Eric Wedge is developing a knack for putting in a substitute player who steps up and makes the boss look good! Tonight, right-handed hitting outfielder Franklin Gutierrez (inserted into the lineup to face lefty Royals pitcher Jorge De La Rosa) not only provided all of the Tribe's offense with a solo home run in the bottom of the 3rd inning, he also came up with a great sliding catch in the top of the 9th inning to help C.C. Sabathia preserve his 5 hit shut out victory over the Royals. Josh Barfield and Ryan Garko turned in a few web gems as well and Victor Martinez cut down 2 runners attempting to steal second base. This was definitely a team effort but the masterful pitching of C.C. and the H.R. and outfield play of Gutierrez were the standout performances. Last week, Wedge sat his #1 RBI guy Martinez and Shoppach goes 4 for 5 with a home run vs. Boston. (Shoppach catches for Paul Byrd. Martinez can DH or play 1st base.)
I must admit that when I saw Gutierrez in the line-up tonight, I scoffed. Although one game does not make a season, Franklin Gutierrez can play this game and good for us that he came to play tonight. My hat is off to him and the skipper, Eric Wedge.
Wedgie, you got this one perfect without sitting a hot or streaking hitter. Tonight, you da man!