Monday, May 28, 2012

B-Squad Beauty

Man, I knew today was going to be an awesome game! Just about as much baseball as we had in Saturday and Sunday's games but with our team coming out ahead. Thirteen runs, 21 hits, and guess what? Only 4 of those hits were for extra bases. Wow!

Our B-Squad was out in full force today. Hannahan is out for real now, and it's not his back. So they brought up Lonnie Chisenhall to fill the gap (because Jason Donald is not so good). So once they came to their senses and took Damon out, we only had 4 "original" players in the lineup. In fact, it went so far as to have our C-Squad catcher start today.

But it wasn't bad at all! In fast,  thanks to Aaron Cunningham coming in for Johnny Damon, Everybody Hits today!

Josh Tomlin was back for the first time in 3 weeks and he didn't miss one beat. In three of his six starts, he had given up 4 earned runs (and fewer in the other 3). How many did he give up today? 4. He struck out an average of 4.5 per game in his first six starts. How many did he strike out today? 4. He walked 2 guys in each of his last 3 starts. How many did he walk today? 2. Little guy is totally predictable and compared to some of our other starters, that's a welcome trait!

The bullpen was on it today, too. We were treated to the full "A-Squad" there - Hagadone, Smith, Pestano, Perez. They took care of the final 4 innings for Josh and struck out 4. They did give up 3 hits and 1 run but whatever. Our bats had it goin on.

Perez, who had 25k on their feet today, got so excited he almost did a faceplant to go along with his inverted fist pump. Says @ChrisPerez54 "Word is they caught that sniper that tried to take me out...Great win today..Our offense was great." His alter ego, @PureRage_Perez said "Good thing no one got in the way of that fist pump. Would have caused decapitation."

Perez also said in an after-game interview "With all that crap I've been talking I've got to back it up." Yeah buddy!

So who was in our lineup today? CHOOOO was in our lineup today! Leading the charge of the youngsters by going 1 for 4 with a walk, and of course scoring a run.

Cousin Michael Brantley is now in the 2-spot and he's got a 7-game hitting streak. Did you notice? I'd give him 7 smileys for that but that's pretty lame even for me. We'll give him one and make it out of a seven. :-7 Anyway, he went 1 for 3 with a walk and TWO runs. And a stolen base. And an RBI. This is the Michael Brantley I was looking forward to seeing this year. If he needs to be hidden in the 2-spot to get it done then good, let's put him there.

Shining in the 3-spot is Jason Kipnis who cannot be stopped! Except for when he was stopped last week but now he cannot be stopped! He went 3 for 4 with 2 RBI and 2 runs and a stolen base. Did you realize he leads the team in steals? You'd think it'd be Brantley (8) or Choo (7). Nope, it's Kipnis - who even after a little slump (more like a dip) is also leading in hits, runs, homers and RBI. He's also second to Asdrubal in average and if he keeps it up he'll be over .300 by the end of the week, too. I am fully prepared to worship this man this summer. I might even treat myself to a "We Are All Kipnises" t-shirt. Can we work on the Katniss meme a bit too? No?

Lopez was hitting cleanup today. He was in for Hannahan, who came back for a game, so they moved Lopez to DH. But then Hannahan actually did hurt himself (calf) so Lopez is back at 3rd. Clearly not Supermanahan on the field but passable, but he is excelling at the plate. He's got 11 hits in his last 10 games and went 2 for 4 today! Those 2 hits yielded 3 RBI, even! He did make a baserunning blunder, again, I guess. He tried to extend a hit to a double after hitting it to Alex Gordon, which you don't really do. He's (Gordon) like Choo in that regard. But he did get a RBI before getting out. Then later on he got to first on an error and a run scored so it's all good in the hood for LOPEZ!

Kotchman, who hits fifth, is the only other original or "A-Squad" guy in the final lineup today. And, being that he's old reliable Casey Kotchman, he got a hit today and went 1 for 4. He even went so far as to give us an RBI!

And that is all for guys with major league careers. But even then, heck - Hammy pointed out today that Kipnis doesn't even have 90 MLB games (84) under his belt!

Oh yeah there was Johnny Damon but cooler heads prevailed and Aaron Cunningham with his 40-points-higher .192 average came in to bat in the 7th and got a single.

Batting 7th was your favorite and mine - Lonnie Chisenhall! Chosen-hall? Chisen-halelujah? Chisen-hell-yeah? Three pitches in to his first at-bat and he hits a homer!!!! How cool is that? I actually had been listening to the game with a house full of people and everyone but me stepped outside the moment that it happened. I thought maybe I had imagined it, so I had to text my friend to confirmed. He said it was cool and he was "really pumped" to hear Chisenhall was in the lineup. Yeah me too! He's hitting .324 in the minors and doesn't have any "never been in the Bigs  before" hurdles to get over so let's hope he's IN!

Luke Carlin is our 3rd string catcher. I was really interested in what this guy was all about. Records say he's 31 and has been in the minors since 2002. He has always been with Cleveland and even did a few (6) games with us in 2010. He's also got a mohawk brewin':
Well so far since coming in to last night's game he's gone 3 for 6, or 2 for 4 today, with a run. Better than Lou? Well I don't know about that just yet. Acta says Sweet Lou is back tomorrow - he had to get stitches in his mouth (!!!) after being hit yesterday. But I bet we see some more Luke this summer!

Rounding out the 9 today was Juan Diaz at short. He's no Asdrubal but he's not a complete disappointment like maybe some other acquisitions made this year have been. Diaz was not an acquisition this year but you know what I mean. He in fact came from AA Akron just to cover for Asdrubal! What an honor. He wasn't even hitting that well in Akron, just .232. I wonder who our SS is in Colum...Oh, Jason Donald. Ok.

So I wonder how long these Wunderkinds can keep it up? It's been a fun few games with them doing a great job keeping our minds off the loss of Hafner, Cabrera, Santana and Hannahan. I was pretty spot-on when I mused to my friends last Wednesday at the Tigers' game before Johnny Damon popped out that "there are a hundred kids in the minors right now who could get a hit in this situation but we have to put up with Johnny Damon." How is it, though, that we have 5 kids from the minors - one from AA ball even - actively playing on our team and scoring runs, and we still have Johnny Damon?

I should start a second blog for those thoughts. The Frustrated Tribe.

Anyway, tomorrow is going to be even more awesome because it's Masterson versus some kid making his second start with an ERA of over 13. Everyone that is left is loose and having fun, just getting around the bases and making runs out of whatever they can.

It's a 7:05 start. Can't wait! See you there!

PS: Hope you all did some memorializing on this Memorial Day. Don't forget - 

Radio Chatter:
"So much for pressing. He may have been in spring training, but he looked pretty relaxed right there."
- Tom Hamilton on Lonnie Chisenhall's homer

"Tom Hamilton with the South Pole Elf on this Memorial Day. He's an angry elf."
- Tom Hamilton is making fun of Jim Rosenhaus for some untold reason

"I wonder if the first thing ownership said to Jack Zduriencik is 'Never make another trade with the Cleveland Indians.'"
- Tom Hamilton on the acquisition of Juan Diaz and Ezequiel Carerra from Seattle

"He was not a free agent per se, but the Twins said 'You are now!'"
- Tom Hamilton on Minnesota getting rid of Jose Mijares

"Perez is a strike-throwing machine. It seems like he's never pitching from behing the batter."
- Tom Hamilton

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