So much to talk about, so little time.
First of all, fantastic performance by Westbrook. The Konerko double was the only real mistake of his outing, but it ended up costing him the win. Unfortunately for Westbrook, Mark Buerhle pitched just as well; the two pitchers looked to be doppelgangers of each other. Both were throwing strikes, working quickly, and getting ground ball after ground ball.
Peralta’s muffed attempt allowed Konerko to score; I don’t think there’s any question that if he fields the ball cleanly, Konerko, who’s one of the slowest runners in the game, would have been out at the plate. That Peralta was one who made the error was too bad. I’ll pretty much guarentee that at least one of the beat reporters say something to effect of “Vizquel would have made that play” in tomorrow’s papers While they have a valid point, Peralta also made a play earlier in the game that Vizquel couldn’t have made; he went to his right to field a ground ball in the hole, and forced the runner at second. Vizquel can’t make that throw at this point in his career. But for Peralta, every error he makes is going to dredge up Vizquel references, and it really can’t be helped.
Aaron Boone looked good at third base. It doesn’t appear that his knee is bothering him, which is promising. But for goodness sakes, he needs to hit farther down in the order. Blake needs to be hitting fifth against left-handers and second against right-handers if Sizemore isn’t going to be hitting second.
Last season Belliard’s deep positioning at second base didn’t really cost him. Today he was out position on Pierzynksi’s dribbler; it didn’t cost the team a run, as Westbrook induced Joe Crede to hit into a double play, but it’s something I’ve been watching since Belliard joined the team.
Now the good news: it looks like the Indians have locked up Victor Martinez through his arbitration years. Shapiro termed the contract “historic” compared to other deals to players with the same amount of service time. I would guess that means Martinez’s deal is going to be more than the extension signed by CC Sabathia, but considering that the Indians have locked up players like Manny Ramirez and Jim Thome at similar points in the players’ careers, the statement piqued my interest. My hope is that the deal allows the team to keep Martinez past his free agent eligibility, which would probably be after the 2009 season. Martinez would be 30 in 2009, which puts him a bit past his prime, especially considering the his position. So regardless of how long he’s signed, the Indians will probably be getting the best six years of Victor’s career. Now it remains to see just how much they’re paying him.
Thirty-eight minor-league players have been suspended by MLB for testing positive for steroids. There were no Indians on that list, but all of those mentioned train in Arizona. I’d have to imagine the Florida results will be announced in a couple of days.