Monday, May 19, 2008

Reds expose Tribe's weaknesses

The Indians have problems.
That comes as hardly shocking news to anyone who has seen them play this year.
What is surprising is that the once-stumbling Reds received a jolt of confidence by exposing the Indians' flaws with their three-game sweep this past weekend.
Here's what we know about the Tribe after this past weekend:
The Indians' bullpen is shaky at best.
With Rafael Betancourt (7.31 ERA) removed as the closer entering the weekend, Jensen Lewis walked three and gave up the losing run in Friday's 4-3 loss. On Saturday, it was Masa Kobayashi who imploded in the ninth by giving up a single and hitting a batter before Adam Dunn launched a titanic walk-off home run to the top row of the moon deck.
But the bottom line is the Indians can't hit, especially with runners on base. They were 3-for-27 with the runners on base against the Reds.
The Indians are hitting .236 as a team, which is tied with the Padres for 28th out of 30 major league teams. Only the Nationals are worse at .234.
The Indians have struck out the sixth most (306) in all of baseball and rank 21st in runs scored.
Only Victor Martinez (.315) has been respectable.
Even Grady Sizemore is struggling at .267. Asdrubal Cabera (.188), David Dellucci (.244), Jhonny Peralta (.225) and Casey Blake (.226) have been awful.
And if Travis Hafner (.228, four home runs, 20 RBIs), doesn't pick it up in the next month, this team is in deep trouble.

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