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

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