The DEFEND Cleveland Show

August 18th, 2011 DC Show Report

Ask, and ye shall receive.

I read that somewhere before, and had I known that all I need do is ask that Fausto have the game of his year in facing the White Sox last night (from yesterday’s report)…well, let’s just say I couldn’t be happier that I did.

An entire bullpen blown from a 14 inning go of it the night before and a lot was riding on Fausto to do more (a lot more) than just blow it against Chicago. Which had been the only case so far for him this year. Aside from probably having to call on anyone wearing a Tribe hat in the stands to take the mound because there would not have been many options left had Carmona needed bailed out on anything shorter than 6 innings of work yesterday, there was also the little thing of winning and the Indians would be two games out of 1st, and losing, and they’d be in 3rd place.

No pressure. Sure, I mean forget about the two other times he’d pitched against Chicago this season where he combined to only go 8 innings yet still found enough of their bats to give up 18 hits, and oh yeah, 18 runs. All earned.

Needless to say, he lost both those games. And that, “don’t worry, he’s got this”, certainly was not going through everyone’s mind last night.

Who knew all you had to do was ask though?

Fausto was brilliant, the best he has been all year, and his timing of it could not have been better.

His biggest problem throughout his troubles this season, even though there might have seemed to be many, really had come down to one thing in particular: Pitching from the stretch. Without runners on base and throwing from a full windup hitters are only swinging at a .224 clip against him. That’s really good. However, with runners on and hurling out of the stretch (up until 6 games ago), hitters jumped their average to .344. That’s really bad.

So basically with no one on, Fausto is the hardest starting pitcher to get a hit off of on the team. With runners on, he had become the easiest. When it’s easy to hit you with runners on the path it’s also a whole lot easier to score runs. To make this obvious matter worse, it was its was most exaggerated and bad when he faced the White Sox (see those 18 runs in 8 innings).

Pitching coach Tim Belcher had spotted a problem in his mechanics from the stretch with Fausto back towards the end of May. Back when this problem had led to Carmona having the worst ERA of any starting pitcher in the league, and everyone in the media (myself included) was wondering aloud what to do with him. Belcher and Manny stated they were working with Fausto to fix it, and, that he was going nowhere except back out to the mound to pitch every five days.

It looks like they have fixed the problem.

Fausto over his last 6 games, a span that has seen him get 2 of his 6 wins on the year (and the team is 4-2 in those games), has only allowed hitters to bat .244 against him when pitching from the stretch. Last night in Chicago, they went 0-4. He also gave up 17 less runs than he had before, and he pitched that aforementioned best game of the year when the team seemingly needed it most.

That said, I wonder what I should ask for tonight…

Browns play an exhibition game against the Lions on Friday at Cleveland Browns Stadium. If you can’t get in, or just don’t want to, I’m sure that unlike for the pennant race going on with the Tribe, every place in town will have said Browns scrimmage on with sound (see today’s goose egg “Search for a Real Cleveland Sports Bar” tally at the bottom).

Also in football news, everyone’s most loathed Buckeye, ever, Terrelle Pryor, this morning saw his agent Drew Rosenhaus, or better yet, his firm’s team of lawyers, scare Roger Goodell and the NFL into letting Pryor into the supplemental draft. Which at least the league did so in reluctant fashion.

Speaking of exhibition games though, and scary, this happened in China yesterday. So much for it being a goodwill game. I really don’t know what else to say other than READ THAT BECAUSE IT IS INSANE.

And finally, speaking of insane, Lionel Messi is just that. Best player in the world right now. No question. Last night he continued to prove it as he got the better of Ronaldo and Real Madrid leading Barcelona to winning the Supercup title, 3-2. Best part might have been (or at least in the “REALLY?! That just happened?” category) when Real Madrid’s manager Jose Mourinho sneaks up from behind Barcelona’s assistant coach Tito Vilanova during a benches clearing scuffle at the end of the match, and pinches his face.

Check out all the highlights from this amazing game here. And for the pinch, that happens starting at the 1:30 mark.

(many thanks to Hollingsworth for making sure I didn’t miss that last one)

 

-Mike James

Search for a Real Cleveland Sports Bar Day 3 = Squadoosh. C’mon, Cleveland?!

PS – Seriously, c’mon people! Find me a bar in town to watch a pennant race with sound on, Cleveland. I’m searching, are you…?

 

 

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Posted by on Aug 18 2011. Filed under Show Reports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

1 Comment for “August 18th, 2011 DC Show Report”

  1. Elliott Hoffman

    Sound is on at Mark’s Time-out Grille, 17910 Lake Shore Blvd. I love watching games there.

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