Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Ryan Raburn Is So Good...

(Not Ryan Raburn's uncle Gene)
...Ryan Raburn is so good that Cliff Lee's mom sent him a _______.

I don't know what's more exciting here, boffins - beating our 4th Cy Young Award winner out of 5 faced this year (no one seems to be mentioning the loss to Jake Peavy, but whatevs), our 4-game winning streak that beats any streak this year and ties last year's, Asdrubal's 10-game hitting streak that includes 7 RBI, or Ryan Raburn's 5-game hitting streak that includes 4 home runs, 13 hits and 10 RBI. It's ALL just fun times and sunshine, here!

Let's start off with Trevor Bauer, to whom I give an A+ for tonight's performance. Not because he was lights-out or went long, because he did neither of those things. And it was great that he only gave up one hit and no runs. Really great! He did walk 6 but he also fanned 5, and since none of those 6 walks crossed the plate, it worked out wonderfully.

What was most impressive about Trevor Bauer is that he did not lose his shit. How many grown-ass, veteran pitchers have we see come through here in the past 2 or 3 seasons and just lose their shit? I'm not talking about Cliff Lee or Roy Halladay losing their shit - we simply out-hit those guys, ha! But I'm talking about Ubaldo Jiminez, Fausto Carmona, Brett Myers, even sometimes Justin Masterson. But mostly Ubaldo and Fausto. It's just so refreshing to see a guy pitch as well in the bigs as he does in the minors, and to be the same guy in person as on paper. Trevor Bauer may be a bit of an "excitable young man" but that kid believes in Trevor Bauer first and foremost and tonight he showed it. No one was going to intimidate Trevor Bauer tonight and Trevor Bauer was not going to look bad!

So kudos to that guy! Let's hope we see him some more, and he is just as good next time. I especially hope to see him more if it means less Brett Myers. Also, we had to give up Nick Hagadone for a bit in order for him to come up so let's not run out Hagadone's options by playing pitcher chess. I wanna see him in 5!

Speaking of pitcher chess, there was a bit of that going on with our bullpen today but that's cool with me. If Francona is going to pitch matchups and win games then a-friggin-men! Brian Shaw came in for the 6th and gave up a walk and a hit, but got out of it. He started the 7th and gave up a single right away, then a fielder's choice (robbed!) and induced a double-play before they took him out. Rich Hill came in to finish the 7th and start the 8th. He got a pop out and then, once again, Joe Smith came in to show everyone how it's done and struck out the next two batters.

Joe Smith's ERA is still 0.00. He's got the most games (10), most innings pitched (8.2) and most strikeouts (11) of any of the 8 guys rockin' the 0.00 right now. That's right - he's better than Vinnie Pestano!

Cody Allen had an uneventful 8th inning, getting three fly outs and end the game. Allen's been super tight lately, not giving up any hits or walks in his last 4 games after a sort-of shaky start. His ERA's down to a respectable 2.19.

WOULD YOU BELIEVE... that after the last two games, where the team hit a total of 10 home runs in the last 2 games that there were NO home runs tonight? Not for either team. Actually, Drew Stubbs technically hit one over the wall, just Laynce Nix's glove was there on the other side of the wall to catch it (yes he is the brother of Jayson Nix. Who'da thunk it?)

We didn't need homers today though because we got clutch hits and had scoreless pitching. This is how you win baseball!

This team doesn't get hot without Michael Brantley being hot, and he was once again hot tonight going 3 for 5 with a run scored. That's 17 hits for him over his last 10 games, and his average is up to .302. Hitting streak up to 4! Woohoo!

Jason Kipnis is still not hot but hey, he walked today and came in to score a run. Good job, Kip! You'll get them next time!

Asdrubal was the DH tonight and only went 1 for 4, but his hit was a huuuuuuuge 2-run double and then he came around to score, too! That's all he did tonight but not only did it give us 2 runs it also extended his hitting streak to 10!

Ryan Reynolds was "quieted" tonight, only going 1 for 5. But he's got a 4-game hitting streak going, too.

Carlos Santana is still hol-ee-cow WOW! right now! He went 2 for 4 tonight with a walk and came in to score twice. So he's got a 6-game hitting streak and leads the league in average, still, by 24 points (.395). I'M SERIOUS!!! I don't even know what more to say about this situation that I haven't said in the past few nights, because he just keeps being confoundingly awesome. Carlos Santana!

Speaking of confoundingly awesome, in case you forgot, my hero Ryan Raburn was at it again tonight! After going 3 for 4 last night with 3 RBI, he went 4 for 5 tonight with 2 RBI! That's 13 hits in 5 games, folks. Oh do we find more excuses for this guy to play?? He's so good...

...He's so good that Nick Swisher left a three-word note in his locker that simply said _________.

Ryan Raburn also pulled a Laynce Nix and went over the wall to pull in a home run. Is there nothing this guy can't do?! 

Mike Aviles was in at short today, and since Mike Aviles is a team player he got another sacrifice fly for an RBI.

Yan Gomes took on the task of catching Bauer, which was an interesting move. And I think maybe not very subtle? I guess Gomes never caught Bauer even though they've been on the same teams here and there (Indians teams) but the genius of this move, I am guessing, is that Yan Gomes is way more of a grownup and leader than Carlos Santana probably is. So Gomes was able to guide the game where Santana may have possibly been a hindrance. This is just speculation but something stopped Bauer from losing his shit so I'm going to give some of the credit to Gomes! Oh, Gomes went 1 for 4 at the plate.

Drew Stubbs looked alive again today, after beating back a hitless streak yesterday. He was back to his old self today, going 2 for 4 with an RBI! And of course that almost-homer. That's 5 hits in the last 2 games for ol' Drew!

Tomorrow is, like, the saddest off-day ever. Because who likes to sit on their hands after a 4-game winning streak?! Who likes to go to bed with no baseball? Lucky for me I have a date with the Olive Garden, where you bet I'll be biding my time under an endless pasta bowl. Fill 'er up!

Friday's game is at home against the Twins at 7:05. I hope everyone shows up - it's the first Dollar Dog Night! It'll be Justin Masterson versus LHP 2.35.

Ooh, since Justin will be there I bet that means maybe Meryl will be there in person? She's been here for 7 night-game wins in a row! She's magic, I tells ya!
I am here for you, boffins!
Have a good day off and I'll see you there!

Radio Chatter:
"Ninety-four miles per hour. That's why the Indians want Bauer to have confidence in his fastball."
- Tom Hamilton

"Right now, everything rolling the Indians' way."
- Tom Hamilton after Raburn's infield hit

"There's another way you could look at it. He could be pitching a 6-hitter with one walk and we could be saying 'He's doing a good job of spacing out those hits.'"
- Tom Hamilton on Trevor Bauer in the 5th

"Giambi called himself 'Mr. Potatohead' last night [...] He was taking inventory of all his parts after that head-first slide last night."
- Jim Rosenhaus

"Hard to believe he made an out last night."
- Tom Hamilton on Ryan Raburn

"The Blue Jays can't lose enough. The way they were so smug when we were in Canada...they were like 'Yeah we've got to play 6 months of baseball, but everyone knows where we're going with what we did in the offseason.'"
- Tom Hamilton

"I don't think your contract's that long. You'd better be careful!"
- Jim Rosenhaus on Tom Hamilton's thoughts on the Blue Jays

"How many of you out there have ever sent your ACT stores to Armstrong Atlantic State University?"
- Tom Hamilton on Jeremy Horst's alma mater

"Looked like the Buffalo Bills' field goal kicker in the Super Bowl, didn't it? High and right."
- Tom Hamilton on a wild pitch in the 8th

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