So, if you follow baseball you might have heard. The Cleveland Indians probably had their most “The Magic is Back at Jacob’s Field” (for those of you that are my age) type wins last evening.
Francisco Lindor is the headliner of this roster. The pitching staff gets undue credit – they’re remarkably inconsistent. They have a World class manager in Tito Francona. But the unsung MVP of these Indians just might be little Jose Ramirez. He’s a HELLUVA ballplayer.
The Indians are good. They’re division-winning good. This is the best Indians team since that 2007 group which could have went to the World Series. How does the story end? Who the Hell knows. It’s going to depend on what version of the pitching staff shows up in October and can they get hot in a five game series and then a seven game series.
But these Indians are good, and they’re a lot of fun. They’re not dotted with superstars or anything, just a bunch of grinders and they play the game the right way. Good on them.
I got home shortly after 3:00 and started watching this game that began around 1:00 while I was still at the office. I decided to watch the Indians for the second straight day since they’re in the midst of the longest winning streak since the 2002 Oakland Athletics.
Both teams squandered opportunities, but you knew the Indians weren’t losing this game. Not with the magic they have going right now. Everything is working. Josh Tomlin is striking out eight. They’re waiting out the opposition until they’re throwing utility infielders. Trevor Bauer had a look of focus in him in the relief appearance I can’t begin to explain. The Tribe is just seriously locked in.
And good on them. This win streak which definitely climaxed today has been a nice little follow up afterparty for the Cavs lifting the curse. My wife pointed out – she watched four hours of this game with me because it was that good – that it was the Red Sox who won a title after the Celtics lifted a curse. And I think she was right.
I kind of want to see the Indians run this out another week plus to see them get that record. I didn’t hone in on the Athletics much in 2002 when they won 20 in a row other than when they steamrolled through Cincinnati that late June, and I didn’t care because I thought the A’s were trash at that point. I’m older and wiser now, and I can appreciate that the Indians are playing really good ball. Historic baseball.
With two home runs tonight, Jay Bruce hit career dingers 127 and 128 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, becoming the all-time leader; passing Adam Dunn. We’ve said it many times; Bruce has had an enigmatic career with flashes of brilliance. At the end of the day, it’s hard not to realize he’s accomplished quite a bit in a Reds uniform.
It looked at that point like it would be a happy ending for one night in the Queen City; but Tony Cingrani and the Reds pen full of shitheads had other ideas. The Reds would go on to lose this ballgame 8-7 in 12 innings on a Francisco Lindor home run. Lindor is really a helluva a little ballplayer.
You can see Lindor’s game-winning home run off Keyvius friggin’ Sampson by clicking here. That ball had some giddeup on it.
The Reds try to get swept tomorrow in the Battle of Ohio Series. It won’t be easy, as Corey Kluber gets the start and he’s Jekyll and Hyde awful, but I think the Reds have it in them.
You’re telling me that ESPN Sunday Night Baseball comeback in Cleveland where the Indians won 15-14 in one of the wildest games I’ve ever watched was 14 years ago today?
That’s exactly what I’m telling you. It’s hard to believe I watched this game in it’s entirety. In disbelief. I was just about to head off to my freshman year in college in a few weeks, and like a dork I actually kept the scorebook of this entire game. I need to find that in my parents basement and scan it on the blog.
Beltre has a lifetime 78.8 bWAR for you Sabermetrics folks. He absolutely has put up the numbers with his bat to be a likely Hall of Famer.
Texas as a team is in a weird limbo with their roster. They’re definitely not good and have all kinds of problems with pitching, yet the roster is littered with aging veterans just forced to play out the string.
In what is certain to be a season of struggle, Beltre provided the home fans with a big moment. And everyone got to touch the head!
Corey Kluber had a historic performance today at Progressive Field, hanging 18 strikeouts on the team with the best record in baseball. He predictably whiffed Mark Reynolds three times in three at-bats. Two first-inning runs were all the Indians needed to coast to a 2-0 win.
Maybe, just maybe this is the game that gets the Tribe going a little bit. And suddenly that little feat of 16 or more strikeouts and zero walks by a pitcher that we mentioned a few days ago has occurred twice within a week.
It was last April 10th, 2014 when Jose Abreu hit a pair of homers into the Chicago night off Danny Salazar and Josh Outman when we realized that this guy has 80 scale power. Something about Chief Wahoo just brings out the true brutality of Big Cuban Stud.
Cleveland fans hate seeing this guy come to town more than Jack Parkman.
Tonight, he hit his second home run of the season off some poor Miller Light canopy at Progressive Field; and it was already his sixth career homer against the Indians.
And something about a huge daily fantasy contest brings out the best in this guy. Last year during the DraftStreet Friday Big Scores, he always went deep (remember the walk off grand slam?). There was a $500,000 tournament on Draftkings tonight, and some lucky sucker walked away with $50K.
We came in 870th out of 20,852. Not fabulous. Next time we will be using Abreu.
Alright, so I feel halfway bad posting this. But I am going to post it anyways for all those Cleveland Indians fans who might have had an ounce of hope left in them. Your season ended last night. J.D. Martinez took that swell kid Cody Allen out to deep center, and with it you can begin looking forward to the Browns 6-10 season that awaits them here in the fall.
I was in a fantasy football draft with about a half dozen Cleveland Indians fans when Martinez got this paydirt, and each one of them had a unique obscenity to truly capture the moment. You could tell that they too knew; deep down inside, that another Indians season will end without delivering the ultimate joy of victory.
Cleveland collapses are the most remarkable kinds of collapses.
Mike Trout typically saves his huge performances and moments for weekend nights when you can stay up late and enjoy them with the comfort of knowing you don’t have to work the next day. Tonight, on a work night; he decided to abuse the Cleveland Indians’ pitching staff.
Lets have a look.
First home run, on a pitch down of course to right field:
Absolute bomb to left-center on a pitch, once again down in the zone:
He also doubled off the wall in the first inning, but we’ve become so accustomed to him hitting rockets that MLB.com does not list it as a highlight for the man. The Angels won the game big 9-3, and we’re proud to say we’re making the drive to Cleveland tomorrow to see Trout play live for the first time. This was the type of game that tempts a fan if you’re considering it – we’ve waited long enough to buy a ticket and see the kid from Millville.
Matt Shoemaker also added ten strikeouts in eight innings of work, he’s kind of sneaky good.
This video is sent to us from a good friend, former teammate and fraternity brother, and Diamond Hogger army member himself Bryan. Bryan is an Indians fan and caught a funny tidbit while waiting out the rain delay in yesterday’s Indians home opener in Cleveland.
The Indians won the game 7-2.
If anyone can provide a screenshot or distinguish any information about the whereabouts about the guy in the brown coat who went down the pants during player introductions in Cleveland yesterday, please send us an e-mail.
Even though it was a long day at work, it seemed all was once again right with the world. Spring is on it’s way. There is a new hope arriving. As the sun shined during freezing temperatures outside today, something just felt different.
For the first time since the 2007 ALCS have the Cleveland Indians been involved in a postseason game. It was October 21st, 2007 and they lost game seven to the Boston Red Sox – who ironically awaits them if they get by the fully loaded Tampa Rays tonight.
My buddy Justin is in Cleveland for the game. He’s excited. And it’s hard to blame him. We had so many great nights watching the Tribe do battle in the playoffs in the mid to late 90’s. Maybe this is the team who brings Cleveland it’s first title in I don’t know how long. Maybe it comes in a completely unexpected form. There’s something a little bit exciting about the possibility of that for my home state.
It’s a great night for baseball. I think the Rays are good enough to go to the World Series. This is going to be another night of high drama. Full report of the Tribe/Justin later.
Last night, Old Man Balls Giambi hit one of the biggest home runs in recent Cleveland sports history, a walk-off job that bailed out Chris Perez and kept the Indians in sole possession of that precious second Wildcard spot in the American League. I also want to add that our resident Indians homer (Justin) told me via phone call that the shot went off the facing of the upper deck. That’s amazing because when I watched the replay of what I’m sure is the same home run, it landed in the bullpen in right. Perhaps he was just a little excited.
Here is the text exchange from our golden boy last evening:
You gotta love the guy. It was emotional for him. He almost cried. It’s a special year. He was hunting during the birth of two of his three children – I have never seen him cry – but Jason Giambi brings out his sensitive side.
In all seriousness, the Indians are a great story and I hope they hang on this weekend. I don’t want to be on suicide watch for my friend just yet.