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


  1. I am so happy that the season has started. And that you are doing the blog. It makes my day.

  2. Of course I read your tweets, but I'm tickled pink that the blog is back, too. Keep up the great work!