Sunday, August 10, 2014

Satisfying Conclusion

Whew! A little reprieve with good baseball to finish out the weekend. How refreshing!

The Tribe followed a crummy 4-game losing streak that included bad pitching, bad fielding and bad hitting with two games that had none of that mess. It stands to reason that they would rise up behind Kluber but they also had it all locked up for our new after-Kluber starter - Carlos Carrasco!

In his last appearance, Carrasco went 4 innings after Tomlin's bad start and he gave up 3 earned runs on 6 hits. Today he buckled down and managed 5 AWESOME innings, only giving up 2 hits, no runs, no walks and striking out 4! We'll see how this pans out going forward, and if he can start giving some length but the initial trial looks promising. If you can, try to find some interviews with this guy. He seems to be a very hard worker, very eager to learn and to fix problems, and very much a team player. Also, he beaned one of the Royals in retaliation that one time, and got a 5-day suspension. Go Cookie!

No errors today or yesterday! Except we did lose David Murphy to injury at one point. And Nick Swisher, so...

Everyone seems very excited about Jose Ramirez's fielding at shortstop. I can't imagine that everyone has plain forgotten Asdrubal's majesty out there, for at least 4 or 5 years. I'm hoping they are just happy to see some talent out there after Asdrubal's talent wore out. I'm sort of guessing we won't see Omar-/Asdrubal-level talent until Lindor is here, but Ramirez does have plenty big shoes to fill...and a plenty big role to keep to himself as long as possible!

Jason Kipnis has found IT and now is as good a time as any! While he was shut out on Saturday, today he went 3 for 5 giving him 13 hits in his last 10 games. He also stole another base today and hustled home all 3 times he got on!

Jose Ramirez had himself a game yesterday, hitting in the #8 spot. He basically won the game for the Tribe, getting his first major league home run! He went 3 for 4 with 2 RBI - which is 2/3 of the total score. He also stole a base! Today he was up in the #2 spot and managed to go 1 for 3, but it was more of a defensive show for him today than yesterday.

Brantley (.324) had a game to match Ramirez yesterday! Or, er, was it the other way around? He also went 3 for 4 and also got a homer! His 17th, of course - not his first. Today he was "on rest" as DH (because this lineup cannot function without him) and went 1 for 3, but managed 2 RBI thanks to a sac fly. He also was intentionally walked, because they're not completely stupid in New York.

Carlos Santana was shut out yesterday and today. Rut ro...

Goooooomes! No homer for him today but he did go 2 for 3 with 2 RBI today! That's half the team's RBI! Unfortunately, his hitting streak ended at 13 yesterday. I am not positive but I think that's either the team's best this year or tied with it. But he was back on the hit horse today!

Chisenhall didn't hit today, but he did yesterday. And is still hovering around .300 at .292. Please, Lonnie, PLEEEEEASE get it figured out again!

Hey, welcome Zach Walters and Tyler Holt! Can't wait to make pictures for you!
Tyler Holt!
It excites me that you're here because Swisher is gone, but also I'm happy to see as soon as possible if our trades had any merit. Immediate payoff, please!

Speaking of immediate payoff, Chris Dickerson! Well uh, no exclamation point. After his hot start with us, he's fair-to-middlin' now, batting just .243 with only 4 hits in his last 10 games. Nevertheless, he is a handsome man.

Raburn came in for Swisher yesterday and will continue to act as right fielder, I guess, until Swisher gets back. It pains me to say it but his average is below Swisher's. However, he does have half the at-bats of Swisher so he's got that to cling on to. He can only get better from here!

Now that I look at it, we've got a pretty beat-up lineup. Lots of shuffling and substituting. We need Kipnis, Brantley, Santana and Gomes to SHINE right now and hope that everyone follows suit around them. If Chisenhall can also get on that track then this team is not going to be easy to beat! They need to get their heads together before we face Baltimore next weekend. Scary!

Ok so Monday is an off day (it's also Jack's birthday!) and after that there will be a 2-game series at home versus the DBacks. Which I think I might actually attend....hmm...

Tuesday will be House versus RHP 4.09. Definitely need to take advantage of these 2 games and the miserable year the DBacks are having. So - see you there!

Radio Chatter:
"I've never seen an umpire look up at the scoreboard operator with such disdain!"
- Tom Hamilton

"Not many cab drivers are sitting in those seats."
- Tom Hamilton on the atmosphere in New Yankee Stadium where lower seats are so expensive

"I bet someone in the marketing department is like 'Uh oh...well we've got to give away these suckers.'"
- Tom Hamilton on the non-Yankee-blue cowboy hat giveaway

"It's amazing how much better your club looks when you get good starting pitching."
- Tom Hamilton

Friday, August 8, 2014

Don't Call It A Comeback

Because it wasn't! Ha!

They did come back from a 10-2 deficit to make it a manageable 10-6, but it was too little too late, I guess. I had some hope in that last inning, that maybe they'd at least get a few and make it a reasonable 10-9 but no. Swisher, yaknow?

And even with the comeback, and even if it was 10-9, it's still a big ol' L.

Twelve hits, though!

Kipnis went 2 for 4, which you really love to see because the Kid's gotta grind it out for this team to win. He got a very exciting leadoff double to start the game and we all thought good things were coming! But it didn't happen. He's got 6 hits in his last 3 games, though. He also had an error because...that bug is back.

Aviles was back in the 2-hole today. He just went 1 for 5.

Brantley (.320) was back after leaving yesterday's game with an injury. But he tells us it's not a real injury and we should just calm down. Unfortunately he messed up his hitting streak by taking away some of his at-bats yesterday but today he was back with a DOUBLE and also 2 of them for an RBI!

That 7th inning was pretty tight, with Brantley walking in a run and 'Los busting out a 2-run double. In fact he busted out of a slump by going 3 for 5 today! Oh man but does he suddenly look crappy at first. He was King Shit for a minute there. I almost wonder if the Bro is giving him some sort of bad Bro vibes since he's been relegated to a wandering outfielder.
Creepy Bro Stank Eye
David Murphy is still hot! Because I told my brother to pick up Chisenhall over him for fantasy, of course. Murph's got a 6-game hitting streak with 14 hits in his last 10 games and 7 RBI. Tonight he got 2 more RBI, because everyone was looking a little down and needed a bit of a pick-me-up. Nice try, Murphy and Jesus, but it still wasn't enough.

Chris Dickerson didn't get any hits but he did steal a catch from Swisher in the outfield. I laughed.

Roberto Perez is showing himself to be pretty solid, as they let him catch pretty regularly now to switch out Gomes. One must take good care of their Gomes if one wants their Gomes to last! Robby went 2-4 and came in to score a run.

Oh, Trevor Bauer started. Not his best start but he didn't have good defense behind him. He got 5 earned runs but should have been fewer ER for him if they had given Jeter an error instead of a hit on a dropped ball. I still like the kid, though. He's doing better with us than he was with AZ. It's like we're taming a wild stallion. Slowly!

So I dunno, a lot of people are jumping ship right now. Just prepping for the inevitable "statistically out of the race" announcement. Well, I guess if you're jumping ship because of that you weren't firmly on our boat to begin with.

OH!! I am totally stoked about the Progressive Field improvements, though! It really makes me sad that I can't get to more games. This summer has been awful for getting to games because I'm broke and my dog is sick, so even if I could/should afford to go, it's hard to get someone to stay with the dog. Next year circumstances might change - in that my parents can stay with the dog - so I hope to get there and experience all of the AWESOME!!! I am excited to see how the new bullpens look in person. Also very happy about the ballpark meeting the street at street level. What would be MOST exciting is more fans in the stands! Cool!

Tomorrow is more Yankees and it's a 1:05 game, to totally mess up your day. But it's Corey Kluber so everything will be GRRRRRREAT! If anyone is going to stop this losing skid for us, it's the Klubot. Now if we could only have all of tonight's bats, none of tonight's errors and 100% Kluber you know we've got it on lockdown.

See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"If I'm Carlos Santana I'm swinging on this pitch if it's anywhere near home plate."
- Tom Hamilton on Santana's at-bat in the first

"Bellino says 'You bat, I'll ump.'"
- Tom Hamilton

"There are small countries whose governments have been overthrown in the time it has taken to play this first inning."
- Tom Hamilton

"Well folks I hope you packed a sandwich. We're going to be here a while."
- Tom Hamilton

"Since Derek Jeter's mom is the scorer tonight, he was credited with a hit instead of an error."
- Tom Hamilton

"Josh Tomlin is Charlie Nagy Junior."
- Tom Hamilton

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Yan Gomes Hit A Home Run

And that's about all that happened in this game...

Well, ok - Gomes also got a double, and extended his hitting streak to 12. He's creeping towards .300, with a batting average of .286. His slugging for August so far is .727. Also:

Jason Kipnis went 3 for 4, which is weird because for most of the game we only had 3 hits total. But the team ended up with 7 hits, of which Kipnis had 3.

The team only scored 3 runs - and 2 of them belonged to Ryan Raburn! Who was in to pinch hit! For Brantley - nooooooooooooooooooo! He was limping a bit, I hear told. Say a little prayer.

Oh, David Murphy was up in the 2-spot, which is still up for grabs. Not a bad place for him, I say. And while he's warm, he'd be wasted down at the end of the lineup when the pitcher's gotta bat. Tonight he got a single. Didn't pay off or anything but he has a 4-game hitting streak and 12 hits in his last 10 games!

Whatever witchery they tried to pull on him last night didn't get Murphy down for long. AMEN!

Danny Salazar gave up two multi-run homers and that sucked and now he's in AAA. And Josh Tomlin is in the 'pen because he's still recuperating from Tommy John surgery. And Carlos Carrasco is probably going to be your next starter.

And the Tribe announced they are going to make a bunch of improvements to Progressive Field! I am down with it! I heard they're going to get rid of the right field upper deck and open up more of the skyline. And I heard Coors Field did something like that and turned the right field area into a party deck, which seems to be a popular way to watch the game nowadays. So that's cool! Anything to bring more fans out!

Tomorrow is the final game against the Reds. Maybe they won't have such a crazy good pitcher for once? Remember, we beat them 7-2 in the first game! It'll be our tiger TJ House versus RHP 3.89. Anything can happen!

No Radio Chatter. But Indians Twitter dude @CleRallyChicken and his wife had a baby during the game and they gave her this tiny foam finger and now I'm smitten.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

"Even The Sky Is Crying"

Cripes! Well you know a game is a real downer if it managed to bum out John Adams!

The box score is sad. The 5 hits we got were sad. The 9 runs we gave up are sad. Our 2 little runs are sad. David Murphy getting tricked in to being out at third was sad. Ending the game on a review was sad. Dammit...John Adams is sad!

But hey - we know how to lose, right? We've lost uhm....half of the games this year. It's just extra sad to win 4 in a row then lose one in a pathetic fashion right before the team goes away for a week. And it's raining.

Josh Tomlin did not have a very last-time-we-saw-Josh-Tomlin night. He only made it 4 innings before we'd seen enough. Five runs scored off 8 hits. He did strike out 5! But it took him 82 pitches to get that far, too. But you got to learn to live with what you got.

So since the Tribe wasn't hitting, it seemed, and the Reds had us by 5 runs by the time Tomlin was out, they just left Carrasco in there as "the second pitcher." It didn't feel like relief really since he was going to be the only one and in there for so long. Just the guy who is going to get us through to the end of this game. 

But hey, I do like that Carrasco can just go in there and be used for 4 innings and nobody cares that he gave up 3 runs because - hey, innings.

Carrasco was sleepy tired by the middle of the 9th, so The Boy Pitcher Kyle Crockett came out to get the last two batters. Cookie had left some men on base, because 4+ innings is a lot. Someone hit a ball off Crockett that confused poor David Murphy and I think some 17 men scored. But then one was out at the plate. Something like that. It was over by then, man.

Michael Brantley (.323) got a hit! It keeps his hitting streak alive at 6 but ends his streak of consecutive multi-hit games. SO WHAT! Totally LOB, though. All by his lonesome. He did get an RBI.

Gomes and Aviles both had doubles, and Gomes' was an RBI double. It was on that play that this shit happened.

 So very Cleveland of us.

David Murphy had a bad game but he did get a hit. Well that's how he got to third, and was tricked. Dirty tricksters.

I wonder if we'll see this any more in other games? Now that we know that the play can't be stopped until it's over or something. Everything I've seen says the umpires were right, it's the rules that are dumb. So yeah...expect the Yankees to be writing that one down.

Let's hope that the next two games, the Tribe is filled with revenge anger! I mean, nobody makes David Murphy look like a boob! He's such a good guy! We will run away with 2!!

It'll be 7:10 tomorrow, with  Danny Salazar facing anyone but Johnny Cueto (bonus - RHP!) Excited to see Salazar again now that we are pretty sure he's a good MLB pitcher. And - REVENGE!!!

I didn't get any Radio Chatter today but I did get some Sunday, forgetting that I don't do blogs on Sunday anymore. So - enjoy!

Radio Chatter:
"The ball is really small today, Rosie."
"There's only one of them out there at a time."
- Tom Hamilton and Jim Rosenhaus on the aftermath of "Hammy Weekend"

"These crazy mascots get together, the gloves come off!"
- Tom Hamilton on the mascot party

"Of course, 101 pitches in Japan would be like, eh, two-thirds of the way home."
- Tom Hamilton

"I'm sure the Yankees would say 'Look, we spoke with God and God said this must change.'"
- Tom Hamilton on when things don't go the Yankees' way

"How did we get here? Most of us by car."
- Tom Hamilton is about to give the recap in the 10th

"That one got him in the right biscuit. The trainer waved him off from the dugout. 'I'm not coming out there for that.'"
- Tom Hamilton

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Hold Steady

Anthony Castrovince wrote a good article about feelings behind the Thome statue. He pretty much nails how I feel about the issue, so I'll just let you read it. Since I'm the Positive Tribe I'm not going to rain on today's parade with my feelings. And it doesn't matter anyway.

I will say that it's always nice to see a big crowd at the stadium, and always nice to see Indians fans cheer on Indians - old and new. So if nothing else, it was very nice to see all of the excitement for Thome today.

And then a win! They did a big win last night for Hammy day, a respectable win tonight for Thome day. Wonder what will happen tomorrow on Slider's birthday??

TJ House was our man today. Man - can you believe how young our rotation is? Or maybe not young, but green? It's almost amazing we've got this many wins, considering how much these kids don't get picked up by the offense. Hats off to the rotation!

Anyway, House did have his struggles today. He only lasted 5 innings because it took him that long to throw 97 pitches. But he struck out SEVEN in that time! Lookout!! No runs allowed by House, with just 3 hits and 2 walks. When he wasn't striking them out, he was getting ground outs.

Up next was Old Mat Atchison. According to Jim Rosenhaus he is a-ok with the ribbing he gets about his age. Some of the players have been Tweeting "Atchison is so old..." stuff lately and I guess he gets it in the dugout. Tonight everyone was like "WOW look at him go!" when he chased down Elvis Andrus during a rundown between third and home. After the game Francona quipped that Atchison might not be able to walk in the morning. Zing! Well, Atch got the win, you whippersnappers. He also stuck around for 1 2/3 innings.

Shaw had a 1-2-3 groundout inning in the 8th, and then Cody Allen came in to "close." But not officially still? I dunno, he's our closer. I think after making a big deal out of Perez and Axford, everyone is afraid to mentally knock a guy down by calling him a closer! Anyway, it was a little shaky going at the end there with a walk and a single. But In Cody We Trust. The game remained a shutout!

Good thing, too. Because the Tribe had a heck of a time figuring out this Mikolas fella who came in to the game with an 8+ ERA. He lasted 7 innings and struck out 6 Indians, only giving up 5 hits. But thankfully they put a couple of those hits together and scored 2 runs. With the good work of House and the 'pen, that was all they needed!

Kipnis is still making a go of it, now with hits in 3 games in a row. He even came around to score!

Michael Brantley (.322) is sloooowly creeping back up to my magic .330! He's hit in 3 games now, as well. Even though Kipnis has a respectable 4 hits in those 3 games, Brantley has SEVEN. Because, Brantley. Shameful he didn't get an RBI or score, or get any extra bases. But he'll keep grinding out those hits.

Santana went 0 for 2. Hey, turn that frown upside-down! Cuz you know what that means? Two walks, yo! On base, like a boss!

Chiz and Swisher both got 2-out RBI singles in the 6th, which is all there was of scoring today. Good to know that the team still has that 2-out run scoring ability. Nice to see it BEFORE the 7th inning, too.

Also, Chiz back on the hit-horse. Do you think we'll ever have a statue of him? I just advised my brother to pick up Lonnie for his fantasy team because I have an inkling that he'll be on an upswing the rest of the year. I hope I'm right!

Tomorrow is a 1:05 game, and it's Slider's birthday! I hope he has a bunch of mascot friends there. I always find that amusing. I like the Phanatic and Mr. Met. I noted last year that the Padres sent over some actual Catholic-looking guy and not the Chicken. What's up with that??

It'll be Bauer tomorrow versus RHP 2.90. Hmm, scary. But today we only scored 2 against a guy with an 8+ ERA so maybe tomorrow we'll bust it open against this guy? Stranger things have happened.

See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"It's like somebody there ticked off God."
"Or someone is there with a doll wearing a Texas jersey, sticking pins in it."
- Mike Hargrove and Jim Rosenhaus on Texas' fall from the top

"I'm glad they didn't ask me to talk, cuz I have a lot of stories."
- Mike Hargrove on the Tom Hamilton anniversary presentation

"If I really said how I feel, we'd both be fined by the FCC and we'd be doing something else."
- Mike Hargrove on Thome hayters

"I feel bad about this but my first thought was 'He'd better be dead.'"
- Mike Hargrove on Slider falling off the wall and interrupting play in the 1995 ALCS

"That's worth the ticket right there."
- Mike Hargrove on the interesting Thome-statue-related play by Mustard during the Hot Dog Derby

Friday, August 1, 2014

Happy Hammy Day!

It's Tom Hamilton's 25th anniversary as the voice of the Indians! Don't forget to treat yourself to a swell new tee for the occasion. I'm so old I remember when Hammy was "the new guy" but still he's been one of the voices of my Tribe since I was 10. I just loved him and Herb Score together. Herb was so...Herb and Tom was so radio. I love how Hammy's calls have become iconic. It always makes me laugh when Hammy is away and people complain about how bad Jim Rosenhaus is but in reality, Jim Rosenhaus is just fine. He sounds like everyone else in the league. His only "problem" is that everyone in Cleveland is used to Tom Hamilton!

I hope he's got 25 more years in him. If Cleveland can't have championships, at least we can have guys like Hammy who make every game seem like it's the most exciting game in the world!

Oh yeah so today on Hammy Day - Everybody Hits! I don't know how accurate my scale is over there on the right but if it is accurate then this is only the SECOND TIME this year that there's been a hit in every spot, 1-9! No foolin! And, get this - everybody SCORED too! Fun!

It was almost inconsequential that Danny Salazar had a great game, being that he could have given up 11 runs and we still would have been ok. But he didn't - he gave up just 1 run in his 6 full innings! Four strikeouts, 3 walks and just 4 hits.

Since it was 12-2 by the time Salazar was done, they tried out some new arms. The Boy Pitcher Kyle Crockett came in for 2/3 of an inning. He gave up 2 hits before Terry got bored with him and brought in the other new guy, Austin Adams. Adams finished up the 7th and pitched the 8th as well, giving up just one hit and striking out 1.

Carlos Carrasco finished it up and it wasn't his best showing. Once again, he had an 11-run lead but after ALL THAT it was kind of a bummer to see him give up a run on 2 hits to make it just a 10-run lead. Everyone was ready for the game to be OVER and for the party to begin!

David Murphy took the prize tonight for Pure Hitness! He went 4 for 4 against his former team/hometown team! He got 2 RBI and came in to score 2 runs, and 2 of hit hits were doubles. No LOB for him! I also hear tell that he went after a ball and ripped his pants - even though we were up 12-1. What a good guy! Six hits in the last 2 game for Murphy...locked in?

Next on tonight's awesome scale is, of course, Michael Brantley (.320). He went 3 for 4 with 2 RBI and a run scored. Five hits for him in his last 2 games. What did I say about last night being the beginning of a new hit streak? WHAT DID I SAY?!

Next is Lonnie Chisenhall (.309) who just HAD to do something big in this game. He had to! It was his 10th homer in the 6th inning that pushed him over the edge! He went 2 for 5 on the night with "just" the one RBI. Lonnie got 11 homers last year in his 94 at-bats. He's got 10 now, and I believe 96 at-bats. That's kind of interesting considering how we are viewing this year as "his" year but it just goes to show that we're being wowed by his consistency (er, by what used to be his consistency) and not just by his power. Now, if only this were the start of a great month for him, too...

Mike Aviles also got 2 hits, and went 2 for 4. Actually, I might have put him ahead of Lonnie Baseball because he got THREE RBI. All 3 of them on singles! That's our Aviles, in there making things happen. After the game he was interviewed by Hammy and was asked "Do you like to play short stop?" or something and Aviles said "I like to play. Just stop at that much." Love that guy!!

Carlos SAAAAAANTANA! He only went 1 for 3 tonight, meaning of course he walked twice. Interesting fact: His batting average and slugging were higher in July than in June (and both months absolutely trounced April and May)...but his on-base percentage in June was slightly higher than July. He wasn't hitting as much yet in June but he got his "eyes" back and started walking more than he had in the spring. There you have it! He got an RBI and scored a run tonight, giving him 13 RBI in his last 10 games.

Kipnis, Swisher, Gomes and Raburn each got hits tonight as well. And, as mentioned before, they all came in to score at least once.

Jose Ramirez, Tyler Holt and Roberto Perez all came in to the game in position player relief once the win was secured. None of them got a hit. But that was 5 young boys on the team for the Tribe tonight. Wow it feels...interesting.

In other news, Asdrubal had a nice play tonight at second for the Nationals. And this happened:

Some sort of Circle of Life, there.

Tomorrow is the Jim Thome Statue game. Meh. It'll be another young man, TJ House, up there against RHP 8.54. What? Wow, bring extra money for snacks it's going to be another long one! Do you think they can "Everybody Hits" two nights in a row after taking 3 months off? We'll see!

See you there!

I don't have any Radio Chatter tonight, but here's a celebration of Hammy's career that was compiled last year (and it's part 2!) Check out other videos by the guy who put this one up - he's Hammy's biggest fan!