Dodgers 4, Indians 3 (box)
It’s never good when there is action in the bullpen during the first inning. Such was the case yesterday afternoon when Paul Byrd gave up four runs before even recording an out.
I bet Byrd would like that inning back, because from the second inning on, we saw a completely different pitcher – allowing two hits from that point on. Still, it wasn’t enough for the bats to overcome, as the Tribe’s one inning of runs simply couldn’t trump that of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Say what you want about Peralta getting tossed out at home in the fifth. While one would hope that our shortstop would have better base-running skills, the fact that we don’t always get runners on base and actually had a chance to score makes the gamble worth while. Not to mention, there were two outs in the inning and it was a David Dellucci double. Odds were against us in getting back-to-back hits, so you have to take a chance when you have opportunity. Unfortunately, it just didn’t work out.
(Of course, Skinner waives Peralta home from first, but holds Kenny Lofton up at third when we’re down a run in the playoffs….)
Now back to Byrd. Technically, he’s our number three pitcher right now. Yes, Aaron Laffey is probably a better option in a must-win situation, but Byrd’s there on the depth chart. Given that, an ERA over seven for the month of June is pretty alarming. Thankfully, he doesn’t walk many guys because he’s given up 35 hits in only 25 innings, and the opposition is hitting .330 against him.
While C.C. Sabathia and Byrd are often considered the two pitchers to be traded before the end of the season, they’re going in completely opposite directions in terms of trade value. Sabathia is tossing the lights out and Byrd is often struggling to make it past the fifth inning. Sabathia hits home runs, Byrd has given up an AL-leading 20 long balls.
For comparison purposes, Byrd gave up 27 home runs all of last season. He’s on pace to give up nearly 46 home runs this year – something that the Indians can ill afford.
It’s worth noting Byrd’s splits when he is at home versus on the road:
Home: 6 G, 2-1, 36.1 IP, 37 H, 12 ER, 2.97 ERA, 1.10 WHIP
Away: 9 G, 1-7, 48.1 IP, 61 H, 37 ER, 6.89 ERA, 1.41 WHIP
Of course, four of his last five starts have been on the road, so it could just be a matter of poor timing. The fact that the Tribe comes home to battle the Giants and the Reds over the next week will be very telling. Needless to say, I would rather Byrd’s fly ball tendancies be in the confines of Progressive Field than Great American.
(Edit: Not that this has anything to do with sports, but I just saw that George Carlin has died. I’m a giant fan of his material – a pretty big bummer. Okay, carry on…)