Sunday, July 27, 2014

To The Left, To The Left

Haaaay!
How fun was this game, boffins?? KC took the early lead but they didn't get too far ahead, as the Tribe was just down 1 run to start the 6th. Salazar was keeping things tight and soon after the Tribe exploded for 4 runs against Chen! The lefty, Bruce Chen!

Not only that, they turned it around and KEPT SCORING RUNS! Yessss!

We'll start off with Salazar, who is pretty much solidifying himself as a legit starter for us to go along with Kluber and Bauer. We know he had it in him right? Today he threw 112 pitches - 11 more than his previous high number - and went 7 solid innings only giving up 3 runs. Quality start! And since the rest of his team was HITTING today it was an easy win for the kid.

Shaw and the Boy Pitcher Crockett came out for the 8th and 9th and it was nothing, because as I mentioned, the Tribe KEPT HITTING.

It was a bit of a B-team today, with Kipnis out on rest. Dickerson (who is, when you think about it, our full-time guy) and Murphy cooling their jets too. Gomes in at DH and Swisher in right. Chisenhall was out with "intestinal troubles." And Asdrubal back from a 6-game sit-down after some back problems. But, since our team is actually a very deep and very talented bunch, who happen to continue to not play to their potential, it was no problem for these 9 to come together and take a win!

Since Jose Ramirez was free (Asdrubal), he was put in at 2nd base and also the leadoff hitter. Kipnis copy! He went 1 for 5 and came in to score a run.

Asdrubal, who was showing some promise before he got hurt, came right back today batting second, and went 2-5 with 2 runs scored an an RBI!

What'd I say about Brantley (.318) last night? That he was about to start a new streak after breaking a hittless streak last night? Well, I was right! Today he went 2 for 4 with 2 RBI and 2 runs scored. And now that Carlos is hitting behind him, you gotta throw to him!

AND CARLOS IS INDEED HITTING BEHIND HIM!!
Thank you. thank you thank you.
Today Carlos went 3 for 3. He got 2 home runs and 4 RBI. He walked. He came in to score twice. In this 4-game stint against KC alone he has gotten 5 homers, 8 RBI and 5 walks. In 6 games, his average has risen .020. Woah.

Stay hot, 'Los!! You are our KEY!!!

And how about Yan Gomes? I mentioned last night too that he is quietly heating up. Today they put him in at the 5th spot, and HE got 3 hits as well! "Only" one homer, but he really tore it up in this series too. Seven hits and 3 RBI for the catcher. Awesome!

Poor ol' Ryan Raburn. He's really going down the tubes. But he homered today! A little glimpse of what we loved so much last year. Just his third homer this year but by-golly, off of a lefty.

Dickerson came in to hit for Raburn later and he got a hit! Because, Chris Dickerson.

Roberto Perez is still hangin' tough as the backup catcher. He poked out a hit today and came in to score a run. He's hitting .278!

Mike Aviles went 0 for 1 today. You heard me! He was in there getting stuff done, instead! He walked, he got hit by a pitch (on the hand. Ugh!) He stole a base, he had a sac bunt. All of the things one can do when not hitting!

Tom Hamilton mentioned that a lot of teams would like to nab Aviles during this trade time but it's very highly unlikely he could be bought. Unless you get a #1 starter. And Tampa Bay isn't dealing Price now so Aviles is here to stay. Our Puerto Rican bargining chip!

Tomorrow is an OFF DAY. Good for us, right? Ten days and 11 games. On Tuesday the guys will be back home, where they win a lot of games. It'll be versus Seattle, who we're chasing for the second Wild Card spot. Good series!

So Tuesday at 7:05, Trevor Bauer will face off against a RHP 3.05. Not a high ERA but Brantley, Gomes and Santana all hit this guy well. It could be the beginning of something great!

I don't have any Radio Chatter today. I was pulling weeds outside while listening to the game. It was awful. Weedding - not the game!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

New Ways to Lose

Well, you gotta give it to 'em - they found a new way to lose today. So we can't go saying it's just the offense or just the defense or just the starters or relievers. They have ALL been bad over these past 4 games!

Today it was the starter, Zach McAllister. He had a 5-run lead and - get this - he lost it. Lost it ALL! He had 4 earned runs in 4 innings. The fifth run came thanks to leaving a runner on base in the 5th for reliever Hagadone, who gave up a homer to this Billy Butler character who has had 2 of his season' s 5 homers in the last 2 games.

SONOFA.....

Atchison, Zep and Allen came in to finish and they did their part by not giving up any runs.

You know, come to think of it, the offense was bad again today. They exploded for 5 runs early on, and ended up with 12 hits on the night. But they only got 4 hits after that 5-run second inning!

Carlos Santana had ANOTHER homer! He had 6 in April/May but has 11 in June/July so far. And once again, it wasn't just that. He went 2 for 4 with a walk and his 16th double. He in no way leads the team in doubles but he leads the MAJORS in walks! Cool! He's got a 6-game hitting streak too, with 12 hits and 6 RBI in that time. And 3 homers, as you noticed.

Michael Brantley (.316) finally got two hits in a game today, for the first time in a week. He got his team-leading 26th double for an RBI, as well as a single. Let's hope he gets better from here!

Kipnis had a good night too, by the way. He had a two-RBI double in that 2nd inning, and came around to score. Kid's been streaky - this was his first hit in the series.

Gomes and Murphy again, you guys! Gomes got another 2 hits, giving him 13 in his last 10 games. Murphy's got himself a 5-game streak going on, with 7 hits in those games as well as a walk tonight. Both guys did come around to score - in that second inning.

Mike Aviles was added to the lineup about 15 minutes before the game today, because Lonnie Baseball has the blahs or something. Handsome Mike seems to do well under pressure because he went 2 for 4 tonight and looked good in the field! It was Aviles who got the 2-out scoring going in that second inning, after Santana had started it off with a homer. Aviles hit an RBI single, and then came around to score with David Murphy on Kipnis' double in the next at-bat.

Super fun times there in the second inning, and Tom Hamilton even had the game won by the third. But McAllister just dropped the ball (PUN INTENDED) and the bats never came back even though the Royals had the same guy throwing for 4 more innings. That was it. That wasn't so fun.

Welp, one more against these Royals tomorrow and then the road trip is OVER! It'll be Danny Salazar versus...oh no. Well it's a LHP but he's got a 5.80 ERA and also Brantley is hitting over .500 lifetime against him so that's good!

Stranger things have happened! See you there!

No Radio Chatter today. I kept missing the good

Royals

I know, I know. Not positive. But it's a Weird Al kind of week, right? Gotta get my parody out there.

So I don't know who the culprit was today. Starters? Defense? Offense? Relievers? Everyone contributed to the loss. The starter gave up 3 runs. The defense 1. The relievers 2. And the offense only scored 4 - or, the offense without Carlos Santana scored 1.

So at least they were working together on that nonsense.

Here's Josh Tomlin with an empty face:
Much less hair to distract him today. But while he struck out 5 in his 5 1/3 innings, he also gave up 3 runs including back-to-back solo homers. He's given up 16 runs in his last 4 games with an average of under 6 innings per game. These are the 4 games since his 1-hit complete game, by the way. So how do we interpret that??

The Boy Pitcher Crockett came in to finish the 6th for him. He did fine, with one strikeout and one walk. Carrasco came in for that "long" middle, throwing 1 1/3 innings. He gave up a run, though. So they brought in Hagadone who got his guy out. Then they brought out Axford, apparently having been falsely lulled into thinking he was ok to pitch in a tie game situation. He then gave up the winning run, in the form of a huge homer to a guy with 3 homers so far, because he sucks.

Kind of amazing that the game was so close today, seeing how our lineup failed to hit much!

For some reason Dickerson didn't get a hit today (but he was electric in the field), and they put in Raburn to hit instead. Bwuh? He didn't do anything either.

Brantley FINALLY got a hit (.316). He was 1 for his last 18! When does that ever happen, huh? He just went 1 for 4 today but maybe it's the beginning of a new streak?

Carlos Santana, waaaaaaaat!! Two homers for 3 RBI, and a walk. He went 3 for 2 and as I said, scored 3 of the team's 4 runs. He stole a base, too! STOLE A BASE! I don't know if you can really hate Carlos Santana, long-term. He keeps taking us to the edge of disgust and then coming out with the awesome.

Gomes has been pretty consistent lately, huh? Thirteen hits in his last 10 games. Usually they work out pretty well, too, either producing an RBI or a run. Like tonight, he came in to score. With his offensive production as of late and his general lack of errors, it's exciting to have Gomes again!

Oh man - David Murphy! Even though he's after Gomes, his three hits went for NOTHING today! No RBI, no runs. How did that happen? He's such a good guy, though. He'll just keep hitting, no matter who's around.

Jose Ramirez got a bunt down today! Which led to Gomes scoring on a Kipnis sac fly. Tom Hamilton was livid about his lack of ability to get a bunt down last night. So he was quite proud to have been listened to today. Ramirez also got a walk, so he went 0 for 2. They keep mentioning that Asdrubal might be back soon and...weird, I don't feel too excited about it. Just ambivalent. Bad fan.

Tomorrow is a 7:10 game, even though it's in KC. So, don't forget! It'll be our ZMac versus RHP 4.56. We have as much chance of winning Saturday as we did tonight. Let's hope it actually happens! Offense, fellas. We need some offense.

See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"Minor league innings and Major League inning, they have nothing in common."
- Tom Hamilton

"If your doctor says your cholesterol is a little bit high and you should cut out red meat, Kansas City is not the destination for you."
- Tom Hamilton loves him some meat

"I don't read lips but I can only guess the conversation is something like 'If you don't get this bunt down, do you know where you might be practicing bunts tomorrow?'"
- Tom Hamilton on Jose Ramirez

"That ball sounded like it was shot out of a cannon."
- Tom Hamilton on Butler's homer

"They wanted to run Billy Butler out of town, until about 10 minutes ago."
- Tom Hamilton


Friday, July 25, 2014

The Long Con

Corey Kluber had one heck of a game tonight. Unfortunately he got screwed out of the win by his teammates. Because they couldn't hit, and they committed an error, and they lost the game.

Kluber pitched NINE innings. All nine of them. Nine innings with 10 strikeouts and no walks. Like the Doors had no bass, Corey Kluber had NO WALKS. He had a perfect game going in to the 7th, and only used 107 pitched through 9. Two hits, one run. For July he had 4 games, 23 innings, 1.47 ERA.  BOW TO KLUBER!
There were still 5 more innings to go after that, because however good Kluber was pitching, the team was behind him not hitting.

So there was Shaw, Atchison, Zep an Axford. They were reliably reliable, including Zep. And by that I mean he is starting to reliably be bad. What's up with that? Tonight he gave up the winning single by leaving a man on base for Axford to deal with and then lose later on when Aoki hit a single to left. Did you follow that? Blah blah - 5 innings later, the Royals won.

Not much to say today about our offense except for CARLOS SANTANA. On base, like a boss!
Somebody tweeted my "Like a Boss!" picture today and it got 8 favorites and 10 retweets and I was sad cuz no attribution for me. My own mistake - sometimes I make these pics so fast I forget to stamp 'em!

But anyway back to baseball.

Carlos Santana had 2 hits and 2 walks tonight, and came in to score the only run! How about that! See you just can never give up on this guy (Swisher, yes you can.)

Gomes is the man who stepped up and made it a tie ballgame in the NINTH after the Royals got their first run right before that in the 8th. Wahoo! Free baseball! Gomes actually ended up striking out 4 times and leaving 4 on base. Whomp whomp.

Brantley was completely shut down but since he's had so many at-bats, having an 0-6 game only puts him one point (.316) behind Chisenhall (.317) who managed to hit 2.

David Murphy and Jose Ramirez also got hits tonight, but nothing came of them.

I'm not going to talk about Ryan Raburn's play in left field, because I feel like the anger is over-the-top. I mean I guess if you were already ready to get rid of him before tonight, ok it's some nice "SEE??" fodder for you. But he's only got ONE error, and Gomes has 12. So....? Also, I don't see why everyone is so shocked that a guy can bounce a ball like that. Pitchers do it all the time and they only have to throw it 60 feet 6 inches.

Anyway, tomorrow Kansas City is putting up a RHP for us, so they can stop mocking our lineup. Let's hope everyone's not all stiff and sore from all that whiffing tonight.

It'll be 8:10. No cheap Papa John's for us. I'll see you there!

Radio Chatter:
"They're thinking they don't want to be the guy to mess this up."
- Tom Hamilton on defense during a perfect game

"This isn't a case of two offenses not performing. This is a case of two pitchers performing brilliantly."
- Tom Hamilton

"If they leave Duffy in and Gomes hits a home run, they'll barbecue Ned Yost. If they bring the right hander in and he doesn't get it done, they'll do the same thing."
- Tom Hamilton

"This Indians defense is numbing in how they can beat themselves time and again."
- Tom Hamilton

"When I said one swing of the bat would win this game, that wasn’t what we were envisioning."
- Tom Hamilton

"If Kluber loses this game 1-0, that's a felony."
- Tom Hamilton

"I wanted to come out here and comment on your blue eyes. They are vivid."
- Tom Hamilton imagining what Ned Yost is saying to the umpire

"I know it's easy to sit up here and say 'You gotta get a bunt down' but you know what? You gotta get a bunt down."
- Tom Hamilton

"That's how the game has changed. There was a time when if you couldn't get a bunt down you'd be practicing that bunt the next day in triple-A."
- Tom Hamilton




Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Stumble and Fall

Just a quick blog post because I got stuff to do. I'm at work!

We were totally supposed to win this one today, but it didn't happen. That how baseball go.

Trevor Bauer was good, he had a quality start. Six innings, 3 earned runs. Seven strikeouts in those 6 innings - not bad!

Carrasco came out for the 7th, and Hagadone for the 8th. Nick making a nice transition back up to the bigs so far.

The bats were just dumb today. Except for Jose Ramirez, who was back again from Columbus. He went 2 for 3 with a double - the team's only multi-hit player, only multi-base hit and only RBI. The rest of the runs were on errors. 

Santana got another hit, so that's cool. A bona fide comeback?

Roberto Perez wasn't so hot AT the plate but he crushed it from behind the plate! Two caught stealing boyeeeeeee.

Kipnis and Murphy also got hits today. Murphy came around to score.

And that's it! Kind of hurts to dedicate an afternoon to a game and have it go so BLAH but sometimes it happens. Time for everyone to take their naps, catch up on some Orange is the New Black, and get ready for the 8:10 start against KC tomorrow.

It'll be Corey Kluber, thank God, versus LHP 2.66. Hmm....meet me at the flagpole for a prayer circle beforehand. See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"It's amazing how you can end up on a float."
- Tom Hamilton on his possible participation in the St. Patrick's day festivities

"'Day Baseball - It Works' That ought to be baseball's new motto."
- Tom Hamilton

"He raises his hands in the air as he crosses home plate, in one of the slowest home run trots you'll see for a guy who now has 6 home runs."
- Tom Hamilton on Arcia's homer

"The only thing people in Dallas knew was that you put it in your drink. They didn't know people were running on top of it."
- Tom Hamilton on hockey moving from Minnesota to Dallas

The Way It Ought To Be

Finally! Back to the Tribe roundly beating the worst team in the division, after kicking butt against the best team over the weekend. I guess yesterday's game was a fluke.

Right handed pitcher, man. That's all we need.

Pitching for the good guys was Danny Salazar, back up from Columbus because I think Tito gets some kind of frequent-bussing points. Like the other kids this past week, he did ok but of course had a heart-stopping inning where he struck out one, walked the bases loaded, then struck out the next two. STOP THAT! He did get the win after pitching 5 innings and giving up 3 runs. He struck out 6 and only ended up walking those 3 in that one inning!

Then it was the boy pitcher Crockett who had a nice clean inning, juxtaposed the next inning with the old man Atchison (15 years his senior) who made a point to pitch 1 2/3 innings I think. Trying to show up the kid didn't work too well for him - he did give up a run on 2 hits. A homer to Dozier, who at least has 19 homers so it wasn't such a surprise.

He was followed by Zep who apparently can't pitch to right handers? What the heck is all this nonsense?? His ERA is 1.29 versus left, 6.93 right. The fuck??

Allen had to come in early, to finish the 8th since Zep couldn't, but it was ok because he wasn't needed for a save in the 9th, as it was 8-2 by then. Carrasco took care of it.

The Tribe was 5-12 with RISP! And also looked good in the field. And touched a couple different pitchers. All sorts of winning!

Kipnis wasn't on his hitting game today, after being named last week's Player of the Week. But in the 9th he did get put on intentionally (no doubt they heard about the POTW thing) and then stole a base and then came around to score on a single, sliding around the tag and all that jazz. BEHOLD! So yeah, that kid's a TEAM PLAYER.

Speaking of team - Brantley and Chisenhall were also hitless tonight. Our three best guys, shut out! (Well Brantley got a walk too) But the rest of the TEAM stepped up and got RUNS - so that's pretty awesome!

And, Chris Dickerson?
Yes?
Keep doing whatever you've been doing, because it's just so right! Another hit, another TWO RBI, even though he countered it with 3 strikeouts. Just keep getting those hits when it matters, yo.

And Carlos Santana! Caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarlos Santanaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! He went 4 for 5 tonight including a homer, a double and two singles. No-go on the triple, of course. It was the anniversary of the last Tribe cycle, though. And it happened in Minnesota! How weird is that? I guess his homer went pretty far, too. A no-doubt-about-it job. Later on, his double in the 9th brought in the 8th run.

Yan Gomes is still hot. He's got 12 hits and 6 RBI in his last 8 games! Tonight he went 2 for 4 tonight, and knocked in Nick Swisher for a RBI.

Everybody's favorite clutch hitter, David Murphy (actually I think he leads the league), was up with the bases loaded, and guess what happened. Guess! Guess! Two-run single!

Mike Aviles didn't get any hits, batting ninth, but he did follow up Murphy's single with a sac fly and an RBI. And he looked good at short.

Lots of nice stuff from the top and bottom of the order tho, huh?

Tomorrow's game is the big boy Bauer versus another RHP with an ERA over 4. Easy peasy, right?? I'm looking forward to it. As long as I can remember to tune in at 1:10 PM. Man, I can hardly remember to eat lunch these days.

But I think it's going to be a fun, high-scoring game with lots of hits for the good guys. So I'll see you there!

Radio Chatter:
"When it comes to an up-and-down season, Santana's would resemble one of those roller coasters at Cedar Point."
- Tom Hamilton

"Oh it looked like he blew a tire going into second!"
- Tom Hamilton on a slide by Kendrys Morales

"Give it up, the Twins are not going to rally, LAY OFF THE ORGAN!"
- Tom Hamilton

"Is that the job description? 'Eternal optimist'"
- Jim Rosenhaus on the upbeat Twins' organist

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Left Hand of DOOM!

Nooo! Not only did the Indians lose to the worst team around but it was also our rock-solid reliever Bryan Shaw who gave up the winning run. Tragic!

TJ House was today's starter and he didn't seem nearly as tight as he did in some of his other appearances. Maybe he's a little off-kilter from going to and from Columbus a few times? House only managed 5 innings and gave up 3 runs. Six hits and 3 walks. He left after 89 pitches. He didn't look awful but he just didn't seem as mature as before.

CC Lee, who's been back recently, only got one out in the 6th while giving up 2 hits. Nick Hagadone magically appeared and swiftly got the next 2 outs! Then we were contractually obliged to let John Axford pitch, but he actually had a 1-2-3 inning so that was surprising cool.

Bryan Shaw pitched the 8th and you already know what happened. The game was tied. He got just his second loss of the year.

But still....the pitchers should be able to get by on giving up 4 runs, right? No - left. HA! The Tribe just can't hit lefties!

They fielded a motley crew today after that long weekend series, with Mike Aviles in center while Brantley rested. Gomes was the DH so Roberto Perez was in as catcher. Murphy had the day off too with Swisher in right, and Santana at first. Then Asdrubal was having back problems so they took him out and put in Dickerson. He went to center and the Aviles experiment was over. He did manage to make one great play while he was out there!

The Tribe had 8 hits today. One hit for everyone except doo doo doo doo....Swisher, that's right. But one hit per guy doesn't do it. Neither does 8 strikeouts.

Chris Dickerson came in for Asdrubal in the 3rd, came right out and hit an RBI single! He's got 11 hits and 4 RBI now with just 10 games as an Indian. What a gem! He also fit right in by striking out with RISP. Sigh.

Gomes was randomly batting third, and he had a big RBI double in the 5th after Dickerson walked. He's been quietly heating up lately! Ten hits in his last 7 games. And 5 RBI, too.

Michael Brantley (.328) is amazing and  came in to pinch hit in the 8th and got a double. Then Roberto Perez, who doesn't yet qualify as "amazing" but in fact is "promising," came up to bat and got an RBI single. Nice, kid!

Michael Brantley, as it turns out, does not seem to have much of a sense of humor. Paul Hoynes reported today that Aviles put up an "inspirational poster" of himself in Brantley's locker. And Chisenhall challenged Brantley to a bet as to who would end the season with the better average, and Brantley was all "I don't look at numbers." Yeesh, ok. Then again, carrying the entire weight of a team on one's shoulders does make one a little smarmy. Especially when the rest of the team is clearly underperforming.

Lonnie Baseball did get a hit, by the way. But now he's .003 behind Brantley.

So while it actually was the perfect time to throw some of our other players out there in the starting lineup, and give random pitchers some work, it all came down to no one being able to hit the lefty. It was the 45th game in which the Tribe has scored 3 runs or fewer - and this was the 99th game!

Looks like we've really got a good chance to win this series, though - they've run out of lefties! The next two games will be against RHP with ERA over 4. We like those kinds of pitchers, no doubt.

Tomorrow is another 8:10 start, so you've got an extra hour to mow the lawn.

Sorry no Radio Chatter tonight - I swear, Tom Hamilton was so not in to this game. He was expecting a blowout after that great Detroit series and instead got a dud. He actually gave the game to the Twins by the end of the 7th.

We'll try it again tomorrow. See you there!