Sorry about the sparseness of my blog posts lately. Nobody's really noticed they've been missing! But I just...I dunno, I'm not excited about baseball right now. I think the problem is that in the last couple years there was no pre-season excitement that there might be playoff hopes. This year, on paper, it looked very do-able. So the last couple years I was able to just sit back and enjoy the game as a game. There was nothing really to be disappointed in as expectations were low.
This year expectations were (and are) high and that leads to the possibility of disappointment. So instead of looking starry-eyed at young exciting players and forgiving their growing pains, I'm looking critically at guys who should be doing better.
It's not that I don't still love baseball or still love the Indians. I still listen every day! I'm just finding it harder and harder to put a positive spin on it every day and I dasn't come here to bitch about the team. You will find that in every other article about the games, I'm sure!
Anyway, I guess my point is that it's too hard to love a team with a chance! It's much nicer if nobody expects anything. Then we get to experience everything.
I did enjoy today's game, though. After last night's absolute nightmare where Justin Masterson developed a crease down his middle, it was relaxing to see Ubaldo come in and do what we had been anticipating Masterson to do the night before.
It felt like he threw forever but Jiminez went "just" 6 innings giving up no runs on just 4 hits. He only struck out 4 but that means he let the guys hit the ball instead of throwing it by them, and that is exactly what the pitching staff has been pleading with him to do all summer. So, quality start for Ubaldo!
Since Ubaldo gave us the Tidy Game Special, we were further rewarded with Allen-Smith-Perez (ooooh Vinnie! Vinnie, I weep for you!) That was pretty great - only one hit for Allen and Smith, and no runes scored.
Then Chris Perez had another hiccup, with a 4-run lead in the 9th, and suddenly it was 4-3 Indians. DUDE!! Whatever that was about, he got out of it with the good guys still winning, and that's ultimately what matters.
Somehow this team that has not been hitting or scoring managed to score enough to get past Perez's mistakes and past Chris Tillman who has 15 wins (they actually didn't hit much, and Tillman actually has a 3.71 ERA so there's all that...)
They only got 5 hits today but FOUR of those hits were doubles!
Kipnis got a double, and came in to score. Santana walked twice and didn't get a hit, but he came in to score.
Hey guess what happened while I was away, sitting in the corner and brooding? Michael Brantley has an 8-game hitting streak! I'll be darned! Pretty awesome, considering he had a huge hitting slump before that. Today he went 1 for 3 with one of those doubles, and he also came around to score.
Asdrubal has NOT been on a hitting streak. Streaky, yes, but not a hitting streak. Today he didn't get any hits but you know what he did instead? Instead he chilled out and managed to get 2 RBI via sacrifice fly. That's friggin great!! What this team needs is RUNS, not guys who try too hard to be heroes and fail!
I don't know what's up with signing Jason Kubel, but here he is, and he got one of those doubles today. He also walked twice so he went 1 for 1. He's 2 for 5 since coming here. Also, he gets Matt Carson and Jose Ramirez to pinch for him. Er, ok.
I'll admit it - I don't like the passing over of Stubbs and his glorious ~.240 batting average for a less-fast guy hitting .224. How does this help??
Do you realize we got Yan Gomes and Mike Aviles from the Blue Jays for Esmil Rogers? Man, I bet Toronto is hating themselves right now. How many games have we won because of that trade?! They've got 70 RBI between them (almost 12% of all our RBI) - and they come off the BENCH!!!
Gomes went 1 for 3 today with a biiiiig 2-RBI double! His were the RBI that ended up winning the game!
The Chiz Kid and Aviles teamed up to hit 9th, and sadly didn't do anything. Chiz had an error early on but he played good defense through the 6th, when they had Aviles hit for him.
There you go. Two wins in three days. Amazing. I'm pretty sure I don't see any real improvement in the offense but at least the pitching is hanging tough. And the guys are getting the bats on the ball.
Tomorrow is a big one where we can gain a whole game on those O's. It'll be some Zach on Zach action with ZMac facing LHP 4.76 who is also named Zach. Dude's ERA is nearly one point higher than the Right Zach so LET'S DO THIS THING!!!!
No radio chatter tonight. I don't think Hamilton can be bothered, either.