Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Everybody's Back!

Don't get too excited - I don't mean Yan Gomes or Josh Tomlin. I mean *I* am back from a few days of craziness, and the Tribe is back from a long run in Loser Town. Here we are!

I was at the Tribe game last night representing #TribeLive. I kind of don't know what the deal was. I Tweeted like a maniac all night and used the hashtag with every Tweet and hung out in the little #TribeLive exclusive section but all I got was one RT by the Indians. Don't get me wrong - free tickets and Fun Money are way awesome. But I some how feel shafted...?

Anyway, all is forgiven. Tribe got a WIN today! BOOM!

Danny Salazar was the starter, and he did NOT have a quality start but he held those Royals to just 4 runs so that's something. He went 6 innings too, and struck out 7! This is all pretty good, considering that the Royals' team batting average is .302. Damn, that is scary! But Salazar kept it rollin, didn't walk anyone, only gave up one homer. Did everything he could to keep that lineup in check while, hopefully, his team rallied around him.

Zach McAllister came out for his "long relief" role and nailed it! He went 2 full innings with nary a peep from those Royals (well, one hit). He struck out 3! And to follow him up in the "opposite of last night" relief story, Cody Allen came in and got out with only one run scored! Hey buddy! He gave up a double and a single to right but I'll be damned if we didn't have a 3-run cushion for him to lean on. Winning!!

The big news of the night was offense! And Kipnis! And Robby Perez!!!!

Jason Kipnis had his biggest hit of the season thus far, with a 3-run homer in the 3rd. Three runs on one hit, guys! Do you remember that? Kind of funny because it was the Grand Slam Payoff inning and he was one short of a grand slam but I think we can all appreciate the sacrifice that the "loser" of that game made, eh? Kipnis also got an RBI infield ground-out to give him 4 RBI in the game. By the way - Kipnis hasn't had a homer since July 31 of 2014. Woah! Let's hope this is the first of many more!
So proud of my cousin!
Nobody else at the top of the lineup did anything today (NOT EVEN MICHAEL BRANTLEY) which sort of boggles my mind, considering we got so many runs. Carlos Santana walked 3 times, though! Last time he did that was Sept 24 of 2014 - against KC. Now you know.

Good Guy David Murphy got himself a hit today, because that is what he was designated to do.

Jerry Sands got designated for assignment today, by the way. As much as we loved him, turns out we didn't need him. I mean we did but he didn't fit in. Needed bullpen arms more.

Chisenhall got a hit. A double, even. That put him on base for when Roberto Perez got an RBI double. And then Perez was on base when Bourn doubled! It was SCHWEEEEEEET!!!

Perez wasn't done, though. He got himself a solo homer in the 8th. He also had a single in the 3rd and walked, so the kid catcher went 3 for 3 tonight with 2 RBI! Any thing to do with Yan Gomes showing up in the dugout for today's game? I still think Perez looks like a thug. And I love it.

Last but not least is Michael Bourn - our leadoff man who bats ninth! Dude had 3 hits in the last 3 series but has had 4 in these last 3 games! Today he went 2 for 4 with that RBI double, and came in two score twice because Jason Kipnis is so great. I don't know if you noticed but I am always trying to be up on Bourn, because he can really be consistent in the leadoff spot. Francona moving him to the end of the order was a nice kick in the pants, it seems. Even Bourn admitted he was "in a funk." If he's a good veteran ballplayer he will take this opportunity to turn himself around and it looks like he already is! Keep it up, Bourn!!

Tomorrow's game goes back to regular starting time at 7:10. What do you think about the 6:10 start? On one hand it's nice to get the game over with early enough for bed (for kids) but on the other hand it sure takes up your whole evening. With the 7:10 start I have 2 hours after work to get the dogs walked, go to the gym and scrounge up dinner before the game. Then again if I was going to the game and had a family with me, I wouldn't have to worry about dinner. I can see the reasoning behind the early start but all in all, I prefer 7:10.

Now, if we're in a different time zone then I'd prefer their fans suffer with earlier start times to make my life easier, thanks! :)

Anyway, Thursday is 7:10 in Cleveland versus the Blue Jays. Man, I am jazzed to go to another game already! But not so parents are already sick of dog-sitting for me this week. I gotta space it out.
The dogs clearly can sit themselves.
Our starter will be TJ House. Keep your comments to yourself. Theirs will be a LHP 4.43, so at least we've got that going for us. Possible to win two in a row? You betcha!

See you there!

Sorry, no Radio Chatter tonight. Sometimes my head just isn't in it!!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Some Hitting Hope

So for once it was one of our star starters that maybe cost the Tribe a win today. We maybe had better hitting than pitching today. Probably. We definitely had better hitting than pitching today.

It's not so bad.

Carrasco - no doubt still in a wonky situation after his stutter steps to starting (paternity leave, at the end of spring, throwing a game, getting hit in the fact, throwing a short game, today) - didn't do so hot. He only made it 4 1/3 innings before getting pulled. He was already up to 91 pitches, and had 5 earned runs. He still had 5 strikeouts! A bad start for sure but the last guy you want to give up on is Cookie Carrasco, I tell you what!

Scott Atchison was fine finishing the 5th inning but goddamnit, Miguel Cabrera! He got a 2-run homer off Atch to make it 7-2 in the 6th. Miggy's average against the Tribe this year is .632 and his slugging is 1.00. ACK!!!

Zep came in for a flawless 7th. Cody Allen "needed work" so even though there was no save anywhere on the horizon, he game in for the 8th and gave up a run. To Miguel Cabrera on a SAC FLY. MOTHER!!!!

So, pitching wasn't too good. But the highlight of the game for me was not only scoring 6 runs (double our average - and pizza discount eligible!) but also that 4 of those runs were scored in the late innings! Fantastic!

Brandon Moss got HOT again! Great balls of fire! No extra bases but he did go 2 for 3 with 2 RBI and a run scored. That's 9 RBI in this series - how many have you hit this week?

A bigger story might be Ryan Raburn, who got his 6th double and made it an RBI double. He was tagged out at third but at least he's trying to be aggressive. He got 2 hits today to give him 6 in the last 4 games. His average is .385!

Aviles and Brantley each got a hit today and scored a run, batting 2nd and 3rd. Brantley's average dropped .018 points from last night's hit-fest down to .341. Ha! Only .341! Chisenhall got a hit too, by the way.

How's this for a blast from the past? Good Guy David Murphy came off the bench and hit a homer in the 9th! GOON SQUAD!

So the Tribe actually came within striking distance, and sort of kept pace in the later innings. It didn't happen but there was a lot more bat activity - 10 hits and only 4 strikeouts - than we've consistently seen this season. Put together with all the other losses and the series so far it was just another loss. But as a regular baseball game - well it wasn't so bad!!!

Tomorrow Kluber tries to get his first win, versus the Royals at home and an LHP 6.75. Oh no, LHP! Well whatever, I can't even manage to be scared anymore. These guys gotta just go out there and GRIND.

This will be the debut of the 6:10 home games, so don't forget! I won't be around and probably won't get to hear the game at all, so cheer loud for me!!!

Radio Chatter:

"You're playing with fire when you put batters on base against this ballclub."
- Jim Rosenhaus

"The next time the Indians make Cabrera uncomfortable at the plate will be a first."
- Tom Hamilton

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Michael Brantley is So Awesome!

I didn't get to hear today's game live, but I did catch the audio archive after it was over. I couldn't avoid seeing the score, and it's always a little extra sad listening to a loss after-the-fact. Especially after last night, Tom Hamilton and Jim Rosenhaus were so upbeat and hopeful at the beginning of the game but I knew that all their hope was mis-placed. Ouch.

Bauer was supposed to pitch today but he had food poisoning and couldn't make it. Conspiracy? PROBABLY. They ended up having to put TJ House in and that kid ain't ready for anything, let alone the Tigers, so he only made it 3 innings, giving up 3 runs.

Also part of the dastardly plan was to use up our bullpen, which also happened. McAllister, Swarzak, Hagadone, Shaw. Although props to those guys because they went 5 innings with only one run scored, off McAllister. They - and House - actually managed to get 10 strikeouts, keeping up the team's excellent record thus far. Not bad against the Tigers, really, considering how the Tigers played us earlier this year. But still - it was no Bauer!

The Tribe didn't win because the lineup went back to being shit today so I ain't even gonna say. Except...

Holy schnikes, Michael Brantley is HOT! Today he went 4 for 4 with a double, and the team's only RBI. That is 7 for 8 in these 2 games against the Tigers, and his average jumped up to .359!!!

And he also looks good in a hat!
So, whatever. Totally not House's fault because once again the starter could have given up one run and still the Tribe wouldn't have won. Lame!

On to tomorrow. Yeesh. It'll be Carrasco versus LHP 3.74. LHP, huh? Everyone be sure to go to church!

See you there!

Friday, April 24, 2015

We're Gonna Make It After All!

Tribe fans, unclench!! That team we read about in February has finally taken the field!

How excited are you about Indians baseball right now? As excited as you were when you saw the Sports Illustrated cover? (Before you thought "Oh no....") I'm not even 2 paragraphs into tonight's game and I can't wait for tomorrow's!

Sorry I missed covering the last 2 games. But there was no Positive to wring out of those. Wednesday was just vile wasn't it?

BUT ENOUGH OF THAT! Tonight is the first night of the rest of our season! Onward and upward!

Danny Salazar was sent to Columbus to get his shit together, so he did. And then he came here and was pretty great on the 18th for the win. Just two runs and 10 strikeouts in 6 innings. Today he kicked it up a notch - just 1 run and 11 strikeouts in 7 innings. He had his STUFF!

Tribe leads the league in strikeouts, by the way. Uh huh!

To round out the game they let ol' Atchison come in and keep his 0.00 ERA through another inning. Anthony Swarzak came in to finish the game in the 9th with a 12-run lead, and gave up two hits. But whatever - he also struck out 2 and ended the game on a soft popup. BALLGAME!

The kid who was starting for Detroit today had a .390 ERA coming in to the game and was the hottest pitcher in baseball. Tribe got 9 hits and 8 runs off him in 4 innings. His ERA is 3.00 now. SUCK IT, TIGERS!!!

Almost everybody hit tonight. Well, not Bourn or Perez. But seeing all those crooked numbers up and down the "hits" column is so so nice! And new!

Kipnis was batting second and he is rising from his slump nicely, now with a 3-game hitting streak. He had 2 hits tonight and oh yeah he was uh-mazing in the field!

Michael Brantley is a god among men. He just shows up and hits the ball. Hit, hit, hit is all he does. Today he went 3 for 4 with an RBI and 2 runs scored. He did what he does best in the first inning - getting a hit with two outs, and then being on base when it's time to score. EPIC BRANTLEY!!

You know it was a good game for hitting because Santana walked twice and got a hit. Not just one walk, baby - TWO. And he came around to score all three times! Two doubles and two RBI, too.

Oh hey guess who showed up today? It was Brandon Moss! The Brandon Moss we've all been patiently waiting at the window for. Our big bat that was going to give us a run or two per game. Our homer guy. HE WAS HERE!

Dude got 7 RBI tonight. SEVEN R-BEEE-I!!! A 2-run double, a 3-run homer and a 2-run homer. Still not half of the team's total RBI (crazy!) but more RBI than total runs scored by the Tribe in any prior game this season. THIS IS TRUE!!

Is this the end of his slump? Well, he does love to bat at Comerica Park. His average is around .500 there. So probably no slumping this weekend and hopefully a SPRINGBOARD to the rest of his season!!

David Murphy is keeping up with his promise to be a good hitter if designated so. He started off pretty horrible, but in the last 3 games he's stepped it up with 3 hits in the Chicago series, and 2 more tonight, including a double!

Murphy came in to score after Lonnie F'n Chisenhall came up after him and hit a 2-run homer! The Tribe didn't have any multi-run homers before tonight and suddenly it's the thing to do! Lonnie also got a double, just like Moss. It was his second double but his first homer. Yes - do it like that!

Jose Ramirez made his contribution today too - like Kipnis, both at the plate and on the field! He went 2 for 3 with an RBI and a run scored, holding down the 9-spot.

So everyone really was on point today - hitting with two outs, hitting with runners on base. Even Perez who didn't get a hit got a sac fly to advance the runners. Grinding away, leading to runs!

Like I said, I can't wait til the game tomorrow! Of course I have to wait because I have an event all day and then some stuff in the evening. So who knows when I can listen. Such a bummer because the momentum of tonight's game is STRONG! And it'll be one of our faves, Trevor Bauer, on the mound tomorrow afternoon.

It'll be a 1:08 PM start, and Bauer will be facing RHP 1.74. They killed a guy with a .39 ERA today, so we should score like 40 against this guy right?

Can't wait! See you there!

Sorry for the lack of Radio Chatter. I was wrapped up in other things today.

Radio Chatter:
"Brandon Moss not able to take the field in the 9th inning due to being battered and bruised by his teammates in the dugout."
- Tom Hamilton

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

They Did It All For the Cookie

So a week after getting drilled in the face with a ricochet baseball, Carlos Carrasco is perfectly fine. Well, maybe his face feels like it got hit with a baseball and he's got a raging headache, but he PITCHES just fine! Great Scott - dude had 8 strikeouts in just 5 innings today!

His velocity was right there, and he wasn't struggling - he only had 60 pitches after the 5th. I guess they took him out to protect him, considering he was already supposed to be staying low before he got hit in the face. So it might be a start or two yet before he's allowed to go all-out. But MAN, what a tough guy! Gotta love that Carrasco!

After him it was time for the parade of relievers. Atchison, Zep, McAllister, Hagadone, Shaw, Allen. Sigh, I wish it was the end of the season and we could all know what that list even means!

Atchison continues to be flawless, with 4.1 innings under his belt he hasn't given up anything but a single walk. The old man is showing the way! (He did throw a wild pitch but you expect that once in a while from the senile)

Zep finished the 6th with a strikeout, and then came back for 2 more outs. Then ZMac came in to end the 7th with a groundout. The 8th was all sorts of white-knuckly, even with 2 quick outs. After that was a single, then another single, and then an RBI single, then Nick Hagadone *gasp* and then a throwing error, so bases loaded and the damn tying run is at the plate. Then Bryan Shaw came in to get that strikeout to end the inning. WHEW! ZMac and Hagadone - hide your wife, hide your kids - it's the 8th inning!

Before the game Tito was all "I hope Cody gets to pitch tonight because he's our man" and I'm like "errrrm...." and then what do you know, Cody comes in to pitch tonight. This is why we tune in night after night, because what happened last night is old news and tonight Cody Allen pitched a 1-2-3 inning, and the Tribe wins.
This is why you can never second-guess Terry Francona.

The boys still weren't "bats on fire" tonight but the guys who did get hits managed to string them together this time, which makes all the difference in the world!

Carlos Santana and David Murphy each homered today. Solo homers, of course. David Murphy's was his first and it was "A-WAAAAAAY OUT OF HERE!" Love it!

In the 6th inning, Kipnis and Brantley got back-to-back singles and Moss loaded the bases with a walk. And then Ryan Raburn, pinch hitting for Murphy, got a 2-RBI single! It was just about the most baseball thing this team has done all year. It was so Goon Squad I almost fainted!!

But wait - there's more! This kid Carlos Rodon was brought in in the 6th, and gave up that 2-run single. He was back for the 7th and the Tribe continued to jump all over his first-appearance nerves. And his leetle tiny mustache!

So Rondon walked Perez and Ramirez, and Bourn got them over on a bunt. Kipnis gets an RBI sac fly but Brantley does him one better by getting an RBI single!

So Brantley is 2 for 4 on the night because he's amazing, and Kipnis is right back out of his pre-Chicago slump because he's in Chicago now.

Murphy and Raburn got 3 hits and 3 RBI between them! That's half of the night's RBI!

Carlos Santana walked and homered because baseball.

So now that we've got that bad taste out of our mouths, there's one more chance for us in Chicago. Tomorrow it's our awesome guy versus their awesome guy - Kluber on RHP 4.29. Yay, rightie! Yay, Kluber! It's at 2:10 so don't forget!

See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"When you don't score's like this club is a high-wire act and there's no net below."
- Tom Hamilton

"Doesn't cost a nickel to be nice to people. Some people still haven't learned. That's tonight's sermon."
- Tom Hamilton

"Chris Sale, if he had been walking on Lakeside Drive today he would have been blown into Lake Michigan."
- Tom Hamilton

"Eric Cooper says 'Remember big boy, I'm leaning over your shoulder in the 9th nice.'"
- Tom Hamilton on the ability of catchers to complain when at bat

Monday, April 20, 2015

That Went Well! Until it Didn't...

Trevor Bauer is finally coming in to his own this season! The kid has 19 innings over 3 games, with just 2 runs given up and 26 strikeouts. He is tied for the league lead in strikeouts! He's getting better, too - even though he gave up 4 hits today, he only walked 2!

Nick Hagadone and Bryan Shaw were even tight today! I guess they just had slow starts? The two of them combined for a scoreless, hitless 8th inning with 2 strikeouts between them. Shaw's ERA is still a portly 5.4 but Hagadone is down to a near-respectable 3.0

Oh, Bauer's ERA is .90, by the way.

The lineup was shaken up today. No Bourn, Kipnis leading off followed by Aviles. Jerry Sands was in there too.

Brett Hayes is our new backup catcher, if you didn't know. Not going to post a photo because I guarantee there is nothing to remember his face by. And anyway - half the time it'll be behind a mask!

Anyway, Brett Hayes had his first start with the Tribe today (he's been back and forth between the minors and MLB (Marlins, KC, Tribe) for 6 years now). He had no errors and he hit a home run! Hey hey! According to Twitter, Brett Hayes is officially better than Willie Mays Hays.

Hey guess what guys! Ryan Raburn is good again!
He's so good that when you look at him you can't tell if he's black & blue or white & gold!

Raburn got his 4th double of the season today, and his first home run! According to Tom Hamilton it was A-WAAAAAAAY out of here! Raburn is hitting .316 on the season with 6 hits in his last 5 games!

Michael Brantley got his 2nd double of the year tonight, and it was an RBI double! He's got 3 RBI already in only 5 hits. And only 6 games! Lord, we need him every day...

Mike Aviles, who I mentioned was batting second, was playing center field today. He was getting by pretty well, batting 2 for 3 with a walk and a fiesty run scored. He even had special headgear for people from tropical climes:
Except in the 9th inning he missed a ball that a "real" center fielder probably would have caught, and that sucked, but hey at least Handsome Mike is out there trying hard! I mean if he was the world's best center fielder he probably would not be playing shortstop on Tuesdays.

Anyway, all these nice things happened and then Cody Allen came in and gave up 4 runs on a walk and 6 hits, and we lost the game. The end.

Tomorrow's game is an 8:10 start with pitcher ... Carlos Carrasco! We'll get to see what a tough COOKIE he is! He'll be facing an RHP 3.86. As usual, maybe the Tribe will win. See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"Trevor Bauer keeping America clean. Picked up the wrapper and gave it to the bat boy. And got booed! Tough town."
- Tom Hamilton on a runaway hot dog wrapper

"Nobody ever knows the third base coach's name unless somebody gets thrown out at the plate."
- Tom Hamilton on Mike Sarbaugh

"Imagine you're a college baseball player facing the Huskies on a Friday night. You finally get Tim Lincicum out of the game only to face Nick Hagadone. You might consider joining the golf team instead."
- Tom Hamilton

"The Arizona Diamondbacks might be calling up Christ Antonetti asking for a mulligan."
- Tom Hamilton on the acquisition of Trevor Bauer

"He might be the best 23rd round pick in the history of the Indians franchise."
- Tom Hamilton on Cody Allen (before he blew it)

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Whew. A Win.

So, Danny Salazar has the stuff! He threw his first start today and was waaaay better than he had been showing all spring. It took a lot of work - 105 pitches in 6 innings - but he kept his head in the game and had a quality start. He went 6 innings only giving up 2 runs and struck out TEN!! He's back to being that young pitcher we're all excited about, I think...

The real excitement came from the guy who relieved Salazar - Nick Hagadone. AKA "Nick Haga-groan" or anything else you can come up with that expresses fan's fears when it's Nick's turn at the rubber. But guess what? Dude not only came in to have a 1-2-3 7th inning after Salazar gave up a homer, but he came back for a 1-2-3 8th! You cool now, bro? Let's hope.

Cody Allen came in for the 9th, and he hasn't been all that lights-out either. He got the first two outs via the strikeout, then gave up a walk and everyone was like "uh oh!" but before we knew what hit us, he struck out the next guy and it was BALLGAME!

Salazar got the win and Allen got a save. Noice!

Now, could the rest of the team bring the bats to match today's good pitching? Yep!

It was really the bottom of the order - Roberto Perez followed by Jose Ramirez - that clinched this game today. They combined for 5 of the team's 8 hits, 3 of its 4 runs crossing the plate, and 1 of its 4 RBI! Ramirez got a double and Perez got his second home run of this short season!

Jason Kipnis stopped a 0-for-16 skid at the plate and managed a hit today. Brantley totally did not get a hit though. Frownie face.

Carlos Santana went 1 for 4 and strangely enough, did not walk. Brandon Moss got a double! And came around to score.

The guys held themselves to just 4 strikeouts today! Yesterday and the game before they struck out 19 times. Maybe that's a trend that is going away?

The offense is still not impressive in the least (I mean, this was a rightie they faced today!) but they need to keep trying and eking out runs here. Pitching is giving everything they've got so if the rotation can keep it under 4 runs and the offense can get over 4 runs, well that is a winning season.

One more afternoon with Minnesota, Sunday at 2:10. It'll be House versus an RHP with an ERA near 9. That is 5x better than House's ERA. Let's hope Tiger Junior gets his shit in gear.

No Radio Chatter today - I was out doing yardwork! See you tomorrow!

Kluber Continues to Dominate!

... And his team continues to disappoint.

Errors and strikeouts, ya'll. Remember how the Tribe used to do to Justin Masterson? No run support. It's happening again.

But at least we got some free baseball? (aka "extra innings")

Kluber cruised through 8 innings, striking out 8 and giving up 2 runs on 3 hits. He actually had a perfect game going in to the 6th, when Tom Hamilton was all "PERFECT GAME!" and just like last time, the perfect game and no hitter were immediately squashed by the whoever at the plate. The 6th started with a single, then a wild pitch (!) and then a guy scored, and there was a bad throw so a guy moved to second. Then a fielder's choice, and a bunt, and another wild pitch (!!!!!) which was a strike-out but the guy on third scored and then they intentionally walked a guy and then GIDP.

Yes, Kluber was still in! He threw 2 wild pitches in one inning, and only 3 last year.

Kluber righted himself by coming back for a 1-2-3 7th inning. Then he hit a guy in the 8th which is weird. He finished the 8th with just 96 pitches! Kluber's "game score" was 75, versus the other starter's 55. I forget what the "game score" is already but Kluber is 20 better!

But, you know, 2 runs. Two measley runs. Couldn't come back from that, apparently. Not even over the sad-sack Twins.

It's not as if Michael Brantley didn't try, though!! He was back for only the 2nd time this year and he got right back on his hit horse, going 2 for 5 with 2 singles and of course no strikeouts.

Lonnie Chisenhall continues to hit lefties, going 2 for 4 tonight. He's got 5 hits in his last 3 games! His hotness was recognized with an intentional walk in the 11th inning. Respect!

Mike Aviles came in in the 9th and got a double! And Carlos Santana stole a base (after walking, of course).

The big news from the bench tonight is that Brandon Moss got a homer! Hey hey! The guy we hired to hit homers is doing it! And now I get to use my swell graphic:
Here's to many more where that came from! And perhaps a few smaller hits inbetween?

Tomorrow is another day, thank goodness. It'll be at 2:10 with Danny Salazar on the mound versus an RHP who already has 2 losses under his belt. YESSSSS! Even if Salazar suffers a shaky start and the bullpen continues to be questionable, hopefully the offense can pick up the slack and cover everything with some BIG HITTING. Can't wait - see you there!

Radio Chatter:
"Once it leaves your bat there's nothing you can do about it. Murphy did his job - he smoked it."
- Tom Hamilton

"If I'm Corey Kluber I'm saying 'I'm looking for a strikeout to end this inning.'"
- Tom Hamilton in the 6th

"When he's done playing, no school will make him a principal."
- Tom Hamilton on Adrian Peterson

"You gotta be able to do a better job than that."
- Tom Hamilton on Bourn bunting

"It's as if they're looking for anything but a fastball."
- Tom Hamilton on the Indians watching strike 3 go by

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Domestic Bliss

Our first win at home this year! It came sort of non-descript on a Wednesday noon game, but whatever. People missed work ("I wouldn't say I've been *missing* it, Bob.") to see this game so it's pretty great that they got their money's worth!

Trevor Bauer was going all Feller today, extending his no-hit streak to 9 innings between his last game and this one. The first inning he threw 10 pitches! It wasn't until the 4th that a Sox got a hit. Bauer ended up going 6 strong innings (103 pitches) with just 4 hits, 2 earned runs and 8 strikeouts! Bauer leads the league in strikeouts right now with 19. Scott Kazmir is second!! Corey Kluber is knocking on the door in third, though.

The bullpen was golf-clap lovely today.
Atchison, Zep, Shaw and Allen finished the last 3 innings with no runs given up and only 2 hits between all of them. Ok, Shaw left a little to be desired and Allen almost let some slip but the golf clap is for NO RUNS!

This is how games should go: Quality start, no-run relief, and 5+ runs to get us both a win and 50% off Papa John's.

Our right-handed lineup is starting to tingle a little bit, overcoming the message that they might be the b-team but the rest of baseball is going to force them in to a-level hitting by throwing lefties at us all the time!

Sands is still on fire, with another 2 hits today! He's gotten 7 hits in his first 4 games as an Indian - with no games left un-hit! His average is .412. How long can he keep it up??

Chisenhall had his best game of the season so far, going 2 for 4 with a double and 2 RBI. I do believe he's batting 1.000 in his career against John Danks!

People are starting to hush their mouths about Ryan Raburn, who is getting back in to Goon Squad form - he's got a 3-game hit streak going with 4 hits in those games. No RBI for him today but he did come in to score!

It's weird how Carlos Santana is still batting under .300. He's got 8 hits and 7 walks in his 7 games. He's also been robbed of a few great hits, including today! But then he turned around and robbed Abreau right back. Looking good at first!

Speaking of first base, Bourn got a bunt single today. Nice to see him try that out and have it work! That could work for one hit per game for him if he needs it. Nice to see him being aggressive!

We're still missing Brantley and Gomes, and some guys who could be better bats aren't cutting it (Ramirez, Perez) but if they all keep chipping away at pitchers they can add up some runs as a team. Chicago is a good team to practice on and even better will be Minnesota!

No game tomorrow (Thurs) which sucks. We just had a day off! Friday will be a real treat in Minnesota with Kluber going against a RHP with a 7.36 ERA. Looking good for the good guys! It'll be an 8:10 game so bring your pillow. See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"I'm not even gonna say what the official score is because nobody up here can believe it anyway."
- Tom Hamilton after an er- no, a base hit.

"Santana says to Abreau 'You rob me, I rob you!'"
- Tom Hamilton

"Finding a competent official scorekeeper in Cleveland must be like searching for a dinosaur."
- Tom Hamilton

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I Can't Even...

Boy, waiting a whole day and a half for more baseball, and then this? So early in the season. It is not very Positive at all.

This happened in the first inning:
Carlos Carrasco got hit in the fact by a line-drive that deflected off his glove and then his throwing hand/wrist and then into his face. The "good" news is no concussion and nothing is broken. The bad news is that Carlos Carrasco got hit in the face with a ball.

So, Gomes, Brantley and Carrasco all out for now. Wahoo.

Poor Carrasco got the loss today, too. He gave up 2 runs (he left the game with 2 runners on, and they eventually scored) and we lost 4-1 so that's that.

ZMac came in for long relief (they just sent him to the bullpen instead of the starting rotation) and lasted 3 2/3 innings, letting Carrasco's runners score then one of his own. Then Hagadone came in and wasn't any better. Adams and Swarzak came in to throw the 8th and 9th, and held tight, but by then it was too late.

Yeah, a 3-run deficit was too late.

The offense got 3 hits and struck out 14 times. I won't even tell you what the opposing pitchers' ERAs are.

So I dunno what to say that's positive about today's game. Just thank the Lord that Cookie's face is still in-tact. You know he'll be back as soon as possible - let's hope he's still on the same trajectory!

Tomorrow ins a 12:10 nooner for the business people downtown. And they always sell a lot of tickets, somehow. It totally mystifies me, but I love it!

It'll be Trevor Bauer versus LHP 6.35. More Jer-ry! I hope to heck I remember to turn it on. Sometimes I forget these afternoon jobbies! Maybe somebody should Tweet me?

See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"If Flowers steals we'll have a real scoop. Tyler Flowers hasn't stolen a base since 2012."
- Tom Hamilton

"So much for baseball speeding up the game. Nobody got the notice to Jose Quintana."
- Tom Hamilton

"This White Sox pitching staff has made it look easy tonight."
- Tom Hamilton

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Dat Shaun Marcum, Doe!

Oh my goodness TJ House you were super bad today! Wanna know what his ERA is right now? It's 40.50. Forty point five! All we can do is laugh about it because I'm sure Tiger Junior has done enough crying for us all. Poor fella went 1 1/3 innings giving up 6 runs on just 6 hits.Dude.

Austin Adams and Shaun Marcum sped to Cleveland today from the Clippers' hotel in Indiana to fill in for the over-used bullpen and it was a darn good thing because no way were any of our existing guys going to have enough juice left over to cover the 7 2/3 innings House left on the table.

It was a great call because Adams and Marcum did awesome! Especially Marcum who cruised through the final 5!

Austin Adams did give up a homer to Miguel Cabrera but who hasn't? Kluber can't do anything with Miggy either so oh well. And it was a solo lead-off homer so Adams was ok. He went 2 2/3 innings only giving up one more hit and a walk. Just that one run.

Shaun Marcum! He came to us from the Mets after having that surgery where they take out one of your ribs to stop some constant pain and numbness ("thoracic outlet syndrome.") We've heard of other pitchers having this I think. He must be completely healed tho because for 5 innings he totally quieted the hottest bats in baseball. He gave up 3 hits and 3 walks, but just one run - a solo homer to a guy who already had 2 others. He struck out 4. And you know what? He's 33 years old! BOOM! Also, he once pitched an entire inning with a dragonfly on his hat. He also has hit a grand slam. Shaun Marcum rarely pitches over 90 MPH.

I for one am quite intrigued by this Shaun Marcum, and interested as to where he fits in with our bullpen. We might need more long guys than previously assumed. Marcum is the man!

Our offense was not given much of a chance by our pitching (or our defense - another error today). But they did keep trying to come back. They scored in the first, third and eighth. Unfortunately, they never scored enough to overcome House's deficit, let alone the other two runs that got tacked on.


Bourn got his first stolen base today! It came in the first inning after getting on base with a single then moving over on a FC. He stole third and on the next hit he was able to come home. Cool! Unfortunately that's all she wrote for Bourn for today.

Kipnis continues to keep his streak alive, now at 5 games! He's hitting .308. He got a single in the 5th...unfortunately, after striking out his first two at-bats.

I think Carlos Santana almost hits a home run every game. Does it feel that way to you? Today he didn't walk at all but got on twice via two singles. One of them was an RBI single, and on the other he ended up coming around to score! He's got a VERY solid .333 average.

What was our new hero Jerry Sands up to today? Well, he wasn't playing at Sands-ian levels today but he did eke out a hit in the 5th. He was the last man up to bat for the Tribe today too, so at least he brought the excitement! But it proved to be too much and he struck out. Ballgame :(

Hey, Brandon Moss is finally unwinding himself! He managed to get his second hit today (a double) and then walked twice, resulting in not one but TWO runs scored. Teammate!

You know who was the offensive hero today? It would be none other than Ryan Raburn. People have been throwing a lot of shade at Raburn on Twitter lately, and he might not last long. Maybe not. But today he had a good game, going 2 for 4 with a double, 2 RBI and a run scored! He hasn't been the sort to have these sorts of days consistently, but he is a right-handed bat so at least he's around when we need him. And every so often he has a day like this.

Chisenhall is still in the basement. Yeep! Average of only .167, just 3 hits in 18 at-bats. No errors yet but he did get help from a scorekeeper in Houston. Lonnie got a hit and a sac fly RBI. He also got hit by a pitch. Rudi Stein award for him today!
Roberto Perez had a sac fly RBI and a throwing error today. Yan Gomes is out 6-8 weeks. I'm not sure but I think Perez is up to the task of everyday catcher - just need him to settle in to it. Soon.

Monday is an off day and I think we all need it. Already! Missing a day doesn't mean missing a pitcher, it just means we get to see Carrasco on extra rest. Yessssss! We'll be facing a LHP with an ERA of 9 on Tuesday so I am excited to see a nice lopsided game in the Tribe's favor. Right?!

See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"You just don't replace a guy like Yan Gomes."
- Tom Hamilton

"CB Bucknor puts the silver dollar back in his pocket. It came up heads."
- Tom Hamilton on a bad call

"The strike zone is so big today that the new Corner Bar is going to be out of beer by the 5th inning!"
- Tom Hamilton

"So all you single ladies...if you want Brian to put a ring on it..."
- Tom Hamilton trying to get a birthday date for engineer Brian Motsay

"It is truly a choice between which poison you find least debilitating."
- Tom Hamilton on walking Cabrera to get to Martinez

"The guy behind the plate today has been brutal. But I tell you what he has been consistent. He does not have a favorite."
"Perez caught that in the dirt!"
"He'll probably get a raise after that."
- Tom Hamilton and Jim Rosenhaus

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Legend of #Jerry Sands

Wow, it was a long one tonight! In fact, today's 4:16 game was three minutes shy of the longest 9-inning game ever played at Progressive Field. The Tribe didn't win but the length can be attributed to them never giving up!

Kluber was our man today, which is exciting every time it happens! Wooohoo! Kluber day! He had one heck of a rough day, though. Only gave up 2 runs but the first run was a homer by the leadoff man. Owch... The next run was also in the first inning, goshdarn Victor Martinez hit into a double play and yet STILL managed to get an RBI. Being that he's Kluber, he got himself a reboot between innings and came back to go run-free through the 7th! Klube had 10 strikeouts today, which is more than he had his first game. Excelling already! They let him come in for the 7th (with a 1-run lead!) and ultimately throw 107 pitches. He got the first guy to strike out and that was it for Kluber, leaving with still a chance to get the win.

Except, the best bullpen in baseball was doing their impression of the worst bullpen in baseball, I think. Something went horribly wrong because it took 6 of them to give up 7 runs and ruin everyone's night. Zep - who came in that first night in Houston to throw one pitch and end the inning with a double play - came in tonight and did't even get one out before leaving the game with 2 earned runs under his belt.

Shaw gave up 3 hits and a run, and then Atchison finally stopped the bleeding to finish up the 7th.

Anthony Swarzak made up for his bad outing by having a good outing, leaving things exactly as he found them (no hits, no walks, no runs).

The Tribe had it all tied up going in to the 9th (woohoo!) when Cody Allen came in and just fucked everything. That's what happened, he fucked everything. Three runs. His ERA is now 21.60. So he's got to live with that.

The Boy Pitcher Kyle Crockett, who had heretofore been squeaky clean, also came in and gave up a run because all the older boys were doing it.

Tigers won it 9-6, that was the final of the game. Remember Kluber left when it was 3-2 Tribe.

Michael Brantley was out today, which makes everyone sad. Especially Michael Brantley. But we also want him to be as healthy as possible for as many games as possible so we'll all bite the proverbial bullet for now and see what these other guys can do without him.

They did manage to score 6 runs! And they came back from losing twice! And mostly it was due to Jerry Sands!

Jerry Whonow? Jerry Sands, you guys!
Jerry Sands came to us from Tampa Bay where he was recovering from wrist surgery. He only averaged .190 with them in 2014 and then .268 with the Durham Bulls. Then we brought him here and he had a great spring with 2 homers and 7 RBI, batting .304. Everyone wanted to see him in the lineup (right handed bat!) and since we were facing a lefty today well there Jerry was.


Jerry Sands went 3 for 4 today in his debut with the Indians, knocking in 4 runs and bringing the Tribe ahead of the Tigers once and then tied with the Tigers his second time.

Cleveland is currently in love with Jerry Sands (he plays right field, by the way) and even Progressive Field was getting in to it by leading the chants of "JER-RY! JER-RY!" Aren't we all so lucky his name isn't "Ron"?
Other batters to contribute today were Mike Aviles - who went 1 for 4 with a hit and a walk. He came around to score both times. Jason Kipnis who totally, totally is back, went 2 for 5 today to extend his hitting streak to 5 games. Also those two guys teamed up in the 9th inning with 2 outs to score a run. Cuz they got HEART!

Carlos Santana went 1 for 3 because he walked twice. Oddly enough he doesn't lead the league in walks yet (he has 6 to Ryan Hanigan's (BOS) 7) but he has walked in every game but one so he'll be at the top in no time!

Yan Gomes. Caught another guy stealing today. Then he got hurt while doin' his job in the 9th. And I don't mean protecting the plate I just mean keeping his foot on the plate while a guy comes running in. The guy was out, for what it's worth. But now Yan is scheduled for surgery on Monday. YUCK!!

Hooray for Roberto Perez and his decent start but Yan will be SORELY missed. And we might need to get rid of #Jerry to bring up a backup catcher!!! NOOOOO!!

Tomorrow is the last time we see those Tigers until...the end of the month. Whomp whomp. Tomorrow we really got to show them what we're made of. I wonder who will come up for Gomes?

It'll be TJ House's first start versus a LHP who also has no games yet this year. Let's see how our lefty does against this crazy Tiger lineup. Don't forget that Victor got hurt during this game, so he might be out too.

It's a 1:10 start - see you there!

Radio Chatter:
"That banned substance is not in something you buy at GNC."
- Tom Hamilton on how a player wonders how an illegal drug got in his system

"Most people didn't know who Jerry Sands was prior to yesterday's introductions. He could be the city's favorite son with one swing of the bat."
- Tom Hamilton

"Twitter aught to have a new name, call it 'Apology'. Every time someone says anything, the next day they issue an apology."
- Tom Hamilton

"Only in baseball can these scripts be written."
- Tom Hamilton on Jerry Sands

Friday, April 10, 2015

Home Opener For The People

It's actually going to be a short blog post today, because there is just TOO MUCH to day about the Home Opener but no doubt you've all been ingesting Tribe-ness all day long and there is nothing left for me to add.

The Home Opener - even more than Opening Day - is SUCH a joyful, Tribe-ful day in Cleveland that it hardly needs any extra rah-rah that this blog can bring. It's like the one day when we're all on board with The Positive Tribe!

Everyone was friggin excited about the ballpark changes and from what I saw they looked great! It's a little bittersweet but I am actually quite happy about losing 6,000 seats. That's 6,000 less empty seats on cold, cold days. And even though I'm not a drinker the new bar looks so cool! And all the people are really enjoying it and that's what I like. The Kids Club changes got thumbs-up on Twitter, too. More bodies in the stadium! How about that crazy bullpen setup, too? And the view between E. 9 and the stadium? I am not quite sure how that looks from E. 9 yet but it looks pretty from home plate!

If you haven't had a chance to look at pictures be sure to hop on Twitter, or go to or maybe Scene or something and check out all the fun everyone had at the ballpark today.

Usually I don't go to games until like, May (cuz I hate being cold) but I am officially itching to get there sooner, now. I'm comin' home!

Oh one thing that sucks is that apparently Progressive Field WiFi is only for Verizon customers now. Suuuuuuuucks! I am a Verizon wireless customer actually but I don't have a smartphone plan through them. So whether or not I can get on to the network and tweet from the park remains to be seen. One of the best new additions to the park is gone already!

So, the game. You win some, you lose some. Today we lost some. Some sloppy defense and not-our-best pitching came to light and the score ended up being 8 to 4, Detroit. Yowza.

Zach McAllister gave up 13 hits and 5 runs over 4 innings of work. That's more hits and runs than the entire staff gave up the first 3 games, isn't it? So maybe he needs more time to warm up than the first 3 guys. Those 3 guys are in fact insane - perhaps ZMac is too human.

Crockett still rocked it, so did Shaw and Atchison. Anthony Swarzak is still with us. Did you know? He gave up a run. Zep gave up two un-earned runs. Nick Hagadone was tacked on at the end there. So uh maybe we won't see him for the rest of the series?

Bourn got more hits! Two per game average - what do you think? Can he keep it up? Sadly, he got caught stealing after his first hit. Oops...

Kipnis is still hitting. Just one today but he came in to score. He just needs to keep hitting consistently and he'll fill our role as "keystone" nicely.

Brantley is back! From his back. I hope he didn't over-play, but he said "Every home opener is important to me" awwwww. He went 1 for 4.

Santana, man that guy is on a tear so far. He hit a homer that was ruled a double then reviewed as a double but it was a homer that someone touched before it was a homer. Dangit. Still he went 2 for 3 with another walk  and 2 RBI. Oso!

Brandon Moss got his first hit! He's got a ways to go, yet.

Gomes got another putout so that's cool. But Miggy stole third on him so that's not so cool.

Tribe had their first error, by the way. Zep air-mailed one to first. Like, super bad. And 2 runs scored. But 1 error in 4 games is better than last year already!

So that was that. Yes we lost the home opener but there's a lot more baseball to be had. And everyone had a great day ANYWAY! Right?

Tomorrow is Kluber versus Detroit's #1 guy, also a LHP. I'll admit that doesn't sound too good for us. But things change after the hoopla of the Home Opener - let's see if today's game gives them a charge for tomorrow. Don't forget, it's a 4:10 game.

See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"The way it's flying it might need somebody to take it home."
- Tom Hamilton on a wayward pigeon on the field

"Anyone else would have had a 5 year contract extension."
- Tom Hamilton on Cespedas coming off a "bad" year

"If the play is overturned Greg will get a bonus, be able to get that Big Mac meal super sized."
- Tom Hamilton on the video review crew guy

"The replay official will be visiting the optometrist tomorrow in New York City. Hope they're open on Saturday."
- Tom Hamilton on what he believes to be the wrong call

"The Tigers must get down on their knees every night. How they got out from under that Prince Fielder contract and got Ian Kinsler....unbelieveable."
- Tom Hamilton

"I have no idea why I brought that up"
- Tom Hamilton pondering why he is pondering the size of the flags

"Dale Scott has a dinner reservation at 8. He's not missing that baby."
- Tom Hamilton on calling a strike on a check swing

"Jobs chamberlain pitching like he gets paid by the minute."
- Tom Hamilton

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Not a Picasso, but Still Priceless

Are you pumped yet?! Three games into the season and the pitching staff is already DOMINATING, threatening stuff like no-hitters every night and racking up the strikeouts. The offense has four homers, three doubles and a triple. No errors. Is your mind BLOWN?!
The Tribe didn't completely dominate Houston, like you would expect any team to do. But you gotta hand it to Houston - that Keuchel guy and Altuve are both the Real Deal.

Trevor Bauer was our man on the hill today. Since the kid is so tightly wound, it took him a few innings to stop working so hard and settle into just making outs. He had 81 pitches by the end of the 4th. Still no hits and no runs, but 4 walks. In the 5th and 6th he was cruising, and he left the game after 6 with a career-high ELEVEN strikeouts and no hits. Looks like they've tamed the Bauer Tiger, don't you think? Arizona was happy to get rid of him because his crazy mindset couldn't be zoned in to a Real MLB Pitcher. But the Indians know Crazy, so it was nothing for them to put him straight. And here he is, winning games and taking names!

The Boy Pitcher Kyle Crockett came in for the 7th. Remember him?
Yeah after a partial season with the Tribe last year he's totally in the bullpen for real now! Anyway Crockett had It in him today, as did all the men who came before him, and he smoked the 7th inning with just one walk and two strikeouts.

Next was Scott Atchison - 16 years Crockett's senior - who also faced 4 batters and added one more to the K count (16 in all). Once that was over, everyone was like "OMG WE CAN'T NOT SAY IT ANYMORE! NO HITTER!" It's been 34 years since the Tribe has had a no-hitter. Seriously? The last one was Barker's perfect game in 1981.

Kluber came a little close yesterday but the Tribe as a team came even closer today. Nobody but nobody wanted to see Nick Hagadone in there for the 9th - and you can bet especially Nick Hagadone didn't want to see it - but there he was. Indians Twitter collectively counted to "One!" when there was one out. But there was no "Two!" as Hagadone gave up a homer to the next batter. LULZ

Terry Francona was having none of it tho. He was like "I'm here to win games from now to October, not fuck around with my bullpen to get you guys free Domino-nos pizza." (Hugely paraphrased) He's right. He's always right. Trust in Tito.

A ninth-inning homer didn't matter one skosh, anyway, because our bats finally woke up! In fact, as a consolation prize for missing the free Domino's we get 50% off Papa John's. Tribe5 - don't forget!

Bourn is back! He got two hits today, doubling up his total from yesterday and hitting like a lead-off man should. I don't know why people hate him so much. Is it just because he has a tendency to get hurt? Because everyone on our team seems to be hurt all the time (SEE: Michael Brantley) and we don't count them out. Bourn is at least good when he is in! Unlike some charlatans who are like "oh I'll just play on two bad knees, even if it means I'm awful. At least I try, right?" Bourn is just all right with me and I think we all need to love him!

People are diggin' Jose Ramirez in the two-hole, but I dunno if he is going to be hitting for power maybe he needs to move on down the line! JoRa went 2 for 4 today with a walk and a solo homer. Nice! Also they seem to think he's the second coming of Omar. I think he's great, no doubt, but I honestly am saddened by the complete disregard for Asdrubal's amazing years. I am almost wondering if Asdrubal had a crappy personality or something, which is why Tom Hamilton gives him zero respect now that he's gone. But, whatever - JoRa is our man with the moves now!

Who was ready for the big return of Jason Kipnis? Me me me!!! But with trepidation, right? Because how many times have we heard that guys are "back" from injuries but never quite the same? It feels like a crapshoot as a fan! But you KNOW we can trust in Kipnis, and the JK Kid is not disappointing! Today he had a darn TRIPLE, as well as an RBI single to go 2 for 4. And he's batting .333. Brantley numbers, yo!

Carlos Santana didn't follow up his birthday homer with any homers today, or even hits. But he used his good eye and got on base via two walks. I also heard a snippet of him saying something extremely wise - Houston is a good home-run park and that kind of sucks because when you get to the plate you just try to hit home runs. He's smarter than the average bear!

Oh Brandon Moss...some day you will come around and be the Brandon Moss we paid for. Any minute now. Aaaaaaany minute...

Did you see Yan Gomes' awesome play at the plate? He got a double in the 2nd inning and then came around to score on a single to right. He was pretty much a dead duck by the time he was 50 feet down the third-base line, but he faked to the right then swerved to the left and TOTALLY got around catcher Hank Conger! Conger is a bit of a boob and Yan Gomes is The World's Best Catcher so it makes me wonder how far in advance Yan planned that one. He was probably on second watching ol' Hank fumble around back there thinking "that guy won't be hard to cross up." He was right!

David Murphy got a hit today, as was expected of him. Nothing came of it, though. Same for Lonnie Chisenhall, who was also real-error- and virtual-error-free today!

Roberto Perez was the catcher today and he went 2 for 4 with a homer and 2 RBI. How awesome is it when your BACKUP catcher is so awesome? We had this "problem" with Santana and Gomes and now look what we have with them. It'll be interesting to see how much they use Perez since Gomes is so amazing as a catcher. Also interesting to see if the kid can keep it up when coming off the bench. Excited to watch it unfold!

Tomorrow is the HOME OPENER! YAAAAY! I think the home opener is a weird thing because the whole city is abuzz about it, and the game gets sold out, and then 2 weeks later you can't even find a Tribe game on at a bar anywhere. Kind of like how Christmas is a big deal for everyone but the other 364 days a year everyone's an atheist.

But, whatever. I have at least one friend who's going. I hope he sends me pics! And of course the game will be on WKYC - it may possibly be the last game I see on TV this year (I don't see any other games scheduled for WKYC yet). Plus I get off work early (I'm the boss so I set the rules!) and who doesn't love that??

The Tribe will be facing off with the Tigers at 4:10 (festivities start at 3, though). Zach McAllister will go against a RHP (whew!) This team has always been dynamite at home so I expect BIG things tomorrow. Can't WAIT!!

See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"This is shades of your 12-year-old Little League game. The pitcher and catcher are the only guys involved."
- Tom Hamilton on Bauer's first inning

"if it was Pitt in the 1980s, they were cheating. The coach was Jackie Sherrill and he went to the bank in a mask."
- Tom Hamilton muses on the 1987 Bluebonnet Bowl in Houston

"Here comes Evan Gatiss, the human air-conditioning unit."
- Tom Hamilton

"It's not a Picasso but it's still priceless."
- Tom Hamilton on the "messy" pitching that still resulted in a 1-hitter

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Welcome to Winning!

Carrasco's transformation last year was storybook. Cuz I'm sure we've all heard "stories" about how pitchers - or any player, really - starts doing bad and they promise to "work hard" and come back, better than ever. But no one ever does. They just take their millions and melt into obscurity.

Last year, Carrasco got seriously bad. And really it was all mental. So they put him in the bullpen and made him work for his starting spot. And they made him fix his head. I've heard Carrasco talk a few times this spring about how he is spending time in the bullpen watching how other guys (Kluber) pitch and trying to emulate them. Like, don't give up 4 runs just because you give up a double - that sort of zen you can learn from a Cy Young winner.

Anyway his comeback in 2014 was real, and it must have continued to impress because today he was signed on until 2020! Cleveland fans, can you even wrap your mind around the fact that we have TWO pitchers locked up, one of them being a Cy Young Award winner? And Michael Brantley. And Jason Kipnis. And Carlos Santana. Locked up, man! They will still be here next year, and the next and some of them even longer.

Everyone was super excited to see how our new purchase would look tonight. He didn't disappoint! In fact he did BETTER than Kluber, striking out 10 (Kluber: 7) and not giving up any runs. He only threw 88 pitches but he's not ready for a full slate just yet - he missed the end of Spring while on paternity leave. Carrasco's "game score" was a 76 to Kluber's 69.

Since Carrasco was out after 6 1/3, it was time to test out the bullpen. First up was good ol' Nick Hagadone who was haga-done (overplayed?) after two batters. A walk and a single. Next!

Secret weapon Marc Rzepczynski (copy-paste) showed everyone how it's done by throwing one pitch and getting a double play to end the inning. Scrabble-ca-dabra!

I guess everyone was worried about Bryan Shaw, because he had a shitty spring (16 hits and 12 runs in 8.2 innings. Damn, brah!) But how can you compare the dry heat of Arizona to the most humid city in America?? Shaw cut through that moisture with a knife and threw himself a 12-pitch inning with one walk, no hits and no runs. He's back, man!
Oh if you thought Carrasco and Shaw were impressive, wait til I tell you about Cody Allen! Dude threw 9 pitches for 3 outs and 2 strikeouts. Fast-fast-slow, fast-fast-slow, slow-slow-BALLGAME. Geez-o-pete, Cody Allen! If you are starting off like that I can't wait to see the rest of your season! Save #1 on the books.

The batters weren't as impressive as the pitchers, even though they were facing an old man RHP. But they still got the win and managed to go YARD twice!

Michael Bourn finally got a hit, in his final at-bat. He really impressed me after his return last season and he SUPER impressed me during the spring, so I am chompin' at the bit for him to start hitting regular-like. He did try to bunt today to get on base but it was slightly under-hit. Otherwise, he'd be making my heart jump with 2 hits instead of 1.

Jose Ramirez was batting second today. Michael Brantley is out with a sore back (NO!! N.O.) so they are messing with the lineup already. JoRa did nothing at the plate but he was fancy in the field.

Omg omg omg omg KIPNIS!! Two hits today, man!! He was shut out yesterday, and didn't have any sort of amazing spring, so it's a bit of a nail-biter to see how his season is going to go. Two hits is the bomb-diggity. Can't wait to see more!

Today was Carlos Santana's birthday, and dude ALWAYS seems to do well on his birthday. Weird thing, that! He didn't disappoint, and went YARD today to score the Tribe's first run of the season with a solo blast. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter - right after the game he was thanking fans for birthday wishes, being excited about the win and praising Tribe pitching:

Moss, Gomes and Chisenhall had 5 strikeouts between them. Blerg. On a happy note - Lonnie had an error at third but it was not officially ruled an error so the Tribe remains error-free through two. Holla!

David Murphy, being that he is such a swell guy, got a hit because he is the designated hitter and it would be impolite not to. Tom Hamilton was saying how Murphy's dad was at the game and he is an even more swell guy.

Handsome Mike Aviles!!!!! How about that guy huh? Not only was he a trooper and played left field (he's really an infielder) but he got TWO hits - including a homer! What?? Aviles on track for big numbers this year maybe?? He is definitely breaking some Minor-League hearts right now with his amazing versatility and ability to bang hits off the bench. And randomly in the 9-hole to boot. What would we be without Handsome Mike?!

Lots of good stuff stirring today, ready to break out on to the surface at any time. Pitching has been scary good - like a dream almost! Bats just need to catch up and be where they are on paper. We know these guys got it in them!

Tomorrow is a 2:10 game so don't forget! It'll be the Boy Bauer versus an RHP. Funny thing the guy's name is Asher Wojciechowski which blows my mind because I have a friend with a crazy long Polish last name and she named her son Asher. So there exists not one Asher-Polishinski but TWO! God bless America!

See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"Chris Carter, who has the range of the Statue of Liberty, has a freak reach at first to rob Brandon Moss of a hit."
- Tom Hamilton

"I tell you what...Jose Ramirez is making you forget how hard some of these plays really are."
- Tom Hamilton

"For all you children who wonder what Santa Claus does in April...he is the official scorekeeper for the Houston Astros."
- Tom Hamilton on Rasmus getting a hit off an error

Monday, April 6, 2015

That Old Feelin'

Aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh. Opening Day! Ok, The Day After The Cubs Get Their Opening Day, or something. But Indians' Opening Day, nonetheless!

Indians Twitter was rearin' to go all day long. My switch flipped around 11 this morning and I kept tabbing through work, Tribe articles and stats, and Twitter. I even made a GIF and got favorited by the Tribe:
Me after 5 PM today.
I had to figure out where to sit. What to eat. How to deal with my dogs (the last 5 years I had a senior golden retriever. Now I have two teenage mutts who insist that I remain engaged with them!) Radio or TV or TV with the radio? (That.) Apparently I could have even chosen between STO and ESPN. I went with STO and WTAM.

After all that waiting and all that planning it was...a pitcher's duel! And of course being the first day there's a good chance you'll have that (unless you're the 2010 Indians vs. White Sox). So the name of the game became "What what Kluber do."

I know some people just laugh in the face of superstition but I swear - Kluber was pitching a no-hitter right up until the moment when Tom Hamilton remarked that Kluber was pitching a no-hitter and "Bob Feller is smiling down right now. Of course Feller is the only pitcher ever to throw a no-hitter on opening day." RIGHT then there was a hit. Now, do you believe in superstition?

It's funny though, because Hamilton always does that. He could give a crap about the superstition and is always the first to mention a no-hitter or perfect game. That guy!

So Klubes did go 7 1/3 today, striking out 7. He took a minute to heat up - no strikeouts until the 6th batter. But him and Keuchel were neck-and-neck throughout.

A new stat has popped up on the Box Score for the game - pitchers' Game Score.That is:

Game Score is a metric devised by Bill James to determine the strength of a pitcher in any particular baseball game. To determine a starting pitcher's game score:
  •     Start with 50 points.
  •     Add one point for each out recorded, so three points for every complete inning  pitched.
  •     Add two points for each inning completed after the fourth.
  •     Add one point for each strikeout.
  •     Subtract two points for each hit allowed.
  •     Subtract four points for each earned run allowed.
  •     Subtract two points for each unearned run allowed.
  •     Subtract one point for each walk.
Kluber's was 69, and Keuchel 72. The highest yet has been 105 and the max possible is 114. So you know. I wonder if this will come up anywhere but my blog?

Kluber did look good, though. Strong, focused, strike-y. It felt odd that the few hits he gave up really got away from him and he ended up losing the game 2-0.

No errors from the defense though! Starting off right!

Some guys who had great springs didn't start off so great (Bourn? Man, what happened??) but at least Lonnie Can! The Chiz Kid got the team's first hit of the season with a sharp one to left. He also got a walk, so he went 1for 2 on the day.

I'll give you una conjetura who got the one of the team's other walks....Si! Si! Carlos Santana, got himself on base. Like a boss! He also got a hit, as did Yan Gomes. Brandon Moss got the other walk.

It looked to me like there were a lot of cobwebs and dust to be shaken off during this game. Facing a pitcher as tight as Keuchel didn't help but we've got so many "veterans" right now compared to other seasons that you hate to see the first game go poorly. Especially against the Astros!

But tomorrow Wednesday is another game and we've got another pitcher to keep things locked down while our offense finds itself.

Taking the mount Wednesday at 8:10 is Carlos "Cookie" Carrasco who says he's been mimicking Kluber and apparently doing a good enough job of it to shoot up to second in the rotation. I am looking forward to seeing if he is as good as he thinks he is! He'll be going against an RHP, thank goodness. Our left-leaning lineup can get embarrassingly predictable at times. Get ready for some bats! See you there!

Radio Chatter:

"Luis Valbuena is batting third and somewhere Bruce Drennan's head is exploding."
- Tom Hamilton on the former Indian

"The only Brave that Jon Hart hasn't traded away is Chief Noc-a-homa."
- Tom Hamilton

"How nice. The Astros PR people have given Rosie and I Houston Astros' magnetic schedules."
"Gonna hang that on your fridge?"
- Tom Hamilton and Jim Rosenhaus

"Off day tomorrow, for no earthly reason. Not with a retractable roof."
- Tom Hamilton