Red Right 88

Cleveland sports fan and sports writer

Location: Cleveland, Ohio, United States

quit my job decided to drive west

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Walk this way

First start after his new deal.

Carmona went out and gave up just two hits. Of course he pitched just 3.1 innings. The present and future ace of the Indians walked eight batters as he unloaded a whooping 82 pitches.

Again no reason to panic but for the third straight start, the supposed strength of the Indians, the starting rotation let down the rest of the team. With Carmona, you figured it was just not his night and you have faith he will rebound. Byrd and Sabathia are bigger worries.

With the type of stuff Byrd has there is no margin for error. I would think he has one more start maybe two because of the Indians headtrust's patience before a young lefthander is called up from the minors. Byrd is a crafty veteran but if he is walking batters and throwing meatballs then he can't help the club.

Outside of his first playoff start as a rookie, Sabathia has never really been known as a big game pitcher. Stress and excitement usually don't bode well for the big man. Look at his career record pitching in front of family at home and as recently as the playoffs last year. Even the start in Detroit right before the all-start break when he had a chance to impress Jim Leyland to get the starting spot in the all-star game. He was awful. This contract season can very easily be a albatross around his neck. C.C. is at his best when he doesn't think that much. He can say all he wants the contract is weighing on him but he is human.

The Indians poor start has been masked by the Tigers worse start. And while there is no reason to panic, there is a real reason to be concerned. Our left fielders can't hit. Blake and Peralta have been shaky in the field.

But the worst part has been it hasn't been much fun. Since the first two wins, the Indians have barely led. Even the games they have won, they trailed for the most part. It is hard to get excited when it seems like the team is always behind.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Good news

In 2014, Fausto Carmona will be just 31 years old. Potentially still in the prime of his career and now barring a trade, he will still be wearing an Indians uniform.

The Indians front office stepped up and paid the young man right now when they weren't obligated to and in essence Carmona gave up his first two years of free agency. Like the early 90s, the Indians have committed to a young player with a lot of talent and he has committed back.

In one hand, this move secures not only the front of the rotation but the piece of mind of Carmona and the Indians faithful. While C.C. misspent much of his youth trying to settle into being the ace. Carmona looks poised to take it now. This signing could keep one of baseball's best pitchers on the mound for the Tribe for the next six years. And if for some reason his arms flames out, the last three years are all club options which limits the Indians risk.

It is beautiful thing and it is a win-win for everyone.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Tell me you didn't see that coming

I know April is way to early to panic but this isn't fun. The Tribe's inability to hit is taking all the fun out of the a Tigers 0-6 start. How I can talk trash when we can't hit?

And yes I stayed up to watch the ninth. I know I have lived in this town too long when as soon the Tribe took the lead in the ninth I was still filled with dread. The Angels had not lost when having the lead after eight innings for 161 games. That would be one short of a full season. When we left the bases loaded and Borowski had to go out there. I did not have confidence and I left a little bad because JoBo has come through time and time again even if it is always scary.

And my nightmares were rewarded as Torii Hunter slammed the Angels to the win.

I have faith in Shapiro and Wedge. But it is hard not to have questions since the Tribe should have gotten swept in Oakland but an dropped double play ball and walk won that game.

I know it is a long season and it is never going to be easy. But Michaels and Dellucci are a combined 1 for 25. If two veterans can master one more hit than I would that is not acceptable. If the Indians insist on keeping Marte then play him and move Blake to the outfield. If not bring up anyone from Buffalo. Even Josh Barfield would bring more to the table as a misplaced left fielder than these two guys. Not that I am overreacting or anything.

The danger of coming so close to the World Series is forgetting the long path it takes to get there. No one owes you anything. But while it is easy to mock the Tigers right now, this club is not a sure thing. Bullpen are finicky. We all knew Betancourt spoiled us last year and as a collective hole we are waiting for JoBo to implode. The truth is the while the Tigers may struggle pitching, when it warms up they will start to hit and hit big. Are you as confident that this Tribe team will do the same?

Again, it is just one week. But it hasn't been fun to watch.