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

1 comment:

  1. I want hits early! No patience here.