Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Pain pf Contending

OH, boffins, the pain! Yet another Sunday where I sulk for hours until I can muster up the will to post something positive about this afternoon's game.

It's not hard to come up with positive stuff, but the pain is much worse now that we're a "contender." It's like the difference in pain of walking on crutches with a bum knee, and walking without crutches and carrying your cousin on your shoulders too. Your cousin - he represents the extra weight of being a contender. The crutches - that is the cushiony prop of saying "we're building for next year."

Things did go right today. Just fine, in fact. Good Fausto showed up. Well "Good" as in "Not Bad" Fausto, but not any sort of ace. He never really melted down or anything, just slowly gave up 4 runs over 7 innings. Lots of ground-ball outs but only 2 strikeouts.

Tony Sipp came in (he worked last night too) and gave up a run. What's going on, Tony Sipp? Joe Smith came in after that to give up none runs but seems like the #bullpenmafia is teetering a bit. One thing's for sure we're not seeing Chris Perez and his beard enough. But there aren't many save situations comin' around the bend either.

The top of our order was hot shit today. Brantley got his hit. Kipnis - first MLB home run! w00t!

Asdrubal was on fire, going 3 for 4 and a walk. Another double! Also got some air playing defense behind Smith, with a nice grab in the 9th.


Santana also keeping in his groove with 2 more hits, one of them a TRIPLE. He got his first just a couple weeks ago on July 18, a game in which he played FIRST BASE just like tonight. He's gotten 8 hits in his last 6 starts.

Matt LaPorta...he's so wishy-washy. One night he's the hero and the next night he can't see the ball worth shit. I actually want LaPorta to do well...so we can use him in a trade to get someone who is a little more solid. I'm not haytin' on the dude...I am just tired of being teased by him!

Fukudome got his first hit JUST LIKE I SAID HE WOULD in last night's post. I said so! It was a double, even. He walked. And struck out. But he also made an excellent play in the outfield, which is something I'm sure we were all wondering about.

Man, we struck out a TON today. Twelve times! Against a guy with a 5+ ERA and a bunch of relievers.

Ten guys LOB too. Back up in to the double-digits.

Hey did you see Zeke today? Came in to pinch for Kearns (I know, right?) and got a double! His average is the same as Fukudome right now hahaha

Today's lineup also included Jason Donald, who was here for a bit last year. He played some nice-nice at 3rd and went 0 for 2 with a walk. Then they hit Hafner for him, heh.

Neither Lonnie nor Lou did anything in the 9-hole, except Lou did catch a guy stealing. While Santana lost a stealer in the 8th.

Our guys are not doing so hot with stealing lately. Brantley and Asdrubal both got caught today. I can see why we're trying to get runners in scoring position (cuz we need to SCORE) but they keep getting caught and then we've wasted the talent of the top of our order. Brantley has been caught 5 times this season so far! Yowza!

Anyway, I am exhausted from all the trade talk and the contender talk. Exhausted from these close games. We need to get our win on, get ourselves a little padding and welcome August with open arms. When we've got Ubaldo Jiminez and Shin-Soo Choo hangin' out. We could use a little more Pronk and maybe a little Grady if he can be bothered. And there's always more room for as much Asdrubal as we can muster.

Tomorrow we play against the Red Sox (ooOoOooh!) for 4 games. I fuckin' hate the Red Sox, possibly more than the Yankees, and we need to win. Forget contending, forget anything else for now. Let's just beat those stinky Sox. Seriously.

See you tomorrow at 7:10 PM!

Radio Chatter:
"Ichiro Suzuki treats the base-on-balls like a virus."
- Tom Hamilton on the difference between Suzuki and Fukudome and their OBP

"Santana and Lou Marson have missed a double and a home run by a combined total of about 3 feet."
- Mike Hegan

"Fukudome made that play look easy, and it was anything but."
- Tom Hamilton on Fukudome's play in the 8th

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Nervous Night

I was pretty nervous for the ballgame tonight. I was already a bit on edge due to last night's shenanigans. "I really hope this isn't the future of this season," I thought.

Then I got a message from my friend T who was at the game with her brother and sister-in-law, who are visiting from out of town. T went with me to her first game earlier this summer (when we played the Reds and Asdrubal went 5 for 5), and then to her second game a month or so later (which was the first game where Carrasco kicked ass). She's also got a little tension in her family, and is hoping to make Cleveland her new home. So I was just really really nervous that tonight her family was going to see "those Indians" and, I dunno - make T move back to Dayton or something.

Instead they saw THOSE Indians. The team with over 30,000 fans at home. The team with some spectacular defense. The team with masterful pitching (pun!). The team that gets walk-off wins with 2 outs. And then they saw a fireworks show that might possibly be the best fireworks show they've ever seen (I am quite partial to the Rock 'n Blasts).

I was happy T and her family got to see all that, and I am pretty happy for myself for getting to see that. On TV nonetheless!

And for those of us in the know, not only did we get all that but the Tigers also lost and we might just be getting a new player in the form of 2010 All-Star starter Ubaldo Jiminez.

All-in-all, not a bad night!

Big Nasty was on fire tonight, going 8 innings with 5 strikeouts and only 2 runs. And those 2 runs were in the 1st and the 8th. He got 8 ground-ball outs too. His ERA of 2.56 has him tied for 4th in the AL, along with that guy Sabathia. Fuckin' A, Justin Masterson!


Even tho I'm excited that we pulled off a win, I'm still not blown away by our offense. Seemed like there was way too much of this going on tonight. Only 4 LOB tonight, which is better than 13. But it's about 33% of our OB.

Brantley was leading off tonight, with Carrera down at 9th (sneaky, right?) He was only 1 for 3 but he did get the game tying RBI. Definitely need that guy to turn it up juuuuust a notch.

Kipnis....still not hitting with any regularity. But check this out.  Are you surprised that Orlando Cabrera just got let go? (Traded to Giants for a hurt outfielder.) I liked Orlando ok, but he was replaceable.

Asdrubal had a spiffy play too, and looked good working with Kipnis. He also got a hit but he's just not hitting with that Asdrubalness we've come to expect this year (well I've been expecting it since 2008, but that's just me.)

RUMOR has it that Asdrubal let shit get to his head since the All Star Game. I don't know anything about Asdrubal the person, just the on-field player so I don't know if it's something he could suffer from or not.

Carlos Santana - did they light a fire under his ass again? Around Memorial Day they were telling him to stop moving his foot at the plate and he did and he exploded. Then he went back into his old ways. They reminded him again and he's wavering between multi-hit games and no-hit games. But, fuck the worry. Because he went 2 for 4 tonight AND he was catching. So Carlos Santana is not as bad as I thought he was the other day.

Fukudome. Not much to say about that cat yet but he did just enough for us for people to be excited. Actually, he did more than most of our guys would usually do lately in that he got a sac fly to score a run. How many of our guys would have hit a short pop-up to left? Probably a lot of them right now. So, good on you, Fukudome. DOMO!!

Both Lonnie and Zeke produced for us tonight. Lonnie with THREE walks - which turned in to 2 runs - and Zeke with a hit.

The BIG news tonight was Matt LaPorta. I'll admit right now that I was ready to trade LaPorta. Not because of how he fucked up on Tuesday. That sort of stuff happens to most of our guys. But, I don't think we need him if we're putting our eggs in Santana's basket. If we're sticking with Santana he needs to play more 1st base because he sucks as a catcher and needs time to concentrate on his batting. We don't need a logjam at 1st.

But then LaPorta was spiffy at 1st tonight, got a huge double, made the Royals' catcher BLEED from his FACE and then uh, won the game with a walk-off 3-run homer.

So everyone would be super-sad if he hadn't been there to wow us tonight. I think everyone would also feel REALLY awkward if we had to put him on a plane after all that.

Just realized that the 2 games I saw on TV this week were the 9th inning on Tuesday with LaPorta fucking the fuck up, and the 9th tonight with LaPorta the hero. Fun!

We're having a lot of problems with momentum lately so let's hope we learn to ROLL ON and get another win tomorrow.

What I want to see is a shitton of runs against Kyle Davies, who sucks. And I want to see Good Fausto. I want to see Fukudome get his first hit as an Indian and LaPorta have two awesome games in a row

Oh man, Ubaldo Jiminez is breaking my heart. Here's what he has to say about leaving the Rockies. Video.  I hope he feels ok here. He'll be with countrymen Manny Acta, Carmona, Raffy Perez and Santana so hopefully that makes it easy. I read earlier that he lives in Denver with "his parents." How lovely is that? I hope he has a lovely time in Cleveland.

Pending a successful physical, of course.

Ok so 1:05 PM tomorrow for us busting Kyle Davies to little pieces. Fukudome to get a hit. Mark my words.

Radio Chatter:
"Right now for the Indians every night Is a pitchers duel."
- Tom Hamilton on our lack of offense

"Treanor is up on his feet buying not sure If he knows he's in Cleveland."
- Tom Hamilton

"Let's hope this booth isn't bugged."
- Tom Hamilton after coming from a break, presumably after gossiping like girls with Hegan about pending trades

"That was a professional at bat."
- Tom Hamilton on Fukudome's sac fly to tie the game

Twitter Patter:
"Shout out to Nastyson... I meant Masterson. Sorry for constantly taking your wins!!!!"
- @SippTony (Tony Sipp)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Well, Fukudome

Ha! Too early? Too softball?

Shitty game tonight, Indians. I was stoked to see our new guy tho, Kosuke Fukedome from the Cubs. Here to play right field while Choo is away (Choo says he'll be back August 15!) and while he didn't hit (which was why we got him) at least he played a little right field. Dear God, I hope he doesn't think we play like this every night...

So Carrasco was bad, which is not cool because in June he was our best pitcher. Now he's giving up tons of runs, home runs, and then throwing at Billy Butler's head. Which got him ejected and cleared the benches. But it wasn't very cool of him because...well, Travis Buck and Lonnie Chisenhall can tell you about being hit in the head.


Makes me sad that Carrasco is completely off the rails, because if you recall I was really psyched about him just a month ago. He's gone all Carmona in the head.

Durbin and Hermann had to come in to save him after he gave up 7-yeah-7 runs in 3.1 innings. Then Durbin gave up 1 run and Herman FOUR runs. So that wasn't too good.

Uhm, oh, Chad Durbin threw inside to Melky Cabrera who was crowding the plate (he had hit a grand slam off Carrasco) and then Melky grounded out. Ha ha. Much better than throwing at a guy's head when you're angry at yourself.

Brantley, Asdrubal, Santana and Orlando hit today. Brantley and Santana with doubles even.

Our LOB is out of sight! HAHAHAHA....heh...These pretzels are making me thirsty.

Lou Marson caught tonight. We want to see more of that.

We're still only 2.5 games out of first place, you know. And it's July. So everyone keep moving forward.

We'll see you tomorrow at 7:05, on TV even on WKYC!

Radio Chatter:
"The media thinks that if Boston wants to trade for you, you should automatically go to Boston."
- Tom Hamilton on Hiroki Kuroda turning down Boston's offer

"Fukudome hasn't seen a fastball that slow since he was 12."
- Tom Hamilton

"You gotta make him throw you a strike. He doesn't want to, but you gotta make him."
- Mike Hegan on Royals pitcher Jeff Francis

"If Brantley, Cabrera and Hafner don't hit this team doesn't score any runs."
- Tom Hamilton

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Who's These Wahoos?

Not my Wahoos, that's for sure.

No-hit today. For the first time since Jim Abbot in 1993. Dude no-hit Michael Brantley and Asdrubal Cabrera and Travis Hafner. Unreal!

Also unreal is that there were 5 errors. By 5 different guys! INCLUDING ASDRUBAL!!

I guess that is good for David Huff, who ended up only giving up 1 earned run, keeping his ERA at .71 (for 2 games). That's exactly what we wanted from him, too.

Joe Smith came in and did his stuff, and then Pestano came in and struck out the side! That was pretty awesome to hear, in this otherwise-blah-of-a-game.

Even Chris Perez, who by last night I was totally jonesin' for, sucked a little bit and gave up a run. That's not what we need you to do, dude.

Overall, great pitching in this series, especially from starters. We were outscored only 7-5 over 3 games.

All that nice stuff I said about the defense last night was out the window today. Not sure how the guys are going from bad to good to bad again. We have outfielders in the outfield and everything!

Zeke looked pretty cool today, scurrying around the bases and scoring our only run. Yeah, we scored a run in a no-hitter! So...it's nice to know we can do stuff like that.

Here's a little trivia for you, that Tom Hamilton keeps trotting out: Ervin Santana (the guy who pitched a no-hitter today) had his major-league debut in Progressive Field 6 years ago. The first 4 batters hit for the cycle (a triple, double, single and homer between them).

No baseball tonight, natch, and then we're totally off tomorrow. There's no baseball until Friday and I have a thing to do Friday night so I will be late with my post, if I manage to live that long without baseball!

In the meantime keep an eye out for trade news. We passed up on Beltran today, which I was relieved to hear when I heard that we offered money and "a substantial player." I do not want to lose any substantial players (ok MAYBE...Santana?)

If anyone asks you how to pronounce our shortstop's name between now and Sunday at 4, run the other way! They can't take him if they don't know his name...

See you Friday night!

Radio Chatter:
"Basically the Indians have now bought Verizon Wireless, to save on the cell phone bill."
- Tom Hamilton on all of the phone work for trading

"The Indians still don't have a hit, folks. We're in the 6th inning."
- Tom Hamilton

"Welp, why should today be any different? The first two games have gone right down to the ninth inning. Looks like we're going that way again."
- Tom Hamilton

"It's getting harder and harder not to have Lou Marson catching."
- Tom Hamilton

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Over the Heartache

No, I'm not over heartache for good. I'd have to move out of the Cleveland area, right?!

Naw I mean that I was really bummed a few minutes ago, at the end of the game there. With the big buildup and the crushing end. Super sad.

But I'm over it already because I'm looking at the box score and thinking about the game as a whole and feeling pretty good.

First off let's give some major applause to Justin Germano who had a perfect game in Columbus tonight. Only the 5th perfect game in 120 years of the International League. Seriously. DAYUM!

All right, so...Josh Tomlin. EIGHT innings! Seven of them were scoreless! Only 4 hits, 1 walk and eventually 2 runs in the 8th. LOVE IT! We really needed that from him tonight. He did exactly what we needed. Even the two runs were ok really.

He gave up 4 hits and Jared Weaver, who started the All Star Game and a 1.81 ERA gave up 7 hits and 2 walks and only went 7 innings. Which starting pitcher won the battle of starting pitchers tonight? Josh Fuckin' Tomlin is who!

Speaking of Columbus, our Sprouts showed up tonight for real. Carrera, Chisenhall and Kipnis all had hits. Kipnis with a double (off Jared Weaver!) and Chisenhall with the most be-you-tiful bunt ever in the 9th.

Also showing up tonight were our power guys Hafner, Santana and LaPorta. Carlos Santana actually got TWO hits after coming in to the game 1 for 15. It was LaPorta who went long tonight, scoring the Tribe's only run with a solo homer.

Unfortunately it was left up to LaPorta and then Kipnis at the end of the game there and...well neither the sprouts nor the power guys pulled through.

Our defense was tight again tonight. Nice stuff going on in the infield and Brantley is making up for lost time out there in left, running around and catching balls.

All in all I think we played very well, top notch, exactly as we had to be versus Weaver. We just fell slightly short. If a lineup with 3 just-off-the-bus guys and our low-level starter can do all they did tonight, then I am quite satisfied with tonight's game and look forward to seeing the team improve from here through September.

Tomorrow's game is a nooner. I hope to see a lot of folks wowing me with the ability to get off work at noon for baseball! It'll be our new favorite pitcher David Huff versus some dude named Ervin with a Creepy Beard.

By the way did you know the game was on Channel 3 today? I didn't, until the 8th inning. I opted for radio instead. Too bad because they didn't put Lonnie's 9th inning bunt up on the video clips. But right after that I tuned in. And watched the sadness.

See you tomorrow!

Radio Chatter:
"How many time have you been watching an NFL game and wondered if a touchdown was scored, and the referee lifted one pinky to signal a touchdown?"
- Tom Hamilton

"The best thing for the Indians about Jared Weaver tonight is this is about to be pitch 90 for him."
- Tom Hamilton

"Eric Wedge has shaved his mustache to try to turn things around with this losing streak. If they lose tomorrow he might be as bald as a cucumber."
- Tom Hamilton on the Mariners

"Some people are chanting 'USA.' Somebody must have bought a brat[wurst]."
- Tom Hamilton

"If you're Jordan Walden...you may have short-term memory loss but you may also have short term memory recall."
- Tom Hamilton after Angels reliever Walden seemed to be breaking down in the 9th for the second day in a row

Columbus Clutch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See you then!

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Damn My Wishes!

I finally get my wish of Valbuena being gone from the outfield, and instead I get an actual outfielder - in the form of one of my favorite call-ups - blowing it. Just BLOWING it for the team today.

There was an article on the Indians' Web site about Brantley and Carrera being able to cover a ton of ground out there in the outfield. Turns out that is step one in making an out. Step two, after getting to the ball, is catching it. Sad trombone.

Masterson was awesome today. One earned run, 6 strikeouts, and he gave us 7 innings.

Joe Smith was awesome, striking out two and doing it quickly.

Sipp was the closer, as it were. He got a couple of guys on base and got himself into a jam. He also took a damn long time out there. But, he didn't give up any runs so that's all we ask.

The FANS looked pretty good today! Over 20k out there in the heat while I sat here in the air conditioning watching on my television. Lots of cheering, lots of kids there for Beach Weekend and Slider's Birthday.

I wonder how many folks are sticking around to see the Lifehouse concert? I know that the highlight of this weekend for me is that there will be no more Lifehouse commercials on the radio. Who's with me?!

It was also nice that Tom Hamilton was back today after his day off Friday. Rosenhaus was off getting that Buffalo Bisons Hall of Fame award.

I can't believe we actually got 5 hits today. That seems like a lot. With all the errors (THREE ERRORS!) it seemed like nobody wanted to be out there either on the field or at the plate.

The guys who made the difference were Asdrubal and Hafner. A-Cab walked and then managed to score from first on a nice bit of running when Hafner got a single. Asdrubal also had a double in the first inning but nothing came of it.

Aside from being utterly horrific in the outfield (will I ever forgive him?), Ezequiel Carrera did look pretty decent as the lead-off man getting a single and walking - 2 for 4. But he also got picked off at first and would have scored had he not. He gets another sad trombone for that simply due to the fact that a lot of nice stuff was said about him leading up to the game (the article linked above) and then during his first at-bat, and things went downhill from there.

Lonnie and LaPorta hit. Yay.

Soooo....injury updates anyone? Still haven't heard anything about trades and whatnot. Apparently we're not going to be cleaning house so that's good. I feel like the upper management knows what's up.

Tomorrow's going to be interesting. By "interesting" I mean "possibly heartbreaking." We're playing the Angels and Dan Haren. Let's just have some hope that Manny Acta busts some balls tonight and gets everyone fired up for a good game. If the Indians are good at one thing, it is losing to terrible teams and beating good teams. That's the way we roll out here.

It's at 7:05 PM tomorrow night but I'll be out at the Beachland enjoying me some Joe Jack Talcum. Twenty bonus points for knowing who that is and thinking it's cool. I'll see you Tuesday afternoon!

Radio Chatter:
"This is what you get from Jackson. He could throw a no-hitter like he did in Tampa a year ago or he could walk 8 guys."
- Tom Hamilton on Chicago's starter

"Most people will tell you Chicago is the most under-performing team in the American League."
- Tom Hamilton

"Mother Nature has kind of taken the steam out of Ozzie Guillen. There hasn't been anything to rant about."
- Tom Hamilton

"Boy this Indians ballclub is lucky Justin Masterson is one of the nicest guys you'll meet. Because he's one of the biggest and strongest. And he doesn't get frustrated easily."
- Tom Hamilton after Carrera's 2-run error

"This team is not playing like a team who is trying to win the division."
- Tom Hamilton

"I gotta believe that Manny Acta is going to be livid after this game."
- Tom Hamilton

Friday, July 22, 2011

Thanks for Listening!

Whew! Luis Valbuena is gone! Someone out there was thinking the same thing I was because they didn't replace him with a AAA outfielder, but another infielder, Jason Kipnis. Of course, Michael Brantley was feeling all better and back in the outfield and Travis Buck also felt good enough to come in for the 9th. So we didn't need another outfielder - we just needed to get rid of Valbuena.

Aaaand...that's pretty much it for the news for this game! Ha!

Ok, Carrasco pitched well enough. It's hard to tell if a guy pitches well enough for his team if his team can't score ANY runs. We had the right lineup today. Only 5 LOB. Raffy, Smith and Hermann were tight in their innings.

Uhm...Lonnie was looking good. He got 2 hits, including a double and made a nice stop at 3rd.

Brantley is glad to be back and scratched out a single.

Kipnis didn't get a hit but he did get hit by a pitch and made a nice play at 2nd.

Nobody walked. Huh.

No errors. That's nice, eh?

Tom Hamilton wasn't in today. He must have the weekend off. It's going to be a looooong weekend if that's the case. I could barely take THIS broadcast seriously.

Look, hardly no radio chatter.

David Huff tomorrow, with his 0.00 ERA! Who's exciiiiiited?! I am! I feel like I have had 3 days without baseball. Yech.

7:05 PM, see you there!

Radio Chatter:
"Tell you what if you're a hitter you better not dig a hole out there tonight."
- Mike Hegan on Carrasco's control

"They could do a 5-6-3 double play right now and it'd be anything but around the horn."
- Jim Rosenhaus on the Indians' shift for Adam Dunn

"Always nice when the pitcher has concern for his infielders."
- Jim Rosenhaus on Hermann asking if Chisenhall was ok after a hard grounder

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Somebody Call Brantley's Mom

And get him some Gatorade and soda crackers. Because earlier this year I had what he's got right now (stomach flu) and that's the only thing that made it better. That, and copious amounts of sleep.

The only thing that would have made it better faster was if my mom was there to do stuff for me, like buy more Gatorade and soda crackers, and maybe clean my bathroom every few hours.

So somebody get Michael Brantley's mom out to wherever he is because he is not getting better fast enough. And I have had it up to HERE with Luis Valbuena! Never liked that guy in the infield and I sure as heck don't like him in the outfield, where he seems to be even more inept.

Argh. I said some un-nice things about Valbuena today on Facebook and one of my friends chastised me for the sentiments not being positive, but I positively dislike Luis Valbuena as a baseball player.

I actually missed the beginning of the game today. It was one of those deals where I was all "Oh boy, baseball!" around 10 or 11 AM. Then I got all in to work and when I looked up it was 3 PM! Good for me for getting some work done but I was quite perturbed by the time Valbuena lost the game.

Josh Tomlin had his 30th game going 5+ innings today (or was it 29th?) Only player to do it since 1919. Tribe fans are really familiar with this stat from this year, I wonder if anyone else is? Do they mention it on ESPN?

Tomlin did give up 4 runs but it was about 200 degrees and wet out there so I'm just glad he bothered to show up, really.

Joe Smith came in for an inning of relief and thank God he didn't give up any runs, because it's seriously important to me that his ERA goes back under 1. I don't know why it is, but it is! So, GO JOE!

Our man Sipp could not keep his shit together today, again. He gave up 3. Well, Luis Valbuena helped him give up 3 and so did Orlando Cabrera. Sipp actually struck a guy out. Luis was just too tired from having to run all the way out to left field to help a brother out.

Pestano came in and did a lovely job, but it was too late and Valbuena was still in left. So we lost the game.

If the bullpen mafia was a real mafia, I would be scared to wake up tomorrow as Luis Valbuena. Just sayin.

Enough about Valbuena tho, let's talk about some rookies we LIKE. Such as Ezequiel Carrera and Lonnie Chisenhall!

I was sad to see Zeke go after he was brought up in the Great Pitching Drought of 2011 (last week) but fate and the loss of 3 outfielders (Sizemore, Brantley, Buck) let him stick around and show us what he could do. He was very Brantley in the 1-spot today, getting 2 hits and scoring a run. He also has happy feet and got caught stealing. But I think he's going to keep trying to be Willie Mays Hays in order to keep his job.

Asdrubal continues to be Asdrubal, with two hits including a double. Not sure why his average isn't back up over .300. Oh yeah that's right, because he's had almost 400 at-bats already! He's tied for 4th in the AL. Third for games. I bet he's livid that he missed a game before the All Star Game! Grr!

Hafner was good for a walk and a double today. He's hitting reliably but not exceptionally just yet. Only .216 in his last 10 games. But, I still like him way better than Santana batting cleanup.

Oh yeah, back to our new guys. Lonnie Chisenhall got a homer off Joe Nathan, which isn't too shabby since it's Joe Nathan and he hasn't given up but 4 other homers this year. It was a rather long homer in the 9th, but sadly too little too late. Because Austin Kearns and Luis Valbuena were up next and...well, they can't all be magical 9th innings.

We all have tomorrow off and then the next game is Friday night at 7:05 against the White Sox, at home. With Carlos Carrasco, yay! (I hope yay, right?)

What I also hope happens is that Luis Valbuena makes an absolute fool out of me and does something spectacular in the game so I can eat my hat. Wouldn't that be nice?! I would love to eat my hat, LUIS. DO YOU HEAR ME?!

Have a good night off, and see you then!


Radio Chatter:
"He is a good closer because he immediately puts a bad night behind him. You would not have known this morning that he had a bad save last night. Now, the bubble gum bucket knows he had a blown save..."
- Tom Hamilton on Chris Perez

"I get the feeling Rosie, before this day is done, this game is going to be won by offense."
- Tom Hamilton in the 4th inning

"Tomorrow you'll look and say 'Cabrera grounded out, what's the big deal?' That's one of the best at-bats Cabrera has had on this roadtrip."
- Tom Hamilton on Orlando's 10-pitch at-bat in the 4th

"You can hear the crowd saying 'No! No! Don't put him in!"
- Tom Hamilton re-using his Matt Capps repitoire

"In baseball if you have a player in an unfamiliar position, the ball will find him, and at critical times."
- Tom Hamilton on Valbuena missing a ball in the 8th

"Sandy Alomar said it best 'This game of baseball is for those who are humbled and those who are about to be humbled.'"
- Tom Hamilton

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Lost in Space

Actually, I mean "Left On Base." I just happened to be reading an article about Keir Dullea visiting Cleveland last weekend.

Justin Masterson rocked out tonight, giving us over 7 innings and striking out 6. He didn't give up any runs. And how do you think the Indians repayed him? That's right - 8 LOB. Of course not as bad as we've been doing lately with double-digits LOB but that's only because no one was getting hits. Half of those 8 guys were walked.

Tony Sipp did his job in the 8th and then Chris Perez, of all people, blew a save. BLEW IT! I'm pretty sure he's upset about it, as evidenced by this screen grab from @PureRage_Perez. "So sick of Double Bubble."

But you know who helped him blow it? Luis Valbuena, who was playing the outfield for the second time in his career (Brantley out with the bubonz and Buck beaned in the belfry). He came upon a fly ball from Danny Valencia with the bases loaded in the 9th, and just sort of let it drop there while two runs scored. The tying and winning runs. At least that's how Tom Hamilton explained it and that's the story I'm sticking to.

Valbuennnaaaaaaaa!!!!

So with Buck out and Valbuena in, who is even left on our bench? Hafner and Chisenhall. Not too bad to have on your bench (actually not our usual bench - more like LaPorta and Chisenhall) but hopefully Shelley will be back up again soon. Acta's post-game description of whatever Brantley has doesn't sound good at all.

That's all that happened in today's game. Glad tomorrow's game is 7 hours early so we don't have to prolong the sadness.

Tomorrow it's supposed to be fucking hot in Minneapolis again. So far our guys are handling it ok, especially playing 2 on Monday. Tomorrow is Tomlin versus another mediocre Twins pitcher. Let's hope we have enough guys to show up and make it 9 to a side.

See you there! Bring a lunch!

Radio Chatter:
"The Mariners may have a new edict, and that is 'quit trading with the Indians.'"
- Tom Hamilton on the acquisition of Carrera from Seattle

"At some point the Indians have got to make Liriano pay for all these walks!"
- Tom Hamilton in the 6th after 4 walks

"When the fans heard Matt Capps was coming out, they said 'Are you kidding me?'"
- Tom Hamilton on Matt Capps

"We don't have any money raised tonight, and we don't have any highlights either."
- Tom Hamilton in the post-game wrapup

Monday, July 18, 2011

Taming the Twins

I totally was going to give you two posts today, as there were two games, but work caught up with me and then there was a storm and I had to eat dinner and all that stuff.

But really what does it matter how many times I post, as long as the Tribe keeps winnin'?! That's right!

Two wins on one day - enough to wash away the two losses prior. What's even better was that there was potential to have two spectacular losses from our starters but instead the just-up-from-Columbus guy gave up no runs and Good Fausto only gave up two. HALLELUJAH!

We'll begin at the beginning with the afternoon game and starter David Huff. He was going to pitch then hike back to Columbus. But since he gave up NO RUNS and struck out 5 over 7 innings, dude is a shoo-in over uhm...uh...that forgettable starter from Sunday.

Tony Sipp and Vinnie Pestano rock and rolled over the 8th and 9th, but for some reason Chad Durbin is back to his crap from April. Oh well, at least he was only around long enough to give up 2.

OMG ASDRUBAL! Another homer! Finally I was home for this one and could announce to everyone on Facebook (I forgot about Twitter. Yes, you can forget Twitter.) that it was OMG ASDRUBAL time and he had had 3 homers in the last 5 games. I don't know if my friends were humoring me or what but I got 6 people to "Like" it. Maybe people are desperate for any sort of good news during the work day?

It wasn't just a homer, either. It was a 3-run homer and since we won 5-2, it won the game. WINNING!

Ok so Michael Brantley? Nineteen hits in his last 10 games. Sweet Jeebus! This will blow your mind too - in 2 of those games he got no hits! So that's 19 hits over 8 games in which he got a hit in the last 10 games. Hahahaha! Anyway, .356 over the last 10 games with 6 RBI and 7 runs.

Man I hate long paragraphs with lots of numbers. My eyeballs just skip over.

Michael Brantley is on fire at the plate, y'all.

Guess who else got a home run? I almost forgot, really. It was Austin Kearns! Of "Austin Kearns?" fame. He was pinch hitting for Travis Buck, who had been shut down anyway.

Our little Ezequiel got his 4th hit and 3rd RBI in his tiny career. Rumor has it that he might be moved up to to batting first. I'm not completely against it - it's sort of working out with him batting "ahead" of Brantley right now anyway. And everyone says Brantley can hit anywhere!

There actually wasn't much hitting in the first game there. Just 12 hits across the board.But HEY ----- Only 4 LOB for the Tribe this time. Eh? EH?!

Ok the second game, lots mote hits. Weird fucking hits too.

Like Carlos Santana...with a triple!

And Sweet Lou with his first homer of the season! And a double too! Kind of sucks that LaPorta is back because he gets to play 1st and Carlos catches and Lou gets benched. Don't bench the Louuuuuuuu! His homer was huge, like a million feet out there right to center. Check out the video, it's cute.

Little Zeke got on twice even with no hits (walk, error) and then stole a base and then scored twice. Rawk.


Hafner got back into the groove and punched 2 through with 2 RBI.

Hannahan was in for the second game since Lonnie was in for the first (and didn't do much) and he was like "Don't bench the Supermanahan!"

Austin Kearns or Travis Buck? What do we think? It was almost like today was the ultimate platooning test for everyone. Lonnie got yanked from the first game and so did Buck, as neither were producing. Nice options for Manny but does it mean more?

I am actually looking forward to trading this season. So far. Because all the guys we want to keep we have locked up. A lot of the other guys are interchangeable. Fausto maybe might go but would I miss him? I dunno, not as much as I miss Lee. Although CC was all wobbly like Fausto when he was here and we all know what he's doing now.

Anyway, trade away, I say. As long as it's not Asdrubal, Chris Perez, Hafner, Choo, Sizemore or Santana I am not tied to you yet. I'm a sucker for anyone under a big blue C. Except Valbuena...still don't trust that guy.

Tomorrow is just ONE game (aaawww!) and it's at 8:05 PM. But Wednesday is another afternoon thingy. Cool!

See you tomorrow!

Radio Chatter:
"If you come to a game here folks, you ought to wear one of those hockey goalie masks if you're going to sit down below. You are so close, it's scary."
- Tom Hamilton on Target Field

"This is so typical in Minnesota. They do this all the time. The same play that Chisenhall got no hit and an error on, they give Nishioka a hit and an error. What a joke. It happens every year here."
- Tom Hamilton

"Where's Betsy Kling to explain all this to us? Besty would probably say 'Listen you two goofballs, it means it's hot.'"
- Tom Hamilton upon learning the heat index in Minneapolis is 107 degrees

"He could have gone to Columbus and been a pain in the you-know-where..."
- Tom Hamilton on David Huff being a good guy

"You can say one thing at 10:30 in the morning, and if you lose game 1 you might have a totally different mindset at 10:30 at night."
- Tom Hamilton on Ron Gardenhire

======================
"On June 1 they were dead and buried. Or so everybody thought."
- Tom Hamilton on the Twins' record this year

"They have had to use their AAA Club liberally this season."
- Jim Rosenhaus on our players going between the minors and majors

"I believe Carmona is on his third uniform of the night. He has sweated through two!"
- Jim Rosenhaus

"The one thing the Indians have over the Twins is the bullpen."
- Tom Hamilton

"The worst bullpen in baseball lives up to its billing."
- Tom Hamilton after the first reliever loaded the bases in the 7th

"Indians gave Marson the silent treatment when he returned to the dugout after his first home run of the year. They sat silent and stone-faced. Then they pummeled him."
- Tom Hamilton

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sloppy Sunday

Oh, boffins...once again uninspired by Indians baseball on a Sunday afternoon.

New sprout pitcher Jeanmar Gomez was up to pitch today, and was deceptively good until it was too late and he had already given up 3 homers and 5 runs. Then, Joe Smith did something Joe Smith is not supposed to do, and gave up 2 runs. Now his ERA is 1.30!!! Nooooooo!

I still haven't found the place on the Internets that lets you compare stats for Major League Bullpens. You know, how everyone says "The Indians have the [#]-ranked bullpen in the league!" or "The Indians bullpen has given up the [#] fewest runs so far this year!" The stats exist but the extrapolation does not exist easily so I don't know how the bullpenmafia has slipped lately but they have.

The first few batters tonight, Hamilton was all "They might not be able to figure [Orioles pitcher] Mitch Atkins out until the second time through the order." Then, Travis Hafner cruuuuushed one and then Santana cruuuuushed one. After that, Hammy and Rosie were all "They totally have Mitch Atkins figured out!" and "ZOMG Rosie they are gonna kick some butt!"

But then they pulled Atkins and put in this Hendrickson guy from Friday. Let me tell you, this man is very thin. He is 6'9" tall and if you read previous Radio Chatter on him, you'd know he played for the Cavaliers at one time. Anyway it was 90 degrees out with I think 99% humidity and dude was wearing a long-sleeved shirt. Probably partly because he was cold and partly because he is embarrassed of his very thin arms.

Anyway, we got no hits off of fatty there, and no runs off anyone for the rest of the game.

Eleven LOB, folks.

Other than the 2 homers we did get 8 hits. Travis Buck got 2 hits and the only other RBI, off a double. He hit in Ezquiel Carrera, who was running for Grady, who ... is out with a knee injurygoddammit.

I think I said yesterday that we'd never see Zeke again but uhm...surprise! He'll be here until Grady is back I suspect.

Valbuena, who I still don't trust, had 2 hits. He also struck out so, boo! Hiss!

Matt LaPorta was kinda OK today. He went 1 for 2, getting hit by a pitch and walking once.

They shut down Asdrubal and Brantley today, tho. Big time, since the pair has been doing pretty super good against the Orioles. They didn't even get walked!

Asdrubal did have an awesome play today - another behind-the-back flip going past second. I honestly can't find it online anywhere. I mean, it was just as spectacular as his previous flip from this year so where is it? Is it clich├ęd to show Asdrubal rockin' the infield now? Was that play from yesterday instead? Am I confused?

I am pretty sure I saw it happen. It was awesome. Sorry that you missed it!

Tomorrow's going to be TIGHT. Well, "tight" in a sense that it's a sort of way to describe "exciting" and "exciting" is a way to describe a day with two baseball games. I can't say that I have the utmost confidence in our starters, or our even-further-skeletonized offense but hey - 6 hours of baseball!

So the games are at 1:10 PM and 8:10 PM. Bring your radios to work!

Radio Chatter:
"You have problems if you can't figure out Mitch Atkins."
- Tom Hamilton

"Rosie if Mitch Atkins is around in time for you to do the play-by-play in the 4th inning, I'll be shocked."
- Tom Hamilton (Atkins lasted 3)

"I don't like the way this game is going. The Orioles keep hanging around."
- Tom Hamilton

O's Noes!

Weird game today (Saturday). Weird because my first reaction to simply hearing the final score was "Goddammit, Carlos Carrasco!" Then I checked out the box score and scolded myself for being so down on ol' Cookie.

Turns out it was a ... pitchers duel! Carlos did just fine - finally - only giving up 3 runs over 7 innings. And, he struck out 6!

The problem actually was with the bullpen, especially Raffy Perez in the 8th who gave up 3 runs. Ugh! He's been pitching pretty well lately with an ERA under 2, and I am so glad I held my tongue the other day thinking about him making a play for under 1, just like Joe Smith. He is up over 2 after just this one game. Oops!

Frank Hermann followed that misery with one more run, which ended up being the winning run.

But! At least it wasn't Carrasco!

The other pitcher, Alfredo Simon, apparently is about to go on trial for manslaughter in his home country of the Dominican Republic. I suspect he could have either been really shaken and pitch poorly, or really determined to have the best game of his life before possibly going to jail for the rest of it. He ended up doing the latter, holding our guys to just 3 hits and striking out 5 over 7 innings. Whoo boy!

We did end up coming back - three runs with only ONE more hit - in the 9th but fell 1 run short. Sucks!

Asdrubal almost got his 3rd homer in 3 games, but stupid Adam Jones brought it back over the wall.

Michael Brantley is still hitting hot against these O's, with 2 more hits and 2 more RBI!

You know who got 3 of our 5 runs? It was...Orlando Cabrera! That cat is not hitting for shit lately but he still can get those critical hits from time to time. Makes everyone forget that maybe we need to send him on his way. Because you do need critical hits. Anyway tonight he got a bases-loaded double for 3 RBI and brought us within 1 in the 9th.

Hey, Ezequiel Carrera was in again today! He tried to bunt again, isn't that precious? Didn't do squat at the plate but he had an outfield assist! So, we'll probably never see that guy again.

Austin Kearns has 8 hits over his last 10 games. That's nice but not necessarily enough right now.

Sorry for the lateness of this post but life caught up with me. I had to choose between the game and bouncy gymnastics time with my niece at the Cuyahoga Falls YMCA. They have a floor that sort of makes it feel like you're walking on the moon. So, who wouldn't choose moon walking over July baseball? Exactly.

Pretty excited, tho, because the next game is now in 20 minutes! And it's on WKYC! What an awesome Sunday, right?

See you later!

Radio Chatter:
"I think you're right, Rosie. I think you're right. I hate to say that..."
- Tom Hamilton begrudgingly thinks Jim Rosenhaus is right about the weather in Minnesota

"So far tonight we're seeing the Carrasco we saw in June."
- Jim Rosenhaus

"He's not hurting the club, that's for sure."
- Tom Hamilton on Chisenhall's performance at 3rd

"You'd have to be an idiot not to know how good the East is, when the Yankees and Boston are spending money faster than you can make it."
- Tom Hamilton

"I can't stop thinking of the Peter, Paul and Mary song 'Leaving on a Jet Plane' thinking about Simon..."
- Tom Hamilton on the Orioles' pitcher having to go back to the Dominican to face a manslaughter trial

"Joe Mauer is a once-in-a-lifetime find. Just because you're 6'5" and a catcher doesn't mean you're the next Joe Mauer."
- Tom Hamilton

"When the highlight of scoreboard-watching is the Kiss Cam, you know you're out of the race."
- Tom Hamilton

Friday, July 15, 2011

My Own Double-Header!

It's been decided - by me - that the $19.95/year for Gameday Audio (or maybe it's $14.95? I forget) is a must-have for anyone who doesn't have a DVR and SportsTime Ohio. In fact, it's probably better than a DVR and cable because I can listen to the games from anywhere, any time.

Like today, when I woke up in Redmond, WA (why yes, I DID go to the Microsoft store!) and listened to some of last night's game, then went to Seattle (why yes, I DID go up into the Space Needle!) then came back and finished last night's game and went right on to tonight's game. Extra fun: I got to fast-forward through commercials!

Anyway, it's all pretty cool. Oh yeah, having a laptop to take with you is cool too. Would you believe I didn't have a modern working laptop until just now? Truth!

Ok so today's post is a double-header since I listened to Thursday and Friday's games sort of like a double-header with a huge rain delay in the middle.

First off the pitching was once again awesome. Probably because it was Masterson and Tomlin and not uhm...Carmona and Talbot. Tomlin did give up 3 homers (he has given up 18 this year - he likes giving up homers) but 2 of them were solo shots, and in the same inning. Wow, is that cat predictable!

Masterson gave us 6 and didn't really need any help finishing up, but Smith, Pestano and Sipp came in to do the job. Smith and Pestano worked on Friday too AS WELL AS Durbin, Raffy and All Star hero Chris Perez. Together the 8 guys pitched 7 innings, struck out 9 and gave up ZERO runs!

Tony Sipp struck out the side in the 9th on Thursday. Chris Perez got his 22nd save on Friday. And Joe Smith? His ERA is .80 and he did pitch two days in a row.

Don't you just love the #bullpenmafia?!

Taking care of business on the offensive side was, well, almost everyone. But ESPECIALLY the top of the order.

Let's start with our All Star Asdrubal, who apparently was tired since his trip to Arizona but not too tired to hit a homer in his first at-bat on Thursday, then another on his second at-bat on Friday. He was 4 for 10 over the 2 nights with 2 homers, 4 RBI and 2 runs scored. I suppose maybe he was too tired to do anything spectacular defensively? He did, like, get an error...

Also coming alive these last two games, and somewhat surprisingly, were Grady Sizemore and Carlos Santana. Carlos followed Asdrubal with his 14th homer in the 1st (Santana has 14, Cabrera 16) and on Friday Grady got his 10th. They both also got doubles on the nights they got their home runs. Unfortunately, both guys weren't feeling it both days so they didn't quite back each other up. They also were a bit strike-out-y when not hitting longballs. However, if they're taking the chance to hit for power while in Baltimore, I won't complain!

Hafner was pretty tight even though he didn't join the Bawlmer Howmer Club yet. He's being patient and getting walks - 4 walks over the 2 games. In fact, Thursday night he was 2 for 2 with 2 walks, no strikeouts and 1 RBI. Friday he didn't get any hits but did walk twice and score once.

Scoring 3 runs over these 2 games was Michael Brantley, who got his ass on base 5 out of 10 times!

Further on down the line is LaPorta who isn't looking too bad still. He's hit in every game he's been back except one, and has even had a couple multi-hit games.

Lonnie Chisenhall - despite looking like "Michael Jackson in that video 'Thriller'" according to Tom Hamilton, due to a bruised face and a bloodshot eye - managed to get a double and then a game-winning single in the 6th. They let him sit out the 9th inning because, damn, I bet he has one hell of a headache!

Oh you know who came in to play for a bit on Thursday? Ezequiel Carrera! He probably won't be up much longer - I guess we have 2 extra guys on our bench until Talbot and Cabrera's replacements have to pitch - but there he was!

Really nice couple of games here to bring us back from the break. If you recall, we were pretty sad before the break. Granted, the O's are pretty bullshit this year but what a way to stretch our legs, right?

Two more in Baltimore after this, too! That's pretty smooth. Unfortunately I think I'll be missing Saturday and Sunday's games too. Live, at least. But never fear because I've got my own time delay machine woohoo!

See you next time!

Radio Chatter:
"It almost looks like one of those fake eyes you would see used in one of those horror movies."
- Tom Hamilton on Lonnie Chisenhall's injured eye

"Teams like the Orioles with a lot of veterans...they can go south in a hurry."
- Tom Hamilton on the sorry state of the Orioles

"Guthrie's been a different guy since that double play ball got him out of a jam in the 3rd."
- Tom Hamilton in the 5th, when the game was still close

"Hey, you're a starter and you go to the pen? That's a promotion on this club!"
- Chad Durbin via Mike Hegan on Masterson's relief pitching last friday

"That right there is why the Orioles don't win. First pitch swinging, you're an RBI guy, and you pop it up? It just can't happen."
- Tom Hamilton is disappointed in Nick Markakis

"There was  time when Joe Tate was saying 'Wham! With the right hand...' for Mark Hendrickson. He played for the Cleveland Cavaliers."
- Tom Hamilton

"I'm telling you folks - you can write it down if you're scoring with us. He is going to strike out for the third time tonight in one or two pitches. He can't touch Pestano's slider."
- Tom Hamilton on Mark Reynolds, two pitches before he struck out in the 8th

=================
"When you left the Orioles ballpark in '97 did you ever think it would be like this today?"
- Jim Rosenhaus on the sorry state of the Orioles

"Indians lead 3-2 but I tell you what, it feels like it should be 8-2."
- Tom Hamilton by the 3rd inning

"...none of which can be aired, or Rosie loses his job."
- Tom Hamilton on Jim Rosenhaus's interview with former Indian Wayne Kirby

"It looks like you on Saturday morning."
- Tom Hamilton suggesting Rosie has eyes as red as Lonnie Chisenhall's injured eye after a long Friday night.

"Tag made by Orlando Cabrera. He was waiting for Reynolds. [...] Absolute perfect throw from Carlos Santana, and Orlando Cabrera sort of had to stay there in the crouch saying 'Any time you want to get here Reynolds, so I can tag you out.'"
- Tom Hamilton

Monday, July 11, 2011

Limping In to the Break

Wow y'all, what a nasty weekend, huh? Especially after all that EXCITEMENT Thursday night with Hafner's grand slam.

I saw the score for Sunday's game before I heard the game. I decided a while back that I didn't need to run around and try to avoid the score. The score doesn't matter - I'll still listen to he game!

So today while I worked from a hotel room in Redmond, WA, I listened to the game. Meh. MEH!

It actually started out pretty great. Bases loaded and only one out. Here's when knowing the final score is 7-1 Toronto sort of puts a damper on the fun. But at least you get to hear the utter disappointment in Tom Hamilton's voice when nobody scores. Amirite?

Carlos Carrasco had his second bad outing in so many starts. Has that ship sailed already? God, I hope not.

We got to see a good chunk of our bullpen (save for Chris Perez) because of the break. Frank Hermann did 2 whole innings with just one hit. Raffy Perez struck out 2 but also gave up 2 runs. Joe Smith is now pitching with a .85 ERA and he's getting more work. Did you see what I did there?

Vinnie Pestano made up for recent transgressions and struck out the goddamn side. 3-up-3-down!

Tony Sipp, who also has some ass-kissing to do, tried to strike out the side but the first guy popped out. Awww!

Wink.

So the bullpen was teh awesomez. Our hitters were not so much. Asdrubal missed his first game of the season! I guess to travel. I wonder how he feels about that...he seemed to be looking for some Iron Man recognition after he hurt his ankle the other day, not wanting to miss the next day.

While Michael Brantley managed to get a hit (but not even close to .300 like I predicted), the Other Cabrera was shut out and so was Hafner.

Actually, those two are the only two who didn't get a hit! But, once again - 13 LOB. Sigh.

Grady and Santana looked ok in the middle of the order there, both with 2 hits each and Grady with our only RBI.

Sweet Lou was moved up to #7 and got himself a double. Valbuena got a hit but it's his first hit but it's his only hit in 8 ABs so far. Those two actually put two hits together, and the rest of their team dropped the ball that inning.

Well, if there was a ball to drop. Carrasco had already left us 5 down by then.

So that's all for the first half. We are .5 game out of first place. But, as Tom Hamilton noted, this time last year we were 15 out. SO QUIT YOUR WHINING! Well he didn't say that last bit but I could feel it in his mind.

The Home Run Derby's about to start and for the first time in 5 years I'm actually in the presence of a TV with ESPN. So I'm getting pumped about the All Star Game. So far I've been watching for a half hour and there's not been one mention of Asdrubal but lots of pictures of cacti.

We'll hear more about Asdrubal tomorrow, when he goes in and kicks the ball's ass.

Hey, maybe I'll write a blog post about the ASG! Won't that be fun? Or maybe not, depends on how much play Asdrubal and Perez get. But, don't forget - 8 PM Eastern on Fox.

If you don't hear from me tomorrow, see you Thursday at 7:05 PM for more BASEBALL!

Radio Chatter:
"There is something about watching the All Star game and seeing your club first in the standings."
- Tom Hamilton

"The Indians have preached and preached both to Carmona and Carrasco - when you're in trouble quit trying to trick hitters."
- Tom Hamilton

"It almost looks like some guys are on the All Star break too soon."
- Tom Hamilton

"John Farrel feels Jose Bautista has done enough damage for the weekend."
- Tom Hamilton on Bautista leaving the game

"He's like Secretariat right now."
- Tom Hamilton on Bautista leading in homers by so many

"A year ago at this time, the Cleveland Indians were 20 games under .500 and 15 games out of first. This has not been a good weekend but look at the first half as a whole."
- Tom Hamilton

"The Indians may be the only playoff contender that doesn't need bullpen help."
- Tom Hamilton

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Battle of Joey Bats

So tonight I'm strapped for time. Gotta be on a plane in 10 hours, which seems like a long time but I gotta sleep before then too.

Not much to say about tonight's game anyway. Tomlin wasn't sparkling and Chris Perez got a loss. Neither of these situations are optimal. No one really hit, except GRADY who got a very exciting home run because we are all really curious about whether or not Grady can rock anymore.

Oh, and Joe Smith's ERA is now .88.

The 9th inning was pretty cool when we scraped out a run to tie it up, but then Jose Bautista got his 2nd home run of the night in the 10th and that was all she wrote.

Luis Valbuena was up from Columbus, and Cord Phelps went back down. I have never been a fan of Valbuena but he was hitting .313 in AAA so they brought him up. As expected, he didn't do jack shit tonight.

That's all for me tonight. I'll have tomorrow's game maybe tomorrow night or Monday morning. See you then!

Radio Chatter:
"Boy that's what happens when you have a home plate umpire who acts like he's never called balls and strikes before."
-  Tom Hamilton is not amused

"I can't think of anyone else who's given up 9 this year..."
"Oh, Fausto. He gave up 10."
"[Laughing] Well, you know, I was trying to come up with 9 not 10..."
"We weren't laughing that day were we?"
- Tom Hamilton and Mike Hegan on Charlie Furbush giving up 9 runs today

Friday, July 8, 2011

Tal-Bot Fail

Ok we're not going to dwell on pitching today. You can tell by the title that things didn't go well for Talbot. Again. Also our bullpen is pretty much done for the moment and they need some All Star Break.

Look at me, I'm so spoiled...our bullpen gives up 3 runs and I'm all like "Nooooo! They're so burnt out!!"

Joe Smith's ERA is still .91. But, he didn't pitch today.

Moving on...

Michael Brantley! He was tired of being in a slump, or questionably in a slump, so he went 4 for 6 today, with 2 runs and 2 RBI. If you've been following along that's 8 hits in the last THREE games, where he'd had just 4 hits in the 9 games before that. Hey hey!

Oh hey did you hear that Derek Jeter is opting out of the All Star Game starting lineup? That's right - Asdrubal is now the starter! I'm sort of bummed that since I'll be on the west coast, now I have to make sure I'm back in my hotel room by 6-ish so I can catch his start, instead of being able to wait around and see him replace Jeter and then Perez shut down. Ugh - how do you people in the Pacific time zone live with this sort of schedule?!

Anyway, Asdrubal got two hits tonight. He's .06 points away from going into the break with a .300 average. What do you think?! He also got his 51st RBI and he leads AL shortstops. Duh!

Our man Shelley Duncan was in tonight, and he got a hit. Then when they switched up their pitching, Travis Buck made an appearance and got a two-run double!

Just like Buck, LaPorta's been hitting just fiiiine lately. In fact, so has Austin Kearns. The whole middle has been just beans.

Problem is no one is getting key hits, or something. They're getting singles when no one is on, or getting 2 hits but not enough to drive guys in. We got 15 hits tonight but had 13 LOB! That's 4 more than last night!

Also hitting tonight - surprisingly - were Hannahan and Marson, getting 3 and 2 hits respectively. That's real great when your number 8 and 9 guys get on base, especially if your 1 and 2 guys are Brantley and Cabrera.

Yay to those two for their hitting but boooo to Supermanahan and Sweet Lou for totally botching a throw from home to 3rd while trying to catch a guy stealing. Jack was asleep at the bag and let one get by him while Rajai Davis both stole 3rd and then waltzed home.

The loss was pretty bittersweet tonight. Not because it came after such an awesome win, but because the guys at the plate were all our 3rd string guys. They did quite well, actually, scoring 7 runs and hitting the aforementioned 15 hits. It was Hafner who went down swinging tonight...going 0 for 5 and leaving 8 men on base. It was the starter and the bullpen who couldn't keep the runs under double digits. Tonight it was all the old reliable guys who weren't there.

Of course, Brantley and Asdrubal were there!

However it worked out, it was quite a fun ride. I had some butterflies in my stomach a few times.

Tomorrow's game will not feature Mitch Talbot (in fact, rumor has it that very few future Indians games will feature Mitch Talbot) so we have a fighting chance. Josh Tomlin is up, and we need desperately for him to give us 7 or 8 innings. Smith and Perez, they have the 8th and 9th. Everyone else, they need a nap.

Game will be on WKYC tomorrow at 7:05 PM. Woot! See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"Basically when you see what we saw last night from Travis Hafner, it's like seeing a perfect game, frequency-wise."
- Tom Hamilton

"So much for the Indians being able to capitalize off the momentum of last night's comeback."
- Tom Hamilton

"You wonder how many starts he's going to get before the Indians go to triple-A."
- Tom Hamilton on Mitch Talbot

"Try to figure out this one. Jo-Jo Reyes goes three years without a win, and he's trying to beat them for the second time this year."
- Tom Hamilton

"Well the good news for the Indians is that they have Josh Tomlin tomorrow."
- Tom Hamilton

"You can't go into the 9th inning down 5 or 6 runs thinking 'Well, we'll get 'em, just like last night.'"
- Tom Hamilton

"All the time, Orlando Cabrera seems to be in the middle of it."
- Tom Hamilton on Orlando at bat as the tying run

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 and...got 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

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Hello Nasty, Where You Been?

Just do we're all on the same page: Big Nasty is one of Masterson's nicknames. Hello Nasty is the title of one of the best Beastie Boys albums of all time. And the blog's title is a line from one of the songs on said album. All set? Here we go!

Justin Masterson, he's actually been here the whole time. Problem is the rest of his team seems to take a nap when he's on the mound. Seriously, I think they were revolting against the beard or something.

Nasty was up again tonight, squeaky clean again and looking even better than his last start. There were 5 strikeouts and 4 hits last time. Tonight - 6 strikeouts and 3 hits. None runs. BOOM! Giving 8 innings again too, which is awesome because even though our bullpen is the shit, you don't really need to test the shit every night.

Pestano came in for the 9th and was all...bad. So Chris Perez was all "I got this!" and 10 pitches later, save 21 out of 22 save opportunities. TWENTY ONE, GUYS!

I am actually excited about the All Star Game. Possibly for the first time ever.

The team got 10 hits tonight, and when you combine that with bitchin' pitchin' and golden glovin' what do you get? A big stinkin W and first place in the AL Central by 1.5 games!

How do you like this "vintage Grady" from tonight? Austin Kearns looked at him as if to say "Yeah, I wasn't going to jump up for that. Good work."

Oh yeah, speaking of awesome defense, Asdrubal started tonight. I find this to be good news because he's not hurt but my first reaction was "I hope he's not pushing himself only to be busted by September." Really. They said he's taped up as much as one can be taped up, and he tested the tape right away in the first. He was still going strong in the 8th, being amazing in the field. Maybe we should tape everyone from head to toe every game?

I guess I can breathe easier about Asdrubal's ankle.


Lots of nice at-bats for the boys tonight, getting walked 5 times and chasing their starter out after just 5 innings. Of course, dude just came off the DL but you really picked the wrong team to face just off the DL so don't let the door hitcha, Hughes!

Travis Hafner. Is that dude for real? I mean, I just don't believe it that someone can come in and out of the lineup like that and just be great. He's hitting .338...although not enough ABs to get him on top of any lists. But he's actually hitting like he is hitting .338...you know? Tonight he was 2 for 4 with a walk. That's actually hitting .500 but in reality a guy hitting over .300 is going to hit and that's what he did. You follow me, right?

Speaking of coming in and out of the lineup and being great - Matt LaPorta! I didn't have any expectations for that guy tonight, his first day off the DL. But he got 2 hits! I honestly thought his leg was wrecked, the way they helped him off the field when he got hurt. But Hamilton said it was more of a 2-week vacation for him. No rehab required. Let's hope he takes a page out of Pronk's Book of Hitting Good and stays hot!

Lonnie Chisenhall! First major league homer (Hamilton audio)! I've been excited about that guy since his first game. He's been pretty solid for us so far, with 8 hits in 8 games - at least one hit in every game but one. I have not followed much about his defense, other than he's got a "cannon" and I think he's got an error already but we can't all be Supermanahan at the corner.

Austin Kearns has hit in 5 of his last 6 games. I still don't know if I trust him completely but he's our right fielder now and that is helping his bat.

Michael Brantley hasn't had a good series but tonight he went 2 for 4 with a walk and 2 runs scored. So, not slumping but I think maybe still slouching.

The guys on WTAM behaved themselves a bit better tonight. There was a little bit of Yankee-stroking but our team played well enough to garner their attention. Comedian Frank Caliendo was in the booth doing impressions I guess. I caught the first few innings on TV so I missed all that fun. I'm not sure why Frank was there, other than the game being on ESPN. But I thought he was TBS's guy? I'm so confused. He was on Hot In Cleveland the other day too. I thought he lost his relevance in 2008.

You know who should be on Hot In Cleveland? Tom Hamilton. Wow, I just cracked myself up! Should I start a Facebook petition?

Oh yeah, as I mentioned, this game and all of our awesomeness was on ESPN tonight. Since we played the Yankees, of course. So everybody rocking and then kicking the Yankees' asses was totally on national TV.

I'm going to have to brace myself for the flood of "Asdrubal Cabrera's tattoo" searches tonight. I hope Google's servers don't get overwhelmed.

Ok so 4 in a row against the Blue Jays now, all at the regular time. Meaning 7:05 PM every day, even Saturday, and 1:05 PM on Sunday.

Tomorrow's starter is Zach McAllister and if you're paying attention you'll notice that he's new. Called up from Columbus to replace ol' Fausto for a bit. He's got a respectable 8-3 record with a 2.97 ERA down there so it stands to reason he'll be EXACTLY THE SAME up here. Right?

Welllll....if not, Frank Hermann really likes long relief and Joe Smith has an ERA under 1.0 so really, what could go wrong?

I'll see you tomorrow!

Radio Chatter:
"That was vintage Sizemore!"
- Jim Rosenhaus after Grady's awesome catch in the 5th

"The problem with a 2-0 lead...if you're Manny Acta you hold your breath every time a Yankee comes to the plate with a man on."
- Tom Hamilton

"The Indians have had so many opportunities, they need to cash in here or rue the day."
- Tom Hamilton on having the bases loaded

"Well you don't have to guess where Boone Logan is from. Texas. With a name like that he's not from North Dakota."
- Tom Hamilton

"With bases loaded and less than 2 outs they're hitting .613 as a team."
- Tom Hamilton, on the Indians

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Yankees Make Me Angry

Not a positive post today. Couldn't muster it.

First off, Asdrubal is hurt. I got through most of 2010 with him being hurt, and he's not going to be hurt like that again, but thinking that we'll be missing him for even several innings makes my stomach churn.

Second, Carlos Carrasco lost his panache for a bit. I'm not calling him "done" because that'd be absurd. But I really look forward to him pitching and today I just listened in with my jaw dropped and my head shaking.

Third, we played so well against the Yankees yesterday and it was real fun. Today we gave up some runs due to a missed play and it was awful. There were 7 hits and 4 walks and 8 left on base. Crummy.

Fourth, final, and ultimately I was pretty turned off by the radio call of this game. It's bad enough to hear cheering on the radio and not know whether it's the Tribe or the Yankees being cheered in our own fucking stadium...but Hammy, Hegan and Rosie were seriously up the Yankees ass today. More than I've ever heard.

I know Hammy loves good baseball and our team was not playing good baseball tonight but the entire 3.5 hours sounded like an ESPN broadcast. Or even a local New York broadcast. It was pretty tiring.

I wonder if CC offered to take the entire broadcast crew out this afternoon for a nice steak at Red or something. Because Hammy just could not say enough about how great CC is, how athletic he is, how he feels about pitching in Cleveland, how he was more nervous to pitch in Milwaukee than Cleveland, how amazing his strikes are and if I had been paying more attention I may have heard talk about what a fantastically large cock he has.

Derek Jeter apparently is most deserving to play in the All Star Game over Asdrubal, because he is Derek Jeter. And he's a super nice guy. Super nice. He's got more hits than any Yankee ever, or something. Will he get his 3000th hit here? You should come to the game tomorrow to find out! He only needs 4 more! He could totally do it because he is just so amazing and a super nice guy.

Curtis Granderson, he's just so good against the Indians. Can you believe it? He's hit two more home runs off the Indians tonight! Oh, that Curtis Granderson, he's such a good home run hitter isn't he?

Jorge Posada is so good at hitting a baseball. I can't believe he's only hitting .241. It's so hard for him not to be a catcher anymore and just DH. That makes it hard for him to get a better average. He's pretty great, though. We all expected him to go 2 for 3 tonight, eh?

No Radio Chatter tonight because fuck those guys. I spent most of the game banging my head against the wall as they went on singing the praises of some other team. They'd better get their shit together and stop fanwaking over the Stankees and get back to talking about Indians baseball. That whole broadcast was pathetic.

Austin Kearns? Austin Kearns!

It was a low-hitting game. We had an error. Nobody scored until the 7th. But MAN what a game!

First off, it was a sellout on the 4th of July. Stands to reason, as it was against the Yankees. A friend of mine was at the game and he said while there were a lot of Yankee "fans" there they didn't dominate the crowd like usual. I know I could barely hear them on the radio broadcast. Sometimes when we play the Yankees and especially when we play the Red Sox, you can't tell who's home stadium we're at!

Josh Tomlin did his thing and went 7 innings, giving him the modern era record for most consecutive 5-plus-inning games (29). He actually had a no-hitter going in to the 7th! He did end up giving up 2 in the 7th but now that our guys are batting, albeit still a skeleton crew, 2 is just ducky.

Our favorite trio came in to finish off the game. Sipp, Pestano and Chris Perez. Pestano did give up a homer to Curtis Granderson, but Granderson has 23 homers and 2 against the Tribe in 4 previous games so somebody had to do it.

Perez was back after his bereavement trip, and got his 20th save! Here's a clip of the last out, which is a very nice clip because there's some fancy fielding plus a very happy sell-out crowd and lots of smiles and handshakes. And about 75% less Rage Beard as well!

Our hitting, overall, wasn't very amazing as a team. Although Asdrubal went 2 for 4 and Pronk got a hit in the 3-hole.

Grady didn't hit but he did get 2 walks, one of which resulted in scoring a run on a very clutch 2-out single from Shelley Duncan.

Before Duncan was up, Lonnie Chisenhall had a "major league at-bat" fouling off 4 pitches from AJ Burnett and walking after 8 pitches, which included a wild pitch. He looked good up there, being selective.

But then after that, after Shelley got that hit and everyone was all riled up, and there were 2 outs and 2 men on base, and we were losing 2 to 1....Austin Kearns came up. Austin Kearns who used to be pretty awesome on other teams and he was sort of awesome for us last year but this year hasn't managed to be anywhere near awesome. Austin Kearns batting 9th and filling in for the injured Choo with his .192 batting average, 37 strikeouts and 0 home runs. He came in and did this.

Lucky for all of you that I'm posting this a day late (I had a party last night so I got up early to listen to the game archive!) and I'm able to link right to the "Tom Hamilton ... Home Run Call" Facebook page video/audio of the call. As one FB commenter put it "Hammy just reached through my radio and punched me in the face!"

I feel you, commenter!

I'm actually quite surprised that Hamilton didn't wax poetic about this team and this season and magic and something special. Maybe he's finding it too cliche anymore? Whatever...I just loved that call. I've listened to it about 7 times already today. Awesome stuff!

So after that display of 7th-inning magnificence, AJ Burnett was done. We weren't done, though, because in the 8th Carlos Santana went deep and opposite for a 2-run homer. Oddly enough to score Travis Hafner and himself! Santana had even been catching as opposed to playing 1st like he usually has. Not sure of the stats on when he hits homers while playing 1st versus when he's catching. Those would be interesting stats.

Aside from Perez's 20th win, that was all for us for the night. What a magical night, I say! I'm glad 40,000 of you were there to enjoy it! I'm also glad I got to listen to it in full this morning. It actually helped me get out of bed!

Tonight is Cookie Carrasco versus CC Sabathia. CC won't be going to the All Star game this year, even though his name has come up in Cy Young Award talks. We love to beat CC, a lot. I am super excited you bet!

See you tonight!

Radio Chatter:
"For nine days I twiddled my thumbs until the 7th inning then hoped I got an at-bat."
- Travis Hafner to Tom Hamilton

"They don't like the balls and strikes being called, but get used to it that's what he did in the first inning! [...] One thing about the Yankees - they never believe that a call should go against them."
- Tom Hamilton on a dust-up between the Yankees catcher and the home plate umpire

"I don't think anyone in the American League is sorry to see [pitchers batting] go."
"You know who will miss it? Josh Tomlin. He got some great hits!"
- Mike Hegan and Jim Rosenhaus on pitchers batting

"CC Sabathia already said 'I'm going to the Bahamas, don't call.'"
- Tom Hamilton on the All Star Game picks

"The last time these teams faced each other on the 4th of July was here, 5 years ago, and the Indians won 19-1! Tonight, nothing but goose eggs!"
- Tom Hamilton

"His numbers have started to drop a little with age. And a lack of vitamins."
- Tom Hamilton does not like A-Rod taking "vitamins" (HE MEANS STEROIDS)

"Well it had to have hit something or Teixeira would have caught it. He catches everything!"
- Tom Hamilton on a mysterious bounce in the 7th

"How about...you get your first home run on the 4th of July against the New York Yankees, and your second hit off of AJ Burnett?"
- Tom Hamilton on Kearns' homer

"Vinnie Pestano was 10 during Derek Jeter's rookie year."
- Tom Hamilton

"It doesn't matter how the weather is at home, how the wind is blowing. It's blowing in tonight and they just hit two more homers at home! We all know how miserable the spring was in Cleveland yet the Indians have now hit 53 home runs at home, 24 on the road."
- Tom Hamilton

"This is kind of a micrcosm of this season. This ballclub does not rely on one guy."
- Tom Hamilton

Sunday, July 3, 2011

You Do It To Yourself

Ooooh, Mitch Talbot. What are we going to do with you? You're no Carlos Carrasco, that's for sure!

Today everyone was saying how bad Talbot usually is in the 1st inning. Then he shocked everyone by having an un-eventful 1st, but sneaking a bad 2nd by us. Then he was just ducky in the 3rd, and then he gave up 3 more runs in the 4th and it was time to go.

Six runs is actually not too many runs for our Indians to overcome, especially in the "hitter's park" that is Great American, but it did prove to be too much for our skeleton crew today.

Josh "Judge" Judy (did you remember that one?) came in to relieve Talbot in the 5th and gave up a homer, but otherwise he did alright for himself. That was his only hit in 2 innings and he struck out one.

Durbin came in for the 7th and Smith finished off the 9th even though Perez was back. Wanna know what Joe Smith's ERA is now? It's .95.

Even though we got ourselves 5 runs, our lineup was sort of unimpressive. I won't mention what Asdrubal and Santana did today.

Hey do you remember when Asdrubal went 5 for 5 when they played the Reds in May? Josh Judy pitched in that game too. Good times!

Three guys who did take the helm today were guys who haven't been doing what we need lately.

Grady Sizemore went the other way with 2 outs in the 6th to score 2 on a single. That is not something we've been experiencing lately, huh?

Hafner, who has only gotten one hit as a pinch hitter so far, got his second pinch hit today AND it was for an RBI! He'll be back in the lineup tomorrow against the Yankees. Hopefully fully-charged and ready to do some Yankee killing!

The big gun for us today was Mr. Shelley Duncan! He impressed the hell out of me early in the season as a rock-solid pinch hitter. Then he cooled off and we sent him down for a bit, due to the upcoming pitching matchups. He had a really shitty June, that's for sure. BUT! Today he got THREE hits and one of them was a 2-run homer! He also scored another run, and didn't strike out once. Geez, did you know he struck out 4 times in San Francisco?

I hope this indicates some good things to come from Shelley, cuz I have a feeling we'll be seeing him a lot more with LaPorta and Choo gone.

Lonnie Chisenhall got a hit today and scored a run, hangin' in there with a .300 average. He also committed his first error in the majors. I wonder if they keep that ball?

Brantley got himself a hit today, scored a run and walked. He's still not at pre-slump levels of reliability but keeping that average above .250 at least.

So All-Star voting is over and the tally is done. And, even though he's currently rehabbing in the minors, Derek Jeter beat out Asdrubal for shortstop. Oh well. Asdrubal IS going and I betcha dollars to donuts he'll get to play and he will do something awesome. I just hope he gets out of his mini batting slump before then!

Chris Perez also made the All Stars! That's pretty cool and I actually am looking forward to watching the game. I'll be on vacation at the time, but I'll be on the west coast so I won't have to stay up too late to watch it. Of course I'll have to tune in ridiculously early but whatever. I'm guessing we won't see Asdrubal until the second half and of course no Perez until the end.

I wonder what a road trip with Asdrubal and Perez is like? Even though his name is Perez he doesn't seem like the sort of guy who knows a lot of Spanish. I haven't heard Asdrubal on too many interviews, I wonder how his English is. Oh, how I wish the Dugout Sports Show was tagging along!

I got a Chris Perez baseball card today, in a pack of 2011 Topps. It looks really nice, almost like a painting. A lot of the pitchers are captured mid-throw and look extremely awkward. Perez looks pretty awesome. And his beard isn't too out of control.

I don't know why getting Indians' cards in my packs excites me so, but it totally does. It also seems like half of the rest of the cards are ex-Indians. I wonder if baseball is half made up of ex-Indians?

So tomorrow starts our return home yay! And a 3-game series against the Yankees boo! But we're coming off a great few games so maybe we'll rock? Yay!

Game starts at 6:35 PM which means I will totally miss it unless my party guests take off early. Fat chance. I'm either going to listen to the game after the party, or catch it during work the next day. Hopefully, that is. If the game ends up anything like the 3 we just played in The Bronx, then I won't waste my time.

Let's go Tribe, beat those Stankees!

Radio Chatter:
"The bats have come alive since they left San Francisco!"
- Tom Hamilton

"There's no question that National League lineups in no way compare to the American League. Part of it is the DH but there's just not good hitting in the National League."
- Tom Hamilton