Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Bases Loaded!!

Aaaaaargh!!! Bases loaded!!! I'm starting to get turned off by bases loaded situations because it just means DISAPPOINTMENT.

On to other things, though.

Kluber, not so good.

Kipnis, hurt.

Santana!!! He went 2 for 4 with his 3rd homer and 3 RBI! What what what???
All right!
Both Brantley and Cabrera snapped double-digit no-hit streaks tonight. Brantley went 1 for 3 with a double and an RBI and Asdrubal went 3 for 4!! Wahoo!

But like...what's with the no-hit streaks, guys?

Giambi was in tonight and he is still batting .000. And he struck out twice. However, he did almost put one over the wall which made Tom Hamilton super excited. But you know...horseshoes and hand granades.

Mike Aviles stepped in when Kipnis got hurt, and ended up going 2 for 2. That's some Goon Squad shit right there. He's hitting .255....just like Brantley.

So the team actually got a lot of hits today but they left a lot of dudes on base. And then the starter AND the bullpen gave up too many runs - the Angels out-hit us 12-10. Everything is bad, man. Everything.

Tomorrow is a weird one, in that it's at 7:05 Eastern but being played in Anaheim. I guess 4:05 games aren't unheard of. It'll be our man McAllister versus a LHP with a similar ERA so that's cool. Another fair shot to win at least ONE game on this road trip.

See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"With these winds at Angel Park, a hot dog wrapper has a chance to end up in Honolulu by morning."
- Tom Hamilton

"You have to have a gameplan when you go to the plate. You also have the ability to not panic..."
- Tom Hamilton

"I know beer makes you brave, but that one is going to send that guy to the doctor."
- Tom Hamilton on a fan trying to catch a liner

"We saw him in Studio City...Keifer Sutherland. You'd be surprised how small he is. And he's saving the world!"
- Tom Hamilton

"Sometimes this replay review leaves you with more questions than answers."
- Tom Hamilton

"This club's not playing well in any facet, Rosie."
- Tom Hamilton

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Carlos Santana

Carlos Santana went 2 for 4, with a 3-run homer.

Thus ends today's Positive Tribe.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Can We Trust Today?

I missed the game today because I was busy holding a Wiffle ball game in my backyard with a bunch of toddlers. Also we built a tower out of blocks.

I got done with that and I read the box score and I saw the final and I still decided I would listen to this game's radio archive. Because erm....I dunno, I like baseball a lot.

Nothing happened in this game. Nothing but Danny Salazar throwing 7 innings with just one earned run. He only walked 1 and struck out 8. Finally! FINALLY!!! His length has been atrocious and he was giving up runs right and left. Ok so now we know he can do it. Can he repeat it?

It was a weird day, though. I don't know if I can count on Salazar's performance. You know why? Because Cody Allen had a bad outing today. Cody, Mister Oh-Point-Oh-Oh. He gave up a 3-run homer in the 9th. All three runs were his batters, too. His ERA jumped to 2.35.

So can you trust Danny Salazar's 7-inning one-hit game on a day when Cody Allen gives up 3 runs? I just don't know.

Michael Bourn got 2 hits and Yan Gomes hit a solo home run. That is IT, man. One run on 3 hits.

After the game Terry Francona said "We have to stop letting guys get us out." LOLOLOLOL Can you trust a day when Terry Francona sounds like a doofus?

Tomorrow's my birthday. They'll be playing the Angels, Justin Masterson versus LHP 3.21.

No Radio Chatter today but funny thing...Tom Hamilton is so bored, that he told pretty much all of the same anecdotes and gave the same color about San Francisco as he did on Saturday. Perhaps he was a recording??

Saturday, April 26, 2014

After All That...

Blowing Timmy out of the game, one hit over 4 innings for McAllister, being up by 3 runs into the 5th, and after all that - a big ol loss.

More problems with leaving runners on base and not getting those guys home. Lots more problems with the fact that our cleanup hitter is batting .128.

McAllister totally had it going on....until he didn't. He didn't even make it a quality start. He was out after 5 innings, after giving up 4 runs in that 5th inning on 4 hits and a walk. He had an error on a pickoff, though - that didn't seem to do him well.

Of course, with our lineup, a guy should be able to have an off day. ZMac gets an off day being that he's so far been our best pitcher. But they had 9 hits and left 9 on base. That does not get anyone anywhere.

ZMac got his first hit, though! They kept the ball for him.

And Kluber came in to run for Giambi in the 9th! Cool!

Michael Bourn looked good coming out of the gate. He stretched his hit into a double, then tagged up and took third when Swisher hit a fly ball to short left because the left fielder wasn't paying attention. Right after that, Kipnis hit Bourn in for the team's first run.

Swisher got 2 doubles today, so now he's hitting about 50 points under what we're paying him for.

Kipnis had a nice game, getting 2 of the team's 3 RBI. He seems to be warming back up.

Brantley and Cabrera were shut down today. Asdrubal's back to his old trick of hitting stuff hard, right to guys. Brantley is "down" to .273.

Lonnie Chisenhall came in to pinch hit today. He wasn't able to make a difference.

That's it, though. Really nothing to write home about vis this game. Let's hope they get their stuff together tomorrow at the plate, and don't drop an entire series out there on the west coast. Ugh!

Tomorrow will be another 4:05 game with Salazar facing an equally-struggling RHP (7.71). So there's definitely a chance we could have a fun afternoon. So, see you there!

Radio Chatter:
"The last time he weighed 245 was junior prom."
- Tom Hamilton on Sandoval's published vitals

"If it were Christmas right now and you could ask for something from Santa, the Indians would be looking for a big bat in the middle of the lineup."
- Tom Hamilton

Friday, April 25, 2014

Left Their Bats In Cleveland

Not much to say about this game. Carrasco still can't get a quality start, but he did show improvement. Still the same 4 runs as usual but this time he went a little longer. Yes?

Trevor Bauer is all like:

Ha! Yeah guys, be cool! What about Tomlin?

Josh Outman gave up a run out of nowhere. He started the 7th, gave up a run, and that was it for him. Lee finished, and then Atchison finished it out. Neither of them gave up a run.

Hitting was dum today. Triple for Bourn, RBI single for Swisher and that's all for runs. Swisher got another hit, and Kipnis got 2 solo hits and that's all for hits.

Santana left 3 on base and Brantley - our clutch guy - left SIX on base. Holy Toledo, guys...

Santana got two walks off their starter, though - who prior to that, was the first guy since 1900 to go 30 walk-free innings. Science!

Elliot Johnson made an appearance, and nobody cares. Except I am going to do this before he gets sent down:
 Ugh, stupid wasted non-DH nonsense. (Yes, because we could have gotten 4 more runs with a DH...)

Tomorrow is 4:05, awesome McAllister versus greasy Timmy. Timmy without hair. But I guess it doesn't matte on the radio! Let's hope everyone is over their jet lag and can get some H-I-T-S tomorrow. See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"Sliding into third....that was not an earthquake! That was the Panda!"
- Tom Hamilton on Sandoval's triple

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Corey Kluber, All Day Long!

Done and done.
Complete game! Eleven strikeouts! No Walks! No earned runs! Two hours and fifteen minutes, 101 pitches. SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!

It was Kluber's first complete game in the majors, by the way. He was cold as a carp talking with the radio guys afterwards too. Oh, Klube!

After Masterson's quality start yesterday, are you feeling stoked about starting pitching right now? I know we've got a coupla goobers in the rotation still but there's a new goober in Columbus ready to take someone's place if they don't show up. But now we've got 3 guys who seem to be in control - and a bullpen worthy of follow-up.

A bullpen with a full day's rest now, of course!

What's even cooler is that the Tribe bowled over Bruce Chen, who I think I'd heard was 7-3 against the Tribe. They got more runs than needed for the win, and had some great situational hitting and only left TWO on base!

The Tribe got a series win, too. It's just a fun game all around!

Asdrubal was the leadoff today. Not sure if Bourn just doesn't bat against lefties or if he needed an old man day off. But Asdrubal had it taken care of in that top spot, going 2 for 4 with his 6th double of the year. His double was a 2-run dealy. His average is creeping up to respectable. Go go go!

Dick Swisher went 0 for 4 with 3 strikeouts, and an error that allowed the Royals' only run. His face is still the face you see all over though. How awesome must it be to be him?

Kipnis is slow to heat up still but at least he got his 6th double of the year today. Even SANTANA got a hit - a double!- and came in to score!

Michael Brantley (.296), 1 for 3 today with a run scored, and yet another outfield assist. You just make life worth living.
I know.
Raburn was the DH today. He went 1 for 2 with a walk, and came in to score.

Gomes and Murphy both went 1 for 3. Murphy had another clutch hit that was a 2-run single, giving him 17 RBI on the year, which isn't bad for 62 at-bats. It puts him in the top 10 in the league! (Brantley leads the team with 19, and it 5th in the league to Murphy's 7th).

Aviles was 0-2 today, but he was still getting stuff done just like last year. He had a sacrifice bunt that helped 2 runners to score on the next hit.

Kluber deadpanned that his next step after this great win is "a long plane ride," alluding to the fact that the team is now on its way to San Francisco to face the Giants. Let's hope he sits next to Carrasco and tells him everything he knows about being a stud!

So it'll be Carrasco versus RHP 2.40 tomorrow at 10:05. Make sure you nap first!

No Radio Chatter today - it was a WORK day. You should have been listening on the radio, anyway.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Always Forward

So, cool. They dropped one but came back and had a nice solid win. Solid because it happened by the 7th and ended with an insurance run. No scrapping at the last minute or hoping for a miracle just some good baseball!

Justin Masterson pitched his second quality start in a row! Still not super long innings - which probably would be nice right now - but it was 44 degrees and windy at game time (sunny too, so no doubt in the 30s by dark) so we'll call it a nice outing for him. He's also still not the Strikeout King that he was last year but he did have a respectable 6 in his 6 1/3 innings. Add in just 2 walks and 2 earned runs, and we can all look past the 8 hits.

Once again, AGAIN, the bullpen was Teh Awesomez. Yes, so good the Cheezburger cat got my tongue! Zep (.96), Shaw (1.86), Allen (0.00) and the closer Axford. Two and two-thirds innings, 2 hits, 3 strikeouts and no walks!

Axford has 8 saves now and it sort of makes me laugh, because he has the bullpen's second worst ERA. It's the other guys, stupid! He was 0 for 7 for save opportunities last year. If he gets 40 this year, it ain't cuz he's awesome. It's because the guys before him are. But then again, if he does BECOME awesome, I won't complain!

Asdrubal, Bourn and Kipnis were our big hitters tonight. That sounds super promising doesn't it? Asdrubal is still on the fence, Kipnis is more down than up, and everyone was about done with Michael Bourn. But they found some #BatMagic today and along with our super-producers Brantley, Gomes and Chiz made for a 5-3 victory!

Bourn was on his game tonight, going 3 for 5 with his first TRIPLE of the year. Ok, he was actually half on his game because when he wasn't hitting he was striking out, and twice when he was on base he got caught stealing. MOTHER.... argh. He did get 2 RBI on his triple so there's that. Also he's got a 4-game hitting streak with 7 hits in that time. Much better than his first 3 games back where he did nothing but get a single hit.

Jason Kipnis came up in the 7th with 2 on and 2 out, and got himself a 2-RBI double. How nice is that to see? Everyone is rooting for Kipnis to be the best Kipnis he can be, right?! He only left 1 guy on base tonight too. What a gentleman!

Oh Carlos Santana. What are we going to do with you, kid? You do realize that there's another 3B/DH on the team who is hitting almost 300 points higher than you, right? Try not to think too hard about that. Free your mind, and the rest will follow.

Also bumming me out is the fact that a Raburn/Murphy combo in the 5th spot produced nothing but a walk today. Yeesh.

But there's always Michael Brantley (.295) to turn that frown upside down!
Brantley went 1 for 3 with a walk and a run scored. And he stole his 4th base so far. Because of course he did!

Asdrubal was ON IT today! Two for 3 with a run scored, NO strikeouts, and he also managed to steal a base. Pretty sweet that both Brantley and Cabrera got steals today - apparently the Royals' catcher is a pretty sure arm. Ok he did get Bourn twice but he was only 50% sure today!

Gomes went 1 for 4 with a strikeout. Hey - no errors today!

Aviles was at third today, I guess they're easing Santana back in to playing after his big "mental day off" yesterday. Pfft. Anyway, Aviles got on via force out then chugged around to score on Bourn's triple. They pinch hit for him with Lonnie in the 8th, who came up with bases loaded and floated up a single. Yeah Lonnie! Then Big Bucks Bourn and Swisher got up and struck out with the bases loaded so now I'm sad again. Sigh.

Here's a bunny with a Buster-Posey-signed baseball on his head, so that's cool.

Lots of good stuff happened in this game, and we won despite all the bad stuff so it's all good! We're either going to win or split this series so that's good too!

Tomorrow is a NOON game so don't forget! It'll be the Klube against ol' slow-hand Bruce Chen who is not so badass right now with his 6.60 ERA.

So, noon! See you there!

Sorry no Radio Chatter - I was mowin' the lawn!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Yesterday Squirrel, Today Moose

Mike "Moose" Moustakas, that is. He came out of his season-long-slump to hit his first homer, a 3-run jobby in the 4th, which is all the Royals needed to win. They made sure to get some more, though.
The man they call Moose.

Tribe actually got 9 hits today, and a walk. Ten men left on base, man.

Didn't help that Salazar still couldn't manage a quality start. A quality start is 6 innings and 3 or fewer runs. Our man can't seem to get out with 5 innings or under 4 runs.

The bullpen was strangely bad. Possibly burnt out? They gave up 3. Luckilly none of them were Cody Allen who hangs on to his 0, nor did we see Zep who has his 1.

When Mickey Callaway came out to talk to Scott Atchison in the 9th, after he gave up 2 runs to make it 8-2, the "organist" at Progressive Field played the theme from M*A*S*H. If you recall, the name of that song is "Suicide is Painless." Ouch.

Michael Brantley got 2 hits! He's at .293, and he stole his 3rd base. Neither Chisenhall or Santana got hits, though.

Michael Bourn finally had a multi-hit game with 2 singles, and one of them resulting in a RBI! More?

Gomes had a single and a double. But would you believe - he also had his 6th error!

Asdrubal struck out twice. Sigh.

Good thing there's always tomorrow. And May.Tomorrow is another 7:05 start, with Masterson facing a LHP, 2.48. Tribe has not been good against LHP at all this year. Hoping they'll surprise us

It was almost hard to get Radio Chatter today because Hammy and Rosie seemed like they were calling a golf match by the time it got to the 8th inning. Yikes! They also had a long somber discussion about Pujols' 500th homer. If you didn't know, Hammy is not a fan of the steroids one bit.

Radio Chatter:
"He looks like he's about to sit on a stool and milk a cow."
- Tom Hamilton on Aoki's batting stance

"We might as well just tell you when there ISN'T a defensive shift on..."
- Tom Hamilton thinks there are a lot of shifts

"If you were here right now you could have a four dollar beer that becomes a four dollar beer Popsicle."
- Tom Hamilton

"I don't think you can pitch for Kansas City unless you pitch in the mid-90s. Unless you're Bruce Chen but that's it."
- Tom Hamilton

Monday, April 21, 2014


Ha! I love that dog! And you know that's what you were thinking when you heard there was a squirrel in the game, right?

Another quality start for Zach McAllister! And it was a super good outing for him until it wasn't, but after he gave up some runs he came back and finished up like a man. And didn't give up any more, yo. McAllister threw 4 scoreless innings, then in the 5th stuff got away from him. He ended up giving up 2 earned runs as well as an un-earned run - on an error by him! He came back for a scoreless 6th and actually started the 7th, but he walked the first batter and was at 98 pitches so that was that.

On comes the wicked bullpen - Zep, Allen and Axford. They are so awesome they are boring! Zep's ERA is now back down, at 1.00. Cody Allen is still at 0.00. STILL! He's only 5th in the league, though, if you can believe it. There are 4 guys with more innings than him who are still rockin' the goose eggs.

Axford showed up and had a nice, clean 1-2-3 inning. Aaaah. He got his 7th save too!

Speaking of zeroes, Jason Giambi was back today! He didn't get anything done. But they were saying on the radio about how different MLB and minor league pitching is. "G" (what an annoying nickname) has been working the pitching machine hard in the batting cages, but it still doesn't get him there I guess. Regardless of his quiet bat, does having him in the dugout make for a multiple home-run game? Hmm?

Giambi is actually the only dude who didn't hit today! The Tribe got 11 hits, which is good because they got no walks. It translated into 4 runs and a tidy little 6 LOB.

Bourn is still struggling. One for 4, with 2 strikeouts. Yeesh. Swisher went 2 for 4 with his 3rd double.

Kipnis went 2 for 4 but he got 2 RBI! That's because his 2 hits were a double and his first homer!
They finally moved the Chiz Kid up to the 4 spot today. Winning? Yes. He also went 2 for 4, including his 6th double. Except no one was able to bat him in so that sucked. But seeing him continuing to produce (.455) at a different spot in the lineup is pretty awesome. Now, committing 2 errors in one game is not awesome but he has only had a few games at third this year so let's hope he got that out of his system.

Holy cow, Michael Brantley (.282)! All of a sudden hitting for power! He got his 4th home run of the year tonight (top of the league has 6), and his 17th and 18th RBI (tied for second in the league). Last year he only had 10 homers, yaknow. He says this is the first time he didn't have to do rehab in the offseason, so he is just healthy as a horse. All of that, and he also looks good in a fedora.
An approximation of Michael Brantley in a fedora.
Asdrubal is still hangin' in there. He went 1 for 4 with no strikeouts. He also was tight in the field, which he sort of had a problem with last year.

Murphy and Gomes both went 1 for 3 today. No errors for Gomes! The team as a whole was also low on strikeouts, so that's good. Stay agressive, boys!

Even though they got all those hits, the game was won by Kipnis and Brantley's homers. The team still needs to put together more hits. Oddly enough they were pretty soft on the starter, regarding pitch count, when yesterday they really ground the guy down. Maybe that's just a Santana thing? They let Guthrie get out of the first inning on 6 pitches!

But, we'll take wins any way we can get them. And it did feel like the team turned a corner tonight, batting-wise. Not a 90-degree corner but a slight curve to the right. They're not getting worse, that's for sure.

Tomorrow is another day of Royals (royals) at 7:05. It'll be Salazar versus RHP 2.00. Salazar needs to be steppin' up. Use it or lose it, Danny! He's got a 7.71 ERA with no quality starts in 3 games. Let's see that change!

I don't have any Radio Chatter today, even with the squirrel thing. I'm tellin ya, Hammy and Rosie aren't that into it yet! It's all business right now it seems. Maybe after 2 wins in a row, they'll be more loose tomorrow.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Beat The Sweep!

Welp, the Tribe hasn't swept anyone yet this year but so far they've avoided being swept! So they got that going for them.

Big win today! And a big game for Carlos Carrasco. It's been no secret that he is both the worst starter in the rotation and also the one that has not made any great improvements (they all seemed to start off poorly). He's also the one with Trevor Bauer breathing down his neck. It was kind of imperative for him to impress today.

Did he? Well he was off to a great start with THREE consecutive 1-2-3 innings. But he unraveled quickly in the 4th, giving up 4 hits and 3 runs. They gave him a chance to come back in the 5th but there were more hits and more runs. In the 6th, it was walks. He lasted 5 2/3. I don't know what this means for Carrasco going forward but from here this game clearly showed he is just fine for a couple innings but once he starts to unravel it happens quickly. And they can't say enough great stuff about Bauer this year. Let's make the move!

I'm sure there will be more info this week.

Outman finished the 6th with a single and a strikeout, and he got the win. Bryan Shaw looked good again and Cody Allen looked even better - keeping his 0.00 for another day, even though he didn't strike anyone out. He led with a walk but then got three balls in play for three outs.

John Axford seemed to struggle with finishing off the game, putting everyone on the edge of their seats while he loaded the dang bases!! Doesn't he realize we are all very sensitive to shaky saves? He ended up getting Edwin Encarnacion to hit into the shift. I ended up eating some Tums. And now the guy has 6 saves!

As for offense, I don't know how but the Tribe managed to get their 6 runs on just 5 hits and 6 walks.

Michael Brantley (.284) continues to just be amazing! He got a double and a homer today, with 2 RBI. He's second in the league with 16! And he had his second outfield assist today, this time to second not to home. We also learned in the post-game interview that he doesn't have much of a sweet tooth and doesn't eat much chocolate. Lolipops for him, please.

David Murphy, though, is the one to be pounding on the back today. He must have been filled to the brim with Easter Love (Murphy is very Christian) and delivered one of the biggest hits - if not THE biggest hit - of the season. A three-run bases-clearing single to right in the 7th inning, that brought the Indians into the lead 5-4. God bless us every one!!

Lonnie was in there today at 3rd, with Santana behind the plate. Lonnie only went 0 for 2 with a walk but he's still hitting over .400. Santana struck out 3 times and is batting just .145. Man-o-man-o-man. Do not want.

With all these blips of excitement I still find the lineup to be quite lacking. Maybe the re-injection of Giambi into the clubhouse will help pump things up again. It's probably pretty hard for a doofus like Swisher to pump anyone up when he's playing every day and only hitting .181. I wish I wish I wish...
Tomorrow the team goes on a grueling 3-day stint of 7:05 games, something we have yet to see this year! And I say grueling because I haven't gotten myself accustomed to being back in my seat at 7:05 yet, as it happens so sporadically. It will be a test for me!

It'll be Zach McAllister versus RHP 4.34. Zach's down around 2.00 still and is our best starter, and Giambi should be back, so hopefully it'll be a treat of a game! See you there!

Sorry, no Radio Chatter. I was having a nice time lounging around during the game, going in and out of sleep, in a bit of a sugar coma. Thank you, Jesus!

Friday, April 18, 2014

So At Least Justin Pitched Well...

Justin Masterson pitched well today, and the Tribe actually got 10 hits. And one of them was a Santana homer! But somehow that all didn't equate to a win. Probably because of our old nemesis...LOB.

So Masty straightened up and finally had himself a quality start, going 6 1/3 innings with 9 strikeouts and only 2 runs given up. Those runs came on 6 hits but hey - only 2 walks! He had a super nice 2nd inning, only taking 6 pitches to get 3 outs. He almost did the same thing against the same guys in the 6th but the third batter, Brett Lawrie, decided not to pop out on the first pitch that time - instead he took 7 to strike out.

Our man Zep came in to finish the 7th and he relinquished his 0.00 ERA and the tie game by giving up a couple singles for a run. Cody Allen actually finished the inning and was on the mound when Zep's run came in - but Zep was on the mound when Masty's second run came in so they're all bad news. Cody Allen actually keeps his 0.00 after all that!

Atchison, Outman and Lee came out to finish it all up, striking out 3 between them and giving up no hits or runs. The bullpen's ERA is around 2.70...highly tilted by Axford and Wood - boo!

Bourn and Gomes were the only dudes who didn't get hits today. No surprise on Bourn (sigh) but Gomes?! Also we were told today that the Tribe has the worst defense in baseball! You know who has the most errors? IT'S GOMES! YAN GOMES HAS 5 ERRORS!! Holy smokes this we did not see coming...

Blech. On to the hitting.

Jason Kipnis went 3 for 5! That's his first 3-hit game of the season. No strikeouts either.

Carlos Santana! Hitting .164 but keeping up his OBP at .348. They put him at third just to keep him around for his bat and today it FINALLY paid off because he got a 2-run dinger, woohoo! One down, 20 to go!

Brantley got his hit today (.279), and almost got a homer and then almost won the game with a bases-loaded double in the 9th with 2 outs...but someone had heard that the Tribe would be looking to come back like that, and planted himself right in the path of Brantley's ball. Jerk.

Asdrubal did not have the best of nights - he struck out twice. But he got a dang TRIPLE so that was cool!

David Murphy didn't do anything too exciting or endearing but he did get a hit so all right.

David Murphy pitched in a game in 2013, and gave up just one hit and struck out one.

The Chiz Kid had a rough night tonight, striking out 3 times. That's not an ongoing problem when you strike out 3 times - that's just a fluke. Hopefully not a sign of anything. It definitely wasn't indicative of his double in the 9th! It's Lonnie's 5th double this year!

So pretty decent hitting today, just not at the right times at all. Here and there, but not everywhere.

Tomorrow let's hope that things come together better when the Tribe takes on the Jays again at 1:05 in Cleveland. It'll be Kluber trying to ratchet down his ERA versus LHP 0.86. No one can stay under 1 forever, right?

See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"You look at Santana and think 'When is he going to get hot?' Because until he does, this offense is going to be very sporadic."
- Tom Hamilton

"Gee, is that coming up? I haven't heard anything about it."
- Tom Hamilton on the NFL draft

"Goins decides he's not going to ask [umpire] Hal Gibson if he's going to hunt for Easter eggs on Sunday - he just turns and goes to the dugout."
- Tom Hamilton

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Tigers On Ice

Wow, I am super happy that the Tribe beat the Tigers today! They are the toughest team we've played thus far and we came out ahead!

Maybe, maaaaaaybe there was some help from the weather but hey, Zach McAllister pitched in the same conditions as Sanchez and he did just fine.

Except for strikeouts (ZMac = 4, Sanchez = 8) McAllister did better in every way than Sanchez! He went 6 innings to Sanchez's 5, 1 run given up to Sanchez's 3, only 2 walks to Sanchez's 4. Good stuff, guy! That's two W's for him already and two quality starts. I think our pitching is getting better every rotation don't you think?

Bullpen is staying solid, too. They shut down the Tigers in the 7th, 8th and 9th. First Bryan Shaw, then Cody Allen (who is keeping his 0.00 still!) and then John Axford with his 5th save. Axford's 9th was a bit Perez-y with a double, then an error to put the guy on third. But Axford got out of it like 2012 Perez, with a strikeout and a groundout.

Good thing the pitching was so nifty, because the offense is still not so good! They ended up with just 5 hits, and their 3 runs came on 3 hits (and 4 walks).

Michael Bourn was back today, and Nyjer Morgan was in Columbus. Everyone was really sad about it. Michael Bourn didn't make a good case for himself, going 0 for 4 with a walk and 2 strikeouts.
Then down the line, goose egg, goose egg, goose egg for everyone. Even Brantley (.275)! Santana didn't even get a walk. He did get an RBI by grounding in to a bases-loaded, no-outs double play in the first. See above.

Asdrubal had a night! Compared to the other guys, at least. A walk and a single.

Of course, not as much of a night as Lonnie and Yan!

I've got a theory that dudes do really well right off of paternity leave. Lonnie was in at third today and got himself a double and a single, going 2 for 4 on a night where everyone else was doing nothing! He's batting .421...only 18 at-bats but, woah.

He's still no Yan Gomes, though. A two-run triple and a single! It's really nice when a gamble pays off, isn't it? Although betting on Yan Gomes to be awesome every day wasn't really too much of a wild bet, but so far so good.

The Tribe definitely "found a way to win" today, even if it was winning by the Tigers sucking. By July we won't even remember how we came to win the first one - as long as there are many more!

Tomorrow is a 1:05 game so don't forget. Actually, the site says 1:08, no foolin. Anyway, around 1 tune in to hear Salazar throw against some RHP with a 2.57 ERA. Let's hope the batters are more inspired this time, maybe?

Sorry no Radio Chatter today. But, here's a collage of pictures of my dog. She is 12 today!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

#BatMagic is Back!

Finally, a game in which the offense carried the team to a win after some bad pitching! I watched some of this game on TV then came home to listen to the radio archive because I was just ready to hear a lot of hits. Refreshing!

Justin Masterson was down and out today. He gave up 6 runs and only lasted 4 2/3 innings. Sucks. Let's not talk about it. Props to his 7 strikeouts, though.

Our bullpen had a long afternoon but they did great! All four guys only gave up one hit between them (no walks), and struck out 6 in 4 innings. Outman, Shaw, Allen and Axford. Allen still has the 0.00 ERA and both Outman and Axford are down to 1.69. Cool!

While those guys were keeping the White Sox tied up in knots - and even while Masterson was feeding them cake - the Tribe bats were suddenly alive, with 12 runs on 12 hits - a double, a triple and three home runs!

Nyjer Morgan was back! We've been facing a lot of lefties so they just flat out benched him. Wow, his stats show he's only had 62 at-bats against lefties from 2011-2013, and 605 against righties. I wonder if he has a medic alert bracelet that says "NO LEFTY ON LEFTY"? He actually only went 1 for 5 with a walk, which wasn't stand-out today but he did steal a base. He also got Francona to call for a review on a pickoff where he knew he was safe but was called out, and the call got overturned, and the Tribe went on to score 3. How big is that??

Swisher got his second home run today. He is batting under .200.

Kipnis is batting well at "home" again! It took him a minute, doing all right at the plate in the first two games. But today he went 2 for 4 with a walk, with a homer in the 5th to follow up Swisher's. Over the right field fence on a gust of wind!

Carlos Santana is kind of taking this walks thing too far. Once again he got on base twice due to the walk, and he even scored 2 runs. But he's hitting under .200 now too, with only 7 hits on the season!

Michael Brantley (.289) had the patience today. He also walked twice but he got a 2-run single in the first, because there were men on base to bring home!!

Asdrubal Cabrera is trending upwards! After just 2 hits in his first 8 games, he's now got 6 hits in his last 4 games - with 5 doubles and 5 RBI all told! People might be down on him but hey - he's batting over .200! (.205)

Did you know that Ryan Raburn has a 5-game hitting streak?? He's only appeared in 10 games so far this year but he's got 9 hits, and has hit in all but one of his starts. Today he went 1 for 4 with a lovely 2-RBI single to put the Tribe squarely ahead!

David Murphy, though - woah! I seriously did not have any clue why they signed this guy but now I know. He's definitely filling that Choo role nicely, aside from being leadoff (which we clearly no longer need). Power and reliability! Murphy had a 3-run triple with the bases loaded in the 9th! WHAAAAAAAT? Of course that was 7 innings after his second homer of the year!

David Murphy puts himself second. To God.

Can you believe we didn't need Chiz or Gomes to win today? Or even Santana, for that matter. Our man at the bottom today was Mike Aviles, who did make a huge crappy error in the first (he was at third today) but it ended up not mattering. And he came through with the bat going 2 for 5 with an RBI. He started off the season with a bang (a homer) but has been pretty spotty, aside from these last 2 games. Let's just hope he doesn't get rusty sitting on the bench - that is not how the Goon Squad works!

Seems to me that aside from Masterson, the team really played up to their expectations today. I think that's been my problem with the team thus far - we know all of them, from 1-15 or whatever, can hit. Most of them can hit homers and for extra bases, or at least avoid a strikeout. All these big gaps in the hit totals and lack of power was driving me nuts! Especially against these soft teams!

So, this is the team I expect to see all season and I hope they get their practice in now against the White Sox, in preparation for a real team in Detroit next week.

Of course, rumor has it that there'll be no baseball on the South Side tomorrow due to rain. We'll see. Two days off, if that's that good or bad?

If they play it'll be Kluber - hopefully in good form - versus LHP 2.77. Aww, another LHP? Take a seat, Tony Plush!

Another 2:10 game, see you there!

Radio Chatter:
"This is not the same Justin Masterson from a year ago."
- Tom Hamilton in the first inning

"We've got a chance for a 5-hour game with about 20 runs scored for each team."
- Tom Hamilton

"It's a doozy today, from the South Side!"
- Tom Hamilton

"We'd recap the scoring, but we don't have time."
- Tom Hamilton

"Rosie, this would remind you of a spring training game in Arizona where no lead is safe."
- Tom Hamilton

"Yesterday the bus was on the way to the ballpark [...] and two young ladies were on their way to Lake Michigan - in bikinis. That is the definition of an optimist. Or a polar bear."
- Tom Hamilton

"The pitchers have one thing in common on both sides - they don't like the guy behind the plate calling balls and strikes. He's a hitter's umpire."
- Tom Hamilton

"This...will be a big win."
- Tom Hamilton

Winning Battles, Losing Wars

It didn't really feel like the Tribe managed 10 hits tonight, did it? Probably because every time they put some hits together and scored, the White Sox came back and did the same. They also had 9 walks to our 5. But you know what? Neither team got a home run so HA!

Pitching was abysmal today. Carrasco was kind of up and down but he seemed to favor down. Five strikeouts in 4 2/3 inning but also 5 earned runs. And only 4 2/3 innings. Way too few innings by all of our starters this year.

I guess I jinxed the bullpen by pondering who would crack their 0.00 ERA, after noting there were 6 pitchers with no runs scored yet after the San Diego series. Two games later and we're down to 3 guys already. Zep was the only reliever of 4 to come out not having given up a run and it's not like he didn't try. He came in for the final out of the 5th and walked 2, and walked in a run - that was charged to Carrasco. Zep was lucky.

Shaw, Lee and Wood pitched the next 3 innings and gave up 4 runs between them. I remember Blake Wood being good for a minute. But since that minute, his ERA has gotten over 9.

Almost everybody hit tonight, except Carlos Santana. Santana did get on base (natch) with his second-in-the-league 12th walk but that was that. His average is .194 right now. He did look good at third...

Asdrubal got his 4th double! So that's awesome. He left 5 men on, though. Opposite.

Brantley got a hit (.286), extending his streak to 2 again!

I'm tired. I didn't even collect Radio Chatter today because I didn't feel like typing during the game. Tomorrow is supposed to be beautiful weather - let's hope some sunshine brings out some Masterson and some #BatMagic and we'll all have a good day!

It'll be a 2:10 game with Masty facing some schmo, RHP 6.35. It's got to be good, right?

See you there!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

In Like a Lion, Out Like a Kneecapped Lamb

Tonight Danny Salazar set a record. The first pitcher in the modern area (since 1900) to throw 10 strikeouts in fewer than 4 innings. Of course since this is Cleveland there gets to be a zinger in the end - He gave up 5 runs and didn't make it out of the 4th inning, having to be replaced after 2 outs.

Oh, Cleveland! You can't have anything nice!

Also not nice was that the stupid White Sox finally beat us after our 14-game run over them in 2013. They had a productive off-season. Bah.

So that was Salazar's night. He didn't get taken out solely because he gave up 5 runs, by the way. No - he was at 93 pitches by the time he was removed. There were 6 hits, 2 homers and 2 walks inbetween all of those strikeouts.

It took 4 relievers to finish the game, but at least we've got 4 relievers worth throwing out there. Except they put Blake Wood amongst them and he wasn't all that good. He was one of two relievers with any ERA and he lived up to his reputation, giving up a run on 2 hits.

The third reliever to lose his 0.00 ERA happened today. Josh Outman gave up a homer in the 5th and that was that for him. Only 5 remain! CC Lee (in exchange for Pestano) and Scott Atchison are hanging tough with 0.00 still!

Although the Tribe came busting out of the gate to score 3 runs early, after Asdrubal's solo blast in the second, (OMG!!!!!) that was it. In fact, they only got one more hit in the rest of the game - Raburn had a single to lead off the 4th.

Lonnie wasn't there tonight, and will be gone for the rest of the series I guess. Know why? Paternity leave! I didn't even think he was old enough to be a dad huh.

Speaking of awesome hitters, Asdrubal was the leadoff man and went 2 for 4 tonight, his other hit being a leadoff double that was inches from homer #1. I like it a lot - he's had 4 hits in his last 2 games, and only had 3 hits in his first 9 games!! He's ready!!

Kipnis got a hit tonight and didn't strike out. Not the same as "Kipnis always does well in Chicago," I don't think. But it was cold? (Remember, he ditched Chicago for Arizona eventually!)

Raburn had a nice night. He got the first RBI, on a sac fly. And that single in the fourth. He went 2 for 4.

Michael Brantley (.289) is back to working towards another hitting streak. One down!

That's about it for tonight. In like a lion, out like a kneecapped lamb.

They've still got a chance to win another series of course, so tune in tomorrow for the beginning of that!

It'll be another 8:10 start tomorrow. Plenty of time to get your fish fry on. It'll be Carrasco (hopefully trying to keep his job) versus Chris Sale who is totally scared of Cleveland.

If you want something alternate, and more southernly - Giambi and Bourn are playing for the Rubber Ducks this week! The Akron Rubber Ducks, if you didn't know.

I bet you didn't know that a Jason Giambi Rubber Duckie is a thing, either. It is.
More baseball tomorrow night and every night! See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"I wonder if Fidel Castro has a high-rise on the Michigan [sic] Mile somewhere, to keep watch over his countrymen."
- Tom Hamilton commenting on the 4 Cuban White Sox

"That's the dichotomy of Danny Salazar - he has given up 3 runs but he's struck out 7 so far in the 3rd."
- Tom Hamilton

"I've seen stories already about people not coming to major league parks...obviously written by people who aren't sitting in the stands in 35 degree weather."
- Tom Hamilton

"The way this game started, you thought the Indians would have one of those 10-run nights."
- Tom Hamilton

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Double Headscratcher

We took the series, so that's cool. The Tribe has won 2 of their 3 series. Keep winning series and you'll be in dang good shape!

Starting pitching looked sharp these two games but...what of batting? Twelve hits in 17 innings? Grumble. I don't have very fond memories of when the Tribe previously had problems matching their batting with their pitching, where we'd lose games with tiny little scores.

But, we split the series. And we did see some good things. So let's revisit them!

- Zach McAllister did exactly what was needed and went 7.2 innings in the first game. That just gives Francona a million options for whatever the second game brings, so it was pretty big! He looked pretty tough too - he gave up 5 hits with no walks, and fanned 7. So far he's our best starter! Also good to see that our pitchers are improving with every outing - ok, even though there's only been 2 outings each.

- Trevor Bauer was hella good too. Since he's our 6th guy, numbers 1-5 are going to have to work hard to keep their jobs! He had a capital-Q Quality Start today, throwing 6 shutout innings and striking out 8. He kept up good velocity while occasionally taking off 20 MPH to throw a curveball. Yoink!

- Oh man, could our bullpen be any better right now?? They've put in a lot of work, collectively, and 5 of the guys still have an 0.00 ERA. The only ones with ERAs are Axford, Wood and Pestano. Oh...Pestano got sent down. So uh, I guess that means we have 6 guys with a 0.00 ERA, as CC Lee is here now with a clean slate. It'll be fun to watch them compete to hold on to those goose eggs!

- Kipnis goin' DEEEEEEEEEEEEP! That homer put number 22 at a .222 batting average and gives him 6 RBI over his last 4 games. Up through the first game he hadn't struck out in a while, but he didn't fare as well in the second game today. Tired boy.

- Asdrubal finally got a couple dang hits, albeit in that second game where no one else was hitting. He also got back to sharply hitting balls to where guys were playing in the field, which sounds crummy but everyone prefers that to him striking out or grounding in to a double play. Cuz one of these times he's going to hit it sharply to where some guy is playing but not paying attention!

- Ryan Raburn got 3 hits over the 2 games! One of them was a double, too. Total Goon Squad day for him. Man, he's so good...
He's so good that _____ __________ is in town to make a sports movie about him!

- New York totally got a review wrong. Here's the play and Tom Hamilton's call. This isn't a good thing that happened today but it was interesting and controversial. Also it happened in the first inning and people booed the umpire the rest of the game!

There were a lot of crummy things in the box scores today. A lot of head slappers. But since this is The Positive Tribe I won't be covering any of them. Makes my night easier!

We've got 3 coming up against the White Sox and hopefully they're the same White Sox from 2013 because we only lost 2 games to them last year. That's right - we haven't dropped a game to Chicago since April 24, 2013. We won three 4-game series against them last year too. It was just magic.

So let's hope that an extra hour of time moving over to the Central gives the Tribe plenty of time to shake the dust out of their undies and get ready to be a dominant baseball team again. The pitchers are ready - let's get them bats going!

It'll be an 8:10 game,  with Salazar facing LHP 3.86. Get ready, Chicago - we're back!

See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"The catcher came to the mound, and the infielders said 'Hey we're lonely, we want to join the conversation.'"
- Tom Hamilton

"They won't complain about cool nights anymore at PetCo Park."
- Tom Hamilton

"I wonder what they saw in New York that we didn't see here. Maybe they don't have HD."
- Tom Hamilton, on the review in the first inning

"Seth Smith never saw a snap in football, but when Eli Manning is ahead of you, welp..."
- Tom Hamilton

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Welcome, Padres!

Wow, those Padres look bad. I'm not even sure if the Tribe looked good today, cuz the Padres look bad. We more errors than they did (3) but somehow they still look worse!

The Indians have extra incentive to whack these Padres in the knees, too:

Well, all right, San Diego!There weren't too many stand-outs when it came to retorts, but it almost was too lame for a response.

Corey Kluber was the starter, and he had a quality start! Even though he gave up 9 hits he still struck out 8, and only gave up 3 runs. That guy's a total hardass, you know? He's totally going to work out this season, I think. And if every game he gets better then this is a perfect follow-up to his last start!

Nice work by the bullpen today, to keep the momentum going. Zep, Outman and Allen had more scoreless work. Two innings, 3 hits and 3 strikeouts between them.

Vinnie, though...omg, Vinnie. Vinneeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. What is wrong?? What can we do? How can we help? Anything for you, VinnieP52!!!

Due to a bad outing by Pestano and a second error by Nick Swisher, John Axford actually came in for a save. Huh. The winning song is "Working Man" by Rush, which is a cool song but kind of lame compared to his other choices in the vote. But it's not too bad if you consider that Axford is Canadian. He got the final out to get us out of the 9th and win the game.

Today's offense was all brought to you by the top and bottom of the order. Not even Michael Brantley (.321) got a hit. NOT EVEN MICHAEL BRANTLEY!!!

Nyjer Morgan is totally locked in now. Bourn must be shakin' in his boots. Morgan went 3 for 5 today with 2 RBI. He also got around to stealing a base for the first time this season. He's batting .389! That's pretty legit...

Swisher through Cabrera didn't do much of anything, although Swish and Kipnis both got RBIs on non-hits - the Tribe scored 3 in the 3rd with no hits. They had 2 walks, an error, a force out and a sac fly.

Chisenhall is still wowing everyone by hangin' in there at .400. He only got one hit today, a single, but that's more hits than the guy making $14 million a year! (His average is twice Swisher's, too)

Yan Gomes had another error today! Wow....But, whatever - he went 2 for 3 with a walk, and his hit was a double. He actually doesn't lead the team in slugging - that stat belongs to...

David Murphy! Murphy came off Sunday's awesome 4-hit game (attributed to having a great batting practice) and went 2 for 3 today with 4 RBI! He got his first homer today, a nice 3-run shot. Apparently he's good for 10-15 a year. Wow, David Murphy - welcome!

David Murphy has two daughters and one son.

Kind of a weird game today, since the production was so lop-sided. But it was nice to hear a bunch of runs! Also nice not to be behind the whole time. Vinnie's appearance was scary, but it was good to see Kluber take charge. Also good to see that Murphy might be the real deal.

Tomorrow should be cool - two games, starting at noon. ALL DAY BASEBALL! I hope it's a lot more exciting than when I went to the doubleheader last year. The Tribe scored 1 run in 18 innings. Granted, Masterson had an awesome complete game in the first game but you really had to be a baseball fan to appreciate that day!

We've got Morgan and Murphy to look forward to. Lonnie is looking to extend a 5-game hitting streak, and Brantley is looking to re-start one of his own. We should see Gomes and Santana both behind the plate, also some Aviles and Raburn and - oh yeah - Trevor Bauer!

Starts at noon - see you there!

Radio Chatter:
"Can't bunt on your birthday, can you? Gotta hit it in to Pronkville!"
- Tom Hamilton's hope for Santana

"Nyjer Morgan is saying to Terry Francona 'Hey when Michael Bourn comes back, I still want to be here!'"
- Tom Hamilton

"You go from [San Diego to] Miami to Cleveland - How'd you like to pack for that trip?"
- Tom Hamilton

"Tonight, though, he actually proved human - he gave up a hit."
- Tom Hamilton on Mark Rzepczynski

"I gotta keep showing the Tribe Nation what Tony Plush can do!"
- Nyjer Morgan

Sunday, April 6, 2014


For someone who really loves sports, I seem to know a lot of people who don't like sports. While they can't understand what the appeal is, I can't understand how you can't understand the appeal. I mean, you understand the appeal of game shows right? How about soap operas? Long-running dramas? Well that's all available in sports too. It's what we like.

Thinking about Masterson's performance today made me think of the "soap opera" analogy I like to tell people. Because instead of just blowing it off as a bad outing, I'm now wondering how his so-far-not-yet-signed standing played on today's game. It could just be a bad outing. It could be a precursor to a bad season which is why they didn't sign him. Is it a precursor to a bad CAREER? Do they know something we don't? Or perhaps is it Justin reacting to all the hoopla over Kipnis' 6-year deal, on the heels of Gomes' deal.

Actually, all this intrigue is why I don't like soap operas haha! I have a hard time following all the story lines and the mis-directions.

Like, maybe this is Justin Masterson's less-good twin?

Anyway all you can really do in the end is hope that this was a singularity and Masty will continue on as expected.

Masterson gave up 6 runs in 3 2/3 innings today, by the way. He only struck out 4. He also hit two guys, sending one out of the game.

Today's bullpen rockstars were Atchison, Shaw and Zep who all still have 0.00 ERAs. They threw 3 2/3 innings between them and gave up 3 hits. I bet they didn't think they'd be throwing today!

Blake Wood was caught completely unaware, it seems. He must not believe Masterson can require a team of relievers. Joke's on you, Blakey! He went 2/3 of an inning giving up 3 runs on 2 walks, a hit and a hit batsman. Who is this Chris Colabello guy, anyway? (3-run double off Wood, he's got 9 hits and 11 RBI in his first 6 games. Never heard of him!)
But I've heard of the Three Caballeros!
John Axford came out not really for the save, but for the work. And then he gave up a run so that was not very cool. Chris Perez pitched in LA today. A strikeout to end the 8th. Hrmph.

The Indians got 15 hits today. What do you think about that? Someone on Twitter was nice enough to point out that we should all just calm down - the Tribe won't be losing too many 15-hit games. Nice sentiment. Very truth.

Problem is they did leave 12 guys stranded today. So yay for hits but boo for lack of key hits. They went through this a lot in 2012 and are kind of running in to it again. I hope it isn't a trend re-visited.

Nyjer Morgan is still getting his job done at leadoff, walking twice today and coming in to score once. They had Asdrubal come in to pinch for him in the 9th (Asdrubal had the day off) and he whiffed so that was not fun at all.

Nick Swisher went 2 for 4 with a walk.

Kipnis was back to feeling it today! He got a nice 3-run double, identifying the problem of leaving too many men on base and coming through with a solution! He went 2 for 5 today with NO strikeouts.

Carlos Santana was proving his worth more today, going 2 for 3 with 2 walks and no strikeouts himself. In fact, in the long 4-hour game where everyone had 5 at-bats, the team only struck out 4 times. No one really had that bad of a day. Santana's average is staying up there, .316.

Speaking of up there - Brantley ramped it up again today going 3 for 5! Now batting .375 himself!

But what of the Chiz Kid? Man I couldn't be happier that he is standing his ground and proving himself to be worthy of a roster spot. Five hits and 4 runs scored in just 4 games, with 3 of his hits being doubles. Batting .455. Awesome!

Yan Gomes had a sort of a rough day. He went 1 for 5 and while his one hit was a 2-run homer (sweet!) he did leave 5 guys stranded. But you know, In Yan We Trust.

David Murphy, on the other hand - Hey! He plays for our team! He had a terrific day going 4 for 5 with an RBI and two doubles, leaving no one on base. Hmm, let's see what we can learn about David Murply today. According to Wikipedia, he is very Christian and does not swear. Interesting, I suppose. I do think our team leans religious.

Aviles was in today at short. He didn't really have a stand out day, going 0 for 5 and leaving 4 on base.

Seems like the Tribe still has a lot of bugs to work out in order to get to where they should be. Starting pitching is surprisingly bad. Batting has its ups and downs. The heart of the order does look solid, and both Morgan and the top and Chiz and Gomes at the bottom are making solid contributions. Aviles and Asdrubal both need to step it up, and the entire team needs to stop stranding so many guys on base.

But, it's early. And also you know Francona is telling everyone these very things.

So, let's hope it's a better week! The PADRES are coming to town this week. Ha! (The headline is "Scuffling Padres hitters meet struggling Tribe hurlers" so that's awesome...)

It'll be Carrasco versus their #5 starter, an LHP. See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"The Indians would like to see what it feels like to play with a lead."
- Tom Hamilton

"What an odd start to this game. There's absolutely no feel to this game at all. It's sort of like Bizarro World."
- Tom Hamilton in the 3rd inning

"It's not like Ricky Nolasco looks like Ricky Vaughn today. He is imminently hittable."
- Tom Hamilton

"[Minnesota's dairy is] not like Wisconsin. There's too many lakes in Minnesota. Cows fall in."
- Tom Hamilton is from Wisconsin

"The way it feels at the ballpark right now, they must be ice fishing on Lake Erie."
- Tom Hamilton

"The Indians get Duke von Schamann. Sounds like royalty doesn't it?"
- Tom Hamilton on the Tribe's new acquisition

"At the pace of this game, this could become a day/night double header."
- Tom Hamilton

"Plouffe coming down from third base started to slide, then decided to come in standing, then once he crossed the plate he slid. I don't think I've ever seen that before! ... That looked like the little boy who said 'I'm going to get my uniform dirty no matter what.'"
- Tom Hamilton

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Cookie Cookie Cookie

Anyone remember that Carlos Carrasco's nickname was somehow "Cookie" at one point? It's time to bring that back.

Today was Carrasco's first appearance. I wasn't too excited about him making the team over Josh Tomlin. But the reality of it is that they still see something in Carrasco and he is totally out of options. So the team's only choice is to throw him out there in the Bigs and get his bugs worked out, because there's no more messing around in Columbus. Tomlin, I guess, has some time.

So, we get Carrasco. I think he's got a lot of work ahead of him, and you can't really judge the rest of his season based on his first start on a cold day. We'll revisit my feelings in May!

Carrasco had one heck of a rough first inning. Gave up a homer on the second pitch, then a double, a walk and two RBI singles. The second was tidy but the third saw a hit batter, an RBI double, two passed balls (nobody told the scorer that Yan Gomes doesn't pass balls) which resulted in a run.

Carrasco actually ended up striking out 7 in his 5 2/3 innings which was more than Masterson struck out on Monday! And really, he just had 2 bad innings out of nearly 6. So he's got the stuff to strike guys out, and he's able to reel himself back in after bad innings. It's a good start (but today wasn't a good "start"). I have confidence we'll see some better stuff in his next few outings.

Atchison and Outman came in to finish the 6th through the 8th, and struck out 3 between them with no walks and no hits, so that's pretty awesome. But Vinnie....Vinnie, my Vinnie! Poor guy just cannot right his ship. I don't know if we can give HIM til May to get himself together. Seems like we've given him since last August. As much as we're all dying for the team to sign Masterson long-term, I think we're all dying for Vinnie to get back to his 2012 self. Please!!

The offense, though - what was up with that? The last-minute stuff is fun, but only sometimes. We don't REQUIRE them to have silent bats through to the 7th inning so that we get the exciting conclusions. I'm sure we'd all be happy with, say, scoring in the first inning. Or being ahead after the third inning.

They actually almost pulled out a 9th inning comeback today, or close to it. They scored two runs and if it weren't for the wind, Gomes would have gotten a 3-run dinger and made it 5-7.

Nyjer Morgan, still leading off in Bourn's stead, is looking good and putting up Bourn-like numbers. He's getting on base but not stealing yet - which Bourn didn't do much of either. He's the only Indian with 2 hits today, and he also walked twice, but he was left out there all 4 times.

Happy hero Swisher did jack at the plate today.

Our boy Kipnis went 0 for 1 today but bless him, he walked 3 times! No strikeouts at least.

Santana and Brantley (.316) both got on base once today, as they do. Santana with a walk and Brantley with a single, both in their final at-bats in the 9th. Whew!

Also hitting in their final at-bat in the 9th was Asdrubal, who got a bloop...double! Finally put one where someone wasn't waiting for it. Possibly helped by the wind. Not picky.

David Murphy was there too, I guess. Didn't notice until he was substituted with Raburn! Unfortunately Ryan Raburn was just as not good.

Our powerhouse 8 and 9 guys were still getting work done, though. Gomes got a near-homer sac fly in the 9th. He also had 2 passed balls and according to his stats he had 4 all of last year. So, I'm not buying it! Wild pitches!

Lonnie Chisenhall is in a friggin' groove, man. He's batting .500 with 4 hits. That's as many hits as Swisher who's had 3x the at-bats. That's as many hits as Santana who's had 2x. And that's more hits than Yan Gomes. Wow! Oh yeah - two of his 4 hits have been doubles already.

Anyway, crummy game today. The weather was dry and sunny but it was pretty cold. They still have a winning record. We've still got 157 to go.

Back at it tomorrow! It's 1:05, with Masterson facing RHP 7.50 - lots of hope. See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"Tom covered the Winter Olympics in Russia, and he said it was warmer there than it is here at Progressive Field."
- Tom Hamilton

"The thing about this team is that no matter what the score is in the 9th inning, they have great at-bats."
- Tom Hamilton

Friday, April 4, 2014

Cold Start For a Hot Finish!

Home opener! Wahoo! Everyone was so relieved that it wasn't going to be a snow-out that we all forgot that it rains in the Spring, too. It was gloomy in NEO all day today until about game time when it was sunny. But the weather mavens said "wait" and pitching coaches said "wait" so the umpires said "wait" and good thing they did cuz a monsoon passed through here around 4 PM. That would have meant a short start for both starters and that's no fun on Home Opener Day.

It worked out well for people who worked until 5 that the game didn't start until 5. But a bunch of people who excitedly showed up for the home opener left early as the warm, blustery day turned chilly and wet. Sucks. But at least there were fewer people around to boo the Twins as their lineup was announced (Seriously, people? This is a gentleman's game, not Browns/Steelers.)

The bleak weather was not made any more comfortable by the bleak start by our batters, and a bleak first by Danny Salazar. I'm guessing a few more people were on their way to the Winking Lizard by the time the second inning rolled around (don't let the door hit ya!)

But as always, props to the people who showed up and stayed! They eventually were in for a treat!

Did you know we haven't won a home opener since 2008? Huh. 

Salazar ended up straightening himself out. He did give up 7 hits in his 5 2/3 innings but didn't give up any more runs after 2 in the first (thanks in part to Michael Brantley being awesome). He did throw a lot of pitches in that time but he never completely lost it like, say, how the Twins' starter did.

Just goes to show...

Lefty Josh Outman came in to finish up the 6th and start the 7th, and he's the guy who ended up with the win. It only took him 5 pitches to get 2 outs. Bryan Shaw - who was turning my head a bit in 2013 - came in to finish the 7th by striking out two. Sweet!

The 8th belonged to Cody Allen, who struggled a bit to finish but he did end up striking out 2 inbetween giving up 2 hits. Since we didn't need a closer, John Axford didn't get to show off his cool walk-in music. Instead we got to see Blake Wood come in and not actually "mow down" the side but after a lot of work, he did strike them out. It was pretty sweet because after a dozen pitches in the high 90s, he came at the last guy with a 91-mph and 94-mph then BLOOP finished him off on 84-mph. Ha!

The Tribe got 10 hits today! That should be enough to warm the toes of the fans that stayed on. Not only that but TWO home runs - stats that were nearly missing from the Oakland series. And finally, a bunch of runs! Of course we had to wait 6 innings for any of this to happen but as I told my friend who was frustrated by the lack of hits in the first inning...sometimes you gotta wait.

Nyjer Morgan showed up today in an oversized uniform. With all the wind, he looked absolutely ridiculous during the player introduction, as all his teammates stood around him not being whipped by their pants. I couldn't tell if it was a tribute to 20s baseball, or to his Bay-area brother MC Hammer.

However, Morgan finished the game covered in dirt and having 2 hits and an RBI, so weird pants or no, he came through for the team!

So Swisher got a 2-run homer, which included the winning run, so that's nice. And it's nice that if the Indians are going to pimp this guy out as the face of the Indians that he actually did something good while all the fans were there to see him. And he did make 2 nice catches on put-out-at-first attempts from Gomes. So that was nice.

Poor 'ol Kipnis, who signed a 6-year extension today (YEAH!) did not bat like a man who "can now stop worrying about it." But our Kip is a worrier, so if he wasn't worrying about money he was worrying about the game, which was to his detriment. He struck out twice again and got no hits. He did do fine in the field with lots of assists and no flubs, so that was good. He was halfway there.

Carlos Santana was all over the bases today, LIKE A BOSS! He was 1 for 2 with 2 walks, and his second double of the season already. He did get caught in a rundown but it wasn't too off-base (HA!) that he got stuck there. It was a comebacker to the mound that he took a chance on. He also managed to get the batter (Brantley) over to 2nd during said rundown, so at least he kept his head in it.

Michael Brantley (.333) didn't get any extra bases but of COURSE he got a hit. That's a 4-game hitting streak if you're following along. He also had an outfield assist which was the highlight of the first half of the game.

Asdrubal went all Asdrubal on us and left 5 men on base. Not striking out, at least, but hitting balls right to whatever guy was standing around waiting for him. Hoping his problem is like Kipnis - he cares too much. Terry needs to get into his head.

David Murphy played right field.

Forget Nick Swisher, Cleveland - Yan Gomes is your man! He got the team's second hit and first run by bashing a homer to center in the 6th. Just nailed it out on that center field walk! And of course he caught a guy stealing, by like 5 feet, because he rocks. He got a single later on and came in to score, too. Yan does it all!

Look out, y'all - it's Lonnie Chisenhall! You gotta like Lonnie, cuz he came up through our system and he keeps trying but is always just short. So far he's been good - with 3 hits in 5 at-bats total, tonight going 2 for 3! He walked once and came in to score twice. I LOVE it when I can get excited about the end of our order!

So the boys made us wait, again, for our win. But it ain't over til it's over so however we get that W works for me! It was really cool to see them pounce on that pitcher that totally had them locked up for 5 innings. Haha!

Tomorrow's a 1 PM game and back to plain ol' radio for me. Today I had the radio/TV combo (thanks WKYC!) and the lag was very minimal. Best I've ever seen it! But sigh...I won't have to worry about it again until June.

It'll be Carrasco facing RHP in his first full season. The weather should be better (but still cold) and hopefully our team is back in to getting those hits!

See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"Maybe Arica should take off the parka and snow gear, because he completely missed that ball. ... He looks like he's out there in snow shoes."
- Tom Hamilton

"I tell you what this is like a scene from the wizard if oz, the way things are blowing around here. Now a horse just flew by."
- Tom Hamilton

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Oh, THIS Again...

Both of the Indians' wins this year so far have come in the 9th inning. Are we going to do this again?! I guess I kind of like it, if it's going to be "our thing." It shows that the team has a lot of "stick-to-it-tive-ness." I also would like some early-inning blowouts but it's early yet. And I'll always take any kind of win.

Oh man, long day of baseball, right? Except for a half hour gym break I've been baseballin' for 11 hours now. I've been trying to listen to more sports talk radio and since there was the double header today, they were actually talking baseball today instead of Browns.

All that baseball and it kind of sucks that today's first game was such a dud. I can handle a loss but such a booooring loss after a boooooring win on Monday? And it broke our 11-game regular-season winning streak (started in 2013).

The best thing about the first game was that Kipnis had relaxed and instead of 3 strikeouts he got 2 hits and NO strikeouts! Atta boy!

Aviles was in there for the first (and second) game, and he got a double alongside Kipnis. In the two games they had Asdrubal, Aviles and Kipnis rotating around DH and the middle infield and I really like that that's an option. No need to wear out either guy but then no need to bench them, since right now we don't have a DH. Giambi better watch out if the three guys keep hitting - this might be a permanent thing!

Game 1 also featured an extremely competent play by Santana at third - and also our first review! The MLB is happy with their decision to do reviews - I can tell because they added a little "Review" graphic to their video highlights. The call stood, by the way. The Santana-to-Gomes putout stood. But everyone was like "OMG THAT TOOK FOREVER!" and it kind of did. There was a review in the second game too (srsly?) and it took just a moment and that got a golf clap from Tom Hamilton, who waits for no man.

Nothing much else happened in that game other than Kluber and Pestano both being awful, and I don't want to talk about it. Being that this is The Positive Tribe and not Comprehensive Indians News, I don't have to!

The pitching was way better in game 2 but the offense was still plagued by LOB. Left. On. Base. Everyone was left on base! Same problems haunting us.

Starting with the pitching...Zach McAllister was our man for the night game and he wasn't very sharp. He only made it through four innings and gave up 3 runs. He did strike out four so that's a thing.

The arm of the night was Mark Rzepczynski (heretofore known as "Zep") who threw a long 2 1/3 innings and gave up nothing but a walk. Very nice piece of long relief! They had brought CC Lee all the way from Columbus as our 26th man ... I guess assuming the starters wouldn't last long? But I suppose they didn't assume the middle relievers would go so long!

After Zep were Shaw, Allen and Axford. No runs were given up aside from an un-earned run during Shaw's turn. Allen ended up with the W so he's actually got two Ws and Axford got the S and he's got 2 of those! Axford shortened his stint today after Monday's 28-pitch close. Today he managed it in just 12.

Let me tell you about Nyjer Morgan. Reading about his past, I think there are a lot of things to say about Nyjer Morgan. However, it seems that Tom Hamilton does not want to talk about any of those things - so for the last 3 games we've not heard much about Nyjer Morgan other than he was a young hockey star from California. That is odd because he is from California, and he's black, and it turns out he is a good baseball player. Well, he is a paid baseball player - all he's done so far is walk and get a sac fly for us. I wonder how long Hamilton will stick with this story?

Ryan Raburn - now THERE'S a baseball player! In true Goon Squad style he came in in the 6th to replace the un-productive Morgan, led off the 9th with a single and game in to score the tying run! As expected!

Kipnis was the DH for this game, and even though he didn't get a hit he was there being Kipnis, making stuff happen. In the 7th he walked and stole a base, and came around to score the tying run. In the 9th he got on via a force out, stole second to eliminate the double play, then came around to score the go-ahead run. All of this without a hit!

Santana was in a groove this evening. Either he was fueled by his nifty 3rd base work in the early game or he was happy to be back behind the plate. Whatever the case, he went 2 for 3 with 2 walks and a run. When Santana hits, the Tribe wins!

Michael Brantley (.364) didn't get a hit until the 9th, and he actually left 4 men on base. HOWEVER, being that he's Michael Brantley of COURSE he ended up getting a hit! And to the A's dismay, he was the man at the plate in the 9th with the bases loaded, only one out and the Tribe down a run. Statistics show that Michael Brantley was going to get a hit and statistics were on the money. Cousin Michael got his hit and the tying run and the go-ahead run and a little more of my devotion!

After leading off the first game, Asdrubal was down in the 7-hole for the night game. He was actually reliable today, and I don't mean reliably striking out when the game was on the line. He got hit by a pitch and intentionally walked so he was totally IN it, man. He got a hit, too, and came around to score.

David Murphy, who I totally still know nothing about, got his second hit in two games which was an RBI single for an insurance run in the 9th. Let's find a picture of David Murphy, so we can become better acquainted.
Hmm...I still don't feel like I know you. But now I know you played for the Rangers.
Here's a guy we all know - Mike Aviles! Raburn's fellow Goon Squad guy was doing second base this game, and he did all the goons proud! 'Cuz he is the first Indian to get a homer today, in that big cavernous Oakland Coliseum. Neat! He also stole a base, and he also was in the middle of two defensive double plays. You gotta love that guy!

The Chiz Kid, Lonnie Chisenhall, made his debut at third today while Santana was catching (boy, is this team stacked right for double headers or what?) He went 1 for 2 and then was pulled for Elliot Johnson because I don't know why.  Johnson didn't do anything but strike out.

So that was that. The box scores said it was 6:35 worth of baseball, with dinner inbetween. Tom Hamilton wants you to know that a long plane ride from Oakland to Cleveland is WAY better when you're 2-1 and not 1-2. He repeated it three times.

Tomorrow is going to suck because one, I have lost several hours of sleep this week and two - no baseball! That's two days of no baseball after waiting so long for baseball then having some baseball and...grr. But Friday is going to be AWESOME!!! Barring the rain.

Can't wait - SEE YOU THERE!!!

Radio Chatter:
"The Bash Brothers...should have been known as the Syringe Brothers..."
- Tom Hamilton

"The video board here in Oakland, you can't see anything anyway. It's a Philco video board from 1955. They use stick figures for the players."
- Tom Hamilton

"The way Scott Kazmir looks now, this game's over."
- Tom Hamilton in the 6th

"Derek Norris, running the bases like Chuck Norris."
- Tom Hamilton apparently thinks Chuck Norris would be caught in a rundown

"Let's see...Josh Lindbloom made 14 pitches to get 4 outs, Zach McAllister made 36 pitches to get 3 outs."
- Tom Hamilton

"Boy that long plane ride would look a lot better with a split, wouldn't it?"
- Tom Hamilton

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

When Can We Relax?

For some reason I was very nervous for this game. Maybe really it was excitement, and watching some of my friends post online about their team's normal-time games, and then the threat of a rain delay just kept me wound up.

I was also pretty nervous to see how the team would do playing real baseball in a real situation that counted. Not like they weren't playing real games all summer. But it's always curious to see how they will do coming back to play 9.

I had a premonition that it'd be a pitcher's duel. It kind of looked like we'd easily roll over this Sonny kid and get a bunch of runs on the A's as Masterson struck them out. But that didn't happen!

The 24-year-old Oakland pitcher Sonny Gray turned out to be pretty good. Even though we got 5 hits off him and plenty of RISP, nobody crossed the plate and he ended up striking out 7 over just 6 innings - more than Masterson!

Masterson did his thing, though, and while he didn't strike out double digits he did get 4 over his 7 innings. And he did pitch 7 scoreless innings, which was rad. He kept his speed pretty consistent the whole time too, not losing any velocity even though it was his first time out and it was cold.

Mark Rzepczynski threw one out of relief, then Cody Allen came in for the rest of the 8th. He almost totally blew it but was saved by a ball that got caught by the wall instead of catching air. Tense!

Our new closer is John Axford, who is a Canadian citizen. So is his wife. But not his kids. Huh! I guess that explains why Rush's "Working Man" made it so high in fan voting for his entrance music. He's got all of Canada in his pocket.

Anyway, I guess his "thing" is that he throws a ton of pitches for a closer. While our previous closer would get an inning closed out in 11 pitches, Axford took 26 pitches to strike out 2, walk 2 and get a fly out. Being so aware of how easily a save can be blown, I don't know how much of this drawn-out closing I can take this year. I guess I'm going to have to get used to it!

Man, talk about being wound up, though - Jason Kipnis! Poor fella went 1 for 5 with 3 strikeouts! You know it's because he wants it too bad. That's what it is, man. He wants it too bad.

Kipnis was third, and ahead of him was Nyjer Morgan (the fill-in until Bourn is back) and Nick Swisher.

Morgan got on via the walk as the first play of the new season. He didn't steal, even though I was told he would. He didn't get any hits but in the 9th he connected for a big fly with the bases loaded to score the first run of the game.

Swisher followed Morgan with a walk in the first, and also followed him with an RBI in the 9th. Good.

After Kipnis is Santana, who didn't get the big hit for the guy we've kept around to get the big hits. In fact he didn't get any hits. But he did get a walk, as Santana is wont to do, so at least he still does that. Getting on base...

Michael Brantley remains to be the amazingest. He's still hitting .500 (that's what he hit this spring) and his 2 hits were doubles. Don't you just want to shout it from the rooftops?! MICHAEL BRANTLEY IS COMING FOR YOU, TED WILLIAMS! Ok maybe not Ted Williams, maybe just the number 300. This is the year.

Hey, Ryan Raburn! Tonight's DH. He did strike out twice but so did a lot of other Indians. He went 1 for 4.

Asdrubal was bumped down to 7th. Ouch? But no batting order is set in stone. Besides, Yan Gomes is 9th so your worth as a man clearly isn't designated by your spot in the order! He did end up going 1 for 3 with a walk and a hit and a run scored. Oh man I just had an awful thought of how he'll get fewer at-bats down at the bottom and fewer chances to lower his average. Oh no oh no...have I turned on Asdrubal?? I think maybe he needs to work a little to get in to my best graces this year. He's got my good graces, of course.

David Murphy. Still not buying what he's selling but perhaps he will Raburn his way into our hearts. Tonight he went 1 for 4 with 2 strikeouts.

Gomes himself went 1 for 3 with 2 strikeouts. Hmm. Well, we can't all be Yan Gomes all the time! (??)

I'm just happy for baseball to be back, midnight games or no. Strikeouts or no. Pitchers duels or no. Hooray for America's game! Hooray for baseball!

The Indians' first opening day shutout since 2002!

Tomorrow we face Scott Kazmir. So we should have that locked up, right? He should be scouted to the hilt. Jason Kipnis should calm down and get some hits. It'll be another late one tomorrow night - and there is more rain in the forecast - so be sure to get your nap in after work, ok?

See you there!

No Radio Chatter tonight because I was too wound up to take notes.