Saturday, August 31, 2013


I think I'm still on strike, or something. Sigh.

Inside-the-park homerun though, huh?! Neat!!

Asdrubal looking good!

Brantley with a triple, woohoo!

That's all.

Radio Chatter:
"You could say [Kazmir] only had one bad inning, but then the Titanic only hit one iceberg."
- Tom Hamilton

Friday, August 30, 2013

Welcome Back, K-Shop!

Kelly Shoppach got picked up today as our third catcher! How cool is that?!

Nothing else cool happened today, so here's some cool stuff Tom Hamilton said.

Radio Chatter:
"It's hard to explain how an abdominal muscle hurts to run but not to swing the bat."
- Tom Hamilton on Miguel Cabrera

"...Iglesias making a play that obviously wouldn't have been made if Jhonny Peralta hadn't been caught cheating."
- Tom Hamilton explains how Peralta is still screwing over Asdrubal

"This ballgame might hang in the balance right now."
- Tom Hamilton on bases loaded with VMart at the plate (the first time)

"Bottom line - there isn't anybody you can trade for right now and put him in your four-spot and tell him 'Take us to the promise land.'"
- Tom Hamilton

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Stupid game tonight. It ain't Danny Salazar's fault we lost. Not Drew Stubbs' either. And it sure as heck ain't ASDRUBAL'S fault - he got half of the team's hits!!

Wish I had told longtime reader and Tribe/Braves fan Rob Felt to bring himself an OMG ASDRUBAL!!! sign to the game tonight!

I don't even feel like recapping. You know what you did...

Radio Chatter:
"Atlana Georgia...I guess four in the morning might be a good time to drive through Atlanta if you want to avoid traffic."
- Tom Hamilton

"One thing you don't want to do is play catch-up. Atlanta has the number-one bullpen in all of baseball."
- Tom Hamilton

"Their high school baseball system doesn't have to take a backseat to anyone."
- Tom Hamilton on the state of Georgia

"You don't score, you don't win."
- Tom Hamilton

Sunday, August 25, 2013

All You Need Is Stubbs

Man, so much not good stuff happened today. Well, no - pitching was good but that was about it. Batting was sooooo boring and fielding? DID YOU SEE THE FIELDING TODAY?! Like the guys were playing with squids on their hands instead of gloves. Visual:

The lesser flying squidnis
I dunno how but Scott Kazmir - struggling as of late - managed a nice clean quality start going 6 innings and giving up just 1 earned run. And not only one earned run but one run overall. FOUR errors didn't result in any un-earned runs, and Kazmir was darn good pitching out of a couple bad situations. Also, he committed an error too so perhaps that helped him shrug off his teammates' bad play? Kazmir struck out 8 in his 6 innings, which is the second most he's thrown in one game all year (10 on 5/9). Not bad for a guy who is spoken of as if his season is slowly rounding the toilet bowl. Nice comeback, Kazmir! Hang on a few more games, bud...

Cody Allen got off his little naughty stint and came in for another Allen-worthy performance. He threw the 7th inning and thanks to an error on his part (bad pickoff), a walk and a single, he was faced with a man in scoring position with no outs. But he got out of it! Rock!

Joe Smith came in for the 8th, and I always like watching him pitch on TV (I caught some of the game on TV). His submarine-style pitching just looks so hard to hit! But that's why the guys at the plate make the big bucks...they manage to get the bat on the ball. Smith had a baserunner due to error and then another got a single, but he got out of it too.

Next up - Pure Rage! Flyout, groundout, walk, strikeout. A typical Perez inning. Ballgame! Also, 21st save! Wahoo!

Even though the guys got 7 hits, it still felt quiet and weak on the bases today. Possibly because they only got 4 hits in the first 7 innings.

The good news is that Asdrubal has a 7-game hitting streak, with a single, and that is the most important stat in the box.

Other stats include Bourn scoring from second on a soft fly to left, courtesy of Jason Kipnis. Santana and Swisher got singles in the 7th, and even though those hits were accompanied by one of the Tribe's 8 walks on the day, nothing came of them.

Jason Giambi was brought in in the 8th to hit for Chisenhall and you'd better believe he was in there to score the game-winner. He struck out.

BUT!! DREW F'N STUBBS, the next batter, he got the homer instead!
After drawing THREE walks on the day and I'm sure being devastated that he didn't get to steal a base, Stubbs got his 9th homer and went 1 for 1 on the day.

His speedy buddy couldn't be left out, so after the nice performance by Stubbs, Bourn legged out a double with 2 outs and made it in there. The next batter, Nick Swisher, got himself his second hit on the day and of course Bourn had no trouble scoring, as he did for the game's first run.

So, while it was a bit of a bumblin', stumblin', fumblin' game for the Tribe, we've always got our heroes and today it was Stubbs. And Bourn. The guys with speed also flashing a bit of power!

Monday is a day off. Wow! Then it'll be the hardest road trip ever - Atlanta and then Detroit. Aye aye aye.

Tuesday will be Salazar versus LHP 2.50. Oh my!

Funny thing: I looked through the stats on the blog yesterday and saw someone had been searching "Positive tribe why don't you say opposing player's names?" Like that. Not sure why they didn't just ask me but whatever...I suppose they meant opposing pitchers, too. And I started doing that because we can't be looking at just pitching matchups on name but need to see where a guy stands with his ERA and look at their handed-ness to look forward to our lineup. That's it. Names don't come into play, just stats!

So, now you know!

I'll see you Tuesday at 7:10. Get your rest, you're totally going to need it.

Radio Chatter:
"He does to the Twins what Miguel Cabrera does to the Tribe."
- Tom Hamilton on Jason Kipnis

"By the time Popper got done destroying this cream-filled doughnut, it looked like it was in the middle of a Barbasol commercial."
- Tom Hamilton on John Krepop, pressbox manager

"Remember John, I've got the mic. I always win this war."
- Tom Hamtilon to the Fairview football coach

"It's not been easy for this Indians pitching staff to keep this a one-run game."
- Tom Hamilton

"Style points don't come into play when you're trying to get a playoff spot. Just get a win any way you can."
- Jim Rosenhaus

"Well if you're going to be a playoff team come October, these are the kinds of games you really need to find a way to dig out."
- Tom Hamilton

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Happy John Adams Day!!

The Indians creamed the Twins today and that is absolutely how John Adams Appreciation Day should go, no doubt. It would have been an total shame to do it any other way.

Today was the 40th anniversary of Adams' first game at the field with his drum. Here's a cool story from the Indians' site, an interview with Glenn Moore at and a photo slideshow of some fan photos, with nice comments in the comment area, also at My favorite pic in the slideshow is Adams (a fat Adams!) with Sister Mary Assumpta and Son Of Gouhl. So Cleveland!

(Side note...Sister Mary Assumpta is no longer a nun. WAT HATH GOD WROUGHT?!)

It was also Nick Swisher jersey day, and the people seem to like Nick Swisher - over 26k came for his jersey today (or they came for U2 fireworks!) Funnily enough, I also received a reply from the Indians today from when I bitched at them about making the site background just Tito & Swisher. They were polite. I'm still sore about it but I said what I had to say, and the season's near over, so oh well.

Zach McAllister was the starter today, and he had his third great start in a row! A quality start (what I like to call quality plus!) with 7 1/3 innings and just 2 runs on 4 hits. He struck out 5 and only walked 2!

Since ZMac did such a nice job, we only needed 1 2/3 innings of bullpen. Bryan Shaw and Mark Rzepczynski were faced with the task of not blowing it for John Adams. It was a big test - and they did well!

Shaw came in for the rest of the 8th, after McAllister surprised us both by coming out for the 8th and giving off a leadoff home run. Shaw got a strikeout and a lineout and that was that.

Zep was up for the 9th (although it would have been a fun night to have Perez), and he got the first two outs, which brought the crowd to their feet. Then...that awkward moment when everyone is up on their feet cheering for the third out and you give up a double...

But, he made up for it striking out the next batter. Ballgame!

The Tribe got 7 runs off just 9 hits and 3 walks today. Pretty impressive! Three doubles and 2 homers is the key. They each were at the plate 4 times too - the last batter was Drew Stubbs. I wonder how often that happens? (I tweeted the question to Jim Rosenhaus. Let's see if someone at WTAM can figure it out!)

The only guy who didn't get on base today is Yan Gomes. Can you believe it?!

Bourn got on with a walk, then came around to score from first on a double. It was Nick Swisher's 2-RBI double in face. He had a slow start to Swisher jersey day, but his double with the Brothers Speed on the bases made him a pretty popular guy today! He's got 11 hits in his last 10 games, so let's hope he keeps this up for the next month. And then some.

Kipnis has gone like 0 for his last 20, give or take. Yeesh! But today the Kid broke out and went 2 for 4, not only with a single that allowed him to score in the first on a homer, but with a 2-run homer of his own in the third!! Ok kid - this is the beginning of something big!

Speaking of something big...apparently Carlos Santana is a bit of a saint. Before the game he met with this kid named Niko, who said he was Santana's #1 fan and Niko asked for a homer. That's pretty special to be Santana's #1 fan...I think it's way more lonesome than being Asdrubal's #1 fan. Anyway, the Indians posted this at about 5:30, so it's no fake:

Then of course, later on:

And after the game:

I love this stuff!!!!

Michael Brantley has been just as cold as Kipnis (just as all the other guys were finally getting their acts together) but he came through with an RBI single in what was the big 5th inning. Start of a new streak, no doubt!

Speaking of streaks...Asdruuuubal, six games! He's gotten doubles in 3 of those 6 games, including tonight. OMG!

Chisenhall has been quiet for the last 2 games but today he also got a double. No RBI or runs for him but every little bit helps, even if it just means getting a hit to break out of a slump to be ready for the next game!

Drew Stubbs was a major player today, getting 2 hits and coming around to score twice.  He stole second and "unfortunately" it ultimately didn't matter because he got hit in by a homer. Although I like to think having guys on 2nd and 3rd rattles the pitcher. They did that the other day, too. Later on he came in to score on that Swisher double, and it was cool because his speedy friend Bourn was right on his heels. See this insightful graphic I made:
It's not that impressive until you consider that Stubbs is dang fast. No one else could ever be on that boy's heels!
Fun friggin' times tonight, and I hope tomorrow afternoon is just as cool. We need the team to hit like that every night, and let the pitchers do what they'll do. With 7 runs to cushion them, they can be awesome or awesomely bad and the team record doesn't have to struggle because of it!

Tomorrow at 1:05 is Scott Kazmir versus RHP 5.19. Whoop! That's a nice fat ERA! Kazmir has been struggling lately so the bats have to show up. It could all very well fall in place tomorrow...

See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"Shortstop Pedro Florimon says 'I will, I will, I will!' and he does catch it."
- Tom Hamilton

"This is a completely different ballclub when Kipnis and Brantley are hitting."
- Tom Hamilton

"I grew up on a dairy farm...and not once did I see mom and dad strap monkeys to our dogs to get the cows into the barn."
- Tom Hamilton on minor league entertainment

"Does anybody in baseball now have a bullpen that doesn't feature 5 or 6 guys throwing in the mid-90s?"
- Tom Hamilton

"Tito Francona ought to be named the American League player of the year for what he's done with this club."
- Tom Hamilton

Friday, August 23, 2013

Start Stopped

Well, Ubaldo had a great game today. And so did Carlos Santana. That was about the long and short of it.

Oh, first, click on this video and let it load in the background while you finish reading it. Yes, it's an MP4, no it's not spam, yes it has sound so don't be scared (pause it and let it load!) Someone made an awesome video about the 2013 Indians and I've watched it like 5 times and it's got me pumped. Of course, it means I was super pumped for this game and subsequently super let down but whatever, I'm a Cleveland fan.

Ubaldo had a quality start, going 6 innings and only giving up 2 earned runs, and struck out 10. Yeah - 10!!! His personal best is 14, and that was way back when when he was Perpetually Good Ubaldo. This time around it took him 114 pitches to get those 10 strikeouts but nonetheless it was impressive. He threw 114 pitches because he gave up 5 hits and 3 walks, and so he also found himself working out of a lot of jams. But that's where the 10 strikeouts came in to play. Unfortunately he just pitched himself out before he could go too long.

Then, something we thankfully haven't seen in quite a while - the bullpen was awful! NOOOOO!!! Both Shaw (first reliever) and Albers (fourth reliever) gave up runs and of course Oh No Not Rich Hill got in on the badness as well, giving up a run himself. Shaw didn't even pitch an out, so Albers ended up going 2 innings in which he gave up 2 hits and a run.

Cody Allen, our precious little Cody Allen, he didn't give up any runs. Although, he only pitched one out and he did give up a hit. What was up with these guys tonight?!

It's not just the bullpen who was having an off day. The lineup eked out 6 hits and they were all lonely hits. Just once in the second inning did the guys string 2 hits together, and the scoring opportunity was helped along by a wild pitch.

Then they had a bunch of 1-2-3 innings, and Asdrubal grounded into a double play, and Bourn was caught stealing and...argh!

Asdrubal did get a hit, though! That's a 5-game streak for him!

Yan Gomes and Mike Aviles both had hits off the bench. Goon Squad!

That's about all there is to it. Tomorrow's another game, at 7:05. It's John Adams' 40th anniversary!!! I kinda sorta wanna go up there, but there are no more cheap seats at the top of the bleachers, it seems. I'm happy that there will be a huge crowd for John Adams day!!

Here's a great article from about Adams.

Saturday will be ZMac, who we are totally in to right now, versus RHP 3.94. Zack's got this...not sure about the rest of the dudes, but he's got this!

Don't forget to watch the video you queued up at the beginning of this post! Get pumped and I'll see you there!

Radio Chatter:
"Nothing like a marriage proposal and then have Slider grapple with you after you say yes."
- Tom Hamilton

"Boy, he just can't buy a hit lately."
- Tom Hamilton on Asdrubal Cabrera

"It'd probably be easier just to list what few roads are OPEN..."
- Tom Hamilton on local construction alerts

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Sweep! Swoop!

The Tribe seemed to cruise through this game today, which is pretty awesome because that's exactly what you need after a 5.5 hour game, and then having to show up a little earlier the next day is brutal too.

Justin Masterson was the starter, which as I said last night was exactly who we needed starting today. He could go the distance! Francona told him this afternoon that he was on a pitch count - 190. haha! He actually did go 110, after 6 2/3 innings. Not an amazing start - he only gave up 1 run but walked 5 - but it was a quality start and probably longer than anyone else could go right now. He struck out 7 while he was out there - he's 4th in the league in both strikeouts and innings pitched. If he wasn't "so out of control" (using the term very very loosely) with all those walks he could have gone the distance.

But, you know, relievers can show up 2 days in a row. They're not porcelain unicorns. Rich Hill came out to finish the 7th and nobody scored. Hooray!

Next was Cody Allen, because of course. Dude puts the "bull" in bullpen! At least this year, for this team. He gave up one hit but then struck out the other 3.

Chris Perez came in for his third night in a row. Tom Hamilton reminded us what happened last time he came in for his third night in a row (3 hits, 4 runs). I listened through my fingers. He gave up 1 hit and got his 20th save! BALLGAME!!

You know who came back around today? Michael Bourn did!! He found his thang and went 3 for 5 after hitting like .180 for a spell there. He got a triple in the third inning because he was all "Damn, I'm turning this in to a triple!" and sped the heck around the bases. It kind of, sort of made me sad that the next batter hit a homer. A bit of a waste of a triple? But maybe having a fast guy dancing around on third was what distracted the pitcher into throwing one that could be hit over the fence? Yeah, that's it.

Swisher went 1 for but his 1 was the game-winning homer, in the 3rd. A two-run dealy that sort of made it easy for everyone to sit back and relax because no way was Justin Masterson going to give up 2 runs, you know?

Kipnis, who has been money while everyone else has been jake, has now been jake for 3 games while everyone else is money. Michael Brantley is also slipping in to jake-ness. Dag.

Santana got his 31st double!

Jason Giambi had another hustle double! I guess he's from the area so his dad and his brother were visiting today. Also explains why he's pushing hard. Two doubles in two games!!

Asdrubal was out today on a rest day, so we don't know how his comeback is doing until Friday!! Raburn is out with some sort of leg thing too, btw. Sad.

Aviles was in for Asdrubal and he was really feeling it - he went 2 for 4 and hustled down the line to score an insurance run in the 9th, on a wild pitch. Love that Aviles!

Did you know he's got a Twitter account that fans set up that just posts Aviles-related news? Apparently lots of people love Mike Aviles! 

Stubbs didn't hit any homers or score any runs today but he did get on base twice with walks. They must be scared of him! Also looks like he's safely up and out of his normal .240 zone, hanging tight at .253!

Off day tomorrow, then they're back at home for the weekend against the Twins. This Twins series might be the biggest series of the year, seriously. Gotta win!

It'll be Ubaldo versus RHP 3.82. Let's hope for good things from Ubaldo, to keep this streak going. The game's at 7:05, at home.

See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"Josh Hamilton has just done everything wrong this series."
- Tom Hamilton

"No matter what there are always at least 30,000 fans here at the Big A. I'm glad the guy who counts the tickets isn't my tax accountant ... I'd be in jail by now."
- Tom Hamilton doesn't believe the numbers

"So far, Mike Soicia is 0 for about 12 in arguments in this series."
- Tom Hamilton

The Game That Doesn't End

The Tribe wasn't really that hot today in the first 9-inning portion of tonight's game. Really what was happening was that the Angels were not playing very well and they managed to lose the game.

Now, later on - as in like, the next day - the Tribe ramped it up and showed that they were the better team and did some awesome stuff in order to win, as opposed to the Angels just losing.

It wasn't even until the 7th inning that the Tribe managed to tie it 1. But they kept it there and then kept at it and all of a sudden, after 5.5 hours of baseball, it was ours to win!

Everybody pitched tonight. EVERYBODY. Ok, not the starters (although I bet they were next...) but Salazar was followed by the entire bullpen after his 5 1/3 innings of work. What an unfortunate time to have a pitch-restricted starter!

He threw exactly 75 pitches (his limit) and he was done. He had just given up 3 hits and the one run. He also struck out 7, which gives him 29 strikeouts in his first 4 games as an Indian - second only to Herb Score with 40. Man, I wish we coulda seen more of him but we'll have to be patient and wait 5 days.

Next was Cody Allen, who you know totally nailed it. Zep was called in to face a lefty and took care of that, then nearly took care of the next inning but there was a throwing error so instead he left with one man on.

Joe Smith came in with 1 on and 1 out in the 8th. He gave up a single but Hamilton had to stop at second. Then Hamilton tried to lead off second and Joe Smith was all like...
So there was no stealing of the base for Josh Hamilton. There was ANOTHER single but nothing of it, since stupid Hamilton got himself thrown out. HA HA! Then strikeout to end the inning.

Smith gave up 2 more singles in the next inning but lucky for everyone, the Angels are terrible and nothing came of it.

Then came the crazy all-hands-on-deck 10th inning that started out with Albers getting the bases full. I know - Albers isn't that guy! But tonight he was. Usually he's helping the rest of the guys out of a jam but this time he needed to call on...Oh no! Not Rich Hill!

The next batter was a lefty, and Zep was done so it was Hill time. It seemed like it took forever, but on just 4 pitches he got the batter to smack one down to Aviles who was Johnny-on-the-spot at third. He almost got the big double play but Mark Trumbo was on top of his game as well.

Not wanting to risk everything, they took Hill out (whew) for Shaw. He struck out the last guy. Party time!!!

Shaw threw the 12th too, and didn't give up anything. Next was Perez and I'll admit I was nervous as heck. He did his thing - got some baserunners on, struck one out...and nearly gave up 3 runs, or at least 1 run. But Michael Bourn turned it on and took care of it and the entire city breathed a sigh of relief.

Last but not least was...Carlos Carrasco! Perfect fit, actually, because he was going to have to pitch indefinitely and who else is better for that than a guy who's supposed to be able to pitch 9 as a starter? He had a 1-2-3 13th inning just to show everyone he was still relevant. Two strikeouts, even. In the 14th we we up by 2 so he could relax a bit - and relax he did. He gave up a walk and a single. But he totally took care of it and the last play of the game was a comebacker to the mound. A sweet, sweet comebacker. Ballgame!

The offense was definitely out of it today. I guess CJ Wilson is pretty tight but they've seen far better and hit far better! There was just 1 hit for the Tribe until the 7th, and 3 hits through the 9th.

The biggest hit in the first part of the game (the original 9) was Santana's homer in the 7th to tie it up! The ball went over the wall, and the outfielder who was chasing it lost his glove too! glove!
Poor guy walked away like Charlie Brown. According to my source at the game, a fan yelled at the outfielder that he sucked, and the stadium was so empty that everyone heard. Ouch! The guy ended up climbing up over the wall to retrieve his glove. What, no help?? Poor little fella...

Asdrubal got a hit today and in the grand scheme of things it meant nothing, except that ASDRUBAL GOT ANOTHER HIT TODAY!! That's a 4-game hitting streak, y'all!

The offense fired it up a bit after the 9th, and ended up getting 5 more hits in the next 5 innings.

The other big hit...I suppose the biggest hit...was Stubbs golfing one out of the park with 1 on and 1 out in the 14th! Once again, anyone on this ball club can be the difference maker any night! Even guy number nine!

After that they kept going, with another hit (Bourn), a stolen base (Bourn) and then reaching on an error (Kipnis) that scored the final run (Bourn). Very cool to see them keep it up after they've clearly won the game.

Chisenhall was the man on base when Stubbs hit his homer, by the way. He was splitting time with Aviles who started the game at 3rd (and made that sweet play). Nice touch to put him in - after a drought to end all drought, he's got a 2-game hitting streak going!

Props also to Cabrera and Swisher for turning it up a notch and making some sweet plays themselves. Seems like almost everyone played an important role in bringing the team back from the brink several times. Tom Hamilton called Cabrera's play his "play of the season," it seemed so crucial.

So that's it - 2 for 2 in LA. I'm not too impressed with the fact that they had to play so friggin' hard to beat such a bad team but the bad teams are sort of ramping it up right now! The White Sox took care of the Yankees a bit ago. The Twins just beat the Tigers. Everyone is out there playing spoiler. Kind of neat, I guess.

Tomorrow  is a 7:05 game which means it's a 4:05 game there. In LA rush hour traffic! Fun times ahead for Angel fans. It'll be Masterson versus RHP 4.90 and ... dang, aren't we lucky?! The game where we most need a guy to go 9 innings is being pitched by the guy who has given us the most innings this year! I hope we see that guy'll be a great game.

See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"He's like the Dalai Llama and Bill Murray in that movie Caddyshack. At least he's got that going for him."
- Tom Hamilton on Ianetta, who has twice as many walks as hits

"He's a guy who seems to enjoy pitching backwards."
- Tom Hamilton on CJ Wilson (who pitches from behind...not backwards)

"Everybody kind of rolled their eyes when the Indians acquired Rzepcyznski, but he's been good for them so far."
- Tom Hamilton

"I'm amazed that he didn't get booed off the field. If this were New York, Josh Hamilton would need some sort of security to leave the ballpark."
- Tom Hamilton

"The Angels lead the league in throws to first."
- Tom Hamilton is frustrated with throws to first

"JC Gutierrez is having a moment of silence on the mound, looking into his cap. And the cap says back 'Get out there and do your job!'"
- Tom Hamilton

"Before he went to do his thing he went into the Angels dugout and slapped all the relievers and said 'Snap out of it! Do your job!'"
- Tom Hamilton on the Rally Monkey

"I can't believe this is the same guy that terrorized the American League when he was with Texas."
- Tom Hamilton on Josh Hamilton

"You get a feeling, the way this game has gone, it's going to end when somebody hits a home run."
- Tom Hamilton

"You usually don't win a game when you fail that many times."
- Tom Hamilton on the Angels' late-inning play

"The way this game is going, we've got a chance to see what a sunrise looks like here at Angel Park."
- Tom Hamilton

"If the Indians were a cat, they'd be down to their last 3 lives!"
- Tom Hamilton has run out of exclamations

"If he'd have gotten thrown out there, he might have walked back to the hotel."
- Tom Hamilton on Carlos Santana's baserunning in the 13th

"He looks like Ringo Starr, from the 1964 Beatles."
- Tom Hamilton on the most unflattering picture ever (of JB Shuck)

"Joe Blanton must wonder what else can go wrong."
- Tom Hamilton after the high throw and run scored in the 14th

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Doing Like They Do

Finally, a normal game.

And I mean a game where our starter is gonzo good, the lineup is all hitting, including home runs and Chris Perez gives up a run because he can. Ballgame!

The Tribe was still out on the left coast which was nice because it minimizes opportunity for jet lag. Don't you think? Plus it gives me the ability to get myself into a late-night groove for a few days. I did a ton of stuff between 5 and 10 today, it was nuts!

Anyway, speaking of grooves, Zack McAllister's got his groove back after getting his finger owied by whatever evil machine in the clubhouse is catching our pitchers unawares. He went 6 1/3 innings giving up just 1 run on 5 hits, and just 2 walks. He wasn't even supposed to BE here today, but he did damn good (it was Salazar, but the Tribe got my memo about 2 short-inning pitchers in a row being not good). I guess he blew through his rehab and didn't even miss a beat.

He struck out 5 and they pulled him after 103 pitches.

Shaw came in to finish the 7th and nothing went on but a strikeout. Yeehaw!

Joe Smith was in for the 8th and they said he didn't look to good but he only walked one and no one got hit by a pitch or anything. He struck out one, even. But then uh...well, I guess the Angels are really bad. The guy who struck out struck out swinging at a pitch that almost hit him.

Chris Perez came in just to get some work and he had a 4-run lead so he did what he does in those situations - gave up a run! He did get 2 strikeouts which is surprisingly a lot for him - usually it's just 1! He in fact got 2 strikeouts in his last appearance on the 14th - but it was also the first time he pitched 2 innings in one game. All told he's just had 2 strikeouts in one inning in 4 other games out of 40 total appearances. He's actually given up more home runs (6) than he's had dual strikeouts!

The boys got themselves 10 hits today and walked 5 times. That translated into 5 runs, although just in 2 innings - one big 4-run thing and then a solo homer later on.

Bourn was back up top today, going 1 for 5 again. Not bad - that was his M.O. for a while before he went on his slump-about. Unfortunately no runs or RBI to show for it.

Swish had a big night, going 2 for 5 with a solo home run that was so big that Hammy described it as not just "way back" but "way, WAY back." He also threw a putout at the plate, which I love. Still don't love Swish but...yay.

Kipnis ended his hitting streak today, but being that he's a team player to the fullest he still managed to get on base (walk), steal and come around to score. Oh, if only we were all Kipnises!!

Santana had a lovely patient night tonight. He ended up going 1 for 2 because he walked twice. He got an RBI single (RBI courtesy of Kipnis' stolen base!) and then came around to score himself in that 4-run inning. They took a risk taking him out later in the game in favor for Stubbs as a pinch runner. When you've got both catchers in the game and one goes out you better believe your other catcher isn't going anywhere!

I bet Ryan Raburn can catch, yo.

Michael Brantley didn't get a hit! BUT!!!! He did break the franchise record for consecutive games without an error, by an outfielder (213) surpassing Rocky Colavito. The AL record is 250 (Damon) which is much more reachable than the NL record, 369 (Darren Lewis). The Rock holds the league record for most consecutive games w/o an error for an outfielder in a season which is...162. Brett Butler is at 161 on the NL side. Clearly, that was from a time when men were men, and men played every game of baseball, and were named Rocky.

Oh, Asdrubal - you are melting away the ice from my cold, cold heart. A three-game hitting streak! He got another double today, going 1 for 3 - because he also got hit by a pitch. He came around to score after that double, too. Wahooooooooo!

Jason Giambi had himself a hustle double, which is not what anyone expects from Giambi (which is probably how he got a hustle double). Unfortunately he was wiped out by the time he had to run more bases, and was subsequently thrown out at the plate. Oh well - I was going to say I hope I can hustle anything at 42 but I can't hustle a thing at 34!

The Chiz Kid came out of nowhere (well, he came off his spot on the bench) and had an awesome game - his first time in a long time! He went 2 for 3 with a biiiiig 2-run homer! Whaddya know?! Not sure why but they put Aviles in later and even he got himself a hit. Hot time in the 8-spot today I guess. Great if Chiz can be out of a slump now too, since Asdrubal and Swisher seem to be heating up. If he can produce runs for the bottom half of the lineup, we'll be all set!

Gomes was back in form and went 1 for 3 today with a single and a walk. Oddly, no runs or RBI for him even though his compadres were doing some hitting. However, his average is a sexy, sexy .299!!

So they took care of Weaver today and that was cool. Usually he's a bit of a problem for the Tribe. They've got to roll over these Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim right now because next week is the Braves and Tigers and...oh my, I'm about to faint!

Tomorrow is the last late night game of the season!! Did you get some good snacks? I made cookies (since I had so much time before the game today!) It'll be Danny Salazar versus LHP 3.40. Gotta clobber this guy - his ERA is even better than Weaver's. All these dudes who are breaking out of slumps need to report FRESH and READY to go.

See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"Josh Hamilton is a bit of a disappointment. It's like waking up on Christmas morning with no presents under the tree."
- Tom Hamilton

"When you've got a 42-year old guy who has done everything there is to do in baseball, then you've got a bunch of guys going 'I've got to play as hard as Jason Giambi.'"
- Tom Hamilton

"Michael Brantley...he's been at home plate for a half an hour and he's seen two pitches."
- Tom Hamilton on Kohn's slowness on the mound

"If the singing cowboy [previous owner Gene Autrey] were still with us, by now he would have lassoed Mike Kohn and brought in someone else."
- Tom Hamilton

"Unless that Rally Monkey is buying everyone a beer, they are going to be leaving."
- Tom Hamilton

"Quite frankly the Yankees and A-Rod deserve each other, and they deserve everything that is happening to both sides."
- Tom Hamilton

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Returning From Kazmir

You know it is just a crummy, crummy game when there is bases loaded and Yan Gomes comes up to the plate and he strikes out swinging. Cuz if Yan Gomes can't save us, man, when who can? Who can?

Man I gotta dig deep to get my Positive socks on the right feet today...

So I guess the deal with Scott Kazmir is that he pitched fewer than 20 innings in 2011, then 60-some innings of non-MLB ball in 2013, and now at 114 MLB innings in 2013 he is "out of gas." Now, I'm just as impressed with his work this year as everyone else is but of all the people paid all the money to run this team did nobody see this coming? That one of our starters would probably be useless by August? I mean maybe they just got caught up in the excitement that was Kazmir and nobody thought he'd last past May as a starter anyway but it seems like someone dropped the ball in this situation.

Or maybe the fault lies with Ubaldo Jiminez, who was supposed to pitch more innings than he did in order to save the bullpen for Kazmir but Ubaldo suddenly has a 45-year-old arm and can't go too long anymore either.

Anyway - Scott Kazmir was impressing us just a few weeks ago with 3 quality starts in a row, totaling 21 innings and just 2 earned runs, now has given up 10 earned runs in just 8 innings over 2 games with 8 days of rest inbetween. Ugh.

 The good news is that Cody Allen is still pretty good and is hopefully going to end the season with an ERA close to 2. He came in for 1 2/3 innings and didn't give up a hit.

Next was Zep to face the lefty and took care of it. Then he came in for the 8th and let some stuff get away from him so then he went out with some baserunners on and one scored due to a damn error by Dick Swisher, and apparently Bryan Shaw was so upset by this turn of events that he gave up a hit that turned in to an un-earned run.

But whatever - the Tribe didn't make up the 2 runs to tie the A's earned run totals so we shouldn't worry too much about making up for their un-earned runs, either.

Scoring was kind of like Friday's game, with a bunch of hits but not enough runs to show for it. And more fancy/lucky plays by A's players. I checked it out and the A's fielding is right in the middle of the pack (along with the Tribe's) so I'm not sure where all this luck is coming from. Familiarity with the field, I guess.

Bourn had the day off so our man Drew Stubbs lead off, and even though he didn't get a hit and went 0 for 5, he got on base twice! First was on a fielder's choice, where he was able to steal second. Then he got on on a throwing error and ended up scoring. I totally stole this idea from Twitter, but I'm going to use it here. Feel free to steal my Stubb-as-Flash meme!

Swisher, however, is keeping it up now with a 4-game hitting streak. His was just 1 for 4 today but with only one strikeout at least.

Kipnis is rockin' a 6-game hitting streak, going 2 for 4 today with a big RBI single to give him 3 RBI over the last 2 games. Can't stop, won't stop! The Kid also got his 22nd stolen base!

Santana followed up that RBI single with a big RBI double of his own and ended up going 2 for 4 on the night. He's getting a little more reliable lately too!

You know what Ryan Raburn did today? Home run. BOOM! Two in two days! Dude's slugging percentage (.574) is 5th in the league for guys with 50+ games, behind only Crash Davis, Miggy, Ortiz and some dude on Texas with only 50 games played. So yeah, Ryan Raburn is THAT GOOD!
Wait, what? I just told you how good he was!

Speaking of good - be still my beating heart, Asdrubal Cabrera!!!! Praying to Pete that two 2-hit games in a row is not an anomaly and is Asdrubal turning the corner and playing the rest of the season strong! Now, he did strike out the other 2 times at the plate and left 2 men on base but hey, how many RBI did you get today, buddy??

Brantley had himself a sac bunt and a walk today, so no more hitting streak. But going 0 for 2 didn't do too much to hurt his climb to .300!!

Aviles was in the ol' reliable spot at 9th and did a Stubbs-ish job, getting at least a hit, thankyouverymuch.

Still with all that hitting they only managed 3 runs. What's up with that?

More west coast baseball this week, so pack a snack! It'll be the Tribe at the Angels starting Monday at 10:05. It'll be Danny Salazar versus RHP 3.49. Oh, crumbs...another guy who can't pitch too many innings. Well let's hope his 5 innings are stellar!

See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"We saw the remnants of that fire last night on the way out. I'd say it was well done."
- Jim Rosenhaus on the parking lot fire from the night before

"They are the most dedicated and enthusiastic fans in baseball. And I've got to believe that ALL of them have designated drivers..."
- Tom Hamilton on the Bleacher Creatures

"...headed over to Alcatraz, to see where some of [Jim Rosenhaus'] relatives have spent some time."
- Tom Hamilton

This Is What We Stayed Up For!


Finally, a nice game where the Tribe does some pitching and some hitting and roundly beats the opponent!

Ubaldo was the starter and while he was one out away from a quality start, he had one hell of a start which I think, in the rulebooks, is better than a quality start anyway.

He went 5 2/3 innings and only gave up one hit! No kidding! Of course, he hit a guy and walked 5 but those are minor details. In all of those 7 men on base, only one came around to score and he was the only one who even visited third base. In all of that, he got EIGHT strikeouts in just 5 2/3!

Unfortunately it took him 105 pitches to get there, and we needed 4 relievers to finish it off but if they haven't planned for this situation now by August, then they aren't paying good attention.

Rich Hill came in with men on base. Eep! But he did his job and struck out the lefty to end the 6th.

Next was Shaw who faced 4, just walking a guy. Then Joe Smith, who gave up 2 hits but kept it in check and nobody came around to score.

Did you know that Joe Smith is engaged to Allie Laforce? I'm probably the last to know. Although I barely know who she is but I've got my head out of my butt enough to know that she's a local TV news woman who went out to LA to become a national TV news woman. She also was Miss Teen USA which...why didn't I know that? You'd think she'd be a big Cleveland star. I think most 25-45 year old dudes in Cleveland know all of this. She does a radio commercial for some local car place and mentions that she is in LA. Anyway I believe she and Smith got cuddly when she was still in Cleveland and they're still together and now they're engaged. Now you know.

Matt Albers pitched a 1-2-3 9th.

The Tribe got 11 hits and 4 walks today and THIS time all those hits were translated in to runs! Pitchers park - whatever! They scored 7, and coulda scored more if Eric Sogard (SS) wouldn't have had his own 1-2-3 8th inning with his own little highlight reel.

Michael Bourn isn't having any more of this slumping nonsense, so he went 2 for 5 today with his 5th home run! He came in to score twice.

Swisher is also over the nonsense, so he went 2 for 4 with a homer, his coming in the first inning. Later on he got an RBI single with 2 out and 2 on, made it to second on the throw to the plate, then came around to score on Kipnis' subsequent single. So that's 5 hits in Swisher's last 14 at-bats. Let's hope he keeps it up...

Kipnis kept it low key today but he had a huge single in the 9th with 2 men on, and it ended up being a 2-RBI single! That's a 5-game hitting streak and 12 hits in his last 10 games for the Kid!

Michael Brantley is just, like, whatever - 2 more doubles today to go 2 for 3 with a walk. That's 6 hits in the Doctor's last 3 games, and 17 hits in the 17 days of August thus far!! Five of those hits have been doubles and that's his second 2-double game this month. Can he end the season over .300??

DID YOU NOTICE ASDRUBAL TODAY?!?! Not sure what happened but hermano had himself a GAME today at the plate! He went 2 for 4 with a double and 2 RBI!! Only one LOB today, man! OMG if he is awake for the rest of the season just...look the heck out, American League. Look. The heck. OUT!!

Jason Giambi did not have a nice night in Oakland at all. They were not very welcoming to him, no-siree. But he went out there and batted. And struck out twice. And left 4 guys on base. But whatever, Oakland - we got him now!

The Chiz Kid didn't have so hot of a night. Seems to be the only guy not breaking his slump now. Aviles was brought in to split the at-bats at 2 apiece and he didn't do anything either.

Stubbs, of course, was out there, doin' stuff. He went 2 for 3 and came around to score (Because he's like a bullet train!) but he did get caught stealing, which was his first CS of the year after 13 SB. He also got caught up in a double play/outfield assist situation at third but I don't think there's a column for that, so hush hush!

I sure hope that this is the Indians for the rest of the season. This is the Indians we signed up for this year, that's for sure. Lots of guys with multiple hits tonight, some extra-base hits, some homers. Why has this been so hard to come by?

Tomorrow is our chance to go 7-1 against the A's this year. That'd be cool! It's a 4:05 game so don't let it pass you by. It was supposed to be Kazmir versus Bartolo Colon but the old man has a left groin strain. Also, he is a stupid cheater who takes drugs. Anyway he's being replaced by LHP 4.39 who we should be able to crush. CRUSH!

No Radio Chatter today. Cuz I said so. See you tomorrow!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

This Is What We Stayed Up For?

Taking a gamble on the title there - hoping tomorrow's can be "This Is What We Stayed Up For!" Right?

Bummer of a game tonight. Slumping lineup with tight pitching versus slumping lineup with tight pitching. In Oakland. Ugh.

Masterson was back on the Ace game today, getting all but one of the team's 27 outs. He went 7 2/3 and gave up just 2 runs on one home run. He didn't strike out as many as he has been striking out all season - just a measly 4 today. I dunno what it is about this Oakland park being a "pitcher's park" because the pitchers gave up 15 hits today. And it's got the lowest home runs in baseball, but Masterson managed to give up one.

But that was it - nearly 8 innings for Masty and just 2 runs off a first-inning homer.

The offense looked like it was going to come back but apparently this pitcher's park only allows you 2 hits in a row, no more. Everything else gets vacuumed up by anyone close to it.

The Tribe had baserunners in every inning but the 4th and the 6th. Not only did they get 8 hits but they walked NINE TIMES!

But everyone is just slumpy as heck. I don't know how else to describe it. Where you could once count on any guy to get you a 2-out RBI hit, now you can't count on anyone to not hit into a double play with bases loaded and one out.

Bourn is slumping - usually he's good for one key hit, but not right now. Asdrubal ... oh man I am so sad. Just...ugh. They moved him out of the #4 spot, down to 6th, and the guys ahead of him were doing decent so instead of being in a pressure-free spot now he is up every time there's guys in scoring position! NOOOOOO! That's 5 LOB for him tonight.

Gomes, who is not slumping whatsoever, could not get it going tonight. He went 0 for 4.

The best news of the night is...Dick Swisher who shook off the cobwebs and went 2 for 4 up in the 2-spot. He got an RBI and came in to score a run, making both of his hits productive.

Kipnis had The Patience today, going 1 for 3 with 2 walks. That's a 4-game hitting streak for him. I wonder who went on the fishing trip with Kipnis yesterday on his day off? Looking at the box score I'd say there's a high probability it was Swisher, Brantley and Stubbs (Swisher likes to socialize, Brantley's hobby is fishing and Stubbs is a country boy. I could see this happening.) They're the only guys who hit.

Well, Santana hit too but do you take him on a fishing trip with you? I say he scares the fish. Although he also went 1 for 3 with 2 walks today so he also had The Patience.

I ask you....HOW is Michael Brantley not hitting .300? Am I forgetting some sort of slump for him this year? It must be. To me it just seems like he is hitting hitting hitting all the time. Probably because compared to my dude Asdrubal, that's exactly what he's doing. Just not mathematically enough to hit 1 in every 3. But - close! He's hitting .283 and today went 2 for 4 with a walk.

But all 3 times he just stood on base waiting to be hit in, and nothing happened. Nothing.

You gotta go aaaaallll the way down to Drew Stubbs to find more hits. He went 2 for 4 with 2 big fat doubles. Neither was an RBI double, unfortunately, but he did come around to score once after a double, on a single by Swisher.

So today's situation was some guys were hitting, but not enough guys were. Once again they are hitting balls that maybe shouldn't be caught but perhaps it's true that God Hates Cleveland Sports and He is putting players where balls go. Right? That sounds right.

So, tomorrow is another late game, but an hour earlier. That means 9:05 PM. It'll be Ubaldo versus RHP 4.19. Ubaldo's ERA is .02 better. HA! So, expect results!

See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"The Oakland Coliseum has been a house of horrors for Justin Masterson."
- Tom Hamilton

"Reddick has a heck of an arm. He left a dent in the dugout wall."
- Tom Hamilton on Reddick's over-throw from the outfield

"He's a graduate of the University Of Tommy John Surgery."
- Tom Hamilton

"Boy, Justin Masterson has just been outstanding. Time for the Indians' offense to wake up."
- Tom Hamilton

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Goon Squad

Nice little game tonight. Finally getting back to the way it should be. Good pitching and a glimpse of good batting. Not amazing batting - they somehow managed to score 5 runs on just 5 hits and 4 walks. But they were getting hits when it mattered and it was more than enough to overcome the little bit that the pitcher gave up.

Zach McAllister was up today, and he had a quality start with just one earned run in 6 full innings. His run came in the second and while he wasn't lights-out every other inning, he was close enough! ZMac struck out 7 and only allowed 4 hits.

Next up was our new perfect storm - Allen, Smith and Perez. Those guys can be totally top-notch if they are on a good day. They've all been known to give up the runs, tho...but not tonight! Only one hit between them (Perez - it's his thing!) and 2 strikeouts for Allen. Both Allen and Smith are well under 3.00 with the ERA now. Not like Smith's 2011 season with a 2.01 but he's come way down since being well over 3.00 in July.

Even though they got 5 runs, it wasn't much of a game, hit-wise.

Brantley re-started his hitting streak at 1, and Kipnis is the lone hero at 2 games.

The guys with the biggest games today were benchers, which Aviles has told us is the "Goon Squad", which they like much better than the obvious "Bench Mob." Good call, hermoso.  

For example, Ryan Raburn is so good...
...He's so good that he's much larger on the inside than he appears to be on the outside. ALSO he hit a 2-run bomb in the 6th to put the Tribe ahead 5-1! Good timing, too, cuz the fella hasn't done anything of note since he got signed (well, except pitching a 1-2-3 inning but dude, that's not what we hired you for!) Sad that this is only his third game in a week but I guess we just can't have All Raburn, All The Time.

The other guy with a hit was Gooooooooomes who went 2 for 4 with a double! Did you know he is hitting .314? He leads the team, ahead of Kipnis's .290. Unfortunately he's not a qualifier (not enough games) so we can't compare him 1:1 with everyone but still - it's impressive for a guy who doesn't play every day to play that WELL when he does get in there!

Him and Raburn lead the team in slugging, too, because when they do get in the lineup they're getting the extra bases. And then they lead in OPS, too.

Get this - Raburn has played in about 64% as many games as the team's home-run leader, Kipnis - and he has one less home run than the Kid. Damn, Raburn!

And Gomes? He's got the fewest strikeouts of anyone on the team with more than 50 at-bats. One half of the number of games that Kipnis has played, and 1/3 of the strikeouts.

I guess we got to give a shout out to Aviles and Giambi, who may not be consistently wowing us but they always seem to find themselves in high-fiving situation one or two times a week. That counts for something.

Viva la bench!

Tomorrow is an afternoon game - don't forget! It'll be at 1:10, ol' Cookie Carrasco versus RHP 6.43. Gawd, I hope we get some runs off that dude!!

See you there!

Sorry, no Radio Chatter today. The day got away from me.

Monday, August 12, 2013

We Have No Highlights To Bring You

I built up Danny Salazar a little too much in my mind. After his awesome start against the Tigers, I couldn't wait to see him again! Turns out that the whole "pitch too much too soon and you're not too good the next time" hokum is actually true. He was over-pitched the other night, going way over his 60-70 limit, and this time he was suckin' on a Fla-Vor-Ice by the 5th inning.

Zep (Marc Rzepcyzinski) (Scrabble), Shaw, Allen. Yawn.

Kipnis and Gomes with hits. Brantley ended his streak at 6 games. According to Jim Rosenhaus, there were at least 6 plays that he starred in the score book as "good plays." Tom Hamilton couldn't hardly believe it how much the Tribe was getting robbed. He said he was going to get up and leave if Kipnis' single wouldn't have dropped!

That's it, guys. Over-hyped pitching and complete lack of hitting against some guy we've never seen before. The whole thing with not being able to hit against rookies is pretty weak by this point. What are our scouts up to all season?? Go watch some baseball!

So, whatever. Tomorrow at 8:10 is  ZMac versus RHP 3.38. Oh good, this guy has a record against 5 guys on our team. Perhaps we can muster more than 2 hits.

See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"This guy is mid- to upper-eighties at best. The Indians are making him look like he throws a thousand miles per hour."
- Tom Hamilton

"This guy must be hard to pick up or something, because right now there are high school pitchers who throw harder than this guy."
- Tom Hamilton

"Seems like the bigger the stakes the better he is."
- Jim Rosenhaus on Miguel Cabrera

"My wife has a birdbath in the backyard with more water pressure and more ability to get clean than the showers at this hotel."
- Tom Hamilton on the hotel room in Minneapolis

"Around the corner was a bar that was a dive..."
"How would you know that?"
"I...I got lost. I was looking for my mommy."
- Tom Hamilton and Jim Rosenhaus

"It seems like the Twins have nine Joe Hardys in the lineup tonight. The devil's got to be smiling somewhere."
- Tom Hamilton goes Broadway

"We're partners, but I'm not scrubbing your back."
- Tom Hamilton on Jim Rosenhaus's shower

"The Indians are saying 'Just give us a Cy Young Award winner, wouldja?'"
- Tom Hamilton on the Tribe's struggles with rookies

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Surprise - We Win!

Heeeeeeeeeeeeey what's up? Tribe wins! And not just any win - a win where our man Justin fell and the rest of the team came around to pick up the pieces, coming from behind and all that good stuff!

I guess Masterson cites something like "just not having it" as the reason for his performance today. Four earned runs off 7 hits and 4 walks in 4 1/3 innings. Yeah man, that's having nothing. Yeesh.

So they had to roll out the dead-horse bullpen for another go-round. And by some miracle today they totally nailed it! They went 4 2/3 innings all total and gave up ONE HIT between them. Not one run, man - one HIT!

Now, of course Rich Hill made it interesting by walking 3 guys over 2 innings and throwing a wild pitch but, hey - in the end, no hits and no runs.

Good ol' faithful Matt Albers came in for 1 2/3 innings after someone realized that Rich Hill was still in there. He got us all the way through the 7th with nary a hit or a walk.

Joe Smith, back to true form, did give up a hit but he took care of 2 guys via strikeout and another via line-out.

Chris Perez is fine, you jerks. He had another 1-2-3 inning while Masterson had his second bad game in a row so everyone can just shut it!!

In case you didn't know, the score was 5-0 after 4 innings, and stayed that way until the bottom of the 6th.

Also, Asdrubal finally cracked and they threw him out. He was arguing too hard after a strikeout. I was just talking with my brother today about how Asdrubal hasn't had a good game since that game where we were losing 10-2. He appears to absolutely suck under pressure. Ugh...what a shame. I will still be his #1 fan, though! I will just be frustrated about it.

Anyway, Mike Aviles replaced Asdrubal in the 2nd. And he ended the night with 2 RBI. And the team won the game by 1 run. So uhm...thank you, Asdrubal?

The team only had one hit up through the 6th - a single by Lonnie in the 3rd. No walks, even.

Then, in the 6th, it was git down time!!! (With 2 outs, of course. OF COURSE!)

Michael Bourn gets a single then Swish belts one out for two! (Did you know his average is 35 points higher at home than away? Fact!)

Then right after that, still with 2 outs, Kipnis walks (kid went 1 for 2 today with 2 walks!) and then BOOM! Lowly Aviles off the bench with a two-run blaaaaaaast.

Ok so now it's only 5-4 in the 7th. The bullpen is somehow, some way getting it done. No more runs for the Angels tonight.

Santana remembers that he can hit homers too so he opens the 7th with one! His first since July 31st, and only his 3rd since July 1.

Then it's time for a little small ball with a walk by Chisenhall, a single by Stubbs and probably some extra sweating on the pitcher's part, looking for a double steal, and thus a single by Bourn to score the go-ahead run in Chisenhall. Yaaaaaaay!

We didn't get any runs after that, but Brantley did get a double so he could extend his hitting streak to 7. I also learned after the game that the bench refers to themselves as "the goon squad" and they're excited one of their own (Aviles) was a big factor in the game today. Goon Squad! Ha!

So now a losing streak is closed and we can get back to winning streaks, or at least winning serieses.

Tomorrow is Salazar versus some guy named Albers with 1 win and a 0.00 ERA. Ooh! Kids facing kids, that should be interesting as heck!

It's a 8:05 game because of time zones, ok? I'll see you there!

Radio Chatter:
"This is what Tito talked about - you cannot let frustration overwhelm you."
- Tom Hamilton after a frustrating bounce

"The good news is you have plenty of time recovering [from a bad week in August.] You have a bad week in September and you start planning tee times for October."
- Tom Hamilton

"How can you compare A-Rod to Willie Mays? There isn't anything that Alex Rodriguez has done that should count."
- Tom Hamilton

"They can't just sit back and wait for bombs."
- Tom Hamilton, between Swisher and Aviles' homers

"If the Indians could come back and win this game, being down 5-0 and having lost six in a row, you might be able to point to this game as one of the critical points of the season."
- Tom Hamilton

"Mariano Rivera is human, Miguel Cabrera is not."
- Tom Hamilton on Miggy's homer off Rivera

Friday, August 9, 2013

C-a-r-r-a-s-c-o Spells Relief

Oh, starters! Why have you forsaken us? The only way this team can beat good pitching is if we have good great pitching ourselves. Because it stands to reason that the offense isn't going to help you that much when the opposing pitcher is throwing under 3.00.

As is common lately, our starter only had one bad inning. The first inning, even. But that was enough to keep the other team on top and the right team from winning. Kazmir started the game off loading the bases, then gave up a 2-run single. He managed to get one out, but then came a 3-run homer.
So once he got out of the first with no more runs (past the 5 original runs...) he stuck around for 2 more 1-2-3 innings. As soon as he gave up a single in the 4th it was like "Ok! No more!" and they sat him down.

Out came Albers, who - as Tom Hamilton pointed out - is pretty good at being our any-time guy and pitching whenever and wherever needed. He came in to have a 1-2-3 4th.

Next up was ... Carlos Carrasco! He just, appeared today. I can't even follow the ball anymore as to who goes up and who goes down. Heck I knew that Adam Dunn was DFA before I knew Carrasco was here!

But, who better to have in your bullpen when you need super-long relief than a former starter? Those guys can go forever! (Allegedly) He had a 1-2-3 5th, then in the 6th gave up a walk but a double play. The 7th was similar, and he was still there in the 8th AND the 9th! He ended up going 5 innings (2 more than Kazmir, the starter) and only gave up 1 hit. He did give up 3 walks but with those double plays he only ended up facing 17 batters.

That's great! Nice to see we have a long reliever while our starters get their stuff together. Basically like having a backup starter every night. And boy did we need it today because the bullpen is hella spent, and there's no off day til next Thursday.

The team hit a lot better than the score would suggest today. Lots of guys got on base - 7 hits and and 1 walk. But all around them guys were hitting big long flies that were caught, or lasers that got caught. Nothing was dropping!

The only balls that didn't get caught were Brantley's homer (6-game hitting streak!) and Asdrubal's homer (OMG!!! $144 off tires, tomorrow only!) Well and Kipnis's double dropped and so did 4 other singles but still ... it seemed like there were a ton that ALMOST made it but didn't!

Ok 7 made it, 4 outs were strikeouts, one GIDP so that leaves 22 potential almost-made-its.Yuck - remind me never to conjure up that statistic again!

I bought some hot dogs at the store today (actually, I bought some hot dogs while the Angels were scoring 5 runs!!) and am all ready for tomorrow's game. I don't know if you knew this but I was sad about the lack of hot dogs in my house. All Beef Hebrew National, buddy.

Hey also good news is that tonight and tomorrow night is Rock-N-Blast fireworks! Good times!

I don't know why but I am strangely energized by the games of late. We're losing but stuff is going good, or interesting stuff is happening. I don't know if the feeling in my gut is "Relax, we're totally out of the race now, let's just have fun!" or "Relax, this team is totally good enough to stay in the race, let's just have fun!" Perhaps it's remembering that there's less than 2 months to go so I'd better enjoy it while I can.

Or maybe it's just that the weather has been so nice and that just makes everything nice. And, hot dogs.

Anyway, we get another chance to listen to grown men play baseball tomorrow! It'll be Ubaldo versus LHP 3.49. It's time for wins again - let's do this!

See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"...I thought it was the 6th inning. Bye! I'll go get more food."
- Tom Hamilton comes in an inning too early

"He will be going to sit in the opposite end of the dugout from manager Mike Sciocia."
- Tom Hamilton on JB Schuck's horrible bunt attempt then GIDP

"Welp, there are nights like this when the baseball gods work against you."
- Tom Hamilton on the Angels always catching the ball

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Swept Away

So, the Tigers are just that good. Man, they are good! And they don't stop. They didn't seem tired or worn out or uninterested today. Nope, they were in it to win it - which I guess is a nod to the Indians because they felt they needed to keep the whole team in for the whole game to keep up with us. But really, 10-3...they coulda given Miggy a nap.

Oh so quick news rundown on "the business of baseball" in case you missed it...

1. Vinnie sent down to Columbus to make room for LHP Marc Rzepcyznski.
2. Ubaldo sent down to bring up Salazar and give Ubaldo a day off.
3. Kluber hurt his finger, just like McAllister had, so Ubaldo is back up.
4. Raburn signed to a 2-year contract.
5. Reynolds designated for assignment to make room for an 8th bullpen guy, RHP Preston Guilmet.

Zach McAllister didn't have such a good night. As goes Masterson so goes McAllister? Dude gave up 6 runs on just 4 hits (not home runs!) in 2 1/3 innings. Woah! He does give up runs usually but more like 2 or 3, over 5 or 7 innings. Today he was just beaten the heck up and beaten bad. Too many walks and too many Princes and Victors.

So, enter the new guy who they're like "Hey new guy, time for long relief against the best team in baseball!" Preston Guilmet had no choice but to go do that. He didn't fare much better than McAllister but we all figured he was either going to blow it or be surprisingly good. So I don't think anyone was surprised when he gave up 4 more runs in 2 2/3 innings. Hey, at least there were only 4 more innings to fill!

Next up was Albers who can do 2 innings, no problem. He managed to only give up 2 hits and no runs or walks. Then was our "whenever" guy, Zep, who pitched the 8th and kept up his scoreless streak with the Tribe. His ERA is under 6 now! How good does the rest of this pitching staff make Zep look, huh? Lucky dog.

Then for the 9th, something I love as much as plays at the plate, outfield assists and inside-the-park home runs - bringing in a position player to pitch!

And Ryan Raburn, at that! The guy who has gone 0-9 since they decided to extend his contract. The guy who used to play for the Tigers but hit a slump and the fans boo him when they see him. He pitched himself a 1-2-3 inning against the Tigers in the 9th!!

Here's him striking out Tuiasosopo:

I don't know why this has stuck with me, but Jamey Carroll did the same thing the other day against the Royals. A 1-2-3 inning for the Twins after they were getting routed 13-0.

It really warmed my heart, tho, seeing Raburn up there pitching against his old team. Ah, baseballl!

Here's some other fun stuff that happened tonight. Miggy tripped over third base. And then tips his cap to the crowd.
Prince thought it was hilarious:
Michael Bourn went hard after a ball even though it was 10-2. He landed on his nose:
See? Baseball is still fun!

Since everyone was having fun and clearly the pressure was off, Asdrubal took the opportunity to be awesome again and got his first (and second) RBI hits since July 26. Two RBI doubles, man!! OMG!!!

Too little too late but Asdrubal, Kipnis, Bourn and Brantley were the only guys who got hits. Kipnis also went 2 for 4 with a double and a single, and came around to score both runs.

Michael Brantley got a single in the 9th to score Kipnis because...right? I mean, Michael Brantley is NOT giving up. Also, he's got a hitting streak rolling at 5 now!

So that's it - those 4 guys, those 6 hits. Only 1 walk and surprisingly only 6 strikeouts. Stupid Max Scherzer gets his 17th win. Ugh - so good!

So now we're, like, a million games out of first but still gotta keep those Royals at bay. Still have a chance for one of the wild card spots, no doubt. I don't know if I could take the 1-game playoff situation...yeesh. Or the whole "every game tonight counts huge" situation like 2012. I'm already exhausted just thinking about it!

But, I need to calm down, there's still 7 weeks to go. Tomorrow the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim come to town and the Tribe will take out all of their 4-game-swept aggression out on those guys, right? Hey, we get to see Danny Salazar again soon! And maybe Ubaldo will be all happy to get his second (fifth?) chance and pitch like an ace.

You never know, guys!!

Tomorrow at 7:05 it'll be Kazmir versus RHP 2.90. Yikes, two good pitchers in a row! But don't forget this is the team that beat 10 out of 11 Cy Young Award winners so we got this.

Put this all behind you and see you there!

Radio Chatter:
"We didn't have to take intelligence tests to get this job. You could be as dumb as door nails like I am and still be up here."
- Tom Hamilton on being a sports announcer

"Doesn't matter how you get there.  Get there!"
- Tom Hamilton on October baseball

"I looked down and thought 'holy cow how many donuts did Santiago eat between innings?'"
- Tom Hamilton confuses Tuiasosopo with Santiago

"Why didn't he start this game??"
- Tom Hamilton on Raburn's 1-2-3 inning

"I don't think the Indians will shed a tear when the Tigers leave Progressive field tonight. They've seen enough of this juggernaut."
- Tom Hamilton

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

As Close As We'll Come

I really love this team - in general, and specifically this team - but there's no doubt about it...the Tigers are damn good. Super damn good. They are amazingly good. They got it all, really. Pitching, hitting, and their defense isn't half bad.

So when the Tribe faces off with the Tigers and throws a rookie kid out there and he gives them a hard time, and then we get 14 hits and make it go 14 innings and only lose by 1 well, good. Good game tonight, on all fronts by our guys. There was no blowout, no huge mistakes, no disappointment - not even a bad bullpen! Even the bad stuff looked good. The Tribe was good but the Tigers were just that much better.

What can you say about Danny Salazar?
Heck yeah he's not scared! Also, he throws like a dang slingshot. Upper 90s, upper 90s, upper 90s and if he can't get you out like that then - bloop! 87 MPH changeup. Ha! I mean, how are you supposed to follow that nonsense?? He struck out almost every Tiger at least once tonight, some of them 3 times! And it didn't take much work to do it - he only had 103 pitches after 7 2/3 innings. Not bad for a guy who is "coming off" Tommy John surgery and was kept to 55 pitches his last time out! And his second major league start? No, this guy is not scared!

He left one out for Miggy - after striking him out 3 times - and that was the end of that fun. But what are you going to do? He's the damn best hitter in baseball. He doesn't get to be that way by striking out 4 times in a game!

Totally stoked about Salazar, like I'm stoked about the new Doctor, Peter Capaldi. Sad to see both Kluber and Matt Smith go but new isn't necessarily bad. And both Salazar and Capaldi have proven themselves to me! (I'm guessing Hulu streams of The Thick Of It are through the roof this week!)

How about that bullpen today, eh? They brought in Rich Hill first which was smart. Mainly to face lefties but also to get him out of the way I bet. He gave up a hit before finishing off the 8th. I cringed! Then he came back out for the 9th and gave up a walk. I squirmed. Then a single. I yelled! Then he was gone.

Check this out from friend of the blog @Twimpus/SMacR:
HA! Exactly!

Cody Allen came in to get the 9th finished and he ended up with the bases loaded. But he got two fly-outs to end it, big thanks to Drew Stubbs who was out there being fast as hell in right field!

Then Perez was up for the 10th and everyone was all "ugh, Perez" and I was like "Heck yeah, Perez!" He struck out their catcher Perez but the last pitch was wild and Perez-the-catcher went to first. Then he struck out Fielder. Then he picked off Perez - heck yeah! Victor got a hit because he's Victor, but Rage got the last out with no damage done. So, whatever, haters! He picked off a guy at first!

Joe Smith gave up a walk and a hit but I felt like he looked great. Maybe I'm just a sucker for the sidearm (oh yeah, the game was on WKYC tonight - by surprise!) but I don't even know how right handers can tell where the ball is going, coming across his body like that. Austin Jackson looked positively stymied!

Bryan Shaw was the big man in the bullpen, going the longest of all the relievers - 2 1/3 innings. However it was 1/3 innings too long. He gave up 2 hits that turned in to 2 runs and that was all for the game. Marc Rzepczynski (nailed it!) came in to finish and let Shaw's runners score and that was that. Zep hangs on to his 0.00 ERA for us - magic!

Our batters really battled hard tonight. Just some key spots had huge holes. Namely Asdrubal, Santana and everyone who came up in the DH spot (Giambi, Raburn, Chisenhall - not one hit between them!)

How much better do you think we'd be if Asdrubal was hitting .250/1-for-4 right now? That'd be at least one more run per game I think.

I have a theory now...he has braces, I believe, and having braces sucks. I don't care if you're a big tough guy, your teeth are moving around and they friggin' hurt. I don't even know if he has them anymore but if he does, that's exactly his problem and don't let him convince you otherwise. Braces should be for the off season only!

When Michael Bourn came up in the 14th they said he was 0-5 and I'm like "No way Michael Bourn goes 0 for 6!" Well, he didn't. He got a nice RBI double! He had been on base once earlier on the game, on a walk, and came around to score. This time he nearly won the game for us by seriously messing with Joaquim Benoit's head. He was pitching all over the place, being nervous about Bourn's lead at 2nd! In fact he threw a big wild pitch and Bourn went to third. That's our guy!

Oh yeah - also with an outfield assist - AT THE PLATE! Definitely a game-changer, too!

Swisher had a novel night, getting his first hit(s) since 8/2. Not only did he get one hit but he got THREE, going 3 for 4 before being replaced by Stubbs. He did have a costly error, though, because...ugh. Of course he did. But I'll take his 2 doubles and 2 RBI. Dick.

Stubbs went 1 for 3. I think his catches in the outfield were pretty key to the game being so long/so close. He had the chance to tie it up for us in the 14th but it didn't happen. I like the fact that we could all believe it could happen, tho.

Kipnis went 2 for 6. None of his hits resulted in runs or RBI. But I think he and Asdrubal looked pretty tight up the middle there today. No errors and 2 double plays!

Twitizen @sportsyelling threw this up tonight and had a caption contest. Special:

You'll have to check out her feed to see what the winning caption was. My entry was "You small. Do you even lift?" which was funny because someone had the exact same idea, but went the other way with it. "You're fat. Do you even lift?" or something. Ha!

Brantley was hot as heck tonight, going 3 for 5 with a walk and a run scored. Two of his hits were doubles! He's got 7 hits in his last 4 games! It sucks that he got so many hits and just 1 run came out of it. Oh, baseball...

Santana had a rough night. He only struck out once but he only went 1 for 6. He grounded into a double play and left 3 guys on base (to be fair, Kipnis did the same things too).

Gomes, of course, was a big player in this game...even though my brother picked him up for fantasy! He got a big homer tonight to lead off the third, to tie the game! Later on he got the game-tying RBI on a ground-out with 1 out and Brantley at third. Oh! How we love Yan Gomes!

Mike Aviles was holding down the 9-spot today like a boss! He went 2 for 6 and came around to score both times. He had a big double in the 7th and came around to score on Swisher's follow-up double. Then in the 14th inning he got a 2-out single and then motored around to score on Bourn's double, to put us just one run down. Also, he looked pretty good in the field!

I'm telling you guys - everything looked so good today. It was like a good honest playoff game. If only Salazar hadn't hung that one pitch, or if only we had a little bit of action from the cleanup or DH spots, things would have gone differently. But dang did we get our money's worth! Plus I got to see the whole thing on TV and hear it on the radio and watch along with the Twerps on Twitter. Good times.

And there were "only" 20,000 fans out tonight but it looked like everyone stayed! And everyone did a great job cheering - they were really into it! So good job by everyone tonight - the team, the fans at the park and all of us at home. What a great game!

Tomorrow is ZMac versus RHP 2.85. Don't be scared! Danny Salazar isn't scared! We've got as much chance tomorrow as we did these other 3 games...maybe it's our time.

No Radio Chatter tonight, I was overloaded on media. Hammy really had some good ones towards the end of the game, too. He reminded us that there's still 7 weeks to go, so everyone just calm down! Him and Rosie did a nice job too.

Ok, one more chance - see you there!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Detroit Goes To Eleven

Once again, this game can't be hung on one guy. Just like last night can't be hung on Perez, you can't hang this on Masterson.

Yes, he gave up 5 runs. But the Tribe hitters got just one. It was somewhat amazing that they got the one, being that they only got 4 hits (and one hit batsman). But also it seemed like 4 times they were about to get more. It never happened. Not sure if Verlander is too awesome or the Tribe offense just doesn't have it against a pitching staff like Detroit's.

Funny - last year they had it locked up. They really knew how to take care of Detroit. But Detroit is better right now. They are up to eleven. Honestly guys....this is all Detroit's to lose.

I did notice that last night they were bunting at the hobbled Miguel Cabrera. And tonight Masterson "accidentally" caught Victor on the ankle with  pitch (cleverly disguised it with some "having control issues" earlier in the inning when he hit a guy batting .207). So, I dunno - are they going to take out another Tiger tomorrow? Unfortunately you can't exactly run over Prince Fielder at first (too big), or slide in to Torii Hunter at second (not at second). I say we throw Kipnis in the baseline next time Hunter is running for a double and just flatten him out.

Man, did you see that Don Kelly guy today?  He's hitting .458 against Justin Masterson. He must just scare Masty silly. Not only did he go 3 for 4 today but he got a 3-run dinger that basically ended the game.
Hmm...seems like I got lost in Tiger fever, there. How about our Tribe tonight?

Masterson did go 7 innings, so at least he was all man about it. And he got himself out of a SERIOUS bases-loaded jam with no outs in the 2nd. He struck out 6. But he gave up 5 runs in the 5th inning, and they were all on him (no errors). Sucks.

Marc Rzepcynzki (dangit - Rzepczynski!) is still perfect for us after 3 appearances. Cool.

Matt Albers pitched a hitless, scoreless 9th. Cool.

How about that Bourn?! Another 2-hit night, going 2 for 4 with a stolen base. Dude's finally starting to make up on his sort of slow start on base stealing this year.

It was Asdrubal who got the team's only extra-base hit - a double in the 2nd. He could have scored but he got caught in a rundown but, meh. It did get a runner to third.

Brantley got a hit in the 2nd too, to follow up Asdrubal's, and he was the guy who got on to third and eventually home to score our only run.

Scored by the hand of Raburn, of course!

Man, I just saw this pic on, of Raburn chasing Kelly's 3-run homer. If you recall, Raburn used to play for Detroit and for some reason they hate him there. How much must this have sucked for Raburn?

So that's all. No hits, bad outing for Masterson. Ho hum.

Tomorrow is Danny Salazar, who is not scared...
He'll be facing uhm...some Tiger pitcher. It'll be at 7:05 and it's Dollar Dog Night I believe.

Man there is a shortage of hot dogs around here. I bought a ton of hot dogs for a party the other day and I thought I'd have a lot extra but I only had 5 left! They were so good. I boiled them. I bet if I got a hot dog roller, I'd have even more people at my parties.

Anyway, we forge ahead tomorrow! See you there!

Radio Chatter:
 "No time to feel sorry for yourself when you're facing Justin Verlander."
 - Tom Hamilton

 "You get the feeling that if the Indians don't do some damage here in the 6th, they're in a heap of trouble the rest of this game."
 - Tom Hamilton

Monday, August 5, 2013

There's No "Perez" In "Team"

It was good while it lasted.

Corey Kluber pitched a heck of a game. Didn't look like a young guy pitching against the best lineup in baseball. He went 7 1/3 innings and although he gave up 6 hits and a walk, NO ONE came around to score! We'll throw this up there for him:
He was at 105 pitches with 6 strikeouts when they took him out in the 8th. He was replaced by Joe Smith who, while not lights-out, did get out of the 8th inning unscathed.

Then all we needed was 3 more outs. They brought in Chris Perez and...I dunno, why? Why did they bring in Perez after he'd just worked 2 nights? Why'd they bring in a guy who just left his hometown, who admittedly likes to party? I dunno if we can pin this all on Perez. But, on Perez it will  hang.

Allen wasn't too much better - he gave up a hit and a walk. Well ok, Allen didn't give up a homer to a guy hitting under .200. But he did give up a hit and a walk and only got 2 outs before needing relief.

Another appearance by Zep, who got the last out. Marc Rzepczinski....spelled that without looking. Oops! It's Rzepczynski.

The other highlight of today's game, aside from Kluber, was the fielding. It was tight as heck, with nothing getting past Kipnis or Cabrera. The infield was happy to be back on real midwestern grass, and the outfield was glad to be back in a baseball-sized stadium. Both Brantley and Stubbs had outfield assists! Holla!

The offense wasn't actually that impressive - they only got 5 hits and 2 walks. But boy, did they get hits when it mattered most!

Only 4 guys even got hits - Kipnis, Brantley, Santana, Giambi.

Kipnis went 1 for 4 and nobody brought him around to score. He's got a 4-game hitting streak!

Michael Brantley is just awesome, and in the midst of all those zeroes, went 2 for 4 and came around to score both times! He had a rough go of it in Miami so it was nice to see him being a difference-maker in this game. Because he's a difference-maker on this team! Oh and not only did he get the two hits, he also stole a base and had the aforementioned outfield assist. Smooth!

After Brantley stole second, it was Giambi who drove him in with a single in the 2nd inning. And then in the 4th, Carlos Santana had a double to drive in Brantley as well. Those were it for runs!

Props to Lonnie Chisenhall who hit one over the fence, but that dang Austin Jackson (who is quite awesome) pulled it back in. Sonofa.....

So that's it, man - just a few hits only got a couple runs and then a blown save and we're down one whole game. That how baseball go.

The jockstrap-head Indians reporters are all huffing and puffing on Twitter about how Perez didn't talk to the media tonight after the game. What the heck was Perez supposed to say to the media? And what was the media going to say to him? No good could come of it, only more rage. Nick Camino is all "A few #Indians players unhappy that closer Chris Perez did not talk with the media following tonight's loss." Wondered if it was the 5 guys who didn't get any hits, and/or the 3 guys who struck out.

Anyway, there's still 3 more games. I was so very pleased with how the starter and the defense looked tonight. Just need to get those bats working - it'll be Justin versus Justin tomorrow so something's gotta give, one way or the other. Let's hope it gives the other way.

See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"I hope they keep it up all series."
- Tom Hamilton on Michael Bourn jawing at Miggy

"Austin Jackson played Spider Man!"
- Tom Hamilton on Jackson's catch in the 2nd

"Wish we could repeat what some of the Indians players said about Alex Rodriquez tonight, but they'd probably not appreciate it."
- Tom Hamilton

"The Indians have put on a defensive clinic here tonight!"
- Tom Hamilton

"They had the camera on the crowd, urging them to dance, and a 10-year-old boy decided it was time to audition for the Chippendales."
- Tom Hamilton says somewhere a mother is horrified