Saturday, June 30, 2012

Bouncin' Back

Hey! Bet you thought I forgot, huh? Naw, I just had promised some folks I'd go out and they were kind enough to wait for the end of the game. So I had to rush out after the game.

I did find myself at a place called Lopez in Cleveland Heights, so we were sure to drink a toast to The Legend That Is Lopez tonight.

Here's a song for you to play during this post:

So where really do we begin? Today's game was the most awesome in a long time, even more awesome than the 10-9 one in Cleveland versus Cincy. It was cool because we broke away and there wasn't much nail biting. Also cool because our pitchers "only" gave up 5 runs instead of 9. Was it the best game of the season? Nah that was probably one of the Detroit games - the O's just aren't that good. But still the game was AWESOME!!

Tomlin started and Tom Hamilton was making noises about this being Tomlin's final deciding game as to whether he'd remain a starter, get put in the bullpen or go down to CBus. He gave up 5 runs in 6 innings. Not too fantastic but better than a few of his recent outings. Plus he's a "fly ball pitcher" pitching in a "crackerbox park" so the fact that he only gave up one homer surprised some. I'm no pitching expert so I honestly don't know what Tomlin's fate is. I'm thinking he gets yet another chance in a different park, probably home.

Excitingly enough, the 3 guys after Tomlin - Rogers, Pestano and Sipp - gave up no hits and no runs. Yeah you heard me - even Sipp! Praise be!

If you were wondering: defense was a ton better today. No errors (for the good guys) and two double plays. It helps!

Now on to the featured entertainment! The hitting! And boy, was there hitting!

CHOOOOOOOOOOOOO (who I think was getting roundly Choo'd by some Bawlmer fans, or Cleveland fans in Baltimore, whatever) had a MONSTER game with 4 hits, 1 walk, 4 runs and 4 RBI and a homer! That means 8 hits, 2 homers, 6 RBI and 7 runs in his last 3 games (against the Orioles). His average is up at .291 now and he's hitting .417 over his last 10 games. *gurgle*

Not to be left out, Asdrubal had a monster game too! He went 3 for 5 with a double, 2 RBI and 2 runs. He did strike out twice, though. Is that what you have to put up with when your guy becomes the team's Home Run Guy?

Speaking of Home Run Guy, Jason Kipnis was shut down today! Well he did get intentionally walked and hit by a pitch. He also stole a base but oddly enough it didn't turn in to a run. And he hit into a run-scoring fielder's choice so I guess we can say he was out there getting stuff done regardless of whether or not he had the stats. But still, in a game with so many hits, quite odd that our team leader in most things batting got shut down!

LOPEZ!!! This is the dude I remember from Spring Training! He played 3rd today and batted cleanup and it was quite a fantastic decision by Manny Acta. Duncan could have been in that spot. Kipnis or Brantley could have been in that spot. But he stuck with Lopez in that spot and he went 5 for 6 with 3 RBI and a run. Yes, 5 for 6!

Brantley went 2 for 5 with a walk. Somehow that didn't turn in to any runs or RBI either (ok, I know how. I know. Left on base.) We're back to a 3-game hitting streak for Cousin Michael! I'm just going to keep counting and re-counting from here on out.

SHELLEY EVERY DAY! He had his homer today. He only went 1 for 6 though - eep! But hey HE'S got  FOUR-game hitting streak, with 3 RBI in those 4 games. Johnny who?

Kotchman and Cunningham were both shut down today. Eh. Still, hard to believe that in a 19-hit game that THREE guys went hitless, right? They did.

Encompassing 4 of those hits was Sweet Lou himself! And he ALMOST went for the cycle, woohoo! He got them all but a homer, got two singles and walked. He only got 1 RBI out of all that but he came around to score 3 times! Did you know he's hitting .284 now? Hate to say it but Santana is already seeming like a distant memory right now...

I don't know what to make of all this. I think I'll stay cautiously optimistic for now because Baltimore sucks right now and their park is a hitter's park. Plus, we saw a ton of runs a couple times against the Reds just last week then went on to score hardly anything against the Astros and Yankees.

However, I will go to bed smiling from ear to ear and I will stash the nugget that Manny had "a talk" with the team the other day and maybe, just maybe, that turned something around. I'll also cling to my fantasy that the Yankee series was rock-bottom and from now on we're rocketing to the top.

Bouncin' back, as it were.

Tomorrow I'll be visiting my kinfolk in Pittsburgh (yeah and hopefully my cousin's 10-year-old and I can talk baseball!) so I won't hear the exciting conclusion to this series until late. But you bet I'll be there as soon as I can!

It's 1:35 in case you didn't know. See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"Looks good maybe on October 31st if you're a jack-o-lantern."
- Tom Hamilton on Oriole orange

" some point, an Orioles hitter has to hit the deck. [...] An Orioles player has to feel the same discomfort"
- Tom Hamilton puts out the call after Kipnis gets hit

"So, they milk cows then go to the beach at night?"
- Tom Hamilton wondering how the Jersey Shore works

"Rosie, when you're born and raised on a dairy farm and you're milking cows, the view never changes.'
- Tom Hamilton tells Jim Rosenhaus why they never discuss Wisconsin

"These are situations, where if a guy like Cunningham wants to stay on this ballclub, he's got to do better than that."
- Tom Hamilton on Cunningham's strikeout in the 5th with a runner on 3rd

"It's not just errors, it's the plays that should have been made but aren't."
- Tom Hamilton on the Baltimore defense

"The Orioles might start feeding him Fudgecicles."
- Tom Hamilton on Matt Wieters losing weight and losing power

Friday, June 29, 2012

New Way To Lose

At least you can't say it wasn't an exciting game. They came out of the gates hitting and scoring, and scored in 5 innings. They were on base in all innings but the 8th. They managed a respectable 8 earned runs but...12 left on base! The big problem today was errors.

Derek Lowe seems to maybe be out of that "wow that old man can still pitch!" juice that has been going around the league this year. It's not like he's throwing everything in the dirt but we don't need another dude with a 4+ ERA right now.

I will give it to him tho - he gave up 4 and there were 3 un-earned right along with them. Son of a bitch!

Accardo did ok in his 2/3 of an inning. Walking 2 but getting out of it. Smith came in and gave up what ended up being the tying run (GROAN!) and somehow it worked out that even tho the homer Perez (yeah Chris Perez) gave up in the 8th was the winning run, it was Smith who got the loss. Almost like Perez paid him to take that L or something.

So ... pitching? Yeah, kind of crummy today. Nobody's bullpen needs to be giving up 2 runs in 3 innings. But there were 3 un-earned runs on errors by our truly amazing infield - Asdrubal and Kotchman. Not sure why Asdrubal has 9 fucking errors this there some sort of post-All-Star curse? Didn't seem to hit Chris Perez. Or it all hit him on the first game of the season and he beat the curse to death with his bare hands.

Batting was pretty great today, except for when it wasn't. I mean 5 guys had a multi-hit game and almost everybody hit (DAMON!!! *shakes fist*) There were merely 6 strikeouts which isn't bad when you consider how many at-bats we had. But everyone was leaving guys on bases left and right. A tragedy!

Choo had a great night, going 3 for 5 with 3 hits and a walk. He got 2 RBI and scored a run and you know what? All that on no doubles or homers! One of those RBI was an RBI walk! I caught the first inning on TV and my mom was impressed at how dirty Choo was by the time Kipnis was up. Working hard!

OMG ASDRUBAL!!! #11! He's being less disappointing at the plate right now but damn what's up with the errors, bro? He's got 9 on the year and the last 3 have been COSTLY. Ugh. Well he went 2 for 6 today but he did leave me sad when he was up in the 9th and blooped out with a man in scoring position.

Kipnis was locked in today, going 3 for 5 with 2 RBI. That's 2 TWO OUT RBI! Cool! Brantley also hit and went 1 for 4 with a walk.

Now that Santana's out for a smidge (hurt back), our top 4 guys are hitting a combined .282, and really they were the stars of the show tonight getting 6 of the 7 RBI (one run was a fielder's choice). Not to totally discount the bottom of the lineup, though - they scored 6 of those runs!

Kotchman scored 2 of those runs today, from being on base twice. But like Asdrubal he also made a run-costing error today. My friend was joking about the number of errors Asdrubal has made, and wondered why Kotchman was erroring too. Do you think they are erroring way too much (18 for Hannahan. Asdrubal and Kotchman) or do you think we notice it way too much because they are - all other times - awesome? Kipnis only has 3 errors, same as Kotchman, but I think he's been exciting at 2nd this year. Because we expect him to suck.

I refuse to blame anything on the heat today, by the way, because if you recall we had a hell of a time in April and it was blamed on the cold. All these guys are from Latin America, Florida or Arizona - they can handle the heat. Except Brantley who's from Washington state, but he's Dr. Smooth so nothing flaps him.

Speaking of Arizona - Shelley Duncan had a nice night! But first he had to come in for Lonnie Chisenhall, who had a nice night! Lonnie went 1 for 2 ... and then got hit by a pitch in his arm and now his arm is broke and GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!! He was just about to break out - or already had broke out - and now that's it. Surgery.

On the POSITIVE side, Shelley Duncan ended up going 2 for 2 with a double, an RBI and 2 runs. Bittersweet, yo...bittersweet.

Supermanahan and Marson both went 1 for 4 with a walk. They're both hitting about .250 which would be great to see up in the .270s soon. They both need to get their games in and stabilize at the plate and we know they can do well. Question is - how much more Marson will we see? Now that there's very little question of "how much more Lonnie?" (MOAN!) we know we'll see a ton of Hannahan...let's hope he's still got it. A nice fat .275 or .280 at the bottom of our lineup sure would be swell!

So all-in-all we made a lot of progress but had a bit of a step back. Pitching didn't get any WORSE and hitting didn't get any WORSE - it got better in that we got an early-season level of hits but we're still leaving them stranded. But fielding cost us big, which was sort of a new way to lose the game.

Tomorrow we're back to trying to figure out LHP. Let's hope there's some confidence and we can keep on with the hitting and could-be-worse pitching. Tomlin is up - he's seen worse. Don't need to see it again.

It's a 4:05 start, and it'll be damned hot. Bring your battery powered fan and enough cash for at least 3 large pops. I'll see you there!

Radio Chatter:
"When you have a pitcher who is first in the league for ground outs to fly outs, you're going to have to play good defense."
- Tom Hamilton

"The Cleveland karma is paying off for us, now that we've gotten out of New York with that engineer Paul..."
- Jim Rosenhaus on the Baltimore engineer who married a Mayfield girl

"This is an Indians ballclub that cannot stay in contention if they can't find some middle relief. Whether it's Cody Allen, or George Allen, or Marty Allen, they need some help."
- Tom Hamilton

"Adam Jones just learned that Christmas can happen even on a hot day."
- Tom Hamilton on a questionable fair ball

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Homers? Homers!

Woo woo!! What the heck is up with this?! The Tribe winning the game on homers? Against a lefty? WITH HELP FROM JOHNNY DAMON??

Seriously, that is what happened today.

Zach "E-Z Mac" McAllister came up today in a nice trade with ourselves for Jeanmar Gomez. Thank you, ourselves! He pitched 5 2/3 innings and only gave up 2 earned runs, striking out SIX. Goddamn! I had thought Lowe was pitching today (oops, that's tomorrow) but Zach was just as good. Like vintage May Lowe.

After McAllister was done we got Joe Smith and Esmil Rogers who faced 10 and sent down 10. Rogers struck out 3 in 2 innings. Like that guy yet? I do!

So it looks like our pitching staff had it together, all at once. Cool!

We had a couple guys with a mutlti-hit game tonight, and we also got back to getting WALKS. Seven on the night. Still had 8 LOB but...well, that'll have to come down later.

CHOOOOO! Had himself a homer today, going 1 for 3 with a walk and 2 runs. Stills struck out twice, tho. What's up with that?

Not to be outdone, OMG ASDRUBAL!!! Must have read about my disappointment in him yesterday. He ended up going 2 for 5 with a 3-run dinger. NO strikeouts.

Kipnis wasn't shut out - he got 2 walks. Didn't turn in to anything, tho.

Lopez was in at first, and went 1 for 3 in the 6 innings he was in. Not sure why he came out for Kotchman, because the switch happened before a pitching change. Perhaps there were a bunch of lefties coming up and they needed the vacuum on the right? Who knows. Kotch didn't do anything with the bat.

Michael Brantley got TWO hits and TWO walks and didn't strike out once! :) :) He went 2 for 3 on the night with 1 run. Of course he got his 23rd double - it's actually been a while since he got one!

In a bold move they had Duncan in at the SAME TIME as Damon. It paid off - he went 1 for 4 with a walk.

And speaking of Damon, ok, he got a 3-run homer in the 2nd. Yay for Damon. I'll be a jerk and point out that we had 4 other runs besides his and only needed 3.

Wow, what a jerk I am.

Sweet Lou was behind the plate today - because 1) he's a great catcher for a rookie 2) because he's 4th on the team versus lefties and 3) because Santana's back hurts. And he's bad at the plate right now. Lou went 1 for 3 with a walk and a run. His hit was a double!

So good starting, good relief and good batting. Good batting against a very good lefty starter, even. Weird!

Did we hit rock bottom the other day like I said? And now it's all up from here? Maybe so, maybe so...I'm especially excited about the guys hitting a lefty.

Tomorrow is more of the same, and THIS time it's really Lowe against some other guy. This other guy is a RHP. Let's get 14 runs!

I'll see you there!

Radio Chatter:
"You're not in Japan anymore, not when you're facing Derek Jeter."
- Tom Hamilton on Chen's start in the Majors

"I can tell you he's the most excited 39th round draft pick for the Indians."
- Tom Hamilton on his son Nick

"Pitchers love throwing to Lou Marson. He's a pitcher's catcher."
- Tom Hamilton

"So basically it's been a triple crown for the Orioles tonight as far as categories of play in baseball."
- Tom Hamilton says the O's didn't bat, pitch or defend well

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Almost...But Not Quite

Things were looking up today, until they weren't. Duh, but you know what I mean.

Also, I started writing this post after the game ended and then I had clients yak yak yakking at me so I didn't finish, and it wasn't until like 8 PM that I was like "Did I finish that blog post?" Hooray for auto-save!

Anyway...We were winning, then losing, then winning again. And in the end we weren't losing by that much. Only problem is that runs are SO hard to come by for this team right now, so being down 2 runs in late innings is deadlyish. Then when you gotta let that stupid old man Johnny Damon bat with the bases loaded, things just get bleaker.

Ubaldo, well, he coulda been worse. A lot of our guys give up 4 runs and for a lot of teams 4 runs is no big deal. For THIS team WHEN HITTING 4 runs is no big deal. In fact, our team managed to GET 4 runs. It's just that the bullpen gave up the winning run (Pestano - unbelieveable!) and so Ubaldo's 4 runs ended up being too many.

Choo was out resting today. That sucked because we really needed him. Brantley was a good choice for leadoff, of course, since he used to bat there and also since his average is the same as Choo. Both guys are super reliable. He didn't get a hit - but he did walk in a run in the 9th!

Asdrubal was disappointing as hell today. Even though he got a RBI and went 1 for 5 and he totally fucked up on his last at-bat, swinging away after Soriano was clearly not throwing great. Asdrubal gets those good hits but he's been doing 2 things that annoy me this year: 1) Not being patient at the plate and swinging at garbage and/or too early, often in critical situations 2) Trying to extend singles to doubles to disastrous results. I'm SURE he's trying to be aggressive and be the hero but it's not always working out.

Kipnis at least had his shit together and went 2 for 4, with an RBI. And his 18th stolen base. So there's that.

Last night's big man, Lopez, did nothin today. He struck out 3 times is what he did. He actually does NOT strike out that much so that's good. I mean, on all other days when he is not striking out 3 times.

Santana was the DH today. He reached on a scoring error then scored a run, but he didn't get any hits. I think patience is wearing thin with him...Tom Hamilton was making noises about Acta saying how Santana wasn't working hard and stuff. I remember Mike Hargrove saying something similar last year. He got pulled today in favor of Lonnie, who didn't do anything but get pulled for the Fuckin New Guy is pretty weak.

Duncan started today! As part of my SHELLEY EVERY DAY campaign, no doubt. He went 1 for 3 with an RBI double then he was pulled for Choo. Anything to get that last run, I guess. Choo walked but nothing came of it.

You know who's hitting better than Santana? Casey Kotchman. He went 1 for 4 today and also plays an awesome first base.

You know who also hits better than even Kotchman? Lou Marson. He went TWO for 4 today, scored a run and also plays an awesome catcher.

So, like, Carlos Santana, watch your back. We already know that Luke Carlin is a decent backup, we've got a good catcher and a good first baseman and hopefully in a few days a good DH. Time to shape up or ship out, I think!

Don't get me wrong, I love Santana. I want him to be awesome and be awesome on the Indians. It's very frustrating when you know how great he can be. We knew he was going to be great before he busted his knee, with a little work. He ended up being great after some work, after he came back. So when he does bad it's not a matter of "oh well I guess he was always bad" but instead a matter of "we know he can be so much better!" I love to hate guys who suck but I hate to be frustrated by guys we all know could do better.

That's it, then. Lost 5 in a row, swept by Yankees. This is not the team I saw clobber Cincinnati a week and a half ago. We can't just blame it on the pitchers or the lineup. This is a TEAM not an ERA or a batting average.

It's gonna be a hot one this weekend. You'd better step it up, boys! (There's no "or else" because what am I going to do? Just be crabby, I suspect)

Speaking of hot stuff, they interviewed "Fausto" today before the game. He's in Goodyear and thinks he can be back before the end of the season. He sounded quite happy - quite happy to not be in a Dominican jail, I'd say. He's an expert at the Arizona League, having been sent there for bad behavior once before.

Ok so tomorrow is 7:05 in Baltimore. Lowe versus a RHP. HOW CAN WE NOT WIN THIS GAME?! We should win that game. Totally will win.

See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"Is it age, or is it the lack of a special vitamin he was taking?"
- Tom Hamilton on the decline of A-Rod

"Lou Marson looks back at Jim Joyce to say 'If you're going to give Andy Pettitte that call, then you'd better start giving it to my guy too.'"
- Tom Hamilton

"That's what you have to do to beat these Indians. Get ahead of them early."
- Tom Hamilton

"That tells you all you need to know about Santana...who's being lifted in late innings for Lonnie Chisenhall. Wow."
- Tom Hamilton

"Yankee fans are grumbling. Basically they are saying 'How dare we have to be at a ballgame in the 9th inning?'"
- Tom Hamilton

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Is This Rock Bottom?

Or perhaps, more accurately, we hit rock bottom sometime during this game. By the 9th inning, we'd already began our ascent skyward.

Perhaps rock bottom was when Jack Hannahan was called out on a fantastic into-the-seats foul ball out that wasn't. Jack got thrown out later after he saw a replay and challenged the ump on it. Perhaps he was saying to the ump "hey fuck you, we do enough on our own to lose games we don't need you pushing us down! Erin go Bragh!" Then once the team realized that hey yeah they were losing games all by themselves and now the umps were against them too, perhaps it was time to step up.

We were about to be shut out for only the second time this year, with 2 outs in the 9th, when that Damon guy clearly sent some sort of Bat Signal to his former teammate/replacement Curtis Granderson in order to get a ball to drop in the 9th with Kipnis on 3rd. Then good 'ol Casey Kotchman kept it alive with a single, and in an interesting twist of fate, the guy who was brought in for the tossed Hannahan (LOPEZ!) jacked a 3-run dinger bringing us within 2.

Of course, it ended in a loss - the first time this year we've lost 4 in a row - but at least it wasn't a shutout. And this is totally weird but almost everybody hit today. Santana was the lone guy out. GAH if only he'd had a multi-hit game instead of a no-hit (and no on-base) game. It coulda been a winner.

Hafner is playing in Columbus. He'll be back soon. Perhaps by the end of the week! Although I don't know what happens to a Dakota boy when you put him in Baltimore in late June. I'm guessing something like this:

Gosh, it's hot.

Not expecting to get any run support, Justin Masterson let 4 runs get by him in his 6 innings. If our batters are done fucking around and hitting rock bottom, maybe it's ok if he's going to pitch like that. Four was an overcome-able amount earlier in the season.

Two guys who don't seem to be rising with this phoenix are Sipp and Hagadone. Sipp's last outing was fine but once again he gave up a run in the late innings. And Hagadone...he's toast. He gave up a run too.

It's all speculation right now - and most likely blind hope - but after scoring 8 runs in a game then going on to score 5 runs in 4 games, getting 4 last-minute runs today was pretty spectacular. It's something I'm going to be hanging my hat on until tomorrow around 4 PM.

It's a 1:05 game tomorrow. Hopefully everyone still has glitter in their hair from tonight and it'll be awesome. Ubaldo is presently showing up as Good Ubaldo so that gives us a shot. Of course, the opposing pitcher is Andy Pettitte but let me swing it this way for you - we've sucked against CHILDREN as of late. Little boy pitchers. Perhaps they confuse and alarm us. Maybe we need a nice veteran with a big book that is "the devil we know."

You think, maybe? I'm gonna keep dreaming. See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"Our wives will be surprised how much we've changed on this road trip."
"How have we changed?"
"Oh I think we've matured a lot."
- Tom Hamilton and Jim Rosenhaus

"If it's going to be 100 degrees in Baltimore, that means 95 percent humidity."
- Tom Hamilton

"It's actually cheaper to land a helicopter than it is to park a car here at Yankee Stadium."
- Tom Hamilton

"Our wonderful engineer back at command central has already dubbed the tape and is emailing it to me..."
- Tom Hamilton's ears were burning while he was away in the 4th

"Big crowd, entertaining itself. Throwing peanuts and hot dogs at each other."
- Tom Hamilton is sort of bored and maybe a little jealous

"It's almost as if the umpire is saying 'great effort, you're out!'"
- Tom Hamilton on an obviously missed foul ball catch

"They feel like they can ever be challenged, they can never be wrong. That's why you will see more instant replay in the future because of people like Mike DiMuro. [...] Mike DiMuro will be having to
watch that replay on ESPN for the rest of the week and it'll make him the laughing stock of the profession."
- Tom Hamilton

"Derek Jeter plays the game the way you'd want your kids to play."
- Tom Hamilton

Monday, June 25, 2012

Feeding the Stereotype

Remember how well Josh Tomlin pitched last time? It was when I had met him the day before, on Photo Day, and shook his hand. He went 6 2/3 and gave up 1 run.

Tonight he was in NYC shaking God Knows Who's hands, and he only lasted 3 innings, not before giving up 6 runs. Ho hum.

His pal Jeanmar Gomez got sent down yesterday. Is Josh next? Maybe he was hella nervous about his future. Jeanmar going down meant Barnes coming up so at least we had a long reliever to cover for him. Barnes did give up 1 run in his 2 2/3 innings but it's suspected that he pitched 1/3 innings too much. I like him so far but I also liked Nick Hagadone once...I'm not gonna get too attached.

Rogers (our other long reliever) came in for the rest of the 6th and the 7th and struck out 2 for his 4 outs. Accardo finished it out with no more runs.

Of course, our batters still aren't doing very well. Just like yesterday. Doesn't matter that our starter melted down because we weren't going to beat the opposing pitcher anyway. Even though Yankee Stadium APPARENTLY is generous to the long ball. Doesn't make a difference to the once-first-but-now-12th home-run hitting team. The Yankees, on the other hand, had fun showing Tomlin what they could do (3 times!)

We actually did almost mount a comeback in the 8th. Lonnie singled, Choo doubled and they took out their starter. The first 2 hits went towards Nick Swisher in right, and so did the next 3. He wisened up and caught the last 3, leaving us with just a sac fly RBI.

Choo ended up going 2 for 4, the only guy with a multi-hit game. Brantley is back on the hitting horse again, going 1 for 3 with NO STRIKEOUTS! Johnny Damon got on base once. No one else did anything.

So yeah, whatever - the Indians went to New York and the Yankees teed off on our pitcher, their fielders caught all of our stuff, and their pitcher seriously out-pitched our team. I suppose that's the general, 100-plus-year-m.o. of the Yankees, but not the 2012 Yankees. What really happened was that our started had a melt down and our hitters can't hit.

Oh well, there's more baseball tomorrow. Maybe someone will go nuts in the clubhouse tonight and light a fire under these guys. But probably not. They're probably going to do New-Yorky things like shoe shopping and carriage rides in Central Park. Or get distracted by the MLB Fan Cave.

See you tomorrow, 7:05 for more of the game you love.

Radio Chatter:
"Nobody's talking about Jeter making a position switch. He will play shortstop until the day he retires."
 - Tom Hamilton

"How big was the turkey? That leg is huge! The turkey must have been a former Rockette."
- Tom Hamilton on the Yankee Stadium turkey legs

"For the first time in a long time the Indians are getting good relief work from somebody not named Joe Smith, Vinnie Pestano or Chris Perez."
- Tom Hamilton on Scott Barnes

"The way Kuroda is pitching, it seems like even 0-2 would be a huge deficit."
- Tom Hamilton

"If Teixeira didn't get hit on the right hand, he's a real thespian. Then again, this is Broadway."
- Tom Hamilton

"If you're down 7-0 you'd better be able to walk in to second."
- Tom Hamilton on Chisenhall's long single

"It's Chris Perez times 10 in terms of energy."
- Jim Rosenhaus on Nick Swisher

"At one time he could throw in the mid-90s. He still can, he just needs to be 40 feet from the plate to do so."
- Tom Hamilton Freddie Garcia

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Nobody is a Hero

Sunday strikes again, huh? I do need to stop complaining about Sundays because I think we're 5-7 on the year so it's not like we lose EVERY Sunday. But like I said before - it just hurts more because I usually get to see it on TV.

It was a stupid game today - stupid pitching and stupid hitting. It didn't matter that our pitchers gave up 7 because our batters could only muster 1. Everyone lost this game. Even Johnny Damon who thankfully didn't play today.

Lowe melted down and gave up 3 runs in 6 2/3. Three doesn't sound to bad but it's nearly unsurmountable when your team isn't hitting. Plus when he left the game he had 2 guys on base. He was pretty pissed at himself and once again started tossing shit around the dugout. Well, tossing it then picking it right back up because that's about as shitty as giving up 3 runs. Derek Lowe, the Gentleman Pitcher.

Smith did his thing and finished off the 7th without letting more score. Then Nick "Remember When He Was Good?" Hagadone came in gave up 3 runs, including a homer, in 2/3 of an inning. You know he was fucking good before because after giving up 3 runs in 2/3 of an inning his ERA is still under 6. Anyway he left and went in the dugout and had a bit of a "Remember when I was good?" sniffle over his performance (that's the kind of sad stuff you get to see on the TV on Sundays) while Esmil Rogers got the third out. But before he got the third out he gave up a home run.


On the offensive side, Choo was shut down. Asdrubal shut down. Kipnis was shut down. FOR THE LOVE OF PETE, BRANTLEY WAS SHUT DOWN!

Lopez got himself a hit - a big honkin' double off the wall. He then came around to score on a passed ball. End of story as far as runs go.

Lessee...Oh yeah, Shelley Duncan started today and even though he didn't hit (just like Asdrubal and Kipnis) he got TWO walks! SHELLEY EVERY DAY!!!

Today's big winner was You Can Always Count On Casey Kotchman (Usually). He went 2 for 4, hoofing out a single in the 5th.

Speaking of good fielding (we were talking about Casey Kotchman, of course) - Kipnis looked pretty fancy out there today. He had another nice one too. I also think that a couple of hits could have been avoided if Derek Lowe didn't fall to the side and check the bus schedule after every pitch. Several hits went right up the middle and it looked like Lowe was trying to get out of their way instead of do stuff like stop the ball.

Lowe did get a hit! He bunted himself to first on a bunt down the first-base line. He snuck by the Astros while they were waiting for it to roll foul. It didn't! This happened on one out. Excitement! Choo and Cabrera couldn't do shit to get him in. Horror!

That's about it for today. I did manage to get a lot of chores done due to the extra hour I had before the game so that's cool. I also got sunburn so now it really feels like summer time. Also I hope you had a chance to listen to the radio because Hammy and Rosie were continuing the saga of the FroYo machine and I can't really print it all here because there's so much of a back story. I did grab some for you. Just note that Rosie really likes the frozen yogurt machine and Hammy calls him out on it, but he likes it too.

Oh yeah also the Astros' announcer Milo Hamilton (no relation) came in to chat and call a couple innings. That was cool...he sounds great, and he's 85 years old! I really hope we get to keep our Hamilton that long...

We're off to face the Yankees now. I hope someone remembers to pick up our bats on the way from Houston to New York. I think they got left in Cleveland!

No break tomorrow - a 7:05 game. See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"In a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black, Tom Hamilton is eating a large plastic cup full of ice cream."
- Jim Rosenhsus

"The servers said 'Mr. Hamilton we advise you to get the biggest cup possible because Mr. Rosenhsus has requested a hose to be run from the machine to the booth'"
- Tom Hamilton

"You wonder Rosie if that's a function of hitting 8th. You think 'The pitcher is coming up. I should try to get extra bases.'"
- Tom Hamilton

"It's the bottom of the 6th, there are four hits and two runs and nobody's made an error - that's been called.
- Milo Hamilton

"You can see the video board on Mexico City, it's so big."
- Tom Hamilton

"Boy that ice cream has made you really sharp today. That's where the confidence comes in. You were confident when you went for the Butterfinger crunch..."
- Tom Hamilton after discussing Hagadone's lack of confidence

"I don't care if you're Manny Acta, Eric Wedge or even Joe Torre - if you don't have a bullpen you can count on, you're doomed any way because any decision you make blows up in your face."
- Tom Hamilton

Saturday, June 23, 2012


That's pretty much it. Yeah, Gomez gave up a ton of runs and Accardo tacked on more but even if our pitchers only gave up 2 runs we still would have lost. This kid who pitched for Houston smoked us in a 1-run 6-hit complete game. Although I still contend our batting wasn't up to snuff yesterday either, against a RHP. We almost had no chance against a feisty LHP.

I listened to the game on the audio archive today and it was sort of sad to hear the guys talking so highly about how well Gomez was doing early in the game, myself knowing that there'd be an implosion in the 5th. I think it's time to switch it up and say Jeanmar's had too many chances to prove himself. Yeah he's had a couple of good games here and there but he's 4-7 and has given up 42 runs in 14 games. He looks especially bad today after Tomlin, Masterson and Jiminez looked SO good the lest 3 games.

Also, all our other starters were hitting an Jeanmar didn't get a hit today.

The Twitterverse already has a nickname picked out for Zach McAllister - EZ Mac. I like him, let's bring him.

On the flipside, Tony Sipp surprised everyone by going 1 2/3 and not giving up any runs, or any hits for that matter and actually striking out 2. Keep it up Tony or we're going to Jeanmar your ass.

Jeremy Accardo - 3 runs. Unreliable. He's either giving up no runs or 3 runs. What gives?

Since we were severely outpitched, there isn't much to say on the offensive side except maybe OMG ASDRUBAL!!! Three homers in 4 games!!  He's only 2 away from Kipnis who leads the team and is the only guy in double digits. Love it when Asdrubal's hot! Definitely definitely vying for your vote in the All Star Game! Hey, if you vote 25 times, they'll email you a coupon for half-off tickets for a bunch of games. Limited games and limited seating of course but if you're watching your pennies - cheap tix!

Can't forget Choo, though. He got another goddamn double today! He is tied for first in the league with Kinsler (23) and leads Gonzalez, Gordon, Ortiz and Cano. w00t!

Kipnis is back to being awesome again. He's as unpredictable as Accardo but I guess when you're 1 of 9 you can hide it. He went 3 for 4 today after going 0 for his last 12. *BOGGLE* Is that an inexperience thing? Whatever, tho - I'm still a Kipnises. Poor guy tripped over first base on a single and looked super embarrassed about it. He also spent all 3 of his on-bases not coming home, because no one hit after him.

Well of course Brantley hit after Kipnis, once. He went 1 for 3 and has a 6-game hitting streak. He's had 68 hits in his last 51 games. He's hitting .333 in June. HE ROCKS YOUR FACE!!!

Our top 4 guys (minus the variable "cleanup hitter") - Choo, Cabrera, Kipnis and Brantley - are hitting .284 right now. They are slowly climbing up to complete awesomeness. O, IF ONLY ... the rest of the lineup was sorted out (and by the rest I mean Santana and hurry-up-already-Hafner). And if we had SHELLEY EVERY DAY.

Do we need Kevin Youkilis? He's a rightie. But his average is only .243 versus left and .219 versus right. He's got a .225 overall average with a measly 4 homers and 7 doubles.

Hafner left the game at .246 but he's a lefty hitting .185 versus lefties. Youk would be playing 1st or 3rd, I suspect, not DH. Kotchman and Hannahan are both batting under .200 against lefties. Santana is slightly better at .206. Our third best lefty hitter is Marson, at .273 (after crazy-awesome Asdrubal and Brantley). But he doesn't get to play because of Santana. IT'S ALL MADDENING!

Clearly Youk is still a baseball player, unlike Johnny Damon, but he's still Boston's leftover old man trash (he's 43 days older than me). And he has crazy stupid facial hair.

I don't know why people are talking about Carlos Lee for us. He's even older (between Youk and Damon) and hits .146 versus lefties. No shit. He is batting .299 overall because he hits righties .340. So the last guy we need is Carlos Lee.

If you didn't know, we are last in ALL OF BASEBALL versus lefties at .216.

So I don't know...243 versus lefties is not bad, if that's the best we can get. It would put him 4th on the team versus left. But ugh, Boston. Isn't there someone in our minors who can hit lefties?? Didn't anyone plan for this?

I think instead of signing Youk we need a mandatory 4-day "how to hit lefties" clinic over the All Star break. Asdrubal and his .325 average versus lefties won't be available at that time, but Brantley and his .291 can tell the guys the secret to being smooth.

I'm not wanting to shake stuff up right now. I think we've got a lot of good stuff going on. Except for Johnny Damon - he was an awful, awful acquisition and he has done nothing but hurt the lineup. And the defense. And caused us to do a lot of shit to accommodate him and keep some good players from having a chance to develop.

AAAAAANNNNYYYWAY....tomorrow's the rubber match against Houston at 2:05 and it's on WKYC, yay! Too bad I won't get to see the seriously awesome starbursty Astros throwback uniforms that they wore Friday. Don't lie - that uniform the first thing you think of when you think of Nolan Ryan! Well maybe now you modern kids think of him this way:

[From the Pop Culture Has AIDS blog]
But the alternateens among us think of this when we think of Nolan Ryan. Or the Astros. Or "weird baseball uniforms":
[From the Hipster or Athlete blog]
Anyway, the Astros have nothing to do with Nolan Ryan any more, except for next year when his Rangers give them a sad welcome in to the American League.

Sorry for veering so far off topic but I TOTALLY LOVE THOSE UNIFORMS! Why can't our marketing department do something stupid like faddish disco uniforms to get fans in the seats, instead of insisting we sign Johnny Damon?

OK FINE. Baseball tomorrow, 2:05. See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"Keuchel could have easily thrown it away, or hit him in the coconut."
- Tom Hamilton on a nearly missed move to first

"This just came out of the blue. He retired 12 in a row then started giving up rockets."
- Tom Hamilton on Jeanmar Gomez

"The Indians are making some awfully soft outs here today."
- Tom Hamilton has identified the problem

"You ever weed-whack your weeds with one of those weed-whackers? That's what it looked like with Rosie going through his 14th cup from the frozen soft serve yogurt machine. [...] They've re-named it Rosie's Rustic Inn. A lof of folks have tried to get to that machine with no luck. Rosie's had that baby locked up."
"If I had 13 cups you had 20 then."
"You know, I was eating fruit. Your fruit came in the form of carmel, chocolate, sprinkles..."
- How Tom Hamilton opened the bottom of the 6th

"I bet this marriage isn't going to see the end of 2016. This is the best they could do?"
- Tom Hamilton harping on a bride and groom at the ballpark

"You've probably never heard of Keuchel before [...] but after today the Indians will never forget him."
- Tom Hamilton

"What's interesting now is that Shelley Duncan isn't playing, even against left-handed pitching."

"Boy it's easy to play GM from the broadcast booth isn't it?"
- Tom Hamilton ponders signing Youk

"9-1, 8-1, 10-1 - whatever it is, it's not pretty."
- Tom Hamilton can't figure out the score

"If Choo tried to score, we'd be in the wrap-up show."
- Tom Hamilton on not testing Bogusevic's arm

Friday, June 22, 2012

Houston, We Have a Win!

Ugh, sorry about that title. What awful dreck. I'm guessing the person who writes titles for the game recaps uses that one at least once a year. And I guess since we'll be facing Houston at least 6 times next year, I'll be using it once a year now too.

We won tonight and I'm stoked about it! Four in a row, Hamilton is back, in first by 1.5 games, Ubaldo had his best road outing of the year, Perez struck out the side on 13 pitches and the game included my favorite play - an out at the plate for the Indians (also an out at the plate for the Astros, which was quite a nice out but not one for me to be happy about)! And the Astros wore their most-groovy retro uniforms which I totally heart.

But I am also a little sad about this game. Why? WHYYYYYY?! Well because the Astros aren't that good, and they're sort of easy to roll over, pitching-wise. And their pitching isn't that good. Yet we had to scramble for TWO runs, and had TWO outs at the plate, and only got 4 hits. All of this against a right-hander. Yes, we were down one man - two men - with pitchers and Damon in the lineup. But we've done more with less.

Anyway, it's fun to be in first and it's mega-fun to win but I have trepidations  about it. That's all I say on that front.

UBALDO! That lanky motherfucker is finally doing well consistently, at home and on the road. Today he went 6 2/3 and struck out 8. Jeebus! He still walked 4, but 2 of them were in the first inning. Raise your hand if you nodded along with Tom Hamilton when he pronounced Jiminez to be toast in the first. Yeah, me too. Joke's on all of us!

Smith finished off that 1/3 of the 7th and then Pestano and Perez finished it off. Yeah they did! Vinnie had a rough inning with 3 "that coulda been big trouble!" outs. Perez cut through his batters in the 9th like butter. Just 13 pitches, 11 for strikes, 3 strikeouts. BALLGAME! 23 saves for that dude. Tee hee!

What up, Choo?! Hitting a triple! Jim Rosenhaus claims that he walked in to the park with Choo, who pointed out the short left field wall and said it was nice. Then Choo proceeded to ricochet one off said wall on his first at-bat. I suppose if anyone is going to be able to do that, it'll be Choo. But Rosie is one heck of a story teller, too!

Asdrubal! He tried to hit one out the park after Choo's big triple, but he only ended up getting the game-winning RBI (4 pitches in to the game). Later on he got a single (albeit a gift "single") then came around to score the insurance run!

Kipnis has been having a rough go of it. He's so streaky, guys...he got 5 hits in 2 games then he's gone 0 for 11 with just 1 walk. I want to love and get excited about him every day! EVERY DAY, KIPNIS!! I guess a young guy can't do that. He's no Brantley...or Kotchman.

I do love and get excited about Asdrubal every day, even though he had his 8th damn error today. WTF Asdrubal? Although I did like this bit of play, that showed just how nifty our infield is. Kipnis-Kotchman-Cabrera-Santana (4-3-6-2). Out at the plate!

Brantley got a hit. 5 games, y'all! :)

Damon is still on our team and he got a hit today.

No one else got a hit but everyone else played. Well, Cunningham, Lopez and Hannahan. No Shelley! Bah.

So really the news of the game was good pitching, and good defense. I just need to see some good batting now, too. Can't be squeaking by such shitty teams and expect to take care of the rest of the Majors.

But I'll go to bed happy, and we get to try again to heat up in Houston tomorrow. At 4:05 our time - see you there!

Radio Chatter:
"Just when you think you're about to turn the corner you take a look and it seems like the corner may go on forever."
- Tom Hamilton on Jiminez's walks

"That's where the handcuffs come in."
- Tom Hamilton taking his marriage joke a little too far

"They look like they're playing catch on a screened-in porch."
- Tom Hamilton on the Astros' bullpen layout

"They're going to be mincemeat for the Rangers for a few years."
- Tom Hamilton doesn't think the Astros are suited for either league

"His picture in the media guide...he needs to hire a lawyer."
- Tom Hamilton is appalled by Astros' pitcher Wesley Wright's photo

"Vinnie Pestano is going to the dugout saying 'Wow, I got rocked!' and it's 3-up 3-down!"
- Tom Hamilton on the close calls of the 8th

"I'm sorry but Major League Baseball has to do something to protect these pitchers."
- Tom Hamilton doesn't like it when guys don't get charged with errors

"They're doing the wave here there any way that we can get participating in the wave as a federal offense?"
- Tom Hamilton has a lot of things to get off his chest since Omaha

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Justin Masteron pitched today. He pitched today. Justin Masterson pitched the fuck out of the baseball today!!!

Remember how Tomlin pitched yesterday and held the Reds to just one run? Masterson pitched even BETTER than that today. He went a full 9 innings and struck out 9 and gave up just 3 hits (only one of those hits to Votto/Phillips) and ONE RUN. ONE UNEARNED RUN, MOTHERFUCKERS. He was pitching in the high 80s/low 90s all night. His 106th pitch, the last pitch of the game, was a 95 MPH sinker that finished striking out the side!!

And of course, as is Justin's lot, he didn't need to hold the other team to 1 today, because our team decided to give him run support when he least needed it. Irony! (Right?)

We ALMOST had an "Everybody Hits" game but Marson didn't get his. He's back to backup catcher now so he gets a break. What's key is that some guys had a multi-hit game, the bottom of the lineup was looking good, and we're hitting homers again.

Choo went 2 for 4 tonight and of course they were doubles. Since he had a slow start, his slugging % isn't too wild (.430) but he is tied for 1st in the league for doubles! He's getting more awesome in the field, too.

OMG ASDRUBAL!!! #8 tonight, a 3-run bomb. Holy smokes was I not expecting that! I had all but forgotten that Asdrubal was our home run hero last year and had put it on the "fluke" shelf. I have a feeling he's going to be ramping up his homer production now, so keep an eye out. If you're friends with me on Facebook, you'll know every time. Don't forget there's still time to vote for him for the All Star Game!

Kipnis was out today. Did you think we could manage without him? Are you a little surprised we managed 8 runs without our JK Kid? Yeah me too! He was just restin', so we'll see him Friday.

Acta moved Brantley up to the 3rd spot, which is interesting because we need him to help some of those dudes down at the bottom but we also needed someone that could replicate Kipnis. Brantley being Brantley, he got a hit! A 4-game streak now! He ended the night 1 for 5.

Santana went 1 for 5, and had a lucky break on a "throwing error" at 2nd which wasn't actually an error but Bank Error In Your Favor, yaknow? Lopez was batting in the 5-spot for Brantley and playing 2nd for Kipnis. He did ok in his roles and ended up going 1 for 5 as well, with a double.

You know who's got a 6-game hitting streak? With 6 RBI and 4 runs in that time? Casey Kotchman, is who. And he continues to be amazing at the corner as well. Today he went 1 for 4 with 2 runs scored.

I started petitioning Manny Acta for "SHELLEY EVERY DAY" yesterday and today. No luck. Today we had Damon and he went 2 for 2 with 2 RBI and 2 walks and 2 runs. And a homer. Great, I hope Johnny Damon feels good about himself. Somebody proved something. He should go home now.

Lonnie, eh? You like? He was in at 8th tonight and he BROUGHT IT to the bottom of the lineup. Finally! A bases-clearing double with the bases loaded is what he done brought. He ended the night with 3 RBI, giving him 6 RBI in this series.

How awesome is this team going to be with Travis back and Jack every day? We'll be spilling over with hitting!!

I guess tonight's win means that The Battle of Ohio is tied. Gah, now I am looking forward to interleague AGAIN! (I am excited to see the Pirates with my cousin's kids.) I tell you what tho, I am not looking forward to our boys having to play in Houston this weekend. In the middle of the day and shit. It's gonna be awful. I wonder if Hafner were in if they'd even let him play. I bet his contract doesn't allow it.

Speaking of weather - the KSU vs. South Carolina College World Series game is delayed until tomorrow at noon. I wonder if I can find it on the radio anywhere?

So there's 3 more days of interleague for us, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The White Sox are taking care of the Cubs right now, so if that holds we'll be in first still on Friday, but just by 1/2 game. Houston's not that good - not even .500. But they're over .500 at home so we'll see. Our starters are really picking it up right now and our guys are getting in to the multi-hit groove so it's definitely a series we could win. Sweep? Sounds like fun!

Next game is 8:05 on Friday, Ubaldo versus a guy who's got almost the exact same stats (RHP, 6-5, 5ish ERA). Gotta check out those 'Stros before they join our league. See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"He may be sprinting to the mound after the third out, ready to work."
- Tim Belcher after the Tribe was up 5-0

"You can't hit that. Well, of course you can't hit that. I mean Willie Harris."
- Tim Belcher doesn't think Rosie can hit a breaking ball

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Hold on, gotta peel myself off the ceiling.

"He come with a fastball and I hit the ball hard." Fuck yeah you did, Asdrubal!

[Tape rewinding]

Man, what a SNOOZER today! At least compared to yesterday. Tim Belcher (filling in on the radio) was at least impressed. The most exciting parts of the game pretty much happened in the field. Our defense was pretty rock solid tonight.

Helping out the defense tonight was the rock-solid Tomlin. I shook his hand yesterday, you know. The one he uses to throw them strikes. He had THE POWER today! He went 6 2/3 only giving up 1 run. That's 1 run to this Reds team that has scored 33 runs off our pitchers in the last 4 games against Cleveland. NOT BAD, JOSH TOMLIN! And he only had to strike out 2! He also only walked 2. He held Votto and Phillips to 1 hit each. He tamed the beast!!

He also left the bases loaded in the 7th, but Esmil Rogers came in and threw 98 MPH balls at Mesoraco until he was out.

We were treated to Pestano and Perez for the 8th and 9th, which means the Reds didn't score any. But neither did the Indians so we had to go to 10.

Smith got some guys on base, and Hagadone - who is not awesome anymore right now - threw one in the dirt, and one of Smith's guys scored. They left it at 2-1 Reds.

Check out what I saw while I was on the schedule page, counting Reds' runs just now:
I think Aroldis Chapman's mom works in the scoring department
Anyway that's not how it ended. As you may have noted, we actually won 3-2 in the 10th. You know who got the win? Hagadone. LULZ.

Choo went 3 for 4 tonight! None of those hits were leadoff homers but you know he got a double, yes he did! And a walk and a run, naturally. He's got 6 hits in his last 3 games! He's also doing the good defense thing.

Asdrubal overcame his bad defensive Sunday and his bad offensive Monday and WON THE FUCKING GAME TODAY!!! OMG!!! Here I'll let Matt Underwood tell you. The guy he hit it off had a 1.06 ERA and he'd only given up 1 other homer this year. To Lopez last week! HAHA! Today a 2-run walkoff homer for Asdrubal! WAHOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Oh man, ok, there were other guys playing the game today. Ahem. Yeah so Kipnis was shut down again (why does he tease us so?) but he's really turning in to a great second-baseman! Here's an interview with him on the MLB Network. He's got a cool shirt on it says "I play for the American League. We will win." I think he sounds dorkier than a Jason Kipnis should sound. Cool dork!

Santana didn't multi-hit today. He didn't even walk. BUT once again he was in the middle of thing happening, and he's the one who scored the run that tied the game. He was on base with a double! Getting more reliable for sure, but we still really need multi-hit games from him. We know you can do it!

Brantley is on to a 3-game hitting streak now. Are you following? He went 1 for 4 today. He also did this amazing shit in the outfield. Grady who?!?! I am not going to point out the huge difference between yesterday's left fielder and this amazing player.

Kotchman didn't get a homer today. Bummer, right? But he went 2 for 3! And of course he was smokin' at first base. I think every game now he's saving a run for us. And tonight he was the one hitting the run in!

Supermanahan went 1 for 4 tonight, and like everyone else he was dynamite on the field. Ok he had an error. But he also had a double play and a couple put outs!

Really the entire team was fantastic today. I had highlights for almost everyone! Shelley Duncan started in left because the old man is injured. Neither Dunc nor Cunningham did anything at the plate today but they kept left field from being taken over by flies and they didn't embarrass the team one bit. So I say that's much improved over the last two games!

Not sure how the Reds got away without hearing from Lonnie at DH but they did. Don't worry, he's got their number for next time.

Man I can't believe there was a walkoff win tonight. And it was my guy Asdrubal. And it was against Chapman, the closer a 10-year-old had just warned me about. Perfect ending to a fairly crummy day!

Sorry I didn't get any Radio Chatter. Tim Belcher was not as "on" tonight as he was last night. I'm guessing he was too busy admiring the pitching today (as opposed to last night where he was basically cringing the whole time.) He did drop a nugget that his nickname for Cousin Michael is "Favorite Player." He wasn't being cheeky, he actually calls Brantley that, whether or not he IS his favorite player.

Speaking of radio, all the fans at the Tom Hamilton Has The Best Home Run Call In All of Baseball agree that Jim Rosenhaus's call of the walkoff should be posted. I'd say it was Rosie's best yet. Of course it won't make it on the audio promos like Hammy's call of Santana's walkoff grand slam last year...but it was good. I hope it gets posted!

EDIT: Here you go!

One more against these Reds tomorrow at 7:05 and we're done with them until next year. Maybe by then Votto will be hurt and Phillips will be bad. Nuyk nyuk.

By the way, we're killing the Battle of Ohio. Way on top now!

See you there!

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Chiz Kid!

Oh man, oh man, oh man!! I was at the game tonight y'all! I saw all of those 19 runs! I cheered for all of those 13 hits! How lucky am I?!

I was supposed to be at batting practice today and got there in time but it was cancelled due to rain. Bullocks. The good news is that we get to come to a different game and will get free tix. We had nowhere to go but The Winking Lizard, where I drowned my sorrows in 1lb of ground beef. And a salad.

Back at the ballpark by 6 PM where we got to participate in "Photo Day." They have 2 players standing in for photographs with 400 of the first-come-first-serve fans. Our choices today were Tomlin and Cunningham. No offense to Aaron Cunningham but the obvious choice was Tomlin. He is not a tall man. That is to say, he is regular-sized but I guess maybe short for a pitcher. Maybe like 5'10" (stats say 6'1". No.) He was very very cordial. He shook my hand and I introduced myself. I think my friends did too. Then we moved along and paid $20 for a copy of the photo. I thought maybe it'd be free. We were told while in line that it was $5, actually. The young lady who told us this did say she was wrong, as she took my $20. We were slightly perturbed but since there were 4 of us, $5 each wasn't too bad. We're going to do it again.

I had brought along some baseball cards and pens for autographs, and went down to left field to try to get some, but nothing doing. It didn't help that the tarp was on the field until 15 mins before the game. I'll try next time.

By 7:05 the sun was out and the air was dry(er than it had been previously).  Being that we had some law firm's swanky seats, you betcha someone had dried them off for us. I got myself a Diet Doctor Pepper in a souvenir cup. They're doing a new thing now - $6 for one, $8 for one plus one refill, $10 for one plus two refills. That's a savings of $4 on one refill or $8 on two. Not bad! No way I could (should) finish two huge pops on a Monday night but the cups are good all season. So I'll be bringing my cup back for sure!

Derek Lowe was the starter. If you aren't familiar with his shit with Reds' manager Dusty Baker, here's some info. As far as I know there was no problem tonight. I do know nobody got hit by any pitches today even though the same two guys were pitching. They gave up 19 hits between them in just 5 innings so really they probably didn't want to put any guys on base on purpose. Anyway, Lowe wasn't at his best today. He gave up 7 earned runs in 5 innings. But since it was tied up when he left, it didn't seem that bad, yaknow?

We got treated to Smith in the 6th and 7th, who held them to just 1 run. He got 2 outs in the 7th, thanks to Kotchman's unassisted double play. Then he gave up a homer (Progressive Field is just a home run paradise lately) and Manny took him out after 1 2/3 innings for Pestano to come take care of the rest. Vinnie got out of it and then had a 1-2-3 8th, because he is in fact The Man.

VinneP52 - look who just sprinted in!

I feel so lucky cuz I got to see Pestano and Perez tonight. It's a treat to watch them pitch because of the huge energy they bring but also because when they come in you know it's over. Perez had a 2-run lead and you know he was going to give one up and he did. He started off strong but of course Brandon Phillips had to have the last word and he got on, then scored on a single from Bruce. But Perez took care of the next guy who struck out looking. Ballgame!
Crank it, Jerry!
So like I said we had 13 hits tonight and FINALLY we had a bunch of guys with a multi-hit game. Choo knocked the second pitch of the game from Latos out of the park, matching up Votto's homer in the first. He also got an RBI double, going 2 for 5 on the night.
Touch-em-all time for Choo!
Tonight was Asdrubal bobblehead night - they did include the compression sleeve but they left out the huge forearm tattoo - and I wore my custom-made Asdrubal t-shirt (they didn't make Asdrubal t-shirts in 2008!) but nothing brought him luck. He went 0 for 3 with a walk and a run. Oh well - we did really need that run today.
In the hole? Anything? No?
Kipnis was silenced today, which of course is weird. You don't expect the JK Kid to go hitless in a game with 10 runs and 13 hits for the good guys but there it is. He did turn 2 double plays, though!

Lopez was the DH again tonight. Better than nothing, I say. He was wearing a little thin until he got a hit in the 7th. Unfortunately he didn't get any runs or RBI.

Santana was looking more like himself today. He got a key 2 hits. Multi-hit Santana = win!! Those 2 hits turned in to 2 runs. You see how important it is to get on base, 'Los? I think he gets it.

Cousin Michael's back on to a 2-game hitting streak. He went 2 for 3 tonight, both hits being doubles. He had 1 RBI and scored 2 runs. Plus he looked good in the field...well, anyone looks good next to Damon...
Stretch it out Michael and Chiz. You've got a lot of left field to cover.

Johnny Damon...oh my God you guys, I almost cried. Seriously. He is so bad in the field. Just comically bad today. I felt bad for snubbing Cunningham in the Photo Day line because by the 3rd inning I was ready to vote for him for Mayor Of Left Field. Damon did get a hit, a RBI and a run but I am pretty sure he had a hand in about 7 Reds runs scoring. Please, can we be done with this Damon shit now?? Seeing him come to the plate is like seeing the goddamn pitcher come up. There's no room for that in Cleveland.

The other part of the bottom of the order was rockin' tonight, thank Og. Casey Kotchman not only had the aforementioned unassisted double play (easy peasy for the Kotch) but he also banged a 2-run homer in the 4th! I totally called it. It was 5-4 and there was 1 on for us and I was like "You know, he can hit homers. He had 14 in 2011. He needs 7 by the break, just 2 more." BANG! YES I DID!!! You're welcome!! He also got another RBI on a well-placed groundout. Because that's the kind of standup guy Casey Kotchman is!

The big news for the night was Lonnie Chisenhall who went 3 for 4 and was about 2 feet away from going for the cycle. He got the homer and the triple and a single, and in the 8th tried to get that double but didn't. Of course we gave him a standing ovation anyway! He ended up going 3 for 4 with 3 RBI and 2 runs. AWESOME!! This is the guy we went nuts for at his debut. Is he back?? Let's hope!
The beginning of Lonnie's big night!

There were just under 20,000 fans tonight, which I think was pretty good for a night that started with rain. Now, it seemed that about 10,000 of those fans were Cincy fans (indeed half of the fans by me were) but whatever. Money in "our" pockets either way. The guys next to us were trying to be rowdy but were ultimately nice. It didn't hurt that we won!

Some dickhead got thrown out for throwing something on the field in the 6th. I don't know what it was, but it came from waaaay up in the top of the upper deck. A cop went up there and people were quick to point the finger at whoever it was. Ha!

At one point a fan got smoked by a foul ball, and it turned out to be scary. It's scary when they call an usher down. Even scarier when an usher starts waving a yellow card and all the players go wide-eyed. Yikes...I just listened to it on the radio archive and they went off the air for a second while they tended to the fan - that was creepy! But not long after the second cop arrived but even before the EMTs arrived, fans around the injured fan started clapping to let us know she was all right. Whew.

Someone in front of us got hit by a ball when she reached out to catch it. It was an older lady. An older guy down her row slinked over to ask if she was all right, not before picking up the damn ball and quickly giving it to his wife to stow safely in her purse. Jesus, people! That was seriously uncool. The rowdy from Cincy (Kentucky) that was sitting next to us (his name was Lonnie, by the way) bought the lady a margarita. She never did get a ball.

Lots of crazy stuff in the game tonight for sure. All of it exciting and doubly so since we won!

Oh yeah and KSU won tonight too! They eliminated #1 Florida!!!! They're in the top 6 now and they'll be taking on South Carolina Wednesday at 8 PM. People at Progressive Field were pretty excited about this too!

I managed to get some stuff from the radio tonight, just for yous. Tim Belcher was in the booth and he had a lot to say about this game, being that both starting pitchers got smacked around. I didn't listen to 100% of the game but I got some good stuff. I've got to sleep!

Tomorrow is more Reds, Tomlin versus Leake. Pretty even...will our bats show up again?? That'd be fun. See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"Serves him right that he gave up the game-tying run to Choo, because he started the game with an 80-mile-an-hour curveball."
- Tim Belcher

"He looks like someone stole his dinner or something. He is mad!"
- Jim Rosenhaus on Mat Latos's Media Guide photo

"Progressive Field doing its best Great American Ballpark impression."
- Jim Rosenhaus on the number of homers

"...they craft the memos about proper press box decorum. But Kent State got a huge strikeout with the bases loaded and only one out, and that's an addendum to cheering in the press box where you get a waiver."
- Jim Rosenhaus on upper management cheering in the press box

"Does this look like a tennis match or what?"
- Tim Belcher on the scoring

"Are you sure? It seems like the 15th!"
- Tim Belcher in the 5th

"Count me as one who doesn't like a good-old-fashioned-slugfest."
- Tim Belcher

"That's why you don't make plans for after the game. You never know what kind of game it's going to be."
- Jim Rosenhaus

"A wild one here at Progressive Field."
- Jim Rosenhaus in the 8th. My friend predicted this would be used to describe tonight's game. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

We Won Over Pittsburgh

I went to the game today with my cousin from the Pittsburgh area and his family. He's got 3 kids, a girl and 2 boys. The oldest boy is 10 and he's a pretty good Pirates fan and "good at baseball" in general. I just love going to games with other fans - and baseball fans are so rare around here it's even a fun time when the other fan roots for the other team!

There were a lot of Pirates fans there, especially in our section behind the visitor's dugout. I'm guessing a lot of Pennsylvanians hooked up with StubHub and got the best seats they could, considering they were coming all this way. We got our seats courtesy of a local food vendor that had passed them along to our oldest cousin who works in the Cleveland restaurant industry. We got 4 seats from them and bought 2 more in the next row from StubHub. The seats we had were 7-10 and the ones in front of us 5-6. When we got there I asked the folks in 7-10 in front of us if they wouldn't mind moving down in to 5-6 so my family could have 9-10. They generously obliged us. Score!

At first my cousin's kid thought he might get some flak for wearing Pirate gear in Cleveland. I said no, people here generally do not care about Pirate baseball or NL baseball for that matter. He was a little perplexed as to what he might do with his giveaway Santana jersey but "lucky" for us we didn't arrive in time to have to deal with it.

Once he settled in and realized that his family wasn't alone in their Pirate love, he tried a little trash talk. But mom shut him down. We had to explain that it's totally ok to cheer for your team in the opponent's park but it's kind of rude to bash the opponent in their park. This is baseball - let's all just get along!

The Pirates noticed the family sitting there, all decked out in their black and gold, as they came in from warm-up. One of the guys took off his "Prostate cancer awareness" blue wrist band (for Father's Day) and threw it to my buddy. He said "I'll never take this off, ever!" I saw him lift it up and scratch his wrist at one point...I wonder if he'll tell his mom if weird fungus starts growing underneath?

Also, the Pirates noticed my cousin's wife, who is a very good looking mother of three. Better than most of us know women from Pittsburgh to look. We are pretty sure she could have gotten some phone numbers and room keys along with the wrist band.

Jeanmar Gomez wasn't the most impressive today. He actually was really tight for the first 3 innings, not giving any runs up. Then in the 4th he gave up a 3-run homer to Alvarez (who had 2 the night before). I missed the kids' reaction because I was off getting my lunch. But the guy in front of me in the line said "Shit!" a lot. Those 3 runs were un-earned, however, because there was an error which should have been the 3rd out. In the 5th inning, Jeanmar gave up a homer, a walk, a double and an intentional walk. Then more shenanigans, and Gomez was replaced with Rogers.

Backwards from Gomez, Rogers started off bad then tightened up. He gave up a 3-run homer - 1 of those runs belonging to Gomez, the other un-earned and the other belonging to Rogers himself. After that, he only gave up one more hit and hit a guy in the foot. He ended up going 2 2/3 and throwing some smoke, which is what they want him for.

Jeremy Accardo took care of the 8th and 9th and struck out 3, not giving up any runs. But by then...well, the Tribe's not scoring 9 runs any time soon it seems.

But the kids were super impressed. They loved seeing the slumping Alvarez hit two homers. They loved seeing their Pirates - who I guess are pretty much on par with the Tribe this year - score 9. The kids really, really loved Progressive Field. I think they also really, really liked the idea of the DH.

When it came to our team...I tried to get the kid to try a little "Choo!" himself but he just wouldn't do it. His younger brother came up with the idea to yell for their reliever, "Huuuuuuuuughes." Not bad! They were not really big Choo fans, especially after he got a 2-run double in the 4th, putting the Tribe back on top 4-3.

I wore my "We Are All Kipneses" t-shirt for the first time, and the family was pretty impressed by the man. My shirtness didn't disappoint and he ended up going 3 for 5 with a homer in the 1st and a stolen base in the 3rd. He also looked sweet in the field. My new buddy said - and I am not making this up - that maybe we'll see him in the All Star Game. YES, MAYBE!!

I told them that Asdrubal was my favorite player, not actually Kipnis (tomorrow I wear Asdrubal's shirt. It's only right on Asdrubal Bobblehead Day). They weren't as impressed by Asdrubal, who made 3 errors today which resulted in 4 un-earned runs. WTF? He did, however, go 2 for 5 at the plate and now he's hitting .303.

Little guy was also impressed by Brantley. I guess he hadn't seen Saturday's game when the streak ended, but he told me that Friday he was excited and "thought he could have a go at DiMaggio's record." He also thinks it's amazing that we have an ex-player named Lemon. Brantley started back at 1 today, by the way. Let's see how far he goes!

Supermanahan was back getting it done today, his second game back after coming off the DL. He looked nice in the field (well, of course!) and went 1 for 4 at the plate. They liked his nickname, especially because their closer is Hanrahan. But I guess they call that guy Hammerhan. Good, no confusion!

I tried to trash talk Damon in a sort of dignified way. In a way that would not upset children. I pointed out that he is as old as their DAD! (my cousin) Then Damon went ahead and went 2 for 4 with a stolen base! He also hit a foul ball that grazed the top of my cousin's head and smacked the seat where a fellow child Pirate fan had been sitting before he went for snacks. Some guy a couple row up got it. When the toddler who'd been sitting nearby returned to his seat (Cleveland toddler, not the Pirate snacker), the guy who got the ball gave it to the toddler. This greatly impressed my kid and he told the other Pirate fans as soon as they got back.

Anyway Damon ended up scoring two. Meh.

We were sitting right next to 1st base, and I guess the kid plays 1st base because his mom told him to watch how Kotchman does it. I said "that guy is one of the best first basemen in the league so if you're going to watch a first baseman you're lucky!" Kotch also went 1 for 4 with an RBI.

Lou Marson went 1 for 2 with 2 walks. The kids sort of took to him, maybe because they spent so much time building up ire for their non-existent Santana jerseys. Santana didn't even play, by the way. I think they dug that the 9th batter could hit and wasn't just the pitcher or a pinch hitter. Hear that, National League?

Between each inning, my cousin's boys and the two Pittsburgh boys sitting behind us went up to the dugout to beg for balls. One of the boys finally got one - a Cleveland kid from the first row had gotten TWO thrown to him from the Pirates (??) and the Pittsburgh dad asked the Cleveland dad if his kid could have the second one. Once again, the Pittsburgh fan was obliged by the Cleveland fan.

My cousin's younger son was sort of sad because his brother got the wrist band and those other kids got a ball. The other Pittsburgh kids told him he'd get the next one, and sure enough they were able to snag another ball and gave it to my cousin's kid.

But now there was one Pittsburgh kid left out! So my cousin's oldest kid went up to the dugout after the game and got them to throw him a ball. He was absolutely stoked to run over to the other, younger Pittsburgh fan and give him the last ball. Love all around! Turns out Pittsburgh fans aren't really that bad. In the summer.

While we were leaving, my cousin's older kid told me "I'll remember this my whole life!" and "This was the best game I've ever been to!" Even my cousin's pre-teen, non-baseball-fan daughter told me she liked our stadium a lot, more than Pittsburgh. The littlest guy was just all smiles. They said I totally need to come see a game with them in Pittsburgh next year. Great - now I don't want interleague to end!

So despite our loss, there was a lot of winning going on today in Cleveland. You really can't go wrong with kids at a baseball game. The kids definitely were won over by Cleveland and how nice everyone is, how nice our stadium is and for the most part how good our baseball team is.

Oh yeah - the kid was also impressed that I went to 11 games last year, and it was my third (!!) game this year. He suggested I might be their MVP fan. I said no that's probably [Patron Saint of this blog] John Adams (who impressed the kids with his drum, of course!) I also told them about the guy who's bringing his baby daughter to every game this year.  He said I was still probably a runner-up. Yeah, buddy!

No Radio Chatter today, sorry. I need to go shower up (lordy was it STICKY out today!) and get rested for tomorrow's game, where I'll be watching batting practice from on the field, having my photo taken with a player, and viewing the game from behind the plate. With my Asdrubal bobblehead, of course.

I'll see you there!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Ten Good Things About Today's Game

Lots of sad stuff happened in today's game. Brantley's streak ended, Hagadone melted down, we lost, Johnny Damon played, Tom Hamilton wasn't there.

But we're going to have to forage ahead and think about what good happened today. Because we seriously need a pick-me-up for Cousin Michael.

1. OMG ASDRUBAL!!! He got his 6th home run today, right out of the gate in the first inning!!! It was super awesome because it was at home, and he hasn't had one since May 19, almost a month. THEN he ended up going 2 for 3 with a walk and now his average is over .300 again at .301. He's totally ready for Asdrubal Bobblehead day on Monday (the bobblehead made a video for you) and he's also ready for the All Star Game. Don't forget!

2. Kipnis went 2 for 4 and is batting .278. He also stole a base! He's tied for 5th in the league in stolen bases. Did you get your We Are All Kipnises t-shirt? I got mine and it's all washed and ready to go. I think I'll wear it Sunday and not Monday - Monday is Asdrubal day. But you can still vote for Kipnis too!

3. Casey Kotchman! He got his 5th home run today, baby! Albert Pujols has finally pulled away from him average-wise (Pujols .260, Kotchman .220) but the big man's not too far ahead homer-wise with 9. Casey's career high was 14 in 2008, and he's not really on pace for that. But he's closer to hitting 10 which is what he did in 2011 when he hit .306. Wow those stats are all awesome and totally useless. I should be in politics!

4. Lonnie Chisenhall got a hit! A hit isn't going to get you very far in a 9-2 game, but Chisenhall came in with a bang and quickly fizzled. He had a homer in his first game then 3 hits on June 1 and since then, pretty much nothing. However he's had 4 hits over his last 4 starts. So is he becoming more confident and settled? Well, hopefully 1-hit games lead to 2-hit games and we can put him in at DH when Jack is full-time (right now Jack is every-other-day) and stop this nonsense with Damon.

5. We only had 3 strikeouts today, and 5 walks. Having only 3 strikeouts isn't a huge thing but did you know we're 2nd to last in the league in strikeouts? That's one of those categories where being last is good. We're also 2nd from the top in walks (you want to be at the top). We're also near the top in the category called "Number of Pitches." They've tracked the number of pitches thrown against us in total. Apparently we make the other guys work! Carlos Santana didn't get a hit today but he got a walk and NO strikeouts so that's pretty good.

6. Joe Smith still has it. Everyone else aside from Masters of the Universe Pestano and Perez might be wishy-washy right now but he's been pretty lights-out in June. Even today going an unusually-long-for-him 1 2/3 innings he didn't give up a run and only gave up one hit. So even if the previously-amazing Hagadone had his worst game yet today, and Sipp gave up 1 in just 1/3, at least Smith was right there in between, being good.

7. Mike Hargrove was on the radio today. Tom Hamilton is at the College World Series for the weekend, so today they roped Grover in to it. Hargrove has some radio experience, in the form of Drug Mart and Our Lady of the Wayside ads. His voice is the opposite of booming, that's for sure. While a game without Hammy still falls sort of flat, Hargrove would be a welcome addition of sweet southern cool to Hammy's Midwestern School Of Booming Radio Voice and Rosie's No-Nonsense Rustbelt Matte Finish. The nice thing about Hargrove is that he's got the player experience of Hegan plus manager experience plus he's a current insider on the team (he's employed by the Indians in some capacity.) So every so often he gets pretty close to dropping super-secret info. The nice thing about having him and Rosie together is that Rosie is a pretty great news guy and he can get good info out of Grover. Plus, he's got a nickname. Anyway, I hope to hear more of Grover on the radio!

8. While reading the news about today's game, I read this piece on Chris Perez's dad, which is a nice piece for Father's Day. It reminded me that I've always wondered what Perez's dad looks like, being that Perez looks like the whitest white guy ever to come from Florida with the name Perez. I'm thinking it's the beard, tho. Anyway, there's no pic of his dad in the linked piece, but there's one from last year from the All Star Game of Chris and his dad. On an article from Perez's baseball academy's site. Perez's dad has the hair going on, and yeah he looks a lot more Latino than his son. So that answers that. I also kind of love that pic because that's two guys right there from Florida and they're pimping the Tribe and FUCK FLORIDA!! (Although they're from the Tampa area, so aren't Marlins or Heat fans but still...FUCK FLORIDA!!)

9. "Hafner to begin running next week." Wow really? He had knee surgery on May 31 and by the 4th week in June he's running? Cleveland medicine rules! They say he might be back by the end of the month but definitely back by after the break. Sounds totally cool to be. Heal up, Pronk. Then come back and bash!

10. There were 30,000 fans at today's game and near 32,000 at yesterday's game. Now of course a good chunk of them are Pirates fans (heck I am bringing 5 of my own tomorrow) but asses in the seats is asses in the seats. Sometimes cheers are cheers. Tomorrow I think it's gonna be pretty crazy, it being Kids Fun Day and Santana Jersey Day. I got a little base tan from today's Color Run (plus I am still slightly green) but I think our seats are in the shade pretty well anyway. How is that a good thing about today's game? Well I'm excited, that's how. Plus it's a rubber I don't have to bring my stupid foam broom. And I can talk trash with my cousin since it'll be the deciding game as to which city has the better baseball club. Huzzah!

So there you go, 10 decent things. Do you feel better now? We'll include a smiley for Michael Brantley, because he needs it. :)

I didn't get any Radio Chatter today because I was exhausted from the Color Run. I didn't even run, but I walked. And before I walked I stood in the sun for a half hour. So I spent most of the game going in and out of consciousness and missing all of the juicy tidbits. Sorry. We'll see what I feel like doing tomorrow after the game, see if you get some Chatter or not. If I get at least 2 comments asking for it, I'll do it for sure!

Tomorrow's at 1:05, Jeanmar versus a guy who is really a reliever and can't throw too many per game. So that could be good if he's had enough this season and we catch him in a melt down. Look for me, I'll be the one in the red Kipnis t-shirt with the green elbows. See you there!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Brantley, Brantley, Brantley, Brantley!

DUDE!!! Michael Brantley has a 22 game hitting streak!!! How crazy was that 8th inning? Did you think he'd get to bat one last time? I was going to be CRUSHED if he didn't get up again...and it was up to *groan* Carlos Santana to get us to Brantley. And he DID it!! He patienced his way to a walk! What excitement...WHAT EXCITEMENT!!


How about that Justin Masterson? You heard me! How about him?! Two games in a row!! That's just a miracle for our guys right now. A 7-inning shutout for him and he actually got the win this time. He struck out 9 and only gave up 4 hits and 3 walks. Please oh please let this be how he is from now on!!

I was driving around the other day, I think listening to the beginning of a game in my car, and I was thinking "I miss Chris Perez." I don't know what brought that on. I think maybe because when you see Chris Perez you know it's a win, or it's close. Now I don't mind not seeing him because we're up by 7 but uhm...that's not who we are this year. Plus when you see Perez it means you get to see Vinnie too. We haven't seen either of them for 5 days now. What a treat to see them tonight!

Oh, they went 2 innings with 1 hit and 1 strikeout between them. No runs, natch. BALLGAME!

Neither Choo nor Cabrera got hits today, but they both got on with walks (Choo 1, Cabrera 2) and both turned them in to 1 run apiece. Asdrubal did a nice piece of running in the 3rd and legged it in from 1st on a shot to left field of all places! That's some heads-up running!

Kipnis didn't do anything tonight, bat-wise, but I am so in love with this play here. All Star Game. Time's running out, yo!

Santana was Classic Santana today, making shit happen. First it was a double in the 3rd that brought home a run. Then he threw a guy out in the 5th. And then the best thing of all (well I guess his original game-winning RBI was the best thing...) was the aforementioned walk to get Brantley his final at-bat. What a shot in the arm he was today!!!

Michael Brantley got his hit and it's so awesome I could just die. Why don't we have clever Brantley t-shirts? There's like 5 clever Cleveland t-shirt outlets around here. We can have OKCLE on short notice, we can have something about Brantley. Get on it!

Johnny Damon played in Cleveland today and he got a hit.

Casey Kotchman, being reliable! After a day of rest, he went 2 for 3. In fact he was the only guy on the team that got multiple hits! What would a game be like with Kotchman, Santana AND Marson be like? Crazy exciting, I bet!

Hey! Lonnie Chisenhall settled in a bit and went 1 for 2. They took him out for Lopez in the 7th, which is reasonable. Didn't work out but I can see it.

Wasn't it nice to NOT see a pitcher batting 9th? Good God, I hate pitchers batting...

Supermanahan! He was back starting at 3rd today! I was trepidations about his return because most guys can't just pop back in and get in to a groove and produce right off the DL. And he didn't. But the great thing is that we didn't need his bat today so he's one day closer to being the old Jack Hannahan and I can hang with that!

Tomorrow's going to be interesting. We have the new-and-improved Ubaldo versus AJ Burnett, who's having a good year but we've had a good history against him. I think if Santana has a good game and Jack gets something to drop we should be good, bat-wise. Ubaldo needs to keep his part of the deal. It's also a 4:05 game, so that's interesting.

Sorry about no Radio Chatter tonight. I missed the first half of the game due to a marching band coming through my neighborhood (seriously). Nothing great really happened in the second half. I feel bad because Hammy's going to be out in Omaha now for the College World Series so we'll be missing his chatter for a few days. But I can't stay up late and re-listen for you cuz I've got to get up early for the Color Run! If you're going, keep an eye out for me - I'll be the fat one in all white!

So don't forget - 4:05. See you there!