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Indians Indians Archive The B-List: 5/17
Written by Steve Buffum

Steve Buffum
If the Indians play a game while the Cavaliers are beating the Pistons, do they make a sound? Lost in the shadow of one of the biggest wins in Cavalier history, Jake Westbrook threw a gem against the Royals last night. And Buff's here to tell you about it ...
If the Indians play a game while the Cavaliers are beating the Pistons, do they make a sound?

1) That's "Jake" with a "J," not an "F"

It is hard to complain about the bullpen when it throws nary a pitch.  Not from the mound, not warming up, not in the line for nachos.  Nine innings, 6 hits, zero walks, one shutout.  You'd like to say that the key was throwing strikes (73 in 112 pitches), or changing speeds, or keeping the ball down, but really, the key was pretty much keeping guys off base and erasing them (two double plays) when they got there.  Westbrook induced fewer ground balls than we're used to, and only struck out two, but ... hey, shut up!  The man threw a complete-game shutout!  Do you know how many times a guy reached third base?  How about zero?  Just a great, great outing.

2) Offensive dominance!

Sure, any time you get three hits, you are absolutely clobbering your opponent.

Note that of the three hits, two of them drove in guys who'd walked.  The other hit, a single by Ron Belliard, was a pointless waste of time.  Profligate excess, one might say.  (If one were a gibbering moron.)

3) It's clobberin' time!

I know he looks like Shrek, but bear with me on the Fantastic Four reference.  Travis Hafner got one pitch to hit last night.  One.  The man walked three times and only got a look at fellow lefty Jeremy Affeldt throw one decent pitch.  Which, it should be noted, has probably landed, now that the sun has come up the next day.

Seriously, when you score five runs on three hits, something seriously weird has happened, and I would count a grand slam preceeded by two walks and an error as pretty unusual.  Hafner is now hitting .365 against left-handed pitching this season, making last night's decision to bring in Andy Sisco to face him that much more Bellerific.

4) Me Bizarro Superman!

Casey Blake drove in a run with a sharp single.  This is fairly unremarkable, as Blake has 28 RBI, a 14-game hitting streak, and leads the AL in batting average.  (Of course, each of these things is pretty remarkable given Blake's justified vilification last season.)

Casey Blake is now hitting .529 with runners in scoring position and two outs this season.  Considering his performance last year, in which he set a modern record by batting negative six eighty, causing the Indians to start the next inning with two outs and a runner behind home plate, this could be considered ... well ... there is no word for that.  Flabbergastacular.  Prepostericulous.  Blaketastic.  I have no idea.  I am waiting for Laurence Fishburne to hand me a pill.

5) Speed kills!  Or, at least, annoys.

Bizarro Superman stole second after his hit, and Grady Sizemore swiped third off the left-hander before Hafner rendered it totally moot.  Neither stolen base was worth its weight in warm spit in the grand scheme of things, but it's nice to see the Indians consider some offensive measures other than measuring Hafner's blasts.

6) Fun with box scores

Although we managed three hits, the Tribe managed to ground into two double plays.  Since one hit was a homer (still one of the worst ways to set up the double play in the majors today), this may set a record for highest DP-to-single ratio in a while.  (Yes, the Indians drew seven walks.  It's still weird.)

But this record may not be as likely or safe as the one almost certainly set last night: one double play went Graffanino to Grudzielanek to Mientkiewicz, which has to be a mark for sheer number of letters in a double play combo involving at most three players.  I would have liked to hear Herb Score call that one.

7) What's with all the bloody infield singles?

Do we give up more infield singles than anyone else in the majors?  It becomes infuriating to read the game logs and see "infield single to X" at least twice a game.  Are our infielders tethered?  Are they forced to spit the ball toward first?  Have they all become Rain Man and have to perform elaborate body placement rituals before throwing the ball?  What is the deal?  Man, I hate infield singles.  Sure, it beats infield doubles, but that's about it.

8) Around the division

The Tigers beat the Twins for the forty-ninth consecutive time after racking up an impressive four hits, three of which were profligate, showing their extreme inefficiency.  The Indians scored 150% more runs with 25% fewer hits, and should be credited for at least two wins by my calculations.

The White Sox are evil.  Animal shelters in the Cleveland area are on high alert.

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