I have to admit- I never thought I would type that sentence.
Over the past year I have been a little critical of the performance of Wedge. This team doesn’t advance runners like they should, and they strike out way too often. In addition, he worked Sabathia and Carmona probably more innings than they should have. The Indians paid for it in the off-season. I hate the way he pulls Hafner in the seventh inning in tight games.
That being said, the Indians finished tied for the best record in baseball. Does that mean he deserves the Manager of the Year? Probably not, but I can’t really say that anyone else deserves it more. Managing a baseball team is a lot different than coaching football or even basketball. Wedge puts the players on the field, and is at the mercy of what they do. He can instruct them, but when that slider comes in it is up to Peralta to lay off the pitch.
So, I will leave the decision as to who deserves the award to the professionals. And say congratulations to Eric for the honor. Here’s hoping he can push the right buttons next year.
Paul Byrd wasn’t perfect, but he was good enough to get the Indians to their bread and butter relievers with the lead. Byrd allowed base runners, but got the big outs when he needed them most. The Tribe took advantage of Wang, touching him up officially for 4 earned runs, while only getting 3 outs. Torre was forced to go with Mike Mussina, and the Indians worked 4 walks and 4 hits off him in his 4.2 innings of work, scoring 2 more off the aging vet. Perez pitched two strong innings, allowing a solo homer, and Betancourt absolutely shut down the Yankees in the eighth. Borowski, as he usually does, made things interesting in the ninth. He gave up a solo homer and had a 400 bomb cross a few feet on the Tribe side of the foul pole. He finished the game off however, and the Tribe will meet Boston in the ALCS!
Filed under ALDS, baseball, Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, Eric Wedge, Indians, Jhonny Peralta, Joe Borowski, Kenny Lofton, Paul Byrd, Pennant race, play-offs, Rafael Betancourt, Rafael Perez, Sports, Victor Martinez
The Indians had a chance yesterday to take the Yankees behind the woodshed and put the country out of its misery. Unfortunately, they couldn’t finish the act and we are subjected to more over-priced pinstripes. I just finished reading a column by Howard Bryant of ESPN who seems to think that the Indians are in serious trouble because they are pitching Byrd instead of Sabathia tonight. I will admit that I don’t really love the idea of Paul Byrd throwing against that line-up in Yankee Stadium, but my mood changed dramatically when I discovered that the Yankees are bringing back Chien-Ming Wang on only 3 days rest to pitch the game. Wang was completely ineffective against the Indians on Thursday night. He didn’t get out of the fifth, and threw 95 pitches in the process. I was more nervous that the Yankees would trot Hughes out there than Wang. After having to use Hughes for nearly 4 innings last night, that scenario flew out the window. Continue reading
Filed under ALDS, baseball, C.C. Sabathia, Cleveland Indians, Eric Wedge, ESPN, Fausto Carmona, Indians, Jacob's Field, Jake Westbrook, New York Yankees, Paul Byrd, play-offs, Sports
Lofton walked home the tying run this time, and the Indians rolled to their 12th win in 15 games. This was one of those games I didn’t expect to win. Carmona was not on tonight, even still, he kept the White Sox from making the score out of hand early. He struck out three straight in the first inning after loading the bases. He did not allow a run until the 5th inning, and left the game after 6, having given up 5.
Down 5-0, with the way Buehrle was pitching, I figured this one was probably not going to go our way. But in the sixth the Indians got 2 back thanks to Gutierrez and Martinez. Fultz came on and pitched two near perfect innings to keep the score the same. The eighth inning was disaster for the Sox. Continue reading
Filed under baseball, Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Division race, Eric Wedge, Fausto Carmona, Franklin Gutierrez, Grady Sizemore, Indians, Jhonny Peralta, Kenny Lofton, Pennant race, Rafael Betancourt, Sports, Travis Hafner, Victor Martinez, walk off
Well, I’m not sure where to start tonight. Let’s try the Indians. A one out hit by Victor in the bottom of the ninth earned him a seat on the bench as Barfield came in to run. (I had to remind myself that Wedge had been ejected already, because I was ready to jump on him for that one.) Garko gets drilled in the elbow, pushing Barfield to second. Peralta flies out, leaving the runners where they were. Gutierrez works a walk with some rare plate discipline, loading the bases and setting the stage for Lofton. Two outs, bottom of the ninth in a tie game. The count goes full. Lofton fouls off a high outside pitch that could have ended it. Next pitch…did I mention it was a tie game? Do you know why?
Back-up to the top of the ninth. We have a 5-4 lead. The only reason we had a lead was very timely hitting by, well most of the line-up. See, all of our runs scored with two outs. In fact we had 8 hits with two outs. So Laffey pitched well enough to win, Perez allowed runners to score for the first time since like 1999, and we came back to take the lead. Done deal right? Not really. Enter Joe Bo. He walked the lead off batter. Gave up a single, then a sacrifice bunt. The tying run scored on a ball that just got past Borowski, but was handled by Cabrera for an out. Joe got his 6th blown save, and nearly his 6th loss.
Filed under Aaron Laffey, announcers, baseball, Bernie Kosar, Brady Quinn, Browns, Cleveland Indians, Eric Wedge, football, Indians, Jhonny Peralta, Josh Cribbs, Kenny Lofton, NFL, Sports, Victor Martinez, walk off
Did someone forget to tell the Indians they had a game tonight? They didn’t show up until about the seventh inning. By then it was too late. It’s not worth wasting much effort to describe this ridiculous game. Apparently, the Tribe left Detroit thinking they had won the Central. THERE’S MORE BASEBALL TO PLAY MEN! C.C. had his usual inning of complete and utter non-concentration. What was odd is that he got Victor involved this time. In the fifth inning Sabathia hit Pena, then on a pitch that was exactly where Martinez wanted it, Victor simply missed the catch. It bounced off his mitt and sent the runner to second. Gathright, who was up there to bunt him to second took the opportunity to bunt him to third instead. Hmmm…imagine that, a sacrifice bunt executed called for and executed correctly. Runner on third with only one out, next batter hits a sacrifice fly to center. Second run crosses the plate. Ball game. Oh, we still had to play 3.5 more innings, but that essentially ended the game. Continue reading
Filed under baseball, C.C. Sabathia, Casey Blake, Cleveland Indians, Division race, Eric Wedge, Grady Sizemore, Indians, Jhonny Peralta, Kenny Lofton, Pennant race, pitchers, Rafael Perez, Ryan Tucker, Sports, Travis Hafner
The Indians blew an opportunity to gain ground on the Tigers today. They had a lead in the 10th inning and Borowski gave up a walk and consecutive hits to tie the game. All this after striking out the first two hitters. Fundamental baseball. You don’t walk the tying run on base. Problem was Borowski was warming up expecting to pitch in a tie game. He had mentally prepared for doom since he can’t get anybody out in non-save situations. Seriously, does anyone feel comfortable with him in the post-season? It makes me shudder. We still have to get there however, and today with C.C. on the mound we should have gained ground on the Tigers after they dropped 3 of 4 to the Yankees. You couldn’t have asked for a better scenario than that…and the Tribe blew it again. Continue reading