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Hitting Resurgence can’t save Indians from losing 3 out of 4
Posted By Bradley Ross On Jun 26 2011 @ 9:16 pm In Cleveland Indians | No Comments
The Indians have been hitting at a clip that we have not seen since Hafner went down with an injury. However, hitting isn’t everything and the pitching hasn’t given its best performances over the last 4 games. The Indians have scored 17 runs in the past 4 games, a clip that they haven’t been at for a while. Unfortunately, they have given up 19 runs and are 1-3 in the last 4 games, all of which have been decided by 1 run. The worst culprit of the pitchers is clearly Fausto Carmona.
When your team scores 7 runs, you generally should be able to win. However, any time your starting pitcher gives up 7 runs, you are going to struggle to win, even if the offense is clicking. Thats the problem with Fausto Carmona these days. Its very unfortunate (but not surprising to those veteran Cleveland fans) that Carmona consistently has gotten some of the better run support, especially recently when he has been awful. The last 3 games, he has gotten close to 7 runs a game in run support but he himself has given up over 6 runs a game (not including the bullpen). He has these opportunities and wastes them. On the flip side of the coin, Justin masterson has been the Indians’ most consistent starter, but he hasn’t gotten any sort of consistent run support. He started off the year 5-0, but is 0-5 since, even though his ERA during that period very good (in the mid 3s). Since his loss to Tampa Bay for on the 12th, he is getting less than 1.6 runs per game in run support. Even Cy Young would struggle to win with that run support.
Fortunately, the hitting has been pretty consistent now for over a week, so it may not be a complete fluke. Hafner is hitting well and while his average is lower than it was (just under .300), he is hitting for much more power and has 2 homers and 7 RBIs in the week that he has been healthy. Its a small sample size, but he really is looking like the Hafner of old, just better hope it lasts. Hafner has really rubbed off on the other hitters too. Santana, Choo, and Brantley are all hitting over .300 since he came back. Unfortunately, this will end up being a lost year for Choo because Choo fractured his thumb and will be hurt a minimum of 6 weeks. Hopefully, this hot Santana we are seeing is not a fluke, because the Indians seriously need middle of the order hitting going forth.
Sizemore hasn’t been able to hit a thing since April. Its not just the injury, even before he wasn’t hitting. After Hafner and Asdrubal, they do not have a lot to rely on. Santana has to keep this up, because right now Cabrera is struggling and he is one of the Indians only 2 hitters who is consistent and contributes significant power. Phelps could be that guy and is hitting well (.983 OPS) in the past week, but this is his first time up in the big leagues. It will be key for the team if Santana can keep this up because the pressure of being the constant power hitter may be too much on Asdrubal’s shoulders. He looks like he is trying a bit too hard to hit it out of the park and he has been struggling the last week and having a very pedestrian June. Thankfully, they will be able to get back LaPorta, but after they were forced to be without a DH. Even his presence isn’t a guaranteed spark, he wasn’t doing so hot before he got hurt.
In other Indians news, Jensen Lewis was released from Columbus. Its not at all going to affect this team, Jensen has really struggled to find what made him a good reliever over the last few years. He has a 5.14 ERA in AAA and it could be much worse. His WHIP is almost 2, and his control is off (4.8 walks per 9 and 1.47 K/BB ratio). He is not even going in high pressure situations anymore, being put in as an innings eater when the game is generally decided, like the Indians are doing with Frank Hermann. He is 27 and probably hit his peak (as a AAAA reliever) and there really is no future for him with this organization. I wish him the best of luck (I always kinda liked Lewis).
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