Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Night of Magic

Tonight's game was sort of boring. Mike Hegan said so, Manny Acta said so. I actually didn't notice because I had to work so it could have droned on for 8 hours and I would have been fine with it.

I don't think it's that boring when we get 10 hits. It's definitely sad when we get 10 hits, 5 walks and strand 9.  And strike out 8 times.

But, it was cool to see a rookie pitcher, Zach McAllister, come start and do a decent job. He was shaky for sure, walking 4 and giving up 3 runs in 4 innings. But Fausto does shit like that all the time and he has been in the pros for a while.

And we've got the bullpen to back it up! Raffy, Durbin, Hermann and Smith shut 'em down for 4 innings. Joe Smith - ERA of .91! Our man Sipp came in in the 9th and gave up a run the win? Whatever. Giving up a run was no big deal 'cause we were already down 3, why not 4? And it was a home run to Jose Bautista, his 29th. Someone had to do it, you know?

Pitching wasn't really the story of the night, though. Neither was Lonnie getting hit in the face with a pitch (Fuuuuucck....)

The story is not Travis Buck getting his 9th hit in 8 games, putting his batting average 30 points higher than the middle of June, a respectable .252.

The story is also not Matt LaPorta smashing a double off Francisco in the 9th, after Buck's single, further solidifying his back-ness.

The story is not, no matter how much I want it to be, Asdrubal being "Clutch-drubal" and getting a bases-loaded single in the 9th, driving in our first run of the night.

But with the bases loaded and the Tribe down by 4 (thanks to the wounded Asdrubal, in case you forgot)...after 3 hours of sort of boring baseball...well this happened.

Ok I won't make you click the link because I hate when I have to watch a video to get the rest of a story. But you really should click the link and hear it. Because Travis Hafner, good ol' Travis Hafner, he hit a walk-off grand slam. And Tom Hamilton called it and it was beautiful. I mean really beautiful.

It's nights like these where I really hate sitting here alone listening to the games. Scott Cabrera was ignoring baseball. My brother was off doing something. The dog was asleep. There was absolutely no one to high-five. Nothing to yell. Nothing to do during that perfect post-homer moment when Hammy lets the crowd noise spill through the radio.

I actually ended up doing something like this:

No fucking joke!
Even though we love Carlos Santana, and his walk-off grand slam was neato, it wasn't as neato as Pronk's. I think they need to replace Santana's "What If?" video with a Pronk one STAT. Because no matter how much we think Carlos Santana is going to be, I don't think he'll ever be Travis Hafner in Cleveland.

Things are feeling much better lately with guys getting hits and us having the ability to come back. That's something we took for granted in April and May and completely lost in June. Guys are also returning from their injuries and getting right back to where they left off (LaPorta, Buck...Asdrubal). The bullpen is no fluke whatsoever, our starters - while not perfect - are really a phenomenal bunch.

We're going to hopefully roll into the All Star break in 1st place. Some of our performances lately are really a great way to start the second half. It seems like we're getting better from the bottom-up as we rotate though our bench and Columbus. There's still a lot of striking out going on, and the occasional sloppily-defended game. But it looks like they are back to trying everything it takes to get the win.

I think tonight is a great look at more wonderful things to come!

See you tomorrow for more magic. It's going to be rocky on our side with Talbot, but their pitcher is reported as having given up 14 runs in his last 15 innings pitched, so we'll take a big heapin' helpin' of that mess!

Radio Chatter:
"I don't think Villanueva is going to invite Dana DeMuth for a late-night dinner."
- Tom Hamilton on the home-plate umpire's tight strike zone

"They've got a shift on for Hafner. My goodness, there is a second baseman in right field, about 40 feet."
- Tom Hamilton

"The Indians have the makings of a pretty good rec league basketball team now with [McAllister], Masterson...Carlos Carrasco is a big boy too, maybe on point."
- Jim Rosenhaus

"You know, 94 pitches here in the big leagues, the way he had to work so hard, is like 120 pitches down in Columbus."
- Mike Hegan on McAllister's pitch count

"This game has had the pace of the old tortise and the hare race. [...] As we've said before, some 4 hour games are too short and some 3 hour games are too long. This game is too long."
- Mike Hegan after 3 hours

"Encarnacion jumps up in the air and he's not happy. But he's got to get in line, Dana DeMuth has 15 other people unhappy with his calls tonight."
- Tom Hamilton after Encarnacion strikes out

"If the Indians don't win this game, they have only themselves to blame."
- Tom Hamilton

"You don't want to be down 3 runs but if you have to be down 3 runs this is the situation you want to face."
- Mike Hegan with Hafner up and the bases loaded

"A night of utter frustration ends with one of the best 9th innings ever at Progressive Field."
- Tom Hamilton

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