Yes, I’m as shocked as you are that the guy who prevented a six game losing streak was none other than David Huff, our favorite magic lefty. And he indeed was magical today, pulling a rabbit out of his cap and making the Rangers’ hitters’ bats disappear (OK, not really, he gave up 4 hits and a walk … still not shabby). Save for a two-run home run to Michael Young, Huff didn’t make any big mistakes during his complete game. And one Indian’s bat awoke to bail Huff out from that home run, and it was Shin-Soo Choo with his three-run homer in the eighth inning off Matt Harison.
Of course, Choo’s homer just covers up how awful the Indians offense has been so far this season. Through 9 games, the Tribe ranks 29th in on base percentage (right above the one-win Astros), clocking in with a .303 OBP. They are 27th in Runs Scored with 29. 28th in OPS with .625. They are tied for fourth in times grounded into a double play, with 9. With numbers like those, it’s kinda hard to get off to a good start.
I don’t want to seem like I’m making a snap judgment on the Manny Acta era based on two weeks of baseball, but wasn’t one of the reasons the Indians switched managers because Eric Wedge’s teams got off to terrible starts? Yes, Wedge had FAR more talent than Acta does right now, but nobody on the offense seems to be clicking. This is kinda surprising, because the pitching hasn’t completely sucked (4.13 staff ERA). It is incredibly disappointing, however, because I think the Indians could at least be a .500 team right now with anything resembling a decent offense.
By the way, speaking of a lack of offense, Brantley fans got a minor victory last night when Brantley poked a two-run double that could have been three runs if it wasn’t for fan interference. Congratulations. He’s still not ready.
And about that ugly 6-2 loss last night, it was apparently the lowest attendance in Progressive/Jacobs Field history, 10,071 was the announced attendance. And of course one of those fans managed to interfere with Brantley’s ball. Absolutely amazing.
Jhonny Peralta made another bad throwing error, Aaron Laffey decided to suck, and it just didn’t fall the Tribe’s way.
But two weeks is not a good gauge of how a team is going to do in the season. We haven’t even seen the projected starter at first base, Russel Branyan, or the catcher of the future, Carlos “Smooth” Santana yet.
And judging from the way Lou Marson has played, we will see Santana sooner rather than later (Mike Redmond is assured of a spot on this roster as long as Fausto is pitching well, and so far he is). I’m guessing as soon as his service time allows it, because I believe Santana is out of options after this season. So if the Tribe is going to send him back down for more seasoning, it must be this season. Personally, I’m calling June 1st for Santana’s arrival, although June 7th (at home, against Boston, who have Victor Martinez, who Smooth is supposed to resemble) is a good guess too.
So get ready for the Summer of Smooth. Because it’s coming. Whether Lou Marson likes it or not.