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Indians Indians Archive The B-List: 4/21-4/23
Written by Steve Buffum

Steve Buffum
Steve Buffum hesitantly recaps the Indians weekend series with the Royals. If there's a better daily Indians column on the web than The B-List, someone needs to show me.
 Do I have to write this column?

1) My Favorite Player needs to stop making crank calls!

Or shaving cats, or accelerating through yellow lights, or leaving the seat up, or whatever it is that has reversed his karma from last season.  After struggling a bit in the first two innings (a pair of singles each), Cliff Lee settled into a rhythm with back-to-back 1-2-3 innings in the 4th and 5th.  Then he turned into a newt and did not get better.  At this point, it is a given that Eric Wedge will call on the bullpen well after the horses have left the barn, walked around the block a few times, smoked a pack of cigarettes, and spray-painted "HORSES ROOL!" (horses are notoriously poor spellers) on the farmhouse, so it's up to Lee to get out of his own mess at that point.  Here's a hint, Cliff: this Extreme Fly Ball Pitcher stuff may be charming if you're Chuck James in the minors, but with a guy on third and fewer than two outs, maybe it's not such a good strategy, hm?

2) Of all the gin joints in all the world, he has to walk into mine, and suck.

I am ready for Paul Byrd to stop sucking now.

3) Imagine what happens when the sinker actually sinks

Jason Johnson lamented that his sinker was not working at all Sunday, which helps explain the 9 hits in 6 innings taking the loss.  It does a poor job of explaining the 10:4 GB:FB ratio, unless Johnson is shooting for double digits.  (Actually, it does a fine job of explaining it: anything that wasn't a ground ball was a double.)

This is pretty much the prototypical Fifth Starter Outing, where the guy goes six innings, gives up a few runs (4 in this case), and generally keeps his team in the ball game, so I can't complain too much.  Nice to see that someone can get by without his best stuff, unlike, say, Byrd, or Westbrook, or anyone in the bullpen.  Maybe we should call up Tim Laker.

4) The real return of Really Big Bob

It's not a real Wickman Save unless you give up runs and face the potential tying run.  Sure, the runs were both on sac flies, but isn't Wickman supposed to be a sinkerball pitcher?  How about mixing in a ground ball there, Bob?

Facing Mark Teahen with the game on the line seems like getting a medal for an exceptionally good performance on the flight simulator.

5) Welcome to the big leagues, lads

Empirical proof that Kansas City is actually better than a AAA club: neither Jeremy Guthrie nor Brian Slocum could do jack shit.  Memo to the umpiring crew: there is no one on earth who hits a guy in retaliation for a stolen base.  Ejecting Guthrie was nonsensical, and arguably led to Slocum's ineffectiveness due to inadequate warmup.

This doesn't mean either guy pitched well, though.  Slocum's control was putrid.

6) Is it time to lie down yet, Skip?

With the exception of Jhonny Peralta's three-run double on Friday night, the Indians scored exactly one (meaningless) run after the fifth inning, which I wouldn't bring up except it was very similar to the way the offense "performed" in the two losses to Bal'mer.  At some point, the Tribe has to win a game by coming from behind rather than sprinting out and holding on.  Yes, we've done it this season.  But it sure seems like a long time ago, doesn't it?

Look, I know the White Sox also lost two of three to the Royals, but losing two of three to luminaries like Joe Mays and Elmer Dessens is really bad. 

Really, really bad.

7) Guillermo Mota is growing on me

It's kind of tightropey, it's kind of sporadic, but I feel a lot more comfortable about Mota coming in than, say ... um ... anyone else.

8) You mean I have to wait for the paint to dry before I get out of the corner?

Putting Ferd Cabrera on the DL seemed amusing and quaint at the time, a way to get him to work on his control while letting Carmona get a start and then stay up.  Ha, ha, we're the NBA, we create phantom injuries to take advantage of the system!  Some advantage.  The bullpen implodes and Cabrera is dominating in Beefalo.  Don't worry, he can come back ... at the end of THIS week (29th, IIRC).  Who desgined this roster, Captain Qwark?

9) Box Score Follies

Our first base platoon is hitting about .350 (.347 Broussard, .357 Perez).  Does it feel like .350 to you?  Not to me.

Danny Graves is 2-0.  Arguments about the value of the "win" as a pitching stat will be cheerfully growled at.

Kelly Shoppach is hitting .400, while Vic is only at .387.  I think the course of action is obvious here.

Grady Sizemore had an OF assist.  Upon further review, it was determined that throwing out Doug Mientkiewicz at the plate only counts as a "nice play."

10) Obligatory Grumbling

The White Sox have won 8 straight.  I expect to find out what it feels like to grind one's gums by October.

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