Game Ninety-Two: Indians 5, Rays 0

 

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via www.fangraphs.com


Highest WPA Lowest WPA
Cliff Lee .297 Grady Sizemore -.046
Jhonny Peralta .257 Andy Marte -.042
Ben Francisco .084 Casey Blake -.034

So there are some good things happening with this team?

Cliff Lee ended the first half with an effective, but not dominating performance. He allowed at least one base runner in each of his six innings, but pitched around each difficulty. On a team with a whole bunch of disappointments (whether it be performance or injury related), Lee has been one of the few positive surprises. After last night's action, he now trails PRC leader Roy Halladay by one run created, and Lee's thrown about 22 less innings than Halladay. Cliff's transformed from an extreme fly-ball pitcher to a more conventional hurler over one offseason. And isn't a fluke, either.

Jhonny Peralta is now slugging .473, by far the highest of any AL shortstop. He's  eighth  in the AL in extra-base hits, which is a commentary on how down offense is in 2008, but also reminds you that Peralta, for all his pitch recognition and range issues, is still a valuable player.

And now that most of Eric Wedge's Circle of Trust is either gone or unusable, we're getting to see some new relievers get regular usage. Craig Breslow never got a chance, but finally Edward Mujica has. After giving up 5 runs on June 14th, Mujica hasn't given up an earned run, this despite a two-week hiatus after the poor outing. Wedge's bullpen method only works when he has reliable and proven relievers available; now that the bullpen has to be rebuilt from scratch, Wedge is going to be forced to take some chances on and be patient with unknown quantities, whether they be young guys like Mujica or retreads like Juan Rincon.

 

 

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