Ten Reasons 2-7 Ain't That Bad
Winless in their first five games, and only two wins through nine, the Indians have looked downright pathetic. On paper at least. So what, 2-7 isn't the best start the team has ever had, but there are plenty of reasons to look up. In this slideshow, we'll go through these reasons by looking beyond what the box score shows.
These ten slides will break down the top ten reasons that Tribe fans should keep their heads up. Remember, baseball is a marathon, not a sprint.
1. Travis Hafner
Pronk is back! OK, maybe it's too soon to claim the reemergence of the former slugger, but his numbers have given us reason to be optimistic. Given his impact on the offense, it's good to see him coming around.
.286 Avg., 3 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 1.126 OPS
2. Victor Martinez
The other key to the offense is hitting just as we would like to see from him. Without any hamstring injuries occurring on Opening Day, thank god, it looks like we can continue to see these performances (knock wood).
.361 Avg., 2 2B, 2 HR, 1.048 OPS
3. Shin-Soo Choo
Big League Choo is continuing his run of form from the end of the 2008 season. Offering a little power and a little speed makes him a great weapon for Wedge, and a valuable option in the two-hole when De-Ro takes a day off.
.333 Avg., 2 2B, 1 HR, 1 SB, .917 OPS
4. Kerry Wood
Kid K comes as described: power arm to lock down the ninth inning. Even though his first outing in Texas was rocky, he still managed to get his outs all by means of strikeout. He struck out the side in his next appearance and used only seven pitches to get three outs for the save against the Royals.
3 IP, 2 Hits, 1 ER, 6 K, 1 BB, 1 Save
5. Aaron Laffey
It was upsetting to see young lefty Scott Lewis go on the disabled list before giving us a good chance to see him, but Laffey's outing against the Royals was anything but upsetting. Five-plus strong innings and a renewed faith in his arm are certainly promising prospects.
2009 Stats (1 Appearance):
5.1 IP, 3 Hits, 2 ER, 5 K, 3 BB,1.13 WHIP
6. Ryan Garko and Kelly Shoppach
Who says that platoons don't work? These two, in a short period of time, have continued to flourish in their split time. If they continue to operate at a high level, Wedge's selections may become more difficult.
2009 Stats Combined (Thanks to DiaTribe):
.414 OBP, .424 SLG, .835 OPS, 2 HR in 3 fewer AB than Victor Martinez
7. Anthony Reyes
The only Tribe starter with a W so far is Reyes, and except for one rough inning against the Jays, his first outing was a very good start for his season.
2009 Stats (1 Appearance):
1 W, 6 IP, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 K
8. Masa Kobayashi
To call Masa's spring rough would be an understatement. Since then, the Japanese reliever has shown why he still has a bullpen spot. Only three hits over four plus innings have proven to be a bright spot in a rather dull bullpen.
4.2 IP, 3 Hits, 1 ER
9. Young Arms
As demonstrated by Laffey's outing upon being called up, the Indians can rely on their young arms to come up when needed. Of course, I hope we don't have to count on Dave Huff (above) too much, but it's great to know that we have guys like him.
10. 153 Remaining Games
With nine games under their belt, this team is getting geared up for the 153 remaining regular season games. Sure, they had a bad start. But it's not how you start, but how you end, that matters. For all we know, they could go 155-9 for the season. I'm not ready to rule it out just yet. Stay positive Tribe fans.