||-28.8 (30th)||-21.0 (27th)||CLE|
What are the odds that roughly 120 games into the season you would find a team that came to exactly average? Incredible.
The previous Cleveland series chopped a leg out from under us. I, for one, would like to similarly embarrass them in their podunk city. A couple lefties in the rotation for Cleveland means more of Mike Sweeney and the likely introduction of Bill Hall into the lineup. Third base seems like a natural place for him to play, but do not be surprised if he gets some time in left as well given our options there, Ryan Langerhans and Michael Saunders, are both left-handed.
I would prefer to get Langerhans some more playing time if sitting Saunders against lefties is the short term plan, but I feel it's one of those times the team will do the opposite. And frankly, it's not that big of a deal. One could argue that the team has a pretty solid idea of what Langerhans brings to the table already and so getting further PAs for Jack Hannahan is more important as the team still has to figure out third base for 2010. To which I reply, yes, but shut up, I love Langerhans. I also love Hannahan though, so I will just shut up now.
Game 1: Lucas French* vs. David Huff*
Game 2: Doug Fister vs. Aaron Laffey*
Game 3: Felix Hernandez vs. Fausto Carmona
David Huff's swinging strike rate is still down, he's not getting strikeouts and he does little job of generating ground balls. If that sounds like a below average pitcher, or Luke French incidentally, then yes! It is.
Aaron Laffey makes David Huff look like Rich Harden. Among starters with at least 1,000 pitches tossed this season, Aaron Laffey has the third worst missed bat rate in the Majors ahead only of John Lannan and Anthony Swarzak. He does get ground balls, but he does not pound the strike zone and has 32 walks and 32 strikeouts in 65 innings pitched so far.
Fausto Carmona continues his Magellanic voyage to re-find the strike zone. Only 45% of pitches he throws are inside it and he has accumulated 53 walks in 82.2 innings this year, a super high number not balanced by his merely average swinging strike rate and pedestrian strikeout totals (46).
The lesson for this weekend? Take pitches! And aim low, Laffey and Carmona are big time groundball pitchers.