Category: Dailies

Kouzmanoff’s big splash, another near-heart attack

How ’bout that Kouzmanoff? First pitch of the first at-bat in your big league career, and it’s a jack with the bases full. All those who were watching know that he is only the third person ever to do that. What’s remarkable is that 2 of them have been in the last 13 months, and that the only other one was by a pitcher in 1898.

I certainly didn’t expect the offense to call it a night after the second inning. During the middle innings I was flipping back and forth between this game and the Auburn game, and settled back on this one as the Rangers crept closer and my War Eagles lengthened their lead.

I think we got a break on the call at home, and the Rangers got hosed. Victor blocked the plate well, but that camera right behind the plate seemed to indicate – to me, at least – that dude slid around the tag and Victor’s leg and I thought he got his foot to the plate. But I’ll take it. Mastny made like Bob Wickman in the ninth, getting the save but making us die-hards sure we would go into cardiac arrest by the end of the game.

So now we’re 18-5 in the last 23, within 4 of .500. When I got up the morning of Aug. 9, if someone had asked me what did I want the Tribe to accomplish the rest of the season, I would have said, "Just that they not lose 90 games." When you’re 17 under .500 with 2 months to go, 90 losses is what’s staring at you. Now, with this hot streak, we can hope for something much better – a winning record. For the last 28 games, I hope they match the August record by going 18-10. That would give us an 83-79 record. Even though it’s only 1 game, 83-79 just sounds better than 82-80. After the misery of May, June and July, it would be wonderful to go into the winter with a winning record of any sort.

Is he the answer?

Good article on indians.com about this cat who has started closing games for us.

Is he the solution? Too early to tell. But Tribe fans have to be pleased with the back end of the bullpen the past 2 weeks. Mastny has been flawless closing games, and Bettancourt and Cabrera appear to have re-discovered how to pitch. It has been almost lights-out after the sixth inning. Let’s hope it keeps up.

Sure is more fun when we win

The Tribe head to to Texas for 3 this weekend after finishing off a sweep of the Blue Jays last night. Can’t believe we won that one. In the ninth, when Hafner struck out and Martinez flied out leaving the bases loaded, I was sure we would get pummelled in the tenth, so I went to bed. Get up in the AM to find out Jhonny Peralta hit a walk-off jack in the tenth. Nice! At least indians.com had the video.

So the Indians are now 16-5 in their last 21, and have won after falling behind 3 times in the past week. I don’t think it had happened 3 times all year. This is what we were supposed to do from the jump. I guess it took getting rid of most of the veterans and going with the kids. Ryan Garko, Andy Marte, Franklin Gutierez, Hafner, Martinez, Grady Sizemore, Jeremy Sowers, Rafael Bettancourt, Tom Mastny, Shin-Soo Choo and Joe Inglett have all played well most of the time, and they’re all under age 26. We haven’t seen Trevor Crowe yet, and right now there’s no place to play Kevin Kasminoff, who is tearing class AAA pitching up. At least we aren’t the Royals, who have a worse record and hardly any good players in the minors.

But this is going to be a monster road trip. Texas always plays us tough and has a lot of bats to swing at you. You know Toronto will be playing angry, looking for revenge when we go there. And the White Sox are the White Sox. If we go 4-5 I’ll consider it a success. If we actually win more than we lose, I may be in need of a sleeveless jacket.

From off the top of my head and other strange places VI

Random thoughts while contemplating the magnitude of getting Peyton Manning for my fantasy football team:

  • Next up are the Royals, for 3 games in the K. We are 8-5 against them. Does anyone remember that we were 1-5 against them at one point?
  • Who’s everyone rooting for in the playoffs? Since Detroit has kicked our heads in so badly this year, I think I’m going to root for them. If you’re only going to win 4 games in a season series with a division opponent (assuming the likely event of a Tigers sweep at the Jake this weekend), you might as well get to say it was against the champs.
  • The White Sox are still the Evil People. Anyone who accepts employment with them becomes one of Lucifer’s top aids. That wil be the case long after time comes to an end. It’s a hard and fast mathematical equation – White Sox = Evil.
  • It was noted the other day that Jhonny Peralta is now 4th (from the top) in the AL in fielding percentage for shortstops. Maybe he will earn that monster contract after all.
  • I would rather watch Jeremy Sowers vs. Anyone in a 2-1 game that Sowers wins than an 11-10 game any day. Maybe it’s because great pitching is rare (for those of us that don’t live in Detroit or the Twin Cities), but I love a great pitchers’ duel.
  • Speaking of football, I hope Cleveland citizens won’t hate me when my Panthers beat the Browns this year. Keep in mind – the Browns are 0-for-life against Carolina.
  • Shipiro had better not whiff when shopping for a closer like he did last year.
  • Speaking of closers, good thing he didn’t take me up on my challenge to pay me for being the first to tout Carmona as closer, huh? Guess that’s why he’s the Indians GM, and I’m a shmuck sitting on his duff in Charlotte NC writing in a blog.
  • I would probably hate the White Sox a lot less if Hawk Harrelson disappeared off the face of the earth. Has there ever been a more annoying announcer ever in any sport? I mean, besides Chris Berman?

Trying to remain upbeat

The home PC is fixed, finally. Too bad it is now way too depressing to blog about the Tribe. It is unbelievable how badly this has turned out. The 2 problems have been that nobody can seem to catch the ball (other than Grady), and nobody in the bullpen can get anybody out (so it was a genuine surprise how Mastny managed to finish Saturday’s game).

But let’s try to keep our heads up as best we can. Marte is getting better, at the plate and at third base. Garko is hitting better than expected. Grady deserved his All-Star appearance (instead of just being there becasue an Indian had to be there). Pronk has been Pronk, and God love him for it. Hey, Shoppach actually threw some base stealers out the other day! And did anyone predict that Choo would hit as well as he has? No, especially me (since I ridiculed the trade when it happened, I won’t claim I saw it coming).

C.C. and Cliff have been steady despite some bad fortune. Sowers has been even better than advertised. Westbrook and Byrd have been decent as the 4 and 5 starters.

And we still have not seen Trevor Crowe, Adam Miller or any of those studs we have in the lower minor leagues yet. All is not lost. We may not win 93 every year, but I expect this year to be the exception, not the norm.

This is foul

Since I was a Royals fan for so many years, I am en expert at watching bad baseball (Watching 4 years of 100 losses out of 5 years will make you an expert). The debacle that is the Tribe in 2006 is among the worst I have ever seen.

Yesterday was particularly disgusting. I really wanted to blow my lunch. The defense is worse than the Royals ever dreamed of being. The baserunning, aside from #24, could easily be duplicated by a crew of toddlers (strike that, the toddlers would do better). And it has been, what, a month since anyone got a hit with a runner in scoring position?

Sowers would be on the way to Rookie of the year if only Liriano of Minnesota wasn’t a rookie this year. Grady is every bit the all-star, and Pronk, despite his recent slide, is the most under-rated player in the AL.

The rest of the team could be dropped into Lake Erie and only their loved ones would notice.

I have never seen such a bunch of pathetic, under-achieving bums in my life.

Bummed out

Tongue Man has been dealt to St. Louis. I am so bummed out. Now the tongue-wagging will be in an enemy park. A large part of the team personality has been shipped out. Not happy…….