The Indians lost last night. However, I believe they were destined to lose no matter how erratic Jake Westbrook pitched. Boston pitcher Jon Lester, who left the bigs last year to battle lymphoma, was returning to the majors for the first time since defeating the cancer. HE was the story of the night and being the optimist that I am, I wanted the guy to win the game. The entire WORLD wanted the guy win. It's just the way things should be in this messed up world.
That said, I have to ask how much longer the Indians can put up with the inconsistent pitching of Cliff Lee and Westbrook. Although Lee showed some signs of his former self in the late innings on Saturday (after a 5 run 1st inning), Westbrook has been miserable. And folks, I love Jake Westbrook. Since the day we got him in the trade with the Yankees, I've thought the guy was scrappy and earned his way to that nice fat contract he received this year. I don't want the guy to fail. In fact, I would love to see him bounce back and win the rest of his games this season. But something isn't right. Opposing teams know what to expect from him and I haven't seen any adjustments.
If the Indians really want to challenge the Tigers for the Central Division, and if the really want to go far in the post season (which, let’s face it, they do... come on, what kind of question is that anyway?), I ask again, how much longer can they put up with this? With a young ace (Jason Stanford) in the bullpen, out of options and just sitting on his rear, as the summer slowly becomes a memory, should Westbrook be given many more chances, even though he's been so reliable in the past?
When does the Tribe take Jake aside and say, "Kid, it ain't your year. We need to win now"?
There has never been a game that gives me such happiness when my team wins, and such utter despair when they lose.
I love baseball.