Friday, May 1, 2015

Draft Day!

Just kidding. My Twitter feed was seriously more NFL Draft yesterday than Tribe game, and I only follow people who tweet about the Tribe! Even today it was Draft-heavy despite it being the later rounds the big Tribe win.

Then again I do follow Bernie Kosar and he is clearly excited about everything related to football, every day. So I can't really complain when he is going on and on about the Draft.

But WOW! What a Tribe game! Soooo many hits and - so many RUNS! Runs, y'all! Like when someone is on base and someone else hits the ball and they come in to score. IT'S A THING!

First off is the pitchers, as per our usual. Carrasco was the man on the hill today, and to my dismay he didn't have a quality start. He went 6 innings and gave up 4 runs. But he can't be amazing every game, guys, which is why we will need people to SCORE RUNS from time to time. Which they did today. See how easy that is?! Carrasco did strike out 6.

Atchison, McAllister and Allen finished out the game with one inning a piece. No relief runs! No relief runs! Allen did give up a double in the 9th, but I'm beginning to think that that is how closers work. At least in Cleveland. It's like how cassata cake works differently in Cleveland.

Ok, maybe a bad analogy because Cleveland cassata cake is superior to other cassata cakes, while Cleveland-style closing (giving up hits, giving up runs, losing games) is clearly not the better option.


But whatever - they didn't give up any runs, and Carrasco's 4 runs allowed were already OLD NEWS by the 4th inning!

Oh yeah and it's our first EVERYBODY HITS game! And four guys got two hits. There were three home runs! And NINE RUNS SCORED!

Kipnis is still feeling good in the top spot, it seems, because today he led off the Indians' half of the first with a homer! He got another hit too, but no more RBI. Seems like he's been hitting a ton lately but no streak at the moment. But it does seem like when Kipnis is hot, the rest of the team follows behind him.

Aviles was in at short today and in true Goon fashion, he stepped up with 2 hits including an RBI double which was just a double on replay. But still a legit double that sent a man home! Aviles ended up scoring on both his hits. Once again - always a part of things!

Michael Brantley is still amazing and everyone should love him like they do Lebron. THEY HAVE THE SAME NUMBER, PEOPLE. Today he went 2 for 5 with his first homer of the year (a 2-run shot) and a single. No strikeouts. Fact: Brantley is the only player right now with more than 60 at-bats (64) and fewer than 4 strikeouts (3). His average is .341!

Carlos Santana didn't walk tonight. What's up with that?! Just one hit. He still leads the league in walks though. Ha!

Brandon Moss sure is on the team now, huh?! He started soooo painfully slow but now he's up to a respectable .238 and climbing every day! Today he had a huuuge 2-RBI double in the 3rd inning to bring the Tribe within one run of the Jays! That's 14 RBI for him in his last 10 games!

And Ryan Raburn? Sheeeeeet. He is so hot now that he was intentionally walked after Moss's double! He definitely has days where he gets no hitting done - alongside all his teammates - but dude had 2 more hits tonight giving him 11 hits in his last 10 games. He's batting .342! Not bad for the guy that no one really cared about having on our team this year.

Lonnie seems to be coming around! Both at the plate and in the field. Is May the month of Lonnie? No particular reason to feel that way - I always just feel like Lonnie is just about to crack it open! Today he went 1 for 3 with a single, an RBI and a run scored. And no errors! Golf clap.

Brett Hayes was not doing anything of note, other than being our third-string catcher. Then he snuck up on everyone and hit a goddamn 3-run homer today! BOOM!!! So that's two homers for Hayes, who hit a total of 2 homers from 2012-2014. Secret weapon!!

Bourn is still at the bottom of the lineup, working out whatever. Today he got on base with a single in the 4th, then tried to come home on Aviles' double and really almost got there, and slid on his face, and was called safe. Except the replay showed he was out. Sigh. Let's hope he didn't hurt his dang face! The good news was that in the next at-bat, Brantley hit a 2-run homer. HA HA BASEBALL!!!

The Tribe had 9 runs on 13 hits today! Great just like last Friday! Now let's hope we have a better Saturday and Sunday than last could be our month, guys!!

Tomorrow it's a 4:10 game with Kluber going against an RHP. Kluber is going to be f'n mad at himself so he is going to throw everything fast and not give up any runs. So all our guys need to do at the plate is one or two runs. Got that?!

See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"Carlos Carrasco has been on thin ice this inning, and finally the Blue Jays push him through that ice."
- Tom Hamilton

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Everybody's Back!

Don't get too excited - I don't mean Yan Gomes or Josh Tomlin. I mean *I* am back from a few days of craziness, and the Tribe is back from a long run in Loser Town. Here we are!

I was at the Tribe game last night representing #TribeLive. I kind of don't know what the deal was. I Tweeted like a maniac all night and used the hashtag with every Tweet and hung out in the little #TribeLive exclusive section but all I got was one RT by the Indians. Don't get me wrong - free tickets and Fun Money are way awesome. But I some how feel shafted...?

Anyway, all is forgiven. Tribe got a WIN today! BOOM!

Danny Salazar was the starter, and he did NOT have a quality start but he held those Royals to just 4 runs so that's something. He went 6 innings too, and struck out 7! This is all pretty good, considering that the Royals' team batting average is .302. Damn, that is scary! But Salazar kept it rollin, didn't walk anyone, only gave up one homer. Did everything he could to keep that lineup in check while, hopefully, his team rallied around him.

Zach McAllister came out for his "long relief" role and nailed it! He went 2 full innings with nary a peep from those Royals (well, one hit). He struck out 3! And to follow him up in the "opposite of last night" relief story, Cody Allen came in and got out with only one run scored! Hey buddy! He gave up a double and a single to right but I'll be damned if we didn't have a 3-run cushion for him to lean on. Winning!!

The big news of the night was offense! And Kipnis! And Robby Perez!!!!

Jason Kipnis had his biggest hit of the season thus far, with a 3-run homer in the 3rd. Three runs on one hit, guys! Do you remember that? Kind of funny because it was the Grand Slam Payoff inning and he was one short of a grand slam but I think we can all appreciate the sacrifice that the "loser" of that game made, eh? Kipnis also got an RBI infield ground-out to give him 4 RBI in the game. By the way - Kipnis hasn't had a homer since July 31 of 2014. Woah! Let's hope this is the first of many more!
So proud of my cousin!
Nobody else at the top of the lineup did anything today (NOT EVEN MICHAEL BRANTLEY) which sort of boggles my mind, considering we got so many runs. Carlos Santana walked 3 times, though! Last time he did that was Sept 24 of 2014 - against KC. Now you know.

Good Guy David Murphy got himself a hit today, because that is what he was designated to do.

Jerry Sands got designated for assignment today, by the way. As much as we loved him, turns out we didn't need him. I mean we did but he didn't fit in. Needed bullpen arms more.

Chisenhall got a hit. A double, even. That put him on base for when Roberto Perez got an RBI double. And then Perez was on base when Bourn doubled! It was SCHWEEEEEEET!!!

Perez wasn't done, though. He got himself a solo homer in the 8th. He also had a single in the 3rd and walked, so the kid catcher went 3 for 3 tonight with 2 RBI! Any thing to do with Yan Gomes showing up in the dugout for today's game? I still think Perez looks like a thug. And I love it.

Last but not least is Michael Bourn - our leadoff man who bats ninth! Dude had 3 hits in the last 3 series but has had 4 in these last 3 games! Today he went 2 for 4 with that RBI double, and came in two score twice because Jason Kipnis is so great. I don't know if you noticed but I am always trying to be up on Bourn, because he can really be consistent in the leadoff spot. Francona moving him to the end of the order was a nice kick in the pants, it seems. Even Bourn admitted he was "in a funk." If he's a good veteran ballplayer he will take this opportunity to turn himself around and it looks like he already is! Keep it up, Bourn!!

Tomorrow's game goes back to regular starting time at 7:10. What do you think about the 6:10 start? On one hand it's nice to get the game over with early enough for bed (for kids) but on the other hand it sure takes up your whole evening. With the 7:10 start I have 2 hours after work to get the dogs walked, go to the gym and scrounge up dinner before the game. Then again if I was going to the game and had a family with me, I wouldn't have to worry about dinner. I can see the reasoning behind the early start but all in all, I prefer 7:10.

Now, if we're in a different time zone then I'd prefer their fans suffer with earlier start times to make my life easier, thanks! :)

Anyway, Thursday is 7:10 in Cleveland versus the Blue Jays. Man, I am jazzed to go to another game already! But not so parents are already sick of dog-sitting for me this week. I gotta space it out.
The dogs clearly can sit themselves.
Our starter will be TJ House. Keep your comments to yourself. Theirs will be a LHP 4.43, so at least we've got that going for us. Possible to win two in a row? You betcha!

See you there!

Sorry, no Radio Chatter tonight. Sometimes my head just isn't in it!!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Some Hitting Hope

So for once it was one of our star starters that maybe cost the Tribe a win today. We maybe had better hitting than pitching today. Probably. We definitely had better hitting than pitching today.

It's not so bad.

Carrasco - no doubt still in a wonky situation after his stutter steps to starting (paternity leave, at the end of spring, throwing a game, getting hit in the fact, throwing a short game, today) - didn't do so hot. He only made it 4 1/3 innings before getting pulled. He was already up to 91 pitches, and had 5 earned runs. He still had 5 strikeouts! A bad start for sure but the last guy you want to give up on is Cookie Carrasco, I tell you what!

Scott Atchison was fine finishing the 5th inning but goddamnit, Miguel Cabrera! He got a 2-run homer off Atch to make it 7-2 in the 6th. Miggy's average against the Tribe this year is .632 and his slugging is 1.00. ACK!!!

Zep came in for a flawless 7th. Cody Allen "needed work" so even though there was no save anywhere on the horizon, he game in for the 8th and gave up a run. To Miguel Cabrera on a SAC FLY. MOTHER!!!!

So, pitching wasn't too good. But the highlight of the game for me was not only scoring 6 runs (double our average - and pizza discount eligible!) but also that 4 of those runs were scored in the late innings! Fantastic!

Brandon Moss got HOT again! Great balls of fire! No extra bases but he did go 2 for 3 with 2 RBI and a run scored. That's 9 RBI in this series - how many have you hit this week?

A bigger story might be Ryan Raburn, who got his 6th double and made it an RBI double. He was tagged out at third but at least he's trying to be aggressive. He got 2 hits today to give him 6 in the last 4 games. His average is .385!

Aviles and Brantley each got a hit today and scored a run, batting 2nd and 3rd. Brantley's average dropped .018 points from last night's hit-fest down to .341. Ha! Only .341! Chisenhall got a hit too, by the way.

How's this for a blast from the past? Good Guy David Murphy came off the bench and hit a homer in the 9th! GOON SQUAD!

So the Tribe actually came within striking distance, and sort of kept pace in the later innings. It didn't happen but there was a lot more bat activity - 10 hits and only 4 strikeouts - than we've consistently seen this season. Put together with all the other losses and the series so far it was just another loss. But as a regular baseball game - well it wasn't so bad!!!

Tomorrow Kluber tries to get his first win, versus the Royals at home and an LHP 6.75. Oh no, LHP! Well whatever, I can't even manage to be scared anymore. These guys gotta just go out there and GRIND.

This will be the debut of the 6:10 home games, so don't forget! I won't be around and probably won't get to hear the game at all, so cheer loud for me!!!

Radio Chatter:

"You're playing with fire when you put batters on base against this ballclub."
- Jim Rosenhaus

"The next time the Indians make Cabrera uncomfortable at the plate will be a first."
- Tom Hamilton

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Michael Brantley is So Awesome!

I didn't get to hear today's game live, but I did catch the audio archive after it was over. I couldn't avoid seeing the score, and it's always a little extra sad listening to a loss after-the-fact. Especially after last night, Tom Hamilton and Jim Rosenhaus were so upbeat and hopeful at the beginning of the game but I knew that all their hope was mis-placed. Ouch.

Bauer was supposed to pitch today but he had food poisoning and couldn't make it. Conspiracy? PROBABLY. They ended up having to put TJ House in and that kid ain't ready for anything, let alone the Tigers, so he only made it 3 innings, giving up 3 runs.

Also part of the dastardly plan was to use up our bullpen, which also happened. McAllister, Swarzak, Hagadone, Shaw. Although props to those guys because they went 5 innings with only one run scored, off McAllister. They - and House - actually managed to get 10 strikeouts, keeping up the team's excellent record thus far. Not bad against the Tigers, really, considering how the Tigers played us earlier this year. But still - it was no Bauer!

The Tribe didn't win because the lineup went back to being shit today so I ain't even gonna say. Except...

Holy schnikes, Michael Brantley is HOT! Today he went 4 for 4 with a double, and the team's only RBI. That is 7 for 8 in these 2 games against the Tigers, and his average jumped up to .359!!!

And he also looks good in a hat!
So, whatever. Totally not House's fault because once again the starter could have given up one run and still the Tribe wouldn't have won. Lame!

On to tomorrow. Yeesh. It'll be Carrasco versus LHP 3.74. LHP, huh? Everyone be sure to go to church!

See you there!

Friday, April 24, 2015

We're Gonna Make It After All!

Tribe fans, unclench!! That team we read about in February has finally taken the field!

How excited are you about Indians baseball right now? As excited as you were when you saw the Sports Illustrated cover? (Before you thought "Oh no....") I'm not even 2 paragraphs into tonight's game and I can't wait for tomorrow's!

Sorry I missed covering the last 2 games. But there was no Positive to wring out of those. Wednesday was just vile wasn't it?

BUT ENOUGH OF THAT! Tonight is the first night of the rest of our season! Onward and upward!

Danny Salazar was sent to Columbus to get his shit together, so he did. And then he came here and was pretty great on the 18th for the win. Just two runs and 10 strikeouts in 6 innings. Today he kicked it up a notch - just 1 run and 11 strikeouts in 7 innings. He had his STUFF!

Tribe leads the league in strikeouts, by the way. Uh huh!

To round out the game they let ol' Atchison come in and keep his 0.00 ERA through another inning. Anthony Swarzak came in to finish the game in the 9th with a 12-run lead, and gave up two hits. But whatever - he also struck out 2 and ended the game on a soft popup. BALLGAME!

The kid who was starting for Detroit today had a .390 ERA coming in to the game and was the hottest pitcher in baseball. Tribe got 9 hits and 8 runs off him in 4 innings. His ERA is 3.00 now. SUCK IT, TIGERS!!!

Almost everybody hit tonight. Well, not Bourn or Perez. But seeing all those crooked numbers up and down the "hits" column is so so nice! And new!

Kipnis was batting second and he is rising from his slump nicely, now with a 3-game hitting streak. He had 2 hits tonight and oh yeah he was uh-mazing in the field!

Michael Brantley is a god among men. He just shows up and hits the ball. Hit, hit, hit is all he does. Today he went 3 for 4 with an RBI and 2 runs scored. He did what he does best in the first inning - getting a hit with two outs, and then being on base when it's time to score. EPIC BRANTLEY!!

You know it was a good game for hitting because Santana walked twice and got a hit. Not just one walk, baby - TWO. And he came around to score all three times! Two doubles and two RBI, too.

Oh hey guess who showed up today? It was Brandon Moss! The Brandon Moss we've all been patiently waiting at the window for. Our big bat that was going to give us a run or two per game. Our homer guy. HE WAS HERE!

Dude got 7 RBI tonight. SEVEN R-BEEE-I!!! A 2-run double, a 3-run homer and a 2-run homer. Still not half of the team's total RBI (crazy!) but more RBI than total runs scored by the Tribe in any prior game this season. THIS IS TRUE!!

Is this the end of his slump? Well, he does love to bat at Comerica Park. His average is around .500 there. So probably no slumping this weekend and hopefully a SPRINGBOARD to the rest of his season!!

David Murphy is keeping up with his promise to be a good hitter if designated so. He started off pretty horrible, but in the last 3 games he's stepped it up with 3 hits in the Chicago series, and 2 more tonight, including a double!

Murphy came in to score after Lonnie F'n Chisenhall came up after him and hit a 2-run homer! The Tribe didn't have any multi-run homers before tonight and suddenly it's the thing to do! Lonnie also got a double, just like Moss. It was his second double but his first homer. Yes - do it like that!

Jose Ramirez made his contribution today too - like Kipnis, both at the plate and on the field! He went 2 for 3 with an RBI and a run scored, holding down the 9-spot.

So everyone really was on point today - hitting with two outs, hitting with runners on base. Even Perez who didn't get a hit got a sac fly to advance the runners. Grinding away, leading to runs!

Like I said, I can't wait til the game tomorrow! Of course I have to wait because I have an event all day and then some stuff in the evening. So who knows when I can listen. Such a bummer because the momentum of tonight's game is STRONG! And it'll be one of our faves, Trevor Bauer, on the mound tomorrow afternoon.

It'll be a 1:08 PM start, and Bauer will be facing RHP 1.74. They killed a guy with a .39 ERA today, so we should score like 40 against this guy right?

Can't wait! See you there!

Sorry for the lack of Radio Chatter. I was wrapped up in other things today.

Radio Chatter:
"Brandon Moss not able to take the field in the 9th inning due to being battered and bruised by his teammates in the dugout."
- Tom Hamilton

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

They Did It All For the Cookie

So a week after getting drilled in the face with a ricochet baseball, Carlos Carrasco is perfectly fine. Well, maybe his face feels like it got hit with a baseball and he's got a raging headache, but he PITCHES just fine! Great Scott - dude had 8 strikeouts in just 5 innings today!

His velocity was right there, and he wasn't struggling - he only had 60 pitches after the 5th. I guess they took him out to protect him, considering he was already supposed to be staying low before he got hit in the face. So it might be a start or two yet before he's allowed to go all-out. But MAN, what a tough guy! Gotta love that Carrasco!

After him it was time for the parade of relievers. Atchison, Zep, McAllister, Hagadone, Shaw, Allen. Sigh, I wish it was the end of the season and we could all know what that list even means!

Atchison continues to be flawless, with 4.1 innings under his belt he hasn't given up anything but a single walk. The old man is showing the way! (He did throw a wild pitch but you expect that once in a while from the senile)

Zep finished the 6th with a strikeout, and then came back for 2 more outs. Then ZMac came in to end the 7th with a groundout. The 8th was all sorts of white-knuckly, even with 2 quick outs. After that was a single, then another single, and then an RBI single, then Nick Hagadone *gasp* and then a throwing error, so bases loaded and the damn tying run is at the plate. Then Bryan Shaw came in to get that strikeout to end the inning. WHEW! ZMac and Hagadone - hide your wife, hide your kids - it's the 8th inning!

Before the game Tito was all "I hope Cody gets to pitch tonight because he's our man" and I'm like "errrrm...." and then what do you know, Cody comes in to pitch tonight. This is why we tune in night after night, because what happened last night is old news and tonight Cody Allen pitched a 1-2-3 inning, and the Tribe wins.
This is why you can never second-guess Terry Francona.

The boys still weren't "bats on fire" tonight but the guys who did get hits managed to string them together this time, which makes all the difference in the world!

Carlos Santana and David Murphy each homered today. Solo homers, of course. David Murphy's was his first and it was "A-WAAAAAAY OUT OF HERE!" Love it!

In the 6th inning, Kipnis and Brantley got back-to-back singles and Moss loaded the bases with a walk. And then Ryan Raburn, pinch hitting for Murphy, got a 2-RBI single! It was just about the most baseball thing this team has done all year. It was so Goon Squad I almost fainted!!

But wait - there's more! This kid Carlos Rodon was brought in in the 6th, and gave up that 2-run single. He was back for the 7th and the Tribe continued to jump all over his first-appearance nerves. And his leetle tiny mustache!

So Rondon walked Perez and Ramirez, and Bourn got them over on a bunt. Kipnis gets an RBI sac fly but Brantley does him one better by getting an RBI single!

So Brantley is 2 for 4 on the night because he's amazing, and Kipnis is right back out of his pre-Chicago slump because he's in Chicago now.

Murphy and Raburn got 3 hits and 3 RBI between them! That's half of the night's RBI!

Carlos Santana walked and homered because baseball.

So now that we've got that bad taste out of our mouths, there's one more chance for us in Chicago. Tomorrow it's our awesome guy versus their awesome guy - Kluber on RHP 4.29. Yay, rightie! Yay, Kluber! It's at 2:10 so don't forget!

See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"When you don't score's like this club is a high-wire act and there's no net below."
- Tom Hamilton

"Doesn't cost a nickel to be nice to people. Some people still haven't learned. That's tonight's sermon."
- Tom Hamilton

"Chris Sale, if he had been walking on Lakeside Drive today he would have been blown into Lake Michigan."
- Tom Hamilton

"Eric Cooper says 'Remember big boy, I'm leaning over your shoulder in the 9th nice.'"
- Tom Hamilton on the ability of catchers to complain when at bat

Monday, April 20, 2015

That Went Well! Until it Didn't...

Trevor Bauer is finally coming in to his own this season! The kid has 19 innings over 3 games, with just 2 runs given up and 26 strikeouts. He is tied for the league lead in strikeouts! He's getting better, too - even though he gave up 4 hits today, he only walked 2!

Nick Hagadone and Bryan Shaw were even tight today! I guess they just had slow starts? The two of them combined for a scoreless, hitless 8th inning with 2 strikeouts between them. Shaw's ERA is still a portly 5.4 but Hagadone is down to a near-respectable 3.0

Oh, Bauer's ERA is .90, by the way.

The lineup was shaken up today. No Bourn, Kipnis leading off followed by Aviles. Jerry Sands was in there too.

Brett Hayes is our new backup catcher, if you didn't know. Not going to post a photo because I guarantee there is nothing to remember his face by. And anyway - half the time it'll be behind a mask!

Anyway, Brett Hayes had his first start with the Tribe today (he's been back and forth between the minors and MLB (Marlins, KC, Tribe) for 6 years now). He had no errors and he hit a home run! Hey hey! According to Twitter, Brett Hayes is officially better than Willie Mays Hays.

Hey guess what guys! Ryan Raburn is good again!
He's so good that when you look at him you can't tell if he's black & blue or white & gold!

Raburn got his 4th double of the season today, and his first home run! According to Tom Hamilton it was A-WAAAAAAAY out of here! Raburn is hitting .316 on the season with 6 hits in his last 5 games!

Michael Brantley got his 2nd double of the year tonight, and it was an RBI double! He's got 3 RBI already in only 5 hits. And only 6 games! Lord, we need him every day...

Mike Aviles, who I mentioned was batting second, was playing center field today. He was getting by pretty well, batting 2 for 3 with a walk and a fiesty run scored. He even had special headgear for people from tropical climes:
Except in the 9th inning he missed a ball that a "real" center fielder probably would have caught, and that sucked, but hey at least Handsome Mike is out there trying hard! I mean if he was the world's best center fielder he probably would not be playing shortstop on Tuesdays.

Anyway, all these nice things happened and then Cody Allen came in and gave up 4 runs on a walk and 6 hits, and we lost the game. The end.

Tomorrow's game is an 8:10 start with pitcher ... Carlos Carrasco! We'll get to see what a tough COOKIE he is! He'll be facing an RHP 3.86. As usual, maybe the Tribe will win. See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"Trevor Bauer keeping America clean. Picked up the wrapper and gave it to the bat boy. And got booed! Tough town."
- Tom Hamilton on a runaway hot dog wrapper

"Nobody ever knows the third base coach's name unless somebody gets thrown out at the plate."
- Tom Hamilton on Mike Sarbaugh

"Imagine you're a college baseball player facing the Huskies on a Friday night. You finally get Tim Lincicum out of the game only to face Nick Hagadone. You might consider joining the golf team instead."
- Tom Hamilton

"The Arizona Diamondbacks might be calling up Christ Antonetti asking for a mulligan."
- Tom Hamilton on the acquisition of Trevor Bauer

"He might be the best 23rd round pick in the history of the Indians franchise."
- Tom Hamilton on Cody Allen (before he blew it)