April 8, 2004

Early Tribe

The Indians have knocked around some pretty decent pitchers the last four days, including Radke and Lohse, and culminating with today's 6-1 pasting of Jeremy Affeldt and the Royals. This team is an eyelash from being 4-0, but more importantly I think they got a shot of confidence from dominating even the games they lost in gut-wrenching fashion, and then composing themselves to dominate the next two games in victory.

It's way too soon to call 14 hits a game a trend, but it does seem like the team will hit up and down the order. We really need Escobar to bloom in order to have enough right-handed power in the batting order to go along with Blake and Martinez. That's because we'll be seeing nothing but lefties from Kansas City, and lots of them with Minnesota and Chicago. Gerut and Lawton can hit lefties though, and we start three switch hitters almost every game in Crisp, Vizquel and Martinez. I hope Wedge doesn''t just assume that Hafner and Broussard can't hit lefthanded pitching. I don't want either of them sitting so Lou Merloni can play third base (and Blake first).

Nobody in the Central has anything close to a proven starting rotation, and I don't think Detroit will run away with the division. Lawton and Vizquel need big years, but they both look in shape to do that. The rest will come. I like our kids and our manager. Our pitching is young, talented, and fairly deep. Why shouldn't we be in it all the way?

I predicted 80 wins. My friends stifled guffaws. I still like that number, but forgive me for entertaining the notion this week that it might even be a little low.

Posted by dan at April 8, 2004 9:59 PM