It came to an end yesterday. The long 10 game hit streaks by both Laporta and Marte finally came to an end as they both respectively went 0-4. Both of them deserve a round of applause, because they have done most of the hitting for the Indians over the past 10 games. They really built off of each other making one another better. And I really saw some talent in both of them. Time to start over, all good things come to an end.
It wasn’t like they were going to both go on 20 game hit streaks, I don’t see that being possible. But they both did go on 10 game hitting streaks, which really opened the eyes of many, and turned a few heads. Matt Laporta showed that he can hit the gaps while Andy Marte showed he can battle in at bats and come out the winner. They both really showed us something, they can play with the big boys.
Justin Masterson pitched 5.2 innings giving up 4 earned on 4 walks and 8 hits. He really didn’t give the Indians a chance to stay in the game. He once again, couldn’t find the strike zone, and got behind batters, leading to having to walk them, or give them a hitter’s pitch. You can’t live in the majors behind in the count, and that is what Justin does. I know he is a relief pitcher and all, but if he is going to make the transition he needs to know how to pound the strike zone. Should we have held out for Buchholz?
Yes. Buchholz is a major league pitcher, and really has three out pitches, fastball, curveball, change. He mixes well, and gets batter’s to chase his pitch. Most importantly, he doesn’t walk batters. His last start he went 8.1 innings giving up 1 earned run on 3 hits while striking out 9. That is what a good young pitcher does. Justin, not so much. Buchholz has the control down, Justin… not so much. Buchholz also gets ahead of hitters and Justin gets behind. That is the difference between these two young guys. You tell me, Buchholz or Masterson?
If Justin could hit his spots 3 out of 5 times, he would be fine. But he doesn’t do that, maybe one out of five would do the trick for him. Not exceptable, that leads to walks and hits, due to the fact he’s always behind in the count. Should we have held out for Buchholz? Heck yeah. He is young, knows how to pitch, and really has potential. He doesn’t need any polishing right now, and can just go out every time and pitch his game. Justin, not so much.
It’s not like we would of had to kill someone to get Buchholz. If we added in, oh Jhonny Peralta into that Victor Martinez trade, I think we could have gotten the job done to get Buchholz. But we got screwed, getting Masterson who goes out and works half the innings Buchholz did, giving up twice the amount of runs. We got ripped off, and that sometimes happens. But we are going to have to work with Justin and make him a heck of a lot better.
Maybe Justin Masterson wasn’t the guy we were going for in the trade though? Maybe there was another guy who we thought had the potential to become very good. Nick Hagadone throws a 98 mph fastball with a nasty slider, combined with a half decent changeup. Oh my gosh, another Randy Johnson? Could be. I am not saying he would be as dominant, I am just saying Nick has the potential to pitch exactly like Randy did. Hagadone throws hard, as well as Johnson and has a nasty slider. Maybe we didn’t get screwed?
I remember Eddie Taubensee for Kenny Lofton, just another one of those, “nobody” trades. Turned out to be one of the biggest ones in Cleveland history when Kenny started consistantly hitting .300 and stealing 50 bases. Then there was Eddie Taubensee, a no name lack luster catcher who had no potential at the big league level what so ever that ended up hitting like a career .200. We got the big end of the deal. They didn’t and that’s baseball.
We should have held out because we needed another starter. Justin as I said is a relief pitcher and hasn’t really pitched as a starting pitcher while Clay has been a starter all of his life, and really knows how to pitch in different situations. The Red Sox just didn’t want to give up Buchholz because of his raw talent at starting pitching and knew he would be a phenomenal pitcher in the future. There’s nothing you can do about it.
But then again in the Cliff Lee trade, the Indians got Lou Marson, and Carlos Carrasco who were big household names in the Phillies organization. The Phillies fans think that Cliff Lee was the best thing since slice bread, and he has pitched like it but the guy is human, he loses too. And they found that out his last start. Cliff Lee isn’t going to pitch undefeated with a sub 1.00 ERA for the rest of the season. I think we got the better half.
Carlos Carrasco is making his major league debut tomorrow vs. the Tigers. Carrasco showed to be a strong pitcher in AAA going 11-10 combined between the Phillies and Indians this year while leading the International league in innings (157) and strikeouts (148). Carlos also has gone 5-1 with a 3.19 ERA since the trade. I totally agree with Carlos coming up, as he has been pitching great. He could really open eyes during call-ups and could secure a spot in next year’s rotation if he really surprises.
Lou Marson isn’t the kind of guy who will hit 15+ homers and 70+ RBI each year. But Lou will give you this, a .270 average with 50 RBI and a good 50 runs. He doesn’t strike out as much as Kelly Shoppach, and doesn’t swing the bat at all like Wyatt Toregas, so I think Marson has the job. Kelly Shoppach strikes out so much I am sick of it. He almost has more strike outs than hits this year. Toregas can’t hit to save his life. He hasn’t seen daylight yet in the majors. Marson is my guy at catcher, just to hold it down until Santana gets up here, and then look out!
You do know that the Indians and Rays are both 11.5 games out right? I mean, the records aren’t the same, but the number of games is. The only factore is the Rays are in the wild card race and the Indians are no where near the wild card. It’s just a matter of who’s in your division. The Yankees, the best team in baseball are leading the East, making the Red Sox and Rays battle the wild card out. Looks familiar right? That’s always how the AL East goes.
The Indians haven’t had a great division this year in the Central, with the Tigers being (69-60). If the Indians could have played well in the first half, who knows how things could’ve changed? Maybe they could be leading the Central? Maybe half their team would’ve stayed? I don’t know? But I wish that would have happened, because now, we are back to phase one, rebuilding. And it sucks!
We always rebuild, that is Mark Shapiro 101. “If you suck, rebuild” And this year we “suck.” So Mark got to work and made a few trades, bringing in new faces to the Indians organization. Now we will finally get to see Carrasco’s true colors, and if Shapiro made the right deals. And you know, if we don’t succeed next year, look for some new faces. I think we will falter next year in our pitching. It isn’t looking strong enough to me. I think Shapiro needs to go out, and get a veteran pitcher for the Tribe in the offseason, just to strengthen it. It wouldn’t hurt.
I gotta say, being an Indians fan is the toughest job. You can’t expect to be good two years in a row with this shaky club, but the love of the fans and hope of the city always will’s a no good season into becoming a strong finish. That’s Cleveland for you. We don’t leave a game just because we are getting beat 6-2 in the third inning, we don’t throw beer on the field cough cough… Cubs. We have one of the best fan bases in baseball, and we are proud to be Cleveland!
We aren’t Red Sox Nation, and we aren’t Yankee Nation, but we sure as heck have some loyal fans over here in Cleveland Nation! In the 07 ALDS, that is when I got my first real chance to see what real fans are. And that was Cleveland, the loudest park in the playoffs. We love our playoff baseball in Cleveland, and next year we will be gunning for a spot. Be on the lookout!
––– Tribe Talk With Ted
I don’t really wanna talk about the game last night because all I can say is “wow”. The Indians had 12 hits and couldn’t score more than four runs. Pathetic. You usually see the nice side of Ted, but not this time. I am like a tiger on the prowl ready to pounce when the Indians lose like this. I mean, all I can say is “embarrasing”. That is all Eric Wedge’s deal now. Well, we just didn’t hit with runners in scoring position, simple enough…
Just like earlier in the season where we beat the Yankees 22-3, we were all laughing while they were cursing their minds out over the loss. I mean a loss is a loss, but when you lose 13-4 something needs to be said, or done. They had 15 hits, a number that is nowhere near where is should have been. The Orioles had three players with three hits or more and had three players that had 3 RBI or more in the game. That just disgusts me… You can’t go out there and think that you are going to win every time, you have to have confidence.
On the good hand, we had three doubles, and Matt Laporta homered. And let me just say this. “Matt Laporta is going to be a star player in two years, count on it.” He is an extra base hitting machine, I know you have heard me say it before, but this time, its for real. Laporta can hit the gaps like no other, and is continuing to dent the pitcher’s ERA. They don’t know how to get him out right now, but for next year’s sake, don’t expect HUGE numbers, because the whole MLB will learn how to get him out, and will be watching his every move.
Kind of like Cal Ripken Jr. was. He is having a great rookie season, and now everyone is going to be on his case. Well, Fausto, Fausto, Fausto, you did us wrong again buddy. Those walks and hits always come in a big inning all together, and it always comes back to bite you. They dented you in the fourth big time, as you went 4.2 uhm…kinda strong giving up 6 earned runs on 9 hits, and 3 BB. It wasn’t a bad outing at all until they totally unloaded on you in the fourth. You weren’t pitching bad at all. And I congratulate you on throwing three innings of two run baseball where at least you kept us in the game.
I do admit though, maybe you coulda done a little better if the offense had your back, but they didn’t and you should have dealt with it. You didn’t though and that is baseball. It sucks to go out there and have to do things by yourself, but when your needed, you gotta come through buddy. Its not like they are going to give you seven runs everytime out just to save your sorry little butt. What happened to the 07 playoff guru Fausto Carmona who no one could hit off of, and was the ace of the Indians staff? Where did he go?
He must have moved far far away cuz that playoff Fausto and regular season for that matter… isn’t around anymore. I wanna keep thinking that he is, but the truth of the matter is, they have you figured out now, like most one year pitcher’s. Cliff Lee on the other hand, has them figured out. They got Cliff early on in the season, but he steadied out and figured out how to get back into his Cy Young form again. He is now 5-0 with a sub 1.00 earned run average, and is making us Clevelanders cry our eyes out. We should have kept him…
But on the other hand, we got Lou Marson and Carlos Carrasco, who are two great young guys that are coming up in September call-ups. I am not sure about you guys, but I really wanna see these guys in action. Carrasco went 7 strong innings in his last start and gave up 1 earned run. If though he didn’t surprise already, he added onto the hype of him being a big league pitcher. Marson has been hot since he came to Cleveland, and is ready to take over the starting catching role.
Shoppach isn’t the answer for me at catcher, nor is Toregas. Shoppach strikes out more times than he gets hits. He is a good 20 HR guy, but also could be the league leader in strike outs. I would want a catcher that would hit 5 HR and drive guys in all of the time when needed to. That is Marson,… well now at the minor league level however. And Toregas, not a fan. I don’t like how he hits, he has a slow bat, and can’t catch up to the fastball. Well what pitch is he going to hit? The curve? Guess so. Not a big league guy just yet.
And to just make me smile some more, we have Carlos Santana at AA Akron. What a player is Carlos, hitting .285 with 21 HR and 89 RBI. And as I have said commenting on other blogs, “do the Aeros tell their pitcher’s to duck when Santana throws to second, because one of these days, someone is going to get killed.” And that is very true, because Santana has a machine gun of an arm. If you thought Wieters had a good arm, wait til you see this kid, you will be blown away. I know I was. He can flat out play!
I am telling you, Brantley is the answer in the outfield. Brown could DH or share time in LF but Brantley is the long term answer in my opinion. He has 43 stolen bases and has been caught stealing only 5 times. That means he has about an 8 to 1 ratio of stealing a bag. I am really locked in on this kid, because he has so much speed, and speed thrills! If both he and Jordan Brown are brought up, I would put Brown in LF since he is a true left fielder, and I would put Brantley at DH, and leadoff. I would move Grady to the third spot, and Choo to the cleanup spot, leaving the fifth spot in the order to Peralta. Just my opinion.
Rondon wasn’t so successful in his last start, which is leaving me questioning, “is he really the answer for now?” He could be, and could not be. I just need to see him at the major league level and then decide. Pitcher’s can live off of the outside corner and can get away with throwing the ball up in the minors, but not so much in the majors. There is always the “could” factor involved, and I wanna see if he “can” succeed.