Saturday, May 5, 2012

Make Some Noise If You're With Me!

Awesome, awesome night at the ballfield! Well, except two things:

1. Before I left I mowed the lawn and was all hot and sweaty and the sun was shining. So for some reason I decided to dress as if my destination would be just as hot. Shorts, sandals, jersey over sleeveless shirt. Reality set in pretty quick by the time I got to my seat. It was 58 degrees at game time with 16 MPH winds. And extra innings!

2. I wanted to bring my "OMG ASDRUBAL!!!" sign but my tickets were borrowed season tickets. I didn't want to embarrass the owner, and I thought maybe it'd be more crowded and I didn't want to interrupt people around me. Turns out we weren't in a packed section. And it was right behind where the Tribe players come in to the dugout so Asdrubal would have seen the sign. Oh yeah and he made a ton of outs and went 4 for 5. So it was an epic signage failure on my part.

All of that aside, and the loss aside, it was AWESOME!

I didn't realize until yesterday that tonight was Chris Perez Replica Jersey night, so I was worried my friend and I would maybe be late and miss the give-away if we didn't hustle. With Friday's win, the good weather and it being a Saturday I was pretty sure there'd be a goodly crowd on hand. But everything worked out perfectly and we were able park,  get our jerseys, have a potty break and get to our seats in time for the Anthem. There were 21k fans tonight.

Those jerseys are actually quite quality apparel! I saw the Choo jerseys on a lot of fans last year and was impressed. These are the same except with The Plain Dealer on the sleeve. I love how they are adult XL too. Nobody is making any mistakes about the heartiness of us Clevelanders!

Speaking of size, I've been eating low carb and was wondering if I'd be eating at the park. I decided to go for bunless hot dogs. Not bad at all (I took the buns off myself) although I wouldn't be surprised if there were some snickers from surrounding fans. They are indeed jumbo beef hot dogs and can look quite, uh, provocative.

Since it was Chris Perez Replica Jersey day, we were treated to Chris-Perez-Themed intersitials between innings. They featured Perez on "My Bucket List" and it was almost as if they asked him live. "Uhh....dive the Great Barrier Reef? Climb Mount Kilimanjaro?  Visit Antarctica?" Can you imagine Perez climbing Kilimanjaro? As a closer he'd probably have some other guys carry him 19,000 feet then sprint up the last 300 feet, cough up some blood and plant a flag with his face on it. We'd probably all clap wildly for this feat of strength because this is exactly how we want our stud closer to be!

Another cool thing about the ballpark tonight was that they slipped a couple Beastie Boys tracks in there. The typical "Fight For Your Right" but also another that I can't remember but I think maybe "Whatcha Want." I thought that was pretty pro. The Mets did an entire game with Beastie songs, which was cool too, but other than the coincidence of the Rock Hall, there was no reason for our stadium to be paying homage to Adam Yauch but it would appear that they did.

Tonight's game didn't end favorably for us but honestly, it was almost as good as yesterday's. Tight pitching, tight defense and nice multi-hit batting.

Derek Lowe was the starter and man was it a wild ride from him. The two runs he gave up weren't even that big. The first run came in the second and it was due to an amalgamation of excuse-me swings and infield hits. The second was actually due to an outfield hit but it actually could have been worse, for more runs, if it weren't for Choo.

Otherwise, Lowe spent most of his 6 innings working out of jams. Texas got 9 hits and 2 walks. He had baserunners in every inning but the 3rd. It was definitely edge-of-the-seat stuff but you can't say the game was boring.

Hagadone came in for the 7th and came back in the 8th and only had 1 hit, keeping his ERA low and keeping him as one of my favorites out of the 'pen. Pestano pitched the 9th and was an absolute beast, striking out 2. The team couldn't bat us ahead so we had a 10th and 11th inning featuring Joe Smith. Not sure if he's meant to pitch two innings because he dropped one to Adrian Beltrae and well what the hell did you think would happen? It happened.

After a stint at the bottom of the lineup, Michael Brantley was back up top leading off. This inspired him to get 2 hits, including a double! Someone on the radio said he wasn't ever a very good leadoff man but I've never felt that. I think he is great - except when slumping. He went 2 for 5 tonight and scored a run. So there!

Kipnis was somehow confounded today. Texas just had Kipnis Magnets in their gloves because he nearly had two doubles and a single but ended up with just a single bounced over first base. He got the last laugh though because after that single he came around to score on a passed ball. PBTHTHTH!!

Tonight was Asdrubal's night, for sure. Last year at my first live game he went 5 for 5. At my last live game (when he was in the lineup) he went 4 for 4. Tonight he went 4 for 5. I AM MAGIC!!! He also had a hand in 9 outs. One more double and one more RBI, and dude is hitting .333. They saaaaaay that maybe, just maybe, he helped give away the game by not completing a double play after getting mowed down at second but my reaction at the time was "thank God he didn't go too far on that and break his arm." Seriously folks...he is not made of steel!

Derek Holland seemed to have everyone else's number. Santana, Hafner, Duncan, Hannahan - all shut out. Choo, coming off a big homer last night, only squeaked out one hit. Damon came in for Duncan at one point, with Choo on base, and 21,000 of us held our breath as he popped up to third. I couldn't find it in me to damn Damon to hell and tell him to go back East because, well, if Jack Hannahan can't figure out Texas pitching, who can?

Oh and Joe Nathan pitches for Texas now. Forgot about that cat. Cleveland will never be successful against him.

However much Texas shut us down, we shut them down right back. Josh Hamilton has only gotten 2 hits in 8 at-bats, and struck out twice. Michael Young came in to the game tonight batting .333 and went 0 for 5. Alberto Gonzales came in Friday batting .333 and has gone 0 for 6. Beltrae may have gotten to us today but he didn't do jack yesterday.

We're playing on par with this Texas juggernaut right now, and that's exciting and something to be proud of. I can't WAIT for tomorrow's "rubber match." It could possibly be an absolute nightmare - Yu Darvish with his .98 ERA against Ubaldo but if you haven't been paying attention, this is baseball and anything could happen. Nobody thought we'd win against Texas and then go extra innings, so it's entirely possible we could win Sunday.

Or not. But I'm gonna have fun seeing how we get there! Ooooh, and it's on WKYC, I can literally see it. Score!

See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"We have CB Buckner at the plate tonight so flip a coin, folks."
- Tom Hamilton is not a fan of CB Buckner

"You thought he was off the charts because he went to Lafayette."
"Thanks for getting that right tonight. I thought you were going to say Lehigh."
"That wouldn't be fair to Lehigh."
- Tom Hamilton and Jim Rosenhaus riffing on Rosenhaus's alma matter, and Pennsylvania

"You never see a ball hit that right field extension, and we've had it back-to-back nights."
- Tom Hamilton after Moreland hits one out there

"This has been one of those nights where the Indians haven't squared many balls up, but when they do Texas is right there to put them away."
- Tom Hamilton

"Now, Ian Kinsler knows a lot more about baserunning than I do - but why would you run with Josh Hamilton at the plate?"
- Tom Hamilton

"How about that? The baseball gods say to Jason Kipnis 'We owe you one.'"
- Tom Hamilton on Kipnis's single in the 8th after he was robbed earlier of two doubles

"Actually for CB Buckner he had fewer people arguing with him tonight. Usually by game's end every hitter and every pitcher has gotten mad at him. Tonight it's only been 5, maybe 6."
- Tom Hamilton, still not a fan

"You could say 'well they will pinch hit Gonzales' but no they won't, Beltrae is out with a hamstring injury. Now, Beltrae is in the on deck circle but it could just be a decoy by Ron Washington."
- Tom Hamilton is wrong

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