Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Columbus Clutch

Ah, missed another compelling game but I didn't miss it as much as I loved seeing "Joe Jack Talcum of the Dead Milkmen" at the Beachland! Besides, if I didn't have a Tribe game to listen to in the morning, I probably would have had a much harder time getting out of bed.

Nice work from Good Fausto here, I mean real nice, especially since that's two games in a row in which he didn't suck. Not only did he not suck but he beat out Dan Haren by not giving up any runs. Yes, he had 7 fewer strikeouts than Haren (3) and went an inning-and-a-third less but dammit - he made it through both the 2nd and 5th innings un-scathed and that is LEGEND...ARY for Fausto!

Joe Smith - lights fucking out. Still with that ERA above 1, but slowly chipping away!

Not sure how it is that Vinnie Pestano gave up a 2-run homer but things happen. I do want you to see his MLB.com homepage picture. Derrr....

Our man Tony Sipp, tho, was lights-fucking-out just like his pal there. So that works.

Not much going on hit-wise today for the boys, as suspected when facing Dan Haren. I was visibly stoked (yeah, visibly - I was hopping up and down in the drivers' seat of my car) when Brantley managed to get a hit and then Asdrubal knocked him in in the first inning. GREAT to get up a run on these guys so early!

Absolutely nothing happened offense-wise for the next 7 innings, which is why that first run was so big.

Defensively, though, there was a big turnaround from last week! Brantley with an outfield assist, Zeke with a beautiful diving catch. Even Pestano with a nice backhanded flip to get an out at first, kind of redeeming himself from that 2-run dinger.

So everyone was playing the game right all the way through, with the defense backing up good pitching and the offense getting in a run early, and wearing out Haren enough to get to the bullpen with a few innings to go.

When I say "everyone" I mean "everyone" because Manny brought all 4 of our benchers out in the 8th and 9th. So he knew we were going to have to scrap to make this work. I was amazed that he pulled Marson for a second until I remembered that you can pull Marson for LaPorta while Santana is in the game and still have first and C covered.

Brantley, in the 2-hole, got his second hit of the night to lead off the 9th. Not bad to have a backup leadoff guy while your real leadoff guy (Carrera) is still finding his way. I'd like to thank Michael Brantley's Mom for stepping up and getting Brantley back healthy with the team! Not only was he healthy enough to get two hits, he also stole second to get in scoring position with no outs. Holla!

Sadly, Asdrubal could not make the magic to win the game as the next batter (it was pretty awesome that at least the radio guys totally were trying to call it that he WOULD end the game right there). But don't forget the magic powers of Travis Hafner and the fact that we love the fuck out of that guy again! His massive double to center brings Brantley in easily and ties the game!

Then we get a walk and a HBP which loads the bases. I was ready for a walk or even a balk to win the game. That shit has happened to us this year!

Of course the guy responsible for all that gets taken out and they bring in a new pitcher. Travis Buck tried to be a hero but failed when We Heart Torii Hunter throws out Orlando at the plate. TENSION!

Then "the Kid" Jason Kipnis (note that by this time, both Lonnie Chisenhall and Ezequiel Carrera are veterans and no longer "kids") is up. Sounds like some movie plot where the manager is all "We'll keep the kid in," even though the kid has had no hits since he's been up in the majors. But the truth of the matter is that there was absolutely no one left on the bench to come in for him so, dude, you're going to have to do something here with 2 out in the 9th, tied and 2 men on. Ok?

No problem! (That's a nice clip because they show the hit twice, once with Hamilton's call)

So that's that. The Tribe seems to have gotten their shit together at least for now, with good pitching, good fielding and hold-on-until-the-bullpen batting. Don't forget it takes good, patient batting to get a starter out of the game with time enough to wear down a bullpen. We had that today.

And maybe a little growing up by some of our boys, too.

Next game is 7:05 tonight against Jared. Weaver. Grrrroooaaan...Perhaps we'll have a little momentum to carry us through a game against a dude with a 1.81 ERA. That's a STARTER with numbers like that. Let's just hope we show tons of patience at the plate and get rid of that guy after 6 or so. It's our only hope.

See you then!

Radio Chatter:
"Tell you what - if you're a good student at Pepperdine, your concentration is off the charts."
"A few distractions out there?"
"The ocean is one...you can figure out the rest! [...] There are a lot of kids who have gone to Pepperdine. They did very well in the 10 years at that school."
- Tom Hamilton and Mike Hegan on Dan Haren's alma mater

"If you're going to beat the Angles, you're going to have to beat them 4-1, 2-1, 3-2. In otherwords, Carmona, Tomlin and Huff are going to have to be sharp."
- Tom Hamilton

"Everyone who's interested is interested in all of the people available."
- Tom Hamilton on pretty much everything we know about the trade deadline

"Well it was over the inside corner, but the coin came up tails so it was called a ball."
- Tom Hamilton is not amused by the home plate umpire

"These kids have probably never seen anybody who can throw this slow and still get you out."
- Mike Hegan on the 3 minor-league players facing Dan Haren

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