7/19/2005

Its vibrant Hose, pale Tribe

4-0 loss, 4-0 sweep suggest Indians aren't in White Sox's league.
Burt Graeff
Plain Dealer Reporter


Hear that sound? It's the air going out of the Indians' season.
A four-game series against the Central Division-leading Chicago White Sox on Thursday ended in brutal reality with Sunday's 4-0 loss. The reality: The Tribe is not in the same league with the White Sox.

A second shutout in four games completed a stunning sweep.

It is the first time the Indians have been swept in four games by the White Sox at home since August 1963.

The series began with the Indians optimistic at getting a shot to cut into Chicago's 11-game lead. It ended with the lead swelling to 15 games.

Chicago's pitching, particularly the starters, dominated the series. It was ultimately the difference.

Starters Jose Contreras, Freddy Garcia, Mark Buehrle and Jon Garland combined to allow three earned runs in 27 innings - a 1.00 ERA. In working six shutout innings on Sunday, Garland (14-4, 3.21 ERA) allowed seven hits.

In four games, the Indians (47-45) hit .180 (22-for-122) and scored six runs in 36 innings - an average of 1.5 a game. Three of the six runs were scored in the ninth inning of Saturday's 7-5 loss. They hit .120 (3-for-25) with runners in scoring position.

"There will be peaks and valleys over a 162-game stretch," said Tribe manager Eric Wedge. "We're in a tough stretch right now, but we can't put our heads down.
"We've got to keep going, no matter how pessimistic people may get."

With Travis Hafner (mild concussion, facial contusion) out of the middle of the lineup, Wedge went with Victor Martinez batting third and Casey Blake fourth. Blake, who ended a 0-for-16 skid with a fourth-inning single, was asked if the White Sox (61-29) are the best team he's seen this season.

"No," he said. "They are a good team, but I don't think they are the best team. They are not better than we are. Right now, they've got a lot of confidence and they've got things going for them."

The loss was the Indians' fifth straight and ninth in 10 games. "We just can't quit," Blake said. "The way we're playing, the Royals could come in here and sweep us. We've got to step up and put the past behind us."

The reeling Indians open a four-game series against the Royals tonight at Jacobs Field.
There was good and bad in Sunday's loss.

The good: The Indians had eight opportunities to score with runners in scoring position. The bad: They failed each time. "We had better at-bats," Wedge said. "We had multiple situations with runners on base. The only upside is that we had runners on base."

Ronnie Belliard had three opportunities to score runners from second base, and failed. With two on in the second, he grounded into a double play; with two on and two outs in the sixth, he flied out; with two on and two outs in the eighth, he popped out. "I tried," he said, "but didn't do the job. They have good pitching.

"It seemed like when we did hit the ball hard, we hit it right at them. Right now, they have the confidence that they can beat anyone." Aaron Boone and Jody Gerut hit hard line drives that were caught by infielders in the fifth and ninth innings, respectively.

Two home runs hurt Indians starter Scott Elarton, who gave up four runs on eight hits in seven innings. A.J. Pierzynski's two-run shot in the second gave the White Sox a 3-0 lead. Tadahito Iguchi hit an 0-2 pitch over the wall in left in the third.

Elarton leads the Indians in home runs allowed - 18 in 102–†innings.
"The ball Pierzynski hit was a pretty good pitch," said Elarton (6-4, 4.75 ERA). "The most disappointing thing was the homer to Iguchi. It was a bad pitch."

Wedge said that Hafner, hit on the right side of his face by a Buehrle pitch on Saturday, was available to pinch-hit in the series finale. Wedge is hoping to have his most productive hitter - .310 batting average, 18 home runs, 63 RBI - back in the starting lineup tonight.

Note: Immediately following the game Cleveland traded Jody Gerut to the Chicago Cubs for Jason Dubois. Dubois is a utility player..can play SS, 3b and OF. is 26 and didnt even appear in a MLB game until 2004...a right handed bat.

He was demoted along with corey patterson about 2 weeks ago. His season stats dont seem too impressive but then again he wasnt an everday player. He hit 31 HR last year at AAA Iowa in the PCL -- and was voted the biggest power prospect in the PCL. He went back to AAA Iowa in the PCL July 7 and went 9 for 18.

Jody is a good young talent.
His rookie season he lead the indians in home runs and I believe was either rookie of the year or AL player of the year.

his defense is superb and would risk anything to grab a ball. He had knee surgery at the end of last year that forced him to start play at AAA buffalo but was quickly promoted back to the bigs.
I dont know much about dubois either but knowing our GM shapiro..your GM just worked the indians.

I know there were problems between him and our manager that inevitably made this trade possible. Its too bad Jody, you were really liked here. Good luck and we'll be cheering for you.