Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Centerfield

What a nice game, eh? (did you see what I did there?)

First off - GRADY! Playing center, hitting two doubles, two RBI. Everyone's all "Grady's back!" and he totally is! So can he not hack the DH role? Has that been the issue?

You know who CAN hack the DH role? Michael Brantley. Put that guy in the 6th spot or the leadoff spot, put him in center or make him DH. Whatever. Three hits, triple-double-single.

Carlos Santana! Five-game hitting streak! Did you even notice that?? Tonight he went THREE FOR THREE with two doubles and two RBI. He actually managed to sacrifice a run in and everything! I guess he's way more comfortable outside of the cleanup spot. I can see that.

CHOOOOO! Still quietly getting hits. Fighting!

The whole team ALMOST got hits tonight, save for Travis Buck who usually wows us and Matt LaPorta who is just toying with me now, I think.

Hey hey, Mitch Talbot! He had a little meltdown his last time up and I assured you it was a fluke and - I was right! Look at me! He's all back to where we last left him and we said "hey who is that Mitch Talbot guy? He's pretty good too." He pitched into the 7th and gave up only one run. He only struck out 3 but Brandon Morrow struck out 9 over 5 innings...while giving up FIVE DOUBLES. So, Mitch Talbot for the WIN! (Literally)

Our favorites Smith, Pestano, Sipp and C. Perez came in to finish it. Smith and Sipp weren't rock-solid like they've been lately, giving up two runs, but the rest of the team made it work out ok.

Speaking of the rest of the team...LaPorta was back on it at first today, being defensive. And SUPERMANAHAN was all "I got this!" a couple times, making beautiful plays at third.

Before the game I happened to catch some pre-game on TV and they asked Austin Kearns and Shelley Duncan who would win in a boxing match. Did you know Austin Kearns has big ears? I did not know that. I should totally start collecting baseball cards again if I am going to be missing all of the games on TV.

Ok once again looking online for pictures of Shelley Duncan and I come across this post on the Cheezburger Network that is a "Totally Looks Like" comparison of Shelley and the cartoon character Edd from "Ed, Edd n Eddy." I came up with a similar theory on April 27 except I said he looked like the one who wears the hat. I'll be honest, I've never seen more than 5 minutes of that show and I think it's creepy weird that two people in the Internet think about "Edd, Ed n Eddy" and Shelley Duncan. I wonder if anyone's told Shelley?

Speaking of looking funny - which I have now been doing for two straight paragraphs - has anyone noticed how completely doofy all the guys look in their team headshots? There's something about the way they take official player photographs that makes them all look incredibly...childish? I mean I realize half these guys are barely old enough to be left home unsupervised, but the neck-up shot of guys in crisp new hats is just not flattering.

Anyway so that's why I need baseball cards because the shots I see on the Gameday board are creepy and bad.

SO! Tomorrow's the rubber match and I can't wait. Who will show up? The team that hits lots of doubles and plays good defense, or the team that hangs our pitcher out to dry while the pitcher hangs himself? What if that home-run-hitting team shows up instead? That'd be fun for a change on the road. Maybe Team Carlos Santana shows up and I go to my mom's to get another one of those fantastic Goji White Grape popsicles! WINNING!

See you tomorrow, 7:07 PM eh?

Radio Chatter:
"It is no time to panic, Rosie. Every team that gets to the playoffs - with the exception of the 1995 Indians - has a rough spot."
- Tom Hamilton

"Whether you need to change the rules or not...smarter people than me will make that decision."
- Tom Hamilton regarding the current crashing-into-catchers situation

"...We haven't had anything to laugh about on this road trip."
"It's been a tough trip."
- Tom Hamilton and Jim Rosenhaus, cracking up

"Corey Patterson was sort of looking down at the turf saying 'I can't believe I just did that.'"
- Tom Hamilton

Monday, May 30, 2011

Dunc Tank

That's Shelley Duncan's nickname now I guess. It's what all the guys on the Twitter are calling him. I like it. I mean, it's no Hawkman (Nino from The Tribe Daily really wants it to be that) but it's more accessible.

Haha I was trying to find a picture of Shelley's hawk tattoo I found these two gems:
Classy: Yankee Shelley signs a Boston kid's autograph book "Red Sox suck!"
Is Shelley Duncan Wendell from The Simpsons? (with images)

Ahhh, I love that guy. Glad he's in Cleveland. His dad played here for a little while (remember when I bragged about my dad getting drunk at the Grog Shop with Dave Duncan in the 70s?) Plus, he's good to have around as a pinch hitter like we learned the other day.

Oh, yeah, Shelley hit a solo home run up into the upper deck at the Rogers Centre today. Only the 15th player to do so. You go! It's only his second homer this year - doesn't it seem like he has more? I guess he just hits a lot of long balls. He also got a single, going 2-for-4.

Hey guess who else got a hit? CHOOOOO! I asked a Korean friend to hook me up with some Korean for us to use to cheer him on and she says "Him-nae-yo!" which is "wishing him strength." She also suggested "Fighting!" which sounds super-awesome, so I hope we all use that too.

Then again I'm not hearing much "Dos Cabreras!" going on out there so I don't know how much pull this blog has.

Did you notice it was Memorial Day Hat Day today? I think the Blue Jays hats are quite striking when paired with their blue uniforms...but I also feel weird that they are wearing Memorial Day hats in Canada. But, turns out while they are for "September 11, July 4 and Memorial Day" they are also for Canada Day and are ultimately for the Welcome Back Veterans Fund. And now I feel all better about all that.

Check out what our rogue rookie outfielder Trevor Crowe (@tcrowe4) had to say on Twitter this evening:

I can say this after spending 2 solid months here getting to see and spend more time in Cleveland outside of ballpark. Cleveland Does Rock
 Good job, Trevor! Although I hope this doesn't mean you are busy not getting healthy...

That's all there really is to say today. Shelley Duncan rocks, Choo got a hit (oh, so did Santana) and tomorrow is Tuesday.

Man I just realized how un-positive my Radio Chatter is today. But when you disappoint Tom Hamilton you really get the Eeyore treatment. My brother and I were laughing about how tough it must be to be his kids. "Welp, I guess no one is going to be taking out the trash today. Mmm mmm mmm..."

Don't forget - 7:07 tomorrow with NO off days this week. Over 100 games to go yet. Thank God for baseball!

Update: You know, being wrapped up in this winning season, I almost forgot that this blog was about celebrating baseball and that doesn't always mean celebrating the Indians. Lots of times - and I mean lots of times - weird or interesting things happen during an Indians game that are not pro-Indians. Like that crazy almost-but-not perfect game last year.

Anyway, today Blue Jays starting pitcher Jo-Jo Reyes got his first win since 2008. To get this win he pitched a complete game and also only gave up one run. So, good for you Reyes. Whether you out-pitched the Indians or we out-swung ourselves, I'm glad something exciting happened in this game. Yay for baseball!

Radio Chatter:
"The Indians are not playing very good baseball right now. They're not hitting, they're not having quality pitching, and now their defense is opening up holes."
- Tom Hamilton

"Well I hope your barbecue is better then this ballgame. If not, it means somebody forgot to turn the meat."
- Tom Hamilton

"Boy this is why you think of baseball and you just shake your head sometimes. There are things like this that you just can't predict."
- Tom Hamilton

"If you haven't won a game in 3 years and have a 10-run lead, you deserve to finish it and be on the field to shake hands at the end."
- Tom Hamilton with regards to Jo-Jo Reyes

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Oh, Hellickson...

If you missed it, there was a better post for  yesterday's game which I posted about 12 hours late. So if you missed that, check it out.

Guess the Indians can't figure out the Rays, just like we can't figure out the White Sox. Or maybe it's that those teams have us figured out?

Whatever the case, today was not like yesterday and Justin Masterson was not like Justin Masterson. The good news is that I got my lawn mowed just before a storm rolled through.

Well there's more good news, of course - because ...

...Asdrubal got a hit and it still hitting over .300.

...Choo got his hit and also a walk so he's up to .250.

...Carlos Santana is NOT hitting below .200 yet and in fact got a hit.

...Speaking of Choo, did you see his 7th outfield assist of the season? Shingihada! (Although, Asdrubal, you did not make that look as cool as it could have. Tighten up!)

...We're done with Tampa Bay now and are moving on to the Blue Jays. They play games at 7:07 PM. Is that crazy foreign hipness or what?!

...I'm going to the game  on Saturday and it's going to be awesome because it's Star Wars fireworks night!

...My house smells like popcorn. Not even burnt popcorn, just yummy popcorn.

So really, I'm pretty happy maybe just not happy with Indians baseball today. But there's always tomorrow and the next day and the next 110 games after that to love baseball a lot.

Sorry Radio Chatter is so weak but I was in and out and up and down all day. I in fact had to listen to the second half of the game via the Audio Archives. I'm pretty glad I invested in that this year, it's come in handy!

See you tomorrow at 7:07. Tres chic!

Radio Chatter:
"Tomorrow...is not Memorial Day in Canada."
- Tom Hamilton on the upcoming Blue Jays series

"At this level, if they know you're throwing mid-90s and the only pitch you can throw is a fastball, you're not lasting long."
- Tom Hamilton commenting on Frank Hermann's previous troubles

"He is a big human being. Six-eight,  295. And like so many people his size, he's got a gret nature about him. At that size if you wanted to be an angry man, look out."
- Tom Hamilton on Rays reliever Adam Russell

"For Masterson and Carmona they both have something in common so far. They both have had a team that really owned them."
- Tom Hamilton

...And We're Back!

I'm sorry boffins, I'm sorry I didn't get a post up in a timely manner. It's Memorial Day weekend and you know what that means. No, not so much honoring the brave men and women who have served in our armed forces as well as remembering those who have died, but rather being invited to places in which very little honoring is done but we all get together to eat because most of us don't have to work Monday.

It's ok though because I know you were all brave little boys and girls and took in Saturday's game without trepidation and were soundly rewarded by its outcome. I'm sure - SURE! - you felt some moments of the game where it would be appropriate to yell "That's typical!" only to stop yourself and say "no, no that sort of awful play is not typical at all." Perhaps also you spread the good news by correcting a nay-sayer who happened by your baseball on the way to the drink cooler. "Oh, haven't they lost three in a row?" "Why yes, but the World Series Tampa Bay Rays lost seven in a row during their World Series season. And, it's no big deal anyway as we are still atop the American League. Now why don't you come enjoy some baseball with me this fine Saturday afternoon?" That happened to you, too, right?

Ok maybe it didn't but however your day played out you might want to keep yourself "armed" with positivity for the long weekend as you encounter the nay-sayers. They are out there.

Yesterday's game was quite fun, especially to watch with a nay-sayer, because it started out with four straight hits and two runs.

You also got to see Asdrubal getting his THIRD triple of the season! Wowee! He's over .300 now at .303. It'd be awesome if he could keep it up through the ALL-STAR GAME.

And CHOOOOO he got his hit. .249!

LaPorta. Remember Matt LaPorta from Friday? Yeah well forget that guy and remember that he hit a solo homer Saturday as well as a single and a walk, going 2 for 3. These fellas aim to please, right?

SHELLEY DUCAN! Since Grady is serving as DH during our Turf Tour, Shelley isn't starting. However, he did come in as Mr. Amazing Pinch with the bases loaded and got a two run single then came around later to score. Can you imagine the glimmer excitement for Manny Acta when he sees the bases loaded and Shelley Duncan is on his bench? He's hitting .389 with runners in scoring position, .313 with two outs and .375 late in the game. Would you say that Duncan enjoys the pinch hitting aspect of the game? I would!

How about Carlos Carrasco, huh? You sort of forget about that guy since he's not Masterson or Tomlin or Fausto and he lost a few starts due to injury. He's pretty middle-of-the-pack for us but being the middle of this particular pack is nothing to laugh at. He got the job done Saturday with 6 innings, 2 runs and 4 strikeouts. A very even start for him and I look forward to seeing him do it again. Oh, and for his efforts he gets the W.

Our favorites Pestano and Sipp came in to combine for two total innings with zero runs and three strikeouts. #bullpenmafia!

R. Perez's part of the 9th was a little hairy. The Rays were going all Cleveland on us, finding ways to get guys on the bases. With two outs, bases loaded and the tying run on deck, Chris Perez came in to an actual save situation. It is iffy whether or not Perez is a shut-the-fuck-up sort of closer right now...he did give up a run. But right after he gave up a run - and I mean technically on the very same play - they got the third out and the game was over and Chris Perez had game 14. In case you missed it, here is how the game ended.

So we got our losses out during the week, and if you caught Saturday's game you'll know we got our basepath silliness out Saturday, so hopefully we'll be back to "normal" (do I have to qualify that with "2011 Normal"?) for the remainder of Turf Tour 2011.

Oh hey, here's two nice short articles about how Acta thinks Asdrubal is going to knock your socks off EVEN MORE coming up, and how Rays manager Joe Maddon thinks we're the shit.

Joe Maddon gets it, it seems. I wonder if he reads The Positive Tribe? From a different article:

"They have a lot of good players and they've done it in a very typical Cleveland way: quiet, and then all of a sudden they spring it on you," Maddon said. "When you really look at it, it's not really that surprising."

I know, right?!

Today's game is at 1:40 PM. You heard me. So we'll have 35 minutes extra to twiddle our thumbs and wait for baseball. Oh well, I have to make a casserole anyway.

Radio Chatter:
"With Joe Maddon, you could see anything. He's sometimes a mad scientist."
- Tom Hamilton

"We've lost Rosie. We'll get to him in the next inning. He's still convulsing over the cat."
"That's DJ Master Cat I think."
"You like that cat don't you? He'll probably be in our hotel lobby later. [...] The kitty has gone away now and this place has gone deafly silent."
- Tom Hamilton and Jim Rosenhaus on the Ray's 7th inning entertainment

"The biggest play of this inning is the double play Ben Zobrist didn't turn."
- Tom Hamilton

"Avril Lavigne. Come on...as a man with two daughters you should know who this is."
"I'm just asking the question. Can't I invoke my fifth amendment rights? [...] As a father of daughters you might be better off not knowing."
- Jim Rosenhaus and Tom Hamilton on Tampa's post-game entertainment

"Oh boy...my wife was listening. 'Ha ha ha, Rosie got you.' Our engineer Ralph can vouch...nothing wrong with daughters, I love the daughters! When boys have a problem with friends they punch them in the nose and that's it. With daughters, it's a whole soap opera. Ralph's daughters are glaring at me now. I'm done... [...] And for all the girls out there listening, we love our daughters just as we love our sons. And that's the end of the story."
- Tom Hamilton

Friday, May 27, 2011

Click Here For The Good News

Ok folks, there is good news. Even after our third loss in a row and our third shutout of the year, there is good news.

The good news is: This is strange.

I mean, did you expect Grady to return from the DL and strike out twice with no hits? No, because when he returned before he exploded back to his normal self.

Were you thinking it was normal for Tomlin to give up two two-run homers? No one on the team has done that yet.

Did you expect LaPorta to strike out four times? No, and it isn't going to happen again.

You didn't even expect Santana to GET a hit, did you? But he did.

Of course you did expect Asdrubal to get a hit? Of course you did!

Anyway, everyone who says "Oh, this is so TYPICAL..." with regards to a 3-game loss or tonight's shut-out. really doesn't know what they're talking about. Because it is anything but typical. This is not a losing team or a shut-out team.

Hell did you see the lineup today? It's hardly our team at all! Choo sat out for the first time in 47 games (only player left who hasn't sat out is....Asdrubal, natch.) Grady was in but he was DH in the 6-spot. Asdrubal batted third and Orlando batted second.

I don't think the order of the lineup mattered much tonight, tho. Pitching seems incredible across the league this year. Like, scary incredible. If we land on a game with one of these 2011 phenoms, there's a good chance we're sunk. Don't forget the last David Price Game where Hamilton and Hegan gushed all over the place about him. They warned us!

Anyway, it's ok to be sad when your team loses but if you take it too far, you just sound like a BOOB. You heard me - a boob! If you know anything about baseball in 2011 you know that the Indians are a very good team and that the season is just 25% over. You know we're still way in first place in the Central, that Grady just got back, that John Nunley and Manny Acta are going to make some tweaks and that pretty soon it will be all right.

If you don't know that, well then, you are in the wrong place, Jack. Cuz here we're positive about our Tribe!

Oh yeah check this out. I can't believe this was actually submitted to the Internet in 2001...did they even do this sort of thing on the Internet in 2001? (Sharing.) Anyway, here is a Flash representation and radio call of The Impossible Return game from August 5, 2001. Pretty fun! I listened to it in lieu of one of tonight's innings.

We'll see you tomorrow at 4:10 PM. Chin up, ok?

Radio Chatter:
"Tried to hit that ball to Sarasota."
- Tom Hamilton on an Evan Longoria swinging strike

"The Indians have 6 games this season on fake grass, turf. And they're all on this road trip. The day Grady Sizemore gets back, they have all those games on turf."
- Tom Hamilton on Grady Sizemore batting DH instead of being in the outfield

"The way David Price has dominated the Indians over the years, a 4-run lead is mammoth."
- Tom Hamilton

"The Indians middle of the order just doesn't look the same without Travis Hafner."
- Tom Hamilton

"In Manny Acta's mind that's the magic number. You don't want a losing streak to go beyond 3."
- Tom Hamilton

"Well the Tribe has not had a 9th inning rally of 5 runs or more but...why not? It's been that kind of a season."
- Tom Hamilton in the beginning of the 9th

"Boy, this team has really excited the bay area. Friday night 16,800 show up. Yikes!"
- Tom Hamilton, slammin' the lack of Rays fans

"I don't think Matt LaPorta has to guess what's coming next from a guy who is pitching 96 miles per hour in a 5-0 game."
- Tom Hamilton

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

lolwut?

So that was pretty weird, huh? It was basically a spring training game with a rookie pitcher or something.

Good news:
1. Mitch Talbot will not be making a first start just off the DL again.
2. Shin-Soo CHOOOO! got himself a hit today and so did Travis Buck!
3. Before today, Shelley Duncan only had 2 hits in May. Now he he has double that and two more RBI!
4. Grady ran the basepaths today and is probable for Friday!
5. Since we're SO good, we're still 5 or 6 games ahead of the 2nd place team.
6. 26,408 people got to skip work or school today and sit in the 70-degree sunny weather and watch baseball.

So at least 26,408 of you can't get all sour and sad just because the Indians lost. Have some perspective, folks!

I personally am pretty stoked to have passed the day with 3+ hours of baseball on the radio. Anyone listen on the radio at work?

I want to talk about popsicles now. I'm not a big fan of popsicles or even ice cream (sensitive teeth). I had occasion to need popsicles earlier this year so my mom picked me up some Edy's brand grape Fruit Bars and man were they good. The coconut ones are pretty good too, if you like coconut.

Ever since then, mom has been buying popsicles to keep at her house. Not sure why...perhaps hoping that the grandbaby will ask for a popsicle? Anyway, she got some Edy's Antioxidant Fruit Bars and I must say that Goji White Grape is just about the best popsicle I've ever had. I ate three of them yesterday and like I said, I don't even like popsicles. I wonder how the other two antioxidant flavors are? I bet they are good too.

Anyway at least today you learned about some awesome popsicles.

Everyone gets the night off tonight! I think I might try to go to Melt and get something cheesy. We've got tomorrow off too. No idea what I will do then...I haven't had 2 consecutive weekday nights off since March, right? What a sad existence that must be.

We get back to the Rays on Friday for a weekend series. Very tough schedule coming up. But our guys will have had some rest and we should have Grady back.

Hope you enjoy the popsicles!

Radio Chatter:
"Now how in the world, with a shift on, did he get that between two guys that are part of a three-man left side of the infield?"
- Tom Hamilton on

"David Ortiz's first infield hit since 1998."
"For sure. When David Ortiz gets an infield hit you know things are going bad."
- Tom Hamilton and Mike Hegan

"Well this is a day when we need [WKYC meteorologist] Betsy Kling to whip up a storm and it needs to get here in 5 minutes and continue all day."
- Tom Hamilton after the 7-run Red Sox first inning

"You sometimes have to lose the battle to win the war."
- Tom Hamilton on making Mitch Talbot give at least 5 innings

"Albert Belle probably lost that award because he and the writers didn't have many group hugs."
- Tom Hamilton on Mo Vaughn winning the MVP over Belle in 1995

"I don't think David Rackley will want to see a replay of his game behind the plate today, for either side."
- Tom Hamilton expresses his disappointment in the home plate umpire

"Don't write any obituaries for David Ortiz just yet. He's still got some pop in that bat and some speed in that bat head."
- Mike Hegan after Ortiz's home run in the 6th

"I don't think I've seen anyone hit the ball as far foul as Shelley Duncan does. I mean, he hit that ball 100 feet foul."
- Mike Hegan

"A new ballpark isn't always the panacea. A new location - like a new city - is sometimes the answer."
- Tom Hamilton regarding the Marlins' new ballpark

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Meeting Our Match

Do you see my new banner? Now I need you to vote for Asdrubal for All Star. You can still write in Jack Hannahan, but I think Asdrubal is going to need your help too.

Played the second game against the Red Sox tonight. It didn't look hopeful being that Josh Beckett was starting for them and Fausto was starting for us. Someone had to lose...

Josh Beckett was pitching slowly, much like Buchholz was last night. Boring the fuck out of our bats, I'm sure.

Carmona did have 7 strikeouts and went 8 innings (plus one batter) so that's pretty cool. If you look at the play-by-play, Boston's scoring plays sort of look like ours usually look when we win pitchers duels.

But you know who got a hit? CHOOOO!! He's hitting .244 now. He's restarting his hitting streak at one again, or maybe ten minus one? He's only got one error and has six assists. We still love him - A LOT!

Remember Ezequiel Carrera? He got a hit and an RBI tonight. Makin' stuff happen with men on base and two outs!

Matt LaPorta and Travis Buck both went 2-for-4 tonight. Travis Buck got a solo homer off Jonathan Papelbon (*spit*) in the 9th, surely raising everyone's hopes.

LaPorta had a looks like he belongs there snag at 1st base tonight. I've been really impressed with a lot of our defense lately. It's the cherry on top of our good season, I think. Sure we've had our errors but there have been plenty of "Web Gems" this year so far. They seem to be stepping it up lately too.

Hey hey! Guess who's back tomorrow? Mitch Talbot! I hope he comes in and wows everyone. If you don't remember, we really liked him as a starter before he got hurt.

Noon game tomorrow. Expecting a big crowd, which always surprises me but never surprises Tom Hamilton. I went to one noon game a few years ago and I felt like I was absolutely awesome for leaving work in the middle of the day. Turns out I'm pretty ho-hum.

Radio Chatter:
"What does Cabrera not lead this club in?"
- Tom Hamilton

"I can't remember Boston starting pitchers being so slow. [...] If we had Josh Tomlin working in one of these games it'd be polar opposite of either Beckett or Buchholz."
- Tom Hamilton

"I didn't mean to say 'short and squat' did I? [...] Compact. I wish I would have thought of that first."
- Mike Hegan on Carrera's stature

"Carmonas pitches are going straight down. That's how you know his stuff is working. It's when they go sideways that things go bad."
- Tom Hamilton

"The way Beckett's pitched tonight, 4 to 1 is huge. But the way the Indians play...you never know."
- Tom Hamilton

"It's one thing to struggle. It's another to become...Pittsburgh."
- Tom Hamilton on the Twins' record this year

"Some nights we leave the booth here and say to each other 'how did they do that?' [...] We said that a lot in 2007 too."
- Tom Hamilton

Monday, May 23, 2011

Windians!

I'm not even going to TELL you again how awesome Asdrubal Cabrera is. You MUST know by now, right?

I hope you're not sitting around thinking "boy, if only our 'star' players were in the lineup then we could have a shot at beating the Red Sox..." BUT NOW YOU KNOW! Our star players are already here! Tell your friends!

Some numbers for Asdrubal just for tonight: 10th home run, 10th double, 33rd and 34th RBI, 8 hits in his last 9 at-bats, .312 batting average,  2 stolen bases in the last 2 games.

The Indians have beat the Red Sox 4 out of 4 this year. The Red Sox are the "hottest team in America" coming in to tonight, winning 8 of their last 9. They moved from last place to 2nd since we last saw them in April to 2nd.

The Indians, at 30-15, are the best team in baseball. The only team in the AL with a winning percentage over .600.

What do we think about all this, Lillian D. from Washington D.C.?
Wahooooooo!
Michael Brantley, what a STUD! (Still nicknamed Dr. Smooth...) How much do we love this guy batting first? Yes, we still love Grady with ALL OUR HEARTS! But he is not here and Brantley is and Brantley is getting hits when it matters. Almost half of his hits have come with two outs, cleaning up after the end of the order and also getting on for Asdrubal and Choo to get him in. And if he's down in the 6- or 7-spot when Grady comes back? Just as valuable.

Man that'll be great when we get Grady back, and Hafner back.


Kearns is getting back into a groove like I said he would. Just needed some more at-bats. He's got 8 hits in the last 10 games. Exactly what we need to see from guys filling in.

How's this for a cool call? Acta got tossed out of the game for arguing a call in the 8th. In the bottom of the 8th, after Hannahan got a hit, replacement-manager-and-bench-coach Tim Tolman put Everett in to pinch run. Everett is slightly faster than Hannahan. Everett comes around to score - barely. Slightly faster than Hannahan would. Even our COACHING lineup is deep!

Justin Masterson! Gave us 7.2 innings, three strikeouts, a fancy-assed catch on the mound and even was involved in a controversial play at first (that got Acta tossed).

Nice group pitching effort in the 8th. Masterson, Raffi and Smith combined to get the Red Sox 1-5 hitters. Smith got the W.

Chris Perez, and his beard, got Carl Crawford to ground in to a DP to end the game in the 9th. Carl Crawford is a speedy mofo and has not grounded into a double play in 180 at bats. Save #13 for Perez.

That double play was a great one by Dos Cabreras. Orlando looked spectacular again tonight. Everyone doing their part...

Even the great crowd out there tonight, honest. It truly sounded like a Tribe game instead of an away game like it usually is when Boston is in town. And sitting in the rain? YOU GUYS ROCK! Obviously I did not make it to the game...I'm sort of stuck here with my dog when there's a storm. The dog did great tonight during the storm, by the way. She must be inspired by good baseball! Perhaps Hammy and Hegan soothe her? Or, I finally got the Xanax dosed correctly.

I knew it was going to be a good night when I felt a drop of rain the minute I was done mowing the lawn. It was serendipity.

Oh hey, did you know the game was on national TV tonight, on ESPN2? (Blacked out in CLE, of course). Yeah...basically everyone on the east coast now knows how serious we are. SERIOUS AS A HEART ATTACK!

Tomorrow is going to be dicey, facing Josh. Beckett. But we're on fire, we've got the wind at our backs. If we win tomorrow it will be a thing of beauty. I can't WAIT!!! It's supposed to be rainy but think good thoughts. Too bad ESPN2 won't be there again - I have a feeling they played a part in keeping this one going.

See you tomorrow!

Radio Chatter:
"He is having an MVP-type season."
- Tom Hamilton after Asdrubal's 6th hit in a row

"It's amazing how much velocity Asdrubal Cabrera gets on a throw with both feet off the ground."
- Tom Hamilton

"Clay Buchholz tonight acts like he gets paid by the hour."
- Tom Hamilton on the Red Sox pitcher's slowness

"How about that? If Jack stays on the bag, it's a tie ballgame."
- Mike Hegan after Hannahan caught stealing and Kearns' double in the 5th

"One of the Boston folks was saying tonight that the Red Sox would give anything to get Justin Masterson back."
- Tom Hamilton

"We've not seen Manny Acta this upset in all his time with the Indians."
- Tom Hamilton after Acta got thrown out in the 8th

"What a job by Masterson. He gets a standing ovation and he should."
- Tom Hamilton on Masterson's exit

"That wind, howling out towards right field. That makes everyone a home-run-hitter if you hit it out to right field."
- Tom Hamilton

"Welp, no such thing as a routine 9th inning."
- Tom Hamilton

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Can We All Agree Now That Asdrubal is the Best Player On the Team?

I mean seriously, folks - 5 for 5 today with two home runs and 5 RBI? Leads the team with 9 homers and 32 RBI, and leads the league's shortstops in both categories as well. And of course you have this defensive play and this one and this one  and those are just from May.

Here's a lovely article about Asdrubal and his son Meyer, in the form of tonight's wrap-up on Indians.com.

Speaking of Meyer, Asdrubal and his tattoo are responsible for about 75% of the traffic on this blog. Is there anything this dude can't do?!?!

I was at the game today. SO angry that I still haven't made my "OMG ASDRUBAL!" sign yet. Would today have been perfect or what? I wonder how many of you were wondering just that...."did JJ remember to make the 'OMG ASDRUBAL!' sign and bring it along?" No. I didn't. My excuse today was that I was sitting in the middle of a really crowded section and didn't want to piss anyone off. And, I haven't made it yet.

I didn't bring my stupid broom head either, but I did invest in a foam broom from the souvenir shop. Man, I wish it wasn't so TINY. You can't see this thing on television or anything. Sigh. Here's a picture of the broom alongside a long envelope for size perspective.



Despite my lack of sign and stupid tiny foam broom, I did get a chance to explain some baseball to my friend Jess. I tried to explain how there are 2 leagues in the MLB "just like every other sport, you know?" but apparently baseball is the sport she knows the "most" about so she didn't quite get the comparison.

My friend T was also there and it was her first baseball game ever. She lives in Cleveland at the moment but is from Dayton, and had been visiting Dayton this weekend and drove all morning just to join us at the game! And then she cheered for the Tribe! So proud!!! She's about the quietest person I know too, and she was hollerin' right along with me. We agreed that a baseball game is a great outlet for a normally-quiet person. Nobody there knows you and as long as you don't swear, no one's going to complain about your yelling (please don't swear at baseball games, folks. It doesn't become you.)

The heat today was brutal. Just relentless sun. Yes, I am a weather wuss when it comes to going to Tribe games. I prefer not to go when it's freezing or sweltering. Afternoon games are not my favorite. You should SEE my arms...I seem to have missed a few spots with the sunscreen. I did manage to keep my face and ears pretty burn-free, and those are really important areas to keep safe. The hot sun did help clear out our section a bit and allowed us to spread out some. Half of the crowd had a long drive home to Columbus or Cincy and an air-conditioned car was a much better environment than a sweltering 7-2 ballgame.

I got the silliest sunburn. I rolled up my shirt sleeves so the burn ends at my shoulders. I look like I got burnt while getting an x-ray at the dentist's office, wearing that lead smock.

Today there were a bunch of military families at the game, with video greetings from their active-duty soldiers/Marines/sailors on the board. My friends and  I pretty much gave up complaining about the heat after seeing the first greeting. Ugh.

Ok so, game recap. Carrasco pitched 6 innings and was not that impressive. BUT he did only ultimately give up 4 runs and against a normal-caliber pitcher that is small change for the Indians. He also took it like a man and gave us 6 innings, which is how our starters roll now. They also roll by giving up 2 solo homers when they give up homers (like Carrasco did today). In fact, our staff has not given up any 3-run homers or grand slams this year. For his bravery and compliance, Carrasco got the W.

Durbin came in for the 7th and looked fantastic with two strikeouts and a flyout. After the offense gathered up 4 more runs in the bottom of the 7th, Raffi Perez got 3 ground-ball outs in the 8th. Newcomer Josh Judy was rolled out for the 9th (great way to make an easy first appearance!) We were instructed by someone on Twitter that he is to be called "Judge" (as in Judge Judy) so I managed to get a couple of judge jokes out to my emptying section. He looked swell, striking out the first guy he faced. Then he gave up two hits and then was saved by Ezequiel Carrera (a single-inning replacement in center for Brantley) on a super-star catch and got the final guy to fly out.

How are you liking the top of our order? I pointed out their top-of-the-order-ness a few days back but it was a highlight again today. Brantley, Cabrerra and Choo aligned for TEN hits today, two doubles, two homers, two stolen bases and 9 RBI.

Also hitting today were Orlando, Kearns and Hannahan. I knew Kearns couldn't stay under .200 forever! He raised his numbers with a TRIPLE!

Did you notice how most of the hits today went to right field? That's because I was sitting out there I think.

Nice looking defense today. Orlando was really on top of his game after he became a citizen on Thursday and followed that up with American-style lazy-assed errors Friday and Saturday. You saw Carrera's play and Kearns was all "rly!" in the outfield too. I love when guys have to play hard to vie for a job!

As for Reds defense, check this nonsense out. Herb Score always used to say that you'll see something interesting in every game. I would have actually felt a little bad for the Reds if we had won by two. Lucky for all of those goobers involved in that play that we won by 8 instead!

Hey, good news! This game was so delicious that I had to experience it twice. After a lovely dinner with my ladies at Flannagan's and some custard at East Coast in Lyndhurst, I just could not resist hearing what Hammy and Hegan had to say. So, I tended to my sun burn then sat back and listened to the audio archive. So you get a heapin' helpin' of Radio Chatter today, even though I said I wasn't going to have anything.

Did anyone take my advice and eschew television for the radio broadcast today? I hope someone did - it's worth it!

Ok so the next 3 games are against Boston. You remember Boston, right? Last time we saw them we swept them and left them at 0-6. Now all of a sudden they are dancing around 2nd in the AL East. Hmm. Well how about this? When we first saw the White Sox they kicked our ass, and then dropped to 10 games behind us in the standings and still kicked our ass. So standings are apparently meaningless. We just need to kick the Red Sox asses like we did before.

I'm thinking of trying to get someone to go out to the game with me Monday or Tuesday, since I know how awful Boston-fan-heavy these games can be. I think the Indians can benefit from my hollerin'. I think I shall cast that net on Facebook and see if I catch any more fishfans. Or maybe I'll just go by myself. I do have a free ticket voucher that expires at the end of May.

Radio Chatter:
"It looked like a drill that went bad."
- Mike Hegan on the weird double steal/errors in the bottom of the 1st.

"The last time I saw a play like that was at Bleser Park in Avon Lake when [my son] Nick was 8. Little league."
- Tom Hamilton on the weird double steal/errors in the bottom of the 1st.

"Volquez looks like he's wearing a hat that is two sizes too small for his head. Like those kids wore in the Little Rascals. He has to keep tugging and pulling to keep it on. [...] Who the heck is the equipment manager for the Reds? Give the guy a bigger hat!"
- Tom Hamilton

"Michael Brantley has had two hits today that haven't gone 60 feet."
- Tom Hamilton

"Volquez says 'let's go through the signs again' and [Reds catcher] Hernandez says 'you only have 3 pitches.'"
- Tom Hamilton

"The Indians lead it 6-1 and [Reds manager] Dusty Baker is going to the mound to choke Volquez."
- Tom Hamilton

"Another broken belt. I'll have to ask [equipment manager] Tony Amato what the budget for belts is. Asdrubal has exceeded it."
- Tom Hamilton on Asdrubal's second busted belt this weekend

"Oh by the way, on our daily update of oblique injuries, on which we have someone to add every day..."
- Tom Hamilton on the latest injury for the Twins

"When you're getting over 2 baserunners an inning, you're going to score some runs."
- Tom Hamilton's great insight

"First base is open and that didn't look accidental."
- Tom Hamilton on Asdrubal nearly getting hit by a pitch in the 8th

"Brandon has not tortured the Indians this weekend like he normally does."
- Tom Hamilton

"What's really amazing about the Indians on the home portion of this schedule...they've lost four games, they've only lost to two teams [Chicago and Tampa]."
- Tom Hamilton

"Good attempt by Edgar Renteria who five years ago would have made that play."
- Tom Hamilton

"Brandon Phillips...[laughing] he went to tag Orlando Cabrera who had stopped [running to second] and instead they high-fived each other and that completed the tag!"
- Tom Hamilton

"You knew this club was better, but nobody - nobody - foresaw a 29 and 15 record. As Herb used to say, that's why you play the game. Everybody and their brother can make a prediction and 99.9% of the people who make predictions don't have anything at stake so it's easy to predict."
- Tom Hamilton

"Hernandez just kind of lumbering into third [...] Is Ramon Hernandez hurt?"
"I just think Ramon doesn't run too good. He wasn't going to score, Tom. He wasn't going to try down 8 runs."
- Tom Hamilton and Mike Hegan in the 9th

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Battle of Ohio: Won

It's official - we're the best baseball team in Ohio for 2011. Right?

Another close game today. Great pitching by Josh Tomlin, going seven full innings only giving up one run. He got his 6th win today.

Did you see Vinnie Pestano come in and MOW 'EM DOWN?! Dude struck out the side in the 8th! He got as many strikeouts in one inning as Tomlin did in 7 innings. Our bullpen is really seriously impressive this year. All the boys are on Twitter now, in case you didn't know:

@thethree8 - Joe Smith
@jgerm39 - Justin Germano
@SippTony - Tony Sipp
@VinnieP52 - Vinnie Pestano
@ChadDurbin37 - Chad Durbin
@ChrisPerez54 - Chris Perez

@Raffyperez53 - Rafael Perez

Collectively, they are the #bullpenmafia. No joke! And, Chris Perez is so popular there is even a fake Chris Perez, @PureRage_Perez. It's funny to read these guys' stuff sometimes and remember that they are all young jocks in their 20's and uh...well I definitely am not.

Anyway, back to baseball. I'm all confused because I saw the game on television today with no radio. I had no idea that Josh Tomlin looks like a 16-year-old. I also spotted some major CLE Clothing and Homage representage today just behind the plate. I didn't scope any Fresh Brewed Tees but I'll give them a free shout-out while we're at it.

So, CHOOOOOO today on Choo Jersey day (those look pretty sharp! Aaaand....already one on eBay) extended his hitting streak to 8 games. He's hit in 11 of the last 12 games with 3 doubles and a triple. Slowly but surely....

Brantley and Asdrubal also got hits today, both of them hitting over .280 (note for newbies: A batting average of .300 is considered quite good). That's just amazing for our #1 and #2 hitters. And really, Choo's .242 is not bad at all. If they are all hitting in the same inning (which is usually their 3rd at-bat) then we're golden!

I bet someone has a stat on that.

So Asdrubal was on base with two out when Travis Buck came in and ripped one to center, putting us up 2-1. Buck was actually DH today because they've moved Brantley over to left and put last night's hero Ezequiel Carrera in at center.

I thought Carrera looked pretty good out there today. He called off Asdrubal on the first fly that came near him and also snagged a shallow fly hit off the end of the bat to save a hit.They also had him bunting at one at-bat!

So with Buck looking good at the plate and in the field, it'll be interesting to see how they are used in the upcoming lineups. Both bat left. I'm pretty sure Carrera is a total stud in the outfield but Buck has had two 3-hit games off the bench for us, getting hits in 9 out of 15 appearances.

Yeah, and some greasy assholes are still saying this team has no depth? Psssh.

Ok so tomorrow I will be AT the game so there will be no Radio Chatter. Cuz I'm not going to listen to the radio at the game (I'm hosting a group of friends!) and I'm not going to listen to the archive afterwards. I'm not! You know what you should do, tho? Make a nice pitcher of iced tea, set up your radio outside and enjoy the afternoon free of HDTV. Weed the garden, wash the car, play catch with your kids or your dog. Listen to the radio and you'll hear gems like the last three videos on the Tom Hamilton Has The Best Homerun Call In All Of Baseball Facebook page. I just listened to them all again for like the 5th time.

So, you listen to the game on the radio tomorrow. You hear ALL of the Radio Chatter. You'll thank me, you will.

1:05 PM start. Final game against the Reds. Bring your broom!

Radio Chatter:
"Josh Tomlin, folks - you spell his name 'winner.'"
- Tom Hamilton

Friday, May 20, 2011

Speed Kills

Holy crap. So yesterday I started off the post with an exciting Asdrubal Cabrera play. Today, I introduce you to Ezequiel Carrera.

Carrera was brought up just today from Columbus to play center field, since apparently he's a damn good center fielder, fast as hell and according to hitting coach John Nunley, a good bunter for his level of experience.

The score is tied in the 8th with runners at first (Santana, intentional walk) and third (Choo, triple) for the Tribe. Two outs. Shelley Duncan is due up but he's only 2 for his last 29. So Manny Acta calls on Ezequiel Carrera to get up and bunt one down the 1st base line (a "drag bunt") to get Choo in to score the go-ahead run.

And he does.

All I can say is "Woah." And "What the fuck is that?!" Well, THAT is Indians baseball! That is Manny Acta Baseball.

The rest of the game was kind of roller-coaster. First, Alex White came out in the 3rd with pain in his middle finger on his throwing hand. Errr...not cool? He did pitch to a few after first feeling hurt but who knows where this is going to go.

Luckily, Frank Hermann had just come up and was able to serve as long relief. In the 6th we got Smith, Sipp, Pestano and Chris Perez. It was sort of a gutsy move of Acta to roll out the entire pen while the score was tied, but we really should not question Manny Acta anymore. Really.

So we were facing a no-hitter until the 6th inning, when Austin Kearns got himself a hit. Good, good, Austin Kearns! He really just does need some time to get back into it. Craig at Waiting For Next Year tweeted "You know who hated Carrera's play tonight? Austin Kearns." Hahaha...awww, yeah sorry bro, you might be benched for a few while we test out Zeke. But, nice catch...?

After Kearns hits, then Supermanahan hits, then Brantley hits.

Asdrubal walks, Choo gets hit by a pitch, Carlos Santana walks.

Shelley Duncan gets a sacrifice fly, and if you're following along at home, we're all of a sudden tied at 4. Four guys get RBI in the 6th, and only one of those guys has a hit!

Whatever it takes, right? This may not have been the best outing ever for the Tribe (or the Reds, for that matter) but someone had to come out on top and some sort of magic had to happen, and the magic happened tonight.

Check out how Chris Perez ended the game. That'll put a smile on your face!

"Ezequiel Carrera" is "trending on Twitter" right now. That means a bunch of people are talking about him on Twitter. Neat!

Speaking of Twitter, Mark Shapiro tweeted that there's a new "What If?" commercial. I love love love the two other promos this year "What If?" and "It's Only a Ball" but this one uh...well, take a look. What do you think? They could have made a most amazing clips promo from the first quarter of the season here. Instead it's 42 seconds of Santana's walk-off grand slam. AWESOME play for real but ... what? Santana must have an amazing agent.

So, GREAT game tonight. I was on the edge of my seat literally. I wished I had someone to be watching the game with or something...I felt sort of weird wringing my hands in front of my computer screen.

Let's re-visit that bunt, because you gotta watch it at least twice tonight.

Tomorrow's game, 4:05 PM! Tomlin vs. some guy who is 3-0 with a 1.89 ERA but who is also named Homer. It's a sold out game, let's hope the boys take it and run with it. And let's see some ZEKE!

Radio Chatter:
"Travis is going to be out...they say 3 to 4 weeks. But when you say 3 to 4 weeks with an oblique, count on 6 weeks."
- Tom Hamilton

"The only thing missing from this postcard is Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis."
- Tom Hamilton regarding a "very Amish" postcard the guys got from a person in "Youngstown, Amish country."

"The good news is, by playing so well in the first part of the season, you've built up a bit of a cushion."
- Tom Hamilton

"Once again this team finding a way after being no-hitted for five-and-a-third."
- Tom Hamilton

"What a time for Orlando Cabrera to get his first hit as a US citizen."
- Tom Hamilton

"Think of Goose Gossage. He might have thrown a player over the outfield wall."
- Tom Hamilton on the emotions of relief pitchers

"Oh, Fred Lewis put on a clinic on how not to run the bases!"
- Tom Hamilton on Fred Lewis sort of running himself out to end the game

"Both of these teams tried to throw the game away."
- Mike Hegan

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Asdrubal Out-Omars Omar

Didja see his play? Here it is, I'll wait.

You know, I really feel sorry for people who haven't been paying attention the past few years or people who won't watch a game that "looks like" a loss. Because you miss amazing shit like that. Asdrubal's been doing amazing shit like that for a while now, you know. He's the unassisted triple play guy...and stuff.

So we had our skeleton crew in there today. Like, total bottom-of-the-barrel stuff. Orlando was out getting naturalized (really!), Grady's hurt, Hafner's hurt, even Travis Buck is hurt.

I don't know why people say the team has no depth (and by people I mean stupid greasy Mike Trivisano). Do they mean we don't have 10 super stars? Are we all of a sudden a fanwank city that neeeeeeeds a LeBron caliber player to adorn the field of play every night or else we'll shake our heads in shame?

Fuck that noise. The only one of our benchers who I do not really want to see in the lineup is Austin Kearns. I don't know what his deal is. But Kearns has proved himself already so he just needs a chance to get back into it.

Do I trust Duncan? Everett, Buck and Marson? Can any of those guys get a clutch double? Absolutely. In fact, those five guys have 15 doubles and one triple between them. Duncan has TEN RBI.

Anyway, they didn't get it done tonight but it's not solely because Grady and Hafner weren't there. The other guys who play every night weren't doing it either. Brantley didn't hit and neither did Santana.

Choo is silently and stoically coming back, getting one or two hits every night, slowly raising that AVG. He's up to .239 tonight, almost 20 points higher than last Thursday. If that's not progress, I don't know what is!

LaPorta was making up for being the lone guy with no hits last night, getting not only two hits tonight but one of them a solo home run! So, when I accused him of being hot at the plate the other day, I wasn't seeing things. Neener.

It's almost sort of comical how Fausto can't face the White Sox this year, huh? Like it doesn't matter to him that we came into this short series 10 games ahead of them in our division. The stripes must make his eyeballs hurt or something. Perhaps a bad childhood memory related to those uniforms. Perhaps Ozzie Guillén sends him nasty notes in Spanish before every game. I just don't know.

The good news is that we're not fighting for first place. We're there, baby. If our big boys need some time off to get healthy, it's cool. Let's give them that time now so that they are rock solid in later months and for the playoffs.

Hey here's a face that will make you smile:
(Mark Duncan/AP) via Indians.com
That's Carlos Baerga. He's going to represent the Indians in the draft on June 6. It's nice to see his name in Indians news, isn't it?

Here he is how you really remember him, with that mustache:


...And some chest hair. I've never seen that card before, I might actually need to seek it out.

Anyway he's a guy who loves baseball, and don't you forget to love baseball too! Here's a reminder.

I don't know if Hamilton called that play or not, as I missed most of the radio broadcast due to trivia night at Applebees (shut up, I live in the suburbs. We have no "pubs" for your fancy "pub trivia.") So of course we're low on Radio Chatter tonight too. Lame! I did go to the doctor today and am feeling better, thanks for asking.

Ok, "Battle of Ohio" starts tomorrow! Back at home, 7:05 PM, see you there!

Radio Chatter:
"Carmona was too amped up for his Opening Day assignment. Tried to throw the ball 200 miles per hour."
- Tom Hamilton

"Paul Konerko continues to terrorize Carmona."
- Tom Hamilton

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Well, That Was Weird

Was anyone expecting that? If you caught my last two posts, you'd see that losing 0-1 to the White Sox was about the last thing I expected to happen today.

Seriously, I was just telling you yesterday about how we've only been shut out once. And here we are, shut out.

Hamilton was saying before the game how if the Sox lost the series they'd be 12 behind us, and if they swept they'd be 8 behind.

Jake Peavy, his ERA was 6.00 when the game started. He pitched a complete game shutout and now it's 2.40. Jake Peavy also had his arm muscle come away from his bone once, then someone fixed it and now he is obviously some sort of pitching Übermensch.

We scored 26 runs in the last two games, yaknow.

Won't discount Masterson, though. He had a bit of a rough start, sort of matching his previous start. But he found his groove and pitched a complete game too. He struck out as many as Peavy (8) but gave up two more hits. A double in the first is what did him in.

You know who got our three hits tonight? For one, ASDRUBAL! Because, face it - he is the best player in baseball ever (wee exaggeration).

The other guy, the guy who got two hits tonight, was CHOOOOOOOOOOO!! You heard me!


We still like Travis Buck, tonight! Check it!

Also, we're still digging Jack Hannahan at third. Check it! Vote!



Actually, after those last two games, that was sort of a boring fucking game wasn't it? LULZ! I didn't even pick up one bit of Radio Chatter. But don't be mad, I don't feeeeeel good.

I did have a chance to buy some tickets for the June 4th game against the Rangers, which also happens to be STAR WARS FIREWORKS NIGHT! And I just read we get a free team photo! That game is actually very close to being sold out. I couldn't find anything worth buying under $60, but I did end up with some sweet seats from StubHub.

Have you seen the new ticketing system at Indians.com? Not sure when they upgraded it but it's been sometime in the past week or so and it's totally awesome. For some reason they had lost the "click here to see your view" feature of the previous ticketing system and it became pretty frustrating to get the seats you wanted.

You still can't see the view from the section you choose BUT you can pick the actual seat you want. It's VERY cool. I don't think I'm describing it well enough (remember, I don't feeeeel good) but I was actually quite excited to buy tickets from this system. This is probably because I'm a Web geek but still, this is great especially for those of us who want to sit on the aisle and don't want to call to buy tickets.

Anyway, check that out.

Tomorrow's game is Fausto against Gavin Floyd. The thought of Fausto against the White Sox might give you chills but it's ok. I don't know that Floyd has had any cyborg-type surgery that gives him am edge.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Hey! Runs!

So there you go, Vin Mazzaro - it's not your fault that you gave up so many runs last night. The Indians are just that good. It could have happened to anyone (not really. That many earned runs in that few innings  hasn't happened to anyone in the entire history of baseball.) I'm bet at least he was relieved to see that the Indians are proving, again (since we seem to be taken to task every damn day) that they are really seriously good for real.

The Tribe has scored the most runs in the AL so far this season. Is it me or does that not seem right? It doesn't feel like we're putting up 19 runs each night or anything. But we have only been shut out once, by the Angels. Is that the difference? If you were wondering, we have 207 runs (I think that was before this game) and have given up 144 total (earned/unearned) runs, which is the second lowest in the AL. Good hitting, good pitching, all together in Cleveland. Can you dig it?!

Carlos Carrasco had a very very good night. SOOOO glad to see him pitching 5-plus and only giving up 5 hits and 2 runs, just his second outing after returning from the DL.

Raffi Perez came in and finished the 6th for Carrasco, this time remembering that he doesn't give up any runs. Smith was walking guys and making everyone say "Awwww geeeeeeeez, Joe Smith - we thought you were good!" But then our man Sipp! came in helped us forget about Smith, hooking us up with a scoreless 7th and 8th. This led the way for Chris Perez to come in and...not look like a closer at all. He was actually sort of fucking around out there, throwing hard and giving up two walks, a hit and a run. Perez doesn't seem to want to perform real tight if he's not eligible for a W or a S. He likes those badges!


Almost got an Everybody Hits! tonight. Matt LaPorta, who I accused of being "hot" [at the plate] did not get a hit tonight. He did get a walk but that does not count in the strict recordkeeping that is the Everybody Hits! board.

If almost everybody hits, that means that CHOOOOO got his hit!

More doubles and more homers for the club tonight. Both Hafner and Brantley were up with bases loaded - which goes to show how good both the top AND bottom of the order are. Hafner got a 3-run double in the first inning, setting the stage for the rest of the game. No walk-off wins tonight, yo! He actually got a SECOND double later on, and came in to score. Second night in the row for a 3-run double for him, yaknow.

OMG ASDRUBAL! Home run number 7!!! Back to leading the team! Carlos Santana also got a homer tonight, putting him at 6 which is tied for second on the team. Santana got TWO hits tonight - way to be!

Travis Buck, who we are welcoming with open arms, got himself an RBI single today too.

Did you catch some of the lovely gloves? Asdrubal with a nice one and Hannahan too, then Santana threw a bullet to pick off a runner at 2nd to end the 7th. Five strikeouts and 7 groundouts for Carrasco.

Sorry I was late with the ol' post tonight...I was enjoying me some Cake at the Cleveland Masonic Auditorium. The mellowest rock show I've ever been to. They even gave away a tree to a lucky fan. A real tree.

But, I ran home and listened to the entire game on the Gameday Audio archive. I totally did! I don't know why my Radio Chatter is so crummy, tho. I apologize for that. It's actually sort of hard to listen to the archive and fast-forward through the commercials, and also not have Gameday going in the background when there are three Cabreras on the field. Did you know that the Gameday Audio pop-up tries to synch up/rewind Gameday while you listen to the game? Unfortunately Gameday is about an inning or two ahead of the audio. I think that the Gameday is synching up with the time on the Gameday Audio, which INCLUDES an hour or a half hour of pre-game. Someone should tell MLB.com. Maybe I will.

Oh man oh man oh man I can't wait to see what we do with the White Sox tomorrow (tonight). Don't forget - 8:10 PM. See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"[Asdrubal] Cabrera is starting to make either jump throws or throws-off-balance better than any player in the league."
- Tom Hamilton

"Treanor dancing off the bag there. Why, I don't know. It's sometimes more distracting for the hitter than anything."
- Tom Hamilton

"And Matt Treanor gets picked off at second for the final out of the seventh with his club down five! Thank you, thank you, thank you!"
- Tom Hamilton, moments later


"He'd be a bad poker player wouldn't he? He's out there wearing his emotions on his sleeve when he doesn't have that good command."
"Yeah he's an adrenaline guy. If he were a poker player right now Rosie he might throw the deck of cards back at the dealer."
- Jim Rosenhaus and Tom Hamilton on Chris Perez's not-so-awesome 9th

Monday, May 16, 2011

Royal Beating

Can a team carry the momentum of a fantastic walk-off win at home across two rain-outs and one time zone? Survey says yes!

So here's the low-down. KC starter Kyle Davies was not faring very well there in the first. He walked three guys and was pitching in the 80s (that's MPH) and they ended up taking him out due to injury. So Nate Adcock comes in for relief and gives up 2 runs in the form of Davies' baserunners (after less than an inning of work, dude gets the loss. Bummer.)

We score more off this kid in the next inning, and in comes Vin Mazzaro the guy who was slated to start for KC tomorrow.

Then we score 10 runs in the 4th off Mazzarro. His ERA went from 4.50 to 22.74. How do you even let a pitcher give up 10 in one inning? Three-run doubles will sneak up on you real quick. So, yeah, not a good outing for ol' Vin.

Remember way back in April when we played the Royals for first place? That seems like a lifetime ago, eh?

Their first baseman, Eric Hosmer, is really good. And that's all I have to say about the Royals.

So, on to THE TRIBE and the amazing things THE TRIBE did tonight, and wonderful wonderful BASEBALL being back after a long quiet weekend!

First off - everybody hits! Didja see, I added a new star over there -->

Twenty hits for our boys tonight, producing 19 runs. Two-out RBIs? Eleven. Runners left in scoring position? Only six.

Not only did everyone hit but one of our three pinch hitters hit. SHELLEY DUNCAN with a double!

I was pondering Friday night if Brantley's AVG would be up over .300 today, after the weekend. Well the weekend never happened but tonight he got two hits and four RBI, and walked twice, putting his AVG up to .304! Oh and remember how I said he was emulating Grady? He got his fourth homer tonight!

Asdrubal - got his 9th double and stole two bases! He got another RBI and still leads the team with 26!

You know what it means when everyone hits, right? It means that CHOOOOOO has a hit! As a matter of fact he's got TWOOOOO! Almost everything he hit tonight was long, but not quite long enough (before the game, Hammy and Rosie assured us that not much was leaving the park tonight.) He did manage a double, though,

Carlos Santana also hit AND stole a base! That bear is looking into every honey pot this year. He also moved over to play first when they brought Marson in to pinch for LaPorta (don't worry, just some extra playing time for the benchers). Santana also walked three times, which is super awesome for him because if he's not hitting and he's not walking well...you know the rest.

PRONK! Only one hit but he made it count - one of those aforementioned three-run doubles!

Orlando Cabrera was all "This is fun, guys!" and got three hits. And three RBI. I think the thing I miss most about not seeing the games on TV this season is seeing Orlando Cabrera having so much fun playing baseball. Seriously! Although we do get to see him in all those walk-off highlight videos. I think he just has a lot of fun getting hits, too. Anyway, three hits for "O-Cab" que es todos de cinco hits y cuatro carreras por Dos Cabreras! Sorry, Spanish lapse.

Next up, Travis Buck, who is up from Columbus in place of the injured Grady. On one hand...can you imagine what we'd be like if we had Grady up in that shit tonight? On the other hand, I am so very glad we can send our star player away for a time for maximum medical attention and get a premium player like Buck from our reserves. And then that guy comes up and is all three hits! Three runs! One RBI! Hi Cleveland glad I'm not in Oakland!

Matt LaPorta! What got in to that guy tonight? He was getting hot before the "break" and continued on tonight with four hits and 4 RBI. Two doubles! I hope he keeps it up - love seeing production down at the end of the order there.

Jack! Hannahan! Did you vote yet? He got a hit tonight too!

All right so that was our offense. How about our pitching? Well you know, Josh Tomlin - who was was actually about to pitch last night - was all "yeah ok I'll pitch tonight" and he did and he went 6 innings and gave up just five hits and one run and got the W. He only had 81 pitches but why "use up" a starter when you're up 17-1? As Trevor Crowe (@tcrowe4) put it "BREAKING NEWS.... You will Die! You will Pay Taxes! Josh Tomlin will give you 6 Strong Innings!" Yeah man, sounds good to me!

Germano. Durbin. Pestano. 0-0-0. Goodnight!

So anyway that was way fun, huh? Totally different than this walk-off stuff. Still fun to listen to all the way through! I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see how we'd score next. And, of course, waiting to see if everyone hits.

What do you think about this....if the Indians had been down 13-1 in the 4th, would you have gone to bed? Would you have called it over? How about 17-1? 19-1? I definitely would have stayed. I don't think 13 is too much for this team if we're facing the right kind of pitchers (as in, not the group we just got done facing). Maybe not 17 or 19, but we'd sure give them a run for their money. Remember Opening Day? We almost did that.

We won, KC lost, Detroit lost, Chicago lost, Minnesota is about to lose. How many games ahead do you need to be to be "running away" with your division??

Tomorrow's sadly our last game against these generous Royals this week. But then, we face the super-generous White Sox! Don't forget, all Central Time this week so see you tomorrow at 8:10 PM!

Radio Chatter:
"That may have been the longest trip to the mound ever."
- Jim Rosenhaus after Tom Hamilton took advantage of some down time to explain how Rosie's induction into the Buffalo Bisons Hall of Fame is starting to affect their jobs

"Not only have the horses left the barn, the barn has burned to the ground."
- Tom Hamilton on the 10-run inning

"You know you've had quite a night offensively when your number eight man in the batting order has been to the plate 6 times. It's like a softball game."
- Tom Hamilton

Friday, May 13, 2011

In Pronk We Trust

WAAAAAAHHOOOO!!

Was this a big set-up tonight? Did we purposely get behind by 2 in order to win in spectacular fashion? Because Travis Hafner coming through with a walk-off home run at home here, in front of the biggest crowd since opening day, is pretty spectacular.

First off, Carmona looked pretty ok. He only gave up 6 hits. Unfortunately, two of those hits were homers for three runs. But, eh, whatevs. Four runs against the Mariners is not a huge mountain to climb for us. Carmona also pitched 7.2 innings which is sweet.

My man Sipp! came in for relief and that was all we needed. Great job by him to get the W and great job by both pitchers to keep the rest of the bullpen out of the game. However good our pitching's been this year and however few innings our relievers end up pitching, we've still been using 3-4 relievers per game. Not unusual but also a boon whenever it doesn't happen.

The top of our order has really been top-of-the-order-ish lately. Ugh, what we wouldn't give to have Grady back up there to double the magic of Brantley. But, Brantley! He thinks he's Grady all of a sudden, being not only the sure-hitting leadoff man but the home run hitting leadoff man as well! His AVG is juuuust about .300 now, at .298. Do you think he'll be over .300 by Monday?

Grady, Brantley and Asdrubal have 15 home runs, 24 doubles and 2 triples amongst them and are hitting a combined .289. Like? LIKE!!

You know who else got a home run tonight? CHOOOOOO! Gotta love that guy hitting at home. You know he feels the love, whether it's 5k yelling his name or 33k.

Hey Austin Kearns got a hit tonight. Goodonya!

Do you feel it going into the 9th? Do you think "WINNING!" right up to the last out? I sure do. Do you see Brantley, Cabrera, Choo, Santana, Hafner due up and think "HELL YEAH!"? You should, you really should.

Did you really think we were going to lose 3 in a row? It is indeed possible to do so and still be the most awesome team in baseball (hey, they're only human!) but we didn't. The Royals lost to the Tigers, so those two are tackling each other for 2nd place, still 4 and 4.5 games behind us.

Keep an eye on the Tom Hamilton has the Best Home Run call in all of Baseball Facebook page tonight because you're going to want to hear Hammy's call. "BACK...TRACK...AT THE WALL...IT IS GOOOOoone...." then silence for crowd reaction, then composure and declaring that "the magic is back!" God bless 'im.

Don't forget the next TWO games are at 1:05 PM in the afternoon.

Radio Chatter:
"He sure got comfortable in a hurry!"
- Tom Hamilton's comment on Choo's first-inning homer, after commenting that Choo does not look comfortable at the plate

"Jack Hannahan could not get a hit the rest of the year and he'd still be worth it."
- Tom Hamilton on Hannahan's performance at third base

"Suzuki is surprised that anyone would ever call a strike on him. He's four feet out of the batter's box, I don't know how he would know."
- Tom Hamilton

"Shall he ever come to the will-call window, Tony Sipp will not be leaving tickets."
- Tom Hamilton on Sipp's college coach who told him he'd never make it in the big leagues

"This is the kind of game that makes you think there's something special going on in 2011."
- Tom Hamilton

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Are We Done With Good Pitching Yet?

Seriously, because I've about had it. But that's not too positive now, is it?

Well, we did get a double, a triple and a homer off one of the best staffs in baseball. We also ALLLLLMOST all got hits, except for LaPorta which is weird because he's been hot.

Ten hits in all, so not bad. Remember that guy I was telling you about, Asdrubal Cabrera? Well now he's tied for #1 in homers on the team with 6. He also leads the team in triples with TWO. I wonder how many dudes haven't even gotten one triple in their whole career? I bet a lot. Well Asdrubal has TWO before June! He also got another RBI (duh).

Shelley Duncan got a hit! He was having a bit of a slump. He's in for Brantley who's in for Sizemore, who is doing just fine thanks.

Hey, Durbin and Smith came in today and neither gave up any runs. Durbin didn't even give up a hit! Nice to see those guys getting more reliable every time they come out.

In fact, Smith did one of those fake-out pickoffs today. AWESOME! Rick at Waiting For Next Year tweeted "More surprising- that the fake to third go to first pick-off move worked, or that the Tribe weren't the ones to fall for it?" HA!

I guess today we had our biggest crowd at home since the opener, just over 18k. One good thing about the unemployment rate in Cleveland, perhaps? However it works, I'm glad it works. I always worry about afternoon games being sparse.

Some of us have to work, tho, like me. So I'll cut this short. See you tomorrow at 7 for hopefully a good old-fashioned Mariner Whoopin'.

Radio Chatter:
"Doug Jones used to do that, former Indians pitcher. Slow, slower and slowest."
- Mike Hegan

Mike Hegan keeps his spring training scorecards handy just in case he needs to reference them during the regular season.

"...in downtown You Gotta Be Sh*ttin' Me..."
- Tom Bodet in a new Motel 6 commercial

"OUT AT SECOND IS CABRERA! How in the world can you get picked off at second down 5 to 3?!"
- Tom Hamilton shares his disappointment with Orlando Cabrera

"...then again, Palmeiro didn't do anything he just took somebody else's vitamin shot. There's a story to that but we all have families to feed."
- Tom Hamilton regarding Rafael Palmeiro's alleged steroids use

"Albert Pujols has made more news for hugging Joe Strauss than for swinging his bat."
- Tom Hamilton regarding recent Albert Pujols news

"As-lando Cabrera has his second double of the day..."
- Tom Hamilton's quick save

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Price is Right

Man, what a softball headline. I betcha the wrap-up on Indians.com has the same title or something similar in a 32pt font. How often do you think they use that headline in the Tampa Bay newspaper? Only once, I hope.

Anyway, I think David Price is angry and he's taking it out on the Tribe. He's angry because a couple weeks ago he gave up 5 runs and 12 hits to the Blue Jays. So now he's all "I'M GOING TO PITCH A PERFECT GAME!" "Or maybe a complete game shutout." "Or maybe a complete game."

You can't really pitch those sorts of things against these Indians. Well you can pitch a complete game if you can pitch more than 100-120. And if Grady is out getting an MRI and Pronk is having his night off and if we have to bring in Austin Kearns. What's really going to happen is that you pitch 8 and you luck out because our pitcher is just back from the DL and is not quite so good.

Here's a funny story about me and Austin Kearns...last year I was telling my friend (a Braves fan) how much I like our young team and how we've got some cool new youngsters, like Austin Kearns. And my friend, who doesn't listen to every word so he obviously missed me saying "youngsters", told me how he remembers Kearns being in some sort of home run race in 2006 or so. And I said "Wut? He's new." And my friend said "no, he's been around, like, forever." And we looked it up and sure enough, his rookie season was 2002.

Oops. I wasn't paying attention at all, was I? Well, it IS hard when you only hear games and never see them. Unless Hamilton tells me a guy's age and history, I guess I assume he's from our farm team.

Other story about Austin Kearns: He "came with" Manny Acta from Washington to Cleveland. The move turned out great for him and his family because they got a lot of help for their son at the Cleveland Clinic Children's Center of Autism. We sent him to the Yankees last July but he came right back because Cleveland is the best place for his family to live. Cool, huh?

He's going to be here a long time, I guess, so we'd better embrace him. I am ready to embrace him, for real. Except there's no real place for him right now. Other than our Hot Bench Of Awesomeness!

Anyway, back to David Price. Because this is the David Price edition of The Positive Tribe. I should let our less-aware readers know that David Price is the pitcher for Tampa Bay that pitched against us and won. He's pretty good I guess...but he's only 4-3, he's no Masterson. He isn't on any of the League Leaders lists. But for some  reason not only did he hold the Tribe to 5 hits, he went 8 innings and also only gave up 2 runs.

Oh, and Tom Hamilton and Mike Hegan gushed over him all night. Weird.

When he WASN'T busy getting Indians out, he was busy giving up doubles. Four doubles tonight! Satana, LaPorta and Dos Cabreras!

Brantley got a hit too, a RBI single. His AVG is creeping up to .300!

Tomorrow's game is at NOON so don't forget! Anyone able to go to that sort of thing? I went one year with my friend AJ and it was fun but we missed half the game because it took forever to park. Hmmm...that's right, AJ is a teacher so he's free for afternoon games all summer. I think I might need to skip more work this year! But not tomorrow. School's not out yet.

Ok, that's all about the Tribe for tonight. "But, I want to know more about David Price!" you say? Well, Radio Chatter has you covered.

Oh yeah, here's a link to the Indians.com/MLB.com wrapup. It's not up right now (I scooped them!) but it'll be up shortly and you can see what clever Price-praising headline they came up with.

Radio Chatter, The David Price Edition:
"I don't mean to be a Debbie Downer, Fred Griffith, but you got the wrong time to get the Bedford Nissan Grand Slam Payoff. Not with David Price on the mound."
- Tom Hamilton

"Being 5 runs down against David Price, it might as well be 15 runs."
- Tom Hamilton

"If you get hit in the back with one of Price's pitches, you might not take another breath until midnight."
- Tom Hamilton

"It had to come to an end, and if it had to come to an end you'd think it would be against a guy like David Price."
- Tom Hamilton

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Welcome Homer

Aaaaaah, home runs again! I'm no homer freak (that would be Yankee fans *spit*) but sometimes the small ball gets tedious. Especially when your radio announcer has the best home run call in all of baseball! I think it's also fun to see guys homer counts go up as well as see who is going to hit a rare homer. Those out-of-the-blue blasts are pretty sweet!


I'm lookin' at you, Michael Brantley! Home run number two! I wonder if anyone else realizes his jersey number is 23? He should do some sort of introductory commercial.

Speaking of Michael Brantley, dude also got a single and stole a base. Oh and uh...A WALK-OFF WALK! Hahaha totally cool, what a great hitter he is! He swung at two then stood there and watched Kyle Farnsworth throw him four balls in a row.

How embarrassing for Kyle Farnsworth!

Oh yeah apparently before the game, some Plain Dealer writer decided that Brantley's nickname should be "Dr. Smooth" and ran it by Brantley and Brantley said it was "cool." "Dr. Smooth", really? Why not like Mr. Cool or Awesomeguy? Jesus, can't anyone tell that he was just humoring the guy? How about LeBrantley or Leadoff Louie or even Michael Smooth, Esquire? "Dr. Smooth"? Count me out.

I thought Santana was Smooth, anyway? Or maybe he's Supernatural? Ah yeah, he's Supernatural. Sorry, Castrovince.Since Castrovince is the Big Daddy Of Blogs around these parts, I hope he talks some sense into this situation and finds ANY other nickname for Michael Brantley.

Hey! Speaking of Santana, both he and CHOOOOO got themselves hits tonight. They both also walked twice. Santana was the guy who scored the winning run, and he skipped to home plate, which was pretty redorkulous.Observe.

Now, I'm going to swear for a minute here and say FUCK ME RUNNING, WHY DON'T PEOPLE PAY MORE ATTENTION TO ASDRUBAL CABRERA? Oh he has a funny name? He's kind of funny looking? What? He'll kick your ass with his offensive stats (compared to the rest of the team). To wit:
  • #1 Games
  • #1 At bats
  • #1 Runs
  • #1 Hits 
  • #1 Triples
  • #1 RBI
  • #1 Total Bases
  • #2 Doubles
  • #2 Homers
  • #2 Average
  • #3 Stolen Bases

Plus, he is awesome in the field. And...and, like, dozens of people come to this blog every day wondering what his tattoo says. So let's put him at #1 in the MLB for the most queried tattoo, shall we?

Asdrubal Cabrera's tattoo got 3 hits and an RBI tonight, by the way. So when you vote for Jack, you should totally vote for Asdrubal too because he is better.

Asdrubal would be tied for first with homers, but we've got to give credit where credit is due and props to Grady for getting home run number 6 tonight, surpassing the guy with the most at-bats (Asdrubal). He still doesn't qualify for being a league leader, since he hasn't had 3.1 at-bats-per-team-game but if he did he'd have the #2 or #3 slugging percentage.

So Tomlin was the starter and he gave up a solo home run. That's like, 7 solo home runs for him this year (out of 8 home runs). He had no decision but dammit, he went six innings AGAIN, extending that crazy streak of his of never pitching fewer than 6 innings ever or something.

Then came our stable of stallions, Sipp, Pestano and C. Perez. Each with their own little inning and each with their own little job. I wonder if Perez comes out of the pen wondering what badge he's going to collect today? Tonight he got another W badge.

Oh, every single Indians follower on Twitter would like you to know that the Tribe is 14-2 at home this year, which is the longest home streak since 1995 and the first time in franchise history that we've started the season 14-2 at home. I would like you to know that I am still not impressed by Twitter. You guys should see IRC sometime, it will blow your fucking MINDS.

Hmmm I am surly tonight. I shall retire. Hopefully more 7PM baseball tomorrow, with clear skies instead of rain delays. It's the return of Carlos Carrasco!

Radio Chatter:
"Zobrist would like to argue with home plate umpire Dale Scott. Good luck."
- Tom Hamilton

"Well, he didn't go to Lafayette. We say that in jest because Rosie is a graduate of Lafayette. It took him 8 years to get his undergraduate degree."
- Tom Hamilton

"In baseball, the regular season means something, not like in the NBA or the NHL. Not when you have 16 teams in the playoffs."
- Tom Hamilton

"Usually when that happens you're not going to win. But with the kind of season this team is having, who knows."
- Tom Hamilton, regarding the unusually high number of men left in scoring position by the Indians

"The last thing you want is Choo bunting. He can with it with one swing of the bat."
- Tom Hamilton

"It looks to the hitter that there are ten guys in the infield and nobody in the outfield. But you have to hit it to the outfield, that's the key."
- Tom Hamilton on "double play depth"

"Michael, it was a slider! Take one for the team!"
- Mike Hegan on Brantley moving out of the way of a pitch with the bases loaded

"It's literally a walk-off win!"
- Tom Hamilton

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Real Wild One

Second blog post of the day! If you'd like to read a better post and haven't seen my wrap up of Saturday's game, check it out here.

I say "better" already because I'm dead tired and can't hardly keep my eyes open.

Fausto gave us 7 solid innings today, striking out 7. The three runs the Angels scored during his tenure were un-earned, so his ERA continues to go down since opening day.

We needed Fausto to give us at least 7, since our bullpen was worn thin from the rest of the games on this road trip. He worked it perfectly, leaving only one inning to Rafael Perez and Joe Smith.

We almost had an "Everybody Hits" game today! But, LaPorta didn't happen to get a hit. So close!

Grady continues to produce for us - THREE hits including his 11th double and 6th home run! Finally - a homer in this series! It's just unheard of for this ballclub to have a guy come back from the DL and return to his old self like that. And what about Hafner? Another hit and another RBI! These guys are making just amazing comebacks. What doesn't hurt is that we have the luxury to bench them as prescribed, with solid single-game replacements in Brantley and Duncan.

Asdrubal! Two more hits and one more RBI, now with 23.

Since I said almost everyone got a hit, that means both Choo and Santana got hits. Choo seems to be over his mini-slump and back to climbing his way out of the basement. Santana continues to climb as well, with a respectable .218.

Don't forget who we faced today, too. Dan Haren, who leads the league in strikeouts and has the league's second lowest ERA. We got him for six hits, TWO earned runs and a goddamn home run. We climbed that mountain for real, baby!

How important is a so-called "Gold Glove third baseman"? Yeah. Save us, Superhananan! Did you vote for Jack yet?

Amazing series on the west coast for the Tribe, where we ended up playing .500 ball against two of the toughest pitching staffs in baseball. Runs were few but they were justified by our own amazing pitching. Defense was solid for the most part. We didn't have to rely on the home run or luck. That was hard-fought baseball and hopefully our presence this week really showed the world that the 2011 Indians are the real thing.

We're off Monday and then the boys are HOME for 6, away for 4 and then home again for 6. I can't WAIT for them to get back to their home-run park, the electric CHOOOOOOing and patron saint John Adams. It's gonna be big, I tell you. Will you be there? I hope I am.

See you Tuesday, at regular baseball time, finally!

Radio Chatter:
"[Stephanie Hagel] is pushing the Mother's Day envelope, she wants us to do a legal ID. We say all these nice things about Stephanie and she drops the FCC in our lap."
- Tom Hamilton

"It's amazing...when you're having a good year and you've got a winning record...whether or not it's a perception or reality, it sure seems like you get more calls in your favor than when you're having a bad year."
- Tom Hamilton ruminating on a questionable call in the 6th

"I shouldn't shortchange Milton Bradley. He'll be back next weekend too. Now, how long he stays in the game remains to be seen. He's been booted out of at least two games here recently for arguing balls and strikes. We'll also see if he's still wearing earplugs. He's been wearing earplugs at every home game in Seattle. At a HOME ballgame! That ought to be a promotion for the Indians. Have a contest, see who can have the best histrionics to an actor who's an umpire, and get thrown out, and win the best seats in the house."
- Tom Hamilton on the upcoming Mariners series and the return of his favorite player

"Boy does this tell you everything you need to know about this ball club. They just refuse to believe they're ever beaten. And if you talk to Manny Acta, the coaches, any of the players, they'll tell you the same thing. This ballclub always feels like it's going to find a way to win. And talk is cheap - the bottom line is they've gone out and done it this year. That's why they believe it's so that they're going to find ways to win."
- Tom Hamilton after Grady and Asdrubal's back-to-back doubles in the 9th

Working Weaver

Ah, sorry I missed last night's game, boffins. I was busy watching Cleveland music legends Glass Harp rock out with other Cleveland music legend Neil Zaza (who also apparently used to be my neighbor), and then catching up-and-coming Cleveland indie legends Cloud Nothings and Afternoon Naps. Seriously rocking night at the Beachland, I tell you what!

I tried to get the score by text but it wasn't happening, so then I decided to avoid the score until I could listen to the game on the Gameday Audio archive (which I can access thanks to my Tribe Fan Club subscription). I ended up sneaking a peek at the score but listening to the entire game anyway. I couldn't think of a better way to spend a sunny Sunday than to stay holed up inside listening to baseball. Ok maybe when I'm done with this I'll put out my patio furniture and listen to today's game outdoors.

Really nice game today. Just good baseball. First off, we were facing probably the best pitcher in the AL in Jared Weaver (other top pitchers? Oakland's Trevor Cahill and the Angel's Dan Haren, today's opponent). Second, our top prospect Alex White was pitching his second game in the Majors. Things could have gone horribly wrong. Like, if it were any other year, things would have gone horribly wrong. Instead, all our guys stepped up and gave White a fantastic backing by handling Weaver with aplomb and staying tight in the field.

Like this: OMG ASDRUBAL!

Even though he gave up 3 runs, Alex White looked fan-fucking-tastic. Pitching against the West's top team and one of the AL's top pitchers? The kid was cool as a cucumber! He did give up a homer but a rare SINGLE homer (our staff likes to give up homers in groups of 2, or 2-run homers). He struck out 6 in 6 innings (Weaver? Zero) and only walked 2 (same as Weaver). Any time he was in a jam, he worked out of it. Like when he gave up a triple with one out and nobody scored, or when he had 2 on in the 6th, with only a one-run lead, approaching 100 pitches and got Mathis to strike out swinging to end the inning.

Relieving White in the 7th was our Dream Team of Sipp!, Pestano and Chris Perez, giving up just one hit with three strikeouts. Not bad after so many extra-inning games and so many appearances. Pestano pitched his third consecutive game, which he's never done before since he's had the Tommy John surgery. But he only  made 12 pitches, 10 of them strikes. Some real old-school strength out there! Perez got his 10th save and Alex White got the win.

The offense really tamed Weaver today. They wore him out, getting him up to 108 pitches. Michael Brantley had an 11-pitch at-bat in the 4th, and we came back to score three in the 5th - after back-to-back walks! Usually you need to wear out the starter to get to the relievers to score your runs, but we actually got the win from Weaver himself.

Weaver was leading the league in strikeouts when the game began. He didn't strike out one single Indian.

You know who got all our runs today? CHOOOOO! And SMOOOOOOOOOOTH! (Carlos Santana) Santana scored in the 4th on a sac fly, then knocked in the winning run in the 5th. Choo was on base because he got a TWO RUN DOUBLE! When you can stop an 0-for-19 slump with a two-run double...well, you've returned.

Hafner got two hits, bringing his average to .352. HOT STUFF! Marson was in again at catcher, and got a hit, keeping his average at .303. Marson also got a STEAL...and then a pickoff. Heh.

Today's game is gonna be crazy. Fausto vs. also-awesome pitcher Dan Haren. Our bullpen is wrecked. We haven't hit any home runs in this entire road trip. Can we stick it out one more game? Well you know what? You know who, if anyone ever, can stick it out this one last game? A YOUNG team that runs on nothing but heart and hope. Could the old men from Boston do it? No.

Check out my collection of Radio Chatter today! Hammy and Rosie were having lots of FUN!

Radio Chatter:
"You can buy a baseball team when you record a song like 'Rudoplh the Red Nosed Reindeer'. [...] Just think, every time your kids sing 'Rudolph' Gene Autrey is making money."
- Tom Hamilton regarding Gene Autrey's ownership of the Angels

"Proof again that a Buckeye is always tougher than a Gaucho. What is a Gaucho, Tony? It's sort of a horse? A Spanish horseman. Well, how many Spanish horsemen can play volleyball?"
- Tom Hamilton regarding the OSU men's volleyball winning the national championships over USC Santa Barbara

"Bobby Abreau is going to finish his career at some point...he's 37...and he's going to have one of the greatest careers that nobody's ever talked about."
- Tom Hamilton

"Former Indian Izturas went with Ryan Church to Houston for Scott Stewart. The only thing I can remember about Scott Stewart is that nobody ate more Fudgecicles in the history of the Indians franchise and was less productive than Scott Stewart."
"Scott Stewart was a peacock for the bullpen and he found himself in triple-A awfully quick."
"Were there a lot of Fudgecicles in Buffalo, Rosie?"
"I didn't want to go there, but there was a shortstop gone to Montreal and the Bisons added a relief pitcher who couldn't get anyone out at that level either."
"And it was never his fault."
- Tom Hamilton and Jim Rosenhaus fondly remembering Scott Stewart

"Hey, there's a ball the Angels didn't get! That might be the first one in two games that they didn't make a sensational play on."
- Tom Hamilton on Santana's 4th inning double

"Oh my, what a huge hit for Choo. And it might be be the first time on this road trip that he's been able to take a deep breath and relax. And I can't believe how many Indians fans are here!"
"Tom, I think in addition to Indians fans, I think there's Choo fans."
"You're right, Rosie. Especially out west, the Korean delegation."
"When he came to the plate there was a lot of Choo-ing like at home."
- Tom Hamilton on Choo's 2-run double and the resulting wave of "CHOOOOOO!"

"Well if you like numbers, Jared Weaver in his last three starts against the Indians had given up one run, in three starts. So this again tells you how legitimate this ball club is, Rosie. They're doing it against good pitching they're not just doing it against meatballers."
- Tom Hamilton

"We've got the Angels television feed up here, and when the Angels strike out they don't replay it."
"It's like it never happened."
"Well, we are around the corner from Disneyland."
- Tom Hamilton and Jim Rosenhaus

"You don't see many clubs play a home game on Sunday at 12:35. [...] I guess nobody goes to church out here. Except our engineer Tony!"
- Tom Hamilton

"The Indians are third in the league in pitching, which sort of gets lots. As tough as the pitching has been for the Indians to face, the same is true for the Angels and Oakland. Runs have been at a premium for both the Indians and their opposition."
- Tom Hamilton

"Marson says he got his hand in there. [Umpire] Doug Eddings says 'I didn't see it that way.'"
- Tom Hamilton