Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Respite from the idiocy

My pal can tell you all about the nuttiness and disarray in Berea, but how 'bout a little good news?

The Tribe put it to the ChiSox last night 8-3 to extend their lead over the Tigers to 6 1/2 games. They also reduced their "magic number" to 11. That means any combination of Indians' wins or Tigers' losses which totals 11 clinches the division for the good guys.

How did they get there? After all, on August 15th they'd slipped into a dead heat with the Tigers for the lead. Well, since that time, the Tribe has won 20 of 26 games. They've done it with very good all-around pitching and a few well-timed hits. Last night Paul Byrd quietly became the Tribe's third 15 game winner this year. He's never exciting, but he seems to give the Indians a legitimate shot to win on most nights. Of course, Sabathia and Carmona have emerged as guys anyone would want at the front of a rotation. The Indians are lucky to have both of them. The bullpen's been good enough. Borowski scares the hell out of every Cleveland fan when he takes the mound, but for the most part, he's gotten the job done. The set-up guys have been great. They've done a terrific job of "shortening the game."

The hitting during the last 26 games hasn't been spectacular, but it's been effective. Asdrubal Cabrera's really been a shot in the arm for the offense, Garko has been really hot lately, and Victor has methodically driving in runs when he's had the chance. Only Hafner's been disappointing at the dish, but he looked tough last night, driving in three.

The Tribe has 17 games left, and after today's afternoon game in ChiTown, they come home for nine games and then finish on the road in Seattle and Kansas City.

In a gross tempt of fate, I'd start printing the playoff tickets.


Joey Peeps said...

Vinny: It's a shame that in the almost deafening roar over the Browns and their follies, the Tribe and their (so far) outstanding finish are pushed aside. I think they are something like 16-4 since Aug. 15, a great run that Cleveland sports fans rarely get. And this remarkable run is being fueled by kids: Asdrubal Cabrera, Rafael Perez, Jensen Lewis, Aaron Laffey, have all made valuable contributions. If the kids don't wilt in the glare of post-season pressure, and Hafner could catch fire in the carry-the-team sort of way of which he is capable, the next month or so of our lives could be lots of fun, regardless of the lunacy coming out of Berea.

I like Asdrubal a lot. He hope that the Tribe has finally emerged from the wasteland created by the Brandon Phillips trade. The pearl necklace is a nice touch, too, although Asdrubal is not the first Indians player to sport a pearl necklace: that dubious honor goes to Kaz Tadano.

Vinny said...

You're a bad man for the Tadano comment. His mother might be reading this.

epdaws said...


That is really, really funny. And I couldn't agree more with your sentiments.

Perhaps most stunning is that no Tribe hitter is having a career year, and MOST are having below-average seasons! Wow. And Wedge seems to have finally given Trot a permanent bench seat.

Make Nixon a coach. He can't hit anymore, sadly, and he can't run. But the players love him and he seems to provide epic leadership -- just the kind of guy Clevelanders root for.

Yeah, the next month should be fun.