|Highest WPA||Lowest WPA|
|Grady Sizemore||.230||Rafael Betancourt||-.461|
|David Dellucci||.230||Jhonny Peralta||-.288|
|Fausto Carmona||.117||Andy Marte||-.126|
The Indians have been impersonating an NL team for a couple weeks now: bunting early and often, relying on one or two guys to actually hit for power, and praying that the pitching staff gives them a chance to win scoring two or three runs. We can discuss how Rafael Betancourt blew the game in the ninth, but the root cause of this stinking morass of an April starts and ends with the offense. The power isn't there (12th in AL SLG), and the on-base is below average (8th). No regular is slugging over .500, and only three regulars have an OBP over .350. This plodding lineup is currently hitting like light-hitting smallballers, obviously not a good combination.
As to tonight's game, Fausto Carmona didn't pitch that well, but his stuff is such that even when he's not throwing strikes he can get outs by virtue of the movement on his pitches. He's walked, including tonight, 26 in just over 34 innings. How he's only given up 12 runs in those innings is testament to both stuff and luck. And while his stuff should remain consistent, luck won't; allowing that many baserunners, even considering his ability to induce the double play, will eventually catch up to him.
I guess one of the positives of tonight's game was that we got to see Andy Marte again. It took Ryan Garko going into a major slump to get him a start, though. Counting tonight, he's made 16 plate appearances in 27 team games, which is not doing any interested party any good. Andy doesn't get regular at-bats, he obviously can't go down to AAA (not that that would accomplish anything anyway), so he's in an overwhelmingly difficult position. The front office isn't going to learn anything one way or the other, which will put them in a quandry when they have to make a decision about third base in the offseason.