Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Runnin' on Empty

Our old nemesis LOB was hovering over us today like noontime shadows in the outfield. We had 10 hits and 4 walks with 10 left on base.

And, to add insult to injury, our friend and reliable pitcher Jeanmar Gomez had a bad outing giving up 5 earned runs in just 5 innings.

Scott Barnes was called up from Columbus and wowed everyone by striking out his first guy. Then he walked two! Nooooo! He settled down and took care of the rest of the 6th inning, tho.

Sipp came in as we held our breath but he didn't do any damage. Just took over the 7th inning, gave up 1 hit and no runs. He even had a pickoff! Whew. But you know who DID give up runs? Vinnie Pestano! How weird! He walked 2 and gave up a hit and a run! For some reason the guy can't be lights out unless he's getting a hold. This wasn't a hold situation, since we were losing.

Choo, Kipnis and Cabrera (back at short!) all went 1 for 4 today with 1 walk each. Choo had himself an RBI. Kipnis stole his 10th and 11th bases right there in the 2nd inning! Really, who knew that kid was a runner? So frustrating that he couldn't come around to score...

Lopez is wearing out his welcome a little bit here. He went 1 for 5, and didn't fare so well with the bases loaded and 1 out on the 9th. He could have been today's hero but he was most decidedly not anyone's hero.

Speaking of heroes, Shelley Duncan tried to be one today and was thrown out. He got a little fire going and took an extra base on a fielding error in the 5th, moved to 3rd on a single by Brantley and then when they caught Brantley in a run-down at first he tried to sneak home and was caught. That right there is frustrating.

Duncan did, however, end up going 1 for 3 today and scoring a run.

Michael Brantley is all alone being on fire in the bottom half of this lineup. He extended his streak to NINE today! Whoop whoop, nine smiley! :-9 He didn't get just ONE hit today but TWO, and scored a run!

Oddly enough, Damon got 2 hits and a walk today against his "old" team. I think he's played for every team in the AL.

The man who is making a difference is Casey Kotchman who went 1 for 4 today with an RBI! The only guy who didn't get a hit was Luke Carlin. But like last night, he managed to get on base anyway, this time as part of a fielder's choice. Then he came around to score!

Today had all the potential for and all the promise of a win, but nothing but the heartache of a loss. And LOBs.

Hopefully a night and a day off will give them a little respite and they can stop being whiny bitches and start winning games again! Chicago is going to run away with all the goodies if we don't do a little bit of winning in the very near future.

I think they all should have about 6 hours of mandatory hitting-against-lefties batting practice between now and Friday night, don't you think? They can't run their way to wins...looks like right now they're running themselves OUT of wins.

Day off tomorrow then we're back at home with Ye Olde Derek Lowe facing Ye Olde Carl Pavano. I don't even know what to say about that game, it could be awesome it could be a mess. BUT YOU GOTTA WATCH TO FIND OUT! I might go to that game. Watch me!

All right, see you Friday!

Radio Chatter:
"...like a wide receiver making a post pattern, made the over-the-shoulder catch to retire Cabrera."
- Tom Hamilton on Eric Hosmer catching a pop foul

"That's one of those plays when you're a manager you're going 'No no no!'"
- Tom Hamilton on Shelley Duncan's taking of 3rd base

"I wonder if these Kansas City catchers have a bonus clause? Between Quinteras and Pena they spend as much time on the mound as behind the plate."
- Tom Hamilton

"A mistake here and the Royals are going to have a happy plane ride home."
- Tom Hamilton on Barnes pitching to Francoeur with the bases loaded

"You could land the Royals' team plane in right center."
- Tom Hamilton on the shift for Kotchman

"Let's see if the Indians have another rabbit they can pull out of their hat. In this series they haven't been able to find the hat, much less the rabbit."
- Tom Hamilton

"Can you imagine, Milton Bradley? He would have taken the 20 pizzas and smashed the fans in the face with them."
- Tom Hamilton on Jeff Francoeur buying pizzas for bleacher fans

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Most Boring Game

That's not from me, that's from Manny Acta. He said in the post-game that tonight's game was "The most boring game I've ever been a part of." Welcome to the new Tell-It-Like-It-Is Tribe!

But to be fair, nothing really did happen after the top of the 2nd. The game was over by then. One more run was scored (by Kansas City), they got 4 more hits, we got 3 more hits.

Justin Masterson did blow it big time, but it turns out it only took 3 runs to beat us. Kansas City just happened to get 8. Masterson was totally fine after the 2nd inning. He ended up striking out 8 which is of course good to see. Just that 9 hits and 7 earned runs weaved in to all of that. Against a guy pitching his first game who only gave up 2 runs and 4 hits. Yeowch...

Jeremy Accardo came in and wasn't bad at all. Woulda been a good night to use up Sipp! But Accardo struck out 3 in his 2 innings, then Hagadone closed it out in the 9th with no runs and no hits. Solid bullpen at least!

There wasn't much on the hitting front today. Choo and Kipnis were both shut down, but both walked and scored. Choo stole a base too. They both have a .336 average versus righties but a significantly lower average versus lefties. Kipnis is 70 points lower (.236) and Choo...omg, his average versus lefties is .113. Holy Toledo!! I think as a team we're hitting like 50 points lower versus lefties too. Gross...

Asdrubal wrote himself into the lineup this afternoon, declaring himself good enough to DH after running the bases a bit. He told the media he wanted to be in yesterday but took a day off, and he'll definitely be playing shortstop tomorrow. OK! Anyway today he didn't put up DH numbers but he did get one of our 5 hits so there ya go. His average is under .300 now (.299) but...there's always tomorrow.

Lopez, Brantley and Cunningham all went 1 for 4 today as well. Lopez was playing first (giving him those at-bats!) Brantley extended his hitting streak to 8, stole a base and also has a 4-game RBI streak! Cunningham is batting 59 points higher than Damon. Huh.

Our new heroes Lonnie Chisenhall and Luke Carlin were shut down today. Interesting to see Luke, since Marson's a rightie. But if Carlin is going to work, let him work.

Carlin DID get on base 3 times tonight, even though he went 0 for 4. He reached 3 times on errors by the 3rd, 2nd and 1st basemen. According to the stats maven in the radio booth, that was the first time that's happened to the Indians since 1973 (reaching 3 times on an error). I am surprised that's happened before really. Can you believe none of those resulted in a run or a RBI?

Juan Diaz was still in at short and he went 1 for 4 today. So, just as good as Asdrubal. He's also a switch hitter. But in reality HE IS NO ASDRUBAL. Can't wait til we have our stellar infield back - Supermanahan, Asdrubal and Kotchman. And Kipnis in there not sucking.

Tomorrow we're facing another lefty, Bruce Chen. Let's hope everyone is relaxed about facing a lefty in the light of day.

It's the last time we see the Royals until the last day of July, so perhaps we need some sparks to fly. There's some shit between the two teams left over from last year, then earlier this year, and now Perez and Jarrod Dyson are stirring up more shit. Delicious! How can people think baseball is boring??

Oh, well Manny Acta thought THIS game was boring. That's just because there was no Pure Rage at the end.

Nooner tomorrow then we get Thursday off for good behavior. I want to see Monday's team show up to do some damage tomorrow afternoon! RAAEEEEEGGGG!!!!!!

See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"Asdrubal Cabrera talked himself into the lineup tonight."
- Tom Hamilton

"You'd think if the kid can't settle in now with a 7-2 lead then the Royals have another problem on their hands."
- Tom Hamilton on Will Smith

"The first 2 innings of this ballgame...are not exactly riveting."
- Tom Hamilton

"It's not dark yet but we must have a full moon. [...] There aren't enough d's in the word 'odd' to describe this one."
- Tom Hamilton

"Alcedes Escobar believes in the 11th Commandment 'Thou shalt not walk.'"
- Tom Hamilton

"What are the odds of that? He could have ended up working with a world-class diver and that wouldn't help you out at all, but he ends up with John Lester."
- Tom Hamilton on Smith's chance meeting of John Lester

"The Indians may be in 2nd place by midnight. Not that that's a big deal on May 29th."
- Tom Hamilton

"We thank Sharon for that, as she fattens Rosie and I for market."
- Tom Hamilton's reaction to Sharon Hargrove's gift of chicken-fried steak

"I bet when he comes to the ballpark he's got to have his credentials to get in. He's only 5'7"..."
"He's grown that beard this year that makes him look a little older."
- Tom Hamilton and Jim Rosenhaus on Royals pitcher Tim Collins

"It happened back when Walt Williams still had a neck."
- Tom Hamilton on the last Indian to reach base on 3 errors, Walt "No-Neck" Williams

Monday, May 28, 2012

B-Squad Beauty

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Too Much Baseball. Too Many Hot Dogs.

Ok so here's the deal. I went to a Memorial Day party and it didn't go too long, so I had time to come home and listen to the game. The game had a lot of baseball going on - just like yesterday's game. Twenty-seven hits, 19 runs. Stolen bases, errors, hit-by-pitch, outfield assists and even deeper in to our b-squad.

But it's late and I just don't feel good and I have to be up and at 'em tomorrow so you're just going to get a short rundown of highlights from me.

The good news is 1) Tom Hamilton is back and 2) We don't see the White Sox again until September. The mixed news is that Kent State won the MAC championship and will be going to the NCAA baseball regionals ...but that means Tom Hamilton will probably miss some more games. But hey, as a KSU alum and a huge fan of Hammy's, I say go Flashes!

On to today's game:

Ubaldo. Ugh. He was acting hurt or sick or something, according to Rosenhaus. Hamilton didn't think it could be the 96 degree weather because "He is from the Dominican."

Asencio and Sipp DOUBLE UGH.

Choo was the only guy who didn't get a hit. Weird.

Brantley, 2 hits :) :) Two more for 2 RBI :) :)

Kipnis still on a tear in Chi Town. He went 6 for 12 on the weekend with 2 HR and 4 RBI. Two of those hits today.

LOPEZ! Back at 3rd. Where is Supermanahan? 1 for 5 with RBI and double, not bad Lopez!

Kotchman 1 for 3, 2 HBP. Rudi Steined his way on base.

Shelley Duncan being weird in the outfield. Damon possibly rubbing off or vice-versa. Duncan making weird plays, Damon got a home run. Halp.

Juan Diaz is fucking your shit up today! He went 2 for 3 and also got HBP and scored 2 runs! Welcome to the bigs! Bring Asdrubal (hamstring) back soon!

Lou Marson, 1 for 1. Officially on a "tear" when it comes to 2012 Lou Marson. Hit in face with ball. Welcome, Luke Carlin! Old man from minors! Went 1 for 2, his average is triple what Lou's is.

I cannot WAIT to play those Royals tomorrow, with Tomlin at home. There'd better be a ton of crazy fans there! We'd better score a ton of runs! Heck if we can score 16 this weekend with, according to Rosie, "67 of the RBIs missing from the lineup" then we can beat the Royals with our hands tied behind our backs. And they are. Choo, Brantley, Kipnis, [Players to be named later]

A 4:05 game for Memorial Day. See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"Lou Marson is looking in to the dugout as if to say 'I don't know, but it doesn't look good from here either.'"
- Tom Hamilton on Jiminez's first inning

"Well if he didn't get hit by the pitch, we have a thespian and a pretty good one."
- Tom Hamilton on Diaz's convincing "hit by pitch"

"That was a fastball at 88 miles per hour. I think it was a fastball, it looked like it."
- Tom Hamilton on Jiminez's fastball

"You got a non-roster catcher, a minor league shortstop and a guy hitting cleanup that you released."
- Tom Hamilton on the state of the Cleveland lineup

"This is a weekend the Indians would like to forget."
- Jim Rosenhaus

"Tell you how tough a day it is here. Our engineer Nick sabotaged our cooler here and I got a can of Diet Pepsi and it exploded."
- Tom Hamilton jokes with Nick, the Chicagoan (Cubs fan)

"It's as if the White Sox know what pitch is coming."
- Tom Hamilton

"Jiminez's earned run average on the road is 9. At home, just over 3. That's Jeckyl-and-Hyde numbers."
- Tom Hamilton

"If you had told Manny Acta before this weekend 'Manny, the Indians are going to score 16 runs this weekend,' Acta would have said 'You know, that gives us a good chance to win this series.'"
- Tom Hamilton

Saturday, May 26, 2012

They Got Lowe

For however much we lost by today and however sad you were that we lost, you gotta admit this was a good game. I mean, there was a whole lot of baseball going on in Chicago today. Twenty-one runs on just 23 hits. Only two walks. Four homers - one guy with two homers. A robbed homer. Hit by pitch, error, steal ... and the Indians only had 1 left on base!

Yeah, there was a lot of baseball going on in Chicago today. And Bob Saget sang the National Anthem. Huh.

Funny how it works out that after Masterson and Jiminez had good outings back-to-back, our ACTUAL reliable guys, Jeanmar and Lowe, had bad outings. Lowe gave up 8 runs in his 2 1/3 innings today. He probably would have gone more if they'd let him but Acta felt that 8 wasn't too high a hurdle for us, even without Cabrera, Hafner and Santana. He was almost right, too - we ended up scoring 7. Unfortunately, they ended up scoring 14. Lowe did end up striking out 3 in the 7 outs he collected, which is 3 more than he struck out when he had his complete game shutout. It was just the inbetween stuff that got him.

Jeremy Accardo went 2 2/3 which I think is pretty long for him. In that time he only allowed 1 hit and HE struck out 3 as well. In the 6 innings he's pitched, he's only allowed 3 hits and 2 runs.

Next was Hagadone and he was back to form. He pitched the 6th and nothing happened but a strikeout. But then Joe Smith, who has always been reliable for us, gave up 4 runs in the 7th and Sipp, who is never reliable for us, gave up 2 more.

Paul Konerko - who is hitting .396 - went 4 for 4 today with 2 RBI. Dayan Viciedo got 5 RBI. But his name is Dayan ha ha!

When people say the White Sox are on a hitting tear, you should believe them!

Speaking of hitting tear, Choo got another one today! He went 1 for 3 and he also got hit by a pitch for the 6th time. (If you're wondering, he's tied for 1st in the AL and 2nd in the MLB.) He's been on base every game since he started hitting leadoff. Oh and he can play right field too.

Brantley! :) :) Double smiley today for the dude they moved up to 2nd. He went 1 for 4 with his 15th double (3rd in the league) and ended up with 3 RBI on the day, which is awesome because we sure could use RBI today! He also pulled a Kenny Lofton, bringing a home run back into the park. You know how I said the other day that the play at the plate is my favorite play? I think I like snatched home runs pretty good too.

Hitting 3rd today because Asdrubal's out, and because he's awesome in Chicago, was Kipnis who was, in fact, awesome. He went 2 for 4 with 4 RBI and two homers! How awesome is that for Kipnis to come home to Chicago and bash away like that?

Jose Lopez (LOPEZ!) was our DH today, because Hannahan is in and Hafner's out so it was a no-brainer because Lopez is hot. But the DH spot proved to be too daunting for him or something because he went 0 for 4. Sadly, Hannahan suffered the same fate.

It's sort of funny to see that our next best hitter after Lopez is apparently Kotchman, who was hitting 5th. He didn't disappoint and at least got a hit. I guess he did disappoint in the runs and RBI columns.

Johnny Damon was at this game.

Juan Diaz is still in at short. He didn't get any hits but he walked once and came around to score. Sweet Lou Marson, who's going to get some more playing time here (Santana is on the mandatory (I think mandatory?) 7-day concussion DL) went out and got his 4th hit of the year! AND he turned it in to a run! If you were wondering, Luke Carlin - who is 31 years old and has played in only 6 MLB games - is up as our backup catcher. I want to see him play just to see what that's all about. Apparently he got 5 hits in 2010 when he played 6 games for us. Too bad he can't play left field...

Tomorrow is a dreaded Sunday game - Ubaldo vs. Gavin Floyd. Ubaldo is coming off a good outing and Floyd coming off an outing in which he gave up 8 runs. We'll still have the b-squad as far as I know. Hafner didn't even make the trip I don't think. Will be interesting to see what our lineup looks like, that's for sure.

At least there will be some baseball!

I'll be missing the game in exchange for a Memorial Day party, but you know I look forward to listening afterwards. Do you think the game will be on at the party? Hahahaha...yeah, what am I thinking?

Anyway, 2:10 tomorrow - see you there!

PS Speaking of the b-team, they were short Hammy today again on the radio. From what I can tell, Scott Bailes will NOT be there tomorrow so I don't know if Hammy will be there or some other guest (Hammy would have to make a 1-day trip to Chicago).

Anyway, I didn't get any Radio Chatter today because there was nothing really to write down. Maybe there was, when I was cleaning my shower (Saturday is cleaning day!) but if there was I didn't hear it. Scott Bailes wasn't too bad to listen to, really - I like player perspective and miss it a lot with Hegan gone. But Rosie and Bailes just aren't as quotable as Hammy.

Friday, May 25, 2012

B-Squad Bomb

I don't know why I was nervous about this game. I was sort of not feeling it, back in the corner of my brain. Then my friend told me he knew we were going to blow it, like at 4:30. I tried to convince him otherwise but my arguments were weak. "Kipnis is great in Chicago!" "Shelley Duncan!" "Rookie pitcher!" I didn't even remember to mention Jeanmar. But no Hafner, no Hannahan, no Brantley.

Really, I think it's those black uniforms.

Jeanmar wasn't too bad. Until he was. He gave up 3 runs pretty quick and held tight until the 6th where he gave up 3 more. That was the bad part. Asencio followed suit with 3 runs of his own and while Accardo didn't give up any runs, he sort of didn't look too good walking 2 and giving up a hit.

Kind of seems like we were hosed after 3 fantastic days of bullpen. That same goodness wasn't going to happen today for a 4th day so we had to settle for the B-Squad of the bullpen. I don't think Jeanmar is a B-Squad pitcher. He's been pretty solid. It just always seems to be his turn on crap days.

Our lineup was light, as I said, missing Hafner (crunched-up leg after hitting a ball off it), Hannahan (ready to play but not really?) and Brantley (I don't know why). In were Damon, Duncan AND Cunningham.

Eventually that list would include Lou Marson (Santana tweaked something while catching) and oddly enough, Juan Diaz who replaced Asdrubal during the 8th when he hurt something. Odd because Diaz was just called up today and McAllister sent down.

So our final lineup was Choo, Kipnis, Diaz, Marson, Lopez, Duncan, Damon, Kotchman and Cunningham. Ha!

Choo was ON again today! He went 2 for 3 with a walk and those 2 hits being doubles. He came around to score twice! That's 15 hits in his last 10 games. Can we say "Genius move, putting Choo at leadoff!" enough?

As I predicted, Kipnis was hot again in Chicago. He went 2 for 3 with a walk, also, after going hitless yesterday.

Asdrubal went 1 for 3 and his average stays over .300 - for now. It's "down" to .301. But he did get one of the RBIs tonight. Santana got another of the RBIs on a fielder's choice.

Shelley Duncan! I also predicted good things from him! Of course, too little too late but he got his 4th homer in the 9th. It was a little highlight I'll take home with me, thanks.

Damon did a thing. He also struck out twice.

Kotchman, surprisingly, did nothing.

That's pretty much it! Also of note is that Tom Hamilton's son is in the NCAA baseball championships with Kent State, so Hammy's been out for 2 games now. The first game was Jim Rosenhaus and Mike Hegan, which was cool. But you could tell Hegan wasn't up for a second game so today was Rosie with ex-pitcher and Fantasy Camp good guy Scott Bailes. He wasn't as awful as I thought he would be but he (and anyone) is miles away from Hammy so it was just surreal. I think this is what most people have to sit through when they listen to baseball on the radio, excepting maybe Dodger fans. Just two dudes who are not Tom Hamilton or Vin Scully. Weird.

Anyway, tomorrow is another day. A 4:05 game and I don't know why. That's 3:05 Chicago time. A bunch of games are at 4:05 actually. It's going to eat up most of your day, just you watch.

I'll be listening, tho. Our hero Derek Lowe versus Jake Peavy. Those guys are set but who knows who will show up to bat for us? We've got to win at least one to keep a solid hold on first place and tomorrow is our best chance.

See you there!

Radio (And TV) Chatter:
"He got to Charlotte and they said 'Keep going, you're pitching in the big leagues, pal.'"
- Jim Rosenhaus on Jose Quintana

"Catchers don't like that. They like goign station to station, not this back and forth."
- Scott Bailes on Pierzynski taking off on every pitch of a full count

"Thank you to Shelley Duncan for providing us with our McDonald's I'm Lovin' It play of the game. We were running out of time."
- Matt Underwood

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Justin Is Dead Long Live The Justin!

Ack, what a GAME!! Am I right, boffins? Seriously after getting to bed late last night due to my $5 Pepsi Max and a whole box of late-inning energy and then balancing a nail-biter with actual work at work, I'm about ready for a nap. You too, I bet.

I'll be the first one to admit that I was not confident in our ability to win today. However I was much more confident seeing what we managed to do against Fister. Our hitting was meager but meaningful and our pitching was top-notch. I went from giving them a 40% shot of winning to a 60% chance after last night.

The key of course was Masterson. He's been up and down this year. One run, 6 runs, 2 runs, 8 runs. What was he going to do today, the most important day? Because today was the day we needed a guy to pitch like Derek Lowe, except it couldn't be Derek Lowe.

He did it. He gave us 7 innings with 5 hits and only 1 run. He walked 5 but he struck out 4. He almost made it look easy, I dare say. He had all his stuff with him today, combining with Verlander to make the game just 2 hours 21 minutes. Masterson also did this weird-ass move which resulted in a missed balk call and both the Detroit manager and a coach getting tossed. Ha ha!

Verlander didn't need help from his bullpen, but we had Vinnie and Perez so why not use them? Joe Smith really really wanted to come in but he tried to come before he was invited and had to scurry back to the pen. Pestano handled his old friend Young, Boesch and Avila then Pure Rage got Jhonny, Berry and Dirks for his 16th save and 3rd in 3 days!

The other key to the game was Choo, who after going hitless last night and ending his streak at  9 came in and smacked a homer off Verlander on the 3rd pitch of the game. That was an apology home run, I think. It was 1 of the 2 runs we needed to complete the sweep and it couldn't have come from a better source! He also walked because apparently he is not intimidated by Verlander.

Big smiles today for Michael Brantley who was also not intimidated by Verlander. He went 2 for 3 and stole second, coming around to score the winning run all the way back in the 4th.

The big RBI hitter was none other than LOPEZ! who was also making amends for last night when he got caught stealing (or sleeping) at a crucial point in the game. Not only did Lopez drop one into right field to score Brantley from second, but he also saved us a run by making a good play at the plate. After last night's game and today's game I have decided that the play at the plate is my favorite play of all time! Well other than a in-the-park home run. Is that a play?

Let us not discount hit-getters Kotchman and Marson. Both went 1 for 3. Marson is now hitting an even .100! He's gotten 3 hits this year and 1/3 of them have been of Justin Verlander. Yes!!
Yes!!
No one else hit today and we only got 1 walk. But we only got 1 less hit than last night against someone who isn't Verlander. Total awesome success - Choo homer, Masterson low-scoring win, beat Verlander, beat Tigers, sweep Tigers, 16th save for Perez.

Can't wait for us to take all this and roll over the White Sox, widening our lead atop the Central. There's still more than 24 hours to go, the game is at 8:10.

This has definitely been 3 days of fantastic baseball, I hope you all got to experience it. I'll see you tomorrow!!

Radio Chatter:
"There doesn't seem to be a question of 'Will he get a third no-hitter?' but 'When will it come?'"
- Tom Hamilton on Justin Verlander

"They're not up there because they're left-handers, they're up there because they're going to mash it."
- Tom Hamilton on Detroit's big hitters

"'It's not how good you hit your good shots, it's how good you hit your bad shots.' If this is a bad outing, that shows just how great Justin Verlander is."
- Tom Hamilton

"Verlander right now has that mindset 'You will not touch the baseball.'"
- Tom Hamilton

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Pronknasty

Man oh man, what a night. It was one of those nights that things kept going from bad to worse. Later getting out of work than I wanted. Later getting on the road than I wanted. Got nervous about standing in line to redeem my stupid "Perfect 10" vouchers at the ticket office so I thought "I'll stop at the Beachwood Place Indians Team Shop to get my tickets." Except that doesn't exist. I didn't realize until I sat in traffic trying to get off on Cedar. Then it took forever to get to my friend's place on Coventry. Then our other friend was 15 minutes late. Then I kept getting stuck in traffic and couldn't park in my good garage and had to go to another garage for more money, further away. Then we got to the park and stood in line for a half hour and missed the first 4 innings. Then the lines for food were unbelievably crazy, so I went hungry until I paid $10 for a stupid bottle of pop and peanuts. Then a bird pooped on my shirt, my hat, my sign. Then the kids next to us were obnoxious and threw a hot dog at someone.

But by the end of the 6th inning I was fine. A beautiful Pronk homer. Then three innings of amazing pitching and fan supporting, then cap it off with another warm welcome for Perez and by the time I got to the car I could care less that I was starving, had to pee and had a half hour wait to get out of that expensive garage.

It was kind of like going to church, you know? That's the point of both - to uplift. I think even if we'd lost I'd have come out the other end OK.

Also, those obnoxious kids next to us didn't fuck with me. I dunno if they respected someone with a sign, or someone with a swell hat, or someone that looks like they could have pounded them into oblivion. But they had a nice time sort of heckling other folks around us and the usher, but not me. Word.

I'll admit I was pretty worried about facing Doug Fister, and wasn't sure what to expect from McAllister. I was blown away by him in his first start but his second and third starts yielded more runs. We all knew that we couldn't be giving up runs against Fister.

But McAllister didn't disappoint! He matched Fister on innings (6), strikeouts (3) and earned runs (2). He gave up more hits (8 to Fister's 5) but didn't walk ANYONE. He was going in there and pitching at everyone, man.

Nick Hagadone came in to finish the 7th for McAllister, and he got the bases loaded with the game tied and Miguel Cabrera up next. Eep! Not what we expect from New Nick but before he could give up a (rare) run, Joe Smith came in and took care of Miggy with a groundout. Crowd = wild.

Next inning was started by Sipp versus Fielder and Fielder got on with an error. Sipp was pulled right away - Acta was in full-on chess mode. In came VinneP52 who gave up two singles to load the bases. Game still tied. Crowd going bananas. Strikes out Peralta. Now coconuts. Infield dribbler, throw home for an out - best defensive play of the year. Pooping pineapples. Strikes out All-Star catcher pinch hitter Alex Avila on a 3-2 fastball. We were full-on piƱa colada by then.

Chris Perez came in for the 9th. Someone had a "HEY CP WE ARE HERE" bedsheet banner in the upper deck. Wild crazy applause for 21 pitches, which fueled Pure Rage to strike out two and cap it off with a pop-out to big Miggy.

Awesome, awesome, awesome!

And that was just the pitching!

Choo ended his streak at 9. Oh well, he'll be back tomorrow. I'm sure no one is more disappointed than Choo himself! No chance to steal or anything.

Finally awake tonight was good ol' Jason Kipnis. The JK Kid leads the team in runs, home runs (tied) and RBI. Where you been, bro? We are back to being Kipnisses! Tonight he went 3 for 4 and scored 2 runs. One of those runs was on Hafner's homer, the other was him basically stealing home on a dribbler to the right of the mound, and getting in safely thanks to a craptacular throw by Prince Fielder. Someone called Fielder "Fatty McButterpants" on Twitter or something. I'm a fatty myself and not a fan of the fat-hate but damn...LULZ!

I dragged my OMG ASDRUBAL!!! sign around all over the place tonight and was rewarded with two chances to use it. One for defense and one for an amazing double in the 9th that got Kipnis to 3rd from where he eventually scored. I also rocked the sign when Asdrubal came down to score next on a sac fly from Santana. And I rocked it so my friends could keep me in their sight on the way out.

It may be time for a new sign, tho - this one is bird pooped. Grr...

Did you know that "Pronknasty" is a word? I was alerted to this by the scoreboard. I guess it shows that I've either been ignoring Twitter or not going to games because I'd not heard it. But the scoreboard applied it to Hafner's RBI dribbler. They did not apply it to his homer in the 6th, however. They called that a Tribe Tater. Seriously...it was brought to you by Mr. Potato Head.

I can run with Pronknasty tho. It's "all over" Twitter if you Google it. You should Google it more, and come here.

Brantley got a nice double, and ODDLY nothing came of it. I say ODDLY because we only had 4 LOB today. I'm going to make the call and say that's the lowest LOB ratio we've had all season. Giving Cousin Michael a smiley for that double, by the way.  :)

Jose Lopez (LOPEZ!) is still tearin' it up, extending his hitting streak to 9. He's batting .283 now. I guess Hannahan was ok to play but not to start. I wonder how long we'll have the Lopez? He proved to be fallible today on the bases - getting caught sleeping at first and making a critical out. We'll blame it on over-excitement, and request that he never do that again.

Shelley Duncan came in for Pronk in the 8th. I guess he sort of hurt his leg on his first at-bat. Shelley got caught stealing and I don't know why. Perhaps he thought that since he was brought in to pinch run that suddenly that meant he was a good runner. Considering they didn't bring Donald in I'm guessing they had other plans for Shelley. Plans that didn't include stealing a base.

I am going to take a second to bitch about the Perfect 10 Voucher Pack. I bought 20 of them for the bleachers, for $198. Swell idea and possibly might maybe save me some money if I get sat in some $12 bleacher seats or go to a game where bleacher seats cost more than $10. I'm not pissed that we got bumped from the bleachers and put in the upper deck, because I like the upper deck and we got very nice seats. The thing that sucks about these vouchers is that they're vouchers. I know - duh. That's what they're called. But the sales people get you so psyched up about them that you forget that in exchange for not paying the $5 "printing fee" for tickets online, you have to stand in line to redeem your vouchers. Yes you can redeem them any time before the game at a Team Shop but who the fuck lives near a Team Shop? There ain't one between here and East 9th.

So if you have these vouchers you need to get there early, don't go on a Dollar Dog Night, and don't go when we're playing the Tigers, Yankees or Red Sox. Also go down to the 12 ticket windows past Gate A, that's the quickest line.

Ok end of rant. I've got 16 tickets left. Who wants to go?!

Tomorrow is [scary music]Verlander[/scary music] versus Masterson. What do you think? Is momentum real? Will they let Damon "rest his legs" so Shelley "Two Homers Off Verlander" Duncan can play? The stats say we don't do too well in day games but that includes all those miserable Sundays. Here's a stat: 16 homers in night games, 19 in day games. I just looked up the 2011 Indians stats vs. Verlander...

Noon game tomorrow! Need to CHEER CHEER CHEER! See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"If you're Fielder and you're getting paid 30 million dollars a year, you'd better get that runner to third base somehow."
- Mike Hegan

"In Santana's defence, you can't be pitched to any better than that."
- Mike Hegan on Santana's strikeout

"We drove all the way from Hilton Head just to get a dollar dog. With gas prices today that's about a $120 hot dog."
- Mike Hegan

"Remember when we were talking about that 20-second radio delay? I think we would have needed it to play some of McClendon's conversation."
- Jim Rosenhaus on the ejection of the Tigers' batting coach

"Come on, this might be your only game this year. Get on that soapbox!"
- Jim Rosenhaus urges Mike Hegan to go off about bunting, for old time's sake

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Are You Not Entertained?!

A nice, even Ubaldo game! Can you believe it? No white knuckles, no meltdowns, no surprises. Just a 3-run 6-inning game by Jiminez. And those 3 runs were just one inning.

He did walk 6 so that's why he was at 100 pitches by the 6th but fuck, we'll take it. We've got the bullpen.

Sipp was a little wobbly in the 7th but Smith came in to get his 3rd out in 1 pitch. Pestano was Pestano and had a 1-2-3 8th. He's so rock solid!

Props to the 15k fans who gave Perez a standing ovation when he came in for the 9th!! My friend was there and he is a huge Perez fan (I think it's more than a man-crush...in fact it's very vaguely creepy) so I think he was leading the charge. Perez said he was not looking to leave Cleveland and is here to help us win. He's just unhappy. U OK NOW BRO?!

I think so. He struck out Miguel Cabrera and got Prince Fielder to ground out. Ballgame!

Our hitters were hot stuff tonight! I love when we have games when dudes aren't one disappointment after another. Almost everybody hit today. I'll let you guess who didn't.

Choo is a fucking beast at leadoff, isn't he?! He's got a 9-game hitting streak right now and is hitting .333 in his last 10 games. Tonight he went 2 for 4 with a walk, a double, a steal and 2 runs. And an outfield assist. He is all over the place! Choo does better when he's in a good mood, I really believe that. Leadoff seems to have him in a good mood...me too!

Still not sure what's up with Kipnis right now but he did contribute today. He went 1 for 5 with a run and that run was thanks to his aggressive running on a fielder's choice. He ended up on base instead of hitting in to a double play, and he extended that happiness into an aggressive run home from 1st on Asdrubal's double. Also did you know he's only got 1 error? Hannahan has 5 and Asdrubal has 3. Kipnis and Kotchman are holdin' down the right side with 1 error apiece. Respect!

Droobs only went 1 for 4 tonight but he got a walk and his hit was an RBI double!

Hafner did some stuff! WOOHOO!! He went 1 for 4 with 2 RBI. One was a RBI single and the other was a sac fly, which he's getting more of now. You bet your sweet bippy you want your DH to get 2 RBI - sac fly was cool!

Santana was up in there, going 1 for 3 with a walk. Oddly enough none of that resulted in a run or an RBI. Even though the guy after him, Michael Brantley, went 2 for 4. Santana is still hitting .261, which is what he went in to Friday hitting. That's sort of weird, right? Brantley's got a 2-game hitting streak - it can only get better from there, right?! He stole 2 bases today and scored a run, by the way.

Santana and Brantley got on base 4 times but only scored 1 run between them. Probably because the guy who hits next.

But AFTER the guy after Brantley was Kotchman and it was his night! He went 3 for 4 tonight with a double, run and RBI. He did get thrown out at the plate which sort of sours it but right after he did that was Pure Rage time so no one's gonna remember that the old man got caught. Kotchman's average shot up to .225 today. After 3 innings in the Angels' game, Pujols is only batting .216.

LOPEZ! is still in the game. I guess they're going to decide tomorrow whether or not Hannahan is coming back or going on the DL. What a tough call tho huh? Lopez went 1 for 3 tonight with a double, walk and a RBI. He's hitting .300 over his last 10 games with an 8-game hitting streak. Hannahan is hitting .281 with 9 hits over his last 10 games. So it's not like one or the other sucks. Clearly Hannahan is the better 3rd baseman but Lopez is getting it done with the bat.

I guess it sucks to think but it will work out if Jack goes on the DL. We get more Lopez while he's hot.

Tomorrow's gonna be crazy and I'm sort of worried that I'm taking my friends to the game. I wanted to take them today but the stupid weather bug in my browser was all "IT'S GONNA RAIN!" all day. It rained for like 5 minutes. Jerks.

Anyway today was great, tomorrow is Doug Fister who's got a 1.59 ERA versus Zach McAllister who is too green to tell. I hope it's not a damn pitcher's duel. Last time I took these guys to a Tigers' game it was a pitcher's duel AND a rain delay AND it was 14 innings (remember when Fukudome got hit with the bases loaded?) Fister was the pitcher that day too (I looked it up).

But I've got these 20 "Perfect 10 Pack" tickets. I hope we get a primo spot in the bleachers. Look for me and OMG ASDRUBAL!!! See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"That move works well at Blesser Field in Avon, but not here."
- Tom Hamilton on the fake-out-throw-out

"Rick Porcello wasn't close to anybody with that throw, except a fan in the stands."
- Tom Hamilton on a bad throw to first

"Justin Verlander can only pitch once every five days."
- Tom Hamilton on the demise of Porcello

"Jim Leland makes a Northern Ohio Toyota Dealers pitching change. Rick Porcello says 'Get a new right fielder, too!'"
- Tom Hamilton

"Where is Lake Michigan college? Will have to Google that baby."
- Tom Hamilton

"If he fell over he'd be in foul territory, he's so close to the bag."
- Tom Hamilton doesn't know why they're trying to pick off Santana

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Marlins Catch Us

Well we knew this was going to be a bit of a yawner today. And it being the 21st game in 20 days as well as a Sunday, there was a pretty good chance that our Tribe wasn't going to fare well, and they didn't.

I was at least excited to be able to catch a game on TV. Last weekend I missed both games, and I missed the game on Saturday too. Today I was all "I will come help you later, AFTER the game." And I sat there with my dog and my iPod Touch and we watched it for free in glorious over-the-air HD.

So that was an awesome thing about today's game. That I got to see it. And 23,000 people saw it live. I wonder if Chris Perez cares?

There's a bit more to the Perez saga if you didn't see for yourself. Nobody's mad at him, I guess. Not in the Indians organization. Hell if people come to the park just to boo him I think the organization would be happy. Not sure how Rage would feel but he might throw 98 MPH.

Back to the issue at hand. Derek Lowe still looks good but today we couldn't put up the numbers on the offensive side to help him out. Well we ultimately did but his buddies in the bullpen weren't as razor-sharp as they've been known to be. Lowe gave up just 2 earned runs in 6 innings, striking out 2. He "only" had 14 ground-outs this time. His ERA is just .01 higher than Verlander and he's in a 5-way tie for most wins. Way to go Lowe!

After Lowe was my new favorite Hagadone and he seemed a little weary out there. He ended up giving up a run on 2 hits and a walk, at a time when we really couldn't afford to give up a run. Jeremy Accardo, who was beautiful the last 2 times we saw him, gave up TWO runs in the 8th on 2 hits and a walk. Aye aye aye!

Nobody gave up any homers, tho!

This Josh Johnson fella kept us pretty silent most of the afternoon (as did, I think, the afternoon sun). We only got 7 hits and 3 walks, scoring only 3.

Choo will not be silenced and increased his streak to 8 games by getting a hit and walking twice. He stole second but alas, he did not come around to score.

Kipnis, Cabrera and Hafner were all shut out completely. Not even a walk between them! Or a sacrifice! What's up with Kipnis, huh? He was hot as hell the first 3 games of the month, in Chicago. He cooled down to nary a peep lately.

Santana got a hit and went 1 for 4. Did you know he's kept the same batting average - .261 - since Friday? How weird is that. Oh, he got switched over to catcher later in the game and he threw someone out at 2nd. He's had a GREAT weekend for caught stealing! I see he's already caught 9 this year and he had a total of 18 last year.

The second half of the lineup was actually the "hot" half. Brantley and Damon both got hits, going 1 for 4. Damon almost hit a homer but he didn't. He did do this, to which Shelley Duncan replied:
My replacement? Wut?
Brantley came around to score twice and stole a base. Damon came around to score too. So there was that.

The day belonged to LOPEZ, tho! Dude went 3 for 4 today with two doubles and 2 of the team's 3 RBI. He's getting to be as fun and reliable as our man Hannahan down there. I wonder if we can get Lopez to catch and he can be the backup catcher instead of Marson? I loves me some Sweet Lou but he can't get a hit this year. He also had a little running error which maaaaay have lost us a run or two. But really I chalk that up to not baserunning every day. Heck I wouldn't have slid there either.

Casey Kotchman, on the other hand, is "red hot" (not really) and good enough to pinch hit for Marson in the 7th. In the 9th, he got a fielder's choice RBI. Rock on, Kotchman!

Tomorrow the guys get their first day off since April 30. Yeep. I'm going to the game Tuesday or Wednesday. I want to go Tuesday since Wednesday is Dollar Dog Night and they won't need my ass filling a  seat as much as they will Tuesday. But Tuesday it's supposed to rain, and it rained the last time I took all my friends to see the Tigers so like...I should probably go Wednesday. Argh.

Everyone have a nice day off tomorrow! Tuesday night is Ubaldo versus Porcello. I don't know if I want to see Ubaldo, either (I've already seen him!) although Wednesday is Fister and I don't want to see HIM. I should just go to both. Maybe I will just go by myself!

Anyway see you Tuesday, boffins! Have a nice day off!

Radio Chatter:
"Reyes was given part of South Beach to sign with the Marlins."
- Tom Hamilton

"We normally look forward to 12 donuts on Sunday. Here we are the, Indians in first place and Brian Hoffer shows up with a box of 6 donuts."
- Tom Hamilton on the injustice of it all

"Rosie I gotta believe the Indians will find some more at-bats for Lopez even when Jack Hannahan gets back."
- Tom Hamilton knows the score

"This isn't Detroit so the radar readings are pretty accurate."
- Tom Hamilton

"The problem with Ramirez is you never know which guy will show up. The guy who's one of the best players in the game or the guy who says 'Eh do I really feel like playing today?'"
- Tom Hamilton on Hanley Ramirez

"Again the schedule maker flunked geography many years ago."
- Tom Hamilton still not a fan of the schedule

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Jeanmar Catches the Marlins

Did you see that? Did you see the pitching today? It was so awesome and I couldn't be more excited about Jeanmar Gomez!

Jeanmar tossed a 3-hit shutout and went 6 2/3 innings. He struck out 4 and only walked 2. He did hit a guy but so did the opposing pitcher Anibal Sanchez (who's got a better ERA). Jeanmar was just on FIRE.

Also on FIRE is our bullpen! Today we got treated to "the original mafia" Smith, Pestano and Chris Perez. Smith handled the 7th, Pestano struck out one and sent down the rest in the 8th and Chris Perez STRUCK OUT THE SIDE with high-90s fastballs. He threw 10 pitches and 9 of them were strikes. I'm not sure but it sounded like Tom Hamilton was nearly crying with joy.

Afterwards, for some reason Perez freaked out a bit at the fans. Apparently he threw 9 strikes because he's pissed that people are booing him. So yeah, I'm torn - people shouldn't boo him (HE IS THE BEST!) but well if that is what unleashes the Rage then maybe we all need to make signs that say "BOO!"

I guess he's also pissed that no one comes to the games and that's why the team doesn't do well. Erm...sounds like a chicken/egg thing to me pal. But whatever - he's allowed to be frustrated. Heck I'm frustrated about the fans. Do you know how hard it is to find fans around here to talk about baseball with? Why do you think I talk to The Internet about it every night? I'm also frustrated that it's cold and that makes me not want to go to games. I'm also frustrated that I live a half hour away from the ballpark and frustrated that I can't afford season tickets but if I could WHO WOULD GO WITH ME ANYWAY?!

Perez is still ok with me. I like that he says what he's thinking. I don't like that he might be thinking he doesn't like Cleveland but whatever is going on HE STRUCK OUT THE SIDE. He also is second in the league in saves. He also sports one of the few beards I can deal with.

I still like Chris Perez. I hope you do too.

It's a good thing our pitchers were so dazzling tonight because our batters were a bit stifled by the Marlins' staff.

Although CHOOOOOOOOO extended his streak to 7 and went 2 for 4 tonight! While he was on base he did some fancy baserunning, possibly helping Shelley Duncan to score.

Wut wut Asdrubal with his 5th home run! OMG! Neatly placed in to the visitor's bullpen in the 4th to get our first run. He didn't do anything else but that average remains above .300.

Santana went 1 for 4. My man LOPEZ went 1 for 3 and since he is still working his way up the AB column, his average goes up leaps and bounds every time he gets a hit. Today he's already at .233! And he's got a 6-game hitting streak!

Kotchman! Still chipping away at being a guy who hits. He went 1 for 3 today as well. I guess Pujols must have gotten a couple hits because he's pulled away from Kotchman's .211 with his own .216.

Hey, Shelley Duncan! Love that he was in today and he got a hit. Because I hate being all excited to see him and then nothing happens. He signed my ball, you know. And today not only did he get a hit he also scored on a sac fly by Jason Kipnis. I think he signed my ball too!

Tomorrow is going to be another low-scoring one I feel. Our MMFIC Derek Lowe is going to be facing a guy who just pitched a 2-run game. But his ERA is over 5 so maybe other teams have weird inconsistent pitchers like we do too, and this guy will give up like 8 or something.

It's on WKYC so I might watch it. Or I might have to go work on that bathroom again. We're in the home stretch now - painting! I know you're on the edge of your seats waiting for it to get done...

Anyway, lazy Sunday game tomorrow. See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"Angel Hernandez is the home plate umpire, and nobody has a shorter fuse than him, so you gotta be careful."
- Tom Hamilton

"I wonder if Choo was doing that to try to draw the throw so they wouldn't try to get Shelley Duncan at home plate."
- Tom Hamilton on our second run

"The people that talk about it and write about it, they aren't coming either. And the ones that do come they certainlly aren't paying to sit in 40 degree weather. When the weather warms up, the fans will come. It's not rocket science, folks."
- Tom Hamilton on the lack of fans

"At this point in the afternoon with the shadows, you may as well close your eyes and swing."
- Tom Hamilton

"This is how you want to face Hanley Ramirez - with the bases empty."
- Tom Hamilton

Friday, May 18, 2012

No Room For Error

Man, today's game looked like a great one when I was viewing it out of the corner of my eye while at dinner. Hitting, running, scoring, two runs in!

When I got home I was pretty surprised to see that other than a few walks and a single (LOPEZ!) that bit of baseball I saw was pretty much the only bit of baseball in this game.

Masterson was back! And I mean that good pitcher Justin Masterson, not just any pitcher named Masterson. Not only did he only give up 2 runs but he went a full 7 innings! He struck out 5 in those 7 innings. But, woe is Masterson - of course there wasn't a win in it for him!

Sipp came in for the 8th and didn't look so hot. He walked a guy then gave up a fielder's choice and was replaced with with Smith. Smith then muffed a throw to 2nd and then Sipp's walk eventually came around to score. Oddly enough, all 3 of the Marlins' runs came from guys who were walked. Huh.

Pestano came in to hold them, and he did, but it wasn't in the books for us to get the win tonight. Sipp got the loss, if you're following.

Not too many hits today - 1 each for Choo, Kipnis, Kotchman and Lopez.

Choo now has a 6-game hitting streak! He also walked today. He's definitely taking care of business at that leadoff spot.

Santana didn't hit or walk today but he did throw out Emilio Bonafacio for his first caught stealing of the year - dude's got 20 steals and leads the majors by 7. He threw out 2 other guys too, since Ozzie Guillen sends everyone. Those guys got their first CS's today too. Show 'em, Santana!

I'll give props to Johnny Damon, just today tho. Went 0 for 1, being that he walked 3 times and came around to score one of our 2 runs. Yay Damon.

Casey Kotchman! He's only .002 below Pujols. I thought he'd have had a hitting streak too but he doesn't. He does have 11 hits in his last 10 games, tho.

LOPEZ! What do you say? He went 1 for 3 tonight with a walk. I still like that guy. I'm sort of sounding like a broken record on him - I think I tell you how pleased I am with him every night. But - that's because he keeps being pleasing! He's got a streak as well - 5 games.

That's really all there was today. The second inning was cool and that was it. My dinner was pretty delicious, and The Avengers was good too.

Tomorrow is everybody's pal Jeanmar Gomez versus Anibal Sanchez. Sanchez only has a 2.28 ERA but we've done better against better. No way is Miami going to come in and shut down this roll we're on, are they? Bump it, yes. Shut down, no.

The game is at 4:05 but I think I'm going to have to wait til later to listen and post about it because I'm scheduled to be renovating a bathroom again. Ho-hum.

But, looking forward to a good game - see you there!

Radio Chatter:
"He went out with guns a'blazing."
- Tom Hamilton on Ozzie Guillen leaving Twitter

"Mark it down folks. May 18 - the first time in 21 attempts that Bonafacio has been caught stealing."
- Tom Hamilton

"Verlander's at it again. Can he throw another no-hitter? Why not - it's Pittsburgh after all."
- Tom Hamilton

"Don't forget the Marlins have a closer, Heath Bell, who's been anything but reliable."
- Tom Hamilton before we see the suddenly-reliable Heath Bell

Thursday, May 17, 2012

LOPEZ!

I've been waiting for Jose Lopez to do something spectacular for over 5 months now so I could use that title. What's even better, last night I was listening to the game with my friend and I said "LOPEZ!" and he said "LOPEZ!" and we both knew what it meant. It means this!

Sorry I didn't get the blog posted right after the game but it was a really long game (4 hours) and you know how work gets to be around 4, you gotta do stuff like WORK and you can't just blog away. So I finished that work thing, and watched some more of the ditch project (seriously it takes FOREVER to fill in a ditch, it seems) and now I'm here.

Were you surprised like I was with the way this game started out? It kinda seemed like how the game should have gone YESTERDAY with Felix Hernandez shutting us out and Ubaldo giving up 3 runs in 5 innings. Instead it was some dude named Hector Nosei keeping us quiet and Zach McAllister looking not perfect (but still better than Ubaldo on a bad day).

McAllister made it 4 good innings only giving up one run. In the 5th he started looking shaky 5th when he walked 2, struck out 2 then "gave up a run" on a passed ball. The 6th was not pretty and he gave up a run and left a guy on base, who Asencio managed to let score. So he ended up giving up 4 runs in 5 2/3 innings, pretty much like Tomlin (but maybe fewer innings). He did strike out 6, and I think last time he struck out 8 so that's pretty wicked.

After the 6th we still had 5 more innings to go so everyone in the bullpen had to come out and play. First was Hagadone who recovered just fine from his last outing and struck out 2 in 1 1/3. Jeremy Accardo was next to finish the 8th and he is still perfect. He even struck out one.

Tony Sipp came in and had a 1-2-3 9th and then had his third strikeout in the 10th. Chris Perez put 2 on and I listened through my fingers as he got the last 2 outs. We needed someone to pitch the 11th and it was either Smith or Pestano and I would trust both of those guys to do it. But Smith gave up the go-ahead run in the 11th and it was all scary until...

Back to the beginning, where Choo started off the game with a double. Yay! But then he ended up going 1 for 6 with 3 strikeouts and that was not so nice. Kipnis didn't fare so well either but at least he got 2 walks and scored a run. But that still adds up to 0 for 4.

Asdrubal, however, since he's a motherfuckin maniac, he went 2 for 6 today with 2 RBI. One in the 7th as our first run and then the tying run in the 11th!! Oh man how it's nice to see someone do something clutch! (With Hannahan on the bench) His average is .326 right now by the way. It's so real I can touch it from here!

Hafner went 1 for 4 and it was just a single and that's ok, because as long as he's getting on base he's still our man. Sadly, he got hit by a pitch (I forget - the leg? The arm?) and while he finished the inning he didn't come back up for his next at-bat. Aaron Cunningham, a Seattlite, did his job in the 11th and walked. Good job! Hafner's status is still up in the air...we'll know tomorrow.

Lopes was the title of today's post but Santana was I guess the hero of the game. Well maybe Brandon League was! Santana was already 1 for 4 with 2 walks by the 11th when Seattle closer League walked two, gave up the tying RBI to Asdrubal and walked Cunningham to make the bases loaded with one out. What usually happens here is a strikeout. What often happens here is a pop out or grounding in to a double play. What never happens here - but what happened today - was Santana got a HIT and the game was won!!! Tom Hamilton said "Santana listened to his hitting coach and didn't try to do too much." YES!

Whew. I have to catch my breath. There is still happiness yet! We have to get to LOPEZ!

Michael Brantley was on a happiness break. More from him tomorrow.

Johnny Damon was in this game.

Casey Kotchman! Who knew his time was now? A total vacuum at the corner and now he's batting over .200? Today he went 2 for 4 with a double, a walk and scored 2 runs. That's a lot of numbers for Kotchman!

Finally we get to the #9 guy, LOPEZ! He's been playing for Hannahan at 3rd and maybe he's not the best 3rd baseman (he had an error today - fewer than Jack!) but Seattle used to be his team so I'm guessing he was pretty stoked when he TIED THE GAME WITH A 3-RUN HOMER! So stoked, he stopped at first not sure if it went out or not. He also walked and came in to score another run. Did you know Lopez already has 2 homers in just 23 at-bats? I'll repeat myself for like the 5th time...I am so glad we have him and have a chance to use him since we must!

Lots of heroes today on what started out looking pretty grim. It was great to have a really climactic game like that. One of those 2011-type wins!

Tomorrow the Marlins roll in to town, hopefully with their showgirls and maybe everyone will meet at the casino afterwards and spend a boatload of money. People travel from Miami to Cleveland to go to a casino, right?

A 7:05 start tomorrow, but I'll be missing it in favor of eating at Yours Truly and seeing The Avengers because that is a totally Cleveland thing to do, isn't it? MOVIES SHOT IN CLEVELAND MAKE BILLIONS!

So after The Avengers, I'll see you there!

Radio Chatter:
"Itchy trigger finger down there? [...] Sometimes it's the thought that counts."
- Jim Rosenhaus on a mis-cue of the home run siren

"A day of futility for these two offenses."
- Tom Hamilton

"Whatever it is, Chris Perez has trouble in non-save situations. But every manager in baseball uses their closer in this situation."
- Tom Hamilton

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Goin' All Cromwell Up In Here!

Did anyone expect the game to go this way today? Yeah our team's been good but not GREAT. Especially not at home. Felix Hernandez has been GREAT against us. Ubaldo has been up and down. Heck, after the first half of the first inning did you expect the rest of the game to go as well as it did? I was still fuming about Ubaldo throwing 25 pitches and giving up  two hits and a run in the top of the first we were accidentally scoring 4 in the bottom!

To be honest I was also pretty crabby in the third when Ubaldo walked 2 and gave up a homer in the third. And in the 5th when he gave up more hits. But inbetween all that he had three 1-2-3 innings. But I just can't trust Ubaldo anymore. Which way is he going? How is he going to do today? I just don't know! 

Turns out he did just fine and I needed to chillax. He went 6 innings, gave up 3 runs on 5 hits and struck out 4. Sounds good to me. Sounds Tomlin-esque. That's all we should be asking of him now. Just as long as he goes 6 and doesn't give up more than 4, we can live with it. He's no Derek Lowe but while our team is hitting if he pitches like that it'll be ok.

Jeremy Accardo came in from CBus and made his debut. What a debut! He went 1-2-3, striking out the first guy then getting the next two to ground and pop out. Come back soon!

Sipp and Asencio came in for the 8th and 9th, each facing 3 batters. Exactly what you want from your bullpen!!

If the pitching wasn't good enough for you, the hitting was outstanding! The top of the order was just gonzo with the top 4 guys going 9 for 19 (.473) and scoring 7 of our 9 runs.

Choo has been hot shit since Acta moved him up to the first slot. He's gotten 6 hits in the 3 games he's been first. Of course this was all against righties but if he's gonna start to be on a roll this is a fine way to start. He went 3 for 5 and of course he got a double because that is what Choo does! He also came in to score 2 runs.

Kipnis was back in form tonight after being a little ho-hum in Minnesota. He went 2 for 5 with an RBI, his first RBI for a week. He's hitting a very respectable .275!

Droobs was all in today going 2 for 4 and being hit by a pitch (his 3rd already this season). He's working his way between 10th and 20th in the league for average with .325. He made an awesome run in the first when he and Santana scored on a couple of mis-throws. It was very exciting!

PRONK! Oh man how much do you love a Hafner home run? Always so big, always so majestic. Always so needed. He's been making contact with the ball a lot and doing some sac-flying, but he was 0-24 with runners in scoring position coming in to today (well, his last 24 chances). Today he grounded out for an RBI but then he doubled in a run and got his solo homer in the 6th. COOL!! A real treat for all the fans that made it out there tonight in the cold.

Santana was part of that neato play in the first, running his ass off and scoring. Basically he scored from first. I would never put it on Santana to be "heads up" but he totally was right there. He ended up going 1 for 3 with a walk, 2 runs and an RBI. He's had 7 walks, 10 hits and 8 RBI in his last 10 games, now with a respectable 4-game hitting streak. Can he keep it up?

I've tried for a season and a third now not to use smilies in my blog posts but seeing Michael Brantley hitting more just makes me smile from ear to ear. JUST LIKE THIS :) :) :) Tonight he went 2 for 3 with a double, single and a walk. He's got 14 hits in his last 10 games and actually just this one walk. If we've got Choo covering the top spot and Brantley is feeling good in the middle then I am fine with him in the middle (even though I love him first). Cuz I love Choo first right now and I love Brantley batting!

Johnny Damon was in this game and he managed to walk twice then he did this dumbass thing and it looks like he also shaved off his beard.

My friend pointed out today that Kotchman and Albert Pujols have been batting about the same this year, with Kotchman sometimes higher than Pujols. Kotchman went 0 for 3 tonight so he's down under .200 again BUT...he's got 1.5 times the home runs as Pujols (er, 3 to his 2). HA!

Plus, Kotchman rocks your socks at first.

Hey, LOPEZ! Playing some short-stop-via-3rd-base today. He also went 1 for 3 and walked. He's had 7 hits in the 9 games he's appeared in. I of course want Jack Hannahan un-hurt and playing here right now (man, he would have gotten a few RBIs today I bet) but I still like me some Lopez.

So 14 hits, 6 walks and 9 runs today. THAT is how we shoulda played in Boston. But we didn't. Instead they brought it home so everyone here could have fun and see the glory!! Super fun game!

I don't have any Radio Chatter for tonight because I spent the evening watching some guys dig out my ditch with a backhoe. It was really mesmerizing, and it lasted almost the whole game. They also picked up this cement culvert with the backhoe, and there was a dump truck involved. Wicked awesome. Alas, I couldn't stop to write anything down so you'll just have to wonder if Hammy and Rosie said anything worth remembering. If you want to hear something good then be sure to look on Tom Hamilton Has The Best Home Run Call In All Of Baseball for a recap of the PRONK!

Oh and if you don't get today's title - which I think is wicked clever - check out this primer from Monty Python. (He got rid of the king, yo)

Tomorrow is a NOON game with our new friend Zach McAllister versus some guy who's got a 8.27 ERA on the road. Bat bat bat! It's gonna be fun AND there will be more digging in my front yard. Dig it!

See you there!


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Get Lowe

Awesome game! Everything just came together - pitching, hitting - and we were rewarded heartily.

Here, we'll give you a soundtrack for this post (it's the song "Get Low" by Lil' Jon):


Derek Lowe - the old man pitcher we got courtesy of Atlanta, who paid us $10mm to take him off their hands, pitched a complete game shutout today. He had 18 ground-ball outs and NO strikeouts in just 127 pitches. Out-fucking-standing! He got his 6th win and is tied for the league lead.

It all seemed so easy for him today too. The weather was perfect for baseball, the Twins aren't very good and Target field is a "neutral" park for hitting. Lowe was all "Yeah, I can do this" and then he did it.

Our batters didn't let Lowe down (they never do) just in case he needed some help.

Choo was leading off for the second game in a row and he had it going on! He went 2 for 4 with a home run, a double and a walk. So far after 2 games he's just about the most successful leadoff man we've had this year! Let's hope his momentum stays built up when he finally faces a lefty as leadoff.

Of all the awesome hitting we had today, Jason Kipnis was not a part of it. Pretty weird, as he was doing the bulk of our good getting-on-base last week. Today he went 0 for 5.

OMG! Asdrubal got his 4th homer of the year and went 2 for 5 with 2 RBI. Following up Choo's and Asdrubal's homers in the 5th was a third solo shot by Santana! He must have been feeling good today as DH, because Santana got me that multi-hit game I've been asking for and went 2 for 4 with a homer and a double just like Choo. We should all be more like Choo!

Michael Brantley is diggin' the second half of the lineup it seems. He also had a multi-hit game with his second triple of the year, going 2 for 4. And he got a steal!

After him came Jose Lopez, who's filling in at 3rd while Jack Hannahan rests his back.  I think if Jack's going to get hurt, doing it while we play the Twins is an excellent plan. I feel like Lopez could be a pretty great addition to our lineup if he has a chance to play. Unfortunately our infield is pretty awesome with the bats, and we've got Duncan, Donald and Santana able to cover 3rd and 1st. So I don't know how or where Lopez would fit, but he could hit if he fit. Otherwise he's sort of wasting away on the bench. He came in and went 1 for 4 today, so at least he's contributing!

Johnny Damon was also in this game.

Casey Kotchman! FINALLY up over .202, going 1 for 3 with a walk today! That one hit was a 2-out RBI single, too! We might have to start calling him "Old Reliable."

Poor Lou Marson - not enough playing time, he forgets how to bat. He went 0 for 4 today with a strikeout and is still batting under .100.

We ended the game having scored 5 runs for Derek Lowe, which is 4 more than he needed but nobody doesn't like insurance runs. And it was the first time we'd had 3 homers in a game since [I forget the statistic. 2008?]!!!

Tomorrow the team is back in town against Seattle, against whom we're already 2-1 this season and Felix Hernandez against whom we're already 1-0!! Of course Ubaldo is pitching so this could either go well, or go horribly, horribly wrong.

Oh well - we've got the next 27 hours to revel in Lowe's great game and our big, big bats. See you then!

Radio Chatter:
"You look at this Twins lineup and you go 'Huh? Who are these guys?'"
- Tom Hamilton

"You know Damon is struggling when you see he's only walked twice."
- Tom Hamilton

"Boy the Indians could play a 1-game series and they still wouldn't miss King Felix."
- Tom Hamilton

"After a while, seeing that blue jersey...the Indians would wear polka-dotted pants with it if they thought it would make them win."
- Tom Hamilton does not like the blue jerseys

"Manny Acta looks like a genius, huh?"
- Jim Rosenhaus after Choo's home run

"How do you think Atlanta feels? 'We're paying ten million dollars to have him win in Cleveland?'"
- Tom Hamilton on Derek Lowe

Monday, May 14, 2012

Biting Off What We Can Choo

Jeanmar Gomez! Sweet dependable Jeanmar Gomez! He is getting to be everyone's favorite starter. He was able to stop the bleeding after the Boston series and help ease us in to victory against the Twins. I say "ease" because it wasn't a blowout either way, but he left us with just one run on the board - not earned by him - and 7 innings gone. He only struck out 2 but caused 11 ground outs. And he didn't even get the win.
You're welcome.
Not sure what was up with the bullpen today, but they were lucky to get out alive. Pestano gave up a walk then a RBI double, and then his double came around to score when Hagadone was brought in. He gave up a homer then a walk. All of a sudden we're able to stack up our relievers like so much Pez and they're being eaten up! I wonder if part of the problem is that I deemed Hagadone worthy of your Fantasy Baseball team. Oops. Joe Smith came in and untangled that mess for the W, and Perez came in for a quick and easy 9th to strike out one for his 12th save.

The top of the lineup was gelling today. Damon was sat out and they put our man CHOO up top. He's been walking and getting hits - plenty of doubles but not homers - so Acta decide that he'd make a good #1 guy. I guess after last night's game, Choo admitted that he was doing poorly against lefties because he's afraid of getting hit again. Not so much because it hurts, I imagine, but because he gets hit on the hand and that can ruin his season and maybe his career AND THEN HE HAS TO JOIN THE ARMY! Of course, now every bullpen in the AL has a little "throw inside" Post-It Tab on Choo's page. Poor fella - bares his soul now he's going to get beaned in the butt. Oh and guess who got hit today? By a rightie, noless.

Anyway, other than getting hit Choo went 1 for 4 and got the game-winning RBI! Who here didn't have their own private "CHOOOO!" from their chair when that happened? You know what I'm talking about! If not, here you go, you can Choo to the replay!

Kipnis went 1 for 5 and scored a run. Not very impressive for him as of late BUT he is working a 5-game streak so that's cool.

Asdrubal went 1 for 3 with a double and a walk. He is actually slightly slumping. Like just for a few games. Average is dwindling down to .313 o noes!

Pronk did some good tonight. With a runner on 3rd he grounded out to the right side to get an RBI. He also got a double and a walk. Santana also got a hit and a walk and a sacrifice RBI. That's a step in the right direction for both those guys - if you can't be the big hero, just do something that matters.

Michael Brantley was silenced tonight after being pretty much the only guy to have a good Boston series. Middle of the order, not sure what's up. Did you know he's hitting .260 versus both righties and lefties?

Hey guess who was up today? LOPEZ! I'm guessing maybe because Wheeler was let go? They brought up an infielder to give Hannahan a day off or something. Yeah he played third and yeah he got a hit! He went 1 for 4 and scored a run!

Tonight's BIG BAT goes to Casey Kotchman who got a homer! That guy is just full of surprises. Hitting just shy of .200, nobody expects a 2-run dinger from Kotchman but there it was (his 3rd of the season). He actually went 2 for 4, which is maybe even more unexpected. Keep swingin' for the fences, Casey!

The victory tonight hopefully can help wash away the bad taste of the Boston series (would you believe...we're still in 1st place by 2 games?) and put us back on the path of being a good-hitting and good-pitching team. We've got a nice easy week - Twins, Mariners, Marlins - so by the time we meet up with Detroit next week maybe we can be like 5 games ahead.

Tomorrow is a 1:05 game, don't forget! Our favorite, Derek Lowe, versus Jason Marquis who has a 6.26 ERA. I am ready for some good hitting and a nice solid win.

See you then!

Radio Chatter:
"The Twins have four players with no home runs. So you can just say 'Here's a fastball, try to hit it.'"
- Tom Hamilton

"That's like going to prom and telling your date you have a canker sore. You're going to get a heck of a handshake at the end of the night. 'Thanks for the corsage, loser, now go home.'"
- Tom Hamilton on Choo admitting he is afraid of being hit by left handed pitchers

"You can't be losing to the worst team in baseball that has a record of 10 and 24."
- Tom Hamilton

Blanked Out Weekend

My brother asked for a little help at his house on Saturday afternoon, but I told him "I can help but only until 7. The game is on TV. I want to see the Tribe trounce Boston!" I'd actually already told my friends to fuck off, because they wanted to hang out an I wanted to watch the game (my friends don't share the same...fervor...as I do for the game.) I was on my way back home to get comfy on the couch when my cousin's wife called to tell me my cousin had taken apart my aunt's old shower and found a moldy mess and was faced with a complete gutting and asked if I could go give him a hand. Yadda yadda I got home at 1 AM on Monday and hadn't heard a stitch of baseball nor seen any on TV.

It would seem that other than the blisters, cuts, scrapes, slivers and lack of sleep the bathroom remodel was a good thing because it saved me from having to survive a weekend of sad, sad baseball. The Indians losing in spectacular fashion to the shitty 2012 Boston Red Sox. In Boston. Yuck!

I didn't bother to go back over Saturday's game - that would have meant like 9 hours of baseball for me today! I of course checked out the box score. Zach McAllister - pitching for an injured Tomlin (!!) went 7 innings and gave up 4. That's actually really good for your second start of the year. Tomlin gives up about 4 per game himself. He struck out 8, which is Tomlin's high!

Unfortunately our guys couldn't overcome the deficit, even though we had our "good" lineup (the one that doesn't include Damon or Donald). We just can't hit lefties right now. Which, I dunno...you'd think they would have thought to practice that earlier this year. Not like it was a surprise we have a bench full of lefties. Perhaps they were counting on Shelley and Asdrubal just to carry everyone?

So that was Saturday. Kind of boring all around. A predictable 4 runs given up and a lonely run batted in. Asdrubal didn't even get a hit (but Lou did!)

I did make a point to listen to Sunday's game this afternoon, even though I saw the score. I figured maybe Tom Hamilton may have been furious and started talking goofy after 12 runs. Unfortunately it was sort of a sleepy Sunday (as usual) and nothing exciting happened on the radio (don't worry, I still got the quotes!)

Justin Masterson is breaking down. I wonder if he's got some physical issue that he's not telling anyone about. Do pitchers just have like, one good year in them anymore? (See: Carmona, Jiminez) Well I guess not. Cliff Lee, Joe Nathan, Jared Weaver, etc etc etc. Oh, I see the pattern. It's only pitchers we can afford that have an early expiration date.

Anyway, Masterson gave up 6 in 6 innings and got his 3rd loss. Funny, though - even if he only gave up like 1 or 2 runs he still woulda lost. Maybe he has just given up? "Yo, I'm only throwing well when I have 5 runs or more behind me!" Actually I'm sure he feels awful about it. Maybe that will help.

Dan Wheeler came in for the 7th and promptly gave up 6 runs including a homer. He was sent away before the team even left Boston. Says Jordan Bastian:

Before he left the ballclub, Wheeler was asked if he was given a reason for the team's decision to part ways with him.
"Did I really need to hear one?" Wheeler said. 
 Well at least the guy's humble. Now we get to dig in to our pool of minor league relievers and bring someone up to add to the bullpen. I hope that's as fun as it sounds and doesn't end up being scary!

I wonder if there's any other veteran players that we can consider "not working out"....

We only scored one run (Asdrubal with a bases-loaded walk!) but some guys had a good game.

Jason Kipnis hit .375 against Boston last year and so far is hitting .412 against them this year. They say he likes hitting in Fenway, which happens to be the only place he's played against Boston. He went 2 for 4 and his average is creeping up towards .300, at .284.

Santana and Choo each got a hit. Still not a multi-hit game like they both need to have but I guess 1 is better than none.

Michael Brantley had a great day! He went 3 for 4 with his team-leading 12th double. He's actually tied for 5th in the league. Not bad for a guy who's not having the year I thought he should! He's only hit in 5 of his last 10 games but in those 5 games he had 12 hits. I guess once he settles in to a pitcher, he is locking in. Or otherwise locked out!

That's all she wrote in terms of offense. Walked-in run, seven hits, three of them by Brantley.

It's never a happy time when we lose to Boston, especially when we end up losing 3 in a row. Growly growl.

Oh well, at least we're moving on to Minnesota who sucks better than Boston. Hopefully we can handle them (ok the game is already half over as I write this - we're handling.) Maybe getting rid of Dan Wheeler will be the catalyst this team really needed!!

Hahaha just kidding. Sorry, Dan Wheeler.

Next game is Minnesota at 8:05 Monday. That was 75 minutes ago. See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"Gonzales said, after rounding first base 'If you're not going to play good baseball and cover second, I'll just walk in to there.'"
- Tom Hamilton after a bad offensive play in the first

"Indians had the tables turned with the big 2-out hits on them for a change."
- Tom Hamilton

"The Indians might be in first place by a scant 2 games, but if they're to do anything this summer they have to get Masterson figured out and Jiminez figured out."
- Tom Hamilton

"Red Sox will say 'Thank you, go ahead.' If you've got a guy up who's either going to double or homer, you'll gladly give that to him."
- Tom Hamilton on Choo getting a bunt single

"He's only made 93 pitches, but it's been a deflating 93 pitches."
- Tom Hamilton on Justin Masterson

"People say 'Oh, the train, that ought to be neat.' Well it is if you're not on it."
- Tom Hamilton on the train from New York to Boston

"The Fenway Faithful, they're bored. They're doing the wave."
- Tom Hamilton

Friday, May 11, 2012

A Whole Lot of Nothing

Wow man - 4 hours of baseball and it's almost like nothing happened. Do you remember much of this game? I kept looking at the scoreboard on MLB Gameday thinking "Oh cool, there's still a lot of innings left..."

Of course the thing you'll remember most about this game is that Ubaldo Jiminez sucked. It's a good thing to remember so you don't get your hopes up too much next time he's slated to pitch. Now, he might surprise you like he did last time he pitched and it'll be an even better surprise when you think he's going to suck. But he's probably going to suck.

Here's some nice things, tho - Dan Wheeler and Tony Sipp had to cover 4 innings and they did so without giving up any runs and Sipp struck out 3. We didn't even need Pestano and Smith tonight!

The Red Sox have scored an average of 9.5 runs every time Clay Buchholz (9.09 ERA) pitches. Except for tonight! Jiminez "held" them to 7. Wahoo!

Almost everybody hit tonight except Asdrubal. Can you believe it?! He did get 2 walks and came in to score 2 runs so his average is still safely at .333.

I'm not going to talk about Johnny Damon tonight, as this is the Positive Tribe and not the Obvious Tribe.

Kipnis and Hafner worked some of their shit out and both went 2 for 4 with a walk.

Santana, that bugger...he is still swinging for the fences every time I think. I don't think since John Nunnally  was fired that anyone has told Santana to stop moving his foot so much when he bats. Last year when he woke up from his slump the big news was "we told him to stop moving his foot and look what he did!" I saw the boy batting live last week. I was really close. I could hear the polyester rubbing on his jockeys as the pitch came in. SOMEONE TELL HIM TO COOL IT!!

He did go 1 for 3 tonight with 2 walks so at least he's having patience.

Choo is looking better even if he's not getting the balls to drop. He's got 9 hits over his last 10 games with doubles in the last 2 games. He's been smokin' the ball just right at people. I don't think he was even making contact before (16 strikeouts in April) so this is indeed progress.

 Brantley is settling back in at the bottom of the lineup, hitting 7th today and going 2 for 5. Since the entire lineup was hitting today, it gave Brantley a chance to collect 2 RBI too. He still doesn't have the .335 average I bragged he would but I said he'd have it WHEN GRADY GETS BACK. So that means he has until infinity to get up there right? Heynow!

Casey Kotchman is going to break .200 any day now. Aaaaaaany day. He went 1 for 5 tonight and then handed it off to Donald who stole a base. Can you imagine, Donald at first? Me neither!

Supermanahan still blastin' the hits with his third 2-hit game in a row. Oddly enough he didn't get any of our 5 RBI tonight. But he does look good in a kilt.

We had 12 hits and 6 walks tonight and 14 LOB. *Astonished Smiley* That's crazy! That's why it took 4 hours and I guess that's why we didn't win. The best thing about tonight was that we've still got the good half of the bullpen rested for the weekend. And we don't have to see Ubaldo for 5 more days. Schwing! (Yep, I said "Schwing!")

Tomorrow is a 7:10 game and it's on WKYC so I literally cancelled fun plans so I could sit home and watch baseball. It's our man Josh Tomlin who is going to go for a career-high 9 strikeouts. How hard can it be?

See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"Boston has lost 11 of 15 of their home games this year, which is unusual for Boston. Usually teams come here and melt."
- Tom Hamilton

"There's no energy at the park tonight. It's like they spend all day yelling at the television and are exhausted by the time they get to the ballpark. They've spent all day being angry at Josh Beckett."
- Tom Hamilton

"The good news is Clay Buchholz's ERA is 9.9. The bad news is that the Red Sox score 9 runs every time he pitches."
- Tom Hamilton

"Jared Saltalamachia would like to be known for something other than having the longest name in baseball."
- Tom Hamilton

"Let's face it - Sam from Cheers is a former Red Sox pitcher, he wasn't a Patriot."
- Tom Hamilton on the difference between baseball and football in Boston

"Fenway Park has become quiet as a church on Sunday. [...] The only difference is no matter what your religion is, you're not going to be booing the minister like this place."
- Tom Hamilton with the bases loaded and one out in the 7th

"Nobody is going to leave Fenway Park saying 'Wasn't that a game to remember?' Unless Neil Diamond was actually sitting next to them singing 'Sweet Caroline' in the 8th inning."
- Tom Hamilton

"Paul Revere could have gone on his ride, gone around to tell everyone the British were coming, come home and had a few beers and some pizza and still caught the last 3 innings of this game."
- Tom Hamilton

"They probably took some of the gifts, if they were cash, and let their step-dad Bruce Jenner get another face lift."
- Tom Hamilton thinks this game lasted longer than Kim Kardashian's marriage and wonders if people got their gifts back