pitch, Casey Blake, Mountain Man, clobbered it, and then the wheels fell off for the Sawx in the bottom of the fifth. Manny Delcarmen didn't help much by giving up a three-run homer to Jhonny Peralta that pretty well sealed the deal.
  • What difference does a stolen base make? I was surprised to see Lofton steal second base with the Tribe up 6-0, because typical baseball etiquette has been that if you are up by that much then stealing is showing the other team up. Lofton scored to make the game 7-0. When the Sawx got their back-to-back-to-back shots in the 6th, the difference between a four-run game and a three-run game meant the Tribe could keep Senor Slow in the game in the 9th because it was not a save situation.
  • You just went back-to-back-to-back out of the yard, Manny Ramirez! Please admire your shot and showboat around the bases for your adoring fans! The fact that you're still down 4 runs should make no difference! You can argue that it's just Manny being Manny, but sometimes, Manny being Manny is actually Manny being a clueless egotistical jerk.
  • I thought the Sawx defense was supposed to be better than the Tribe's. After both Youk and Pedroia managed to muff a foul pop by Asdrubal Cabrera that might have settled the team down in the fifth, Wakefield then muffed one up the box. If they make either of those plays on Cabrera, the game is different. And Youk made a bad error (one he got charged with) on an attempted pickoff play that was lucky not to have hurt the Sawx in the 6th. So far, the Indians and Sawx have only been charged with 1 error.
  • What's that giant sucking sound I hear? No, Ross Perot, it's not NAFTA sucking American jobs south of the border - it's the bottom of the Sawx lineup. Once you get past Lowell, it's pretty much automatic outs until you get back around to Youkilis.
  • In the battle of personal catchers, Shoppach went 1 for 3, plus getting hit by a pitch and scoring a run in the pivotal fifth inning. Mirabelli went 0 for 2 and was pulled for Varitek as soon as possible after Wakefield was lifted.
  • Pronk got the golden sombrero, striking out 4 times in 4 at bats. Mercifully, Cabrera ended the 8th inning by grounding into a fielder's choice before Pronk could take the mucho gigante golden sombrero in his 5th at bat. Pronk seemed overmatched by the knuckleball. He's hitting .200 for the series, with an OPS of .694. And the Indians are up 3 games to 1.
  • Gho Jhonny Gho! Ihf thhe Ihndians whin thhis sheries, Jhonny ihs clhearly the AhLCS MhVP. Jhonny's OhPS - 1.h213.
  • The Tribe's postseason veterans have been getting it done. Lofton - key homer in Game 3. Trot - game winning hit in Game 2. Byrd - winning pitcher Game 4. Joe Knows Closing - Save Game 3, Finished Game 2. Sabathia - well, we'll give him a pass until tomorrow.
  • Which CC shows up tomorrow? Big Game CC of 2007, calmly throwing strikes and unruffled by bad umpiring or facing Johan Santana, or Postseason CC, who is a mess of flop sweat because he can't throw a strike. If CC shows command of the strike zone and command of himself tomorrow, I think the Red Sox go home for good. Even so, I like the pitching matchups for Game 6 and 7 in Boston in case the Indians can't finish it up at home.
  • Dane Cook Must Go.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Age, Treachery and Facial Hair

"Age and Treachery will overcome Youth and Skill" -- popular T-shirt

The Indians' version of Age and Treachery, Paul Byrd, bamboozled the Minnesota Twins on 4 hits to pitch a complete game shutout, using only 99 pitches to go the distance. The Twinkies were completely off-balance all night, grounding out weakly and popping out.

The Tribe managed just enough offense off Carlos Silva. A clean-shaven Casey Blake, sacrificing his beard for the good of the team, had 2 RBI, and Pronk hit a mammoth clout off the facing of the upper deck in right field. The Indians actually had some timely hitting, getting 2 of the 4 runs with two outs. One run was the direct result of Pronk breaking up a double play.

The suddenly surging White Sox, fresh off of a sweep of the Motor City Kitties, will host the Tribe tonight, with Westbrook going against Danks.

In other news, utility infielder Mike Rouse was DFA'd after the game. It's not known who his replacement will be. Possibilities include Joe Inglett, Asdrubal Cabrera, and someone off the waiver wire. It is unlikely to be Luis Rivas, who is currently on the minor league DL. Rouse, a reasonably solid fielder, has made several critical fielding mistakes lately, and was hitting about at the Neifi Perez line, which is several notches below the Mendoza line.

Still no word on the ulitimate disposition of Fernando Cabrera. Hector Luna got picked up by the Blue Jays. Go figure.

Mojo Watch

Cleveland Indians:

The Tribe showed some Elvis last night. I hope this will carry over into the White Sox series.

Pronk:


Pronk showed substantial Elvis last night, crushing one to the facing of the upper deck in right, and breaking up a double play. However, his Elvis has been so low lately that he's still barely above Michael J. Fox level.

Paul Byrd:

The old guy's still got some major Elvis left. Last night's win was victory #10 on the year. Yeah, it's Vegas Fat Elvisness because it's all about age and treachery and the old school full windup, but it's still Elvisness, a quality this team has been dangerously low on lately.