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!

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