Benny Francisco's five-hit night paced a 17 hit attack. Ryan Garko, who is having a huge series, went 4-5 with 6 RBI in the 15-9 win. Garks is up to .260 now and seems to have taken a liking to the cleanup spot. I've said this a million times but it bears repeating, how could this organization have kept Francisco in AAA as long as they did, while keeping the lame LF platoon of the since-departed K-Mike and David Dellucci? Benny is hitting .343 and leads the team in doubles. Quite the feat for someone who has played in just 29 of the teams 59 games.
The Tribe now goes for a series win tonight with C.C. Sabathia on the hill, before heading to Detroit for the big four game set against the hated Tigers. The Kitties catch a major break as they will miss C.C., Fausto Carmona (DL), and Jake Westbrook (DL). Hopefully, the bats will be able to pick up the slack.
Brian "I'm no Heathcliff" Slocum and Rick Bauer are up replacing Jenson Lewis and Tom Mastny in the bullpen. Slocum will be the long man and probably just be up long enough to be replaced by Jeremy Sowers when his turn in the rotation comes up Sunday. Bauer was having a nice season in AAA (1.54 ERA, 14 saves) but is clearly a 4A special. He got work last night in the ninth and promptly gave up three earned runs.
Cliff Lee did a five and fly last night, but he was getting squeezed big time by home plate umpire Tim Timmons. Cliff looked as though he was ready to rip his head off after twice he threw two-strike pitches right down the middle of the plate and were called balls in the 5th. Milton Bradley actually began walking towards the dugout on his two-strike "ball." He was later seen in the dugout punching the water cooler.
Remember when the Tribe was looking into acquiring Jason Bay all winter long? Have you seen his hot streak of late? Bay is hitting .290 with 13 HR's and 29 RBI. Reminds me a lot of the K-Mike/Dellucci platoon numbers.
Is it just me, or do you NOT miss Travis Hafner one bit?
Speaking of Pronk, both he and Jake Westbrook got long-term big money deals last season. So far, the Dolan's can't be too happy with their investments. While Jake is a rock and worth every penny, he has been on the DL now three times since signing the three-year, $33 million contract and the Indians are being very coy with this latest injury to his elbow. Rumors are swirling that he may need Tommy John Surgery, which could put him out a full year. Pronk in the meantime looks like a former Steroid/HGH user who can't get his act together. His shoulder is hurt and he literally hasn't driven the ball all year. The slump can no longer be called a slump because it spans more than a full season. At least the Indians didn't give him $16 million a year for four years....Oh yeah, they did.