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The B-List: 4/25
The B-List: 4/25
If last nights Cavs game wasn't enough torture for you ... a Manny two run bomb to beat the Indians should have helped you masochists out there reach your daily quota of pain and suffering. Buff breaks down the Indians 8-6 loss (and Danny Graves mullet) in today's B-List.
When a nine-inning game takes 3:31 to play, that's a pretty good indication that some very serious pitching is going on. Note that "serious" and "good" are not synonymous.
1) May I recommend the Lasik? Or perhaps removing the oven mitt?
Jake Westbrook was "around the plate" last night. ALL around it. Very rarely OVER it, though. Westbrook managed to tie a personal mark with six walks in five innings, yielding brisk one-game statistics like a 2.4 WHIP and a 0.33 K:BB ratio. Somehow the man weaseled out with only 2 runs, which was very impressive given the "stuff" he had (including throwing more balls than strikes and a wild pitch).
Is anyone else picking up a Charles Nagy vibe from this guy? Throws a sinker, often in trouble, makes you nervous ... he'll need nose augmentation surgery, but otherwise, he's just about there.
2) Regular or unleaded?
When you get to Curt Schilling for 5 runs, you need to win the game. When your starter gives you just short of a quality start at the same time, you
need to win the game. Having the bullpen give up six runs in the three innings is probably not on the "To Do" list.
Look, Jason Davis wasn't bad, but the one thing he
been doing well is throw strikes. Giving up a walk to Willie Harris (Willie Harris!!) on four straight balls directly led to a run (on a bunt and a sac fly, bleah). And it's certainly no shame to give up a home run to David Ortiz, he's got nine, but Scott "One Pitch" Sauerbeck was not exactly terrific. But Gil Mota did not appear to have his Best Stuff in the 7th (walk, two singles, the second-most ridiculous double play of 2006), so it wasn't exactly shocking that he put the go-ahead runs on base in the 8th. Giving up a homer to Manny Ramirez makes him join a club that isn't particularly exclusive, but it sure did suck.
When Danny Graves is your most effective reliever, that is not a good sign.
3) What do you mean, "second-most"?
I mean that the baserunning exhibition Boston put on in the third inning was truly spectacular. With Manny on second and Varitek on first, Westbrook caught Manny off second. Naturally, the Tribe gets Ramirez in a rundown, botches the throw, catches Varitek at second, and STILL has time to get Manny at third. Jason Michaels is trying hard to make a name for himself with Bad Baserunning, but this serves as a reminder that Cleveland's answer to Germany Schaeffer will always remain a special, special baserunner.
4) I always liked that guy!
Ben Broussard is now hitting .377, including .463 against right-handed pitchers. He took Schilling deep and doubled off Keith Foulke. And his ISO is .170, slugging .547. It's still a good idea to platoon him, as he has a preposterous .263 OPS (not average, not on-base,
) against lefties, but Perez is living up to his end of the bargain here. Will it last? Of course not. Is it good anyway? Yep.
5) A contrast of styles
Grady Sizemore has pulled out of an early-season rut to raise his average to .322, including a fine triple off Schilling (still the most exciting play in baseball). Jhonny Peralta has perfected the Art of the Strikeout to drop to .226.
At this point I think it's legitimate to ask: does it make sense to leave Peralta in the three hole? If you believe in lineup protection, Peralta is not going to get better-protected than sitting in front of Travis Hafner. Eric Wedge waited WAY too long to move Peralta out of the nine hole last season, so I expect more of the same, but it's still annoying. I'm going to start referring to our manager as Inertia Man. You're welcome.
6) With all due apologies to Roger Brown ...
Wait, why am I apologizing to Roger Brown? The man's head consists entirely of Grade Z meat. But when he writes that a prime indicator of Casey Blake's improvement at the plate is his decreased rate of taking third strikes, well, to channel H. Ross Perot, that's just sad.
Look, Rodge, the more salient point is that Blake has drawn 10 walks already this season (including another last night). He's walked more than he's struck out, which is completely nothing like last season. It's indicative of a more patient approach at the plate that yields better results by driving lesser pitches. If a side-effect of this is a couple looks at strike three, I could hardly care less. Besides, it's 65 AB. Good grief.
(Thanks to Jon Cohodas for the pointer)
7) How to tell if you're lame
When J.T. Snow pinch-hits for you.
8) Hey, we have one of those!
Keith Foulke = Danny Graves minus mullet.
9) The box, I just can't think in there
Jon Papelbon got his ninth save last night. He looks
. Instead of force-feeding Foulke back into the role, or trying to get Papelbon (whose name is French for "papels are good") into the rotation where some say he belongs, Terry Francona prefers to let success be successful. I covet him and his lack of inertia.
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