Those darn Midges couldn't slow Joba Chamberlain this time. The mass of Seagulls had no affect either. What living creature can we throw at him next?
The Yankees didn't really beat the Indians Monday. They just circled the bases as the Tribe offered free passes 11 times. It is a miracle the Yankees scored just five runs. Of course, that is three more than the Indians.
The 11 free passes, and the nine given up in last Monday's come-from-behind win over the Tampa Bay Rays, got me to look up the Tribe's pitching statistics this year.
As far as walks are concerned, the Indians aren't dead last. That team would be the Washington Nationals with 221 base on balls. Sorry Nats fans, Stephen Strasburg won't be in Washington for at least another year.
The Dodgers are the second worst team in baseball with 217 free passes and the Indians are third with 211.
Interestingly enough the Dodgers have the best record in baseball at 35-18. The Indians and Nationals? not so much. The Nats are the absolute worst (13-36) and the Indians are cellar dwellers (22-31) in the Central.
So is there anything we can take from the high walk total?
Well for starters, it should be noted that the National League will walk more batters by nature. More strategy is required with the pitcher hitting at the bottom of the order.
Why throw to "player A" when the pitcher is coming up next with two outs? The Dodgers have given 24 intentional passes, the Tribe 13.
Of the top 10 teams in walks allowed, seven of them are National League teams. The other three, the Indians, Yankees and Rays are just having bad years on the mound.
Despite having a high walk total, the Dodgers just don't allow many hits. So far this season they have a WHIP (Walks and hits per innings pitched) of 1.33, good enough for fifth in all of baseball. The Indians come in at 1.55, second worst in baseball to the Nationals at 1.64. The Yankees(1.45) and the Rays (1.46) come in at 20th and 21st respectively.
MORE MARK DEROSA TRADE RUMORS
At least this one comes from a more viable source, with a little more insight than the Red Sox blogs yearning for Victor Martinez.
Indians beat writerAnthony Castrovince had this to say in his blog today:
St. Louis general manager John Mozeliak is looking for a third baseman. And in describing what he's looking for to reporters earlier today, he might as well have just said, " Mark DeRosa."
The Cardinals need a third baseman because Troy Glaus has shoulder ligament damage. The most updated timetable for his return is mid-July or early August.
Basically, what Mozeliak is looking for is a right-handed bat (check) who can play third base (check) until Glaus returns, at which point said bat can slot in elsewhere in the field (check).
The Indians, as you know, have had DeRosa basically on the block for a couple weeks now, because his value to them isn't anywhere near what it was before Jhonny Peralta moved to third base. So this could be an interesting situation to watch in the next couple days.
In return for DeRosa, the Indians would want Major League-ready pitching. I'm told the Cardinals could potentially make right-handed starter Mitchell Boggs available in a trade, but what the Cards really have to offer is an army of right-handed relievers, such as P.J. Walters or Chris Perez . Jason Motte is probably less likely to be dealt.
We'll see what happens, if anything.
FoxSports baseball writer John Paul Morosi calls the next two weeks critical for the Indians. If the Tribe continues to struggle he speculates a fire sale will begin.
That's why the next two weeks are critical. Unless the Indians demonstrate quickly that they can win without Sizemore, it will be harder for Shapiro to justify keeping the team together.
If Shapiro determines that his team isn't going to make a run, then the Indians' prospective free agents will be available on the trade market: the much-talked-about Mark DeRosa, veteran utility infielder Jamey Carroll, and recently-effective starter Carl Pavano.