Seeing as how I’m bored/nervous while waiting for first pitch tonight, I felt it best to write. Those 140 characters on twitter just never seem enough.
The Indians dismissed Eric Wedge as manager today, except that he will keep his job through the remainder of the season. This move was a long time coming. Since taking his team to the brink of the World Series in 2007, the past two seasons have seen the Indians gets off to such bad starts that they fell out of the race by mid-May. Injuries may have played a small role, but Wedge takes the blame for a complete lackluster effort out of the gate in both years.
I know that Chuck Hernandez did this last year with Detroit, staying on with the club after getting the axe, but he was but a pitching coach. Will the current players have any respect for anything Wedge has to say? Of course, since the Tribe has dropped 20 of its last 25 games, how much were they listening before?
Speaking of the Indians, Pavano did most of his damage versus the Tigers while wearing a racist logo. Since “putting on a Twins’ uniform” Pavano has made two starts against Detroit. In those 14 innings, he has allowed 16 hits but just two runs. He won’t have the Metrodome to save him this time, however.
In their careers, only Brandon Inge has ever drawn a walk off Pavano. Aubrey Huff has hit the current Tigers’ lone home run (and that came with Baltimore), Placido Polanco has the most hits with 11, 10 of them singles. In fact in you are hoping for extra bases tonight, Adam Everett has four career doubles versus Pavano, Polanco, Inge, and Magglio each have one. That’s it.
The Tigers will look to apply all sorts of pressure on these pesky Twins with a win tonight. If they can get to Pavano, and if Eddie Bonine can work his magic again, the Twins could be looking up at a three game deficit with just four games remaining. If not, the lead will be just one, and the Twins could pull even by late Thursday afternoon.
I’m not sure why, but I like the Tigers’ chances against Pavano tonight. I have looked near and far trying to find a reason to be optimistic, but they just aren’t there. I guess I’ll call it a gut-feeling. The kind that makes heroes out of players you wouldn’t expect, and makes legends out of managers who have the guts to push the right buttons.
Jim Leyland has shown those type of guts over the course of this season. he showed them last night when he left Verlander on the mound. He has shown the willingness to use every bit of ammo available to him, and he should not stop now.
Watching this team, with this manager has been like a Fernando Rodney save situation. They have gotten the job done almost every time they had to, including last night. It has been scary, it has been frustrating. But there is no place I’d rather be than right here, up two games, with five games left.