This week has been one where I was either working or watching ballgames live at a ballpark or playing the game or trying to catch up on rest. Whatever you may think, it has been a busy time.
Since I last wrote a blog, my thoughts were focused on Pavano pitching like the ace of the staff this year. What happens? He gets shelled. It was a night I wish I would have taken off early when working at the gate. Instead, I stayed and saw the worst game of the year so far performed by the team. The team gave up early and the effort given was inexcusable.
The next night, it was clear on paper that we were going to outdueled by Zack Greinke, a candidate for the AL Cy Young What happened? We got to him late and pulled off an upset thanks to Jhonny Peralta key hit to tie the game up with a shot that almost went off the left field wall. Shin Soo-Choo later hit a bird that was well publicized. It caught the attention of one of co-workers the next day saying they were a good luck charm. Also, he thought, it might be a sign that we need to change the name of the team to the Lake Erie Seagulls instead of the Cleveland Indians. Whatever results from this suggestion, the team more importantly won another series.
Friday was a spectacular night. The sun was shining. The atmosphere was buzzing. In were coming the St. Louis Cardinals. Someone told me without naming the source that nationally, the Cardinals were the third or fourth most followed team in the nation as a whole behind the Yankees and Dodgers at least. Although, I think the Red Sox are above the Cardinals in popularity, nationally. Anyway, scouting the Cardinals as I was, (Mind you, I am an amateur) I found the Cardinals to be a team where Pujols is the only one to worry about on that team. Hey he hit 2 homeruns and drove in a third to help the Cards score 3 runs while our team approach was good enough Friday to score 7. Game 1 of the series belonged to the Tribe.
Saturday I went to the game with my children and my wife. We sat in the upper deck to see Albert Pujols hit another two home runs. Someone please tell Wedge, the manager that it’s okay to walk Pujols. Quit pitching to him. No one else seemed to hit that much. To solve the bird problem, the team kept shooting fireworks to keep the birds off the field and it worked. The effort offensively was not there this day and it resulted in a loss.
After the game, the birds were everywhere on the field as the fans including my family were treated to Major League. For Cleveland Indians fans, this will always be a classic.
Sunday afternoon, my family again attended a minor league game at Classic Park to see a game between the Lake County Captains and the Phillies affiliate from Lakewood, New Jersey. Lakewood is on their way to winning the first half of the South Atlantic League. The Captains fell behind early yet scored 4 in the bottom of the ninth to make it interesting and almost pull off a solid comeback. Wow, what a finish! Unfortunately it was not enough as the Captains fell short losing 9-7. Hey we were down 9-3 and were able to make it interesting at the end.
Sunday night, I needed a break from baseball. Yet I still wanted to watch to scout the Indians hitters since I needed to perhaps pick one to continue my streak from Beat the Streak. Here I was surprised to find how easily our team was getting to Chris Carpenter. On paper, I was thinking again that a loss might be ours. Why? Cliff Lee led the league in hits allowed and Albert Pujols was a hitting machine. Yet, this is not what happened. Instead, Mark DeRosa hit a two-run homerun and Kelly Shoppach hit a solo shot and had a double. This alone was enough to beat the Cards. Pujols and the rest of the Cards were almost no-hit by Cliff Lee. A three hit shutout was thrown by Lee on the second consecutive national television audience. What it meant was a third consecutive series win by the Indians. All I can say is WOW!
One nice thing to see from the Cardinals’ series was the amount of Cubs’ fans with DeRosa on the back of their jerseys amidst all the Cardinal fans that showed up. Way to go Tribe and way to go, fans!
Tonight, the NL Central leading Brewers are in town. Its’ again time for Pavano to erase the poor start he had against KC. He will be going up against Dave Bush who lost his last four starts. Hopefully this series winning mentality will be continued. We shall see. Go Tribe!
The constant drops of rain did not damper the team effort of the Cleveland Indians last night as Ryan Garko, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Kelly Shoppach all had solo shots. In between was added a 2-run homerun by Mark DeRosa. It was nice to hear the roar of the crowd and the BOOM from fireworks four times throughout the night. I was not able to cheer or observe as well as I would like so it was great to be able to rely on such a great crowd, not in terms of size but in terms of great enthusiasm.
Tampa added a solo shot of their own when he hit his 16th homerun as he continued to lead the American League and was only one homerun shy of a tie for the Major League lead in homeruns. For the most part though, Cleveland pitching kept Tampa from getting a rally going as they were held to the 1 run on 6 hits. Evan Longoria, B.J. Upton and Gabe Gross went a combined 0-11 with 1 walk and 2 strikeouts. There were seven strikeouts in all.
It was wonderful to get a win without sweating it out from the bullpen or relying on some comeback to pull us back from the jaws of defeat. I was thinking it might be a long night due to all the rain and delays. However, it turned out to be an awesome night as I was able to get home at a decent hour. Due to the awesome power-led win, the Indians are now 19-28, 9 GB from being average.
Noteworthy news: What is up with Grady? Well, according to Anthony Castrovince, he may end up having to go on the DL. Stay tuned. Called up as insurance is Trevor Crowe. I surely hope Crowe’s production can pick up if Grady does go on the DL. It will really benefit the team to see Crowe excel his way to the top while he spends time up here. Anytime you can get quality production from utility players, your team becomes that much stronger. I want to see us make a run at this division. We can only do this by winning.
I’ll be down at Progressive Field as a fan tonight. I hope to see Zach Jackson help to continue the winning ways as of late for the Tribe. It will boost our efforts if we can win while others are on the shelf for a while. Speaking of one of those DL players, I saw Anthony Reyes last night. He appeared to remain positive from what I could tell even though the possibility of surgery for him is looming. Best of luck to him and all of the Tribe!
For those that read my blog for which I am continuously thankful, I dedicate this entry to all of you.
Here is an example of a daily log that I encountered at my work site.
12:30 Right before gametime, I am approached by various visitors to the building along with some co-workers who advise me to not get so excited about the Tribe, dump them at the curb for the 2-7 team that they are and join the cheers for LeBron James and the Cavalier bandwagon.