Friday, August 20, 2010

Nix to Nix at third

Kids: Don't try this at home. These men are highly trained professionals.

In case you missed it, the Indians Thursday night made five erorrs and still won the game. Easily. They beat Kansas City 7-3. I'm not sure which is harder: to win a game while making five errors, or to lose a game when your opponent makes five errors. Let me get back to you on that.

Five errors. That's only four short of averaging one per inning. Jayson Nix, who started at third base, had two errors. Andy Marte, who finished at third base, had one. In case you missed it, the Indians are having trouble at third base. Big trouble.

Since the Indians traded Jhonny Peralta, third base has been a black hole. The Indians have tried Jayson Nix, Andy Marte, and Luis Valbuena at third base. Maybe the Indians should put an ad in the paper.

Of the three, Nix has done the most spectacular job, though his performance, of announcing to Tribe officials: "Attention Tribe officials: I am not your third baseman of the future!''

Nix has done that by doing this: He has started nine games at third base and made five errors. For the sake of argument - not that anyone is going to dispute the point I'm trying to make here - at his current pace, if Nix played 150 games at third base he would make 83 errors. I'm no infield coach, but I don't think that's very good.

Not that Marte or Valbuena have been doing any Brooks Robinson impressions, either. Marte has 9 errors in 23 games at third base, and Valbuena has only made one error at third, but it's early: he's only started five games there.

In defense of the Indians' defense, there is no defense. This is a bad, bad defensive team, and the badness starts at third base. The Indians might want to address that issue in the off-season.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Fausto fading?

Is Fausto Carmona running out of gas? Carmona got knocked around Wednesday night in a 9-7 loss to Kansas City, giving up 7 runs in just 5 innings. This has continued a downward trend for Carmona that has lasted for a month. In his last five starts Carmona is 1-4 with a 7.07 ERA.

Carmona has been the Indians' best pitcher for most of this season, but he has started to fade of late. That may be due to Carmona's workload. He has pitched 156 1/3 innings. That may not sound like a lot of innings, but it's the most Carmona has pitched at the big league level since 2007 season, when he was a 19-game winner and helped lead the Indians to within one game of the World Series.

On July 23 of this year, Carmona's record was 10-7 with a 3.51 ERA. Five starts later he is 11-11, with a 4.15 ERA. It's the first time Carmona's ERA has been over 4.00 since April 30. It could be that the season is catching up to him.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Is this possible?

The Indians Tuesday night had 13 base runners, and only scored one run. That's not easy to do, but the Indians aren't always an easy team to watch. In their 2-1 loss at Kansas City they drew 7 walks and had 6 hits, but only one of those 13 base runners wound up scoring. They left 12 runners on base.

As the Indians look ahead to next year one of their biggest needs is adding not one but two run producers in the middle of their lineup. One will be Carlos Santana, assuming he returns healthy. But they need another one, at least, and at this point, who that or they will be is anyone's guess. Although Travis Hafner has had two strong games since coming off the disabled list, until Hafner starts stringing together weeks of strong games, there is no reason to believe he'll ever be the consistent run producer he was before his shoulder injuries.

With Hafner still a question mark and Santana out for the year, the Indians are hurting when it comes to guys who can drive in a run now and then. Shin-Soo Choo can do it, but unless he hits a home run it's hard for him to drive in himself. The Indians' biggest problem for the rest of this season, in case you hadn't noticed, isn't winning games. It's merely scoring some runs.