Thursday, August 2, 2012

'Twas a Good Game

If you didn't tune in until the 4th inning, you wouldn't even have known that this game started off in a black hole of first-day jitters. Corey Kluber was hmm....he was miserable. And he made us all miserable. He probably made Josh Tomlin laugh, though.

The Royals, who are suddenly good (within the last 3 days) showed Kluber no mercy scoring 6 runs in the 1st. It started with a home run from the first batter then two singles and a stolen base. Then Kluber got 2 outs but could not get out of it without a walk, a single, a triple, a 3-run homer, another stolen base and a passed ball.

But after that - smooth sailing! Kluber actually struck out 2 guys in the first inning and went on to strike out 2 more and not walk any more in the total 4 1/3 innings he pitched. His start is not much different than Fausto's 2011 start - recall?

It took a village to finish the game, though, as we had to fill up 11 innings with arms. Sipp came in to finish the 5th and complete the 6th, striking out 2 and giving up no hits. His ERA is under 5 now!

Smith rocked the 7th with 1 hit and 1 strikeout, then The Original Vinnie was there for both the 8th and the 9th completely shutting the Royals down, because that's the sort of Vinnie he is. Esmil Rogers was tasked with finishing it off but he couldn't hold it long enough. He gave up a couple of hits in the 10th, and then a hit and a wild pitch and a walk in the 11 put a guy on 3rd for Perez, who gave up a hit and the game was over.

Naturally, Perez avoided both the blown save and the loss. I'm sure that's why he agreed to come in. Heyooo!

Anyway it was definitely lost by our pitchers because our batters came alive today. But all-in-all, excluding the first inning, we had a great game as a team!

But, it's a game of 9 innings - or more. We gotta take that first inning.

The top of our lineup was top-notch today EVEN WITHOUT KIPNIS. And when I say "even without Kipnis" I mean EVEN WITH LILLIBRIDGE! Seriously, 1 through 4 each went 2 for 5. Number 5 got a hit and 6 got 2. Between them they got 6 RBI to tie the game! And - get this! - they only had 4 LOB! WAHOO!

Choo started it off with a single out of the gate. Then he stole second after almost getting picked off first. So then he tried to grab third too and DENIED. You can only imagine the eye rolling by Tom Hamilton as Asdrubal got a single on the next pitch. Choo went on to get another single in the 3rd and come around to score.

Brent Lillibridge was in the 2-hole and you know what? He hasn't been too bad since he got here. He didn't do squat in his first 2 at-bats with us but in the last 3 games he's gone 4 for 12. That's .300. Way better than Johnny Damon was doing after his 5th game with us that's for sure. If Lillibridge can overcome his sub-.200 batting average by keeping up this page, it might be the pickup of the year! Today he went 2 for 5 and came in to score 2 runs. He did strike out twice but so did Choo...

Asdrubal has it turned back on. Six hits in his last 4 games, 2 of them coming tonight. He didn't get any RBI but he did score a run.

Carlos Santana is the name to remember for this week though - 10 hits in his last 10 games, and 10 RBI, 4 homers and 4 walks. Tonight he went 2 for 5 with 4 RBI including a 2-run homer. He also had the most amazing pre-game interview with Jim Rosenhaus. Santana had no idea what Rosie was asking and also had no idea how to express himself in English. But you should know that he is very happy to play and he is very excited to be at this position [catcher]. Whatever - you don't gotta speak the good English to hit like that!

Although to be honest his homer last night and the one tonight were less than spectacular. Both times the poor guy had to stop at second and wait for someone to tell him he could go home, he got a homer. That really will take the wind out of a guy's sails! He's sneaking up on the team home run ladder, though - tied for 3rd with Kipnis at 11. One more makes it a 3-way tie for first. Race, boys - race!

Cousin Michael was representin', cuz you can't really have a well-hit game without him. He went 1 for 4 with a double (him, Choo and KC's Alex Gordon lead the league), an RBI and a run. He's up to .288...think he'll crack .300? A few more points and he'll be the highest on the team. Of course, that is unless all the guys keep hitting like they were hitting tonight. Race some more!

Lopez was getting in on the act as well, going 2 for 4 with a walk. Unfortunately there was no one behind him to hit him in, and no one ahead of him that wasn't already hit in. But he did what he could!

Today was the debut of The Other Vinnie, Vinnie Rottino. He's up from the minors, via the Mets' minors, to fill in for Hafner who's on baby leave. Rottino actually did a thing today! He got an RBI on a sac fly! I thought maybe his average would be .000 but it's .162 - he comes to us with 33 at-bats with the Mets. So no fresh slate for us but at least we've got a guy who's been around a bit.

Speaking of Vinnie, The Original Vinnie had something to say on Twitter tonight:

"Never have I been more proud of my team, could have folded but came back and battled. No one is more aware about the past 6 than us

This isnt a test you can study for or a hobby it is and has been our lives, lives forged with blood, sweat and balls from young ages

Losing sucks and trying harder or wanting it more isnt the answer, sometimes you just cant find it and it takes hell to get it.

Believe it or not our clubhouse is more frustrated than anyone could possibly comprehend without being in it. Gonna quote a favorite of mine

“The night is always darkest just before the dawn.” Take it or leave it, love it or hate it, we battle for you everyday. "
- @VinneP52

And of course a tweet from a loving fan:
"@VinnieP52 you guys are sucking dick get off your twitters and start focusing on winning games man. Tell your owners that they suck too"
- @kidnamed_matty

Vinne's response:
"Even when you come to people in humility they still spit in your face, all it take is one…Peace"
- @VinneP52

Personally, I eat that kind of stuff up - what Vinnie said. As long as guys are playing their hardest, etc etc. I mean - yay! Baseball!  It just blows my mind that people can be all up in the jocks of our super-losing (but loveable) football team and at the same time "demand" something from our baseball team. This is Cleveland, baby - you get nothing!

I'm not sure how I feel about this new one from The Famous Mike Polk Jr. I agree with most of the stuff he says but the whole "we need a winning team in order to come see baseball." Well fuck off with that attitude. You know who packs them in every day? The Royals. The Cubs. The Twins. The Marlins. People need to fucking relax and learn how to enjoy baseball and not be so angry about the record. There is exciting stuff going on with this team almost every day. There are more hours of excitement in a Tribe season than there are minutes existing in a Browns season. No more whining! NO CRYING IN BASEBALL!

Anyway, we've got a good jump on what could be a really great weekend. Our guys love to play and beat these Tigers! They're in it mentally again and they know where to put the bats (HA!) After they roll over Detroit this weekend I hope they come home to a hero's welcome!

Tomorrow is Masterson versus RHP with a high ERA. Masterson may have bombed his last start but he knows how to pitch the Tigers. So be looking for that.

I unfortunately will have to meet you later as I'm going to a show at the HOB but I'll be thinking of you and wishing I were listening along. So albeit late - I will see you there!

Radio Chatter:
"If you don't know the meaning of deja vu, look it up. This is it."
- Tom Hamilton on the bad first inning

"The world lost a pharmacist but gained a major league baseball player."
- Tom Hamilton on Vinnie Rattino

"I'm not trying to be Polyanna here, but you really get the feeling that the Indians are going to make a game of it here."
- Tom Hamilton in the 3rd

"Lopez swings and misses as he tries to hit it to the Harry S. Truman Memorial Library."
- Tom Hamilton

"This is like looking at a NASCAR vehicle."
- Tom Hamilton on the wall at Kauffman Stadium

"The good news is Choo does not play badminton. Why that's an Olympic sport, I do not know."
"Has something to do with picnics doesn't it?"
"If you're bored."
- Tom Hamilton and Jim Rosenhaus need to reel it in

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