Sunday, June 2, 2013

Don't Call It A Comeback

Because it's not. Ha!

It almost looked like the Tribe was going to be able to come back and have a spectacular inning or two and get back in to this game. Except they didn't, and then the Rays kept scoring more making the gap even wider and by the 8th inning the thrill was gone.

Plus the Tribe had a few missteps and errors in the game, and a few calls not go their way. And the Rays themselves looked razor-sharp. Just seemed like nothing was going to go well for this team today.

It started off with Zach McAllister not having his "stuff" or being "off" or "not crisp" or something. He gave up 5 runs on 7 hits and lasted just 4 1/3 innings. He didn't strike anyone out (perhaps that one can be explained away by the crazy strikezone today). He threw 90 pitches in those 4 innings. It was definitely a mercy killing to take him out that early.

But, the Rays weren't done scoring off Tribe pitching. Hagadone cam in to finish off the 5th and did fine. But then in the 6th he promptly walked a guy then gave up a homer. Boo!

Bryan Shaw came in for the 7th and had a 1-2-3 inning. Yesssss! This is it, a turning point in this game!

Except, it wasn't. The Tribe didn't score any more runs, and then Rich Hill came in and there was a Tampa Bay Hit Parade with 3 hits, a fielder's choice, a sac fly and 2 runs scored. By this time we had nothing left to lose, so they brought in the kid from Columbus, Matt Langwell, who got all his nerves out on the table by giving up a 2-run homer to Evan Longoria.

Tom Hamilton's right, though - Langwell will only ever face less-good batters for the rest of his career now.

Langwell did stick it out and ended up striking out James Loney (another power hitter) to end the inning, and then coming in for the 9th and not giving up any more runs. It'll be interesting to see what this guy is made of from here on. Well, it always is with new guys.

The Tribe actually had a somewhat-decent day at the plate, aside from the goofy strike zone. It just so happens that their 11 hits were just too far spaced to beat 11 runs. Also, there were NO walks. Huh! The Indians are 6th in the league in walks, in case you were curious.

I heard someone say on the radio the other night that they weren't impressed with Michael Bourn and he wasn't "as promised" (this was a caller, not a host). What? Other than Gomes, he leads the team in average (he's got almost double the at-bats of Gomes). He's second on the team in stolen bases despite being 14 games behind the guy who leads the team (Kipnis). He seriously runs stuff down in the field.

Anyway, I'm pleased with Bourn. He's hitting like Brantley was when he was really feeling the leadoff spot. He had a rough go of it in the first two games against the Rays but today he went 2 for 4 and is still hitting over .300 (.301). He did get caught stealing today, his 4th time, but you gotta be in it to win it!

Kipnis went 1 for 4 today, now with a 3-game hitting streak. Not that exciting but a streak has to start somewhere!

Asdrubal was benched today with that bad leg. It was planned that he'd play yesterday (sweet!) and sit today. In his place on the field was Aviles and in his place in the lineup was Brantley - who went 2 for 4! Sadly he had no runs scored and no RBI. Ugh.

Reynolds went 1 for 4 with a run.

Santana had a HUGE game, going 3 for 4 with a run. Three singles, even! He did have a bit of a brain freeze in the 4th where he wasn't legging it around the bases on a fly ball with 2 outs. Turned out the ball touched down and he could have scored easily. Oops! Remember that "Manny being Manny" baloney? I'm afraid we're going to have to come up with something similar for Carlos Santana. I'm thinking "Oh, that 'los!"

Yan Gomes has been playing a lot lately. Seven games in the last 12 days. And how can you not play him when he's got 10 hits and 10 RBI in those last 7 games? Today he got just one hit but it was an RBI double with 2 outs to start the short-lived rally in the 4th. For what it's worth, his was the aforementioned hit that dropped that Santana could have scored on. Is Santana trying to harm the record of his rival?? Gomes did have an error today, his first error of the season. He threw away a ball when trying to pick off a guy at third and it resulted in a run scored. Not perfect? Woah!

As I said earlier, Aviles was in for Asdrubal and he followed up Gomes' double with a 2-run single of his own, getting 2 of the 3 RBI for today. Love that Aviles!

That was it for hitting today. Eleven hits and only 3 runs in one inning to show for it. I guess it gets the bullpen off the hook, being that the team couldn't score enough to cover McAllister's bad outing, even.

Tomorrow we go to New York to face the Yankees. GOOD. BRING 'EM ON! Let's have some great baseball! Can't wait woohoo!

No really, it'll be fun. If you're not waking up every day looking forward to baseball, then you're probably reading the wrong blog!

It'll be All Hail Justin Masterson versus RHP 3.83, fresh off the DL. The game's at 7:05.

See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"The Indians catcher popped up and started walking to the 3rd base dugout, and is probably now saying 'I'm sorry' very discretely to Bill Welke."
- Tom Hamilton

"The longer this goes, you wonder how short the fuse will be for the Tribe manager."
- Jim Rosenhaus on a discussion on whether Fuld hit a double or a triple

"I gotta believe he's been tossed already and now he's getting his money's worth."
- Jim Rosenhaus on Francona arguing balls & strikes

"When Michael Bourn puts a ball on the ground in the hole on the left side of the infield, the only thing the fielders have to do is make sure it doesn't turn into a double."
- Tom Hamilton

"Bill Welke is going to need a group hug from the other three umpires at the end of this game. I don't think he's heard a kind word all day."
- Tom Hamilton

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