Game Fifty-Six: Royals 6, Indians 1

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via www.fangraphs.com


Highest WPA Lowest WPA
Andy Marte .034 Paul Byrd -.246
Scott Elarton .011 Kelly Shoppach -.079
Ben Francisco .004 Jhonny Peralta -.070

So what do we make of this mess? A very good rotation tied to a dysfunctional lineup and an untrustworthy bullpen isn't going to win 81 games, let alone the 7 or 8 extra that it will probably take to win this division. Whatever depth there was in the minors has been recalled, but instead of that depth replacing "mediocre veterens" like David Dellucci and Casey Blake, they're being asked to cover for Victor Martinez's power and Travis Hafner's entire offensive game. To paraphrase Rick Patino, Manny Ramirez and Jim Thome aren't walking through that door.

Over the next two weeks, some difficult decision are going to be made. From my vantage, there's two ways to go: either drain the farm system in order to re-build the lineup on the fly, or punt 2008 by trading Sabathia. It's like choosing between a root canal and an IRS audit; both are destined to be painful, though in different ways. The next eight games, with the last four in Detroit, will probably make the decision for Mark Shapiro.

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