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

1 comment:

  1. That brought me, a full grown man, to tears last night. Rawk on!