Red Right 88

In Cleveland, hope dies last

Indians riding the K Train hard

As the Cleveland Indians offensive malaise continues, it may be time for the team to try a new approach.

Namely, stop striking out so much.

The Tribe is currently striking out an average of 7.3 times a game, which projects to 1,183 Ks on the season. That total would put this year’s team just outside the Top 5 all-time in team history for most strikeouts in a single season.

And the numbers have been worse since Bruce Fields took over for Jon Nunnally – even though one of the reasons given for Nunnally’s firing is the team was striking out too much.

In the seven games with Fields as hitting coach – admittedly a small sample – the Indians have struck out 65 times in 186 at bats – or 35 percent of the time.

Cut back on those strikeouts and the team might actually start scoring runs again. When they put the ball in play, the Tribe is batting .318 this season – compared to .247 when you include the strikeouts.

That’s a pretty big difference. Might be time to start choking up on the bat a little more guys.

***

Shin-Soo Choo had surgery on his left thumb this morning and will be out eight to 10 weeks.

Which means, as hard as it is to believe, we could be looking at the Austin Kearns, Travis Buck and Shelley Duncan trifecta in right field for some time now.

“There is only so much you can do,” manager Manny Acta told The Plain Dealer. “You can talk to the 29 other clubs and they’re not going to give up there best player. It’s very tough to find a player of his caliber on any club or in our system. We’re just going to have to do the best we can to have guys pick of the slack. There’s no magic wand on this one. We lost a good player.”

Oh boy, somebody pass us the Maker’s Mark. Like now.

***

The city of Pittsburgh will hold a rally to “honor” Hines Ward’s win on the reality show Dancing with the Stars.

How utterly appropriate and pathetic at the same time.

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