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Indians Indians Archive The B-List: 4/17
Written by Steve Buffum

Steve Buffum
 It's good to get out of Detroit with a win, but then, it's good to get out of Detroit.

1) Hey, I remember that guy, where is he playing this year?

Okay, I have a theory: Paul Byrd waited until the last minute to submit his Income Tax forms, and the stress was gnawing at him so that he got insufficient sleep, which wreaked havoc with his control.  Now that the forms have been submitted, he's back to his old self as a control artist.
My theory isn't any better than Miss Anne Elk's about the brontosaurus, but it was nice to see Byrd display some of the form that led him to be signed as a free agent.  7 IP with 4 H, 1 BB, and 5 K is very solid.  To do so in only 88 pitches is even moreso, although the feat deserves an asterisk as Ivan Rodriguez, Carlos Guillen, and Placido Polanco still play for the Tigers.  (Guillen and Polanco swung at the first pitch twice each, and Rodriguez put the second pitch in play three times.)  64 strikes, 24 balls.  Sweet.

2) We hit a lefty!

Granted, it's Nate Robertson.  But we pounded the poor lad, to the tune of more hits than outs.

Our reward tomorrow?  Bruce Chen.

3) I always liked that guy!

Eduardo Perez was clearly a brilliant signing, as he pounded out two doubles and a single in 3 AB (plus 1 BB) to drive home 2 and score twice himself.  Clearly he was the ... hey, what are you doing going back to yesterday's piece?  Stop that!  Nothing to see there!

Actually, the more interesting thing was that Skinner left him in the game to face the right-handed relievers that replaced Robertson.  Maybe just riding the hot hand, maybe just giving Broussard a full day off, but it was a nice move, IMO.  Shows he can hit a righty if needed, and probably gives him a boost heading to Bal'mer.

4) Lessons in pitching

Bottom of the 2nd: Chris Shelton: Strike (looking), Strike (looking), C Shelton homered to left.
Bottom of the 9th: Chris Shelton: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, C Shelton walked

Guess which I thought was better-executed?

(It should be noted that Byrd struck out Shelton in his other two plate appearances, so he clearly knows more about pitching than I do.  But I still like Merely Big Bob's approach there: hm, Chris Shelton, or Ramon Santiago?  What to do, what to do?)

5) Ducks off the pond!

Although the big third inning started with a home run, the next four runs were the result of six singles and a walk, including 6 straight Indians reaching base.  Even with 14 hits and 4 walks, we left a manageable 8 on base when all was said and done.  In contrast, Detroit stranded all five of it players who made neither an out nor a home run.

6) Victor Martinez blows my mind

It turns out the hit streak really does get stopped by the pinch-hit walk over the weekend, so Vic will have to settle for simply reaching base in every game this season.  So he merely has a hit in every game where he has an official AB.  I wish I had the time or energy or actual interest rather than an insignificant musing to see what fans from non-Cleveland cities think of Victor Martinez.  Do people in Pittsburgh understand how ridiculous this guy is?  Phoenix?  Tampa?  Philadelphia?  Please, continue pitching to him by all means, but ... you should know this guy.

7) I'm tellin' ya, you can't miss!

The Indians struck out zero times.  I'm not going to pretend I know how often that happens, but we do swing the bats, so it can't be that common.

8) Staying sharp ... or not

Gil-n-Bob needed some work, it's true, so bringing them in, even in a laugher, was a good decision.  But can any outing in which you throw more balls than strikes truly be called "sharp?"  I mean, sure, Mota pitched a hitless eighth, and none of the three balls was hit out of the infield, but 5 strikes out of 12 pitches?  Thank goodness for Polanco (first pitch) and Rodriguez (second), or we might have had another one of those 40-pitch outings.

(Bob I'm not so worried about.  Sure, it's 9 of 17 for strikes, but 9 of 13 not counting Shelton.)

9) Small sample size follies!

Tomorrow's Chicago-KC tilt features Jeremy Affeldt's 14.73 ERA trying to hold its own against Jon Garland's 13.94.  A real pitcher's duel, to be sure.  Over/under on total number of innings by starters: 7.5 (combined).

10) White Sox hatred and/or envy Dept.

Jose Contreras threw a ridiculous 7-inning 1-hitter last night.  Cliff Politte retired the Royals in the ninth on four pitches.  Ouch.  And Joe Mays turns out to be bad.  Who knew?  (Hint: Minnesota)

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