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The B-List: 6/19
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Welcome to Suck City, USA. Another night, another loss. However, last night wasn't all bad. As Buff points out in todays B-List ... that HAS to be the official end of The Jason Johnson Era, which by comparison, made the Kane Davis and Scott Stewart Eras not seem all that bad. Also, on another bright note, Eric Wedge's latest comments indicate that he feels the team "is close to turning the corner". Watching Indians baseball has been about as fun as drinking paint thinner this season.
Neither rain, nor sleet, nor gloom of night will keep the Indians from fulfilling their leaguewide obligation of suck. Although a little sleet might have helped.
1) The end of the Jason Johnson Era
Let's be frank: Jason Johnson is the wrong pitcher for this team. Some of this is his fault, and some of this is not: the fact is, Johnson has become an extreme groundball pitcher (before last night, he was in the top ten of groundball pct according to Baseball Prospectus) in front of a defense that is almost unfathomably bad at turning balls in play into outs. He doesn't strike anyone out, but he never has.
All he can do is what he can do. And, of course, if he doesn't do that, he is truly worthless.
Last night, he was truly worthless, although the defense "helped." (Much in the same way that hydrogen cyanide "helps" you to breathe.)
Jason Johnson recorded 14 outs last night (one was gunned down on the basepaths and he isn't credited for that). Nine were fly ball outs. This would suggest that his sinker was not sinking at any observable rate. The two home runs may have been a tipoff as well.
Jason Johnson gave up six runs last night, but only three were earned because Aaron "The Iron Chef" Boone butchered his tenth ground ball of the season. (Actually, it's only his tenth error: they aren't all Simple Butchery, but 10 errors is considered Not Good. Let's move on.) Giving up a three-run bomb to Henry Freaking Blanco is no small feat, but the defense was not exactly pristine (although if only Johnson could get more batters to aim their ground balls into baserunners, he'd have more success).
I have no inside information, but I have to believe this is the last Jason Johnson start. I have to. Or I'd go mad. (Go?)
2) Idiocy on the basepaths!
Ha! You thought I was talking about the Indians, didn't you? Come on, admit it.
No, I am talking primarily about Fred Bynum, Baserunner Extraordinaire, who managed to get gunned down at third AND second in one game (alas, not in one AB, as that would have been more impressive, not to mention impossible). Bynum also managed to strike a runner between first and second with a ground ball for an out. Juan Pierre was caught trying to steal third on a pickoff by Ferd Cabrera, which is like losing the Oscar voting to Andrew Dice Clay. Not only that, but it was the third out of the inning. What is the mantra? Don't make the first or last out at third base. You know why that's the mantra? Because it's a preposterously dumb thing to do, that's why. Wowzers.
3) You, you're not good
Ferd Cabrera managed to give up only two runs on four hits in one inning. Although I admire this kind of "efficiency," imagine how much more efficient it would be to GET SOMEONE OUT! And it was Juan Pierre with the RBI! I will now peel layers off my spleen.
4) You, you're even worse
This makes me forget Jason Davis? 6 hits and 4 runs in 2 innings? Hey, Jeremy, "forget" and "provide with an exact replica" are not synonymous.
"Suck" and "suck" are, though.
5) The continued resurgence
Jhonny Peralta did his best Travis Hafner imitation with a 2-3-1-1-3 line (three walks, one home run, three runs scored). In fact, he was a lot more Hafnery than Hafner was. The man is a LOT better at waiting on pitches this season, I have to believe (especially at his age) that this will pay off handsomely. Just not necessarily in 2006.
6) My ducks, they tire me out
Chicago got 16 hits and drew 2 walks. They scored 12 runs, largely because they a) left only three on base and b) ran the bases like lobotomized platypi.
Cleveland got 13 hits and drew 5 walks. They scored 8 runs, largely because they a) left 10 on base and b) Ryan Dempster felt sorry for them. (How else can you explain an RBI single by Ramon Vazquez?)
"Clutch" and "klutz" are not synonymous, either.
7) Phrases you never thought you'd read
Ramon Vazquez hit for Aaron Boone.
Forget the "Aaron Boone" part. Substitute "Tim Laker." Substitute "Cliff Lee." Substitute "Paris Hilton." I don't care, I am boggled at the concept of choosing to have Ramon Vazquez hit instead of someone else. (He struck out.)
8) Nice hoses!
As I said earlier, Fred Bynum showed the baserunning aplomb of Jerry Lewis, but kudos to spiffy new outfielder Eduardo Perez for gunning him out at third from right, and spiffy old outfielder Todd Hollandsworth for gunning him down at second from left, proving that it's not a Vision Thing with Bynum, but rather a Dumbness Thing.
9) The continued resurgence II
Guillermo Mota! Rumor has it that he has been working with the pitching coach on something. (I still want him gone.)
10) The shell, it holds one nut
These are the ERAs of the pitchers the Indians used last night. Did Cleveland move to 5000 feet above sea level and no one told me?
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