Friday, August 03, 2007

The earth shook a little.

Yeah, I think I felt it Wednesday evening when the Cubs snuck into first place with a 5-4 win, while the Brewers lost again. Sure, it's only a percentage points lead, but the Cubbies had been 8 1/2 out at the end of June. Sweet Lou has 'em playing serious ball.

And some serious ball is what the Tribe's going to need over the next 7 games. They're all on the road against the Twins and White Sox. Then, the Tribe comes home next weekened to play the hated Yankees.

August isn't going to be easy, because just as the Cubs made up a lot of ground, the Twins (5.5 back) or Mariners (2 back) could sneak past the Indians for the wild card spot. That's right, the wild card spot. I know most of the talk show hosts are talking about winning the division and how the Indians'll do in the playoffs, but there's no guarantee of getting there. It's not like Cleveland sports aren't premised on heartbreak and disappointment.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Here's the problem: The Indians played the first half with a better record than they deserved, and it's created some false sense of security among fans. Or, in other words, we're not that good.

I'm as big a Tribe fan as anyone. But look at our bullpen; we have one of the worst closers in the game (please don't attempt to debate this), and our top setup man (Betancourt) pitched above his head in the first half. The rest of the bullpen is unreliable, to say the least. Thank goodness that Perez has been such a revelation!

Hafner has gone from a guy enduring a slump to simply a star having a poor season. One excellent month has been followed by three dreadful months. I've been in denial about Hafner for a while, but it's pretty clear that he's not just slumping. I'd not trade him for just about anybody, but without a more productive Hafner, our offense is in serious trouble.

It has been the surprise performances that have allowed us to stay competitive. Carmona is beyond description. Perez is worlds better than Fultz -- and we might not have known that were it not for Fultz's injury! And Garko has proven to be a dependable producer.

Lofton's arrival should have signaled Trot Nixon's transition from player to coach, but apparently not. Anyone want to ask Wedge why Trot still eats at bats?

I think Shapiro has done a sterling job. Without knowing what he had on the table regarding relief pitching at the deadline, it's hard to evaluate -- but ANY reliever sure would have been nice. I sincerely hope Ben Francisco didn't prevent any deals.

With Sabathia and Carmona starting 1-2 in a playoff series, I like our chances against anyone. But I am already trying to mentally prepare for another season with no postseason.