Thursday, May 30, 2013

How To Get To Homer. D'oh!

The Tribe keeps the Ohio Cup! We split the season series but the Tribe is ahead 44-41 since 1997 so we win the tie breaker.

So, I kid you not - the Indians had a boring game today. They only scored in one inning, they didn't hit any home runs, they struck out 10 times. Not even everybody got a hit!

But that 4th inning, man - that was a whole baseball game right there! And in fact the "game" didn't start until after 2 outs in the 4th inning. Just...HOW COOL WAS THAT?!

We'll get to that 4th inning in a second, first let's talk about pitching.

Did you see the pitching box score today? It's a good one:
Scott Kazmir had a "quality plus" start (my term!) giving up just 1 run in 7 innings. As you can see by his ERA, in his three previous starts he gave up 2 runs in 5 innings, 5 runs in 3 innings and 4 runs in 5 innings. He actually had 2 quality starts before that but this is by far his best game, with 7 innings being the longest he's gone all year and only the second time he held the opposition to 1 run.

We've gone through #1 and #2 in our rotation here in 2 days, and they've only given up 2 runs combined. Let's keep this up!

Also did you notice that only TWO guys had to come out in relief? And they gave up a combined NONE runs?? Hagadone had a great outing after a series of 3 craptacular outings (with one fine outing smashed in there). If he's back on some sort of upward swing, this is the beginning!

Albers gave up a run against Cincy the other day, but he held strong here throwing only 12 pitches to get the Reds out 1-2-3 to close out the game.

In addition to the nice pitching, the team had some nice fielding with 2 double plays and a fancy catch in the outfield by Bourn. Surely you know what I'm talking about now when I said I was all bored with Bourn yesterday after just getting 1 hit in the game and not making any cool plays. Today he went 2 for 5 with a double and had a cool play and all is right with the world! He also got 2 RBI because the guys at the bottom of the lineup were hitting too, so things are SUPER right!

Kipnis got in there and contributed today after a crazy-long drought. Ugh, I hate when that kid isn't doing well! I'm seeing a lot more "We Are All Kipnises" shirts at the park this season, so maybe he'll start getting inspired again. He went 1 for 5 with a run scored.

Asdrubal was a key player in the big inning today. He led off and got hit by a pitch. The next two guys got out, but Cabby made it to second and then came around to score when Brantley got a single. Later in the inning he got his team-leading 18th double and his 23rd RBI! He ended up not doing anything else in the game, but really neither did anyone else!

Like Nick Swisher, for example - he actually went 0 for 4. I am starting to think the New Dad High is well past him and he's now on New Dad Crash. Hopefully they give that dude a night off here, I think he needs a nap.

Do you think Carlos Santana got on base today? Of course he got on base today! He went 1 for 4 and came around to score! I won't mention that he struck out 3 times, because this is a classy joint.

Mark Reynolds is holding on by his fingernails on the edge of the Slumpville Cliff. Today he managed just 1 hit and I accidentally just learned that he leads the team in strikeouts. Nooooo! But hey, 1 hit is better than no hits, so at least he's not sliding back down!

Cousin Michael was getting all sorts of things done today. Run, hit, RBI, walk, stolen base. No strikeouts, of course. That sort of line for a game is exactly the sort of line a guy name Dr. Smooth should have. Can you dig it?

Yan Gomes...boy, he really is making a good case for himself to be our new starting catcher. Three for our today - are you kidding me?!
Not kidding! Aaaaaah!
I can't believe he only got 1 RBI on the night. Of course, it was a 2-out RBI (as were all of tonight's RBI). According to Tom Hamilton, 45% of our runs this year have come on 2 outs. That's amazing!

Ryan Raburn is apparently injured. Eep! Says he went out with a leg injury after his RBI double and run scored in the 4th. We don't need our depth to be falling apart here - get better, Raburn!

Here's an interesting fact - Stubbs, Reynolds and Brantley have the most games played at 52. The team has played 53 games. They play more than Asdrubal! That's pretty impressive especially for Reynolds as "the designated hitter." Brantley I can see, because he's hard to replace. Stubbs I guess got to play more since Bourn was out. But it shows how solid they are at the plate if they're always getting called in to bat even when they have the night off. Go Stubbs!

It's pretty weird how boring this wrapup is for such an exciting game. Really the highlight was the pitching! And of course scoring 7 dang runs with 2 outs in the 4th inning! It's always something with these guys, huh?

In other news today, the Facebook page Tom Hamilton Has The Best Homerun Call In All Of Baseball got its stuff taken down by Facebook today as the MLB came a'callin. Argh! It was sort of inevitable considering he got pulled off YouTube before (they just really don't like their stuff being used without that dang written consent), but still it's super sad. The guy that runs it is trying to get said written consent from the MLB so keep your fingers crossed!

In the meantime, if he can't get his videos back he hopes to turn the page in to a Hammy appreciation/discussion page and I hope that everyone who reads here is the sort of person who can get in to a Hammy appreciation/discussion page so hie yourself over there and say things!

Tomorrow the Rays come to town for dollar dogs and fireworks. It's gonna be crazy! Apparently the Rays are super good (albeit in 4th place?) and have won 5 in a row, so the Tribe needs to play spoiler to that mess. But with 20,000+ fans showing up and some juice in our bats the prognosis is good for mowin' em down!

It'll be our main man Corey Kluber tomorrow versus LHP 2.21. A guy with no losses and a low ERA? Sweet! Close enough to a Cy Young winner so bring him on!

See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"Two outs, an 0-2 count - of course they score. It's what they do!"
- Jim Rosenhaus

"The night goes much faster when the Indians are winning."
- Tom Hamilton

"The executives at Fox television would pass out if there was an all-Ohio World Series."
- Tom Hamilton

"To play the game the way Brandon Philips plays it, it's fun."
- Tom Hamilton

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Did Somebody Say WISH?

Giambi Jambi
I can't believe no one has made a Giambi Jambi image before (aside from this false start) but here you have it. I made a wish today at the ballpark, that Jason Giambi wouldn't be so terrible, and he granted my wish by getting a huge 3-run homer that ultimately won the game. It was indeed the thing I least expected - my reaction was all:
The secret word is "GONE!"
I'm still not a huge fan of the dude but my friend pointed out that we've got to trust Terry Francona and that's true - he's forgotten more about baseball than I'll ever know. So if Terry Francona puts in Jason Giambi instead of Gomes or Aviles or his mom, then we've got to assume that Jason Giambi is not as bad as I think he is and he can do stuff like what he did tonight all the time.

Tonight's real hero wasn't Giambi though, I don't think. It was Justin Masterson who dug deep and held those hot-hitting Reds to just 1 run in 6 innings. They got the bases loaded in the 6th with no outs and they got NO RUNS off him. That's right! No runs on bases loaded with no outs! All they got from him was a solo homer in the first. Masterson left with 7 strikeouts and just 4 hits. Tom Hamilton wondered if getting out of that inning would be a turning point for the team - perhaps!!

We got to see all the best on the mound today. After Masterson was Cody Allen who had a 1-2-3 inning, striking out 2. Then was Joe Smith, who had to face the middle of that Reds order and did so with aplomb, striking out Votto and then getting a ground out and a fly out after Phillips singled.

Then came Vinnie, who is set up for quite a show now that he's the official temporary closer. Not only does he still sprint out of the pen but they play a video montage of him being awesome and he warms up to Pantera's "Walk" which can only be described as "fuckin' a." It really pumps up the crowd but dang was that a tense 3 outs. Would he be ok? Can he get over 90 MPH? I'll admit that I was watching his warmup intensely and his last two warmup pitches were cr-ap. I think he scared himself, really.

He ended up doing just fine though - and I think sort of surprising himself. Well first he gave up a solo homer which just sucked. But the guy straightened himself up and threw nothing over 91 MPH - twice he threw under 80! - and got the next 3 guys out to end the game. I'm pretty sure all 18,000 of us breathed a collective sigh of relief. Vinnie is back! (or at least good enough)

Gotta work on that propensity for our closers to give up homers but hey if you're going to start somewhere, I'll give a solo homer in a 5-1 game. Work that out for next time though, yeesh.

Our hitters got a lot done today on just 9 hits. And they only had 1 hit going in to the 4th inning. I thought it might be a boring game. I was wrong!

Boy were there a lot of Reds fans there tonight. Every time I sit in decent seats, I am surrounded by fans of the other team. I saw the Reds last year too, right behind the plate, surrounded by Reds fans. I didn't run into many of them when I was up in the mezzanine or in the upper deck! (This is the 4th time I've seen the Reds in Cleveland now). At least Reds fans seem pretty polite. And it's not as offensive to have so many of them there because you figure most of them are actually from Cincy or Columbus - unlike all of those Boston and New York fans who show up from Parma and Ashtabula.

Anyway, the hitters got off to a slow start but they cranked it up in the 4th, ending up with 9 hits.

Michael Bourn wasn't much of a difference-maker today, oddly enough. Yes he went 1 for 4 but it's to the point where I expect a lot more from him. A stolen base, multiple hits, a fantastic play in the field. Don't get me wrong, I am over the moon about this guy being on our team and the year he's having - but that's why I can be disappointed in a 1 for 4 game!

Kipnis is back to being out of it again. He went 0 for 3 with a walk. He was solid in the field, however - no bad throws or missed balls.

Asdrubal was a big difference maker today, though! He went 2 for 4 with one double, and came around to score both times he got on base. Of course, he did strike out  with the bases loaded in the 7th and that about killed me, but I take what I can get.

Some girls sitting next to us admired OMG ASDRUBAL!! today. The one said he was her favorite player. From what I've noticed, it seems like Asdrubal is turning in to a favorite amongst the ladies at The Prog, which is weird because he's a bit durpy looking. Although I don't put it past hardcore lady Tribe fans to swoon over a guy who plays as well as Droobs. You'll overlook inverted teeth for a guy who can turn an un-assisted triple play!

Swisher had a weird night. He committed a fielding error and also came up short while running the bases. But he ended up hitting really well, also going 2 for 4 like Asdrubal, with a run scored and an RBI double.

I've already told you about Giambi. I'm not going to gush too long. I made him a special graphic, all right?! Other than his big homer he also got a double, which would have been an RBI double had Swisher had the hustle. In fact, he almost hit another homer way past the right field pole, but on the wrong side. Oh, he also tried to steal third, got caught and ended the inning. So yeah.

I'm still waiting to be completely impressed by Giambi. I am only now slightly amused.

Carlos Santana was on base again today.
He went 1 for 3 with a single and a walk, but didn't get anywhere with them. He also hit a ball off his knee and it looked terrible. But this kid is made of rock, it seems.

Mark Reynolds has shaved his beard. He also got himself a solo homer in the 3rd to tie the game! He hasn't hit a homer for 10 days, and before that 10 more days. My friend and I are hoping that the beard shaving and homer combo signifies some resurgence of the guy who so impressed us in April. He's off to a good start!

Neither Brantley nor Stubbs got hits tonight, which is surprising because they are solid. Tonight it was all the middle of the order, really. Hopefully the bottom will be on board tomorrow!

I don't have anything interesting to tell you about food or the ballpark today. It was hot and sticky that's for sure. The announcer guy Ryan was wearing this shirt and we were coveting it, but not coveting it $35 worth. I don't think I like section 128, it's pretty hard to see the batter from way down the baseline. But hey, free tickets - they got the job done well enough!

Oh, I do have one interesting thing for you: Somebody must have wished that Trevor Bauer made another rap song, because he did. It's called "From The Gutter to the Grail" and you can listen to it here and read a little about it. I heard some of it at the game - I was all like "What is this?" but I didn't say anything out loud in case I was hearing things again. But it's real and it's stoopid!

Tomorrow is the final game in the Battle of Ohio. It'll be Kazmir versus RHP 3.08, at 7:05. I guess it's a sweep situation so - bring your brooms!

See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"Well Tom, is it time to go to the Herb Score 'You never know what you'll see at a ballgame'?"
"Three doubles and one run scored! [...] When things are going bad, goofy things happen."
- Jim Rosenhaus and Tom Hamilton

"When was the last time you saw an inning where the first guy grounded out, and that was the only normal out?"
- Tom Hamilton on the weird bottom of the 5th

"I tell you what - it's not dark out but there must be a full moon."
- Tom Hamilton on the bases-loaded double play in the 6th

"You get the feeling that he's about ready to unload a bomb."
- Tom Hamilton's final words before Giambi's homer

"The Reds' scouting report must be 'Stay away from the fastball with these Indians.'"
- Tom Hamilton on the proliferation of curveballs

"Joe Smith has proven he's not a matchup guy. He'll get right handers out just as well as left handers."
- Tom Hamilton

"I don't know about you but my remote died one night, I had to get out of bed to change the channels. It is not an easy life on the road."
- Tom Hamilton

"Indians fans are not exactly sitting back."
- Tom Hamilton in the 9th after Paul's homer

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Ho Hum

The game started off bad, but Zach McAllister reined himself back in. But he didn't last too long so they had to use 5 relievers who gave up 5 runs. Ho hum.

It doesn't quite matter that the bullpen was that bad because the offense was drowned out again. They only got 7 hits and score 2 runs. Not one of their hits was for extra bases, either!

Let's run this down...

Zach McAllister was scary bad in the first inning. He gave up 3 runs and faced 7 batters. But after that, he didn't give up any more runs. He also had a 1-2-3 second inning, going on to strike out 6 and only walk 1. McAllister did end up facing a lot of batters and giving up 7 more hits, and by the middle of the 6th he was already over 100 pitches. His night was done. He could have been worse against this Cincy lineup but I think he did well, excepting the first inning. Once again I'm stunned by the success of the starters over that of the relievers and the batters. Stunned!

Oh, and if you're wondering, McAllister hit Phillips and Barnes hit Choo. Is that the end of that? Bummer!

Rich Hill came in for one batter in the 6th and walked him, which is exactly what he did Saturday against Boston. The hell?

With 2 on and 1 out, Cody Allen came in to finish that pesky 6th inning with 2 on and 1 out. He got a guy to almost bunt into a double play but it didn't happen. Luckily they did get one out and then Allen struck out Joey Votto, which was huge.

Then it was Bryan Shaw's turn, who - I swear - I was just thinking the other day how he was one of the few arms left that didn't suck yet. Damn me and my stupid positive thoughts! Shaw absolutely lost his shit, giving up 4 runs to on 5 hits from 6 batters. He only got one out. His ERA doubled. Holy smokes!!

Then Scott Barnes came in and I was all "oh crap!" and he let one of Shaw's guys score, but got the next 2 batters out.

Matt Albers finished the game and he gave up another run because why not? He did strike out 3. Yay.

Hey, you know who is super good? Michael Bourn is super good! Not only did he go 2 for 4 today, raising his average to .310, but he's also been tearing up center field lately with catches like this one tonight that ended in a slide and saved at least one run from scoring (well probably more because there were no outs!) Nice to see a little flair out there!

Swisher, Santana, Brantley and Stubbs all went 1 for 4 today. Even though it didn't amount to any more than 2 runs, it's still nice to see that guys are not being completely shut out of the hitting game, and are getting singles where home runs would mean the most.

Santana had a pickoff at 2nd, of the infamous Joey Votto.

Brantley had an outfield assist at the plate, one of my favorite plays in baseball (I love outfield assists, I love plays at the plate, so assists to the plate - boffo!)

Stubbs stole a base, allowing him to score on one of Bourn's single.

So good stuff did happen tonight, it was just far outweighed by the bad stuff, and by the stuff that didn't happen at all.

Tomorrow I'll be at the game, courtesy of my friend who won tickets because she is awesome at cornhole. She's in the Cleveland Cornhole League. If you're interested in competitive cornhole with CASH PRIZES, check 'em out! Actually, you probably already saw the piece on them on SportsTime Ohio, you STO slut!

It'll be Justin Masterson versus RHP 3.39. I get to see Masterson for the second time this year - hopefully he has a better outing than last time! What I would really like to see is one of those fancy high-scoring games. This'll be my 6th game of the year - the other games I've been to, other then when they scored 7 (and I missed half of it, chaperoning some kids in the Sandlot), they scored 3, 2, 1 and 0. Bah!

So, let's score some runs, let's get a win, and I'll see you there!!

Radio Chatter:
"Zambrano's either hitting the baseball or hitting teammates."
- Tom Hamilton

"This is one of those games you almost have to be here to believe it."
- Tom Hamilton

"I think Margaret taught him that one, not his dad."
- Tom Hamilton on the Reds' pitcher's slow pitch after commenting on his parents' marriage longevity

"As good as the Reds are, it's tough to fathom how they aren't in first place."
- Tom Hamilton

"The marketing director for LaRosa's pizza has since been fired. [...] The city of Cincinnati as a contingent has gained 10,000 pounds since the promotion began."
- Tom Hamilton on the 10-strikeout free pizza promo in Cincinnati

"With free pizza on the line, anything within a foot of home plate is a strike."
- Tom Hamilton

Monday, May 27, 2013

At Least We've Got Ubaldo?

Never thought I'd be saying that! I don't think we've had a game this season - or any season - where Ubaldo came off like a shining star amongst some crap batting and crap relief.

Was it crap batting or amazing pitching? The other guy didn't walk any of our guys, and struck out 7. I suppose if we're going to say Ubaldo did great with similar stats, then so did Leake. It doesn't get our batters off the hook, though - if they can manage all those Cy Young guys they can manage some dude from Cincinnati!

Ubaldo went 7 1/3 innings before he had thrown enough (108) and was done. In that time he only struck out 6 (I'm getting greedy with my strikeouts, thanks to Justin!) and gave up 2 earned runs. His ERA is actually the third lowest it's been all season already, thanks to the long outing. He is throwing in the low 90s, as prescribed, so that's cool. He didn't hit anyone today but he did have a wild pitch and gave up a home run to the leadoff hitter, Choo, in the first.

Best news - no meltdown!

Jiminez didn't have much help from Santana, who had 2 passed balls (one for Jiminez, one for Hagadone). Good thing Santana is hitting pretty well yet - I think everyone is chomping at the bit to get Gomes in there as our catcher and it seems like the minute Santana does something "off" he gets extra scolded for it. It's a weird spot to be in, though. There are a lot of possibilities as to who can play where and when but I'll be darned if I can tell you what the best one would be!

Hagadone was called up from Columbus today, after just being sent down to Columbus whence I said "Good, he needs to go to Columbus." He was brought up because Perez is momentarily disabled in the arm. Hagadone is not that good, but he's all we got. He started off good with an ERA under 3 all through April and the beginning of May only giving up 2 runs in 10 appearances. Then he gave up 3 runs in 1/3 of an inning. Then he did it again. Then they sent him away but they had to bring him back. Today he was back and he immediately got bitten by this bug where our relievers are giving up home runs.

Our relievers are giving up home runs.

Hagadone gave up a 2-run homer to Joey Votto in the 8th and that was that. Bryan Shaw, who is bug-free, finished off the 8th with no fanfare. What can you do about Hagadone? He's the only guy ready enough in Columbus to come up, I guess. Does he have a sore arm too? Anyone else we can try? Can Bauer do more relief? I'd like to see that.

It was "only" a 2-run deficit going in to the 9th but considering the team's take for the first 8 innings was only 2 runs, it didn't look promising that we could come back on this one. And we didn't. Perhaps if Swisher had let Chapman hit him in the head when Chapman threw at his head in the 9th we'd have had a chance at some game-tying homer. But also we might be down one Nick Swisher and the guy is really growing on me.

Speaking of growing on me - Jason Friggin' Giambi. I hate to see him up anymore, he's like Damon or Thome. Blech. But then every 10th at-bat or so (actually, he's 3/61 so I guess it's almost exactly every 20th at-bat) he hits a homer and it's some game-changing homer (today: game-tying) and I'm all "woohoo! I knew he had it in him!" It'd be so much easier if I didn't have to think about it, you know?

In other news, Kipnis and Asdrubal are keepin' on with their hitting, despite the rest of the team's poor performance. And despite their own "relatively" weak showing. Both went 1 for 4, Asdrubal with a double - extending his hitting streak to a Brantley-like 7 games.

Asdrubal also stole third! It doesn't seem like they are some huge stealing threat (although we have two of the fastest dues in the league) but it's sort of a round-robin of who might be running on you next. The Tribe is 3rd in the league in stolen bases and they've been running a lot more in recent games. Maybe because Bourn is back and Kipnis is getting on base more? The only regulars with no stolen bases are Giambi, Gomes and Chisenhall. Leading the team in SB is Kipnis with 10 but Bourn - who's got 60 fewer at-bats - is catching up fast with 8!

Reynolds got the only other hit, and Santana got the other run via sac fly. The end.

Tomorrow's another day is about all we can say about this, huh? We TOTALLY have to win tomorrow because my Negative Nelly friend said we'd go 1-5 on the road trip. Please please win tomorrow to prove my friend wrong! Also, because I'm tired of losing. Terry Francona is too. There better be some major heart-to-heart at tonight's Skyline Chili eating contest where Tito whips these knuckleheads in to shape and gets them back on the win train.

Tomorrow at 7:05 is McAllister versus RHP 3.17. Guy's given up 15 runs in his last 4 starts. Let's hope they can coax some more out of him tomorrow!

No Radio Chatter today. I was up at dawn (or what seemed like dawn) to go to the local parade and I crashed hard in the middle of the game. I had a good nap, and it would seem I didn't miss much of anything.

But, see you tomorrow!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

NOBODY Expects...

So, did anyone see this coming? In February, in April, yesterday? Did anyone think our weak spot would end up being the bullpen? Specifically Pestano, Perez and Smith? No WAY did you think that!

Granted it's just a very temporary weak spot...and it seems those fellas - at least Pestano and Perez - have some sort of physical weak spots in their arms.

Seriously, though - four runs in the 9th? I'll be a monkey's uncle.

Today I was out all day at a friend's for a cookout. When I left the Tribe was up 2-0 and they looked like they really had a handle on it already. They were hitting and running, and getting Lester to pitch a ton of pitches. The Red Sox outfield was all out of sorts. By later in the afternoon, someone told me the score was 4-1. I was confident!

I got home and checked my email and saw the postgame alert from and...5-6? WAT? And then my hard drive died. Serious.

Even though I saw that ugly score, I still listened to the game in full on my laptop while I repaired (rebuilt) my computer. I'm very happy to say that by the end of the game I am about 75% back to where I was yesterday, computer-wise. The computer got better as the game got worse. I think I may have seriously broken something (a screen, a hand, drywall, etc) had the computer project fallen apart in the 9th inning just like Chris Perez. As it stands, though, I am feeling pretty good. Chris Perez can figure his own self out.

Rolling it all back to the beginning of the game...

Corey Kluber pitched a good one. A quality start plus! He went 6 2/3 innings only giving up one run and striking out TEN! That's Justin Masterson (the ground-ball pitcher) numbers! He only walked one and gave up 3 hits - none of them home runs. It's GREAT to see him doing so well consistently - that's 3 quality starts in a row after a horrendous start in Detroit earlier in the month. Not only that but he's improving over his last 2 starts. Go Kluber!

Rich Hill came in to face one guy and walked him, then they put in Cody Allen. Allen got out of the 7th, then came in the 8th to give up a triple and a sac fly, but then finished up all right.

Then was the 9th inning that we're not going to talk about. I will submit this, from the front page of

Our offense really seemed to have it going on today - scoring in 4 innings, hitting some homers, stealing bases, working the pitch count, making the Red Sox defense look as sloppy as ours was yesterday. Unfortunately not everyone hit today - the good stuff was top-heavy - but they looked good enough as I like to see them on a Sunday afternoon.

I really like Michael Bourn, I think he hits like Choo and runs like Kenny. But how come no one (Tom Hamilton) seems to point out that he argues with the ump a lot like Kenny did, too? It's funny because they were bustin' on Kipnis for arguing with the umps today but Bourn does it every other at-bat (when he's not getting a hit) and they don't say anything. Maybe he's always right? Weird.

Anyway Bourn went 1 for 3 with a walk. He stole a base but also got caught stealing. I don't mind if he gets caught if it means he's starting to move it out there! I want steals every day! Looks like he is going at it more for real, though. As for hits he's got 15 hits in his last 10 games. Wow!

Kipnis had a day off yesterday and today he was apparently rarin' to go! He went 2 for 4 with a double and a homer, an RBI and 3 runs scored! He had multi-hit games 5 games in a row a few weeks ago. Then he hasn't had but 1 hit in his 5 previous games. Today - BAM! It'd be pretty swell if he kept this up for 5 games in a row, then.

Asdrubal went 1 for 4 and he's got a 6-game hitting streak going. He's also got 15 hits in his last 10 games, just like Bourn. Fun fact: He was the DH today! I thought that was pretty interesting. Hella more awesome than Jason Giambi being in there!

Nick Swisher is still on his post-paternity kick! First it was a good play, then the next day he went 2 for 4 with an RBI. Today, his third day back, he went 2 for 4 but it included a home run and 2 RBI! I guess it's easier to play baseball when you're not worried that you might have to up and leave. Instead you can rest assured that your wife and kid are being taken care of by a qualified nanny and personal assistant. But whatever works!

Mark Reynolds didn't hit today, but he did tell the trainer to come see what was up with Perez after Perez winced on his last pitch. Beards takin' care of beards, yo.

Santana got a huge 2-RBI single in the first inning today. Unfortunately he ran us out of the inning instead of staying put at first but hey - at at least the kid is still getting on base...

That is it for hitting today! Like I said, very top-heavy.

I am going to give a shout out to Michael Brantley, who didn't hit today ("only" 12 hits in his last 10 games) but he did have an outfield assist, which I love!

Tomorrow we've got the Reds in Cincinnati. Oh man it's gonna be a rough afternoon...maybe playing so poorly in Boston will get the team fired up to be awesome in Cincy? I don't know, that sounds like something this current team would do. 

It's a 1:10 PM game, Ubaldo versus RHP 3.25. I don't know what to think of it actually, other then by the time the game is done my computer will be back up running 100% like I never skipped a beat!

So...see you there! Also, thank a veteran today. Even if it's the day we remember the people that lost their lives, either to war or not to war, a lot of the people who are still with us have it rough today. Remember them, too.

Radio Chatter:
"You don't get to walk on this ground and experience a religious feeling without feeling a heavy debt on the credit card."
- Tom Hamilton on people visiting Fenway

"You are like the Kennedys with your relations."
- Tom Hamilton on Jim Rosenhaus's wide-reaching family

"Some of the Red Sox hitters need a giant-sized pacifier when they come to the plate."
- Tom Hamilton

"Mike Napoli just looked in to the clubhouse and said 'Can somebody get me a pair of those cloudy-day sunglasses?'"
- Tom Hamilton after Napoli lost a ball in the clouds

"Most kids in Boston don't have any idea who Neil Diamond is. Then you say 'Remember the guy from the 8th inning? That's the guy.'"
- Tom Hamilton

"Anybody that's a baseball fan knows 5-1 isn't the end of the game at Fenway Park."
- Tom Hamilton predicts the fate of the game

"Oh I didn't realize that was David Ortiz's brother, the official scorer."
- Tom Hamilton doesn't agree with Ortiz getting a stolen base

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Disappointment Saturday

It's one thing to lose in a blowout the day after serving up a blowout. It's a whole other ball of wax when you lose a game after leading for most of the game. And super hella disappointing when the game is given up by one of the team's best personalities and an up-to-then rock-solid setup guy.

But, that how baseball go.

Scott Kazmir was the starter for the Tribe and I don't think he looked that bad. Not as bad as Tom Hamilton would make him out to be! True, he only went 5 innings but he struck out 6 and only gave up 2 earned runs. What else do you want? It took him 107 pitches to get through those 5 innings but that's a function of the other team too.

Bryan Shaw came in for an inning and it's hard to say if he was on it or not. His ERA was 1.54 when he came in. He gave up a single, and then a guy reached on a throwing error. Then he intentionally walked Elsbury, which I'm sure was a good move but that put a guy on third with no outs. Gomes, J, put up a pop fly that allowed a run to score. That was the end of it, though, so that's good. But it was a bad day for relievers to be giving up runs.

Then it was Joe Smith, who continues to be your daddy. He struck out two, and while he did walk one, he was the only of our pitchers today who didn't give up a hit. Go Joe!

Then comes Vinnie. Vinnie didn't do too well. He did not well at all. Let's not talk about it.

None of our pitchers gave up a homer!

Of course, neither did any of the Red Sox pitchers. But we did eke out 3 doubles and Asdrubal had a red-letter day!

Stubbs was at leadoff today and it seems to have stunned him, as he went 0 for 3. But I did note something interesting when he was at bat - Tom Hamilton and Jim Rosenhaus were talking about how the other players give Stubbs some hassle about what a stud he is. Apparently he's got quite a body. I mention this because I actually noticed it on Friday night when I saw the game on TV, but I wasn't sure if it was just me or a real "thing." Apparently it is! Hard to tell if a guy is ripped under those polyester jerseys but with Stubbs you can just tell. Anyway they were also talking about how fast he is compared with Bourn, which I pointed out Friday too. They were imagining a foot race between the two. Apparently Stubbs would win.

Aviles was at 2nd today, giving Kipnis the day off. He went 1 for 5 and came in to score a run. Did you know he's got the fewest strikeouts per at-bats as anyone on the team? (with a significant number of at-bats) He strikes out once every 9.66 at-bats, with Brantley next at 1 in every 7.35 and Gomes 1 in every 5. Everyone else is between 3 and 4. Pretty nice, Aviles!

OMG ASDRUBAL!!! Hot hot hot this series! He went 3 for 5 today with a double, an RBI and a run scored - and 2 stolen bases! He would have had 2 runs scored but the muddy field caught him out at the plate (albeit on a close play!) This gives him a 5-game hitting streak with 9 hits over those games. And he leads the team in doubles!

Swisher is back for more good stuff after paternity leave. He went 2 for 4 also with a double, an RBI and a run scored. It's a good day when you can nearly match Asdrubal! If he's going to be turning a corner now that he's a dad - I'll take it!

Reynolds and Santana both got singles today. Santana still is getting on base like a boss (Like a boss!) but it hasn't been incredibly spectacular. Reynolds, however, has a 4-game hitting streak and is still back on track for not being disappointing, so that's cool!

Speaking of not being disappointing (ever), Cousin Michael is still blowin' em away. He went 2 for 4 today with a double. That gives him a 4-game hitting streak with 8 hits over those games, 13 hits over his last 7 games. I love it!

Michael Bourn was benched today for a day off. He pinch-hit for Raburn in the 9th and got a single, but that was the end of our hits.

Seems like the Tribe was still being their same old plucky selves, it's just their pluck wasn't enough today. Maybe it was the rain, maybe the pitching, maybe lack of time off, whatever. I'm pretty hopeful yet for Sunday's game and absolutely hopeful about the rest of the season.

I'm even hopeful about Vinnie, who is saying out loud that he's only throwing 87 MPH. Good that he admits it, so now let's address it. Get it done now before it's too late!

Tomorrow is our last game of the year against Boston. It's at 1:35, Corey Kluber versus LHP 5.61. Really great chance we'll blow 'em out tomorrow. I can feel it!

See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"It's so cold here that the fans who showed up are buying bowls of chowder and putting their hands in them."
"Is that why you wouldn't shake that fan's hand earlier?"
"It was a bit slippery."
- Tom Hamilton and Jim Rosenhaus

"This will sound a bit goofy but he is quite a specimen ."
- Tom Hamilton on Drew Stubbs

"It was like they traded away the Anti-Christ."
- Tom Hamilton on the parting of Josh Beckett

"Boy he's a good hitter. I would pay just to watch Dustin Pedroia play baseball."
- Tom Hamilton

Friday, May 24, 2013

Ridin' The Storm Out

Welp, after yesterday's trouncing of the Red Sox - in the rain - the Indians went through their own trouncing tonight. In the rain.

John Lackey - not a Cy Young Award winner - pitched 7 innings at us, only giving up 2 hits and 1 run. His buddies gave up 2 more hits but that was it on the night. Four hits for us.

Justin Masterson threw 6 innings + 1 batter and gave up 5 runs. His ERA jumped back up over 3. Perhaps he doesn't like the rain? It was weird though because his 2nd inning was bad and then he had three 1-2-3 innings in a row, and then gave up a run in the 6th and then a double in the 7th that came around to score when he was done. So parts of that outing were good but taken as a was bad.

Rich Hill didn't do anyone any favors by coming in and hitting a guy. Then he let Masterson's baserunner score, along with two of his own. And then more got on and scored. ALL ON SINGLES!! For Pete's sake, Rich Hill - that ain't right!

Matt Albers came in to save Hill from himself, only to let Hill's last two batters score. SERENITY NOW!!

Aaaaah...Vinnie Pestano for the 8th, No hits, no runs, one strikeout. Much better. Too late, of course, but much better than that wild dog and pony show of the 7th!

Asdrubal went 1 for 4, extending his little hitting streak to 4.

Nick Swisher was back today from paternity leave. And as with all returning-from-paternity-leave Indians in the past have done, he did something a little bit spectacular. Sometimes the guys have an all-around great game, sometimes they hit well, Swisher took to playing some good defense. I'm telling you - it's a thing!

Check it out:

So there you go.

Mark Reynolds kept up his "back" status with a hit today. He's got a 3-game hitting streak going after a 3-game no-hit streak. He got a single, then Brantley got a single, then they double stole (Mark Reynolds!) which completely confused the Red Sox (who said "Mark Reynolds?!") and they threw the ball away allowing Reynolds to score.

Brantley is still crushing your face, tonight going 2 for 4 with a double and that stolen base. Ten hits in his last 6 games. Which I believe are 6 games since his dad visited him in the clubhouse. He must have scared something in to the boy!

That is it for today's game, though. Just those 4 hits from 3 dudes! Not sure what's up. I mean, the weather was bad but it didn't stop them last night and it didn't stop the Red Sox.

Tomorrow is I guess the rubber match, where Sunday might be uh...the extra match? We really need to win it because my friend is predicting a 1-5 road trip and to that I say NONSENSE! It'll be a 1:35 game and from what they're saying it will be raining still. Or maybe not - maybe that's why the game is re-scheduled for the afternoon? My schedule has it at 7:10. But it's definitely 1:35 now.

It'll be Kazmir versus LHP 3.15. Another guy with a name, who is known to be good, so surely we shall beat him senseless! Let's hope Kazmir is on board with all this.

I'll see you there!

Radio Chatter:
"They didn't see Noah's Ark yet so they figured they could start the game."
- Tom Hamilton

"It's always a bad sign when you come to the ballpark and see a St. Bernard wrapped up in a blanket. And his flask is empty."
- Tom Hamilton on the weather

"All I can think of is Nick Nolte and Robert DiNero in Cape Fear. Aren't we near there?"
- Tom Hamilton on the weather

Thursday, May 23, 2013

All Your Base Are Belong To Us

You can't hold these guys down for too long, can you? After a crummy game versus Scherzer in Detroit, and then a good but losing game against Verlander, the Tribe brought Terry Francona back to the Boston and totally showed off what he can make them do.

Everybody hits today! And not just a few hits, either - we're talking 16 hits. Don't forget the 8 walks and 12 runs. Almost everyone got an RBI, even!

All of this without a single home run, too - only one of 3 times we've gotten 12 runs, 15+ hits and 8 walks since 1957. Sweet!

Zach McAllister started and at first he just looked so-so. Basically he was in line with the Red Sox starter, Ryan Dempster. Both were kind of getting worn out by the 3rd inning. It was the 3rd where McAllister gave up a 3-run homer to Big Poopi, allowing the Red Sox to get within 1 and to make the Indians' 4 runs in 3 innings look way less meaningful. But after that homer, man, McAllister was all like "no". He faced 9 more batters and got all of them out excepting one walk. He didn't end up with a quality start but he threw 96 pitches over 5 innings, so it was time to go. Also, by the 6th inning the Tribe had a 9-run lead so if there was a time to mess around with testing out bullpen arms, now was that time.

Cody Allen pitched the 6th and he was tight as heck. Two strikeouts and a popup. Guy's ERA is now 2.05!

Next was Scott Barnes, who joined the team directly from Columbus - meaning Nick Hagadone joined the Clippers directly from Detroit. Sounds good to me, man. Nick wasn't getting it done anymore. Barnes proved himself worthy tonight going 3 innings, striking out 4 and only giving up 2 hits. All of this in the rain, too. We don't get many guys going 3 innings out of the 'pen anymore, so that's pretty awesome. Save those arms, Barnes!

Tonight was only the second game I've watched on TV this season, the first being a yawner from Toronto. I tell you what was the most noticeable to me watching the game live - Michael Bourn is FAST. Not only does he break out of the box like a little point guard (backwards!) but he's also got it going on in center field. Check out this clip from tonight when he ran up on a line drive then hurled the ball back in to home to catch Jacoby Elsbury doubting him. I say that makes up for last night's outfield least half way - he did end up saving the pitcher one run on his ERA (due to the subsequent Ortiz homer).

Bourn went 3 for 6 at the plate with 1 run and 2 RBI! That gives him 13 hits in his last 7 games!

Kipnis wasn't having his best night, but he did get a hit. The Kid went 1 for 5 and struck out twice before being replaced by Cord Phelps (who did nothing either.)

Asdrubal was back to being a force tonight after an early retirement from last night's game. He went 2 for 5 with an RBI and 2 runs scored. He's got a tiny hitting streak going with 5 hits in his last 3 games. I think I heard mention of his son being at the game tonight (I read it on the closed captioning. I still can't not listen to the radio when there's a game one!) which I swear is a huge boost to Asdrubal! If you recall he came out of his last slump when Meyer made an appearance. Kind of sweet, I say!

Michael Brantley actually cooled off tonight, getting only one hit in 5 at-bats. He did walk once and came around to score both times he was on. He's still hitting over .300!

Carlos Santana had quite a night - and he didn't hit the ball out of the infield! His first hit was a bunt down the third base line that totally stayed foul. I'm guessing nobody expected it...not just because it was Santana but because he was the first batter in the inning! The Red Sox liked the way the ball stopped dead in the grass, so they tried the same thing later (also successfully). Santana ended up going 1 for 2 on the night, and came around to score 3 runs - because he walked 4 times! I guess the last Indian to do so was Grady Sizemore, like in 2009 or so.

Mark Reynolds is back! He saw that big expanse of Fenway Park and just wanted to drop baseballs in there. After going just 2 for 34 in his last 9 games, tonight he went 3 for 4 with 3 RBI and a run! AND they were all singles! It'd be pretty great if this were the end of Reynolds' slump. Right now, today. End it!

More Gomes today! Did you know he's hitting .311? Tonight he went 1 for 4 with a huge bases-loaded double to contribute to that 6-run 6th. That is the definition of clutch! [not technically the definition of clutch] He's got 7 RBI in his last 3 games!

Mike Aviles was in there contributing today. First off he's helping fill the Chisenhall-sized hole at third base and he's getting hits where Lonnie probably isn't. Aviles went 1 for 5 today, but also got a force-out RBI. The next time he was up he got a single, stole a base then came around to score.

Speaking of fast - remember when I was speaking of that? - Drew Stubbs is a fast mofo too!  I've been to a few track meets in my time (the literal use of "few") and the way Stubbs ran during his triple (buried here around :40) is the way those kids run foot races for trophies. Dude had a great night tonight, breaking an 0-for-10 skid with 2 doubles and a triple! He got 3 RBI and came in to score a run. His average is back up to exceptional-for-Stubbs range at .255.

Super-fun game today and what a great one to see on TV! Looks like the next one on broadcast won't be until June 28. I'll just have to do some more imagining.

Won't it be cool if every game is like this? I hope every game is not rained out. I guess the weather report is bleak in Boston from here on out. I thought the Pilgrims came to America to avoid the tyranny of British weather?! Note this - the Red Sox used 5 relievers tonight, in the cold and in the rain!

Tomorrow is Masterson versus RHP 3.31. No problem, right? I so look forward to seeing Masterson pitch nowadays. Don't forget he's a former Red Sox too, just like Francona. And Francona I'm sure had a ball beating his former team tonight!

Ok, sweet Caroline - we'll see you there!

Radio Chatter:
"There are no sacred cows in this ballclub."
- Tom Hamilton on the ribbing of Michael Bourn

"I tell you what folks, if you're having trouble going to sleep buy a video of Dempster pitching. It will zonk you right out."
- Tom Hamilton

"It's pretty safe to say that Yan Gomes is not going to see Columbus again until the Indians go there on the press tour."
- Tom Hamilton

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Now With 100% More Yanimal

Argh! I wrote a whole blog post but it got eaten right at the very last second before I published it! I've never had that happen before - I am very not happy!

But I will give you this:
And I will tell you that I thought if we were going to lose 2 game in a row for the first time since the end of April, I'm proud it came after 5 runs in 5 innings off Verlander. I thought it was sweet how we came back to within 2. I thought it was weird how Bourn Canseco'd that ball over the wall for Miguel Cabrera. I also surprisingly am not too worried about Ubaldo right now, but I am already over David Huff. Asdrubal had 2 doubles and Michael Brantley is batting .311!

Also I will tell you that tomorrow's game is on WKYC at 7:10, from Boston. It's Zach McAllister versus RHP 4.27. No sweat, right?

See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"Tha last thing Verlander needs is help."
- Tom Hamilton on the strike zone

"When's the last time you saw Torii Hunter not go over a wall?"
- Tom Hamilton

"David Huff better put it on speed dial out there getting ready."
- Tom Hamilton on the demise of Jiminez

"Verlander must be a huge Redwings fan."
- Tom Hamilton on Verlander's 'leg save' in the 3rd

"When you give up 5 runs on 10 hits it also tells you he was making mistakes."
- Tom Hamilton on Verlander

"You have two rain delays, lots of action, and you get strange people dancing on the scoreboard between innings."
- Tom Hamilton

"Well it won't be hard getting out of the parking garage tonight. That's a silver lining."
"I betcha we still have problems!"
"Yeah there will be 15 cars in there and it'll still be bumper-to-bumper."
- Tom Hamilton and Jim Rosenhaus

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Halted To The Max

Man, them Tigers look good! Especially Max Scherzer - he totally just shut down the hottest team in baseball! You know, that team that beat Justin Verlander a couple weeks ago? Shut down!

Miguel Cabrera too. Damn! Apparently he's going to help some dude win $5.6 million. What a guy!

Corey Kluber actually had a quality start tonight. He went 6 1/3 and only gave up 3 runs. He had a career-high 8 strikeouts, so that's cool. I was just discussing the other day on here how quality starts were a good stat for us now, considering they mean fewer than 4 runs and our team is hitting so well now. Except it doesn't quite cut it when the other guy sits down 22 in a row! But Kluber looked good, I like it.

Cody Allen was really on his game tonight. He walked a guy but then got 4 straight outs. I mean strikeouts! He struck out Cabrera, Fielder, Martinez and Peralta. So - DAMN, CODY ALLEN!!

David Huff and Matt Albers were kind of awful. They teamed up to pitch the 9th inning and give up 2 runs on 3 hits and 2 walks. Yech.

The Tribe only got 3 hits today! I guess it says something if they managed to get a run out of it.

Michael Bourn went 2 for 4 - meaning dude has gotten NINE hits in his last 5 games. Wow! After one of those hits he managed to steal second off Valverde. Potato.

Asdrubal got the team's other hit, a single that got Bourn to 3rd. Bourn ended up scoring on Brantley's sac fly. Santana walked (because he's on base, like a boss!) and the next 22 guys got out.

Bourn singled and stole in the 9th, Asdrubal got hit by a pitch, and that was the end of that.

Tom Hamilton mentioned the other day that this team isn't having long slumps. They're losing a game here and there and coming back to win a bunch more. So I'm not worried. In fact I'm totally looking forward to seeing Ubaldo versus Verlander tomorrow!

Although what is this crap about these doofuses named Mike & Mike, throwing out the first pitch? The Tribe needs to win tomorrow to disprove whatever bad juju this is, that's for sure.

It'll be a 7:05 game - see you there!

Radio Chatter:
"That's the way you want to face Miguel Cabrera - with nobody on base."
- Tom Hamilton

"You think [Miguel] Cabrera felt guilty after watching the effort from the other two?"
- Jim Rosenhaus after watching Miggy watch a foul ball get chased down

"The Cavaliers got the first draft pick. They're going to draft LeBron James' son."
- Tom Hamilton

"This Tiger bullpen isn't going to let Jim Leland quit smoking any time soon."
- Tom Hamilton

"If you find a section that hasn't been ripped up, take a picture."
- Tom Hamilton on the highway between Cleveland and Detroit

Monday, May 20, 2013

As Crazy A Ballgame As You'll Ever See

Oh man, I hope you saw/heard this game today. And if you didn't, I implore you to find a way to listen to it after work because it was all kinds of awesome! Heck even if we wouldn't have won it would have been a good one, just with the back-and-forth of the score, the weird ways in which the Tribe got ahead, back-to-back jacks, guys caught stealing, Kipnis up in the air, 2-out RBI, blown saves, more blown saves and a walk-off home run. DAMN!

Check out Tom Hamilton Has The Best Home Run Call In All of Baseball for some clips from the radio, and then here's the MLB video page for the game. Check it out, I'm serious!

Today our pitching wasn't very good but our batters came through like gangbusters to erase every misstep the pitchers threw. This is pretty much how we were expecting our whole season to go! This spring the consensus was that pitching was going to stink and we'd only pull it out of our guys could hit like we think they can. I'm glad that turned out to not be true because while today's game was totally fun, the see-saw battle of bad pitching and good batting is exhausting!

Scott Kazmir just  didn't have good stuff today. I was going to say he didn't have "his" stuff today but according to his record, he doesn't really have much stuff. Today's game wasn't much different from his first start this season. Today he went 3 innings and gave up 5. On April 20 he went 3 1/3 and gave up 6. His last outing he gave up 4 in 5 innings. I wouldn't say he's progressing.

BUT! Someone on that coaching staff got Masterson to turn back around, and someone got Ubaldo to pitch up to his potential so I have hope that Kazmir can be helped. Of course it's up to him. Let's have 5 hot starters, real soon Scott!

Matt Albers and Bryan Shaw were a good complement to Kazmir, as they were able to go a long 4 innings between them only giving up 2 hits (and striking out 5). Much better than Kazmir's 7 hits in 3 innings.

So then we had Vinnie, Perez and Smith. Sounds awesome, right? Except Vinnie gave up the tying run on a solo homer. *gasp* And then Perez gave up the go-ahead run on a solo homer *GASP!* And then Smith had to come in for the 10th with the score tied and gave up THE GO AHEAD RUN ON A HOMER!!! WHAAAAAAT??

I don't even know what to say about that mess, except I hope they all are assigned their own pink backpacks for a week. Cuz those guys today were very, very bad. Tsk.

Batting was interesting today. They scored 10 runs, and it was a free-for-all as to who was going to get a hit. Was it Bourn? Nope! Asdrubal? Argh. Santana? Once. Let's see what everyone did!

Bourn went 0 for 4 but he did walk once and then came around to score. He also reached on a throwing error and I think when he was on base he made Iwakuma pretty nervous! No stolen bases for Bourn today but you can bet he had good baserunning.

Kipnis is still absolutely on fire! Today he went 2 for 4 with a run and a walk. That's 15 hits in his last 10 games, 8 hits in this series, 4 runs scored in this series and a 5-game hitting streak!

Asdrubal didn't get a hit, but he did get the bat on the ball and grounded in to a fielder's choice to score Bourn at one point, so at least it wasn't all bad.

Swisher got a little surge today. Lately he's been having single-hit or no-hit games, but it was nice to see him ramp it up a tiny bit in a game where we needed lots of baserunners. He went 2 for 4 with a double, and came around to score once.

Santana wasn't the big bopper  by any means today. He only went 1 for 5 but the one hit was his 13th double. He also came in to score a run after that. In the 9th he hit a line drive that the Mariners' first baseman snagged but then the pitcher pitched. Haha pothead joke! Santana being safe allowed the tying run to score. Wow!

Man, none of those guys got anywhere near 10 RBI! How did we score all them other runs??

Well first there's Michael Brantley, who continued his hot streak from yesterday (his dad really straightened him out, I guess?) He went 2 for 4 with a walk, came around to score twice and also had a RBI! Brantley's RBI came in the third on a single to right.

So now we get to the big RBI guys for today! First off is Ryan Raburn, He's So Good!
...He's so good he even made Mickey Brantley smile!
Ryan Raburn got a big long homer today, a good way up the bleachers (not Reynolds-far but pretty close!) He was only 1 for 3 on the day but that was a 3-run blast, yo!

Our man Drew Stubbs came in to pinch hit for Raburn in the 8th and popped out. In the 10th, Stubbs got on base while trying to bunt Brantley over. Mariner error - everyone is safe!

And then, Yan Gomes was up. Gomes had already hit a homer in the 2nd inning - a solo shot to follow up Raburn's. He was up with the score 8-7, the Mariners over the Tribe in the 10th, after the Tribe had lost the lead like 4 times already. Brantley was on second, Stubbs on first and there were NO outs since Stubbs had done such a dandy job getting to first and moving the runner over. Gomes could have bunted or hit a sac fly or something. Acho que não! Gomes got himself a 3-run homer instead to win the game by 2 runs. BOOM!

There you have it! I can't believe we had such a crazy see-saw game against these Mariners. I LOVE it, though! What fun, huh? If we can pull this sort of thing off regularly this year, we're on our way to someplace important.

Tomorrow we face dem Tigers, who are presently 2.5 games behind us. I say BRING 'EM ON!! It'll be Kluber versus RHP 3.98. I don't know how it's going to end up but I can guarantee you it's going to be hella fun.

See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"Seems like every day a different player is taking the baton and running with it."
- Tom Hamilton

"Pitching coach Carl Willis and a Japanese translator out to the see if Iwakuma has a stiff neck, because he got yanked on those last two."
- Tom Hamilton on the back-to-back jacks

"I understand the interpretor for Iwakuma, but who is going to translate the backwoods Carolina drawl of Carl Willis for the interpreter?"
- Tom Hamilton

"I believe Tom mentioned the word donnybrook before? A barn burner? We may be heading that way."
- Jim Rosenhaus

"The speed makes everybody jumpy on this infield."
- Jim Rosenhaus

"Whoever goes down there, and comes out of Arlington and says 'Man that was fun'?"
- Tom Hamilton

"About the last guy in the ballpark that you thought would take you deep is Endy Chavez."
- Tom Hamilton

"This is about as crazy a ballgame as you'll ever see."
- Tom Hamilton

"Eric Wedge is probably wondering what else can he see in a place he used to call home."
- Tom Hamilton is talking just to talk at this point

Sunday, May 19, 2013

King Justin

What is UP with this, guys? All of this shellacking of Cy Young Award winners? How cool is this?! Today they threw Felix Hernandez at us and we threw 6 runs back at them! And for good measure, we had Justin Masterson up there throwing nothing but strikes and only allowing 3 hits. When the Tribe scored 2 runs in the first inning, I had a feeling that that'd be all we needed to get this game won. I was right!

Masterson is absolutely beautiful right now. He hasn't allowed any runs in 18 innings over 3 games. He's struck out 71 in 70 innings (3rd in the league for total strikeouts, first for innings pitched). And FINALLY the guy is getting run support! I mean, what can you say about this guy other than he is pitching better than all of the Cy Young Award winners in the league? Truly a thing to behold.

Rich Hill came in again, for the third day in a row, to start the 8th. He was fine - he walked a guy and struck a guy out. Then they gave us Joe Smith! Yay! Smith finished the 8th then came in for the 9th, and gave us a truly Perez-like performance: walk, strikeout, popout, hit. Ballgame!

The top of the lineup had all of the action today, aside from Mike Aviles who threw up some assists.

Bourn had his third great game in a row, despite reports that his hand isn't 100% healed yet. Today he went 2 for 4 and scored 2 runs, giving him 7 hits and 3 runs scored in this 3-game series thus far. Wow! He didn't steal any bases today but he stretched a single out to a double and also came around to score afterwards, daring the outfielder to try to make a play at the plate. Since Bourn is so speedy the guy totally did not make a play at the plate, and it gave the other runner a chance to get to second.

Kipnis was also 2 for 4 and came in to score a run. He's got a 4-game hitting streak but he's also been hot in this series with 6 hits and 3 runs scored! He also got a double!

Michael Brantley was the story of the game today (aside from King Justin) and guess who was in town to cheer him on?
I expect good things, son!
His dad! An ex-Mariner, even! So after no hits in the last 2 games (yesterday he sat out), Brantley opened up for 2 hits, 2 runs and FOUR RBI today! One of them RBI was a 3-run dinger! It was just his second homer of the year and of course it came on 2 outs (that's what - 12 2-out runs in this series now?)
I can dig it!
Swisher got a double today, but the rest of the middle of the order was silent. Jason Giambi did walk twice, though.

Aviles got in to the act, going 2 for 4 with a run scored. He got a double in the 4th, then Drew Stubbs came up and hit one between the plate and the mound. Stubbs was out at first but in the meantime Mike Aviles was racing around third and scoring. Cue the Puerto Rican parade music! Bonus points if you can spot the Indians hat in the video!

So today's win makes us 17-4 in the last 21 games. It puts our winning percentage at .595. It puts us TWO games ahead of the Tigers in first place.

Is this real life?

Tomorrow we get to face these Mariners again! Hooray for the Mariners! And lucky for us (?) the pitcher is one of those near-Cy-Young-Award-winners which means there's a pretty good chance he'll be trounced. If we win tomorrow that'd be two 4-game sweeps in a row for us. I can't wait to hear all the historical stats on that!!

It'll be Scott Kazmir versus RHP 1.84. Oooooh...Well, let's see here - we have a smaller batting average versus righties, as a team, but 12 more homers and 29 more RBI. I think this team can manage.

Don't forget it's a 12:05 start! I'll see you there!

Radio Chatter:
"If you ever get a rental car and the wipers work, or are relatively new, then you've hit the lottery."
- Tom Hamilton

"You wonder if he's just another product of Yankee hype."
- Tom Hamilton on Jesus Montero, who sucks

"If it wasn't an orange barrel, it was a skinny person you were trying to avoid today."
- Tom Hamilton on the construction and marathon downtown

"What you need to know as a pitcher is that your catcher will give you effort."
- Tom Hamilton on Jesus Montero

"Masterson, when he's pitching like he is today and like he did against New York, you wonder how anyone can hit him ever."
- Tom Hamilton

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Pluggin' Away

What a cool game today! Why was it cool? Chris Perez giving up the tying run in the 9th was far from cool, but the Tribe coming back to win it - with ease - was awesome! I love how even though the last play was close, it was inevitable that the good guys were going to win this one. Bases loaded and nobody out? The Mariners were DOOMED!

Plus there were a lot of hits in this game. Thirteen hits for the Tribe! Amazingly, the only guy who didn't get a hit was Santana (or Brantley, his pinch hitter). He's only not been on base in like 4 other games this year! Only one of our 5 runs today came from a home run, so it was a fun game of hits and runs. Old school!

Zach McAllister was the man today and he racked up another quality start, going 7 1/3 and only giving up 2 runs. Six of his 8 starts this year have been quality starts! If you recall in the beginning of the season a quality start wasn't that exciting because it meant there were up to 3 runs given up already and it was a monumental task for this lineup to overcome that deficit. Now the quality start is a point of pride again, even if the guy gives up 3, because it's apparently no problem for our offense! McAllister only struck out 1 in his 7 1/3 innings but also only walked one. The Mariners were just swinging away!

Rich Hill came in for the 8th and fared better than he did yesterday when he gave up a run on 2 hits and a walk. Today he did give up a hit but that was all.

Enter Chris Perez. Exit two home runs! The hell?? I know Perez will give up a run if he has a 2-run-plus lead to work with but - wow! He left with the score tied and get this - he still got the W! Hahaha! I thought after he got the first 2 guys out swiftly that maybe we were done with the theatrics from Perez and we could say he was all warmed up and settled in after missing so much Spring. Guess not! I can't wait until he becomes the solid saver we know and love.

Speaking of the Chris Perez we love, there were only 17.5k fans at the game today. On a giveaway day, in 77 degree weather, with the team winning like nobody's business. That's kind of crazy!

Michael Bourn went 2 for 5 today, so that busts my theory that he's flailing against lefties. He stole two bases too! Sweet. He's gone 5 for 10 in his last 2 games.

Jason Kipnis is still a shining star! Today he went 2 for 5 with an RBI, stole a base and came home to score the winning run. And how did that look?

He didn't mess up his helmet or anything this time! Kipnis has a 3-game hitting streak going. Not too exciting, until you consider that he's gotten 8 hits in those 3 games!

Asdrubal was in on the action big time today! He went 3 for 5 with a double and a run scored. He's got 12 doubles now and is tied with Santana for the team lead.

Swisher went 1 for 3 today, walking twice.

Mark Reynolds blasted himself back into relevance today after being kind of quiet for a bit here. He got his 12th homer, which ties him for first in the league (3 ways). He also got 3 RBI on the day - including the winning one - giving him 37 and putting him 3rd in the league. Other than the homer and the game-winning fielder's choice, his other hit was an RBI single which people who knew him as a ballplayer previously would never believe he could do. Well, believe it, Arizona - Reynolds gets hits all over the place now!

Mike Aviles was in left field today, because apparently he can and will play everywhere! Tom Hamilton said that Aviles was excited to play for Francona because when they were in Boston together, Francona let him make his outfield debut in a nationally-televised game against the Yankees. Obviously he didn't blow it up so Tito stuck him out there again today, to give Brantley a break. He ended up at 3rd, because he can. He also ended up going 2 for 4 on the day with a run scored after he hit a double!

Yan Gomes was in at catcher today. It's been a surprisingly long time - 5 days! Of course he got a hit today and scored a run, extending his little hitting streak to 4. He also threw out a guy stealing! I wonder if we'll see him tomorrow, too?

Drew Stubbs was holding down the end of the lineup today (or was he setting up the top of the lineup?) and went 0 for 2 with a walk and a sac bunt. Sad that he didn't get a hit out of that bunt but I'm sure he made it darn close!

Tomorrow is gonna be awesome, as we're taking on our 7th Cy Young Award winning pitcher of the year - Felix Hernandez! It'll be Justin Masterson versus the RHP 1.53. I hope our bats are ready and not in "Sunday" mode. Let's get it done!

See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"The next Dollar Dog night isn't until May 31. It'll take Sugardale that long to recover."
- Tom Hamilton

"One would suggest he wear the sunglasses because the 'block C' doesn't need them."
- Tom Hamilton on Santana wearing his sunglasses on his hat

"If you're a left hander and you're 4'8" they say you're stocky. If you're a right hander and you're 5'9" they say you'll never make it."
- Tom Hamilton

"One thing you know about an Eric Wedge ballclub - they will fight you until the 27th out."
- Tom Hamilton

Friday, May 17, 2013

Walkoff Wahoo!

Know what was the coolest moment of the game for me today? Well, the second coolest, I guess. It was in the 9th when the game was tied and Tom Hamilton said that coming up this inning were Swisher, Santana and Giambi. Just hearing those names I was like "Wow, we have such a good lineup!" Of course, it was funny because those guys were out 1-2-3. But then the bottom of the order came up and it was just as exciting! And they're the ones who won the game!

My point is that I'm excited about this lineup, one to nine. It's so awesome to have confidence in everyone, having seen them all come through in the clutch. There's no one that's a total disappointment this year anymore. That team we were all dreaming about in February? It's here.

Even better - it has pitching to match!! A bonus that none of us were thinking about in February!

I think I'm ready to talk about Ubaldo. I think he has pitched his way back in to the hearts of Tribe fans, after repeatedly throwing fastballs at our guts for a season and a half. In his first 4 starts this year, he pitched 17 innings and gave up 18 runs. Since then, in his last 4 starts, it's been 24 2/3 innings and 5 runs. What a turnaround! The key, they say, is that he's given up trying to throw heat all the time and is focusing on throwing strikes. Turns out that totally works! We've totally got a #2 guy and are finally getting our money's worth. I'm going to say it: It seems like we no longer have to worry about Ubaldo! Today he gave up just 2 runs in 5 innings (the second run was the result of someone else's homer...) and struck out 9!

Rich Hill came in for the 6th after Ubaldo started and had given up a single. Hill gave up a homer and now the score was tied. Before the inning was over he gave up a double. When he came back for the 7th he gave up a walk before being pulled. Not sure what's up with Hill - other than a terrible showing against New York early in April, he's been pretty lights-out. But he has given up 3 runs in his last 4 appearances.

I'm kind of having trouble following (caring about?) our new relievers. Hill, Shaw, Albers, even Allen. And what of Barnes and Huff? And I only notice Hagadone now that he suddenly sucks. They'll just never be as exciting as Smith, Pestano and Perez. Although I'm ready for them to prove otherwise!

Cody Allen came in to finish the 7th, and then Bryan Shaw showed up and then it was the 9th inning, still tied. Time for Perez!

Chris Perez had a 1-2-3 inning. Can you believe it? In 14 appearances there's only been 3 so far (counting tonight) where no one got on base when Perez pitched. Don't get me wrong - he's getting the job done! But it was very nice to be spared any theatrics tonight and just have him get in and get out. It did suck that he couldn't finish the game, due to the tie. Nothing better than seeing Perez's game-ending fist-pump!

Everyone was mentioning today how Perez pretty much didn't have a Spring, which is true. He was out with some sort of arm sadness. So, maybe tonight he was showing that he was done warming up and from here on out it's PURE RAGE!

Hey! Guess who was back? It's VinnieP52! He had like one night in Akron and was ready enough to throw tonight. Not bad - he was ready enough to not be worried about a tie game in the 10th. Yeah buddy! He had a perfectly Perez inning - threw 17 pitches, one walk, one strikeout and 2 outs in play. Woulda been cool to see him get the final out, too. I bet his fist pump is exuberant!

Did you know...Seattle out-hit the Tribe today 10-7? It's true. Also, only 4 of our guys got hits!

Michael Bourn was back in his spot tonight, and he went 3 for 5! Say what?! Yeah so he's oddly streaky right now. He'll get 3 hits, 0 hits, 2 hits, 0 hits, 1 hit, 3 hits...According to his splits, he's hitting nearly .100 points higher versus righties than lefties. I am too lazy to look up who was pitching those multi-hit games versus who was pitching the no-hit games for Bourn. But tonight's pitcher was a rightie so there you go.

Bourn still hasn't gotten on his stolen base horse, but his speed did play a role tonight when he beat out a soft ground ball to second with two outs to keep the game alive and be on base for The JK Kid.

Here I Am!
 Kipnis had some sort of a night tonight! He went 2 for 4 on the night, with a walk. He also got on base on a fielder's choice, then tried to steal second. He went in head first and toppled the Mariners' second baseman by smashing into his shin with his head like some kind of Koopa Troopa. He went down for a minute, to collect his thoughts, but apparently came out just fine. In the 10th inning, with the game tied and 2 out and 2 on, he blipped one over the right field fence and that was the end of that!

You gotta listen to Hammy's call because it's full of awesome, and so is the video of Kip being super excited. I've watched this vid 5 times tonight and I'll probably watch it tomorrow too. Because HOW COOL IS THIS?! How do you think Tom Hamilton does that sweet fadeout when he calls a homer? He no doubt does it so that his voice melts in to the crowd noise. But do you think he just moves his head away from the microphone, leaning back in his chair and smacking himself in the head like the rest of us do? Or does he have an engineer fade him out? Anyway, it's a thing of beauty...

Asdrubal and Swisher didn't do anything at the plate tonight, but you know...some other time. Swish did have literally one of his niftiest plays of the year!

Santana isn't in the top 10 for batting average anymore, but damn dude - he's still getting on base! From my count he's been on base in 30 of his 35 games this year. Tonight he went 1 for 3 with a walk, and his 12th double of the year. He's still hitting .320, and leads the team in everything but homers and RBI. Oh, and not strikeouts, either!

Jason Giambi went 0 for 2 but he got a sac fly. He's got 6 RBI in his last 6 games!

Drew Stubbs, really should like this guy more. Casey Blake, right?! Well Casey Blake who can run like the wind. He's another reason we won this game, along with Kipnis and Bourn. First of all, he got his 3rd home run of the year in the 5th inning! Then in the 10th he walked and stole a base, making it possible for him to stay on base (and go to third) when Bourn beat out that soft infield grounder. Stubbs was on base and scored the winning run when Kipnis knocked it out. Teamwork!!

I was betting on 30,000 in the stands today and I wasn't disappointed! There were 34k there for Dollar Dog Night and the first fireworks night. I will admit that I am relieved that there was an exciting conclusion to the game and we remained tied for first place at the end of it. Hopefully that's 34,000 people who will return for another game this year!

According to the radio, there were 65,000 hot dogs consumed tonight. Go Cleveland!

Tomorrow is an afternoon game, don't forget! At 1:05 it's Zach McAllister versus LHP 5.51. Everyone pay attention to see how Bourn hits. And...5.51? Pffft!

Gonna be fun, see you there!

Radio Chatter:
"It's almost as if Mariner hitters are guessing anything but a fastball."
- Tom Hamilton

"He would have had to be Spider Man to keep that one from getting away."
- Tom Hamilton on K-Shop chasing a wild pitch

"How many gallons of Ballpark Mustard do you think they go through on a night like tonight?"
"How many gallons of Pepto Bismol do families go through around midnight tonight?"
- Jim Rosenhaus and Tom Hamilton on dollar dog night

"This is not a typical May 17th crowd."
- Tom Hamilton

"Carlos Santana trying to reach Euclid with that swing."
- Tom Hamilton

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

That's More Like It!

Happy Kipnis day, boffins! Don't you just love it when the Kid plays the way he can? And you know he's as excited about it as we are!

The whole Tribe team was into it today, that's for sure, after two - well, three - miserable games where we didn't score and didn't win. The starter was on it, the reliever was tight and there were enough extra runs to let Nick Hagadone pitch!

Corey Kluber was your starter today. I don't know if you recall but his last start was against Detroit where he gave up 8 earned runs in 4 2/3 innings. He's better now! Today he threw the absolute minimum of a quality start - 6 innings with 3 runs. Does he get extra points that all 3 runs were hit in by the same guy, on a single and a double? He definitely gets extra points for no homers! He struck out 5 in his 6 innings, by the way.

Oh yeah AND he almost hit a huge double, but it got caught. But AND he got a walk - and came in to score a run! *ahem* sorry, didn't mean to seem excited about pitchers batting. It's pretty sad when you have to get so excited about a fly out and a walk, huh? 

Cody Allen had an awesome 7th inning. A 1-2-3 inning where he struck out the second two guys after a ground-out. Nifty!

Nick Hagadone came in for the 8th and didn't suck. He faced 4 batters giving up no hits, just a walk. Good, so...what does this mean?

Albers came in for the 9th and actually gave up a run. But hey, the party was already spilling on to the street by then so I barely noticed.

Bourn and Brantley were benched today, because we can. And of course in a NL game you're going to see all your guys bat anyway, so we didn't miss them for long. And, since Drew Stubbs was having a good game batting leadoff, Bourn and Brantley were surprisingly not missed at all!

Stubbs went 2 for 5 on the day with a double, and he came in to score both times! Nice jobs, Stubbs - he's got a little 4-game hit streak going, and is bringing his average back up to the "Wow, we got more than we asked for with this guy!" level.

Kipnis had a DAY!! The dirtbag went 3 for 4 with 2 doubles, a homer and a walk. And 3 RBI. It was sort of precious how Vinnie Pestano was so excited for Kipnis after he got the home run:

D'awww! Anyway, Kipnis has 11 hits in his last 10 games and more importantly 13 RBI. His average still has some climbing to do before it's at Stubbs-level, but he's definitely going in that direction with FEELING!

Asdrubal wasn't too far behind Kipnis today in terms of excitement. He went 2 for 4 with a walk and got a HUGE 2-out hit in the 6th. I've got a confession to make - I get very un-positive when Asdrubal comes up with 2 out and men on base. Partly because my confidence in him is shaky this year and I think the other part of it is that I'm hyper-focused on his at-bats so while other dudes are probably being disappointing left and right, I probably remember every single time Asdrubal skunks it. Then I get to thinking "Whew, that was close!" when he gets the job done, probably so I can go forth and brag. It's very complicated emotionally to have a favorite player.

Swisher was sure to join his top-of-the-order cronies in the RBI fun. He only went 1 for 5 but it was a big one! He got a 2-run homer in the 5th, which ended up including the winning run.

Check out this story about ball player Jim Gentile, who could of been the star player of 1961 had it not been for those other guys. They ask the old man who his favorite player today is. He says it's Swish. Literally!

Mark Reynolds had an interesting game. He was at bat in the 3rd and took a swing that seemed to cause him some muscle distress. They checked him out, he stepped back in to the box and hit a 2-run double! Beardy double! He ended up going 1 for 4 on the day but I don't think he hurt himself. He's just slumpy right now. They put all of the pitchers in his batting slot later in the game, and when it came time for one of them to hit, Michael Bourn stepped in. But Kluber was in the 9 spot, not Reynolds' spot, when he came to bat, and eventually Michael Brantley hit for him. Confusing.

Carlos Santana got on base today. Duh! Just a boring old single, though, and he didn't come in to score. Still hitting over .300 though at .319! Him and Brantley are the only guys still up there (.303).

Ryan Raburn didn't get a hit or anything today. Awww...
Random Mike Aviles was on the hot hitters train today, though! He was bonding with the rest of the boys in the infield. He had his third homer of the year to get the 4th inning's "only" RBI.

So the Tribe pummeled another million-dollar pitcher. Cole Hamels may not be a Cy Young Award winner but he was a candidate. And of course his bullpen didn't fare much better (Hi Chad Durbin!)

They were making a big deal about how Francona said the guys had to focus extra hard to not take their day off a few hours early today. Do you think that attitude was what did it, or was it just a matter of knowing how to hit Hamels and just being flummoxed by unknowns?

The Indians outscored the Phillies 32-12 this year. You're welcome, Braves and Nats fans! Frig those Phillies!

Tomorrow is a well-needed off day, and then the Mariners come to town with another Cy Young Award winner in tow. Yay! Friday is Dollar Dog Night and also a fireworks night so it's gonna be crazy awesome at The Prog (I hope). And by "crazy awesome" I mean for all the people who will come out to the game, and for me to listen to all the cheers from my home. Root root root!

Friday's matchup is Ubaldo versus RHP 5.97. Snerk!  See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"Cole Hamels admitted that he hit the banquet circuit after they won it all in 2008."
- Tom Hamilton

"This is when you go to get a hot dog."
- Tom Hamilton on pitchers batting

"Maybe what the Indians need is to face more aces and Cy Young winners."
- Tom Hamilton

"Now you can see why the National League wants pitchers to bat. Because that was riveting."
- Tom Hamilton's tongue is in his cheek

"To hear some people in the Nation League describe it, it's right up there with Einstein's Theory of Relativity."
- Tom Hamilton on the double switch

"I think the key for the Indians this year, they have got to face a pitcher who is making 20 million a year."
- Tom Hamilton

"This used to be our nation's capital. They moved it when all of the people in government gained about 80 pounds from all of the cheesesteaks and Tastycakes."
- Tom Hamilton

"In true Philly fashion, those fans who are staying are booing."
- Tom Hamilton

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Peaks and Valleys

I am in such a bad mood right now. Nothing to do with the ballgame, except that the ballgame did not help one bit.

Asdrubal got a triple, Kipnis stole his 7th base, Santana got on base again.

Tomorrow is at 1:05 so don't forget. Kluber versus LHP 4.18. See you there, 'n stuff.

I did get you some Radio Chatter, so enjoy.

Radio Chatter:
"It's amazing what $500,000 does to your desire to get a college degree."
- Tom Hamilton on Jonathan Pettibone's signing bonus

"First and foremost - do not get hurt."
- Tom Hamilton on what Francona asks of pitchers at the plate

"We're in Philadelphia for 36 hours. Just enough time to get Philly cheesesteaks and Tastycakes."
- Tom Hamilton

"That Ben Franklin was big in this town. You find electricity and everyone starts naming streets after you."
- Jim Rosenhaus

"You come here and it looks like the outfielders are on top of each other."
- Tom Hamilton on the size of the field in Philadelphia

"In a baseball season you've got a lot a peaks and valleys. The key is that your peaks are a lot longer than your valleys."
- Tom Hamilton

"Boy, I'd like to have a nickle for every item the Phillies team shop has sold."
- Tom Hamilton says everyone's got some Phillies swag

"Maybe the Indians will be better against a proven commodity like Cole Hamels instead of these unknowns."
- Tom Hamilton

Monday, May 13, 2013

2 Games, 5 Layers, 6 Hot Dogs and 1 Run

So I just got back from 5.5 hours of baseball! Well actually with the driving and parking and whatnot it was more like 7.5 hours. Who knew that a traditional double header would attract so many fans?? There were 23,299 there today which is 9k more than average and 3k more than Dollar Dog Night. Wow!

Well "Wow!" is not what I was saying while I was stuck in traffic on the way in and ultimately missing the first inning, but it did make me happy to see so many folks there. Actually it sort of made me suspicious. Why are Clevelanders able to not be at work at noon on a Monday and why were all of these kids out of school?

I can't answer for the kids (awesome parents, I suppose) but I have come to the conclusion that Cleveland is a second shift town and nobody is coming to the games because they're all at work. That's why noon games are so popular. So, the media can stop pondering the question and leave Cleveland alone. And no, I do not know who is covering first shift. Clearly not sports fans.

We had our seats up in the nosebleeds, the All You Can Eat seats. I thought it was a solid plan, being that we like the view from up there, and for $15 more than regular seats in the section we could eat all day. And while I had no problem eating $15 worth of food (I calculated I managed to down about $49 worth over 5 hours) the selection does sort of suck. It's the lowest of the low forms of food from the stadium - the cheapest nachos, the smallest drink cups, the dollar dogs - and you definitely get jealous as you watch people walk by with their ice cream cones and pizza and cotton candy. Granted you are totally free to buy all that stuff but then you can't smugly chow down on more free hot dogs. It skews your ratio of free food to paid ($15) food.

Anyway the whole situation is mentally exhausting, trying to make sure you eat enough. Perfect plan for when you have two games to sit through and need lunch and dinner, but otherwise - skip the All You Can Eat seats (unless someone gives you tickets to the Club version of this, which is a million times better and full of ice cream. Go get that!)

It was cold today - 44 degrees at noon and 47 degrees at the beginning of game 2. I planned ahead and wore 5 layers of shirts. An undershirt, my "We Are All Kipnises" tee, an Indians thermal shirt, my usual blank-back jersey and an Indians hoodie. I actually had to keep my hat on and hood up the entire time and wear heavy gloves for the first game. There was no sun anywhere in our section until about the 6th inning of the first game. Then it was weird because it was windy and cold but our faces and legs were hot from the sun beating down on them. I was able to take my gloves off (much better for my cheer ability) but I still stayed huddled up. My butt (my literal BUTT) was freezing!

So, we missed the first inning, since it took me too long to get downtown. Saw Kipnis's homer on the television as we ascended the escalator and that was that. No more runs for the Tribe in 17 more innings of baseball.

There were no runs for the Yankees in the first game so that was cool. Actually that was one of the few times I enjoyed a pitcher's duel, I think because Masterson looked so sharp. Any fan of this team wants desperately for Masterson to be able to come out and throw a complete-game no-hitter. That is exactly what he did and by about the 5th inning it was evident that whatever troubles he has been having his past few outings were straightened out - at least for today - and it was going to be lights-out for him. He struck out 9 and only walked 3, and held the Yankees to just 4 hits. Mid- to low-90s pitches with the occasional off speed. It only took him 118 pitches to finish the game, too.

Oh, Masterson did have a little help from his friends. Twice:

Ok, three times. No one would have won anything had it not been for Kipnis' home run!

Asdrubal had a good first game, uh, aside from the 2 strikeouts. He had those 2 nice plays and then a double. I had refreshed my sign just for this occasion, so I was happy to get to wave it about. Twice. Then I spilled some more pop on it.


The first game only took 2 hours and 30 minutes. The second game did not start 20 minutes after the first ended, as promised. Instead it was 30 minutes. Didn't seem too bad! Especially since we finally had sunshine by then.

Trevor Bauer pitched the second game and I think he looked good. He did have a quality start going 6 2/3 innings and giving up only 2 earned runs. The Yankees did make him pitch a heckofalot though. He was past 100 by the time he left. Th first two innings were slow, but he roped in his pitch count in the 3rd and 4th, and had 1-2-3 innings for the 5th and 6th. It's nice to see that Bauer is progressing each time he pitches with us!

Nick Hagadone is going the opposite way. He struggled his last time out and today fared no better. He gave up 3 earned runs on just 3 hits and a walk. Three earned runs! I think we've got enough good stuff going on in our bullpen that Hagadone needs to be sent away (like Chisenhall was today) for a bit to figure things out.

Matt Albers finished up the 7th for everyone. Not until Mark Reynolds let a run score on a throwing error. But that inning ended and Albers came in for the 8th, giving up a single and throwing a wild pitch. Damn! The Bad was catching! They yanked him for David Huff...

Yeah, David Huff! I didn't even consider that he was still on our team. Apparently he's been in CBus throwing a 4.07 ERA and winning 3 games. Last year he finished the season with a 3.38 ERA and 6 appearances. I'm not sure what his role in our organization is since his appearances keep going down and his ERA stays relatively high. But today he faced 5 batters, striking the first 2 out and then finishing the 8th and 9th innings with no runs scored. Huh.

Nothing worth mentioning on the offensive side. Yes they got 5 hits but only went as far as 2 in one inning, then did poorly at bringing the runs home. Well, they did nothing in the way of bringing the runs home. Not sure what that means. I guess the weather and some exhaustion (I'll wait here while we all roll our eyes at the thought). I'm pretty tired and all I did was sit there!

Oh so the guy who shut us out in the second game, Vidal Nuno, was a 48th round draft pick by the Indians. And today was his first MLB start. We beat 6 Cy Young Award winners so far this year and just got beaten by a 48th round draft pick in his first start.


Tomorrow is more baseball, if you can stand it! Off to the city of brotherly love to be harassed by Philly fans. It'll be our new favorite Scott Kazmir versus RHP 3.36. We ka-rushed the Phils in our last 2-game series, last week or whatever. This is another 2-game series, so it should be interesting. Anything will be more interesting than today's games! (And with fewer hot dogs)

See you there!

(No radio chatter...totally not going to listen to the archive of 5 hours of baseball where nothing happened)