Saturday, June 21, 2014

CANT BEAT DETROIT

  1. Going into this weekend vs DET, Tribe had an opportunity to show the sweep in May was not a "fluke" and show the rest of the country they are legit contenders along with KC. Well the first 2 games of this series have shown that the previous series was a fluke. Tonights game was on the "FOX Baseball Night in America" and the ballpark was packed. Trevor Bauer gave up 2 runs in 6 IP. However Francona should have not put him in the 7th because he was knocked around. He gave up back to back HRs to Rajai Davis and Ian Kinsler. Tribe rallied for runs in the 8th and 9th but could not tie it the 8th and win it in the ninth. Asdrubal Cabrera could have won it in the ninth inning but grounded out on the first pitch when Joe Nathan had thrown 30 pitches then. Cabby was hitting 300 when hitting the first pitch (h/t to T.J. Zuppe for tweeting this). However Cabby needs to be selective in that situation. 
  2. In the 10th inning Kinsler singled and Austin Jackson sac bunted him to 2nd. Cody Allen could have IBB Miggy Cabrera. But Victor Martinez had hit a HR and a RBI single. Guess what happened? Miggy hit a RBI 2B. to put DET up 5-4. Allen got out of it but he did not execute the pitch to Miggy. That what lineup protection does. I know stat nerds think it is a myth, but it is the truth. Tribe went down quietly vs Phil Coke to lose the game 5-4. 
  3. On Friday Rick Porcello continued his Tribe ownage. Kluber gave up 2 runs in 7 IP. Axford and Carrasco gave up extra runs in the 8th and 9th innings. Tribe scored 4 runs in the 8th but could not rally in the 9th to lose 6-4.
  4. When you look at the Tribe lineup vs DET lineup, Tribe does not have hitters that put fear into the opposition. Nick Swisher is not doing his job by being that guy. He was given a lot of money. He is the only former Buckeye I do not like. He has a World Series ring but he was not the reason the Yankees won the WS in 2009. His "bro" act has worn me out because he is not producing. David Murphy is also not producing. He needs to hit for more power. He hits too many ground balls especially to RF.  Yan Gomes has settled down behind the plate but he needs to be productive especially with RISP. When Ryan Raburn faces LHP he has been awful. He needs to be the lefty killer. The team;s OPS as a whole vs LHP is at 657. The OPS vs RHP is 100 pts higher.  
  5. It seems to me since last year when the Tribe play in front of big crowds at home they struggle. Even when they play on national TV at home or the road vs good teams they "wet the bed". Why is that? Are they trying too hard? I think they do not have that difference maker DET has. Until the front office acquires that, the team will carry the "not prime time players" rep. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

MOCKING THE 2014 MLB DRAFT


Thursday, May 22, 2014

TRIBE IS NOT A PLAYOFF TEAM


  1. Going into the midweek sereies vs DET Tribe were 10.5 games back. The record was at 19-25 and a run differential at -29 when they got swept by OAK and outscored 30-6. Then they sweep DET  and many Tribe fans are happy. However national pundits wonder can the Tribe come back and win the AL Central or win one of the wild card spots. As a diehard fan I still think they are not a playoff team yet. 
  2. Why are they not a playoff team? The  rotation is in shambles. They did not keep Ubaldo Jimenez or Scott Kazmir. This team does not have a #1 starter. DET has 2 co aces(Verlander & Scherzer). Dodgers too (Kershaw & Greinke). Salazar has a great fastball but is straight as a arrow. He needs to add movement and change speeds with it. He also needs to have confidence in his slider and change up that he can use it any count. Bauer has 2 good starts but he needs to do more especially on the road. Tomlin is gutty and cerebral, but he is suited to pitch in the NL especially in the west coast where the ballparks have deep fences and marine layer at night games. NL East parks except in PHI are pitcher friendly. He does not miss bats which need to do in the AL. I do not trust Kluber or McAllister in a "big game" yet. Masterson is not an ace because he has 2 pitches: sinker and slider. He also has an extreme delivery that lefty hitters see the roation of the pitch. He needs a 3rd or 4th pitch to get through the lineup 2nd and 3rd time.
  3. During the offseason Chris Perez and Joe Smith two key players in the bullpen were let go and signed with the Dodgers and Angels. I get not keeping CP but Smitty was great. Signing Axford was not good because in MIL he put to many runners on base. To be a closer you have to throw "pitcher strikes" which Axford does not do. The rest of the bullpen is fine, but they need some one to take the 9th inning by the horns. 
  4. Also during the offseason Tribe did not do enough to upgrade the lineup by not bringing right handed hitters. They did not sign players Nelson Cruz, Michael Morse or Reed Johnson. David Murphy is a LHH. This team does not have the big bopper that puts fear in to opposition. When the opposing team put a lefty starter the team struggles. Put Chisenhall in the lineup vs lefties will not solve it because his track record says otherwise. They should have not traded Stubbs for LOOGY Outman and give Raburn a extension. Why did DET give up on Raburn?  Last year was an abberation. They should have brought a catcher like Kurt Suzuki to back up Gomes and have Santana and Swisher play 1B/DH. Giambi should not be on this roster because he is 43 years old. I will be 43 in July. He does not have the bat speed to turn on good fastballs anymore. 
  5. Although the team made the playoffs, the defense was not good. This year the defense is beyond deplorable. It is the worse in baseball. Putting Santana at 3rd was a terrible decision. He is too fat to play it. Chisenhall has not fared better either. Asdrubal does not have much range but he should be making routine plays. Kipnis needs to play better on D when he returns. The outfield needs to play better too. On Fangraphs.com metrics like UZR and Defensive runs saved say the team is awful on D. Should the team cut down on the infield shifts? Should the pitchers work at a faster pace like Mark Bueherle does. This has been going on for a few years now. The team needs to have fielding practice before every game.
  6.  If the team does not do the little things by playing fundmental baseball, they will be in last place for the rest of the season.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO UNTREAT

This weekend, Tribe were playing on the road vs the Giants in San Francisco. Because it was in a NL park the DH is not allowed therefore the pitcher hits. Francona had to decide who would play 3rd base and catcher and who was on the bench. On Friday, Tim Hudson was sharp all game long and had been in all his starts this season. Carrasco was OK but he would have to pitch a shotout because the offense gave him 1 run of support. On Sat, Tribe got 9 hits and forced Tim Lincecum go 4 2/23 innings but they ONLY scored 3 runs. Also McCallister was sharp the 1st 4 innings but he and the defense fell apart in the 5th inning. Sunday was the topper. Ryan Vogelsong has be frankly awful. However the Tribe hitters had a bad approach against him. They only got 2 hits and 1 walk. Bourn got the 2 hits but he did not try to steal 2nd. AT&T is tough place to hit HR for LHH since Bonds retired. Yan Gomes tied the game in the 8th with a solo HR but it is easier to hit HRs for a RHH hitter there. They could not take the lead after the HR. Brandon Hicks hit a walkoff 3 run dinger off Cody Allen. In 2011 the Tribe scored only 4 runs there. This one they only scored 5 runs. IMO Bochy out managed Francona in this series. When you play at PETCO Park or AT&T Park you have to small ball early in the season because of the marine layer. You have to square up those puppies and crush it. It is better to hit the ball on a line than hit fly balls. Francona needed to use small ball tatics and the hitters need to take easy swing up the middle or to the oppo field. Francona needs to shake up the lineup. The next series vs the Angels will be tough.