Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly!

Here we are at the All-Star break, eighty-eight games played, seventy-four remaining, and the Cleveland Indians are 52 -36, one full game behind the Detroit Tigers. We own the fourth best record in the American League, which is also the fourth best record in all of baseball. Three divisional winners and one wild card team will go to the playoffs. Right now, we make the playoffs as the wild card team.
It is true that we have had a great first half. There have been many standout performances to compliment those 52 victories, 27 of them noted as come-from-behind.
So, the Indians can rest for 4 days satisfied that they are on track to make the playoffs for 2007. Or, they can examine their needs, work out a plan to improve, and be confident that they can raise their winning percentage to +.600, because that is what it is going to take to win the division and ensure a playoff spot.
Let’s look at the good, the bad, and the ugly…(anything not in the top 4 of the American League is either bad or ugly!)

The Good!
Home Runs – 109, 1st
Runs Scored – 471, 2nd
RBIs – 456, 2nd
Total Bases – 1348, 2nd
Slugging % - .442, 2nd
Bases On Balls – 333, 3rd
On Base % - .350, 4th
The Bad!!
Hits – 831, 5th
Triples – 14, 5th
Batting Average - .272, 6th
Doubles – 162, 7th
The Ugly!!!
Stolen Bases – 45, 9th
Caught Stealing – 19, 10th
Strike Outs – 655, 12th

Selectivity at the plate may be taking pitchers deeper into their pitch count earlier, but it appears to be causing more strike-outs and less hits.
Leading the league in home runs may be causing us to strike an admiring pose when we should be running on hits that don’t quite make it over the fence!
Waiting for the big hit may be costing us runners in scoring position as we lack aggressive base stealing. When we do run, we get caught!

The Good!
Bases On Balls Allowed – 220, 1st
Complete Games – 4, 3rd
Saves – 25, 4th
The Bad!!
Save Opportunities – 30, 7th
The Ugly!!!
Strike Outs – 556, 8th
ERA – 4.47, 9th
Runs Allowed – 414, 10th
Home runs Allowed – 92, 10th
Earned Runs Allowed – 390, 11th
Hits Allowed – 845, 12th

We are showing an inability to convert 2-strike counts into strike-outs or put-outs. This one problem could be affecting all of our pitching Bads and Uglies!

The Good!
Passed Balls – 2, 1st
Put Outs – 851, 3rd
The Bad!!
Caught Stealing – 21, 5th
Errors – 54, 7th
Fielding % - .983, 7th
The Ugly!!!
Double Plays – 84, 8th
Stolen Bases Allowed – 56, 10th

Although our “Caught Stealing” has improved, there is still room for more improvement.
We must reduce the errors and increase our double plays, especially now that we have a set infield.

Nothing comes to those who wait...resting for 4 days and hoping to hold on to our playoff aspirations won't get it done. It's time to celebrate the good while whooping the bad and prettying-up the ugly!

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