Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Right-Side Up

Oh my god how much do we love Carlos Carrasco?! His June was awesome, giving up just 4 runs over 6 starts! And he finagled 4 wins out of those 5 starts too. He got 28 strikeouts in those 5 games and only walked 5.

Wow, wow! I would give you some numbers to compare him to our other starters in June (who aren't horrible themselves) but seems to have rolled out a new Web technology today on their previously-very-nice stats section and rendered it useless for the moment.

Any of you out there play fantasy baseball, and any of you pick up Carrasco? I told my brother to pick him up for today and if he "lost it" then dump him. My brother did not pick him up - and Carlos did not lose it. Woohoo!

Carrasco also batted ok today. He's no Josh Tomlin, of course, but he did do 2 successful sac bunts! One of those bunts led to a run scored, even.

Relieving Carrasco in the 8th and 9th were Pestano and then Chris Perez. They did what you thought they'd do, bitches.

The team was going cr-azy today with hits, getting FIFTEEN and walking 6 times, as well as one HBP. That's 21 men on base. Er...which if you think about it is sort of weak that we only got 6 runs...

Nevertheless...! FIVE doubles for our guys today! I'm just going to roll down the lineup like I did in the old days (April) and tell you how awesome everybody was.

Michael Brantley! Walked once and got one hit, so is he out of his slump? Eh, maybe not. He only has 7 hits over the last 10 games but they all came in like 3 games. Ouch! He did get one RBI and score one run.

Ok ok the NEXT guy is much more exciting than Brantley right now. Orlando! Know how many hits he got today? FOUR hits! He got one RBI and scored two. Orlando got his 12th double of the season, and he's hit 3 doubles over the past 4 games. Combined with that game-winning homer from Monday, he's all of a sudden our power guy! I told you this weather was good for old guys, right?

Asdrubal. What did you expect of him today? Three for 5 with a walk and an RBI? Yeah sounds about right. Does he lead the team in doubles? Uh, yeah! Does he lead AL short stops? Duh! Does he lead the league? Of course not...but he's in the top 10!

Carlos Santana! Got the game's first run right there in the first inning. For every strikeout he had, he was also on base. Good enough?

Shelley Duncan, later replaced by Travis Buck. Together they went 2 for 4 with a run, an RBI and a walk. Buck got one of them doubles, too.

Red alert! Austin Kearns even managed to get a hit today! There was magic in the climate-controlled air!

Sweet Lou Marson! Looking quite sharp running those bases. He went 2 for 4 with a walk and a run scored, getting one of those doubles.

Even Supermanahan, who we still hang our heads and say "well, he's really good at third base..." got in on the act and got himself a double as well, and a walk.

All-in-all, our lineup wrung out 5 of their pitchers while our guys breezed through. Honestly it seemed like Pestano and Perez came in just for some exercise. Agreed?

In case you were wondering, the Diamondbacks are no slouches. In fact they have a slightly higher winning percentage than we do (our .532 to their .537). It's not like we just rolled over the Royals or something. It was a great show against an evenly-matched team. Huzzah!

Just three more games without Hafner (and, like, a million without Choo...) and we'll be back home, hitting home runs and enjoying the Eastern time zone.

In the meantime, you've got tonight off and tomorrow night too, and we're back in it on Friday at 7:05 in Cincinnati! Oh man, we totally won't be seeing our friend Edinson Volquez pitching on that trip. Bummer! Ah well, I'm sure we can beat up on the Reds' other pitchers just fine.

See you Friday!

Radio Chatter:
"We're in the desert! If you don't believe me, the temperature is 113 degrees and the humidity is 18 percent."
- Tom Hamilton

"Sorry Ryan Roberts, you're not that good. Carlos Carrasco is not trying to hit you. Unless Rosie told you to, because of all the tattoos, which seem to really bother [Rosenhause] this series."
- Tom Hamilton

"That's a little play, that doesn't end up in the box score...but just a little slide prevented a double play. [...] Now you've got runners at the corners with one out."
- Tom Hamilton on Austin Kearns' baserunning in the 3rd

"The park is air-conditioned and your car is air-conditioned, but people don't want to make the walk from the car to the ballpark in this heat."
- Jim Rosenhaus on the struggle to get people to come to day games in Arizona

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


So this is weird...1) All of our starting lineup hit except two guys - Brantley and Asdrubal 2) Our bullpen gave up 4 runs in 2 innings 3) We LOST in walk-off fashion

What is going on here?! It was weird enough that the game was won yesterday by Orlando Cabrera's homer (??) but this is almost too much weirdness. If tonight were game 82, I'd be freaked out that it was the beginning of Opposite Half.

Don't worry, it's only game 78.

So hey, how about that Josh Tomlin? Not only did dude give us 7 solid innings only giving up 2 runs and striking out 4...but he also recouped one of those two runs HIS OWN DAMN SELF by singling in a run! How about that?!

And...AND...he picked off their pitcher in to end the 5th. Good game, Josh Tomlin...goooooood game.

On the radio one of the guys noted that both starters were strong (indeed, AZ's guy also gave up 2 and got an RBI!) but if we could get to the bullpen it'd be smooth sailing for us. Since our bullpen is so superior and stuff. And it IS! Except not tonight! WTF?

The bullpen just wasn't their rock-solid selves. Granted, you can't give up 0 runs every inning forever. It was seriously, seriously unfortunate that Raffy and Sipp both gave up their first runs in forever on the same night.

Our lineup was goofy and B-list tonight but really, we scored 4 runs and got 8 hits. Tonight definitely wasn't a case of the batters letting the pitcher down.

Lonnie Chisenhall was on it again tonight, smacking his 2nd double in as many major league appearances. He came around to score a run too.

Also with doubles tonight are the suddenly-powerful Orlando and Shelley "Happy To Be Here" Duncan! Shelley had some leather playing first, too, but also had a bit of a blown play later on. But hey, he was almost filling the position of "warm body" today so it's all good.

Carlos Santana! Dude tied the game up with a 2-run dinger in the 9th and it was a-freaking-mazing. How many of you called it? I know I totally did!

Also, how many of you think "ugh, Carlos Santana. He needs to hit a goddamn home run right now and not strike out" every time he comes up to bat? Yeah, me too. And yeah, that's "calling it."

All in all not bad stuff from our Hafner-Choo-LaPorta-Hannahan-less skeleton crew tonight. Imagine how it might have been if Brantley wasn't in a slump (the Twitterverse called it official). Grady's in a slump too. And imagine if Asdrubal wasn't, I don't know...sad because he hates being in Arizona thinking about how half a million people think Derek Jeter is better than him? Something. He wasn't too shabby yesterday! I think the new ASG counts came out today, though...

3:40 PM game tomorrow (I did not know this, my damn calendar says 9:40!) and guess who's pitching? It's our favorite guy Carlos Carrasco! Their starter looks crummy. And you know our bullpen won't be bad two days in a row, it just does. not. happen. If they truly are any sort of mafia, someone will leave a dead animal of some sort in someone else's locker and a message will be sent and no one will give up any runs until sometime in August.

See you tomorrow!

Radio Chatter:
"From the outside it looks like an airplane hangar. You'd never know it was a baseball stadium from the outside."
- Tom Hamilton on Chase Field

"They're all down his arms, coming up his neck. He's missing the Mike Tyson face tattoo but that's about it...I didn't go any further than that. That's taking reporting a little too far."
- Jim Rosenhaus on Ryan Roberts' tattoos

"Based on how they are ordering things down below, the staff Christmas party is OFF. The budget has been blown."
- Tom Hamilton on the Indians' back office party downstairs

"He doesn't look comfortable against the submarine style pitching of Joe Smith. Most right-handers don't feel comfortable."
- Tom Hamilton on Justin Upton

"Tony Sipp is not paying any attention to the baserunner. You just can't do that in a tie game in the 9th!"
- Tom Hamilton

Monday, June 27, 2011

Snakes and Ladders

Wow man. I was really scared coming in to this game, I'm not going to lie. With the way we played over the weekend and the recent outings of their starter, I was really afraid we were going to completely blow it in front of my aunt & uncle, who are DBackers to the point of having a shrine room. And we'd fall further behind the Tigers in the standings.

I also worried that all of our barking for Lonnie Chisenhall to be brought up would be for naught as he struggled to get settled in the majors.

I was wrong, I was wrong and I was wrong!

We start with pitching, which was run-of-the-mill Talbot. Three runs on 3 hits, 2 walks and 2 strikeouts. Mitch was yanked after 5 innings and 71 pitches in favor of Travis Hafner batting with 2 on and 2 out, which I was not totally opposed to. Except he struck out. Although Talbot was looking great since he gave up 3 in the first inning, Hafner did have a better chance at getting more runs in than him. Plus, we had the whole #BullpenMafia looking to bust out.

And bust out they did. We got almost the entire gang - Smith, Sipp, Pestano, Raffy and Rage. The only one that had a little problem was Pestano who gave up two hits and a run. But, as Rick from Waiting For Next Year tweeted: "Can't even be mad at Pestano. First run he's given up since little league I think." Yeah, pretty much.

Raffy pitched to one guy and got the win, but it was a big strikeout, closing out Pestano's bad inning. Rage came in and gave up a hit, I think in order to allow himself to get the next 3 out or something, and then he got the save.

And now, the exciting story of our bats waking up!

First off, many thanks to Asdrubal for coming out of whatever funkety-funk he's been in lately (got down to .290. Can you believe it?!) and hitting a 2-run dinger at his first at-bat, surely to impress my aunt and uncle who were sitting in the stands behind him. He went 2 for 4 tonight, bringing his average back up to a respectable-for-Asdrubal .295.

Asdrubal's other hit was a double in the 6th, and he was driven in by none other than sometimes-Indian Travis Buck! Buck also had a lovely catch in the 9th to help out ol' C. Perez.

So - Lonnie Chisenhall! His first at-bat he flew out. Then everyone in Cleveland breathed a sigh of relief as little cousin started off the 5th with a double! Woohoo! Save the ball!

Wait, it gets better! Later on in the 6th he got his first RBI, which was the go-ahead RBI! So, hopefully he'll be back tomorrow. Sorry Adam Everett...

So then Pestano gives up the tying run and we're all tied yadda yadda Orlando Cabrera hits a home run.

Serious! I mean, we have seen him do well in clutch situations and we have seen him ho-hum us at the plate. It was more in the first few weeks of the season that we were wowed. They do say the dry heat is excellent for old folks. Whatever, it was a night for Dos Cabreras to go long and go long they did.

Orlando Cabrera won the game with a home run.

That's why we love baseball, folks - anything can happen!

I don't know if you read the box scores in the morning but check this nonsense out. This is slightly extreme but this is generally how National League box scores end up:

Can you even follow that? Yeesh.

So, I'm pretty happy. Going to go to bed happy. Going to look forward to tomorrow's game and everything, maybe get myself some more popsicles.

Don't forget, 9:40 PM tomorrow and Wednesday. The pitching matchup tomorrow is absolutely even, stats-wise. Can't wait to see what Lonnie Chisenhall has going on in his second game!

Radio Chatter:
"Travis Buck has racked up the frequent flyer miles going between home and Columbus."
- Tom Hamilton

"And how 'bout the kid?"
- Tom Hamilton on Lonnie Chisenhall

"My friend went golfing today, his tee-time was 2:30. Since nobody is outside golfing since it's so darned hot, it was $7 to tee off at 2:30 on a nice course!"
- Tom Hamilton can't believe how hot it is in Arizona

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Golden Gate Two-fer

Man you know it was a rough weekend when I skipped blogging for the first time this season. I kept putting off Saturday's game recap all day Saturday then Sunday rolled around and I continued to put it off until Sunday's game came up, and I was still not inspired to write enough words to constitute a read-worthy post. Since Sunday's game was more of the same of Friday and, combining the games into one post just made the most sense.

I've actually been feeling pretty awful since Choo got hurt. I feel sad. So does Choo:

"I just feel bad that I can't help the team anymore," Choo said. "We might make the playoffs. We had a good start and are still in first place, and I can't help the team. I feel sad." 

Oh. My. God.

Ok so let's get the tweezers and see if we can pluck any strands of Good from these last two games.

Actually there's a big chunk of Good right here: Starting pitching was amazing. As good as any team could ask for, ever. Masterson and Carmona gave up 3 earned runs over 2 games. Masterson only gave up 4 hits and struck out 5 in more than 6 innings. Carmona gave struck out 4 and gave up 7 hits, but he went a full 6 innings and did not implode.

Our bullpen (Sipp, Pestano, R. Perez and Smith over 2 days) went back to giving up 0 runs and in fact gave up 0 hits.

Sipp balked with the bases loaded on Saturday, but that was an un-earned run.

In case you are trying to be up-in-arms about how you (the expert?) don't think it was a balk, Sipp says it was:

"I didn't move much, but I felt it," Sipp said. "I guess they're all good at their job. I felt it. I knew I balked." 

Oddly enough, I  was looking up balk stats the other night because we recently benefited from a balk again, scoring a run when someone balked with bases loaded. I asked Nick Camino on Twitter how many balks we've had against us this year and he said 4. I think 2 of them scored runs. When I looked, we were one of the few teams in the majors without a balk. Well now we have one.

Sorry for the jinx.

Someone on a message board I frequent asked about the number of balks committed this year and if it's particularly high and if so, why. I piggy-backed and asked if anyone had a source for the opposite of the balk stat, "balks committed against." No one has answered yet but if I find anything out I'll let you know, because I'm sure you noticed all the balks too. It's especially noticeable when it loses us the game!

Hey it was Pride weekend in Cleveland. Maybe you're not supposed to beat San Francisco over Pride weekend? Yeah, that's the ticket.

So the only good thing that MLB saw fit to share video-wise for the Indians in the past 2 games is a little highlight reel of Masterson's performance. Tonight's game? Nothing. Not even anything for the Giants.

It only makes sense then that I couldn't muster two whole posts, either.

Personally I thought the kid who pitched for the Giants was pretty impressive. Madison Bumgarner is 21 and came right out of high school to pitch for the Giants in 2009. He struck out a career-high 11 today, and the earned run he gave up was actually questionable as being earned (Orlando hit a ball down the left-field line that was foul on review but called fair by the 1st base ump, as the 3rd base ump was missing since the home plate ump left due to injury. You got that?)

I'm about over San Francisco, though. The Indians are over being in first place. But fuck it, it's ok. It's only June. We've got some work to do and it's best to find our limits and reach our lows now instead of September, right?

So, on to Arizona where the temp is slated to be in the one-teens. By that I mean 111. How do people even live? Yeesh.

Now, Arizona is on Mountain Time at the moment so all three of the games are at 9:40 PM Eastern. How the :40 relates to Mountain Time I do not know. I don't think it does. It just has to do with the wackiness that is Arizona, I guess.

We really need to look alive in Arizona because I have relatives out there who are huge DB fans and I don't need them picking my Tribe apart while we're down. But I just looked at the "Probables" Web page for tomorrow and I see:

"Ian Kennedy, RHP
8-2, 2.90 ERA

Kennedy has won seven of his last eight decisions to jump into All-Star consideration. Last time out, he allowed one run on eight hits over six innings. In his last two starts he has given up just one earned run in 14 innings."

So yeah, I'll see you Monday night. Hopefully with something truly awesome to say. Like "Fluffernutter." That's an awesome word.

Radio Chatter:
"You play the world champions in their park, you can't beat yourself. And that's what the Indians are doing here."
- Tom Hamilton

"No matter what happens this inning, it just has not been a very good weekend. [...] They're just not doing the little things and the little things are what got them to 30 and 15."
- Tom Hamilton

"It's supposed to be a high of 111 degrees [in Arizona]. But, the natives will tell you 'It's a dry heat.' Satan will tell you Hell is a dry heat!"
"An oven is dry heat but you don't put your head in there!"
"Good thing we're indoors, which the entire state of Arizona is indoors."
- Tom Hamilton and Jim Rosenhaus on the weather in Arizona

"If one of those sail boats goes over, since we're high up here is it our job to call the Coast Guard?"
- Jim Rosenhaus

Friday, June 24, 2011

Gift Win

All right, don't ever say the 2011 Indians aren't nice guys. Because they totally just gave San Francisco a win.

They didn't earn it, that's for sure. They only earned one run! Our new favorite pitcher, Carlos Carrasco, only gave up one run in the form of a homer. He pitched a complete game, struck out 4 and walked none. He only had 6 hits in 8 innings.

But, he got a loss.

We were lookin' awful good at the top of the game, doing what we needed to do to score runs early. We had 2 runs in the 1st and 3 by the 4th, thanks to a heckova lot of walks by their starter who walked as many as he struck out (6) in 4.2 innings.

The Indians actually only had 2 hits tonight for our 3 runs.

One of those two hits was a real nice double for Santana, which got the first 2 runs in. In a SERIOUS turn of events, later on Santana would help give up 3 un-earned runs by committing 2 errors. Sad trombone.

Choo got hit on the hand and left the game, which totally sucks. He was replaced by Duncan. Nice to see Shelley Duncan back up with the team, but we needed Choo's current upswing. Duncan got pulled for Brantley in the 8th which was sort of shocking because Brantley is nursing a sore shoulder. You don't usually see Manny Acta forcing guys in before they're ready, but Brantley actually had a really long fly out so hopefully he is not that hurt.

Oh, shit. I am going to say the most un-positive thing you will ever hear on this blog. Shin-Soo Choo is out for 6 weeks with a broken thumb. In case you haven't been following along, Choo is out of his slump as of, oh, last week.

So, Brantley out for short time. LaPorta out for longer. Hafner out in the form of the missing DH position for 8 more games. Choo out for what seems like forever.

I think I'm going to have a little cry.

Ok, I'm back.

What we need here is more cowbell. More cowbell in the form of Shelley Duncan.

I also think they need to let Chris Perez bat, just for shits. Don't you want to see Perez bat? Against Wilson and his beard, too. That'd be awesome!

Hey, Lou Marson had a sweet caught-stealing in the 1st. The Twitterpeople say we're to call him "Laser Lou" now. Sweet Lou is already over, I guess.

Carrasco was really awesome again. Really.

This will make us all feel better. O'Hara's 6, starring the Bullpen Mafia. It's a play on Ocean's 11. I'm serious check it out!

Tomorrow we're on Fox 8, broadcast TV, at 4:05 PM. Your Google Calendar might say 7:10 PM like mine does. It's wrong. Not sure if I'll be catching the game tomorrow, but I'll try to get you something by the time we're on prime-time ESPN at 8 on Sunday. I hella would not mind spending my Sunday with a double-header of my own making.

Everyone say their prayers tonight, ok? You know what to pray for. Fighting!

Radio Chatter:
"Carrasco was outmatched from the moment he stepped in to the batter's box."
- Tom Hamilton on Carrasco's first at-bat

"Folks if you need to go do something, you can go do it now because [Carrasco] isn't going to help himself."
"He swung at one that was over his head last time I think."
- Tom Hamilton and Jim Rosenhaus on Carrasco's second at-bat

"Yeah but when you're Kung-Fu Panda, you don't just throw to first to end a game you have to put a little style in it."
- Tom Hamilton admiring Pablo Sandoval's nickname

"If you're looking for Jimmy Hoffa you might want to look in Brian Wilson's beard. [...] How much shoe polish does it take to dye that thing jet black?"
"Who would have thought the Abe Lincoln look would be in vogue?"
- Tom Hamilton and Jim Rosenhaus on Giants pitcher Brian Wilson's beard

"He charged the slow chopper and did everything but kick it into the seats."
- Tom Hamilton on Santana's second error in the 6th inning

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My Tribe is Just So GOOD!

Travis Hafner, can you BELIEVE it? Five hits, two homers, seven RBI in just 5 games back after a MONTH off. Might he be the Supernatural one? Just unbelieveable.

Josh Tomlin? Also so good. He's never gone fewer than 5 innings in a Major League game (it used to be 6 but whatever...) Tonight he only gave up 3 runs, which is just fine for most any team and especially fine for this team when hitting. Two solo homers, too, which he really likes to do. Of the 8 games in which he's given up homers, in 5 of them he gave up two.

The fuckin' BULLPEN?! Guess who has ERAs under 2.0? Smith, R. Perez, Pestano, Sipp. That's who. Magic stuff tonight from Pestano, Sipp and Perez - 6 strikeouts for 2.2 innings. Oh Chris Perez, I knew you couldn't just shake off last night's misstep to Seth Smith. You brought the Rage for sure tonight! MOW 'EM DOWN! Well, except Seth Smith. But everyone else, consider yourself mowed!

Grady Sizemore! Are you wearing kneepads now? I hope you're wearing kneepads. But, anyway, getting a hit and an an RBI. Yeah!

Asdrubal, Buck and CHOOOO! with doubles tonight! So nice to see Travis Buck sliding right in to place here.

I don't think I addressed it yesterday, but Orlando is playing 3rd during this series. I forget why they said they were doing that, other than "Just to see." I forget what they are trying to see. He didn't do so well yesterday. Well, I mean, he didn't just fall over and die like Jhonny Peralta did sometimes but he was no Supermanahan out there.

Supermanahan, by the way, as at first.

Acta did this big switcheroo in the 8th. See if you can follow:
- Marson replaces Phelps (2B) in the lineup but Santana (C) on the field.
- Santana goes to 1st
- Hanahan goes to 3rd
- Orlando goes to 2nd

Is that what Manny wanted to "see" if it could be done?

I knew we had this game in the bag tonight, no problemo. After the way we played the last couple games, and the difference between the two starters, I saw it coming a mile away.

We're 1 game ahead of the Tigers as we go out to the West Coast. Going out to face the Giants who are on a 6-game skid. The Tigers are off to face Arizona who lead the NL West. Could be an awesome road trip for us, but it is 9 games in NL parks - meaning no designated hitter.

Hafner will bat once a game I'm sure, but yowza...let's hope that this doesn't set anyone back.

I guess the pitchers are looking forward to hitting. I look forward to it, sort of - if we've got enough of a lead. I don't think we'll see Chris Perez hit, though. Dammit!

Ok so we've got tomorrow off, and you all need to get some rest because it'll be a late one Friday (10:15) and then ... the schedule has changed since I synched with my Google Calendar. The game is at 4:10 on Saturday AND it's on Fox TV. Sunday it's at 8:05 on ESPN!

Anyway, make sure you get your schedule all fixed so you don't miss a minute. I know I will!

Radio Chatter:
"I asked Orlando Cabrera how he liked playing third base, and he just shook his head."
- Tom Hamilton

"He either caught a spike or he simply had a brain cramp."
- Tom Hamilton on Hammel's balk

"He twisted so hard he almost spun into the ground!"
- Mike Hegan on Hafner's home run swing

"A year ago, the Indians were 13.5 games out of first. And 20 games below .500. What a turnaround!"
- Tom Hamilton

"And the Tribe bullpen is still shutting them down. What else is new?"
- Tom Hamilton after the top of the 8th

"Boy, Choo hit a 2-iron that just didn't get high enough!"
- Tom Hamilton

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night...

Wow what a cool baseball game! It felt very tense. Of course, my very large (and wet from swimming) dog growling trying to sit in my lap for half the game probably added to the overall tenseness of the night. That and the lightning.

It was just a nice little matchup for two closely-matched teams. The pitchers weren't as evenly matched, but neither of them "blew it."

Talbot only managed 6.1 innings and gave up 3 runs and only struck out 2.

Conversely, Rockies pitcher Jhoulys Chacin struck out 7 but also walked 8 so our patience chased him off after 6.2 as well with 115 pitches. He actually had a no-hitter through 6 but then walked two and CHOOOOOO! got the team's first hit and first RBI!

So it's 3-1 Rockies in the bottom of the 8th. A storm is rolling in, with thunder and lighting in the distance. Chacin is gone and Rafael Betancourt comes on. The slowest pitcher they've got, oddly enough. Possibly slow enough to allow the storm to shut down this official game.

But, there was a glimmer of that April magic when 3 singles in a row (Phelps, Asdrubal, Hafner) scores a run and still no outs. Then a pitching change. Then two outs. O noes!

Then Travis Buck, of all people, snaps an 0 for 24 slump and gets himself an RBI single to right. The game is tied! The storm is coming! Hurrah!

Ah, but, after 30 innings of scoreless work, the bullpen gives up a run. Chris Perez gave up a homer after not giving up a homer all year. BUMMER.

The last inning was still pretty fun, though. Still lightning and thundering out here, the dog panting wildly and drooling on my feet, cracks of thunder fuzzing out the radio reception. Two outs and it's Sunday's hero Cord Phelps! Oh hey he gets a triple! Yaaaaay!

Now Asdrubal's up. Yaaaay! But he walks. Not intentionally but intentional enough.

The Questionable Call of the night goes to Manny Acta for pulling Hafner in the 8th for a pinch runner (Everett, .228) and then putting Kearns (.207) in to hit. Kearns isn't the questionable call, pulling Hafner is. No Shelley Duncan anymore, ya see.

And then the game was over.

But! The storm continues and my dog continues to moan, I've had a couple Benadryl and a Goji White Grape popsicle and all in all I am pretty happy with tonight's game. I was listening to it thinking about the people I know who can't get in to baseball or sports in general and wonder if they know what they're missing. I've never felt this much emotion watching The Office. How can they like Firefly so much and not Cleveland baseball?


Anyway this is the sort of game that The Positive Tribe is founded on, because even though we did a lot of losing last season there were tons of cool games like tonight. I'm happy to spend a night listening to this kind of baseball.

Lou Marson got his second (second!) triple, by the way and also threw out a guy at second. Still loving him behind the plate.

And Asdrubal went 1 for 2 with 3 walks, 2 runs scored and his 12 stolen base.


Ooooh, I just heard that Chris Perez is going to be on WTAM in the post-game show in a bit. Great, gotta hear what he says. Gives me something to do while waiting for this damn storm to pass, because the dog has made it clear that going to bed is not in the plans.

Tomorrow's at 7:05 and I think it's going to be a great game again. This one we have a real chance of winning too! See you then!

Radio Chatter:
"Pronkville is begging for a souvenir."
- Tom Hamilton

"People listen to these games and they actually believe you guys! I pay for that in the offseason!"
- Jim Rosenhaus taking Mike Hegan to task for suggesting that he was wearing pink high heels

"Chacin is walking around the mound thinking to himself 'Why can't I throw strikes over the corners of the plate?'"
- Tom Hamilton on Chacin's multiple walks

"Those 'All You Can Eat Seats' ... great time to go to the ballpark and then get a physical the next day."
- Tom Hamilton

"The way the wind is blowing now, it'll be easier to rally from behind."
- Tom Hamilton puts a positive spin on the impending storm

"They put a 'no doubles' defense on at Coors Field and doubles will be dropping in everywhere."
- Tom Hamilton

Monday, June 20, 2011

That Is That

Oh Fausto...You're sort of failing us here buddy. The guys gave you defense, run support. The bullpen did their jobs even though they'd been stretched lately.

You looked good too, for real. Then whatever switch is in your head flipped and that was the end of the ballgame.

Well, not actually the end of the ballgame because it did end up being close. And I guess it'd be tied if Raffy hadn't given up a run, but this is all on you Fausto.

Ok, admonishment over. On to the Positive!

EVERYBODY HITS! Did you see, added a new icon over on the right there! It's been over a month. The guys have been slowly creeping towards being able to have a high-hitting game and Cord Phelps clinched it in the 8th with 2 outs. Welcome to the club, Cord Phelps!

So, how about that Carlos Santana? HOT. STUFF! We thought he was coming out of a slump some time ago, around Memorial Day, but he never busted out. More like rolled out. But over the last 7 games he's had 10 hits, 5 RBI and 3 home runs. That's 3 home runs over the last 4 games.Three hits tonight including a solo home run.

Hard to tell if it's Hafner's influence or playing more at 1st. Whatever works though, huh?

Hey, Hafner...he got his 6th home run tonight! I can't believe how good that guy looks after coming off the DL twice. Both he and Grady looked good off their initial stints on the DL but Grady didn't have a second roll in him. Hafner, however, has barely missed a step! Look for the homer some time soon on Tom Hamilton has the Best Home Run call in all of Baseball but you know you also want to see it on the TV. BAM!

CHOOOOOOOOO! got a 2-run single!

Really happy with all the hitting tonight. Did you imagine this time last week that we'd be coming up on a 12-hit, 7-run game where everyone gets a hit? And Carlos Santana gets 3 hits? Well maybe if you are a follower of The Positive Tribe you of course think that we can play like this every game (rah! rah!) but there was a big question mark as to WHEN this time would come.

Tomorrow's going to be interesting. We're facing a guy who has a 2.81 ERA and 8 wins. And his name is impossible to pronounce. "Jhoulys Chacin" - I put it in quotes in case it's the name of a fictional character. He'll be facing Talbot who...well, let's hope we get some more hits and runs tomorrow yaaaaaay!

Radio Chatter:
"The most confused guy in the ballpark right now is Juan Nicasio."
- Mike Hegan on Santana's homer in the 4th

"He was cruising along and ran into a little bit of trouble, then BANG the roof caved in on him."
- Mike Hegan on Fausto's departure

"Florida has a new manager, who's an old manager. [...] Jack McKeon, the first year he managed in the big leagues, President Nixon was going through the Watergate scandal."
- Tom Hamilton on the hiring of interim manager Jack McKeon in Florida

"Manny Acta just loves the way Michael Brantley goes about his business."
- Tom Hamilton

"I have no idea what was wrong with it...wait, I do know. There was nothing wrong with it. [...] So if it's down the middle of the plate, it's a ball to Todd Helton."
- Tom Hamilton hating on umpire Gerry Davis

Sunday, June 19, 2011

C is for Cord

Hmm, could this be a trend? Cabrera, Cabrera, Choo, Carlos, Carrera, Chris, Carrasco and now Cord? Good thing I got my representative hat:

Sounds like all those fellas belong in Cleveland!

I'm getting ahead of myself here.

Father's day! I spent most of the day watching the game with my mom. But to be fair it was because I was cooking in honor of dad. Dad did not feel the need to watch the game - he prefers to get the Good News as filtered through me. Props to Dad for molding his wife into someone who at least lets you tune the TV to the game instead of something lame.

I was also impressed that when she saw STO was showing golf crap an hour before the game mom asked "Is there a rain delay?" noting that she has noticed over the years that if there is golf on the television it is most likely due to a rain delay.

Oh! Guess what! Goddamn Masterson shaved his goddamn beard. He didn't get the W but he had his 3rd 2-run game in a row and he didn't get the loss. He no longer looks like he pitches for the hipster bar league sponsored by PBR.

Besides that good news, he struck out 5 and went 5 innings.

Then the relievers came in and they were probably planned to go one inning each and close it out, except then it rained for 2 hours and then the game went in to extra innings. So there was Chris Perez in the 9th, after nice single-inning performances by Durbin, Raffy and Pestano. We go in to 10 and one thinks "well uhm, what comes after Chris Perez anyway?" sort of like "who works that extra hour at the 24-hour convenience store during the end of Daylight Savings Time?"

Well the answer is Joe Smith and then Tony Sipp, duh. After that would have been Hermann and then perhaps your mom (actually, it could have totally been Choo.) Glad we didn't have to find out!

Our middle of the lineup was kickin' it out today. Eight hits, two walks and HBP for 4-5-6-7!

Choo was totally ON IT today. He went 3 for 5 and stole a base (and eh, got caught stealing...) His hits looked great, too. He's batting .244 which is his highest since June 3.

If you're wondering how Choo felt about the firing of John Nunnally, quoth Nick Camino (@CaminoTribe):

Shin-Soo Choo told reporters: "We're still in first place. Why is he fired? I am very disappointed because he helped me a lot."

Also ON IT was Carlos Santana (who, if you noticed, was playing first just like we like it.) His 9th home run, his 13th double, two walks, two runs scored, one RBI, even saw the lights of the Goodyear Blimp and it read "Santana's a pimp."

What's up with Choo and Santana? Do you think having Hafner at #4 just keeps all pressure off them? Does he whisper some secrets about the opposing pitcher to them after he bats? Whatever it is that's into them right now...Like!

Aaaaaanyway...also getting a double and a homer tonight was the FNG Cord Phelps, who we will start comparing to Ezequiel Carrera but just for a minute, and maybe that was only me. Phelps has been struggling at the plate, no doubt. Even though he was hitting .295 I think when we plucked him out of the minors, this is still the big leagues. But he got his first double so that was cool.

Then he was up in the 11th and there were 2 men on. Santana had been walked to get to Phelps (followed by Marson - wouldn't you?) So there's a RISP in the form of Choo and we're running out of pitchers and it's been almost 5.5 hours since we started an it's muggy and hot and CAN'T WE JUST SWEEP THE PIRATES ALREADY?! Cuz I brought my broom, dammit!

If Tom Hamilton was calling today's game, which he wasn't, I don't know if he would have trotted out the old "Can the Indians re-create that same magic here at Progressive Field?" from the last few times we had a close-at-the-end situation. If you recall the Indians were all about wins at the last-at-bat and walkoff wins earlier in the season. Hammy has tried to evoke those sorts of wins lately but nothing comes of them. Would he have done it again, probably the third time in the past week or so?

It would have been epic to hear what might have happened between Hammy and Cord Phelp's bat tonight. But I will take the win and the sweep over the lack of epic radio call. I will concede to the television call.

Oh, yeah, this would have also been cool to hear Hammy call. Oh hai. I am in ur infieldz, vacuuming up ur baseballz wit mah bare hands. This may be the play of the year, I dunno. I don't know if it's better than his behind-the-back flip or what. I don't care. People will still call him "ass-dribble" and vote for Derek Jeter. Gah. But you know where it's at, right?

Wow, check out this awesome Asdrubal 2011 highlight reel that MLB just put up. It randomly showed up in my browser. I watched it twice.

I didn't really want to be a scoreboard watcher after we dipped down into 2nd place, but...the Tigers lost 2 our of 3 against the Rockies so now we're a whole game ahead of them, alone in first place. Now we get to play the Rockies.

Three more days of Hafner until we're in Other Timezone and Other League Hell, so be sure to tune in faithfully. Speaking of faithfully, I guess this weekend was our first 100,000+ fan weekend since September 2008! So, good job, Cleveland! I'm glad you're all done crying over basketball enough to come watch some awesome baseball.

I didn't catch any radio tonight but there was some good stuff on Twitter with regards to Phelps, Cabrera and even Perez, so I'll totally steal all that right now and present it to you. Enjoy!

Twitter Patter:
"The more Phelps does things like that, the more likely he gets a multiyear deal and my dream of an 'Extension Cord' headline comes true."
- @castrovince (Anthony Castrovince)

"Cord Phelps .. Absolutely awesome!!! Cbus fans know him well! Way to go buddy! #Indians #neveradoubt"
- @JLEWFifty (Jensen Lewis)

"Pestano, joking about Asdrubal's web gem: 'You know they don't give out gold hand awards. They're called Gold Gloves.'"
- @MLBastian (Jordan Bastian)

"Last Indian who’s first career homer was a walk-off was Ben Francisco on 6/29/2007 vs Tampa Bay"
- @tribeinsider (Cleveland Indians)

"Talk about a team effort and a guy finally getting rewarded for putting together great at bats all day, grats to Cord great moment for him"
- @VinnieP52 (Vinnie Pestano)

"Santana, on Asdrubal's gem: 'I wasn't surprised. For me, that's just normal for him.'"
- @MLBastian (Jordan Bastian)

"Masterson, on Asdrubal's play: 'Everyone was going crazy. We reminded him that he did have a glove. That's incredible.'"
- @MLBastian (Jordan Bastian)

"Smith also on mound for Asdrubal's barehand, behind-the-back flip in Chicago. Said Smith: 'He came in and said, 'I looove when you pitch.''"
- @MLBastian (Jordan Bastian)

"Indians manager Manny Acta, on Asdrubal's gem: 'Oh my God. Half of the dugout was yelling, 'Best play ever! [...] Some guys were like, 'Slow down. We've some other ones. Ozzie Smith and all that.' It was unbelievable.'"
- @MLBastian (Jordan Bastian)

"Any congratulatory tweets for Phelps let me know I will pass them on, and no he did not have choc milk in cinnamon toast crunch today."
- @VinnieP52 (Vinnie Pestano)

"In case you didn't know @ChrisPerez54 purposely loads the bases from time to time just so he can crush other teams souls. #LetTheRageBegin"
- @ClevStrikesBack (ClevelandStrikesBack)

"Wow. Nice catch. Plays were on 5/19 & 6/19. Smith on mound for both. RT @wellthatsdumb: Cant wait see what he'll do next month on the 19th"
- @MLBastian (Jordan Bastian)

Getty Images

Saturday, June 18, 2011

C is for Cookie

Carlos "Cookie" Carrasco is on FIRE lately! Only gave up 1 run in his last 3 starts (tonight). He crept up on a no-no into the 6th inning, with only one walk. Until he gave up a hit in the 6th, he had pitched 21.1 scoreless innings in a row. I don't know what's gotten into this kid (he's 24) but DAMN! Anyone picking him up for fantasy? He's 6-1 over his last 7.

In case you were wondering who Carlos Carrasco is, let me introduce you:

Awesome relief pitching, as usual. Joe Smith is still rockin' the under-2.0 ERA (1.29). Our man Sipp! gets his second closing opportunity in as many nights, again giving up none. Both guys struck out 2!

Hafner didn't play tonight, and Grady was at DH. But we still looked fine without Pronk, which is great. Means he's not carrying us yet making us stronger.

Grady rocked out tonight with a double and a triple. The triple was due to some great baserunning on a looked-like-a-homer ball. If Manny Ramírez had hit a ball like that he may have been thrown out at first.

Asdrubal, gettin on base, stealin' bases, scoring runs, batting .301.

CHOOOOO 1 for 2, with 2 walks. Walking a lot lately which means that he's really focused at the plate. He had 10 walks and 28 strikeouts in May, but with June more than halfway over he's already got 7 walks and only 12 strikeouts. Tonight he went the other way for his hit, got an RBI and got his 10th stolen base as well. Nice stuff!

Carlos Santana did not get a hit tonight BUT...he got a sac fly for an RBI. He hasn't had one of those since May. Brantley also got himself a SF-RBI.

Orlando Cabrera is making a case for himself. He did sort of miss a ball to give the Pirates their first hit in the 6th, but then he came back and hit his 3rd homer of the year. Hrm.

Austin Kearns is doing better in an occasional role. He had a hard time getting started off the bench, but he's hit in 3 out of his 5 games here in June. Tonight he went 2 for 4 and scored a run.

Sweet Lou Marson was behind the plate again tonight, which my friend C agrees with me is the right place for him. Now that LaPorta is out for a bit (owie in the ankle with video *shudder*) we should see more Carlos at first. And we get Buck back too. Man I hate to lose LaPorta but I do like those players in those places...but, speedy recovery to Matt - he wasn't having too bad of a month.

Great great team effort again tonight, just like we've gotten used to. Solid starting pitching, shutout relief, small ball offense.

Hafner's back in tomorrow night. I'm excited to see the lineup! I might watch the game on tv with my dad if that's ok with everyone. No Radio Chatter, then. But that's ok as it's a little tiring this weekend without Tom Hamilton.

It's a 1:05 game tomorrow, bring your broom! Heck I might bring my broom to my dad's, just cuz I paid for it and stuff.

See you then!

Radio Chatter:
"The final count was over 60,000 dogs last night. [...] Sales of antacid in the Cleveland area were high today."
- Jim Rosenhaus on Friday's Dollar Dog Night

"Hammy is our big toe."
- Jim Rosenhaus on Tom Hamilton's absence

"Nobody can hit that breaking ball, Mike."
"Not just this ball club, nobody period."
- Jim Rosenhaus and Mike Hegan on Carrasco's breaking ball

"How many hitters would have watched it and not gotten to 3rd base?"
- Jim Rosenhaus on Grady's home-run-turned-triple

Friday, June 17, 2011

When Pronk is Pronky...

And Santana is Supernatural, and Asdrubal is Drooby, and Choo is Choosy, and Grady is Speedy and our pitchers are on their games...well that is 2011 Indians Baseball and that is what we had tonight.

It probably also helps when 38,548 fans + Carlos Baerga are in the stands.

Josh Tomlin has given up 6 runs in each of his last 3 starts. Tonight? One. It was a legit run, after a double. No errors, no homers. Followed up with an inning-ending double play. He went 6.2 innings and struck out 5. Those are the stats he was throwing up all through April and May, before those last 3 starts. You like?

Pestano comes in to face 4, strikes out 2 and grounds out 2. Our man Sipp shows up in the 9th (no Rage?) and faces 3... "And that's your ballgame, folks!" says Jim Rosenhaus, who is filling in for the vacationing Tom Hamilton.

But, we weren't worried about our #BullpenMafia.

We HAVE been worried about Carlos Santana, who got bumped down to 8th tonight. Perhaps the presence of some other big-hitting occasional first-baseman lit a fire under his ass or something, because he got a solo homer. And then a single and another single, that time for an RBI.

That other big-hitting occasional first-baseman I mentioned is Travis Hafner who was batting DH in the 4-spot today for the first time in a month. His first 2 at-bats were ground outs. Sigh. Then a walk. Whee? Then there was this in the 8th which was awesome and looked like a home run, if nothing else his swing was classic Pronk so you should totally watch it.That scored one, then Cord Phelps showed up to pinch run, and he scored so that was just awesome.

I will not fail to mention Asdrubal, who got a double early on, then got a single in that awesome 8th and came around to score.

Choo walked twice - nice! And had an assist at 2nd, which is his 10th assist this season (14 last season) and he's 2 ahead of all other outfielders right now.

Grady looked good walking in the 1-spot, and even better out in centerfield. I hear he made a great Grady-ish catch in the 9th but doesn't feel it clip-worthy, so I'll just have to take Rosenhaus's word for it. (Update: They posted a clip as I was finishing up writing. It WAS a great catch!)

Hannahan switch from 3rd to 1st after LaPorta got hurt (sprained ankle, no break, so far so good) and he did all right there. Not sure why they didn't bring in Sweet Lou and put Santana at 1st...but I'm sure Manny knows.

So we seemed to have all of our pieces and parts tonight. Pitching, batting, fielding, Baerga. Is this all due to Pronk's return? I guess I don't care what it's due to. LOVE IT! So nice to see the huge crowd there, which I hope is duplicated all weekend.

Oh yeah and beating Pittsburgh? Priceless (to which Pittsburghians say "Youns still follow baseball?")

Tomorrow night is our new favorite starter, Carlos "Cookie" Carrasco against a guy who's "record continues to be deceiving because of a lack of run support and blown saves.", we can pitch like that. Can we beat that?

See you then!

Radio Chatter:
"The Indians as a team hitting .500 with the bases loaded."
- Jim Rosenhaus

"I called it the Yake. Yacobs field, that's how I remember it."
- Carlos Baerga

"He has my name so that is why he had to hit a home run today."
- Carlos Baerga on Carlos Santana's home run

"Michael Brantley...stay with it! He's hitting it as hard as he can but has nothing to show for it so far."
- Jim Rosenhaus

"I used to have to write in 'Mike Hegan' 300 times each season."
"I got 301 votes. Three-hundred from you and one from my wife."
- Jim Rosenhaus and Mike Hegan on All-Star voting

"Wood putting the drama back in to the intentional walk."
- Jim Rosenhaus on Tim Wood's sort of wild intentional balls

"All the ingredients that made this team so successful earlier in the season were on display tonight."
- Jim Rosenhaus

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Some Promising Bits

Whew, ok, glad not to be in first place anymore. It's not natural for a Cleveland team, yaknow. It's also very hard this early in the season. It's one thing to end the season on top but to keep it up over 150+ games? That takes something special. Our guys are special but not THAT special.

I was really hopeful for today's game after yesterday's game and then today's first inning. In today's first inning, Michael Brantley got a triple and an error on which he scored. Then Asdrubal got a double, and CHOOOOO! got himself a triple. THAT was pretty exciting right there. That was 2011 Indians baseball.

But, Talbot gave up 2 in the bottom of the 1st and then 2 more and then 2 more and that was that.

Oh wait, that wasn't all. There was also this awesomeness by Asdrubal Cabrera's tattoo. WATCH IT!

After all that tho, yeah, the first inning and Asdrubal's "circus play" that was about it.

I did however find this for you: The Dugout Sports Show :60 with Pure Rage. Did you know about that? Lucky for us the video interviews aren't 60 seconds at all - more like 4 minutes! It's awesome stuff. So awesome I can't even watch them all right now. I've swallowed two and they were amazing. I think Perez IS Kenny Powers. Watch for new episodes during each homestand.

I hope that made you feel a little better, boffins. I know it sure helped me!

Everyone has the night off to enjoy life as they see fit, that's an order! We'll have to do things that can't be augmented by a baseball game, unlike gardening, chillin' on the deck or mowing the lawn. Me, I like to go grocery shopping on nights like these. I don't feel safe listening to the radio in the grocery store. Gotta watch out for all the people talking on phones and being otherwise generally obnoxious.

Ok so see you Friday night for the Pirates. You heard me - Pirates!!

Radio Chatter: 
"The Indians get a little-league home run and lead one to nothing."
- Tom Hamilton

"One - where was Boesch going? And second - that's a dangerous play! [...] It's a routine first inning, folks..."
- Tom Hamilton on Asdrubal's double play to end the first inning

"Wow...Brennan Boesch runs like he's 50!"
- Tom Hamilton on Boesch missing a ball in the outfield in the 3rd

"Some of the umpires that paid to get in today are not happy with that call. They always put them in the good seats behind the plate, too."
 - Jim Rosenhaus

"One thing to say about Jose Valverde...he is not on any kind of a fruit diet."
- Tom Hamilton on the Tigers' 6'4" 255# closer

"Valverde's body language would give you the idea that the last place in the world he wants to be is Comerica Park."
- Tom Hamilton

"Right now he's the Dominican's version of Burl Ives. Throws a little harder tho."
- Tom Hamilton on Valverde's goatee

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Excited For Baseball!

Man, what a good baseball game. I mean REALLY good baseball game!

I could totally feel this coming, after our performance in New York, a tiny win and then a loss to Verlander. That was all different and tonight was it.

The KEY to tonight's game was Fausto not freaking the fuck out. Three runs in the first...and no freakout. Only one of those was an earned run, perhaps that was it. He outlasted their starter, but only going 5. I like the move by Acta to take him out "early." Before there was a chance to melt down. Early enough for a nap.

Then, Raffy - Vinnie - Tony - Perez. Lights out. Zero hits, three walks and six strikeouts in four innings. Chris Perez was SPECTACULAR, striking out two and then getting Brennan Boesch to pop out. Got his 17th save, putting him second in the league by one.

The record is 62, if you were wondering.

Our bats tonight...oh, what bats!!! Everybody hit except for one guy. I'll let you guess which guy.

Did you guess Brantley? I bet you didn't! Brantley didn't hit an in fact struck out twice. But we won - ha ha!!

Speaking of Brantley, I guess he rolled his ankle on his 4th at-bat. I found myself yelling at the radio "No! No Michael Brantley! Bad!" and doing the ASL sign for "no". I think I hang out with toddlers too much. But, he came back for a 5th at-bat so I guess he's ok. Whew!

We won with only ONE double and no homers. Thirteen hits! We even only got 3 walks!

I love it. Just love it!

Ok, so who was on fire tonight? The goddamn BOTTOM of the lineup! Especially Orlando, who got THREE hits and 2 RBI!

LaPorta got 2 hits and 2 RBI, and Sweet Lou got 2 hits and 1 RBI.

Tonight's lineup had Marson catching, Santana at first and LaPorta at DH. I am really liking Santana over LaPorta at first and Marson behind the plate. Marson's only allowed 9 steals in 176 innings, over Santana's 32 over 406. Santana, IMHO, has been better than LaPorta over at first.

And, nothing against Lou, but I don't want Santana run over at the plate anymore. I also don't want him concentrating on calling balls and strikes. There is some article out there about how players who are good catchers get worse at hitting as their catching gets better. I think it's true.

Ok anyway so, Grady struck out a whole lot less today. As in, none. He got himself an RBI. Santana walked again, good good. Also got a hit.

CHOOOOO collected two hits and a walk. Jim Rosenhaus says that even though his numbers may not show a comeback, the way he is hitting the ball looks comeback-y. He hit another hard one tonight. So nice to see that dude cross the plate! It woulda been fun to see that at home, huh? Let's hope he's feeling it for the rest of the week!

So 6 runs and 13 hits is exactly how we played in April and May. The pitching has pretty much been there the whole time, save for a few fumbles here and there. It was particularly harmonious for us to bat like that behind a winning Carmona. If you can't get into that, you crazy!

I just learned that Carrasco's nickname in the clubhouse is "Cookie." Love it!

Oh hey we weren't in first place anymore coming into this game. Now we're tied for first again. Tomorrow is THE game for first place. Weird, right?

Tomorrow's game is at 1:05 PM, against Max Scherzer. He's got an ERA over 4. FINISH HIM!!!

Radio Chatter:
"Catcher Alex Avila goes to the mound and says to Penny 'Look you've got three pitches, which one are you going to throw?'"
- Jim Rosenhaus

"You get the feeling the Indians are going to get to Brad Penny tonight."
- Tom Hamilton

"He realized it wasn't the beard, it was him."
"Shaved it off and hit a home run!"
- Tom Hamilton and Mike Hegan on Brennan Boesch's ex-beard

"If Fausto Carmona can throw strikes, Ordonez cannot hit them."
- Tom Hamilton

"I'll tell you what, he takes after mama's side of the family. Because his dad was a big strapping lineman."
- Tom Hamilton on Tiger relief pitcher Daniel Schlerech

"He'd have to be Carlton Fisk to get that one. Or maybe Dirk Nowitzki."
- Mike Hegan on a high wild pitch

"This guy you just hold your breath every time he comes to the plate."
- Tom Hamilton on Miguel Cabrera (no relation)

"He coulda used a relay man there. Hand him a baton...somebody else to go the other 35 feet."
- Mike Hegan on Miguel Cabrera's slowness out of the box

"I said to Tony [Sipp] the other day, how did Clemson do in the post season? 'Don't know, don't care.'"
- Tom Hamilton on Tony Sipp's Clemson coach telling him he'll never make it in the pros

"Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. And Charlie's got the blues."
"[...] By the way, I didn't ignore that. I had something deep to say and now I've lost it..."
- Tom Hamilton cracking up Mike Hegan

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Not No-Hit

Well a few games ago I relished us not being shut out, and now I'm just happy we're not no-hit!

Verlander has always had our number, and especially so tonight. He looked good, that's all we can say.

He hit Choo in the first inning, so that was all for the perfect game. Brantley eked out a walk in the 7th. The unlikely candidates for hits tonight? Orlando and Santana in the 8th and 9th.

It's true - not even Asdrubal managed to hit Verlander tonight!

Choo did get a home run, which is encouraging. Except Austin Jackson pulled it back into the park, so it was more of an out than a run.

Pitching? was no Carrasco - Sipp - Pestano - Perez, no sir. Masterson gave up 5 walks, but only 2 earned runs and struck out 4 in 6.1 innings.

Yeah our defense didn't back him up too well again, and of course neither did our offense. Brantley did do this though.

Hey, guess what! Hafner played for Akron tonight. It's beginning of a rehab assignment. I'm still not clear on when he's coming back...Maybe this weekend against the Pirates? We can't really use him from the 20th to July 3rd when we're AWAY against national league teams. He'll probably make one appearance per night, for the pitcher.

Tomorrow we're not facing Justin Verlander, so that's good. The guy we are facing has had some troubles recently so perhaps we can capitalize on that?

See you tomorrow!

Radio Chatter:
"So the Indians defensively are letting down Justin Masterson."
- Tom Hamilton

"A fan somehow reached up and snagged that foul ball. That's the kind of defense the Indians are looking for."
- Tom Hamilton

"Right now the way he [Verlander] looks, I'd be shocked if the Indians got a hit. Nothing against the Indians offense but this kid would be no-hitting anybody tonight."
- Tom Hamilton

"I wonder how many people in the Motor City are trying to get down here to get a ticket tonight. History is in the making."
- Tom Hamilton

Monday, June 13, 2011

Shake It Up

Man, I really wish the title of tonight's post wasn't the same as a Cars song, in case someone thinks I like The Cars. I don't, just so you know.

Manny Acta had told us to "wait until Monday" to see if there was anything funny happening to the lineup. Here's tonight's starting lineup:
DH Sizemore, 1B Santana, CF Brantley, SS ACabrera, RF Choo, LF Buck, 2B Phelps, 3B Hannahan, C Marson

Not terribly different but it puts Grady in first and Brantley third instead of down in the 6ish-spot when Grady hit first last time. Santana second instead of cleanup. Asdrubal cleanup which is a no-brainer (but still Walter to Brantley's Perry) and Phelps in the lineup instead of Orlando.

What does all of that madness get us? Well not 7 runs or even 7 hits but a WIN! And what's better than a win? A win against the Yankees in New York!

Asdrubal got that RBI, you know. Him and Brantley teamed up to get all of the run tonight.

Let's not talk about that though. Let's talk about our pitching tonight. OMG I AM LOVING CARLOS CARRASCO! I saw him the last time he pitched, the last time we won, the last time it was 1-0. That was when I sat next to the Indians bull pen and got to watch him warm up.

Carrasco - who, let's face it, NOBODY saw coming - went 7 innings with 7 strikeouts and no runs. He got himself into an honest-to-goodness JAM in the 1st with the bases loaded, then getting a flyout (A-Rod), strikeout, groundout. He gave up 3 walks and as many hits as the other starter, but, as Hammy said, "got stronger as the night went on."

He also says "Jankee Stadium" in the post-game interview and says "I do my best for my team." How precious.

Then Tony Sipp, who has some ridiculous ERA against the Yankees, comes in for the 8th and gets two outs. Then they flippity-flop to VinnieP and he takes care of the last out of the inning. I hear tell that Vinnie's sprint from the bullpen was booed. Whatever, New York.

Then - THEN! - Pure Rage Perez comes in and is all GAME OVER, NEW YORK! and strikes out the side. Three up, three down! IT WAS AWESOME! Save number 16.

Speaking of IT WAS AWESOME! Check this shit out from Jack Hannahan. That was all Asdrubal-y of him. Also check this shit out from the MLB Fan Cave and Jack Hannahan in a kilt. Apparently Jack Hannahan has a "legend" and it is "growing." Srsly.

So I am just happy happy tonight after this game. The pitching was so awesome. The defense was pretty good. The offense still needs a shot in the arm (Hafner. Soon.) but at least we still can count on Brantley and Asdrubal.

I got an Asdrubal baseball card today. How cool is that? Not signed or anything but still cool. I used to collect cards in the early 90s so I haven't seen ANY of these guys on cards, not even Orlando.

The Tigers are a half game behind us at the moment, but they are tied in the 9th with Tampa Bay. So when we wake up tomorrow we'll be facing the Tigers while tied with them or a whole game ahead of them.

We have no choice but to rock. Unlike The Cars, who do anything but.

Let's hope this momentum carries over to tomorrow's game! I know I'm excited! See you there, 7:05 PM.

Radio Chatter:
"[Umpire] Mike Muchlinski tells him 'look that's not going to be ball 3 after you just took a bunt like that.'"
- Tom Hamilton

"Well they just made an announcement here at Yankee Stadium that should clear some of the park. Eduardo Nunez is coming in to bat and play short for Derek Jeter."
- Tom Hamilton

"Boy, Jack Hannahan has played Gold Glove third base all season long."
- Tom Hamilton

"This might be one of those games where if you're going to win you've got to win one to nothing."
- Tom Hamilton

"The Indians looking to get out of New York with a 1-run win or better, and hoping that the Tigers and Tampa Bay play 23 innings."
- Tom Hamilton

Sunday, June 12, 2011


A faint FAINT glimmer of hope revealed itself to me during today's game, in the form of 8 whole hits. There was even a point where we had the bases loaded, which was nice to see.

Of course, I was bashed about the brain with 8 whole strikeouts. I counter-attacked with three doubles and five stolen bases. En garde!

Our pitching was not too good but our fielding was worse. Hooray for pitching?

Asdrubal Cabrera got 3 hits this afternoon and still has a batting average over .300. If he's not your favorite baseball player yet, I don't know what your deal is.

Hey, Orlando Cabrera got his 2000th hit! That's so Eddie Murray of him, amirite? did not see fit to post a video or even a photo of it. It actually was a little bit suspect as a hit. Remember the other day's Radio Chatter when Rosie was talking about the official scorer wanting to be extra sure about Jeter's 3000th? But a hit it was and they kept the ball and everyone gave him hugs and stuff. So that was nice.

Time for him to have an extended vacation and watch Cord Phelps grow as a 2B perhaps?

I went to go look at tomorrow's matchup (Cool Carrasco vs. A.J. Burnett) and I found this site called on which there is a picture of A.J. Burnett's tattoos and associated mockery. I laughed. I also liked that the site's header is a picture of a beardy, because beardys are gross. Not all beardies are gross - gotta love our favorite beardies Chris Perez and Nice Brian W. Even Scott Cabrera keeps it tight. But, see what big bushy Galifianakis does to your face? Gross.

Ok, tomorrow at 7:05 PM. Will the glimmer of hope turn in to an eked-out win? That's all we ask for. According to some post-game interviews, Manny Acta has some stuff up his sleeve with regards to the lineup. So, we'll see.

Radio Chatter:
"If you're in the upper deck you are a long way from the action."
"And if you're in the lower seats you're either a multi-millionaire or you snuck in."
- Jim Rosenhaus and Tom Hamilton

"C.B. Bucknor is one of the nicest men, but the worst umpire."
- Tom Hamilton

"Jack Nicholson made that movie before he got courtside seats to the LA Lakers. But that movie helped him get those seats."
- Tom Hamilton explaining One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest for the youngsters. The movie came up because apparently Yankee pitcher Freddie Garcia looks like the character Chief and carries that nickname.

"You can eat all the sushi you want but you still have to age. A lot of players are eating sushi like it's the fountain of youth. [...] I'm not saying sushi is bad, just give me some Lake Erie perch, fried up."
- Tom Hamilton

"The Indians have pretty much let everybody back in to the [penant] race."
- Tom Hamilton

Saturday, June 11, 2011

I'll Be Honest - It Was a Downer

So the only good thing I can think of that happened during today's game was that I took a nap.

Ok, Mitch Talbot was looking pretty decent too, until he got thrown out for "throwing at" A-Rod. He didn't actually throw at A-Rod - he slipped on the wet mound. You could see the umpire on the TV saying "I don't care." If you recall, Fausto Carmona started a brawl yesterday after hitting Mark Teixeira. According to Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian):
When Talbot told ump he slipped on mound, the pitcher said the ump replied: "You slipped at the wrong time."
 Sigh. Ok.

Asdrubal did not get a hit today. I know Asdrubal can't get a hit every day. But he very much did not get a hit in the 8th when we so needed him to. Brantley got a hit today, but also did not get one in the 8th and neither did Grady. In fact, all three of them struck out.

Supermanahan did get a hit and in fact got two. One of them was a double. He never crossed the plate, though. You'd think that him having a little resurgence down there in the 8-spot would be perfect for our guys at 1, 2 and 3 who have been solid. But it didn't matter.

Anyway I just did not like this game. I was very excited after last night's game that we could have beaten these Yankees. These Yankees did not beat us, we beat ourselves. Pitching and hitting were not there.

Of course this is just one game. One out of 162 that was officially no fun for me. It's the first one in 62 games that I didn't enjoy. It will happen.

I'm not going all scorched-earth about my team. I'm not quitting the blog or ripping up my "OMG ASDRUBAL!!" sign. I am still excited about watching the game on TV again tomorrow. In fact during my nap I had a dream that there was a double header and I could wake up and watch a new game. I am still excited about this season and this team and everything.

Just not today.

Speaking of TV...the radio broadcast was about an entire pitch BEHIND the over-the-air HD broadcast on WKYC. Isn't that weird? You'd think radio would be faster, and it's always been faster in my experience. I wonder if there is a longer delay for a specific reason.

Here's a short video of Chris Perez about beards and other beardy pitcher Brian Wilson.

Oh, the Brad Paisley concert is going on right now. Anyone else excited to get past that and stop hearing commercials about it? And also stop seeing this completely awkward-looking and poorly done promo?
"Never match your cowboy hat to your shirt" is what I come away with from that.

Ok, we'll try again tomorrow at 1:05 PM.

Anyone else in the mood for pancakes?

Radio Chatter:
"Former Indian Bartolo Colon has had a rejuvenation. The question is how did it come about...That's a topic for another time."
- Tom Hamilton on Colon's miraculous shoulder surgery that turned him from a guy in his early 30s pitching in the 80s to a guy in his late 30s pitching in the 90s.

"Carmona maintains he didn't try to hit him. New York maintains 'baloney!'"
- Tom Hamilton on Carmona hitting Mark Teixeira.

"Robinson Cano better drive the speed limit on the way home."
- Tom Hamilton after Cano hit a policeman with a foul ball

"Somehow some way he is going to make his way through it. He has made a miraculous recovery."
- Tom Hamilton after A-Rod came back in the game after being hit by Talbot. Rodriguez made a spectacular display of anguish "as if he was shot by a sniper." It was very Varejão.

"You only give up 3 runs against the Yankees, it feels like you should win."
- Tom Hamilton

Friday, June 10, 2011

Oh, That Fausto...

Well tonight was different. Different than the last few (or dozen?) games in that we ended up doing some batting and did not hang the pitcher out to dry.

It was the same in that Fausto hung himself out to dry. But then something different did happen in that our bullpen came in and gave up a ton of runs and actually ended up losing the game for us more than Fausto had lost the game. I KNOW, RIGHT?!

Perhaps they were stupefied by their trip to the MLB Fan Cave today. You gotta read that article and watch that video. It's all sorts of goofy.

Almost everybody hit today. And when I say almost I mean everybody but two guys. But that is soooo much better than our other games of late, you know? For a while it's been ONLY two guys have hit!

Orlando is one of those guys who did not get a hit. He wasn't supposed to be in the game today - Travis Buck was, but he was in a taxi accident yesterday. NOT COOL, NEW YORK!

Orlando played 2nd and Cord Phelps was DH (what?) Phelps got his first major league hit tonight! His folks were there to see it, too. Bravo!

In my no-way-professional opinion, today's team that showed up was the team that we saw on April 1, who then went on to win like a million games. Fausto sucked and we got a bunch of hits and had a bunch of good at-bats and scored a bunch of runs.

Carlos Santana had himself a good night offensively, with two hits, one of them a two-run-dinger. He did however give up a run on an error. Whoops...

Ok, better yet, Matt LaPorta! Pretty stinky lately but tonight had 2 hits and 2 RBI!

Ooh, and there was Hannahan who not only got a double and two walks (I've learned that with Hannahan we "love the glove" and put up with his offense or lack thereof) but he also had a sweet stop that reminded me of my dog versus a moth.

Brantley and Asdrubal got hits today. Brantley even got an RBI. I am really glad about that because I had a really bad day at work. I told my co-worker that if Brantley and Asdrubal get shut out tonight, I just might cry.

Turns out I didn't have to cry. In fact, I quite enjoyed the game really. Of course it could have been better in many respects but it gives me hope.

Oh yeah, and there was an awesome fight. So awesome that the bullpen (see above) came trotting out AND put a two clips up. That's pretty rare - they don't always like to highlight fighting.

Tomorrow's gonna be sweet...1PM game and it's on TV! One good thing about playing the Yankees, I guess. We are THIS close to beating those pinstriped jerkfaces. I hope tomorrow is it and I see it on TV.

Radio Chatter:
"The way Carmona is pitching right now he is helping all of the Yankees out of their slumps."
- Tom Hamilton

"Carmona just served one up and said 'see how hard you can hit it.'"
- Tom Hamilton on Granderson's homer

"I don't blame Teixiera for being angry. That is bush league to throw that high after a home run."
- Tom Hamilton on Carmona hitting Mark Teixiera after giving up a home run

"That may be the most useless news story ever."
- Tom Hamilton on a story Rosenhaus read about the official scorer wanting to make sure he scored Jeter's 3000th hit correctly

"I don't even know if I can read some of these other headlines in this paper."
"Well you can, but I'll have another partner tomorrow afternoon."
- Tom Hamilton and Jim Rosenaus on The Daily Post

"Rosie's wife Carol is pregnant with their second child, which is great news. [...] I thought it was pregnant women who liked ice cream and pickles, but Rosie is going through ice cream here nobody's business. [...] You went through that ice cream like Sherman went through Georgia."
- Tom Hamilton

"If people could see what you destroyed before we went on the air tonight..."
- Jim Rosenhaus to Tom Hamilton in defense of his ice cream

"Those customs people at the air port are like 'Look, I don't want this job, I don't want to be here, so you are going to be miserable too.' You say 'hi' and they look at you like 'what did you mean by that?'"
- Tom Hamilton on going through customs

"We just heard that the grounds crew has been spotted on Long Island. I guess they are heading to the Hamptons for the weekend."
- Tom Hamilton on the rainy 7th inning

"There's a guy in the stands here who looks exactly like President Obama. Since they put him up on the big board, that guy hasn't bought his own beer all night."
- Tom Hamilton

"That just shows how your bullpen is in disarray, when you have to go to Mariano Rivera when down by 6 in the 9th."
- Tom Hamilton

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Noontime Nail-Biter

If you didn't hear, Cord Phelps was brought up from the minors and Shelley Duncan sent down. Big blow for the Dunc Tank who is way too old for the minors but Acta pointed out we won't be facing but 2 lefty's in the next dozen or so games, so the guy hitting .152 versus RHP had to go.

Phelps came up to play 2nd and if you recall, we discussed this scenario 2 days ago because The Cleveland Fan had made the plea to bring someone up to replace Orlando. I like it and I like it a lot. I think our farm system is outstanding and I also think our coaches (Nunley, Acta) are outstanding with young players. And, since Dunc took one for the team, Orlando gets to stay on and be a veteran presence in the club house.

All eyes were on Phelps today, so he did this and then this in the field. A couple of balls that may have gotten past Orlando? Possibly. Orlando is better going to his right than to his left but you have to assume that a spry young guy is going to get a few inches of stretch over Cabrera.

Phelps did not produce at the plate today, but it was just last night that he came up. On the radio they mentioned that his parents didn't have time to get to Cleveland but his sister flew in from Manhattan to see him. I wonder what she does that she can get from Manhattan to Cleveland so quickly? That's pretty awesome of her. Especially since if she would have waited 24 hours, he'd be on a bus on his way to New York for our series against the Yankees.

You know who did produce at the plate today? Michael Brantley! I don't know how he's not back at .300 yet - he's gotten 15 hits and 6 walks in the last 10 games. Perhaps maybe being lead-off is giving him too many at-bats. Whatever the case, I am still sure he'll be over .300 at the break.

Asdrubal did not do anything spectacular today. No idea why. No hits, no crazy fielding. An off-day, I guess. I don't think he's had an actual off-day yet this year. His stats say 59 games (today was game 60) but I don't know if they have updated the stats today or not. Another cool thing about Cord Phelps is that we can sit Asdrubal or even have him hit DH for a game or two. Phelps actually is more of a SS than a 2B.

Oh, in all my excitement of loving Michael Brantley and worrying about Asdrubal, I forgot that our two runs today came courtesy of HOME RUNS by GRADY and SUPERMANAHAN!

I don't know why, but posted Tom Hamilton's audio for the Hannahan homer video clip, so here it is. Enjoy!

Not only did we get homers today but both CHOOOO! and Santana got doubles. Although I do report every time they get hits, and it seems to be almost every night, with this team slump I can see why everyone is pretty frustrated with those two. If they're only getting one hit per game, it's not usually with RISP or when we need it. They can keep hitting their doubles but if they can manage to do it when someone is on base ahead of them - sweet!

Speaking of sweet, Sweet Lou - who's had a few 2-day catching stints here and there - broke an 0-for-23 slide today with not one but TWO hits. Oddly enough, even though he's ahead of Brantley, he did not make it home either time. But, good to see him get his stuff back. Since he's a bencher and has so few at bats, his average went up .010 points just by getting those 2 hits to put him back over .200. Whew!

Justin Masterson was decent today. He gave up 3 runs but once again - 3 runs used to be nothing to this team and now it's nearly insurmountable. Manny Acta actually said he was very disappointed today and especially disappointed for Justin not getting the W. Although it was Chris Perez who got the L.

One more time, tho - Justin Masterson, shave your fucking beard. For real. Look at yourself!
Photo by
Even though this was a one-run loss in 10 innings to the worst team in our division, it was still an exciting bit of baseball. We got 10 hits, just not enough runs. My heart was flippity-floppin through a lot of it, that's for sure!

The game wasn't on WKYC today, by the way. I sat down and made a list of games on broadcast really early on, perhaps even before the season started. So my info is a bit off. Two of my friends did tell me they were "watching" on Gameday today and they really liked it! Me too!

Everyone has the next two nights off so make sure you get all your chores done and meet me back here Friday night as we take on the Yankees for the first time this season. And, from what I hear, BOTH Saturday and Sunday's games will be on WKYC. That really tickles me! Me, my dog, Tom Hamilton and Jim Rosenhaus all sitting on my couch. Will you be there too?

Radio Chatter:
"That's his second bat of the day. Good thing he's going home - might not have much lumber left for a longer road trip."
- Mike Hegan on Cuddyer's broken bat

"You said it, Tom. They needed a spark from somebody, somewhere, and that just did it."
- Mike Hegan on Hannahan's game-tying homer

"If you're wondering, the Indians have 4 walk-off wins."
- Tom Hamilton

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Cool, Cool Carrasco

My friend Mike told me that you gotta touch Bob Feller's (statue) foot when you come in to Progressive Field for good luck. I did so today, and waddaya know. Good luck!

Ok so I took care of the good luck and Carlos Carrasco took care of the good pitching and 7 other guys took care of good defense. All in all, I'm pleased with everyone's performance. Good job, all of us!

Seriously though, it was a great night for baseball. The weather was bearably warm with the wind coming off the lake. The midges have already left. We got all the rainy stuff over with early this morning. I managed to pick my friend up in Cleveland Heights without getting lost once.

I was so feelin Carrasco tonight. Probably because I got seats right up against the bullpen and was so close to the catcher that I literally was feeling Carrasco warm up. Check it:

It was some how extra-special for me that he got the W tonight and also that he went 8.1 shut-out innings. He got 6 strike outs and only gave up one walk and 3 hits. Liriano only gave up 3 hits for the Twins but it wasn't his turn today.

Perez came in for 2 outs of relief and got his 15th save. He collects those like Pokemon! His strike-out of Cuddyer to end the game was pretty epic, though. Because Cuddyer just got so mad. Lulz!

Perez walked by me like 5 times in the bullpen but he was very hard to get a picture of. I think perhaps he is part ninja. I did snag one, though:
It's him, you can tell by the beard. Turns out all the other guys are extremely hard to name because they wear nameless warm-up jerseys over their names and I still don't see them enough on TV to know who's who. This is Tony Sipp, doing some deep-knee bends. I know because later on he took off his warm-up and I saw his name:
I don't know who this guy is, but I wanted to take a picture of the top of his head so I could show you just how close I was to real baseball players all night:

Here's a shot of my view of the actual game too, just in case you were wondering if I watched anything other than the bullpen:
Nice, huh? Got that seat for $15, too, thanks to a 50% off promotion via Facebook. I was actually in the middle of purchasing tickets last week when The Indians were like "hey buy cheap tickets for next week!" on Facebook. Seren....wait for it....dipity!

Oh so back to the baseball game, which we won. Did not win due to any sort of outstanding hitting, although Orlando and Santana both got doubles (which Santana turned into a triple). It is very good that they hit something because I'm about going crazy over here with batters 4-9 doing a whole lot of nothing.

Shelley Duncan managed to get one down in the infield which scored Santana from his perch at third, and it was hella awesome. You don't expect that sort of thing from either Santana or Duncan but together they made it happen.

One was all we needed because Carrasco was on FIRE. Really in control the entire game.

What was also awesome was our infield defense today. Santana looked fantastic at first, really. Nothing got by him. Orlando and Supermanahan got their jobs done. Of course, Asdrubal was AM AZING once again, I'm sure thanks in part to my sign!

The infield looks like they were really paying close attention to how they were playing today. You could almost see them mouthing "Get ball. Set feet. Throw ball." as they carefully but confidently took care of 13 ground-ball outs. Their play really mattered a lot today, with the way they've been hitting. One error could have lost them the game.

Nooner tomorrow and I'm stoked. We really need to be winning going in to Friday in New York against the Yankees. And we need the real Slim Masterson to please stand up. It'll be against Carl Pavano, maybe we have some sort of secret old dusty book on him (he used to pitch for us). He's old, you know. Older than me and I am old.

The game's on WKYC channel 3 tomorrow, for those of you without cable. I actually don't have a TV in my office but I'll put it on the TV in the living room (I work from home) just so I can see replays, and so my dog can watch too. And maybe I'll take a long lunch.

See you tomorrow!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Not Shut Out

After not scoring for two games and being completely blown out before that, it was cool to have a game with hits, runs and a close score. Of course, this sort of situation was much cooler earlier in the season where we were bustin' it out in the 8th and 9th inning, but at least there was some Cleveland baseball tonight.

Michael Brantley and Asdrubal Cabrera seriously could not be happier to be back next to each other. They both went 3-for-4 and got all three of tonight's Indians earned runs. Now they totally remind me of Walter and Perry from Home Movies. Michael Brantley belongs at #1 and Asdrubal #2. Orlando at #2...that did not work so well, so end of experiment.

Did you see Asdrubal's home run? Number 12! And then BRANTLEY too!! Brantley has surpassed his 2010 number and Asdrubal has surpassed his 2009 and 2010 combined.

Check out this article by Michael Kramer on The Cleveland Fan, the bit about Orlando Cabrera. Do you think it's time to send our gift horse out to pasture? I would actually like to see one of our farm boys come up and see what's up while the season is still young enough for us to know if they're ready. What's wrong with platooning a young guy with Orlando? He has enough pop left in him to make some cheer-worth appearances but he's leaving a little to be desired at second and lately his bat is doing us no good (although that's not an Orlando-only problem.) Anyway, I wonder why we haven't brought anyone in to dabble at 2nd? Maybe we'll see someone new soon.

Choo got his hit tonight. Not sure how he didn't get his 9th assist tonight but it sure was close. I don't think it was for lack of power on that arm!

Tomlin was the starter and he lost it for himself. I think 6 is a bit much to overcome. Well, for this current team right now. It wasn't a huge loss but it wasn't aces.

Rafael Perez came in and threw TWO scoreless, hitless innings which is pretty impressive for him. Keeping that ERA under 2 still. Durbin came in and shut them down in the 9th. I wonder if Acta throws him out there to bring his ERA down.

So our bats are swinging and our lineup is lining up, and our pitches aren't losing their minds. I'm going to the game tomorrow and so excited to be sitting next to the bullpen. I've never done that in all my years as a fan, not even in Municipal Stadium! I'm starting to explore right field this year...previously I spent a lot of time along the 3rd base line, and in the club seats before that. Right isn't so bad, got some good seat prices out there.

Definitely look for my double-sided "OMG ASDRUBAL!!" foam-board sign!

Oh, and check out this stud muffin we drafted tonight. I hope we see him sometime soon! Ok not too soon because he's a shortstop. If he can play 2nd, sign him up tomorrow!

One more thing - if anyone wants to grab me some Radio Chatter for Tuesday, I'd be eternally grateful!

Radio Chatter:
"Good news, guys! Julie is 24 and still single! But you'd better not dawdle, as pretty as Julie is..."
- Tom Hamilton during the birthday greetings

"If Travis Hafner can hit for the cycle, aaaaanyone can."
- Tom Hamilton on Brantley's performance

"Rosie has reminded me to do a station identification for the first time in about a month. Stephanie Hagel has been barking at us about it for weeks."
- Tom Hamilton

"I tell you what Tom if you saw the way he started you wouldn't think he'd be here in the 8th inning."
- Mike Hegan on Scott Baker's performance

"They've set the table but nobody's clearing it!"
- Mike Hegan on Brantley and Asdrubal's performance

"For the Minnesota Twins, the 8th and 9th innings have become the Bermuda Triangle. It's where victories get lost."
- Tom Hamilton