Saturday, May 4, 2013

Understated, FTW!

I think today we had the most understated win of the season thus far. No one had a one-off amazing game, no one got all of the hits or the RBIs, the pitchers weren't lights-out. What we had here was just a quality baseball game from top to bottom, everyone doing their jobs and doing it well!

Of course, that sounds boring as heck but hey - that's how you get wins.

Actually it wasn't boring, though, because they started it out with some homers in the first then scored again in 3 more innings, which is super fun to see live! I was at the top of the bleachers, which were full, with my friends and their kids. Fun stuff!

Scott Kazmir got the start today. Seems like he's been around a lot this season, doesn't it? Nope - this was just his third appearance! He started slow, throwing 48 pitches in the first two innings and giving up a run. But after that he cruised through to the 6th, striking out 7 and only walking 1! He did give up a home run but eh, I gotta stop taking that heart when starters give up home runs. Someone has to do it, right?

Kazmir ended up with the win. And a quality start! I'm looking forward to seeing him pitch again in the rotation, to see if perhaps we have a solid new starter!

Bryan Shaw came in for the 7th. Talk about understated - did you know he has a .69 ERA? I know he keeps coming in to pitch (heck, I write about it!) but I never really seem to notice him. He's just filler before we get to the guys whose names and faces we know. But really he's only given up 1 run in 11 appearances. He gives up hits but so does Perez. Actually today he also gave up a walk then had a wild pitch, but totally worked out of it. I'll have to remember to pay attention to Bryan Shaw some time in the future - if I remember!

Joe Smith, who is someone we recognize, gave up his first run of the season today. So his ERA is higher than Shaw's, heh. He had a rough go of it today, walking 2 then giving up a single for the run. But he held it to 1, so that's cool.

The ninth inning was Chris Perez, in another non-save appearance (a la last night). If you're wondering where Vinnie is, he has a "cranky elbow." Creaky? Some kind of elbow issue. I guess if everyone else is doing fine, he can ice his elbow.

Anyway Perez had a somewhat rocky 9th, not helped by an error for the lead-off batter to get on base (Kipnis - the team's first error in a while now). He also walked a guy. But then, as Perez will do, he got out of it all and that was the game!

Almost everybody hit today, but one guy went 0 for 3 with a walk. You'll never guess who it was! Ok, you'll probably guess since I said you'd never guess and he got a walk. It was Santana.

Brantley! Six-game hitting streak! Sucks that he's hitting under .300 now, since he only went 1 for 5. But his one hit was an RBI single with two guys on base, so that is just AWESOME to see! Clutch hitting - I miss it!

Jason Kipnis was on fire today. I mean I guess he could be the hero of today's game but he's a guy you expect good things from, so it's no surprise when he does them! He got 3/4 of the cycle, getting everything but the double. Then again, he did steal a base after his single so that's like a double, right? He got two triples in two days! Man, one triple ever would make me excited as a ball player. Jim Rosenhaus was hinting that Kipnis may have been able to try to stretch it to a homer. To be honest I didn't see it live (I was busy, more on that later) but when I listened to it on the radio my first thought was "holy cow is that kid fast!" I couldn't fathom anyone could run 270' in the time it took that ball to come back in.

Anyway he hit a homer too, right there in the first inning, which really got the crowd PUMPED! His single in the next inning was an RBI single, and he came around to score off that triple! Go Kip!

Asdrubal was back in the swing of getting clutch hits today. Ok not hits, hit. But still, he's not already back in some slump. He walked once in a super long at-bat, and then he got a RBI double and came in to score off it!

Nick Swisher was back today and boy is he a crowd favorite. People were cheering for him the most in the lineup. When he hit his home run on his first at-bat in the first inning, the crowd went nuts - and they played the Ohio State fight song. Ha!

Mark Reynolds had normal-guy at-bats today. Probably just to keep them guessing! Once again, awesome to see this guy getting hits inbetween homers instead of just striking out when not hitting it out. One of his hits was an RBI single that drove Asdrubal in after Asdrubal's double.

The Chiz Kid is still quietly hanging in there. He went 1 for 3 and scored a run.

Drew Stubbs got moved up from his anchor position at 9th, to 8th! Probably not because he got better (he's always been reliable, and has had a couple good games) but because we got a new guy that needed to be at 9th. Stubbs was once again understatedly reliable today, going 1 for 4 with a double and coming in to score.

They had Carrera in at right today, for a day off for Raburn. It's pretty interesting to consider who can play where and when. Like, on a day when Swish is in we have a new RF, and Reynolds and Santana are playing, so we don't need Aviles but or Raburn could come in at any time and we could switch up EVERYONE. Neat!

Anyway Zeke went 2 for 4 today so that's pretty cool. He got an RBI single, which was juuuuust about to be a double but Carrera Slip-N-Slid across second and got tagged out as he lost contact with the base. But he did get that 7th run in so all's well that ends well. I wonder what it is they expect him to add to this team? Not that I don't like him but I do recall he had his issues last year with trying to be a home run hitter when we just needed him on base (he ended up doing neither). I hope he works his tail off this year to have a place to stay!

So yeah, I was at the game today. Amazing weather. Really great promo shirt (already available on eBay) (it's made of polyester!) I had really great company at the game - my best friends brought their son for his second game of his life. His first game when he was about 3 weeks old! Then we met up with some friends who were our teachers/instructors in high school and now have two kids (11 and 6), and we've not seen the friends since about 1999. A nice little reunion!

My friends let me take their kids up to the Kids Clubhouse area. They had a nice time playing on all the attractions: a batting cage, a pitching booth, a sliding booth, a photo booth (free pic of your kid in a Tribe jersey, printed out on a baseball card) and a Wiffle Ball court for the younger kids. I could not let the generously-sized 11-year-old participate in the Wiffle Ball thing, even if other kids his age were taking part. I told him if nothing else, it would be hideously embarrassing to strike out!

I was surprised at how short the lines were in the area, but I did think there were more people there than there really were (only 18k). I did hear one person in the bleachers ask if the area was even open being that it wasn't Sunday. So people might think that the kids' attractions are still only a Sunday thing. Well - they're not! If you have kids at the ballgame, it's definitely a good idea to check out the Clubhouse!

My friends' baby had fun in the enclosed Step 2 area for smaller kids. Unfortunately I missed that fun but really the baby did SO good at the game that he'll be back for more this year. Seriously - the kid slept through two home runs! I think his favorite part of the day was running up and down the steps in Heritage Park.

Oh hey, congratulations Meryl Masterson! Today was the first afternoon game the team won since she showed up! That's  games won in a row for the Indians and EIGHT for Meryl!
Victory is sweet!
Still no radio chatter tonight.  Tom's still out, it's just not right. Rosie was joined by some ex-pitcher today. I think I remember him from last year while Hammy was at the College World Series. He did not knock my socks off.

Guess what? I'm going to the game tomorrow too. What a life, right? Different friend, different seats, and I think I might eat different stuff. I've been eating hand-cut fries for days now, as I had to get me some Melt this weekend (the Wookie. Zomg.) Someone suggested I should get me some nachos tomorrow. Don't mind if I do!

Tomorrow is Corey Kluber versus RHP 7.66 who is coming back from Tommy John surgery! 7.66! Wahoo!

I'll be there, with "OMG ASDRUBAL!!!", behind the Tribe dugout. Keep an eye out - see you there!

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