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The B-List: 6/20
The B-List: 6/20
Indians win! Indians win! Wow ... that sounds weird. In today's B-List, Buff breaks down the Indians win over future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux last night. He celebrates the release of Jason Johnson, urges against moving Carmona back to the rotation, and chronicles the continued resurgence of Jhonny and the recent disappearing act of Bennie.
I believe we have found our National League counterpart: a poorly coached, poorly constructed roster that runs the bases poorly. No, wait, that's the Pirates. Well, the Cubs are still bad.
1) My Favorite Player is better than Greg Maddux!
It's an empirical question! Scoreboard!
Or it's a small sample size.
Cliff Lee certainly stifled the Cubs last night, giving up one unearned run on some very serious Double Secret Butchery by Ron Belliard and a home run on some very serious self-inflicted ordinary pitching butchery. I have watched Lee pitch, and continue to be baffled as to what has transformed him from a nice speed-changing nibbler who keeps hitters off balance into a weird statistical fluke who would have a double-digit ERA in a small ballpark. The man induced 17 flyouts in 7 2/3 innings. Seventeen! He had two ground balls!
(Perhaps watching Belliard in the second traumatized him for the rest of the game.) I mean, I'd like to say that he threw a great game, but there isn't a single thing he did particularly well: he gave up only 6 hits, but walked three guys. He only struck out three, with a strike percentage of barely 60%. He only gave up two extra-base hits, but only 4 Cubs hit as high as .260. I would like to be excited by this performance, especially since that makes four good starts in a row since the debacle of May 29 (and he is 3-0 in June after a dismal May) ... but I'm not.
2) Trevor Berbick Syndrome
I was in awe of you when I was young, would you please sign the gloves I used to pound you like a slab of meat?
Grady Sizemore used a strange method to announce his childhood hero worship of Greg Maddux, opening the game with a single, stolen base, and a run, then driving a ball over the fence for a solo shot in the fifth.
Trivia: 300-game winning pitchers are winless in Jacobs Field (Roger Clemens had a no-decision in 2003).
3) Nice hose!
Or not: Todd Hollandsworth is credited with an outfield assist for helping gun down Jacque Jones at the plate, but since he overthrew the cutoff man and depended on a nice play by Ramon Vazquez, I am loathe to give him a lot of credit for this. Any time you are depending on a UPS driver to bail you out, this is bad planning.
4) The role of Guilderstern is taken, can you fill in as Hamlet instead?
Fausto Carmona started the season with a bang with an excellent spot start in the sizable rotation gap left by C.C. Sabathia's strained oblique. After this, Carmona pumpkinized and was pushed out of the rotation for being worse than Jason Johnson, which at the time seemed like a plausible thing to say. Since his return, he has pitched exclusively out of the bullpen, posting a 1.26 ERA with 8 of his 10 outings being scoreless (and the other two consisting of giving up one run). He has struck out at least a batter in every outing, including last night's 1/3rd of an inning stint, making it 16 Ks in 14 1/3 IP (oh, by the way, walks? Five.). Since the rap on Carmona was that he doesn't miss enough bats as a starter, I have a suggestion: he pitches pretty well out of the bullpen. He pitches really, really well out of the bullpen. Let's leave him in the bullpen. Just a thought.
By the way, after Really Big Bob moves on, I am wondering if maybe Fausto might be a better choice than either Betancourt (who appears to have Eric Plunk/Paul Shuey/David Riske Syndrome) or Ferd Cabrera (who seems to have Strikes Suck Syndrome). Maybe not. I'm looking for bright spots here.
5) Alas, poor Johnson: I knew him, Horatio.
Jason Johnson's DFW signals a new era for the Tribe: one in which there is no Jason Johnson.
I'm afraid I am not attaching more significance to this until significantly more accountability-based moves are made. Ramon Vazquez and Todd Hollandworth started last night. The prosecution rests.
6) Managerial Head Scratchers
A double-barrelled set of MHS's today, as Dusty Baker would make me bald in short order: leading off for your Chicago Cubs, the man with the sub-.300 OBP! Juan Pierre sports a spiffy .243/.292/.308 line, where the SLG is not unexpected: yes, he steals bases (24), but .292 OBP is piss-poor. Not as piss-poor as Neifi Perez' .225 (.210/.225/.290) ... and
! Of course, he is better than Ramon Vazquez (.154/.190/.154), but that's not a head-scratcher, that's just bad. Why he started at third over Boone (who is simply bad instead of historically so) is kind of scratchery, though. Not as much as Todd Hollandsworth batting SECOND, though, with his nifty .214/.236/.400 line: this means he has similar plate discipline to NEIFI PEREZ. (That's not a compliment.)
(For the sake of completeness, Franklin Gutierrez' .158/.158/.158 line deserves mention, along the lines of Lyndon LaRouche's political career and the World Cup qualifying history of the Faeroe Islands.)
7) Have you seen my ducks?
We only left 4 on base! Mind you, we only put 9 on in the first place, but still.
8) The continued resurgence
Eric Wedge moved Jhonny Peralta back in to the three hole, trying to take advantage of his hot weekend against the Brewers by pretending that a sample size of 20 is as meaningful as a sample size of 240; although this demonstrates a rather tenuous grasp on statistical analysis, Peralta did reward him with a hit and a walk, possibly signifying that he is mentally ready to handle the rigors of batting third. Or batting behind Todd Hollandsworth, which should not be the same thing.
If anyone has seen Ben Broussard, though, please alert the authorities ASAP.
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