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

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