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Indians Indians Archive The B-List: 4/5
Written by Steve Buffum

Steve Buffum
 What a nice way to leave town: with two wins, against the defending champs, and with only a small ulcer.  A minor request for Eric Wedge, though: I'll give you my cell phone number if you promise to call me before either giving Ben Broussard the bunt sign or Danny Graves the ball.  Just a little advance warning, that's all I ask.

1) Shoe.  Foot.  Switch.

It was nice to have a safe, stress-free win on Tuesday, but to beat the White Sox in a one-run game really salves the ol' psyche.  It looked like we were going to have one of those ackers where we get twice as many hits but leave nine thousand runners on base and they sneak off with the faux-Smallball victory.  Instead, our bullpen comes through and two timely hits make the difference.

2) An offensive explosion at The Cell!

The first five runs:

A sacrifice fly by Victor Martinez
A bases-loaded HBP by Ron Belliard
A single by Rob "ex-Pirate" Mackowiak
A bases-loaded HBP by A. J. Pierzynski
A sacrifice fly by Juan Uribe

Five runs, and one was driven in by an actual hit.  In fact, the 2-run "rally" that Chicago used to charge into the lead involved exactly one hit.  That's not Smallball, that's Gackball.  Or my Little League team, minus the three-base error on a bunt.

3) That's Mr. Michaels to you

4-for-5 is a great day no matter what.  4-for-5 with a walk is very sweet indeed.  4-for-5 with a walk with the last hit an RBI double off the opponent's titular left-handed setup man who until recently pan-fried puppies for breakfast earns the major-league equivalent of a gold star.  Sadly, with three kids, the best I got is your choice of Spongebob, Dora the Explorer, or Yu-Gi-Oh! stickers.  However, you do get first choice.  Okay, second choice.  The three-year-old has dibs on Dora, and she's louder than you.

4) So what you're telling me is that the only weak link in the bullpen is the Closer of the Future?

Technically, Matt Miller gave up runs Sunday night, which never happened.  Since Ferd Cabrera channelled Bobby Witt on Sunday, we have 11 consecutive relievers give up ... nothing.  Okay, not perfect nothing like the other day, but no runs.  That's ... um ... real good.

5) Define "effective"

Scott Sauerbeck is apparently considering a career makeover as a cricket bowler.  That's the only explanation I can think of for all but rolling the ball up there.  Ten pitchers, two (!) strikes.  Yes, one walk was intentional (Thome, of course), but then, the out was a sacrifice.  Not to be outdone, Gil Mota managed to require 49 pitches to get 5 outs, meaning a complete game from Mota would have required roughly 265 pitches.  That's ... well, that's not so good.  He did look good getting out from under Betancourt's first-and-third with one out jam, though (K, GB).

6) My Favorite Player is Not Bad!

Through three innings, I would have told you that Cliff Lee was our best pitcher.  Through five innings, I would have said one ball was really clobbered, but that's a heckuva start.  Two hit batsmen (again, I applaud anything involving A. J. Pierzynski being struck forcibly, but not at the expense of a run), a walk, a single, and an Miller-inherited run later, and my Favorite Player exits with a no decision, an ERA over 5, and a Game Score of 48.  And it was STILL only one ball really clobbered.

7) The Bottom of the Order is supposed to refer to ordinal numbers

Not hitting like asses.  15 plate appearances, 1 hit (Blake), 1 RBI (on a HBP, fer Chrissakes), 1 run (Blake), and 1 GIDP (Belliard).  Blake didn't strand anybody ... because who would he strand?  Boone made the last out whenever there was someone potentially on for Casey.  P-U.

8) Credit Where Credit Is Due Dept.

Three hits by Grady, and a reasonable sacrifice before the game-winner by Michaels.  Nice game.

9) Derision Where Derision Is Due Dept.

That was the worst sacrifice attempt I've seen since Jim Poole.  Very, very bad.

10) Box Score Follies

The box score tells you that Danny Graves has a 0.00 ERA and is our winningest pitcher.  These are not lies.  They are also not indicative of anything meaningful.  This man frightens me.

11) The Return of Merely Big Bob

"Big Bob" didn't seem to do justice to Bob Wickman, so I've been referring to him as Really Big Bob.  Except ... well, he's not Really Big any more.  He's still the same Heart Attack on a Bun, though.  I'm keeping a running tally of "number of 1-2-3 saves MBB earns" versus "number of saves with tying run in scoring position" this season.  Let's check the board:

Saves: 1
1-2-3 Saves: 0
TRISP Saves: 1

I have April 22 in the pool as to when the second number changes.

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