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

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