Wednesday, April 19, 2006
If the pitching mound had turned into quicksand and swallowed Indians pitchers one by one, no one would have thought it a more disastrous outcome than what actually happened at Camden Yards last night.
As it was, Tribe pitchers merely exploded. First, ineffectiveness claimed Jake Westbrook; he couldn't get the last out he needed before completing giving away a four-run, fifth-inning lead. Then a strained elbow took out Matt Miller. Moments after replacing Miller, Rafael Betancourt succumbed to a back strain. Surprisingly, Jason Davis took the mound without asking for Barry Bonds' leftover body armor. Even Bartolo Colon, years removed from the Tribe and a coast away, couldn't escape the Indians taint last night, going onto the disabled list with a shoulder problem.
When the smoke settled and the M*A*S*H unit cleared out, in classic do-unto-others-as-you-would-have-them-do-unto-you fashion, the Baltimore Orioles did it right back to the Indians last night. A day after the Indians rolled to a 15-1 victory, the Orioles put up double digits in an 18-9 victory, karmically outscoring the Tribe 15-2 from the bottom of the fifth on.
Some people mow the lawn once a week; the Indians put a pitcher on the disabled list. Miller has already hit the DL, He could be there awhile, as a strained elbow sidelined him for most of last season. He joins C.C. Sabathia and Fernando Cabrera on a list that's becoming more crowded than the upper deck in right field at The Jake. And don't start thinking the cavalry will come stampeding over the hill with a fresh shipment of arms. Replacement names being bandied about include a guy who has spent most of the past three years injured (Steve Karsay), a guy who was a first-round bust (Jeremy Guthrie), a guy with a 7.02 ERA in Akron (Rafael Perez), and a guy who has never pitched in the majors (Andrew Brown). But at least Andrew Brown's from Chardon!
Within the space of the week, the Indians have lost two games in which they've scored nine runs and lost one game in which they allowed just one run. They've lost three pitchers to injury. And they've lost first place to the White Sox, who are suddenly a game ahead. When they wind up three games behind Chicago at the end of the season, remember this week. God sure will.