Thursday, October 3, 2013

Own It, Cleveland!


The video above is a sweet compilation someone put together of the 2013 season up to about the end of August. Watch it, enjoy it, remember it! Own this season, Cleveland - all we have left now are memories of the fun!

If you were following this season closely, you will be satisfied with its outcome. The 2013 Indians were a team that were probably going to the playoffs in March. Then the Tigers became the team that were definitely going, by the end of April. The Indians, probably not...definitely not in August. But wait...maybe by September? Holy cow, they are in!

It was waaaaaay fun to watch them get in to the wildcard and pretty neat to have the top wildcard spot sewn up for a few days. The final game was kind of heart-wrenching but eh, you saw it coming right?

So very awesome to see the crowds at the Prog both on Wildcard night and the weeks leading up to it! Great to see GV Artwork's "Goon Squad" tees selling out day after day. Awesome to see some Tribe trends on Twitter! It was even cool when Chris Perez said to Terry Francona "Hey, I kind of suck right now" (paraphrase)

But speaking of that game, Giambi's [second!] walk-off homer against Chicago was probably the absolute highlight of the season - a season filled with walk-off highlights! Fitting that the last one would be so money.

My second favorite moment of the season was probably when Ryan Reynolds (remember him?) blasted a big fat homer off some dude who had, in Reynolds' previous at-bat, beaned him around the head. It was such an awesome revenge homer! And the pitcher looked to SAD!
And of course there was the Rally Chicken:
And most of April spent with Meryl and her cookies:
Drew Stubbs being hit in the head and then having a several-game hitting streak:
still not a real photo, sorry.

Anything Yan Gomes did, at all:
Asdrubal at the water park:
Tom Hamilton extremely disturbed by the "water park" in Miami:

 Michael Bourn face-plant (sung to the tune of "Rock and Roll McDonalds"):
Sad Angel who lost his glove:
Bourn on the heels of Stubbs:

Tripping Miggy:
Spider Vinnie:
And this:
That is just a SMALL representation of the fun we had this year!!!

I am really excited to see this WHOLE TEAM and staff back next year. Whoever turned around the bullpen needs to come back and turn them some more, enough to fit Vinnie and Tomlin in there somewhere. Maybe maybe a new hitting coach, perhaps someone that knows a good yogi.

Now that Reynolds (God bless) and Meyers are gone, I can't think of any more fat to trim. Well I have an idea but I'm going to end on a positive note and not talk badly about Nick Swisher er...people.

It was different doing the blog this year than previous years, because it felt more like judging what was expected instead of finding joy in the unexpected. Much harder to be all positive and stuff when guys you were told would be good weren't playing so well. Hence a handful of games I completely didn't comment on at all!

But, I'll always love baseball, win or lose, and since I love Cleveland baseball I've got no choice but to be able to roll with the punches. I hope you're the same way, boffins!

See you in 6 months!! WAHOOO!!!

Radio Chatter:
"The right side of the field is like the Ponderosa."
- Tom Hamilton on the shift

"The crowd here is deafening. The tribe scores a run, lookout."
- Tom Hamilton

"The credit goes to Alex Cobb."
- Tom Hamilton

"For as good as Peralta and Rodney are, maybe the answer for the Indians is anyone but Cobb."
- Tom Hamilton

"Molina held it there, but Jerry Davis said 'that's ok Jose I'm not changing my mind.'"
- Tom Hamilton

"Molina, one of the best defensive catchers. He'll never be part of a relay race."
- Tom Hamilton

"Rodney looking at home plate umpire Jerry Davis as if he's from Mars."
- Tom Hamilton



Sunday, September 29, 2013

WINDIANS!!



"BALLGAME! THE INDIANS HAVE DONE IT AND CLEVELAND, FOR THE FIRST TIME IN SIX YEARS, YOU WILL HAVE ANOTHER OCTOBER TO REMEMBER!"
- Tom Hamilton

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Down To One

ARE YOU EXCITED YET???

I know, I keep thinking about all the extra games, too. But every day this team keeps not losing so it stands to reason that we're not going to lose anymore. Just win win win WIN IT!!!

Today was one of those games where we got a lot more runs than we should have, considering the number of hits we got! Just 7 hits and 2 walks and - surprise, surprise - all 5 runs were scored with 2 outs!!

One run was scored with 2 outs and also a total goof by the home plate umpire. Raise your hand if you're really relieved that we didn't just win by one run!!

Kazmir was on the hill today and he had a respectable start. I mean - a quality start! One run on 6 hits and ELEVEN strikeouts! He had 10 in his last game, and a couple games before that it was 12.

What team has thrown the second most strikeouts in all of baseball? It's the Cleveland Indians! (Detroit is tops, duh)

Finishing out the game was Zep-Allen-Smith. Goose eggs, goose eggs, goose eggs. Think they can repeat that a bunch more times?

Batting was NOT top-notch today. But what the heck - they sooooo got hits when it mattered! The biggest hit was probably Bourn's 2-run triple in the 5th (that was both a gift score (probably should have been a double) and a gift RBI (bad call at the plate)).

Good to see that Bourn is back already and we didn't skip a beat with Brantley heating up the top spot and Bourn coming back right where he left off. Or at least where Bourn left off in my mind.

Swisher didn't have a day but Kipnis has definitely drank the "let's DO this!" Kool-Aid. I'm loving that our boy is playing such a big role in this playoff push!

The only other guys with hits today were Santana, Gomes and Aviles. Santana's was a 2-out, 2-run homer of course! Gomes and Aviles both came in to score.

Talk about kicking it up a notch when it comes down to the wire, right? (Yes, mixed metaphors or something) How bad was the team's LOB in the last month, now all of a sudden everyone is coming home? I mean, 4 LOB?? Wow!

I will take it any way it comes, though. As long as it keeps up for the next 1 to 20 games. It's one thing for players to be "hungry" for a win, but it's an entirely different thing for them to actually be able to channel that hunger in to real runs and real wins. Not something this town is used to, for sure.

Tomorrow they start Ubaldo, which gives us the better chance of winning which then gives us the homefield advantage in the wild card. Which means no Ubaldo for the WC but instead Salazar And Eight Friends. But...ok. I'm ok with that. Who are we to second-guess Francona anyway?

It'll be 2:10 tomorrow. Rally caps all day, I say! From when you wake until the game is over! You can't over-rally can you?

Man - last regular season game, last episode of Breaking Bad. If the Browns were playing the Steelers I think I might make myself black and blue from all the flouncing I'd be doing. Although technically it is the game for AFC North first place, huh?

Well, whatever. Go Tribe!

No Radio Chatter today. I was out. I woulda been in but the rain delay messed me up all day.

Friday, September 27, 2013

More & More


Here's your song for today! A feel-good rockin' jazz-rock tune full of horns and guitar to get you pumped about more and MORE runs scored by the Tribe tonight. I've been waiting for this sort of game for a couple weeks now, after playing all those other bad teams (Chicago, Houston). They got close a few times and did score 14 that one game but a big blow-out like this was a long time coming.

It was a slight roller-coaster ride, with the Indians up 9-1 at one point and then suddenly up only 9-6. But more hits, more runs - the game ended 12-6. Whew!

I'm not even going to talk about pitching today because I sort of don't care. It's getting to be a mess up in here, with way too many people and plotlines. Much like the later seasons of the original UK version of Shameless. You dig?

Much more exciting and easy to follow is the offense!

Everybody Hits! It was touch-and-go for a minute, with Stubbs as the lone holdout. But not only did he grab himself a single, he came back for a 2-run homer!

Then the next stat became "Who doesn't have a multi-hit game?" and the surprising answer is Brantley, Raburn and Gomes! The people you least expect! But that's what makes baseball so fun over 162, am I right?

Brantley did extend his hitting streak to 11 games now, but I don't think he's going to make it to .300. It's all right! Around .290 is better than most dudes! (Puts him in the top 20 of the league) Our man Brantley also is one of just 2 players who didn't get any RBI tonight! Surprise!

Swisher was the other guy with no RBI. He did get 2 hits, including a double.

How about Kipnis?! The Kid is keeping the afterburners aglow! He's got a 5-game hitting streak and today he was all June-like going 3 for 5 with a single, double and triple (TRIPLE!), 2 RBI and 2 runs scored.

Santana is ALSO running a 5-game streak. Tonight he went 2 for 3 and both those hits were doubles! Of course he had 2 walks, so he was on base like a boss tonight...

 ...and came in to score 3 runs!

Raburn made it through 5 at-bats tonight, even though it only yielded one hit. Of course, he's so good...
...Well he's so good that his one hit was for 2 RBI! You're welcome!

Asdrubal was MUY CALIENTE A NOCHE!!! For some reason @SportsYelling thinks this is an anomaly. The heck? She must be new here. He's been rocking it since 2007, hello!! Ok not so much this year but whatever...he rocks!

Anyway, Asdrubal went 3 for 5, bitches! Two of them hits were doubles, he came in to score twice and got one RBI. His recent awakening seems to be an every-other-day thing. But one must remember how his awesomeness was non-existant last September so we'll take whatever we can get this fall!

Gomes - just 1 for 5 with one RBI! The humanity! Nobody even bothered to run on him, though.

Hey, Handsome Mike! Wakey wakey! He was on top of things today, going 2 for 5 with 2 singles. One of those singles was a 2-out, 2 run single! Did you know 9 of the team's 12 runs came on 2 outs?
It's a fact!
Another fact:
That is, thanks to Drew Stubbs and his magic at the plate today. He walked early on, but didn't get a hit until the 8th. But then he stole second and came in to score. And THEN, in the 9th - well, I already spoilt it for you but he hit his 10th homer!


Tomorrow's game is at 1:05 you guys!! IT'LL BE ON TELEVISION WAHOO!!! Yeah, on Fox, starting with pregame at 12:30. I am so pumped! Not only because I get to watch a game on TV but also because I was waffling on whether I wanted to go to a party or stay home and watch baseball, but now I can be IN ON THAT because Fox has spoken. Probably the only time in my life I'm ever going to thank Fox for being such whiny bitches. Thanks, Fox!

I'm not even going to look up who pitches tomorrow. Who cares? Whoever's up there has to allow fewer runs to score than runs the rest of the team is able to put across. IT IS THAT SIMPLE.

The Rays lost today by the way. 90 wins for them, 90 for the Trbe. Texas won, they have 89 wins.

Gotta win it out, man. Win it out. I guess if we win tomorrow it guarantees a playoff spot but it's the playoff to get into the wildcard to get into the playoffs. So I am just hoping we win more, the Rays and Rangers lose more and I don't have to sit though any extra tense games. Because I am out of rum.

No Radio Chatter today. I don't know why. I'm sure interesting stuff was said, but I just couldn't focus enough to type any of it out.

Stick around for the guitar solo, though! Big finish!

Michael Says Relax

Whew! I am so tired right now - I feel like *I* just played 9! It is sooooo much harder being a fan of a contending-for-wildcard team than anything else. Most of the rest of the fans in baseball are sleeping like babies right now, their teams having clinched a playoff spot. And the seven people who root for the Rays (yeah, not even all their parents!) have been falling asleep to the 11 o'clock news. It's basically just the Tribe and the Rangers fans who are on the edge of their seats, watching this rediculousness that is the race for the wildcard for the race for the playoffs.

Yay?
 
Michael Brantley is just a MONSTER. Well, not a monster. Look at those eyes!
But when he's at the plate he's just showing no mercy to that baseball!! Not only a 10-game hitting streak but 19 hits in those games, with 9 RBI over his last 5.

WHAT PLANET ARE YOU FROM??

I was sort of joking when I posited that Brantley should hit .300 after this streak...but his average has actually gone up 15 points since the beginning of the streak and he's at .289. How high can it go? I did the math...if he goes 15 for 15 in his next 3 games (might happen if he hits lead-off!) he'll hit .308. If he only gets 12 at-bats, he only needs to get 9 hits to bat .300. Turns out it's pretty do-able for him!

In short, Michael Brantley is amazing.

Speaking of guys creeping up on .300, Yanimal woke up today!

He was shut down yesterday but Gomes went head-to-head with Brantley, also getting 3 hits and 2 RBI! He got a big stinkin' 2-run homer. Can't stop won't stop!

What else is going on with the Goon Squad? Ryan Raburn gets to play because Bourn is hurt, so of course he's hitting too. Raburn went 2 for 4 today before once again being pulled for Carson - talk about can't stop won't stop (Raburn's injury!) He's actually been shut down in his last two appearances so let's hope if he's in it for the next three he's "all in" - Raburn style.

Kipnis got his 35th double, so Santana went and got his 36th!

All of this awesomeness added up to 6 runs. Man, I am still having a hard time shaking off this near-loss!!

The pitching situation was another throw-everyone-at-them situation. Not sure why they are putting everyone out there with 3 more crucial games to go. Do any of our starters go long anymore? No...so why are they burning out arms?

So it was ZMac with 6 of his friends to follow. McAllister only went 4 1/3 innings, then they did some matchups. Shaw was pretty tough going 1 2/3 and getting the win. Zep gave up a run, Allen and Albers did fine. Chris Perez. Joe Smith got the save.

I'm tired just writing that down.

Ok so MOVING ON....let's move on...

Tomorrow, again at 8:10. Kluber versus LHP 6.05. Cool! We've got this one, right? Let's hope Klube has a ton of innings in that Alabama arm of his. Maybe something along the lines of 8 innings?

Get some rest...I'll see you there!

Radio Chatter:
"Ice fishing is right around the corner."
- Tom Hamilton on Minnesota

"If we have four teams tied for the wildcard, well then we'll ask you to go back to college to figure this all out..."
- Tom Hamilton after explaining wilcard scenarios

"Dreams sometimes do become reality."
- Tom Hamilton on the moves made last offseason

"You knew [Brian] Hoyer was a very intelligent man the day he proposed to his wife, who is from Avon Lake."
- Tom Hamilton

"There's enough electricity in this ballpark...to power a 25-watt bulb."
- Tom Hamilton

"Dennis Eckersley was one of the greatest relievers of all time and I don't remember this kind of...oh yeah, he played for Oakland."
- Tom Hamilton on the exit of Rivera and the hoopla involved

"This just doesn't seem possible."
- Tom Hamilton in the 9th



Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Goodnight Field


Goodnight field,
goodnight fans.
Goodnight footlong hot dog man.

Goodnight drummer,
goodnight cheers.
Goodnight Pepsi, goodnight beer.

Goodnight scoreboard,
goodnight hot dog race.
Goodnight to the best and worst seats in the place.

Goodnight Tribe -
what fun you did bring!
Goodnight field - we'll see you next Spring.

Fun time at the Prog tonight! Me and 30,945 of my closest friends! The place was "packed" for the final home game of the season - I think this is about my 5th year of going to the final home game. My friend was smart and bought our tickets early this year, so instead of whatever it would have cost for this playoff-like game, we paid like $60 for two great seats down by the tarp. Forethought FTW!!

Did you like it? I did! The crowd was way cool - they've been cool at all 3 games I've been to in the past week. These were the true fans showing up! Lots of cheers for anything remotely good or interesting happening. Giambi with 3 standing ovations. Salazar got a standing ovation when he exited in the 6th. The place went bananas when Masterson came in for the 9th. Every second strike - by every pitcher - set off more loud cheers and chants. I LOVE IT!!!

By the way - if you're wondering why I'm giving a melancholy goodbye to the park when there is still a very real chance that there will be more games played there this year...don't worry! I haven't given up on the season! I'm just not the class of people who gets to go to playoff games. Doesn't bother me - I love all the games on the radio anyway! So I'm cool with saying goodbye to the field now, and it doesn't mean I'm saying goodbye to baseball!

They had the whole crew out pitching again tonight, which was undoubtedly the plan since not only is Salazar on a low pitch count but it's crucial now to save him for playoffs. And to get innings for our 'pen to see who's coming with us in October.

So Salazar went 5 1/3, eight strikeouts and 6 hits. He ended up giving up 2 runs - one in the form of a solo homer and the other in the form of Bryan Shaw letting one of his guys score. But he was throwing that heat and for the most part keeping those Sox at bay!

The bullpen followed Salazar's 8 strikeouts with 8 more of their own. Not sure if you're familiar, but at the park they have a Circle K strikeout tracker thingy and it's only set up for 14 K's at a time. For the first time ever I saw the sign "turn over" - where they put up a "14" and took down all the K's, only to re-add them again when more strikeouts were thrown. I'm glad the Circle K Strikeout Dancer was properly trained for this situation!

Masterson came out to throw the 9th and he totally put on a show! The people, they were excited. And Masterson was all "Wut? I can throw all day!" He did give up a hit but otherwise struck out 2 and got a ground ball out. BALLGAME!

Like the last game I went to, it SEEMED like everybody hit because so many runs scored, but in reality there were some holes in the lineup. But dudes who didn't get hits were getting sacrifices - Aviles with a sac bunt and Stubbs with a sac fly RBI.

Since Bourn has an injured hand (which led to Giambi being in the game last night!) they had him sit out and put Brantley in at the top spot, which he did last time Bourn had an injured hand, earlier this season. Brantley is still ON FIRE and got 2 singles and a double, going 3 for 5 with 1 RBI and 1 run scored. So that's 17 hits and 8 RBI in his last 9 games.

Imagine if he and Raburn were both playing all the time right now! It'd be a hit fiesta!

Swisher got a big honkin' hit in the form of a 2-run homer in the 5th, with Brantley on base. It added a ton of padding and let everyone really relax!

Kipnis is getting his stuff together again, now with a modest 3-game hitting streak. Tonight he went 1 for 2 with a walk and a run scored, and he got hit by a pitch. Oh and he stole a base. He had a rough night in the field, but somehow didn't get charged with an error. My friend says he needs to shave!

Santana didn't get on base his first two trips to the plate, but as soon as I mentioned to my friend that he rarely doesn't get on base - boom, a single! He also walked and they put in Carson to run for him, and Carson came around to score.

Gomes, man...didn't do a dang thing today. Ouch.

Asdrubal was looking good today, going 2 for 4 with a big 2-RBI, 2-out hit in the 7th to put us up 7-2. He TOTALLY saw my sign today! Totally! He's seen it before and he was probably like "Hmm...I've seen that before, haven't I?" But in Spanish, because he probably talks to himself in Spanish. Anyway, I'm sure he was very proud to play for his fan!

I think I am going to retire my sign this fall, perhaps in a fire if I have another one. I'll make a new one, of course! But this one is so ratty....it's been through 3 seasons, probably 30 games or so. I need to make a new one!

Giambi was the man of the day today! He didn't do too bad, either, with his .187 batting average - he went 1 for 2 with a single and a walk. I wonder how much last night influenced Francona's decision to start him today? The fans wanted it and we got it!

Chiz and Aviles platooned in the 8 spot and at 3rd. Chiz got on on a fielder's choice then came around to score. Aviles had a great sac bunt that eventually led to scoring, and he also had a couple nice plays at third!

You can all thank me but the Tribe's last two biggest wins (9-2, 7-2) were while I was in attendance! Of course, we were 20,000+ strong those days too. But surely I helped!

Now the team is off to Target Field in Minneapolis for a 4-game series. Michael Brantley's proposed (by me) 13-game hitting streak is on the line. Texas is relentlessly winning and so is Tampa Bay, so the Tribe really can't lose anymore. Like, for real.

It's making me pretty stressed out. But these wins SURE ARE FUN!!

Tomorrow will beZMac versus LHP 3.98. It's in the Central Time Zone, so 8:10. See you there!


No Radio Chatter tonight but here are rookies in costumes (they'll probably be in TribeVibe soon, with names...):




Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I Love Baseball So Much Right Now!

I'm trying to embed the Giambi walkoff homer video for you, because it's the only thing you need to know about this game. But for some reason it was taken offline as soon as it was put up. What is this conspiracy?!? I wish it was online...

Did somebody say wish??

video

Now you've seen it....but you can't appreciate it until you HEAR HAMMY DO IT!!!


Before all of that...Tribe up a measly 3-2 in the 9th. Perez comes in to shut it down and not only does he give up the tying run on a homer to the first batter, but he gives up the go-ahead run later on, on another homer. I MEAN DAMN, CHRIS PEREZ!!!

My thoughts on the Perez situation: I still like him as a personality but he's gone from tolerable to liable. It sucks that our damn team can't seem to string together enough runs to give the guy a huge padding but he's tipping the scales on reliability. Used to be he was reliable enough to get the save but it's going the other way now where he's reliable enough to not be relied upon.

So, that's probably the end of Pure Rage. I've made my peace with it and, well, it was quick.

I've also changed my tune on Ubaldo Jiminez. But you guys knew that - I was digging him by like his 10th appearance. But it took me a long time to love Ubaldo - as long as it took me to dislike Perez! Anyway I was pondering it today and I think he might be the Indians' player of the year. What do you think? Not because he was the best but I think his role was extremely pivotal. Masterson was the best pitcher and Kluber was probably the best surprise but Ubaldo seems to have combined the ace-like tendencies with the surprise of having said tendencies and keeping it up, which was key to giving us a solid second winner in our rotation.

You can argue for Gomes and Raburn to be pivotal new members - or maybe Lou Marson's demise to be our good luck (sorry Sweet Lou!) - but Ubaldo had it all on his shoulders every 5 days. And he did good.

Tonight, though, the most important Indian of 2013 - or maybe ever, I don't know - is Jason Giambi!!! Kind of funny because he was in pinch hitting for Carson, who was our hero a few days ago. And Carson was only in because Bourn got hurt and WAIT BOURN IS HURT?! Sucks...

They keep playing the Giambi homer on the post-game on WTAM and I keep getting distracted. Hard to come up with other stuff to write about - I forget the first 8 1/2 innings!!!
While this was all happening, don't forget for one minute that Michael Brantley is also AMAZING and is keeping up the 13-game hitting streak I asked for, now with 8 games! And 14 hits in those 8 games. And 9 RBI in those 8 games.

He went 3 for 4 tonight, with a homer. Mister September!!!

21,083 at the park today. My friend and I bought tickets for tomorrow's game some time in April! We always go to the last home game to say good-bye. Now we get to go to say OMGAAAAAAAAWD!!! I'm guessing it'll be a playoff-like atmosphere there tomorrow. How awesome!

I didn't get any Radio Chatter today because I spent a good amount of the game scrubbing my shower. Seriously, my shower was very dirty. Also I was at my friend's for a few minutes, watching the game via Mobile Gameday. There just wasn't a lot of opportunity for me to write stuff down.

But this is all you need from the radio today anyway. Hear it again and again and again!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Masters Of Their Own Destiny

Dang, doesn't that sound dramatic?

It was kind of a dramatic game today, just in the fact that a fan got creamed with a foul ball and later on so did an umpire. The Tribe hit for the cycle as a team. It was a cloudy day but at times the sun beamed down. Yan Gomes threw out everyone on the Astros, I think. I ate frozen custard even though it was fall weather. The Browns won. The Rangers lost. My friend made me some spinach pie.

Oh man, look at how far Texas is behind us! And KC's win today was crucial because Monday we're off but Texas plays, which evens up the numbers and could have put Texas 0 games behind us.

Along with KC's win of course was our win - the 6th 4-game-series sweep of the year for the Tribe. If you haven't heard already, that was a first for the Tribe since 1954 and a first in the MLB since the 1961 Yankees did it (a Mantle/Maris joint).

Today they had Kluber out there on the mound. He wasn't pitch-perfect (ha!) but he was serious about his start. No quality start for him but I think Francona had no interest in letting a guy get length or whatever, and just wanted to start throwing bullpen arms out there. So Klube was out after 5 1/3 innings, 6 hits, 6 strikeouts and just 2 earned runs. Of course one of those runs was by Chris Carter who we have determined is other-worldly so one other run wasn't so bad.

After Kluber was Zep, Shaw, Allen, Albers, Rapada (??), CC Lee and Carlos Carrasco. I can't really say much about this other than it got some maintenance done and it took a long time. And it was cold out. I don't know if it's hard or easy for a bullpen to keep a team from scoring when every guy pitches an out or two then moves on. Well done, all.

It felt like everyone got a hit today - they did get 13 - but alas, Nick Swisher and Yan Gomes were both shut out. Never fear! Swish got a sac fly for an RBI and Gomes came in to score a run after he was hit by a pitch. He got hit YESTERDAY too, but it was in the arm. I worried his arm wouldn't be functioning as well today - which is maybe why he struck out 3 times - but he didn't skimp on the defense, picking off a dude at first and later on throwing out a would-be base stealer at second.

Hellz yeah, Yan Gomes!

Michael Bourn stayed on his hitting horse today and got himself a 2-RBI triple! He just kept running and running! He also got a walk, so he went 1 for 4.

Kipnis was really feeling the crowd today! Or something! The sleepy Kid woke up and found himself going 3 for 5 with a run scored!

Kipnis got his 34th double, Santana got his 34th double, plus his 19th HOMER!!! It was the last run scored in the game, and it came at a cool time - right when the Browns scored their last touchdown in their game. Neat!

Raburn almost didn't get a hit, which would have FREAKED ME OUT. But he did, in the 7th. Whew. And since he's Raburn, his pinch runner came in to score, too.

Asdrubal WALKED twice today. Walked! Did you know he's got less than half the number of walks that Swisher, Santana and Kipnis have? He doesn't walk much - which is why he's all slumpy this year because he strikes out instead. Anyway, he walked twice and got a hit, so he had the opportunity to score twice! Team player!

Michael Brantley was hitting 8th today. I don't know what's up with that for real, but my conjecture is when you've got a pretty good lineup you split them in to 2 groups of 4 or 5, and so you've got 2 cleanup hitters and stuff. I mean, who says the best guys gotta be 1-4?

Brantley is having NO problem with my challenge to him to hit-streak out the last 13 games. Today he tacked on 3 more hits and 2 more RBI. So smooth! He went 3 for 4 on the day...and he is ONLY hitting .280! Hmm, maybe my streak challenge will help him get up to .300 in the next 6 games. Maybe?

Mike Aviles is finally stringing some good games together! Yesterday he broke a hitless streak and today he followed it up with 2 more hits and 2 RBI! Good to see the leader of the Goon Squad keeping up with his own claims. That 3B spot was definitely a dent in our lineup - Aviles and Chiz have big swings of being good then nothing. So, keep it up for just 6 more, Handsome Mike!

Tomorrow is an off day - our final one until next Monday! Two at home against Chicago then 4 in Minnesota.

Tuesday it'll be Ubaldo versus LHP 3.53. The White Sox, man. It's ours!

Texas is playing Houston for 3 now. Hopefully we taught those boys a lesson or two on how to play good baseball, and they will show no mercy to those other guys from the Lone Star State. Shine on, Disastros!

Tuesday it is. See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"You wonder why anyone tries to run on him."
- Tom Hamilton on Yan Gomes

"The injuries for him would make a doctor at the Cleveland Clinic blush."
- Tom Hamilton

"Houston is acting like it's the first day of school. They haven't met each other so they're afraid to talk to each other."
- Tom Hamilton

"CB Bucknor thought about it and he said 'You know what? Why not?'"
- Tom Hamilton on Bucknor's strike out call

"Anyone who bets on the game of baseball, they've got some serious issues."
- Tom Hamilton on the unpredictability of Philip Humber, who previously had a perfect game

"'Guess' is the operative word today when it comes to balls and strikes."
- Tom Hamilton

"You may be able to stick a fork in the Baltimore Orioles."
- Tom Hamilton


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Staying the Course

Aaaack! Everyone else won today (everyone else = TB and TX) so the standings stay the same. But the critical part of this is that the Tribe won today so the Tribe being in the Wild Card race stays the same too. Wahoo!

Those damn Royals, tho - they were all good when they played us but apparently not good enough to keep after those sliding Rangers. Step it up, KC!


Scott Kazmir did not stay the same - he got better! He's given up 26 runs in his last 52 innings (and that's 52 innings over 10 starts so less than 6 innings per start), but today not only did he give up NO runs, he also went 7 innings and as a little bit of a treat for the kids he also struck out 10! Way to dig deep for September, old man!

Cody Allen was chicken-licous today, throwing the 8th, striking out 2 with no hits and no runs. Joe Smith didn't fare as well, giving up a run. But that humongous first baseman Chris Carter got to him for a solo homer, but he also 2 hits off Kazmir too. So yeah, Carter is frustrating.

Speaking of frustrating, Michael Bourn had his stuff together today and started off the Tribe's offensive game with a double! Then since he raised so much excitement, Swisher hit a single and then Kipnis followed with a sac fly and the Indians were on the board in no time! Bourn ended up with TWO doubles on the day, as well as a walk.

Swisher and Kipnis didn't do anything else the rest of the game but hey, it was runs.

Swisher did, however, present fireworks after the game. And drew over 26,000 fans. So, that's cool.

Oh, well Swisher did come in to score after that single on Brantley's follow-up 2-run homer! Only his 9th of the year and it was a pretty big one, getting the Tribe over their 2-run hump and putting the 3rd run on the board - something new for this series!

Asdrubal was muy caliente hoy! He went 3 for 4 with a double, and also stole 3rd base. It was only his 9th of the season (and Brantley's 9th homer too....ooOoOoo....) which is why nobody suspected it. Super sad that he was stranded on base all 3 times though.

OMG the Astros almost broke Yan Gomes! In fact, I bet his cannon arm is pretty purple right now. They hit him with a pitch on his right forearm. Seriously, outside of the bullpen there is no more important body part on this team. I hope they send him home with a masseuses and round-the-clock ballboys with ice packs. That arm needs to be perfect from here on out! But he might sit out tomorrow and have Monday off, and be not purple but yellow on Tuesday. We'll see.

Oh, around all of that he went 2 for 3 with a double. Lonnie hit him in with a single to score the 4th run.

Still not the best and biggest game against these Astros. I've been expecting a lot more! But I do see that they are trying very hard and scrapping as much as they can to get the wins. I like to see those sac flies and stuff - means they are playing smart not just hard.

I'm going to the game tomorrow. I got super weird seats - Section 425 which is one of those front-of-the-upper-deck boxes, but its beneath 525 which isn't even on sale. So we'll be out there by ourselves! And it will be neat! (Actually we'll probably be hanging over the bullpen for a bit, I imagine. We like doing that!)

It'll be Kluber versus LHP 4.60. I have a feeling Kluber will be locked and loaded for this one. It's his turn to have a magnificent start!

Keep an eye on the scoreboard - we want KC to win against Texas to keep Texas out of our hair. Our total number of games will even up on Monday when we're off and Texas plays, so we need them to be losing to avoid extra playoff games. Boy howdy!

No Radio Chatter tonight. I was out at a restaurant, watching the Tribe on TV while I stuffed myself silly on various fried foods at The Local Tavern. Oh what a treat....and the food was good too!

Friday, September 20, 2013

It's Tribe Time...NOW!

Once again it wasn't a pretty win - they still couldn't get those runners home, even with the gift of 3 errors AND they only had to play 6 1/2 innings before the torrential downpour. But by the end of the day, there is this:

There you have it! What we've been waiting for all this time! It's definitely ours to lose. Gotta keep winning, winning, winning and maybe a few of those other jerks can keep losing and the 2013 MLB Playoffs are OURS!

Quick game tonight, due to rain. It was only 6 1/2 innings, which made it official. Exactly official, in fact - like the sky knew when it was ok to open up!

Zach McAllister was already replaced by then, twice. He only managed 5 innings and 76 pitches before it was time for backup. Zep took care of the first bit of the 6th then Shaw finished it up and took on the 7th. They did well, and even McAllister was doing all right with just 4 hits and 1 run. Maybe Francona's on a "if you got 'em, use 'em" tear with the bullpen?

The offense only managed 4 hits and their 2 runs - they won 2-1 - were both un-earned due to the aforementioned 3 errors. Asdrubal got on base again by sheer luck, just like last night!

Brantley's hitting streak stayed alive! He's on his way to tabling out the season!

Santana's hitting streak had already come to an end a couple days prior but he was back behind the plate tonight, and started on a new streak, no doubt.

Hey Raburn! Good to see you - and your hit!

Good ol' Mike Aviles. Handsome Mike. I tell you what - that kid left 4 men on again tonight. He's really been racking up the bodies. But you know what? He got his first hit in 20 at-bats and it was a double and there was no one else on but dangit - perhaps this is Aviles turning a corner?! Let's get this done, mi primo!

Hopefully the boys had a nice relaxing night playing GTA 5 before turning in early (they all sleep in bunk beds underneath center field, right?) and are totally fired up to beat these Astros to a pulp tomorrow! On Nick Swisher Fireworks Night! (And by "fired up" I mean sort of embarrassed that this stupid Houston team is holding them down so hard.)

Tomorrow is a 6:05 start - don't forget! It'll be Kazmir versus RHP 5.54. Are you kidding me?! There was 17k at the stadium tonight for Dollar Dog night. Let's see you break 25k tomorrow for fireworks and the Black Keys!

See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"If you think this is an adventure, wait til Sunday."
- Tom Hamilton on the umpiring crew (Sunday must be Bucknor behind the plate)

"When we board that plan for Minneapolis Wednesday night, nobody knows where that plane is going 4 days later."
- Tom Hamilton is getting excited

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Who Is Matt Carson?

Matthew "Matt" Reese Carson (born July 1, 1981) is an American professional baseball outfielder for the Cleveland Indians of Major League Baseball. He is 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m) and weighs 200 pounds (91 kg).


Prior to playing professionally, he attended Yucaipa High School and then Brigham Young University (BYU).
Carson joined the Tribe in spring training but went right to Columbus from Arizona. Carson is 32 and he's been in the minors since 2002,  except for 46 games with Oakland across 2009 and 2010, and 26 games in Minnesota last year. The Indians brought him up in September, along with bringing over Kubel from the D-Backs.

Matt Carson has appeared in 11 games now since September 1, with 8 at-bats and only one start. He has gotten 7 hits in his 8 at-bats, with 3 RBI. Tonight's hit and subsequent RBI were - as far as Cleveland's concerned - his most important of his career!!

Have a look:

How freaking awesome was that? On one hand, you don't expect some perpetual minor leaguer to be the one guy who can get a team of highly-paid professionals a win against the worst team in all of baseball...but, what ever! I will TAKE it! And I will praise Matt Carson! And I will look forward to seeing him through the rest of September and on through October!!!

I was at the game tonight. Veeeeeeerrrrry cool atmosphere! I was perched atop the bleachers, between a group of "dudes" and this old guy. The old guy (totally did not get his name) said he hadn't been to a game since 1995 when he won a playoff lottery. He heard on the radio that tickets were $10, and he doesn't have a computer so he came to the box office to get his ticket earlier that day. I had the radio in one ear but I had a nice time watching the game with him. He was excited - hooting and hollering and waving his arms along with me! He was really having a ball! And just because he hadn't been to a game in so long doesn't mean he wasn't up with the team - he knew his stuff.

Funny that the guy was there with me, really. My own grandpa (that's him at the right [during the 2013 season]) hadn't been to a game in that long either, and he passed away before I could convince him to come to another. And while this guy reminded me of a grandpa he didn't remind me of my grandpa. He actually reminded me of my best friend's grandpa! But it was still nice.

Also when I went to give him high 5's with my big paws, I honestly thought I was going to snap his hands right off his wrists.

Dude said he might come back for more games. How fun!!

Like I said, the crowd was awesome. Lots and lots of cheering and clapping - in all the right places! Not just clapping for clapping's sake, but clapping when something laudable was happening. Or we wanted it to happen. Even John Adams was inspired and threw in some extra drumming while the Tribe was pitching, and when we didn't have runners in scoring position.

Just 12,607 at the game tonight but it sure as heck felt like a full boat! A ton of people left after the 10th inning, though, which I found weird because I assumed everyone who was there tonight was a pretty diehard fan. But, whatever...I don't know how they live their lives!

Ubaldo was just aces again tonight, for the 4th time in a row in September! It was his 6th quality start in a row, today going 7 innings with 1 earned run and striking out NINE. He's only walked 3 batters in his last 4 starts - none of them today.

After that performance, and the team just not being able to score any dang runs, we really needed the bullpen to be on their best behavior. Of course, we saw the best of the bullpen too - Smith and Perez for the 8th and 9th, then Allen for the 10th and Shaw for the 11th. No messing around with Hagadone or Hill, no sir! Smith was flawless. Perez had us hiding behind our hats with the bases loaded and only 1 out, but he ended up striking out the side. Allen and Shaw were great too. Nobody gave up any runs!

The guys looked great in the field today, which is important both because they weren't scoring any runs and they looked awful the last two games. So now at least we know they are serious about defense.

The offense bit was weird because they did get 12 hits and walked 4 times. But hardly anyone was getting to second base! (Ooh la la)

Poor Michael Bourn...used to be if it was coming up in the late innings and Bourn didn't have a hit, I could say "Michael Bourn doesn't ever not get a hit!" and he'd come up with a double or something. Not today - he struck out 3 times and ultimately went 0 for 5.

Swisher was large and in charge today! He went 4 for 4 before they pulled him in a slick move to have some speed on the bases after he got a double in the 8th. Francona said it wasn't too hard of a decision because he got all his hits right-handed and they were done with lefty pitchers. Swish also had a couple nice plays at first as well.

Kipnis finally had a bit of a stir today! He went 2 for 5 and he's the guy that got the RBI that kept us going for 10 innings! He also had a sweet catch, running in to shallow center with his back to the plate and making the play in the 7th. Get hot? Please?

Carlos Santana was trying too hard today for real. He left 3 men on. But he did get a walk, because he is extremely good at walking.

Yan Gomes is just amazing. Utterly unbelievable that he is here with us! Today he caught a guy stealing and also picked off a very fast pinch runner at second. BEHOLD! He's so friggin cool, isn't he? On top of that he went 2 for 5 on the night and was the one who came in to score the winning run. Wanna hear something weird, though? He left 4 men on base! Huh!

OMG what was Asdrubal doing today? He went 2 for 5 and both hits were dribblers down the 3rd base line that were too soft to go foul. Like, he meant to hit them over the fence but the ball hit his bat wrong so they just meandered over to 3rd instead and they were so slow that Asdrubal beat them out. I mean, really! It was pretty weird! He was not really looking good otherwise but hey he got more hits than most guys. Home runs to follow!

Michael Brantley went 1 for 4. I forgot to mention last night, in my haste, that he was keeping up my wish for him to ride out the season with a 13-game hitting streak. Good news - he's up to 4! He did leave a sour taste in my mouth when he tried to steal after his one hit today and failed quite miserably, but you know, he can't carry this team guys!

Poor Mike Aviles...he really really sucks right now. Like 0 for 22 or some nonsense. And the guy is such a team player, like Kipnis. You know it's killing him! He went 0 for 3 today and so did our man Stubbs, who is also taking a turn for the worse. This needs fixing by October!!

Then there was Matt Carson, who you've now heard of. He was in hitting for Stubbs in the 9 position when he changed the world!

Hey, I bought my Goon Squad tee today! They had them at the big Team Shop. I wasn't sure if I wanted a Rally Chicken or a Goon Squad but they made the decision for me by only having one. They had a lot of really great-looking shirts in stock, by the way - not just GVArtwork ones. They had a really nice red Progressive Field shirt but I can't find it online. Didn't catch the brand.

Just to be fair - and just because I friggin' love the local tee shop gear - here's links to Fresh Brewed Tees, CLE Clothing, Homage tees and Eastbay (not local but some nice-looking stuff).

To wrap up - nice night at the park, great weather and great crowd, happy to spend time with an old guy, Ubaldo is the bomb, Yan Gomes right? and now we all know who Matt Carson is!!

Tomorrow is these Astros again and they are going to be gunning for us even harder just because they think they can beat us. Not a chance! Let's just hope we can get to their pitchers, dangit!

It'll be McAllister versus LHP 2.98. Don't be scared! He still plays for the Astros (102 losses thus far). Perhaps it'll be a case of doing well against good guys after sucking against a bad guy. Right?

There's always Matt Carson!

See you there!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Me Duele

Oh, how it hurts me.

I didn't want to do a blog today because I don't have anything good to say, but I felt like we need each other tonight, boffins. It was a one-two punch of Cleveland Sports Awfulness, with Trent Richardson being traded away for "there's always next year" and the Tribe losing what was probably the biggest game of September. We need a hug.

Here's some nice news: My friend won more Tribe tickets playing cornhole, because she is a cornhole master, and not only will she be out of town for the game but she also doesn't like baseball. She asked if I wanted tickets to "the playoff game Sunday," bless her heart. YES!

We couldn't even count on Raburn to give us happiness today. Just some more sad.

Michael Brantley, at least, he brought some good. That was nice of him.

Tomorrow we start 4 with the Astros...who I thought for a minute were going to beat the Reds 4-1 and thus be a threat to us but the Reds came back so that's good.

I'm excited, I'll be there at the top of the bleachers! Within spitting distance of our best friend John Adams, only I won't be spitting on him I'll be listening to the radio and waving my sign.

No spitting!

Oh, it'll be Ubaldo versus LHP 5.17 so THEY BETTER BRING IT!!!

Literally hope to see you there!

Radio Chatter:
"Boy what an awful first inning for the Indians."
- Tom Hamilton

"Hosmer looks like he's 8 feet tall when he's in the batter's box. [...] It doesn't look like there's any pitch he can't reach."
- Tom Hamilton

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Indian Fever - Be A Believer!

I swear I had a bag of Red Vines at the beginning of this game. Thirty cents a bag at the Expired Stuff Store if you're willing to eat year-expired candy! Anyway, I had a bag of Red Vines and now I have an empty bag of Red Vines and a very, very red mouth. And I don't remember eating all these Red Vines. Is this how non-smokers live??

INTENSE baseball tonight! The Indians were looking rather flat against this "Little Mo'" pitcher for Kansas, just up from the minors via the Dominican. They managed just 4 baserunners in 5 innings, one via the error.

Corey Kluber wasn't doing enough to lead the charge against this kid, either. Three runs on 6 hits in just 4 2/3 innings. He was already at 79 pitches when they pulled him. Granted, there was a bonehead play (but not an error) that contributed to an extended inning, but Kluber really wasn't stunning anyone. Could the bullpen hold down the fort?!

Yes we can!

Francona strategically threw everyone out there, matchup-by-matchup, because no doubt he knew the crucial nature of tonight's game. I mean if we all figured it out, surely Cleveland's baseball mastermind knew!

The plan worked. The bullpen threw 4 1/3 innings giving up just 3 hits and striking out 5. They didn't let any runs cross the plate. They kept that Kansas City crowd quiet! Hill, Shaw, Allen, Zep, Smith and, Lord help us, Chris Perez. I think I was holding my breath from the time they said he was warming all the way through to "Ballgame!"

Boy what an inning for Perez, though. Back to his 1-2-3 tricks, and just for extra good measure it was a rare two-strikeout affair (most of the time he's good for one strikeout, maybe). I wish you coulda heard Hammy's final call - never has there been such a relieved "STRIKE. THREE. CALLED. BALLGAME!" Fun stuff!

The Tribe barely got any more hits tonight than last night but considering what a wasteland the first 5 innings were, all of their hits got bunched in at the second half of the game and it turned in to 5 winning runs!

Michael Bourn is BACK, man! Not only does he have a 7-game hitting streak but today he ramped back up to being that quality leadoff guy that we were happy to have in place of Choo. He flew around the bases to get a triple in the 7th, then easily tagged and went home on a follow-up sac fly. Then later on in the 9th he hit just his 6th home run for a super huge insurance run, and by the looks of this it was his #1 most happiest homer!

Nick Swisher hit a huge sac fly to get Bourn in, in that 7th inning. Bros helping bros!

Poor Jason Kipnis. He goes on Twitter every night to give his thoughts on the game. He is definitely not contributing in the way a Kipnis wants.



Mmmmm...swiss cheese!

Santana was at DH tonight, and did his thing going 1 for 2 with 2 walks. He didn't come in to score but Stubbs/Flash came in to run for him in the 8th and he scored instead! Another genius move by Francona but even me in my little pea brain I was all "STUBBS! NOW!" Did you know he's got a 12-game hitting streak? Sure does!

Speaking of hitting streaks, Michael Brantley is always going to be a key player on this team. He is good for some hitting streaks, usually some rather long ones in a season. Tonight he doubled his current streak to 2 games. Who wants to see him streak out the season?! It'd be a very MODEST 13-game streak - which Santana seems to be working towards with ease. Totally, totally do-able. Oh, also his one hit was an RBI tonight. More of that too, please!

Asdrubal had one weird game tonight. He had a couple of bad defensive plays and a bit of bad baserunning. Yet he drove in the go-ahead run with a huge double that made outfield darling Alex Gordon fall right over!

"Ho! Ha ha! Guard! Turn! Parry! Dodge! Spin! Ha! Thrust!"
Ryan Raburn was in the game today, and Tom Hamilton totally jinxed him by pointing out that he is amazing every time he got to the plate. So, we got nothing from Raburn today. No runs, no hits. Just...inspiration!!!

The Chiz Kid wasn't feeling it tonight, either. After 4 RBI in his last 2 games, he went 0 for 4 tonight. Unfortunately, even though Aviles came in for him it was too late to see what the other half of the platoon could bring to the plate. Plate! Ha!

Yan Gomes didn't leave us wanting, though! He Rudy Steined right up in there and got himself hit by a pitch and came around to score the 2nd run of the night. Teamwork! He's hitting .290, by the way.

Since Texas and Tampa are playing each other again, we leave tonight still .5 out of the wildcard race. Tomorrow is big big big big. We could be IN IT by this time tomorrow!

I went out and bought a ticket for Thursday. Carefully planned so that I will be able to get the maximum cheering done. No one will need me on Dollar Dog night (Friday) or fireworks night (Saturday) but I bet they'll need asses in the seats Thursday. And my ticket was only $10! Holla! (Plus $2 plus parking plus fees but advertised as $10! Holla!)

But focusing on tomorrow...it'll be Salazar versus LHP 3.11. Hmm...311 is my lucky number, I wonder what that means? I won money in roulette in VEGAS betting on 3 and 11. Let's do this!


It's going to be so super intense tomorrow night. Hope I see you there!

Radio Chatter:
"A very ominous beginning to this ballgame for the Indians and Corey Kluber."
- Tom Hamilton

"I don't know if I've ever seen a Major League umpire, outside of Leslie Nielson, make two different calls on a play."
- Tom Hamilton

"The way Raburn is swinging it lately, is there anyone you'd rather have at the plate?"
- Tom Hamilton

"Ryan Raburn would like to send the folks to the parking lot with one swing of the bat."
- Tom Hamilton

"No way do you want to play come-from-behind baseball with the Royals' 'pen."
- Tom Hamilton

"Michael Bourn, doing his reincarnation of Babe Ruth!"
- Tom Hamilton

"If the Indians can win this, this will be one that you put in the memory bank."
- Tom Hamilton

"STRIKE. THREE. CALLED. BALLGAME!"
- Tom Hamilton

Monday, September 16, 2013

Shields Up

Ah well...what are you going to say? Shields is good, the Tribe is no longer smashing good pitchers like they did at the beginning of the season. Part of that equation before was our starters being tougher than the Cy Young starters, so getting a run or two off those guys meant the whole game. But now that our starters are throwing well in spurts only, we run into situations like tonight where we have Old Man Kazmir going against Big Game James Shields.

Kazmir scratched and clawed his way through 5 innings, which I think Francona made him do because, well, come on! He threw 98 pitches once it was all over. Four earned runs off 7 hits (2 triples), even though he had 6 strikeouts.

Then they rolled out half the bullpen who proceded to give up an additional 7 hits and 3 more runs. Ho hum.

The lineup wasn't all that spectacular today, considering how today it was all of the A-team and yesterday it was the C-team and they fared way better.

Michael Bourn would tell you that there was a bit of a problem with the ump's eyes.

Asdrubal still isn't HOT but at least he's warmer than before. Today he managed one hit, and it was a double.

The man of the hour was Lonnie Chisenhall who smacked his 11th homer (a solo shot), and second homer in as many games! He seems better off the bench anymore, though, just like Aviles. Conveniently, they are working together at third base!

Giambi almost had a big hit - at  least an RBI double - but someone done caught it.

Brantley shook the sleep out of his eyes and went 2 for 4 today. Interestingly, the last time he hit was against KC last week. He was totally shut down against the White Sox.

So I don't know, maybe the boys are poised and ready for the rest of the season now? I think Shields was our last great hurdle. Everyone else should be sort of Chicago-level easy. But you know this Tribe - they like to make everything difficult!!

Tomorrow it's an 8:10 game again. Kluber versus MYSTERY PITCHER. Some guy who just got called up. Let's hope he's more of a Bauer than a Salazar!

See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"It's not like Ned Yost is a bad guy. He's just like hugging a cactus."
- Tom Hamilton

"Kazmir's only 29 years of age, but he feels like a guy that everything has to feel just right for him to pitch good."
- Tom Hamilton

"It's the time where they try to get all the kids in Kansas City to realize that if you want to chase your blues away it only takes a bottle of whiskey and a bottle of beer."
- Tom Hamilton is not a fan of the Royals' 7th inning song ("Friends In Low Places")

"Boy the broken-bat singles are all going Kansas City's way tonight."
- Tom Hamilton



Sunday, September 15, 2013

Happy Five Hundred!

Hey! Today was the Tribe's 81st win of the season! We'll be ending the season with AT LEAST a .500 record but I'm thinking it'll be well above that. Way to go Tito!


Tom Hamilton said that Nick Swisher has really turned it on in the month of September. I'd say that our pitchers have too. And so has Asdrubal. And so have our bench guys and even the new guys!

I don't know about you but I'm turned on! Woo woo!

There was a 4-hour rain delay today. No joke! Probably nobody noticed because there was a Browns game at the same time as the scheduled Tribe game. It didn't bother me because by 2 PM I was knee-deep in Disney princess birthday party (funner than it sounds).

I got home just in time to hear the final 4 runs and 4 innings. Then I felt like listening all the way through again!

Do you think John Adams would have stayed for the entirety of this game had it been in Cleveland? I'd like to think he would but I am glad he didn't have to find out!

Zach McAllister was our man today. After three dreadful starts, he totally had it going on tonight with "Classic Zach." A quality-plus start - 6 2/3 innings with only one earned run, and 5 juicy strikeouts. No homers, no wild pitches, no hit batters, just one double and 5 dinky singles. How big is it for him to go long after Ubaldo went long, after two guys went short? Big big.

Bryan Shaw finished up the 7th then pitched the 8th, getting rid of 4 for 4 batters - without a strikeout. OOooOooo!

Cody Allen had a Perez-like 9th. A hit, a strikeout, and a couple of fly outs. According to Hammy, Allen and Callaway actually spotted an issue in his delivery while watching a video. Isn't baseball grand??

Francona loaded up the lineup with righties today, I think just to make Chris Sale look bad. It worked! The Tribe beat Sale for the 4th time this year - the only team he's lost to more than once, other than Oakland (2). The Indians are batting over .330 against him. Weak sauce, Sale!

Stubbs was our man at the top today, with Bourn having a day off. Leadoff doesn't seem to suit Stubbs at the moment - he went 0 for 4.

Swisher, on the other hand, is finally fired up in the 2-hole. He did one of those classic Carlos Baerga moves today - yeah, you know what I'm talking about. Homer from each side of the plate, bro! Actually that's not a Carlos Baerga thing - that's a Nick Swisher thing. He leads the league at doing it - previously with 12 and now with 13. He did it 3 times in 2007 and 3 again in 2009, plus 7 other times including tonight. Huh! He's also in his 9th year in a row with 20 homers. So, go you.

Raburn was batting third. It was a bit of a mish-mosh of a batting order! But that didn't sway our Raburn. Yes, he finally didn't get an RBI for the first time since August 13, but he did get a hit and a run! You know it!

Carlos Santana has got it turned on for real. Another 2 hits tonight, so he's got a 10-game hitting streak with 14 hits therein!

Not so much a streak but - OMG ASDRUBAL!!! ANOTHER home run! And it was a 3-run dinger, not just a little homer. That's 11 RBI in his last 9 games!! Life is better for the #1 Asdrubal fan. Much better than last September. Whew!!

Nothing doing for Aviles today (Oh Lonnie, why can't you bat right like you throw?) but according to Nick Swisher, his name is "Handsome Mike." LULZ!

Hey, new guy Matt Carson! Way to play for your job today, buddy! Three for three with a homer, an RBI single, another single and hit by a pitch. Oh, and his second stolen base! THAT is the way you get put back in the lineup, buddy. You keep doing that! (But the minute you stop, there's a lot of other guys we can put in the outfield. YOU FEEL ME?)

Little Jose Ramirez is still working hard for his spot, too. He went 1 for 2 with 2 walks. He did get caught stealing but whatever - he was out there running! Love the speed on this team and it's crazy that we have even MORE speed waiting in the wings here.

While most of our runs came via the home run today, I still feel confident about our hitting. Bourn and Kipnis were out, and Brantley was half time. Santana, Swisher and Cabrera were still heated up and new guys Carson and Ramirez did their parts. Fun stuff!

So the Tribe is 1/2 game out of the wildcard. According to Crazy-Ass-Stats at ESPN.com (scroll all the way down), the Indians have the best chance, percentage-wise, of making the playoffs compared to everyone else in the wildcard race (like 68% compared to 58% or 6%). I'm getting giddy. Are you giddy yet?

The last of our tough runs starts tomorrow, with 3 against the Royals. They're 3 whole games behind us in the WC race so every win is really critical. Do you think we've got it? I hope we've got it.

They've got their work cut out for them tomorrow. It'll be an 8:10 game with Kazmir taking the mound against RHP 3.38. Kazmir needs to dig deep and give us one more stellar game. Everyone who was off today needs to take all that rest and turn it into energy tomorrow in Kansas City. The bullpen needs to be ready if things don't go well for Kazmir. The key might be getting to that RHP early. Patience is the word.

Enjoy the rest of the above-five-hundred season! See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"One of the problems we have with Major League Baseball today is too much information. Anyone can look at a Doppler radar and say 'Well I can predict the future.'"
- Tom Hamilton

"He is making Terry Francona look like a genius, putting him in the lineup today."
- Jim Rosenhaus on Matt Carson

"The Indians have been kryptonite when it comes to Chris Sale."
- Tom Hamilton

"The attendance was listed at 18,631. There might still be 631 here."
- Tom Hamilton

"There isn't a church in Chicago as quiet as this ballpark is right now."
- Tom Hamilton

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Oh, U!

Man, Ubaldo had it going ON tonight! Great time for him to step up and be our main guy while Masterson is hurt down the stretch here. Lots of losses in the wildcard race today so Cleveland is just one game out! Down with Texas!

Ubaldo pitched 8 1/3 innings, gave up just one run (at the end of it, thanks to a reliever), only 6 hits and struck out 8. Remember when he gave up 4 home runs in each of April, May and June? He tweaked it down to 3 in July and only one in August - which helps explain how he's got the league's best ERA since the All Star break. And September? Well so far in three appearances there have been NO home runs and just two earned runs. An entirely different Ubaldo, altogether!
"An entirely different Ubaldo!"
CC Lee was called in for the remainder of the 9th, with 2 on and one out. Ubaldo didn't have a chance to go for the complete-game shutout. He also didn't have a chance to finish the game without his 2 runners scoring, as Lee gave up a single to load them up and then a sac fly for one of Ubaldo's runners to score.

But, as Tom Hamilton said, Francona is going for the playoffs, not a complete-game shutout. So they had to ditch Ubaldo just in case he was about to implode. Fair enough.

The offense was back to pummeling the Sox, which is how it should be. None of this 3-1, close game nonsense! Today it was a solid manly 8-1 with two big home runs and stuff like that.

Bourn, Swisher and Kipnis each got one hit apiece, and Bourn with 2 walks to Swisher's and Kipnis's one each. Bourn and Kipnis are both rocking 5-game hitting streaks, and Swisher is right behind them with 4 games.

Carlos Santana is rocking a NINE game hitting streak with 12 hits, 7 RBI and 8 walks in that time. Wow! Today he kicked it up a notch and got himself 3 hits in 4 at-bats, with a walk, 2 RBI and a run scored. Great time for him to be hot, for sure! And it really works out that we can use him and Gomes simultaneously, with the DH spot and Swisher being expendable at first (gee, thanks Swisher?)

Michael Brantley went 0 for 5 today, after going 0-3 last night. Pray for Mojo :(

OMG ASDRUBAL!! Four home runs in 8 games now. It's pretty amazing! Granted, he is still striking out at very inopportune times *cringe* but you know, we need runs and home runs are runs. Tonight they were 2 runs!

Since we were up 7 runs at the time, they brought in Jose Ramirez to bat for Asdrubal in the 9th. No doubt to see what that kid can do. Well, he can hit a triple! Dude is so fast. I wish they put up a video of it so I can see how fast he is, but no. Lucky for me I saw it in person on Monday but I could watch it all day!

Giambi and Raburn platooning as DH In the 7-spot. Nice move! Giambi had a walk then came in to score. He also had a double until Avisail Garcia leaped up and caught it!

Raburn got another RBI today. Shattered his hitting streak, going 0 for 1, but his RBI streak is still alive. How about that?

15 RBI in 8 games!!

Love that Raburn!

How lucky were we to see Giambi, Raburn and Gomes in one game? So lucky! Gomes went 1 for 4 with a walk, and came in to score. Twelve hits in his last 10 games!

I told you we'd see Lonnie today! Nice platooning with Aviles - Aviles seems to be out of steam, so put in the Chiz Kid and he gives you a 3-run homer and goes 2 for 4!! Now, we just need to perfect our timing of Aviles and Chisenhall for the rest of September. Hopefully Francona is already on it.

One more delicious game against these hapless ChiSox. We've beaten them 11 times in a row and now 14 times this season. If we lose tomorrow it'll just be like...come on!

It's ZMac versus LHP 2.90. Hmm...well, let's hope the bullpen is on their A-game tomorrow, and that everyone available to us bats. We're going to need a lot of help!

No Radio Chatter tonight. I listened to the game but I was in the middle of a big bike race!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Sing A Song of Raburn

Sing a song of Ra-burn
One more RBI!
Had to use eight pitch-ers
Just to get through nine.

When Raburn's in the line-up
The Tribe does seem to win.
Hoping every day that we will
see Ra-burn again!

Tom Hamilton must be reading Twitter because he said a few times today how you just can't play Raburn every day as he is the sort of guy who thrives off the bench and every day he'd get worn out (perhaps he is familiar with my "Shelley Every Day!" campaign?) Ok fine, I accept it. But I don't have to like it!

Danny Salazar got 9 strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings today, which is the first time that has happened to an Indian since 2019. Really? That's kind of amazing! Also interesting is that today (the 13th) is also the anniversary of when Bob Feller struck out 17 in a game when he was 17. It's a strikeout kind of day!

But around those 27 pitches that were 9 strikeouts, he threw 51 other pitches that did not result in strikeouts and thus he hit his limit before the end of the 4th and that was all for Salazar.

They traipsed out 7 more guys - Hagadone, Shaw, Allen, Zep, Albers, Smith and Perez. Nothing spectacular, but they did hold the White Sox to just one run. Perez gave up a hit and a walk, which he'll sometimes do. But he didn't let the game get away!

Funny...no Pestano this time. Hmm.

(Not funny. He sort of sucks right now.)

So Michael Bourn has a 5-game hitting streak. Not walking or stealing much anymore, though. Did you know he's only grounded into 2 double plays this year? I think one was yesterday. Today of course he legged one out to get his hit. Oh, also he gave Perez a big boost by keeping one from going over the wall!

Kipnis was having an un-Kipnis-like day today. You know, he's the king of Cellular Field (ok maybe the prince. When Konerko isn't there.) He did get a hit but he struck out 3 times. Oops!

Santana has an 8-game hitting streak! Not anything crazy - just one hit per game - but at least he's still getting walks too.

Raburn only got ONE hit today - but you know it was a double, and you know it was for an RBI. YOU KNOW IT!
Asdrubal got a hit! Not a homer, but he went 1 for 2 with a walk. He also got hit by a pitch. Way to take one for the team, homie!

Brantley got no hits, but of course he was a contributor, with a sac fly.

Time to switch out Aviles for Lonnie! He's in a Goon Slump!

Stubbs is no slumper, though. After coming back alive yesterday with 3 hits, he continued today with one more. And it was for an RBI!

Not the best performance today by the bats, after seeing what they could do yesterday. But Salazar's performance was a thing of beauty! A fitting tribute to Rapid Robert!

Let's hope they give us more excitement tomorrow, at 7:10 (really), with the big U against RHP 4.50. Should be time for some Giambi action and Gomes too. Let's hope Ubaldo goes like, 9 innings. That'd be a treat!

See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"Ryan Raburn might want to spend the night here. He is very comfortable in this ballpark."
- Tom Hamilton

"I'll pretend I'm Aaron Rogers. He still hasn't tackled him."
- Tom Hamilton on avoiding Bears' linebacker Brian Urlacher

"Another good fastball by Salazar. Well...that's probably going to get redundant."
- Tom Hamilton


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Beat Down in Chi Town

Sooooo....did anyone see THAT coming? Woah! I know the White Sox stink but still, their opponents aren't getting double-digit wins off them on the reg are they? (No. Only a handful of times this year have they given up double digits. This is the second most runs they've given up. The most was 19 - to the Tribe in June!)

Oh, I know what accounted for all of the double digits:
He's back! And the team rallied and scored a ton of runs! And he continued his hitting streak at 5! And he has 13 RBI in 5 games.

13 RBI in 5 games!

So really, he is our hero and any game that the Tribe plays without him is a wasted game. Wasted!

Anyway, not as exciting today was Corey Kluber, who was just not The Klube. He was more like The U, last year. Five innings, 2 runs. Meh.

Hey but guess who flew in from Arizona and it would appear his arms are NOT tired? It's Josh Tomlin! I cannot report on the state of his goatee but I do know that he went a long 2 innings and only faced 9 batters, giving up 2 hits and no walks. A bit of a pressure situation and the pride of Tyler Texas took it in stride!

Then it was Vinnie Pestano for the 8th, who uhm, er...well he gave up a run on a walk, single, passed ball and sacrifice fly. Sorta sloppy but better than big hits I suppose.

That Preston Guilmet fella came in for the 9th, in his fourth appearance this year. No runs, no hits, a walk. Well done.

The Tribe got 16 hits and 9 walks today, and scored 14 runs! Hallelujah! The fella we got the first 7 runs off of - John Danks - isn't really that bad. The Tribe actually looked GOOD!

Would you believe....not everyone got a hit today?! The only spot without a hit was #8, Mike Aviles. Now, to be fair, he did walk once and he did get an RBI (sac fly) so it's not like one of the Goon Squad was caught not participating! No sir! Just...no star on the big board over there.

 Another kind of sad thing is they brought in as many of the 3rd stringers as possible to get our best guys out of the rain and into some dry Jockeys. And they all had at-bats (some of them had two) and none of them got hits. Ramirez, Chisenhall, Carson, Kubel, Shoppach, nothing.

But, enough with the sad stuff! Hi K-Shop! Beardy!

Everyone who did hit had a multi-hit game, except our guy Santana - who got 1 hit and 2 walks, so that translated into an RBI and a run scored for him. Also with just one hit was Asdrubal - but it was a big one! Not only his 12th homer but his THIRD in just SIX games! He might meet his 2012 record of 16 still!

Bourn with the triple! He actually got TWO hits today, and that's a 3-game hitting streak for him after being very mediocre for a very long time. Perhaps this means the fire is lit?

Gomes is back up over .300, at .301. He went 2 for 3 with both of those hits being doubles! Slugging is .504!

Drew Stubbs is back from some alternate universe where he wasn't hitting (also, getting benched for Kubel...?) He went 3 for 4 tonight, with a double and a run scored. He also played the heck out of right field, because that what he do!

Kipnis was his same badass Chicago self tonight, getting a single in the first (and stolen base) then an RBI double in the second, then another RBI in the 4th via the sac fly! I guess he's hitting something like .480 at Cellular Field. No joke!

Swish got another home run tonight, too, so he's got 3 in 6 games just like Asdrubal! Do we win when those two guys hit? Absolutely, bro! Swisher also got a big 2-RBI single in the 5th to contribute to that 7-run inning.

Once the Tribe was up 14-1, it was time to sit everyone. So after Raburn's 5th RBI and the team's 14th run, he was taken out for a pinch runner in Carson and that was the end of the fun.

Oh so Raburn went 3 for 3 with a single, double and homer. He got 5 RBI (3 on the homer). Oh my gosh he is so good...
...He's so good that next to his name on the lineup card it says ______________!

This is the lineup that I love, by the way. Not too worried about who's where but any lineup that includes Gomes and Raburn and Stubbs is a lineup I crave. No messing around with Kubel or Giambi or whatever (he can come in later!) Of course, this leaves out Brantley but someone just needs to figure that out!! Platoon Raburn, Stubbs and Brantley around right and left. There you go! Aviles, he can stay. Or platoon with Lonnie, that's fine. As long as Lonnie has his eye on the ball.

Tomorrow is more of this excitement hopefully, right in the middle of the day, at 2 PM. The good news is that I won't miss the game while I'm at a wedding. How do you like that? I'll be able to twerk the night away without wondering "DID RYAN RABURN GET A HIT TONIGHT?!"

It'll be Salazar and friends (surely) against LHP 3.44. According to the MLB preview, this guy was "chastised" by his pitching coach for being too wild. All I gotta say is - Please stay safe, Ryan Raburn!!

Ok so don't forget, 2:10. See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"Should be like a boxing match. Should be able for them to throw the white towel out of the dugout onto the field."
- Tom Hamilton

"Josh Tomlin doesn't care...it could be snowing. But he's just happy to be back throwing in the big leagues."
- Tom Hamilton

"If the Indians win tonight - and it's like saying 'If the sun comes up tomorrow morning...'"
- Tom Hamilton

"Better look at the dugout to see if the manager is Walter Matthau."
- Tom Hamilton

"Somewhere in America there are more people at a bingo parlor than are at this ballpark."
- Tom Hamilton