Another cog in the wheel known as the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy to combat the Extreme Left-Wing Media.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Cleveland Indians 2005 season post-mortem

How will the 2005 Indians be remembered? Will people think back on this season and recall the excitement of seeing a young team gel and put together an amazing run in August and September finishing with 93 wins? Or will fans dwell on the last week and look back at this season as an opportunity lost. Unfortunately, both memories are valid.

To me this season is a story of close but not quite there yet. The pitching is ready for contention. The everyday players and the manager are still maturing. The youth and lack of managerial experience is evidenced in the number of close games lost. The Indians lost 36 one-run games. Even more telling is the season series with the Central Division champion White Sox. Over 19 games between the two teams the White Sox scored 80 runs and the Indians scored 75. With only five runs separated the two teams after 19 games I would expect they would have a close record. But instead Chicago won 14 and Cleveland won 5. The difference was the one run games.
Here are some of the positives from 2005:
The team Earned Run Average of 3.61 led the American League
Kevin Milwood led the league in Earned Run Average
For the first time in team history the 5 starting pitchers (Milwood, Sabathia, Lee, Westbrook and Elarton) all stayed healthy enough to make 30 starts.
Bob Wickman tied for the league leader with 45 saves and converted his final 16 saves chances
Travis Hafner was 3rd in the AL in OBP (.408) and SLG (.595)
Grady Sizemore and Jhonny Peralta had great first full major league seasons. Neither qualifies for Rookie of the Year due to too many at bats during prior call ups.
Victor Martinez, Coco Crisp, and Ronnie Belliard had very good years. If Martinez had not hit so poorly in April and May he might have won for the batting title. Martinez hit .210 for the first two months of the season. After the All Star break he batted .380.

The bad from the season can be isolated to the failure to get production out of three key offensive positions. 1B, 3B and RF were mainly played by Broussard, Boone and Blake, the Killer B's. Boone missed the entire 2004 season so his early struggles are somewhat understandable. Broussard and Blake are what they are, below average hitters with occasional power. I want both replaced prior to the 2006 season.


Anonymous bob said...

Bill, In the long run I think were going to see this as an opportunity lost. I don't see the Indians retaining Millwood and if they replace any of the three B's you mentioned I don't see them paying the cash for an immediate upgrade. I also think that Belliard is probably gone.

10:59 AM


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