Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Your Money's Worth

Walkoff win, y'all! WALKOFF WIN!

Man, who doesn't love a walkoff win? I don't like to be all complacent but how many of you figured we'd probably have a walkoff win in the 10th? Maybe not a walkoff homer (although everyone thought there'd be a game-tying homer when Giambi got up, huh?) but it's pretty hard to give up on this team in the final innings anymore.


Here's the video. Usually offense goes at the bottom of the post but I can't wait! See here now! (Also: Carlos cut his hair!)

There were 30k fans at the ballpark today, I guess. Only 22.3k marked as paid but apparently 8k more came through with their rainout tickets from way back (actually Shapiro says 12k were free and 30k were there and MLB says 22.3k paid so I can't follow this math anymore). Since there were fireworks afterwards, I hope everyone stayed to watch the big win!

I know this guy was there, at least after Kipnis's sac fly in the 9th to tie the game:

I wonder if he's from Michael "Dr. Smooth" Brantley's gang? Mr. Cool?

So, pitching-wise we got another good start, this time from Corey Kluber. Yeah, yeah "almost lost", "lost the lead" etc etc. But really the story here is "one bad inning" or even "three bad pitches." Kluber was gravy until the 6th, where he gave up 3 runs on 4 hits. Then there was a talk with Mickey Callaway and he got out of it. And there were no more runs until he left the 9th with 2 outs and, surprise, the reliever gave up one of his runners.

So you get rid of those 3 hits in the 6th and all of a sudden Kluber has an 8 2/3 inning game with 6 hits, 6 strikeouts and 1 earned run. Sounds good to me. And even tho he DID give up 4 runs, well, our team averages 5 runs per game so -bully for us!

Kluber only had 95 pitches when he was pulled with 2 outs in the 9th. Viciedo was up and Francona didn't trust that Kluber had his number - Tito thought it might have been the other way around. Francona admits that he was wrong (which you can do when you are the guy who makes the mistake but the team wins anyway!) 

I think the default answer to "should we bring a reliever in?" if there is any question, at least this season, is NO, DON'T!!

Cody Allen came in and gave up one of Kluber's runners plus one of his own. Crazy, man - Allen has been pretty solid for us as of late...well uh except his next-to last outing against Texas where he did give up 2. But in 10 appearances, only 3 runs. Ok, that's a lot of runs. Dangit, Cody!

Wow - 4 appearances in 5 days for Chris Perez? I LOVE IT! And - he won/saved all those games! Tonight he was 1-2-3-4, meaning that he got 3 outs and also hit Adam Dunn but Dunn is a very large man. He gets in the way sometimes. Perez got his 4th win of the year!

Here he is being happy and joining in the fun at home:
Yay all of us!
Tito cleared our bench today with pinch hitters and runners, trying to get ahead. Although we cruised into the 6th with a healthy lead, baseball happened and we were tied after that. In the 9th we were behind by 2 but then the INDIANS happened and we came back to tie it, and won in extra innings! W00t!

Michael Bourn led off the game with a double! It seems like he gets a healthy amount of first-at-bat hits this year. Let's see...according to the splits he's batting .278 in the first inning - 20 for 72. So, not bad. One stat that jumps out at me, though, is he is 4 for 6 with bases loaded. Wow! Bourn came around to score after that double, on some heads-up running on a throwing error. Once again the Tribe is scoring first!

Swisher went 2 for 3, and they must be scared of him because he walked twice - once intentionally to load the bases in the 9th.

Load the bases up on Kipnis? Well, all right Robin Ventura. Take this sac fly and stick it up your nose! The game is now tied!!

Kip didn't get any hits but he was a crucial part of the game, with that sac fly in the 9th and also with the ground out in the first that ended up scoring the first run. Anything to win!

Droobs was a big disappointment today. Like, super sad that he didn't do ANYTHING to help in this excitement. He wasn't even part of the double play. Sigh...just one of those nights I guess. A Swisher kind of night.

Carlos Santana hasn't hit a homer since July 7. He only had 11 RBI in July so far. I can't tell if he's on his way up, or on his way sideways or even on his way down. But all that mattered was that tonight he went 2 for 5, with a double and a homer, and 2 RBI. The winning RBI, a walkoff homer.

Haha! I love that stuff! The revenge homer!

Aviles was in at 3rd tonight. He went 1 for 4, and was part of that double play!

Michael Brantley is like woah. Three more hits tonight, that's 11 in his last 9. It drives me crazy that he's not hitting over .300!! It feels like he should beeeeeee! Tonight he went 3 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored. Two of his hits were doubles. Dang, Cousin Michael you just have the spirit in you right now!!

Reynolds was a real gem at first base today, which is nice to see because you don't want a guy to just be plain failing at baseball. If you're going to give him a chance to stretch his legs and see if he can hit, it's just too sad to see him falling on his butt in the field. But he made some really nice plays at first, including this one that required a little athleticism. 

Dude went 0-3, though, so they put in Giambi in the 9th to come in as the tying run and everyone was like "yeah do it again!" but Giambi got hit by a pitch (see Adam Dunn, above). Chisenhall came in to run for Giambi and he's the one who scored the tying run. Raburn came in to play 1st for the 10th.

Let's talk about Drew Stubbs, who is one of those guys that they say "oh he's so fast." A lot of guys they say they're fast. Like Ezequiel Carrera, even Michael Bourn. And they are. But it seems like Drew Stubbs not only is fast, and knows he's fast, but he's also smart. He seems to know what it takes and keeps ending up in these situations where his speed is making a difference.

He did it again tonight in the 9th by beating out a bunt for a single. That loaded the bases with no out and 2 runs down. It was nearly a given that the Tribe was going to get those two runs to tie the game on sac flies (it was almost literally the least they could do at that point) and it could not have happened if Stubbs hadn't beaten out that bunt!
He's for every one of us!
One to nine, man - that's what it takes!

So we've won 7 in a row, won 6 of a 10-game series against sub-par teams, won 2 series in a row (so far) and have had 3 walk-off homers in the last 6 nights.


Whew, this is just too cool. I'm starting to get excited that this team is a major playoff contender. If only it weren't for those pesky Tigers! (If the playoffs were today we'd be the second wildcard.)

Tomorrow's game is an afternoon dealy, with Masterson versus their good pitcher, LHP 2.69. It's going to take a lot of muscle to either make it an easy win or get yet another scraped-together win. But I'm really loving this streak so I would take a win either way!

It'll be 12:05 so see you there!

Radio Chatter:
"The Yankees deserve everything they get. They're the ones that gave him that contract."
- Tom Hamilton on A-Rod

"[Umpire] D.J. Reyburn wants Cody Allen to put it on a tee."
- Tom Hamilton on bad calls in the 9th

"Boy this place was rocking a minute ago. Now it sounds like St. John's Cathedral down the street on E. 9th."
- Tom Hamilton in the 9th

"On this last day of July, if they rally to win, this one goes to the head of the class."
- Tom Hamilton

"Herbie's got the best seat in the house tonight, and he's watching that with arched eyebrows."
- Tom Hamilton on what he thinks Herb Score would think of walking Swisher to load the bases for Kipnis

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Sou Brasileiro!

It was the big Brazilian game today! Rookie pitcher Andre Rienzo making his debut for Chicago, pitching against his friend and fellow Brazilian Yan Gomes, starting catcher for the Indians. The first and second Brazilians in the MLB! I think the Brazilian flag is groovy so I'm going to put it here:

And here's a little Portuguese for you from "Gomer" (sadly, not "Yanimal" in the clubhouse):
Here's what Google thinks he said:
I don't think Google quite has it right. But whatever - pretty cool connection there, don't you think? Thanks Jake Peavy for making this moment possible!

So we got our 6th win in a row today! It was an amazingly hard struggle, but the team once again overcame. It's not supposed to be this hard against Chicago but once again - it's all about the W.

Scott Kazmir was the starter and he was not on his game. I guess it's all right, as he's been more on his game than most others sometimes. He also did a good job of hanging in there as long as possible even though it was evident by the 2nd inning that he was most likely not going to win this game. He gave up 9 hits and only struck out 3 in 5 innings. He pitched in the 6th too, but didn't get an out before being replaced and then having his runner score.

The good thing is that he's not denying he sucked and Francona's not denying he sucked and he lasted as long as possible, and now they can go address that suckage and fix it for next time. No shoulder shrugs or fake tightness. Just "that was bad, let's fix it."

Matt Albers stepped up and did some long relief, which you don't want to see with this bullpen. But aside from letting Kazmir's runner score in the 6th, he pitched 2 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball with only ONE hit (the one that scored the guy in the 6th).

I thought Shaw was our long guy so it's nice to see that someone else can do it, and not suck.

Speaking of sucking, Oh No Not Rich Hill came in to get a lefty out (Adam Dunn) and from what Tom Hamilton says, he did get him out - twice. Except those strikes were mistaken for balls and Dunn eventually walked.

Shaw came in for the next batter and got him to ground out to end the 8th.

Chris Perez came in for the 9th, and didn't give up any runs even though he had runs to give by that point. He almost let one in but he is the New-Old Chris Perez and while he gave up a hit (as expected, Old Perez!) the guy didn't score (New Perez!) He got his 15th save! And also looked happy again.

The bats were back today, with the team having another double-digit hit (10) night after getting just 4 last night. Three multi-hitters tonight! Sadly, no homers - I think they had a homer streak going there, some 6 games or something. Oh well!

White Sox pitching really have Bourn's number - he hasn't gotten any hits in this series yet! Swisher just got the one today and it was a double.

Kipnis had an 0-fer day but he did walk. No runs or RBI.

Asdrubal had it figured out, tho! He went 2 for 4, with a single in the 8th that got him on base to score the tying run!

Brantley led off the 5th with a walk, and ended up scoring on another walk after Rienzo lost his shit. Oops! That inning saw 3 walks, 3 runs scored, 2 hits and 1 error. And a FC that scored two runs. Nailed it!

Santana got a deep single in the 8th, then was pinch ran for (?) by Stubbs. And Stubbs is the friggin FLASH -

Defender of the universe!
... so Stubbs stole a base and came around to score on a single. Natch.

The role was switched for Giambi today who was actually the starting DH, but was pulled in the 8th for Ryan Raburn. Giambi had actually gone 1 for 3 but speculation was that he was spent for the day. But since our bench is so awesome (nickname: Bench Mob), Raburn came in and got himself a 2-out, 2-run single in the 8th! He drove in the aforementioned tying and go-ahead runs. That guy seems to really be locked in and ready to roll whenever he is needed!

Chiz had it going on today, going 2 for 4. Nice stuff - he's been on and off the bench recently, sharing time with Mike Aviles. Chisenhall came in to score both times he was on base, mainly because he hits ahead of...
So this is what it's like to have Yan Gomes every day? He went 2 for 3 with a walk (an RBI walk!) and 3 RBI. He's got NINE hits in his last 5 games. I mean, holy cow dude - I seriously, seriously hope Francona was not joking when he said that Gomes was going to be doing this every day for us. There's no reason to stop him now! He is winning games for us!

Oh yeah and it was also the Brazillian National Baseball day (not really) so it was important that Gomes impress everyone as much as the kid on the mound did - I think he delivered!

The Tribe has taken the first 5 of their 10-game "versus bad teams" run, so that's pretty cool! Six games in a row, total, having beaten the Mariners before coming back home to run over Texas.

Two more to go with Chicago, at home. I hope it gets easier! I don't like how we're having to struggle to beat this bottom-dweller. But leave it up to Chicago to try to play spoiler, no matter where in the season it is.

Tomorrow at 7:05 it'll be Corey Kluber versus this guy:
TB Announced
Ha! Whatever, we got this.

See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"He told ESPN he still wanted to be a role model. Heh, and I want to be Brad Pitt."
- Tom Hamilton on A-Rod

"You just wonder how many great players are still on that island and haven't escaped Fidel Castro."
- Tom Hamilton's deep thoughts for today

"Adam Dunn is one of the few guys in baseball that makes Jason Giambi look small."
- Tom Hamilton

"We're about an hour away from tonight's mystery garage door closing. Which door will they close to keep us in tonight?"
- Tom Hamilton is prepared to ram

"It looks like he struck Dunn out on back-to-back pitches."
- Tom Hamilton on Hill versus Dunn in the 8th

"I'm not telling anyone how to spend their discretionary income, but when you pay to see the Indians you get your money's worth."
- Tom Hamilton

Monday, July 29, 2013


So this game was sort of messy, sort of confusing. The White Sox seemed confused, the umpires seemed confused. Even the Tribe bats sort of seemed confused. In a game where we should have been whompin' a much worse team, we were scrambling for hits and only managed to get 4 of them. We needed some help!

Just say the magic words! "Mecca lecca hi, mecca hiney ho" or, "Have a sear, Reynolds. You're up Giambi!"

Zach McAllister was the starter today and he did what his friends are doing and what we need him to do: Go long, low score. He managed 7 innings and just 2 runs for the team's 5th quality start in a row!

He only threw 90 pitches, so I'm not sure what was up with taking him out in the 7th. I guess since our guys were not getting the hits we needed more shut-em-down power out there. Allen only struck out 2, but he only gave up 5 hits and 2 walks.

The answer, I guess, was Cody Allen and Oh No Not Rich Hill.
Yeah, Cody Allen and Rich Hill were the guys who were going to save us in the 7th. But Cody Allen is perfectly good and if he doesn't leave guys on base (he didn't) then Rich Hill can strike out a lefty (he did).

Then is Chris Perez who has been dominant lately. He's got nothing to do but focus on his pitching, and is taking it way seriously. He's back to being a top-notch closer for us! Today he did give up a hit but that's nothing compared to a lot of the stuff we've seen him do out there. Hit, no prob! He got his 3rd win today. I also saw him looking incredibly jovial and team-spirited at the end of the Giambi home run clip, so at least we know he's still got his mellow.

Not much to report on the offensive side of things tonight. Kipnis was the big man with 2 hits, going 2 for 4. No runs or RBIs off that.

Cabrera and Santana both got RBIs with no hits! (See: confusion) Santana's was a sac fly and Asdrubal hit a bases-loaded GIDP which ended up not being a DP due to some hustle by Kipnis. But still Cabrera was out, but a run did score.

Santana had a nice pickoff at second, which ended up being called safe. Because....confusion.

Ryan Raburn had a double because he's awesome!

Blah blah blah blah - Jason Giambi, off the bench in the 9th for Mark Reynolds. Batting .194 but whatever - he hasn't fallen as far as Reynolds.

I'll steal some pics to show you:
A big swing!
Spider-Vinnie follows it over the fence.
Get ready for your mobbing!
A big ol' gorilla hug for Tito!
So that was pretty fun. We sure do love our walkoffs in Cleveland! And our old guys, too. Giambi is the oldest guy to ever hit a walkoff homer. Previously it was Hank Aaron in 1976. Also:
Here's something interesting...during the home-plate-mobbing-mele, Giambi had a big long hug with Swisher (who jumped up on him) and Kipnis had to awkwardly wait in line to hug Giambi, then it turned into a threesome. And Kipnis kind of called him out on Twitter:
Now, I'm sure Kipnis was just messing around and nobody is actually hurt but man - what a douchebag that Swisher is! I wonder if all the dudes are totally tired of him now, like I am? Heh.

Anyway - sloppy win tonight but at least it was a fun one (at the end). And a W is a W, as long as we have the balls to back it up come October! Do you think we do? I'm becoming more and more convinced that we have a SHOT but it's not a lock. I'll have fun watching, though!

Tomorrow is the 2nd of 4 against the White Sox at home, and it'll be Scott Kazmir versus either Jake Peavy or a player to be named later! We're up 4 games now in this 10-game series against crummy teams - do you think we can take the next 6? Looks like the team is up for anything!

It'll be at 7:05 tomorrow - see you there!

Radio Chatter:
"Viciedo thought he was Roberto Clemente and tried to throw him out [at the plate] on the fly."
- Tom Hamilton

"Raburn's not happy. He never shows it but you can tell."
- Tom Hamilton

"Robin Ventura is still playing like they are in contention."
- Tom Hamilton on pitching changes

"This is the kind of game, Rosie...there isn't too much flow or rhyme or reason to it, but you have to find a way to win."
- Tom Hamilton

"Adam Dunn handles ground balls like they're live grenades."
- Tom Hamilton

"I guess that gives him a little more deception and it gives us all a better look at his posterior. If that's what does it for you then good for you."
- Tom Hamilton on Ramon Troncoso's pitching stance

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Two. Hit. Shut. Out.

Wow! So I just got over gushing about Masterson and here I go again - this time in the bag for Ubaldo! I can't say that he has bowled me over at every start this year but he's been consistently "decent" (however, consistently short) and when he "gets it" he really does great and has a spectacular game.

Today was his best game by far - only 2 hits over 8 innings! Whatever struggles he has that keep him from going more than 5 innings, or giving up fewer than 3 runs, were off the table today and it was smooth sailing. After the first, it was smooth sailing. He only got 6 strikeouts but in turn only walked 3. And did I mention it was a two hit shut out? It was!

Texas really helped Ubaldo out by swinging early, making contact and getting themselves out. Which is why Ubaldo needs to throw that delicious-looking fastball down there and let guys swing away. He also got some help in the field today! To which Ubaldo responds:
Vinnie Pestano came out for the 9th inning, which was perfect because he needed the work and we were up 6-0. He looked all right - struck out one, walked one and had a double play so he faced just 3 batters. He did it in 13 pitches, not bad.

A bunch more hits for the Tribe today - 13! I think that's over 10 hits per game for the last 4 or 5 games. Cool!

Michael Bourn is becoming our RBI guy, with 2 more today giving him 10 in his last 4 games. Ten RBI for the leadoff man?? IMHO he's been a consistently good hitter for us this year so I think his recent success is a bit of a tribute to the end of the lineup who obviously must be on base in order for him to knock them in! Bourn's only hit was a 2-run double he hit with 2 men aboard. He's got a 6-game hitting streak! Feels like we're going to make up on what we missed when Bourn had his month off in the beginning of the season.

Swisher had a good day, going 3 for 5, but never came around to score and didn't get any RBI.

Kipnis was back in his groove today, going 2 for 4 with an RBI. He's been on and off lately - getting 11 hits over 10 games, but 4 of those games saw him with no hits. I'm ready for him to be our hero every day now. Come on, Kip!

When it comes to heroes, both Asdrubal and Raburn were shut down today. Sigh. But - You saw Raburn's awesome catch linked up there, right?!

Michael Brantley continues to roll along! He's got a 6-game hitting streak with hits in 26 of the 21 games he's played so far in July. He's got 24 hits in those 21 games, too!

Santana went 2 for 4 today and came around to score both times. He was the DH...which we love, right? Very possibly that contributed to Ubaldo's success today and having him come around to score twice didn't hurt either! He's got 6 hits and 3 walks in his last 4 games. Let him DH more pleeeeease!

Chisenhall is cooling off a bit, after being consistent for a few games. He didn't do anything at the plate today, but then they brought in Aviles and he got himself a 2-run homer. Boom!

Can we gush over Yan Gomes today?
Dude went 3 for 4 with a run scored and an RBI. Plus he caught the game which you know must have been helpful to the cause. One of his hits was a two-out RBI single, and the other was his 8th double of the year. Only 8? Seems like he's hitting a double every time he hits. Hmm....His slugging is .510 but it's actually cooled off a lot from the beginning of the season. No doubt suffering from lack of playing time. More Gomes!!!!

So everything really fell into place today - great pitching, no need for the bullpen, hitting like we know they can. With all this trade deadline stuff being talked about, I don't know why anyone is even talking about Cliff Lee. Unless Cliff Lee is at a point in his career where he is ready to become an every day long reliever or something? Our starters are just fine. Our bullpen is awful. Our bats are just fine. Our bullpen is awful. Whoever can come in and give us a few shutout innings per week, THAT is the guy we need. If we can't get that then the Indians need to just stay with what they've got.

Tomorrow we face the White Sox at home, which is good because the White Sox are still awful. So if we can take 7 games from 2 awful teams it'll still be awesome! Then we go down to Miami to face the last-place Marlins so really it could be 10 "gimme" games and I am fine with that! We're just 2 games out of the wildcard and it's almost August!

It'll be Z-Mac against LHP 4.81. Oh man - it's gonna be sweet!

No radio chatter today because I was in front of my parents' TV. Although I did catch the beginning of the game on the radio, where Tom Hamilton declared both that "a meal that requires no utensils is where it's at" and that he is a farm boy and knows how to chow down on pig. See what you're missing by not watching?

7:05 tomorrow, see you there!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Justin Masterson Is Just So Good

That's all you can say about today's game. Justin Masterson is just so good. Not only is he good at striking guys out (a new trick this year - he's known as a ground ball pitcher), and good at not giving up runs. I can't really say he's good at getting out of jams because he doesn't get in to them (except for today, where he did get into one and he did get out of it)!

Tonight was his 3rd 1-0 win of the season (first since Swindell in the 80s). In a game where he was going up against an All-Star pitcher with an under-3 ERA (who was only going to give up 3 hits to the Tribe), Masterson needed to be solid as a rock - and he was! He got 8 strikeouts, which is totally normal for him anymore. He only gave up 5 hits, which were spread out over 4 different innings. Just one walk! No runs, don't forget. Once again, he gave up no runs.

The thing he is best at is going long! Which is as good as not giving up any runs, with the way our bullpen works. Do you follow me? Masterson went 8 2/3 today, and Joe Smith came in and Beltrae hit one to the wall but PHEW! It was an out!

Chris Perez matched himself up with Masterson, managing not to mar the beautiful performance. He did it - another 1-2-3 inning which is becoming way more normal for him these days. Oy, Perez! I still like that guy. He got his 14th save, which is cool - he should pull out 20 by the end of this rocky season.

I miss him talking on Twitter and to the media, tho. Glad he's getting his job done at least.

Take a moment to think about, again, how good Justin Masterson has been for us this year! I'll wait.

Masterson has always been a dude we could count on for a nice tight game, but he had problems with run support and last year he wasn't ace-level good. This year he's getting the run support he needs and when he doesn't get it, he doesn't need it!

Speaking of run support - only one guy got to Yu Darvish today. It was Michael Bourn, of all people, who hit a home run in his first (and the team's first) at-bat. That's two homers for Bourn in one week! (Recall his recent grand slam)

Bourn had a good game altogether, going 1 for 2 with that homer and 2 walks. Think Yu is a little scared of him or something?!

Asdrubal went 1 for 4 and stole 2 bases. Brantley went 1 for 4 and stole a base! SANTANA walked and stole his second base of the year. Ha!

Props to Jason Giambi who gave the ball a ride twice in the 6th - one just foul and one just in play. He was about to make the game 4-0.

Isn't it fun that we can look forward to Justin pitching again in 5 days? Woohoo!

Tomorrow the series wraps up at 1:05. It'll be Ubaldo versus RHP 3.13. The Tribe needs to get back on the hit horse tomorrow for sure. Ubaldo is doing well too but more like 2- or 3-run well and the guys need to make up the difference! I could really use a nice Sunday win....

See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"I look like one of the guys from Dumb & Dumber when I wear my tux."
- Tom Hamilton

"This is like a little league game. The only guys for Texas involved are Yu Darvish and catcher Giovani Soto."
- Tom Hamilton

"This game has been everything it promised to be."
- Tom Hamilton

"Time for the keys to the game. There's one key - Justin Masterson."
- Tom Hamilton

Friday, July 26, 2013

If They Don't Win It's A Shame

I mean, come on already, bullpen! You are comically bad! And it's not just Oh No Not Rich Hill this time it is Cody Allen and Joe Smith. Joe Smith! SMH y'all.

But hey, the offense was totally on fire today and they didn't give up even after the bullpen gave up all their hard work. And all of Corey Kluber's hard work.

Ok maybe 3 runs in 6 innings isn't Kazmir-level hard work but he did ok. He had 2 errors behind him (well, one in front of him, as he was responsible for one). And he only gave up 1 earned run in the first 5 innings, then the other 2 in the 6th before he was canned.

Cody Allen, damn dude. That guy is one of our money men and he blew it today with 2 runs in 2/3 of an inning. Know who had to save him? Oh No Not Rich Hill! Luckilly he only needed 1 out and managed to do that without giving up any more runs. Well done, Rich Hill.

But then it was Joe Smith's turn, and he must have been doing nothing but eating Cheetohs and playing MLB 2013 since his last appearance on July 19, because he was totally not himself today. Well maybe he was 2013 Joe Smith but definitely not 2012. Two hits and a hit batsman equalled 2 runs for ol' Joe.

Then, get this - Chris Perez comes in and pitches not one but TWO 1-2-3 innings. In a row! Yeah in one game! Dude can't even do that over 4 nights most of the time. He must have been rarin' to go! The meat of the order, too. Outstanding!

Covering the 11th was Bryan Shaw, who got the win. He gave up a bunt single but that was it. So SOME guys in our bullpen really stepped up and looked great today. But half of them...yeesh. They let a 4-run lead go!

Never fear - our offense got even more hits than yesterday. Today they got 18 hits and 11 runs!

Michael Bourn  only got one hit today and it was a single, but it was damn good. Turned in to 2 RBI! He also got an RBI ground out earlier in the game, for a total of 3 RBI on the night. He did get caught stealing though. Is it because everyone expects him to steal??

Swisher is still in the 2-hole and he put his stupid self to use by getting a homer in the first. Go bro.

Kipnis got out of whatever funk he was in in Seattle (1 for 12) and kicked some butt today, with 2 hits including his 25th double! Oddly enough, he neither scored not got an RBI.

Asdrubal has warmed up to the cleanup spot, I think. Today he went 3 for 6 with a double, a run and an RBI! He is .500 over his last 3 games!

Santana was the last one to get a hit today and it was a big one! He helped keep the 11th alive, following up Asdrubal's single, and he was on base when the big magic occurred. Santana went 1 for 4 with 2 walks.

The big magic was Ryan Raburn! He's so good...
He's so good that people put up signs in their garages that say "Parking for [ethnicity] Only - And Ryan Raburn."

Comin' out of nowhere to get the walkoff 3-run homer in the 11th! Yeah buddy! I guess not out of nowher e- did you know he's got the 4th highest average on the team? He does. But he's not a qualifier, at only 58 games. But he was a pretty awesome choice for DH tonight!

Check out how happy this made Brad Mills:

Raburn went 2 for 6 with 3 RBI.

Hey Cousin Michael, how you doin?
How's the hittin? Oh - 3 for 4 tonight with 2 runs scored? Not bad, cuz! A 4-game hitting streak, too? Any outfield assists today? Two? Well one on the books and one that 'los dropped?

You're pretty awesome, Cousin Michael. Who's your awesome friend?

It's Mike Aviles! Today playing the role of 3rd baseman, and the guy batting 8th that nobody expects to do anything. Except people who know Mike Aviles! He went 3 for 5 today, his second 3-hit game in a month (ok it's been almost exactly a month but he got in under the wire!) He came around to score twice, too.

Drew Stubbs was getting in to the RBI act today too, with 2 RBI of his own. He had a bases-loaded single. He was also at the plate when there was a wild pitch to score a run in the 2nd, so let's give him that too!

 So the Tribe has scored 21 runs in their last two games, and even though they only scored 3 runs in the game before that they did get 11 hits. They had 13 hits yesterday and 18 more today. Wow. Glad we have some recourse against the awful, awful bullpen.

CC Lee was sent down, by the way. We're back to Oh No Not Rich Hill, Good Job Cody Allen, Vinnie Cringe Pestano, Uh Albers? Shaw?, What Happened Joe Smith? and Chris Perez. Lord help us!

Tomorrow is another 7:05 game - gonna be crazy cool with Justin Masterson versus special guest star RHP 2.86. Will he put an end to our current bat-crazy? Will Masterson have another ace-ly game? We gotta tune in to find out!

No Radio Chatter today, even though Tom Hamilton was back. I was outside enjoying the weather with my dog, listening to the radio. It was crazy nice out!

Another good one tomorrow - see you there!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

THIS Is What You Do With 11 Hits

Ok, actually 13 hits but I'm pretty sure we had it won by 11 hits, unlike last night where we got 11 hits and no win to show for it. All right - today we had it won after THREE hits but the Mariners are a team chasing a win streak so we had to get 10 more hits and 7 more runs to make sure it stuck.

Turns out that Scott Kazmir was totally on top of his game today and the Mariners weren't going anywhere near a 9-game win streak. One hit, two walks and 7 strike outs for the Mariners against Kazmir in 8 innings. Holy smokes!!! That is Masterson-level awesomeness right there! So he's given up 3 hits and 0 runs in his last 14 innings (two starts). If it wasn't for the two errors behind him, perhaps he would have been able to go through to the 9th and have a complete game. As it were, he was out after 103 pitches.

Vinnie Pestano needed some work and he got plenty of work throwing 29 pitches. I was astonished that he didn't give up any runs, even though he had 9 runs to play with! He did get the bases loaded by walking two after a single. How many people were thinking "Well, we came back from 14-2 one time so...."? I knew you were!

But, Vinnie took care of it and all was well in Tribetown.

I don't get to put up an Everybody Hits badge because - can  you believe it? - Jason Kipnis didn't get a hit! 

Michael Bourn, however, he got himself the biggest of the hits. A Grand Slam Home Run! (capitalized!) I bet it even surprised him, like Jason Giambi stealing third or something. Seems like a day off sure did that cat some good, as he went 2 for 4 today with a walk and ended up with 4 RBI.

Also racking up the RBI was Asdrubal. OMG!!!! He got his 8th homer today, a 2-run dinger. That's his second homer this month! He's got 4 hits in his last 2 games (he also had an RBI double in the first inning) - does he like being the cleanup hitter? That'd be pretty spectacular if he ended the year as our go-to guy for the 4th spot, racking up the RBIs and stuff.

Santana had a touch of hotness today, after not doing much of anything after a little hot streak in the beginning of July. Streak much, dude? Gotta love him, though. Check out this neat article about him in TribeVibe. He's got sisters so that's why his hair is so pretty!

Aviles was in left field today because, eh, why not? He did just fine. No errors so he's doing better than a lot of the rest of the team. Heyoo! Him and Reynolds bot got in to the hit game today with 1 apiece. Let's hope Reynolds hitting in 2 games is the start of something bigger.

So I read on Twitter (Paul Hoynes) that Terry Francona said Yan Gomes was going to be our everyday catcher. I am all for that, man. I know Santana worked hard to become a catcher but you can't let a gem like Gomes sit and waste away. There's nobody special at 1st or DH right now so let Santana bat every day and backup catch and let's see more YANIMAL!!!

Gomes went 2 for 4 today with a double and a run scored. He's 4 for 8 in his last 2 games, and has 11 hits in his last 10 games. He is really not getting nearly enough playing time - those 10 games stretch from 6/26 to 7/24.

Stubbs got a hit and a walk today, and managed to make his way home safely this time. He's also safely back at .240 after his brush with something better, in .250-land. But before you try to knock our Stubbs, note that he's 28 points higher than Reynolds and exactly the same as Swisher. Uh huh.

The whole lineup really made it count today, and it was ROTFL funny because all they needed this time was one stinkin' run. But oh well - at least we not only stopped the Mariners' run but STOMPED them on our way out the door!

Thursday is an off day and they're back in town Friday to take on the Rangers. Let's hope all our starters are totally inspired by Scott Kazmir and his recent awesomeness, and really hold those Rangers down. And maybe hold our bullpen down too. Let's see those bats stay hot!

Friday at 7:05 it'll be Kluber versus LHP 3.40. Kluber is super hot right now too, so let's hope he stays that way. I guess he had some sort of minor hip injury after his last start but he's all better now.

Have a good day off! See you Friday! And Tom Hamilton, too!

The One That Got Away

I don't know how this one got away from us today. We got 11 hits for Pete's sake! Almost everyone got a hit except Santana.

Zach McAllister technically looked good, but he had to throw so many pitches. Mostly because the team had 3 errors behind him so ZMac had to throw three extra outs. He ended up giving up 4 runs on 8 hits over 5 innings. He did strike out 5, though...but he threw 109 pitches which I'm sure was making the entire staff cringe. I think if he has better defense in his next game he'll do just fine.

Albers and Allen came in for the next 3 innings (2 for Albers) and actually did well. Albers had a 1-2-3 6th and then gave up a hit in the 7th, only to follow it up with a double play. Cody Allen, who is really looking tight lately, had a 1-2-3 9th.

Still, it wasn't enough. Frustrating as heck!

Kipnis had a double in the first, and Asdrubal followed up with an RBI single. In the second, the Chiz Kid got on with a single and then Yanimal ripped a homer to left. Awesome! His first homer since June 5 and only his second hit since June 30. Although he hasn't played much otherwise.

They got hits in every inning but the 4th and the 8th but didn't score again. Neither did the Mariners but they were up by 1 for the rest of the game, thanks to those errors early on.

In the 9th the Tribe had their thing going on by starting out with 2 singles by Reynolds and Chisenball! They had an ace up their sleeve with the speedy Drew Stubbs who came in to pinch run for Reynolds. I didn't realize that Aviles was so fast, but he must be because they took out Chisenhall to put him in. It was a great set up - two crazy fast runners at the corners and nobody out!

But somehow something went wrong. Super wrong. Suddenly there was only one guy on base and two outs! A weird double play caught Aviles at second and got Stubbs in a rundown between third and home...which he lost. Then Michael Bourn struck out, game over. MOTHER....

Seems like everything is going the Mariners' way right now. It's almost like the ball was pre-disposed to bounce away from our defense tonight! It's an afternoon game tomorrow...I hope those dudes have time to get out to the park and practice catching the ball for an hour or two. I mean, seriously...

Tomorrow, at 3 PM, it'll be both the Indians versus themselves as well as Kazmir versus LHP 4.28 (nearly identical to Kazmir's ERA).

Afternoon in to evening...interesting! I'll see you there!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I'm Back! How About You Guys?

And by "you guys" I mean the Cleveland Indians, who went 3-3 while I was gone (around the All Star Game) but only won one since their break. Ack!

Did you watch the All Star Game? How about that Kipnis, huh?! He was so good they made him a knock-off Lego guy! I was thinking about buying one but while a Lego guy of any Tribe player is friggin' awesome...a knock-off Lego guy is so very meh. Actually they made "mini figures" out of a lot of guys, including Bob Feller. Justin Masterson's guy is sort of tan and has a mustache and goatee...Well, one of his guys does. He's got two, and the other has the same face as Ubaldo and Asdrubal. Santana's kind of looks like him.

So where was I? Oh yeah - Jason Kipnis! He was awesome at the ASG (and was sure to hook us up with an Instagram account too so we could enjoy the fun with him. Look, there's Jason's Midwestern Mom!

Then he came back and had a quiet game against the Twins, but then got himself a 2-run homer in each game Saturday and Sunday! Unfortunately he was shut down again today and he's back under .300. But whatever - you can't not love the Kid. He's got 63 more games in which to wow us!

Ubaldo couldn't go the distance today. Glad they took him out at his first sign of trouble. He wasn't exactly cruising through the game, giving up 5 hits in 5 2/3 innings and walking 4, but he kept them from scoring at least. Heck, he even managed to give up ONLY solo home runs!

But, he had 109 pitches after 5 2/3 so it was time to go, and time to bring in CC Lee! I keep trying to tell people "Wow, did you know we had a new guy named CC Lee?!" which brings up more questions about "who? where?" and "Taiwan?" than what I really want as a reaction, which is "Haha it's like he made up his name by cobbling together the names of our two best pitchers from the past 10 years! Good move!" I mean...right?!

Anyway, this guy hasn't sucked so far in the 1 2/3 innings he's pitched. Fewer runs given up than most of our bullpen in 1 2/3 innings. Not sure why they brought up a rightie and not a lefty but hell if he can get the job done he can pitch however he needs.

Oh No Not Rich Hill still sucks big time. He lost the game on Saturday. Are you surprised? He didn't lose the game today but there was no game to lose.

Bryan Shaw Or Matt Albers pitched the 9th and did ok. No runs scored.

Our bats could not get it together today, not even off a dude with a 5+ ERA. I guess the Mariners are all kinds of hot right now, and maybe we're lucky to have only lost by 1, which I guess is due to good pitching.

Francona switched up the lineup a bit because Nick Swisher was feeling a bit wound up or something, so they put him in the 2-hole, where he got 2 hits including the team's only RBI in the form of a solo homer. Hooray for you, bro.

 Bourn was leadoff and he got a hit but nothing came of it. He also got hit by a pitch later in the game, and got himself picked off. Argh! He's up at the top of the league for caught stealing but not at the top for stolen bases. I think he's a great leadoff hitter and great at getting on base, but his average sure does drop if you take away the 6 times he got caught stealing!

He did get an outfield assist, which I'm a sucker for. But still...stop getting caught!

Neither Kipnis nor Cabrera (now 4th) did anything today, which clearly makes for a bad game.

Brantley was back doing his clutch thing again today. Did you see him yesterday?? Bases-loaded triple yo!! With two outs, of course! Today it was just a routine 1-out double, but it was late in the game and I'm still impressed.

Santana also got a double, but that was all she wrote. Giambi and Stubbs both walked.

I guess these Mariners are a force to be reckoned with at the moment, now having won 7 in a row. The Tribe best be hungry for a big win and what would be bigger than stopping a team on a streak?! And maybe starting our own streak in the process?

Tomorrow, in the middle of the night again (10:10 PM) it'll be the triumphant return of Z-Mac, Zach McAllister versus some dude with a 15+ ERA who is coming off elbow issues. It could easily be the end of the streak! You'll have to tune in to see!

Oh, when you do tune in, note that Tom Hamilton is out having knee surgery (which begs the questions 1. What do you need your knee for in radio? and 2. Why can't we have the privilege of hearing a drugged-up Hammy?) Jim Rosenhaus is joined by Jason Stanford who is way more dry than Rosie and will make you think that Rosie is colorful and you're glad to have him.

See you there!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Anyone But Chen

Oh Bruce Chen, how you do give us fits! It would appear that the Royals have the best pen in baseball - when the pen includes Bruce Chen. When he starts, it's a big ol' relief to get to their bullpen and the Tribe can smack them around like [insert your own joke here, you misogynist!]

But forget Bruce Chen making his first start of the year - how about that Kluber? He was back to the form that impressed us a few weeks back, and not only pitched an 8-inning shutout but also got himself out of some amazing jams. You gotta love jams - it's what brings excitement to a pitcher's duel!

Kluber only gave up 3 hits and 3 walks, while striking out EIGHT. His biggest jam came in the 5th when he gave up a triple and then walked two. Bases loaded no out. Woah! It seemed like forever but he got the next two on a strikeout and then a comebacker to the mound.

Kluber had a sort of rough 8th too, so after 2 outs with 1 on, and Kluber over 100 pitches, they brought in Joe Smith to end the inning. He got it done! Well done, reliever who didn't give up an inherited runner!

Cody Allen came in for the 9th and it was a bit of a white knuckler. We were on our feet after 2 outs (Oh yeah, I was at the game!) but then there was a single (with 1 man already on). Then a walk. Bases loaded. Oh lordy!!! A questionable call of a ball on what should have been strike 3! Then - ballgame! Dyson struck out. Woohoo!

The win was all Kluber's and Allen got the save.

Well there was some help due to some acrobatics by Asdrubal at short. He didn't get any hits today but he had some super Asdrubal-y plays at short to take away infield hits. One play didn't get an out, but it was spectacular-looking - catching a grounder by spinning on his butt just in the outfield grass then throwing from his butt all the way to first. He missed the guy by a step!

I didn't have OMG ASDRUBAL!! with me today - I didn't want to encumber my ability to eat all I could eat. I think Asdrubal understood.

As I said, Chen really had us stymied so there wasn't much hitting in the first 6 innings. Just a walk by Aviles and a double by Santana was all the baserunners we had. Then once Chen was gone - lookout!

Kipnis started it off with a phat single to left and was followed by Dick Swisher with a single to left of his own. Then Santana punched one in to center and Kipnis was hell on the base path, totally avoiding the tag at home just by dipping his shoulder down! Do you think the Kid saw that play in slow motion or something?
That was just the beginning of the excitement. With 2 men on, next up was Mark Reynolds. Our DH, the power hitting guy. Here's what happened:
It was pretty awesome! His bunt was exactly like that at the end of Major League, except it didn't score a run and he didn't almost have a heart attack getting to first and it wasn't an important game. But his bunt looked exactly like Roger Dorn's.
And nobody expected it!
So after that, Willie Mays Ha - I mean, Michael Bourn came up to pinch hit. He'd been benched for a normal off day. Michael Bourn is pretty solid as a starter - who knew he'd be rockin' off the bench?! He got a 2-run double!

So that was all the excitement, right there in the 7th inning. They did a number on 2 guys from the Kansas City pen but that was about it. It was good that they got their runs when they did! And even better that our pitchers held on to that lead.

Short run-down of my experience at today's game: The Club All-You-Can-Eat seats are 10x better than the regular-people ones, at merely 4x the price. The food is just SO much better. Several kinds of pizza, nachos with different salsas, pretzels with different toppings, ice cream, hot dogs and sausages with several toppings, sno-cones, pop, some kind of plated-up food (it's different for every series, today it was Kansas City pork sandwiches and fixins), and today they had "triple berry pizza" which was a big hit. There was about to be a riot when it was announced that it was gone but they made more. Huzzah! Although I don't know if they made it on the right crust or if they always make dessert pizza with seasoned pizza dough. But I had the Pierre's people scoop some ice cream on it and it was all good.

The seats are good too. Nice and wide, and padded, and a good view, hanging over the first base line. I'm glad I used the 3D Seating Chart to check out my tickets before I bought because not being too familiar with the Club Seats, it made it easier to picture where I'd be.

The fans were really demure, too. Not as many people standing in my section when there was reason to stand. But they also weren't chatty or drunk so that's good.

The ballpark was fairly packed - 24k - but probably slightly short for Dollar Dogs AND fireworks. Perhaps everyone is out of town on a fabulous summer vacation? Fireworks were cool, lots of swirly bits which is what you want when it's disco themed!

No Radio Chatter tonight because I was at the game. But guess what? The Tribe won't be on TV tomorrow so you have to listen to the radio! Aren't you excited?! Dig out your Walkman and go mow the lawn!

It'll be Kazmir versus RHP 4.12. My friend and I think that the starters are all going to kick it up a notch now that Salazar is clearly in the hunt for their jobs. If you can't go 7 then GO HOME!! Should be another good one, with another good crowd. Give-away and fireworks again!

It's at 7:05 - see you there!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Danny Salazar Is Not Scared

Hey! Welcome newest and currently most impressive Indian Danny Salazar! He's been talked up for a long time and today was his turn to put up and show us his stuff. How did it go?

Well the kid had a no-hitter going in to the 6th inning which is Masterson-level stuff. He lasted 6 innings and ended up with a quality start, which we all dance about when any other of our pitchers do it. He got 7 strikeouts in those 6 innings, which is an average of over 10 per 9 innings, which puts him near the top of the club.

He only walked 1 guy - on his first time out. I mean, how many guys would you walk on your first time out? Me, at least 6.

He only had 89 pitches when he left, but 6 innings was probably already set in stone by the time he arrived. He left with just 2 hits and 1 earned run. A good friggin' day for Danny Salazar - I hope to see more of him! (And less Carrasco)
The bullpen that had to follow up this kid's brilliant performance was actually not bad. First it was Oh No Not Rich Hill and that could have been a disaster...but it wasn't! Looks like the key to getting a good performance out of Hill is to not put him in with existing men on base. And maybe against a team that's pretty bad. Also, with a lead of at least 2 runs. And be sure to say "please" and "thank you."

Cody Allen was brills again, making this 3 shut-out appearances in a row. He gave up a hit, but otherwise he struck out 3!

Chris Perez made his 4th appearance in 5 days and it was a little scary to say the least! He had the crowd on their feet cheering after getting 2 quick outs, but then had the crowd on their feet booing when he then gave up 2 hits, a walk and a run. Woah! Well, that's just Perez being Perez - giving up a hit and a walk and a run if he's got a run to give up. Tom Hamilton was sure the go-ahead run was about to score after a dude hit one to the wall with 2 men on - but Michael Brantley was on it, he caught the ball and Chris Perez lived to see another day. Ballgame!

Almost everyone got hits today - except Michael Bourn (surprising!) and Mark Reynolds (eh....not so surprising). They only eked out 4 runs but that was plenty for today.

They sat Kipnis and Swisher today. Good moves - didn't miss 'em (well we always miss Kipnis when he's gone but the kid does seem to need a break...)

Aviles was in the 2-hole 2-day playing 2B. Got caught stealing 2 times and uh...also had 2 AB. He got 1 hit and a walk, though.

OMG ASDRUBAL!!! Home run #7! Is he revving up again? Of course, just in time for the ASG but also just in time for me to be at the game Friday!

Brantley was all over the place today. He got a hit, but later he got hit by the ball and then stole third base, then came around to score.  I want to tell you if he has a hitting streak going but right now is flaking out and all of his stats are gone! It is very sad.

Ryan Raburn was in today! Always helpful, that dude is so good...
He's so good that the Cavs picked him for ________ ________ !

Anyway, he went 1 for 2 on the day with 2 walks and a big ol' double. He came around to score after one of his walks. Drew Stubbs came in to run for him later in the game, and Stubbs came around to score too!

Carlos Santana had a good one. He hit a ball out to Bautista in right, and Bautista fell over trying to get it, and Santana huffed it to third. He got credited for the triple!

The Chiz Kid was back in business today, after being hitless in this series. He made up for it by going 2 for 4 with a nice RBI single, that turned in to 2 runs scored and Chiz at second after Rajai Davis threw the ball to somewhere-near-home on the play. Chiz must have scared him awake!

Yan Gomes was in on it too, except his hit didn't yield any RBI or runs. But you gotta assume he had some responsibility for Salazar's awesome game, dontcha? You definitely want him back there for the young guys and not Santana. So, good job Gomes!

A nice little team effort today to rally around Salazar and get the series win. I dunno what's up but the White Sox are totally taking care of Detroit, so we're only 3 games behind. Now we're back to playing the Royals for 3 and the Tigers have one more with the White Sox then take on the Rangers, who are pretty solid.

I'll be at the game tomorrow night! Look for me in the Club Seats with "OMG ASDRUBAL!!" although it might be rough for me to be johnny-on-the-spot with my signage as I'll be double fisting all-you-can-eat hot dogs and nachos. I will try my best, though. You know what I need? A strap for my sign. Perhaps my mom can knit me one?

It'll be Kluber versus LHP 2.41, who happens to be a former reliever making his first start of the year. Interesting!

Starts at 7:05, with disco fireworks after. See you there!

No Radio Chatter today because I was half asleep on the couch for most of the game. Long story.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

What Should We Call This?

Another game where the starting pitching was good (enough), the offense tried its darndest to pull the team out from under a loss, but ultimately the bullpen gave it up like a "_____ _____ on a _____ _____." For real.

I like when the team plays with heart like that, I really do. But I really, really don't like losing these games. Wouldn't you rather lose like 8-1 or 2-1, but shut out by a good bullpen, than end up losing after two rallies? I also just don't like this bullpen. Grr!

On to the stats.

Justin Masterson had a good start. A quality start, even - 6 2/3 innings, 2 runs. But as soon as Tom Hamilton suggested that Masty wasn't coming back until after the break and maybe he could be pushed, dude gave up 2 runs, putting the team behind 2-1. He could have gone the distance but the finish line was moved back a few miles. He left the game with 120 pitches thrown in the 7th.

So, what next? First this lil' fella named Preston Guilmet came on to finish the 7th with 2 on and 2 out. He got that done, then came in to get one out in the 8th and that was the end of his debut. Why so short? Dunno. He ended up being the setup for the setup - Vinnie "Cringe" Pestano came in to get the final 2 outs of the 8th.

Then it was time for Oh No Not Rich Hill because we were out of options. He did well in that he only walked a guy and otherwise got 2 outs. Basically, he had no one on base when he came in so there was no one to let score. Previously Awesome Joe Smith came in and gave ol' Oh No a taste of his own medicine by allowing Hill's runner to score. Ha! Oh and then 2 of Smith's runners scored right behind him. Meh.

"I Dunno - Albers or Shaw?" came in to finish it, but the damage was done. The Tribe was down 3 in the 9th.

They did their very best to try to come back. Michael Borurn had a big night, going 3 for 5 with a stolen base. He came around to score twice, including in the 9th.

Asdrubal was back in gear, stopping a slump and getting 2 hits, an RBI and coming around to score in the 9th. That was the end of scoring in the 9th, though.

Kipnis not looking good, man. Shut down again tonight. Ever since Saturday, when he was let into the ASG...

Brantley, Santana and Giambi each went 1 for 4 today, with Brantley and Giambi getting the 2 initial RBI. Brantley totally was set up to be the hero of the game, with 1 on and 2 out in the 9th after an error and an "extra out" as it were. They took their closer out and put in a new dude and Brantley tried to go all Chisenhall on him and swung away on the first pitch, only to fly out to end the game.

I take some major drugs to stave off heartburn but there's a bit of a grind in the pit of my stomach right now. Seriously.

It was a bad loss today, ultimately at the hands of our bullpen. And I don't know what else to say about it.

'Cept tomorrow is a noon game and hopefully the guys will be rarin' to go to finish what they started here and get the series win. The rubber match!

Tomorrow will be fun too because it's the debut of Danny Salazar! It could be great! (Or not) He'll be facing this beardy knuckleballer with a 4.77 ERA. Godspeed, Danny...

So, 12:05 - see you there!

Radio Chatter:
"For those of you who have wondered what it's like to live in Seattle - you have, for the past week."
- Tom Hamilton on the weather in Cleveland

"...I know it sounds crazy but, [it's] a beautiful night for baseball!"
- Jim Rosenhaus

"Kawasaki plays like his pants are on fire."
- Tom Hamilton on the Blue Jays' second baseman's effort

"[The home plate umpire] goes 'You have 36 at-bats in the major league and you're arguing with me?'"
- Tom Hamilton on Josh Thole

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A Good Little Game

And I do mean little! Two hours, 16 minutes - woah! And the Tribe only got 4 hits!

I think the longest parts of the game was when Ubaldo was pitching and facing 4-5 batters per inning. Otherwise the two starters were both tight, and were just cruising (interestingly both have ERAs over 4.5).

Ubaldo finally had a quality start! Not only quality but the team's league-leading 11th shutout! (Well, like, the bullpen helped...) After the game he said "The fastball was good, and the slider was good too. So that was good." Like pitching for him is an out-of-body experience. Whatever, I'll take it! He did get himself into some jams, giving up 5 hits and 2 walks, but man did he ever get himself out of them. It was actually exciting!

The bullpen actually held up their end of the bargain, too. Allen, Smith and Perez gave us 3 innings without giving up any runs! Perez was a little touch-and-go, giving up 2 singles, but he got out of it unscathed and got himself a save!

The Blue Jays' pitcher was surprisingly tough, and our batters were stymied. But you can't keep a good team down, so when they saw an opening they took it. In the 4th he gave up a walk to Asdrubal then the next three dudes - Kipnis (3-game streak!), Swisher and Brantley got singles and suddenly it was 2-0! I say 2-0 because there was one out when I got out of the car and 2 runs when I got back in. Huh!

The only other hit was pretty nice - a double by Stubbs in the 8th, followed by a nice sac bunt by Bourn and then a sac fly by Asdrubal to get him in to score!

Were you wondering about Stubbs' average? It's .249! He's also hit safely in his last 7 games!! Yes, ever since getting hit in the head with a foul ball! I put it out there on Twitter asking if anyone has commented on this but I'm so out of the loop...I probably wouldn't hardly know if this was a top story or something.
It suits me.
Hey don't look now but the White Sox beat the Tigers 11-4. Yeah, the White Sox, man! This is their first of I think, honestly, 19 games to go for the rest of the season. Do the White Sox have Detroit's number, even if they suck otherwise? Wouldn't that be something?!

Nice game today, even if it was low on action (but you "real" fans know that there can be action in lack of action.) Let's see if we can get another series win! Tomorrow will be Masterson versus - Esmil Rogers! RHP 3.84. That should be fun times (Mickey Callaway wasn't Rogers' pitching coach but he was in the system at the same time as Rogers, so perhaps he's got some insight.)

It'll be a 7:05 game - barring rain. See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"This is the epitome of a jam."
- Tom Hamilton on Jiminez with runners at the corners and no outs

"When you get in Tony LaRussa's doghouse, there is no out door."
- Tom Hamilton on Colby Rasmus

"If you can have Ubaldo Jiminez pitch six innings every time out, you would sign right up for that."
- Tom Hamilton

"Boy it's amazing how simple this game seems when you have good pitching."
- Tom Hamilton

Monday, July 8, 2013

That Was A Heartbreaker

Now is the time when we at the Positive Tribe turn the lights off and sit around the glow of the computer with a little alcohol, a fully-charged e-cig and some Beatles blues. Because we're blue, and we're white and that's the kind of blues white people listen to. So here's your song for this post:

(Yes, technically this song features "the black Beatle" so, blues points for all!)

The fellas were full of letdowns tonight. Not everyone, but unlike the other day when most of the dudes were playing hard and some of the dudes stunk, it seemed like today there was just more stank than crank.

Scott Kazmir: Not a letdown. He almost threw 6 innings but it was smart to pull him out at the first sign of trouble (and 97 pitches). You can face 3 guys on that lineup and find yourself 5 runs down, lickety-split. He left after 5 2/3, after striking out 5 (not bad) and only giving up 2 runs. He was pretty much neck-and-neck with Scherzer, who gave up 2 as well didn't reach 5 strikeouts until 5 3/3 innings (I hope you understand my math).

The bullpen: 4/5 guys actually not a let down! Of course, there was no Oh No Not Rich Hill or Vinnie "Cringe" Pestano. They made it through 3 1/3 innings only giving up 2 hits and a walk. The standout? Chris Perez! He had his 3rd 1-2-3 inning since coming back, and his first in a few appearances. Great to have him doing what we rely on him for!

Then there was Matt Albers, who came in for the 10th. Two quick outs, then walked the big guys then pitched to Our Victor who, duh, got a double. So that was that. The team couldn't come back.

The lineup actually got 10 hits today and 3 walks. They were not afraid of Scherzer. Biggest hit of the game went to Lonnie F'n Chisenhall who came up to bat after the rain delay (after not letting Scherzer get him out before the rain delay) and got himself a gottang RBI single to take the lead in the 2nd!!! Very cool!

Michael Bourn...1 for 5. Disappointing play at the end of the game where he was playing way too shallow for Victor Martinez, and the winning hit went over his head. Also - caught stealing in a game where we needed as many baserunners as possible.

Asdrubal...Totally on fire for a short while after his return, and now a major slump. Let the team down big time today.

Kipnis wasn't hot stuff today, although he did get a hit so he's going for another hitting streak (2!)

His hit was followed by a hit from Swisher, who is totally back on my shit list. Dick Swisher. Not sure what he's going to have to do to make up for this nonsense today, but it's going to have to be massive.

If you haven't already, please contact the Indians (say, on Twitter or on their Web site) that you would like to see Nick Swisher's stupid face taken off of the site background, and replaced with a player who is a useful Indian. Better yet, the TEAM. Or the Hot Dogs.

Michael Brantley didn't get any home runs or extra base hits today, but he did get 2 more hits, giving him 5 over the last two games. He also walked twice, going 2 for 3, and stole third!

Mike Aviles. Oh. My. Gawd. I've been rooting for this dude all season, and he is a hard player but he has been awful at the plate lately and seems to be getting worse. It's not that he is not hitting, like Reynolds. He is losing it in the clutch. You know how many he LOB today? All by himself? 7. He left the bases loaded once, then left 2 on, and another time left 1 on. Holy canoli, dude...

Speaking of Mark Reynolds, he got out of his funk today and went 2 for 4! AND - not only were both of his hits singles, but one was an infield single! Not sure if that means he was hitting to hit, or trying to hit for power and accidentally dribbled it through the infield. He hasn't hit since June 29. Let's hope this is the beginning of something great!

Yan Gomes - total letdown. We rely on Gomes to provide some clutch hitting, some unexpected power in interesting places, a little pop with men on base. Nope - 0 for 4, 3 LOB. Sigh.

Glad there's another game tomorrow, and I don't have to stew for too long. Just until 7:05 tomorrow when the Blue Jays show up. This is a completely different Blue Jays team than we faced in the first week, when they were still The Disappointment Of Toronto. They went on a 10-game tear but have been pretty even in the W/L since the last week of June. And they can't get out of the basement in the East. The Tigers totally spanked them...let's hope we can do the same!

It'll be Ubaldo versus RHP 4.89. Pretty even matchup on paper. Will be interesting to see what our lineup looks like after tonight's disappointments, and who "caught a cold" from the rain.

It'll be a new day, though - see you there!

Radio Chatter:
"At third base, Miguel Cabrera is like the Statue of Liberty. He doesn't move at all."
- Tom Hamilton

"Your basic 2-6-3-4-2-3 caught stealing."
- Tom Hamilton

"Worthy of a save in the Stanley Cup!"
- Tom Hamilton on a block by Pena

"We've had enough rain to last us until September."
- Tom Hamilton

"The next promotion for the Indians should be a helicopter pad."
- Tom Hamilton on downtown construction traffic

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Paging Doctor Smooth!

Could you have imagined last season being afraid of our bullpen? I'm not talking about hitters being afraid of being shut down by the Bullpen Mafia. I mean being afraid that no lead is a safe lead anymore when it comes to our bullpen.

Corey Kluber had a good enough game. He went over 6 innings and only allowed 2 runs, which is super good for one of our starters these days. He struck out 10 which is SUPER good for our pitchers in just 6 innings! He was over 100 pitches by the middle of the 6th so they took him out.

Amazingly, Joe Smith gave up Kluber's second run for him, which is absolutely a plague amongst our relievers. Then he gave up one of his own. This is the guy who only had given up 9 runs total up to now. You know you're doomed when you hear him cough...

Vinnie Pestano came in with a 3-run lead...and lost it. He lost it all. He gave up 3 runs, man. His ERA is 4.71.

Thanks to our offense being on the ball today, Chris Perez came in in the 9th with a 2-run lead! Would he or wouldn't he? Could he or couldn't he? He did it, and he did it in true Perez fashion - one hit, one strikeout, and two outs. Extra bonus, since the team is all about picking up pitching today, was that the last play was a double play. Whew!

The Tigers tried to beat US at our own game today - by mounting a comeback late and tying it in the 8th. I hear tell that they're the worst come-back team this year, and we're one of the best.

But on the flip-side, the Indians hit twice as many homers as the homer-happy Tigers. Ok well now that I look at the stats it turns out that the Tribe has 4 more homers than the Tigers, and neither team is at the top of the league. But when you think of those guys you think of homers, right? Miguel Cabrera is no Chris Davis, but he got his 28th today.

But we've got our secret weapon, Michael Brantley, who hit his 6th AND 7th home runs today and has already passed his 2012 record of 6. Oh, and he got a double today too. Today there were 5 RBI for the doctor! Dude has had TWO 2-homer games in less than a month (June 19). Oh man, I wish he were this locked in every day!!
Tom Hamilton had a classic call for the game-winning homer, and it really did my heart good to hear it. Unfortunately for us, Tom Hamilton Has The Best Home Run Call In All Of Baseball isn't able to bring us beauty like this anymore, so you're going to have to go here and then go to 3:03 to hear it. It's totally worth it.

Jason Kipnis was back on the hit horse today, after sadly ending his streak yesterday. Today we start at 1! This time it was just a meager single but he did come around to score. Oh yeah and he stole another base!

Following up Brantley's amazingness was Carlos Santana who hit his first home run since June 17! His homer came after Brantley's RBI double in the first.  Old 'los has 5 hits in his last 4 games.

Chiz and Stubbs were holding it down at the bottom of the order AGAIN! Stubbs has his 6th hit in 4 consecutive games since being hit by that foul ball. He and Chiz both had stolen bases, and Stubbs might actually be pulling away from hovering around .240 and blast himself all the way to .250!

Chiz had 2 hits today and, oh yeah, one was a homer! He's got 5 hits and 2 walks in the first 3 games of this series so far. Today was just his first RBI but let's hope he keeps it up on Monday and beyond!

I dunno what the rest of this team is doing during this series - I mean the pitching part. After a false start on Friday, the offense has managed to score 13 runs. The pitching has given up 23 runs! Wow! What could possibly be in store for tomorrow's game?! Only thing left is for our pitcher to have a complete-game shutout, while we score 14 runs. Right?

It'll be Kazmir versus RHP 3.09. That RHP is initialed M. S. You might just want to bring a book to read because hopefully it'll be a pitcher's duel, at best.

Then again, this is baseball. It could be 14-0 Indians. It totally could.

No time for Radio Chatter again today, was busy working. You should click on some ads so I don't have to work so much!

The game is at 7:05 tomorrow - the exciting conclusion of PIGS. IN. SPAAAAAA....

I mean, the series.

See you there!!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

I Swear There Is a Silver Lining

The silver lining to this dark cloud is that the Indians didn't look horrible. One guy - Carrasco - looked horrible. A couple guys - Albers, Giambi, Reynolds - looked disappointing. A couple guys - Kipnis, Cabrera, Santana - were "off." But there were 11 Indians that were working hard and getting results. And they scored 2 runs in the 9th, down 7 runs, because that's how they do.

The bullpen was decent today. And by decent I mean not incredibly awful. They didn't need to help Carrasco lose the game. Even Oh No Not Rich Hill managed to not let anyone score when he came in with 2 on and 1 out in the 4th. Albers couldn't manage his 2 innings, giving up 2 runs, but Shaw, Pestano and Perez had a handle on things by the time they came in. None of them had 1-2-3 innings but the key here is that none of them gave up any runs.

It was so weird listening to the game on the radio archive tonight, after having caught the end of the game on TV. Because Hammy and Rosie were PUMPED at the beginning of the game, and they were all about Carrasco and how good he looked until...he didn't. Creepy to know the future sometimes.

Michael Bourn made some things happen with his speed today, beating out a throw at first while a run scored. He ended up going 1 for 3. He also had an outfield assist! HOLLA!

They eventually had Raburn pinch hit for Bourn and dude had a huge 2-run homer in the 9th. I was watching the game on TV and distracted from the other room, and I had to do a double-take to make sure that wasn't a Reynolds ball, it was so big! And of course since he is the former whipping boy of the Tigers, he was quite pleased with himself!

Asdrubal, Aviles (pinch for Asdrubal) and Kipnis were all shut down today and that means that Kipnis ended his hitting streak at 16. The highest streaks in the AL were 18 this year, so not bad for the Kid I say. Oh ALSO today he got put on the All Star roster! Well-deserved I think. He's the hardest working man in The Show right now, Manny's little dirtbag. Now, everyone say their prayers and ask God to make sure our Kipnis does not get injured at the All Star Game.

Masterson also made it in. He might not me Max Scherzer but he is looking good in the league right now.

Swisher had a nice day, going 2 for 3 with a nice 2-out homer. He also got hit by a pitch and singled. Unfortunately, no one was able to get him in. Sigh.

Chiz and Stubbs had nice days, both going 2 for 3 with doubles and singles. They both came around to score. And, since Stubbs is such a stud, he stole 3rd in the 9th (down 7 runs) because the third eye wasn't going to give up! Drew's got a little 3-game hitting streak going on now where he's gotten 5 hits and 4 RBI. Come to think of it, he's gotten all of those hits since being hit in the head. Hmmm...

Tomorrow is the 3rd - but not final - game against these Tigers. Let us win just one, huh? They're usually pretty crappy on Sundays (I've always sort of felt this, and some random caller on the post-game show brought it up the other day too) but it's not like they lose EVERY Sunday.

Perhaps the great push they had at the end of the game today will carry over to tomorrow and we'll get some runs in before the Tigers and give ourselves a chance to win?

Tomorrow it'll be  Kluber versus RHP 3.80. Kluber was the guy who stopped our slide last time, I can see him doing it again. The game's at 1:05 - see you there!

Radio Chatter:
"Did you ever think you'd have a bobblehead giveaway?"
"Well yes, I have 5 already."
- Tom Hamilton and Omar Vizquel

"Sometimes he acts like he's 10 years old."
- Tom Hamilton on Miguel Cabrera

"He came on and told Putkonen 'Look do you realize how close Toledo is to Cleveland?'"
- Tom Hamilton on the Tigers pitching coach's threats

"You can tell how this game is going by how excited we get by a 80-foot nubber down the third base line, looking to see if it goes foul."
- Tom Hamilton

Friday, July 5, 2013

A Very Public Flogging

The Prog was full-up today, for the first time on non-opening day since 2011. I'm not sure how much of it was Tigers fans, how much of it was people who knew this was an important series and how much of it was just people who had the day off work and wanted to go to a Tribe game. It was a pretty strong confluence of circumstances that made the crowd huge tonight (the aforementioned as well as dollar dogs and fireworks), and I love when there's a huge crowd.

First, it makes me feel better about not being there to cheer (I am a really amazing clapper). Second, I always hope that if the team does well then it'll make people want to come back again on a non-dollar-dog-and-fireworks night and cheer some more and eventually start filling the place up and then buying some more awesome players. Like people landing on your hotels in Monopoly or something.

So you can imagine how sad - embarrassed? - I feel about today's 7-0 rout. I'm not going to whine about it like a baby like Nick Camino did in the post-game show (like, wow, that was some whiny bitchiness...) I just feel bad.

Then again, those 40k people hopefully had a good time, regardless of the score (I always do!). And the fireworks are always amazing. So perhaps they will come back again some time.

Joe Martinez ended up having to throw the last 3 innings, and he did quite well.
He did give up a run but only 2 hits and no walks. He even struck out 2! The 7th inning was rough for him - that's when he gave up the run on two hits - but the 8th and 9th were 1-2-3, with his final out being Miguel Cabrera! I still don't know why he got to come up instead of any other guy in Columbus but he's got 1 earned run in his 5 innings here, so he works. Although I guess he's going back down soon so...bye, Joe. We hardly knew ya.

Jason Kipnis struck out THREE times today! Woah! I think he's definitely stretching, poor guy. He did extend his streak to 16 games, throwing in a single inbetween all the nonsense. Atta boy!

Carlos Santana is the only Indian who had a multi-hit game. He went 2 for 4. I always say that the Tribe needs Santana to have a multi-hit game in order to win. Turns out they need that plus plus!

The Chiz Kid got a double. Cool. Stubbs got a single, to prove that he's not completely streaky. Is he still locked in because of his new third eye?

Tomorrow is another day, another game. Another chance to beat the Tigers. Rally Alley day, replica cap giveaway, Key Bank cheap seats of some kind.

It'll be Carrasco versus RHP 2.76 tomorrow at 4:05. Carrasco has nowhere to go but up! Right?

No Radio Chatter tonight. I was busy hustlin' to make money. But you should be listening on the radio, anyway!

Ok so 4:05 tomorrow. See you there!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Majesty Of Drew Stubbs

Here's an interesting fact: the last time Drew Stubbs had 4 or more RBI in a game was in 2010, on the 4th of July, in Chicago. He actually got 5 that day, on 3 home runs. Pretty cool, huh? Today he "only" had 4 RBI but that's pretty awesome for your #9 guy. He had a 2-run homer and then came back up and hit a 2-run single. This is after being beaned in the hat brim with a foul ball while in the dugout in the first inning. I don't have a video clip or a photo of his injury, but I'll show you a photo re-creation:

Did he get beaned in to being extra awesome today? Was he being extra cautious and alert, and saw the ball better once he got hit? Is July 4th just his lucky day?

You guys know that I really like Drew Stubbs. I've heard people complain about him on the radio, like we should get rid of him because he's not a power hitting right fielder but personally I think he's a solid player, full of speed and gets the bat on the ball enough to be useful in the lineup. Of course he no Choo but Choo wasn't this good when he left us, and we didn't have the budget for Choo and all the other talent. I think he fits in just fine. Maybe today's game made a good case for him as the trade deadline.

Kipnis got a hit today, extending his streak to I dunno, like, a million? Ok maybe more like 15. Damn, dawg! He wasn't in the running for the ASG as of Monday, but my brother was trying to tell me today that he has moved way up. I don't know - is he a well-known name yet? That'd be great if he was! Pretty sure the manager will choose him, and Cano will come out early for resties.

Carlos Santana had a nice day, going 2 for 5 with 2 RBI. Asdrubal had his first game since coming back in which he didn't get a hit. He was the DH today.

Matt Albers didn't give up any runs.

I watched the game on TV today, as my official July 4th celebration. The broadcast went out for a bit in the middle of the 7th. I guess a breaker blew. Yesterday some lights went out. Right now I'm on hold with a guy at my server farm in Kansas, because I can't get to my servers. What the hell is going on in Kansas City??

Coming up now is The Big One! A 4-game series against the Tigers at home. I'm going to be glued to my radio! Mainly because my dog is completely freaked out by fireworks and people seem to be blowing them off 24 hours a day here. But at least I have 4 days of awesome baseball to distract both of us with!

Tomorrow will be Justin Masterson versus RHP 5.21. It's pretty crucial that we win all the games that aren't Max Scherzer games, especially this one against a guy with a crazy ERA.

It'll be at 7:05, I'll see you there!

No Radio Chatter today. No radio!