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Playing bad baseball....yet winning

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Playing bad baseball....yet winning

Unread postby consigliere » Thu Apr 26, 2007 12:38 am

You know.....the Indians have played like shit mostly and have been very inconsistent with the the starting pitching, the defense has stunk, we have been fundamentally inept, our manager is a bonehead, Ramon Vazquez hits better with RISP than this team, we have roughly 4-5 guys hovering around the mendoza line, our starting All-Star catcher missed 6 games, our closer has a 9.00+ ERA, our #3 starter has yet to make a pitch, we have played only four home games, we were snowed out an entire long weekend and were forced to play home games in Milwaukee, and we got swept in the Bronx losing in epic fashion......

........yet we are 11-7 and in 1st place.

I don't think it is far fetched to say that this team has yet to play its best baseball. If this team can continue to win like this, then yeah, I am with Buff in believing that something does feel different. In years prior, this team played EXACTLY like this in April and put up 10-15 or 7-20 records and buried themselves. I mean look at tonight....they blow a 6-0 lead, and a 9th inning save....yet still win.
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Unread postby StewieG » Thu Apr 26, 2007 12:46 am

The biggest difference is the bullpen hasn't completely killed us. With the exception of a couple of games, they've been really good. And now Cabrera and Mastny are starting to come on, so even if Oldberto dies of old age, we won't be completely screwed.
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Unread postby Mr. MacPhisto » Thu Apr 26, 2007 12:57 am

StewieG wrote:The biggest difference is the bullpen hasn't completely killed us. With the exception of a couple of games, they've been really good. And now Cabrera and Mastny are starting to come on, so even if Oldberto dies of old age, we won't be completely screwed.


Mastny has looked good and appears to be the real deal, but Cabrera is just the shiznit. When Cabrera is on he is one of the best bullpen pitchers out there. Dominant. His slider makes me drool. I think he showed that he should be considered for the closer spot if anything happens to Borowski.

Maybe we can kick both Lord Joe and Byrd in the nuts really hard to get them on the DL?
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Unread postby Dozen » Thu Apr 26, 2007 7:33 am

I don't think it is far fetched to say that this team has yet to play its best baseball
No, not at all. But it could go south in a second. Im happy with our record thus far but we need a closer. JB isnt gonna get it done over the season IMO. But at least this team seems to care in April, winning ugly or pretty it wont matter reflecting back on it in September, I'll take it! :mrgreen:
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Unread postby swerb » Thu Apr 26, 2007 8:09 am

Buff summed it up perfectly in Tuesday's B-List ....

1) The slot normally reserved for the starter

… has been usurped to bring you this news:

We have a bullpen.

We don’t have The Very Finest Bullpen Ever. Heck, we prob’ly don’t have The Second Best Bullpen In Our Division. But what we DO have is a group of guys who have, to this point, provided a lot of quality innings without getting completely waxed like the Yankees appear bent on doing with theirs. (Can someone FAX me the memo in which Scott Proctor was annointed a Superior Pitcher? Scott Proctor? I mean, it’s nice to have a reliable bullpen arm, but … Scott Proctor? This is the new Mike Marshall?)

Think about this: the starting rotation is 4-5. That includes C.C. Sabathia’s 3-0 mark. The team has had 16 games, and the rotation has the decision in barely half of them. (It has had 11 Quality Starts, which is pretty good, although when a starter doesn’t have a Quality Start, he tends to have a “Knocked Out In The Second Inning Shitty Start”: not much wiggle room there.) For those doing math at home, the bullpen’s record is 5-2 with 7 saves. (It has Holds, I refuse to report these, as the stat is so bogus as to cause dementia.) The bullpen as a whole sports a 3.06 ERA, a WHIP of 1.14, a K/9 of nearly 8 (7.92), and has given up only 4 HR in 50 innings. Without the Compleat Meltdown by Lord Joe last Thursday, it would have an ERA of 1.98, and every pitcher would have an ERA under 4.00 (with only Joe and Oldberto over 3.00). And the only pitcher with more than 8 innings of work is Ferd Cabrera at 8 2/3. Four of the seven pitchers have WHIPs under 1.00. (Admittedly, Hernandez’ and Borowski’s are ghastly at over 1.70, let’s gloss over that.) FIVE of the seven have K/9 rates over 8.50, led by Ferd’s 10.38 and a surprising 9.45 from Aaron Fultz. I mean, that’s basically the bullpen I’ve been complaining about … because it’s been in Minnesota for the past five years.

In this context, last night’s performance seems almost mundane: a perfect inning from Fultz, two perfect innings (2 K) from Raffy, and two high-quality innings (1 walk, but a DP) from Oldberto to put the game away in the 12th. Five innings, and the one guy that reached base was erased on a double play. This is where baseless conjecture about “character” and “experience” and “well-defined roles” goes, but since I know Jack Shit about any of that, I will simply express my gratitude for whatever changed from last season to this one.
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Unread postby lovsgrady » Thu Apr 26, 2007 8:01 pm

I think Borowski has done an okay job so far. He's only blown one save, and that was against the Rangers, which, I must admit, was said, but Cabrera came in to help him out. The only reason that his ERA is high is because he got bombed by the Yankees, especially A-Rod, but what pitcher hasn't had a problem with him. Our lovely manager should have had the sense to not put our closer in in a non save situation. They ain't called the New York bombers for nothing. As for the rest. The Indians offense has been as cold as Ohio weather, but in the past few games I think I am seeing the wake up call. The offense has been doing a lot better. As for our infield defense, my uncle told me, and I sorta believe him, that Johnny Peralta is not really a shortstop, he just hasn't been really good there, but how about Barfield, what he's slakin at the plate, he is picking up with his defense. And, I'm still in the Boone's at third, hold your breathe, everytime a ball is hit there mode, but watching some of the plays blake has made has left me speechless. I think we are finally waking up from our cold hibernation. :P :-P :razz: man I hope so, Cleveland needs this bad. The Indians teamshops need the wins too.
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Unread postby swerb » Thu Apr 26, 2007 8:10 pm

Im not worried about Joe Bo. Take away the Yankee melt and hes got an ERA of 3.50. And I was very impressed with his resiliency coming back from that mess.

What worries me is the defense more than anything. I agree with lovsgrady, Honny Peralta is simply not a SS. Its that simple. We've got a 1st baseman playing catcher. A catcher playing first base. And old unathletic white guys in LF and RF.

Defense aside, this is a very nice baseball team. The rotation is great. The bullie looks pretty damn good through 20 games. The offense will only get better.

Can they win a World Series with bad defense and Eric Wedge as the manager though?
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Unread postby StewieG » Thu Apr 26, 2007 8:18 pm

Can they win a World Series with bad defense and Eric Wedge as the manager though?


Probably not. They can make the playoffs, but bad defense and moronic decisions are magnified in the playoffs, and the good teams will take advantage of them. You can get by with a couple errors and a Wedge brainfart against the Royals, but not against the BoSox or Angels. We'll need Jhonny Peralta to not be playing SS if we make the playoffs, because he'll kill us. He will. He is flat out awful at that position.
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Unread postby lovsgrady » Thu Apr 26, 2007 8:47 pm

Our outfield has been pretty good, they just need to get their offense moving. If Grady Sizemore is not hittin well it's only a matter of time before he is doing better, and if Grady is hitting well them maybe the rest of the outfield will warm up too.
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Unread postby leadpipe » Thu Apr 26, 2007 11:34 pm

If Joe Borowski continues to throw 86 mile an hour hangers he's not going to be the closer at the end of the year.
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not playing well

Unread postby rawdawgexpress » Fri Apr 27, 2007 12:30 am

The good:
I'm very impressed with the plate disciple of the Tribe. It reminds me of the Yankees for the last few years. Yes, we're not hitting, but it seems that we're not giving away outs either. Lots of walks.

The bad:
I don't like all the strikeouts. Both Grady and Peralta think they are homerun-hitters. Honny takes some huge cuts. His HR today is probably a bad thing in the long-term. I believe this is why both have been struggling. The Tribe is overall way too dependent on HRs as a portion of their runs.
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Unread postby Mr. MacPhisto » Fri Apr 27, 2007 12:52 am

Swerb wrote:Im not worried about Joe Bo. Take away the Yankee melt and hes got an ERA of 3.50. And I was very impressed with his resiliency coming back from that mess.


Lord Joe has gotten it down. He's got one official blown save and we ended up winning that one. Half of his saves ended up being one-run wins. Only one save involved a lead of more than two. I doubt most of those would have been wins last year.

Eight of the Tribe's 12 wins have come by a lead of two runs or less. They've pulled 'em out.

What worries me is the defense more than anything. I agree with lovsgrady, Honny Peralta is simply not a SS. Its that simple. We've got a 1st baseman playing catcher. A catcher playing first base. And old unathletic white guys in LF and RF.


Peralta is not a great defensive SS, but he's been stuck on three errors for the past two weeks. His range isn't fantastic, but he gets to the ball most of the time. If he can put up good offensive numbers this year then I'd suspect we might take offers on him at the end of the year, though much depends on Cabrera. He's done well at Akron thus far and may be ready for the Bigs next season. I think he would solidify the infield defense.

Garko has not been bad at 1B. His stick is worth the liability in the corner.


Defense aside, this is a very nice baseball team. The rotation is great. The bullie looks pretty damn good through 20 games. The offense will only get better.

Can they win a World Series with bad defense and Eric Wedge as the manager though?


The defense doesn't look pretty, but it can still play well enough in spurts. It just depends on how they play during a particular series.

Wedge is another problem, though having solid pitchers throughout the roster limits his ability to screw up. The greatest concern would be the idiot throwing the same relief pitcher out for three straight games against the same team.

To have a realistic shot they will have to improve on the defense. They're averaging almost an error a game right now with 3B contributing the most errors to the team total.

I wonder how much Wedge is responsible for some of the defensive woes. There's an element of coaching issues involved here. It's not all of it, but I still wonder how much of a focus Wedge has ever put on defense. Doesn't help that there's no real defensive leader on this team, especially in the infield.
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Re: not playing well

Unread postby StewieG » Fri Apr 27, 2007 1:07 am

rawdawgexpress wrote:The good:
Both Grady and Peralta think they are homerun-hitters. Honny takes some huge cuts. His HR today is probably a bad thing in the long-term. I believe this is why both have been struggling.


I believe this is called Loftonitis.

I wonder how much Wedge is responsible for some of the defensive woes.


My guess is not much. You can't teach a dog to speak french, and you can't teach Peralta/Garko/Vic to play good defense. You can show them the fundamentals, you can work on their footwork, you can tell them to close the glove when the ball hits it. But at the end of the day, some guys just can't play defense.
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Re: not playing well

Unread postby Mr. MacPhisto » Fri Apr 27, 2007 12:05 pm

StewieG wrote:My guess is not much. You can't teach a dog to speak french, and you can't teach Peralta/Garko/Vic to play good defense. You can show them the fundamentals, you can work on their footwork, you can tell them to close the glove when the ball hits it. But at the end of the day, some guys just can't play defense.


But what about Barfield and Marte who together have committed more errors than the combo of Peralta/Garko/Vic? Barfield has as many as Peralta. Marte has the most of any player on the team and he's missed games.

The fundamentals are important and stressing them may not make a great defensive team, but it seems to me that management is resigned to having a subpar defense. Good coaching may be able to make it average and average may be all this team needs.
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Unread postby mattvan1 » Fri Apr 27, 2007 12:22 pm

Good coaching may be able to make it average and average may be all this team needs.


Mr. MacPhisto,

Can you please explain what you mean by "good coaching".

Thanks,

Eric Wedge

P.S. I do understand average very well, so no explanation required there.
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Unread postby Mr. MacPhisto » Fri Apr 27, 2007 1:09 pm

Mr. Wedge,

I would make an attempt to explain "good coaching" to you, but I fear you are incapable of grasping the concept. It is likely as foreign to you as the Chinese language. However, if you truly wish to learn more about the subject then I'd suggest that you pester Buck Showalter. He has his flaws, but he is capable of grasping the concept and can certainly advise you on team discipline.

-Mr. MacPhisto

P.S. - Please go away and allow us to get someone on board who can grasp these concepts.
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