Saturday, April 21, 2012

Kipnis > Katniss

Tonight I'm excited about Jason Kipnis, and I'm excited that I'm excited about him. Because, to be honest with you all here, I had some major doubts about him. Even as I was pondering tonight's game during the day (cuz what else do you do before a game?) my mind was specifically singling him out as a glaring weak spot in the lineup.

He actually was fairly decent last year in the 38 games he played. He got some big homers for us. His first hit was a game-winning RBI (that was him, right?) He was pretty endearing, we just didn't see him enough. His spring this year was fine too and he hit .273, one point higher than his 2011 average.

He just started so slow this year, and being "new" and unproven made me not so sure if he could recover from it. And then getting wrapped up in all of this crazy hitting going on, and then having him AND Kotchman in the lineup hitting under .200 (Kotchman is so good at first, he gets a batting pass) it was just too much for me.

Yesterday he sort of endeared me because he had that head-first slide in to home, albeit a risky endeavor, and that won the game. But still he had no hits in the game (he was hit by a pitch).

Well tonight I get to eat my hat because Jason Kipnis went 4 for 5, got a triple, got 3 RBI and both tied and won the game. His average shot up to .226 from yesterday's .167. One game does not a sure thing make, but bring me some excitement and I will be your cheering section. See what it did for Jason Donald? I no longer make fun of his greasy hair.

Well done, Jason Kipnis! Meme time!

Jeanmar Gomez started tonight and he looked pretty decent. Right now he's our team sweetie since the other guys have all had bad outings while his ERA is under 2. He did only go 5 1/3 innings and I'm not sure why because the situation where they took him out was a guy on third with one out. Someone was probably going to give up a run in that situation and indeed Wheeler did. Gomez struck out three and only had one earned run.

Aside from Tomlin's one-run beauty on Thursday, Gomez's start tonight was the second best of the road trip.

Tony Sipp came in after Wheeler and had a 1-2-3 inning with a strikeout. Woohoo! Jim Rosenhaus declared him "back." Don't get too excited Rosie (I'm pretty excited, Rosie!)

Vinne Pestano gave up a hit but otherwise lights out. Asencio ended up getting two guys on base, which was no good (even though we were up by 4) so they had to bring in Chris Perez who just eats up those one-batter saves like so much Big League Chew. Did he get his batter to pop up? Yes he did. Ballgame!

Since Michael Brantley has started hitting again he has gotten a hit in 7 straight games. But he and Santana are only getting one hit  a game. So you can't really count on either of those guys to get the big hit right now - you can only hope that this at-bat is the time they get their one hit (and there's a 2/10 chance they will). So while they SEEM they're on a roll, we could really stand to have those guys shoot for multi-hit games.

I don't know the mechanics of being able to get one hit but not another. Travis Hafner sure has it figured out, tho. And to a lesser extent, Choo. Although Choo has either been feast (2 hits! doubles, walks) or famine. But at least he's stealing.

Hafner had two more tonight. He is the honest-to-God real deal I'd say. Two more singles at that, and a walk of course. His batting average is a 9th-in-the-league .350 and it's real.

Also real is SUPERMANAHAN. My goodness, where did all of this awesome come from? I mean, we knew he was awesome because he had the "vacuum at third base" thing going on but now he's hitting too? He was always given a pass (should we call Kotchman's pass the Hannahan pass?) and now the pass is REVOKED. Tonight he got 2 more hits (including a double) and dude is hitting .342 which is just behind Hafner at 10th in the league!

I think I know what Shelley Duncan's problem is right now. His dad, Dave Duncan, is hanging around. Not only that but all his dad's buddies as Oakland is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the winning of the 1972 World Series. I guess now's a good a time as ever since both Duncan's dad and Mike Hegan were on that team, so more guys will show up to the festivities because of their ties with the Indians. HA!

Yeahbut anyway, Shelley's dipping a little bit. Not knocking my socks off. Also not helping is the fact that his wife is pregnant with twins so that's gotta be nerve wracking. I wonder when she's due? Because if he finds pregnancy nerve wracking wait until she's calling him on a road trip with two screaming kids in the background. Oy.

Jason Donald is trying his goddamn hardest and I'm still on board. DID YOU HEAR ME JASON DONALD?! We're good! He went 2 for 4 tonight and stole a base, consequently scoring 2 runs. It will be almost sad to see him go when Asdrubal returns but not really. Although I suppose if I'm going to be making fun of anyone's hair ... eep...

Tomorrow is a 4:05 start brought to you by Justin Masterson, who hopefully doesn't suck anymore. I think we still need to bring our bats up to speed just a tiny bit. More guys with multi-hit games. Keep walking, that's good. But stop wasting walks by doing nothing with the bases loaded.

Perhaps our guys are slightly distracted by the vuvuzela in the crowd that just. won't. stop. No idea why Tom Hamilton hasn't complained about it. It's driving me nuts!

Anyway, see you tomorrow!

Radio Chatter:
"There was a warning for the Bay Area today. The warning was 'It's hot.'"
- Tom Hamilton

"Is he testing karma here with his dad and the 72 world series champs here?"
- Tom Hamilton with Shelley Duncan at the plate

"Our engineer Mike can't get a date with the inhouse host. So as a consolation he is eating two of these two-foot-long hotdogs."
- Tom Hamilton on the continuing story of "Mad" Mike and the scoreboard girl

"Boy how many times in spring training did they tell you that Kipnis is a catalyst for this team?"
- Jim Rosenhaus

"You think some of these kids who have the surgery then pitch 95 miles and hour think that Tommy John must have thrown pretty hard."
- Jim Rosenhaus

"Gomes held up. For some reason he thought Choo was Spider Man and could get that ball 14 feet up the wall."
- Tom Hamilton

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