(Image via Let’s Go Tribe)
The Indians just won their first Spring Training game of the season 9-2. Shocker, isn’t it? The Indians hit well thanks to their new hitting coach and Lou Marson had one heck of a game. Throw in a couple well alot of extra base hits and you have a huge win for the Indians. But it’s Spring Training.
When I think about the multitude of players contributing to the win yesterday, I become apolled. It’s amazing how many players had great games in their first game of the year. Yes I know it’s one game, but it was the first of a long season ahead. And many players out there had integrity and looked like they had a burning passion to play ball. But most of these guys were younger guys trying to make the team.
Manny Acta had a comment after the game saying “We swung the bat well, but that’s already there.” I don’t know where he’s coming from. Yes the Indians do have a great young lineup but I don’t remember anything from last year or the year before that where the Indians always “had the hitting there.” I do agree that they put on a circus show in their game yesterday, but I don’t think that they had the hitting there the whole season last year.
Yes there were bright spots in which I did say that “the Indians had the offense down pat” but those were at certain times. The offense wasn’t there as a whole last year as Acta is claiming to. But that’s his opinion, and for all I know he might be right. They hired a new hitting coach in the offseason, the hitting coach from Columbus who is said to be an outstanding coach. He is working with everyone on their swing.
For all you fans that said that Asdrubal should be the leadoff hitter, I am thinking maybe you are right. He hit a homer in his first at bat, and really works the pitchers well. I do agree with you on that perspective, but where my friends will Grady go? This is a laughing matter. There is no possible way he is going to maintain the two spot all year. He has to be moved to the three or four spot.
(Image via Let’s Go Tribe)
I thought that Grady did pretty well in his first game I have to admit. Rick Manning commented saying that “The team builds off of Grady”. Where have we heard that one before? I think I remember saying that about a few days back. Grady does give the team a discharge that they use to get on rallies. I do think that with a healthy Sizemore, a good team comes.
And no I’m not saying that we are going to win the Central, I’m just saying that we aren’t going to be a basement dweller if Grady has a good year. But the first step in making this year a good one, will be for Acta to take him out of the two spot. It is the best thing for the team right now and for the next step forward.
My personal thoughts on this situation are bring Brantley up in the opening day lineup. Put him first, Asdrubal second, and Grady can go in the third or fourth spot. But that’s just my opinion. It does make sense though on a degree. Brantley can hit all pitching and is just as effective as Asdrubal Cabrera is plus Brantley can steal 30 some bases in a season. The move for Asdrubal would make sense because numbers prove that he is a better hitter in the two spot.
(Image via Let’s Go Tribe)
But let’s lose the argument. It was a sunny, warm, humid day in Arizona. And when I got off of the bus from school, I ran home to turn on the game. It was a very exciting one if you were an Indians fan, not so much if you were a Reds fan. Back to the drawing board I guess. I saw fans that had no shirts on, sandles, and bathing suits. That’s the life eh?
Indians baseball is back for good. At least for the whole season. I craved it during the offseason and had to keep reminding myself that I didn’t need it. But it’s back, and this sudden urge of baseball makes me want to scream. It’s time for the sun to come back out, weather to reach the 70’s, and ESPN to air those Sunday night baseball games. And with Indians baseball comes more speculation and more questions which I love.
And what better than to start the season (well Spring Training that is) off with a win. Why don’t we just quit? Don’t worry fans I am just kidding. But if the Indians were to quit then well… They would set a record. A record that well, we would always hold and cherish. We would go undefeated in a season. Yes we would be accounted better than any of those 90’s teams that were amazing or any of the teams in the 50’s that were ridiculously talented.
Too bad we can’t just quit. But then baseball would be gone, and I would be bored once more. Good thing we’re not. I did hear a comment yesterday on the climate in Arizona, “It is harder to pitch in Arizona because of the humidity. The ball is slick and you can lose grip easily.” That can’t be too good for pitchers. But I guess Justin Masterson is slick proof. And guess what, Bob Feller was at one of the practices. Maybe Bob let Justin in on a few of his techniques? Possibly so.
(Image via Let’s Go Tribe)
But Justin pitched a heck of a game yesterday as he single handedly lead the Indians to a 9-2 win over the Reds. Justin went scoreless giving up one hit and gaining three strikeouts. He looked like his movement was back, and that he could put the ball wherever he wanted to. I can’t describe how he pitched in words you can understand. He came out and threw the ball like a man.
Well, Indians baseball is back on the globe and with Indians baseball means more of my thoughts and more of my anger towards the team that I love. It’s a shame that Walt Jocketty had to go on the air yesterday and embarrass himself. He didn’t seem like he was ready for his interview.. “I, I um think that the uh Reds had a um good offseason you know? Uh, we um, got Cabrera and he has showed us what he can, uh can do. So I …. *pause* I uh think we have a good um what’s that word again? Oh yeah… team.”
Oh you forgot about that? Okay Walt. At least Mark Shapiro can talk to the public. On a brighter note we won and the baseball season has begun for us. I hope that we can keep it up today. Here are the lineups via Castroturf:
INDIANS (1-0): CF Michael Brantley, 2B Mark Grudzielanek, DH Shin-Soo Choo, 3B Jhonny Peralta, LF Nick Weglarz, RF Austin Kearns, 1B Andy Marte, C Wyatt Toregas, SS Jason Donald. LHP David Huff.
REDS (0-1): CF Chris Dickerson, SS Orlando Cabrera, 1B Joey Votto, 2B Brandon Phillips, 3B Scott Rolen, RF Jay Bruce, LF Jonny Gomes, C Corky Miller, DH Devin Mesoraco. RHP Johnny Cueto.
Make sure you tune in for the game on STO or Fox Sports Ohio. It shall be another good one, and I will make sure to get a post on it. I am so proud of the Indians on their opening day in Spring Training. They are looking pretty good (*knock on wood*). Hopefully no hexes get us *knock on wood again*. Let’s just hope we can
keep this up. Until Next time…
The uh…. unloved one Brad Lidge actually had some love last night. For the first time in a year – Mr. Lidge got a BIG save in the playoffs.
What does this mean?
It means Brad Lidge is going to therapy, or he is god… let’s go with therapy. The man that was heckled by Philadelphia fans, and was going to be shunned by the city (if they could get their hands on him,) actually came through last night and saved the cities’ hopes.
Now Brad Lidge wears a big smile that can’t be whiplashed off of his face. Jokes on you Phillies fans. Looks like Brad Lidge is back….
Wait, not so fast. That’s what a one-sided nematode of a fan would be saying. The fact of the matter is, Brad Lidge is Brad Lidge – maybe a therapy session in there or two led to last nights big save that shut out the Rockies hopes, but that doesn’t mean the man is an extraterrestrial closer. Heck he is still the mediocre guy that Phillies fans made a fool of earlier in the season. He uh… might get some respect now from you?
The guy needs a pat on the back, and maybe a hug and a kiss…. and maybe pancakes and waffles for breakfast, but that’s not the point. Bradford Lidge needs your love Phillies fans.
That is the ‘secret’ ingredient, that “thing” that sets everything straight. Its your move.
There are some times in Cleveland where you are off drifting off, into a world that makes the Cleveland Indians the Yankees of today. Dreams, oh how fun!
When you pull off a win – its great! Because this year we haven’t seen many of them. Huh? Its kinda like a tidal wave just hit us.
With yesterday’s 9-0 win – a ton of things happened. But to come right down to the point – we just hit the snot out of Baltimore’s rookie Chris Tillman. Maybe it was easier in the minors bud? Should’ve stayed down there huh? There’s a shocker!
Now it seems that Cleveland has a recipe for success – and it looks like they followed it for their crushing blow to a team that stands so far out of first its ridiculous.
#1 – A rookie is on the mound that hasn’t seen the majors.
Chris Tillman gave up 6 runs in the first inning – as the Indians jumped all over his “over the top” pitching motion and just racked on run after run. Its kind of fun when your hitting the ball huh?
#2 – We hit the ball all over the place.
Cleveland had 11 hits in the game: including 6 runs in the first inning, and really stood behind Kelly Shoppach’s three run bomb, and Matt Laporta’s solo shot. It looks like this was the offense that we saw in July? This is very nice!
#3 – We pitched well and gave us a chance to win.
Check this category off! David Huff went 8 innings on his 5 hit gem in which he struck out 5 weak Orioles hitters. He really showed why he has won a team leading 11 wins on the season. He got the lefties out, and proved a point saying that “he was the #1 starter.” And right now – I don’t doubt it.
Its fun when your winning huh – and for now… let’s keep it up. Let’s just hope we can win another game this season keep your fingers crossed!
The mediocre crowd stood to their feet to help Kerry Wood complete the final out of tonights game. The roar’s of the wahoo brother’s in the house meshed with the claps of the crowd and John Adams’ drum. It was a sight to be seen – and the fireworks, what fun!
The fireworks tell the story of the game – long, exciting, and fire packed. Whatever Michael Brantley is eating before games – keep doing it. He went 2-5 tonight: and is really starting to scare me. The chills are sent down my spine every time he steps into the batter’s box, reminding me of a young Kenny – squaring every pitch up and hitting it back where it came from. It just sends me out of proportion to think of what Brantley’s talent level is.
The drum had the fans going as you could here the claps going on, and here and there a wave thrown in. It was a fun atmosphere, another Indians-esque game. The excitement even though they are out of it: the happiness even though they should be sad.
The song ‘Cleveland Rocks’ played and it sure does. The regularity of this wonderful crowd is fatal at Indians’ games. It keeps the promotions going: and the organization alive. It’s not too bad to throw in a couple bucks here and there either.
Question: “Why do fans always have to get up and move during the middle of the game? Especially at Progressive Field? It should go down in baseball rules: wait til the half inning is over before you romp around like maniacs trying to be the first one to get nachos at the Market Grille.”
And then there are the non – watchers. Fans that come and just talk the whole time instead of watching the game. Well what other way is there to spend a good 30 bucks and get nothing out of it on a Saturday night. Maybe they were in it for the fireworks? I think so…
Speaking of the fireworks – they were awesome. Just when you thought the booming and banging of the sulfur loaded gas giants was over: boom! It happened again. It almost made your heart stop hearing the never ending booms and snaps of the loud packed works.
It amazes me at whole how they put it together. At one point the fireworks played to the beat of music: and at another – ended to the song. I gotta hand it to the organization – even though this isn’t a dramatic playoff run year, you really have out done yourself this time.
What a night in all – an Indians win – and fireworks. Beautiful sight. The finale of fireworks featured a ton of colors shot at the same time into the air: making your heart stop – seriously. It made you love the Indians and the day even more. It enlightened my day at the park – and enlightened my Indians passion.
For all you face – painting, mohawk wearing, wahoo brother’s out there would you not agree that the Indians are one of the grooviest teams in baseball? Isn’t it cool that we do our ‘own’ thing and are unique from everyone and everything else?
So every brother out there – make sure you come to a fireworks night at Progressive Field: It brings out the inner self – in a way that I can not describe. You have to be there in order to feel the vibe and passion that is brought to the big picture. So come next Saturday and enjoy!
PS: Sorry to tell you but I am at a hotel for a baseball tournament thus, I can’t add pictures. It won’t let me. 🙂 Please try your hardest to except this. Look forward to all your comments – yours truly,
You know your not fooling them when the first three batters you face go: double — thrown out at third; homer; homer. It was hard for Carlos to keep his composure as he really tried to battle in there. The Tigers offense just had his number though as he was tagged for 6 runs in 3 innings of work. It’s not going to be an easy road from here.
It’s bad enough that Carlos threw 75 pitches: all in three innings. He was trying to overthrow at times; and left the ball up. It was like a merry – go – round watching all of the players circle the bases. It wasn’t really a fun game to watch: or be around. Just another bad performance.
But many stud minor league pitcher’s haven’t done so well in their first big league start: so what? Carlos could come out and dazzle us in his next start. What I have been saying the whole time is right – minor league number’s don’t matter when it comes to the majors.
Carlos was dominant against the minor league hitters as he led the league in innings pitched; and strikeouts. But in the majors – he got shelled: due to the fact the hitter’s are just so much better at the level. He’s gonna shake it off and come back and get em the next outing.
It’s not like the Rangers are going to be an easy team to face; with Kinsler able to hit the ball anywhere he wants to. It’s going to be another tough outing; and I think Carlos will have figured it out by then. He needs to pound the strike zone – but keep it low. And needs to mix his pitches often and well.
Two hits in your first game at the major league level; priceless! Michael Brantley went 2-4 last night as he ripped a single to center: and beat out an infield hit. This kid brings alot of speed to the team – and I really enjoy watching him. He makes it harder to pitch when he’s on base: and opened some eyes yesterday.
He stays back and hits the ball to left; which personally I like. He jumps on the inside fastball – which leads to never getting jammed, and he has the ability to beat out an infield hit. He is going to be a great player; you watch Cleveland. It’s not going to happen this year – but in the next two: watch out for 40 stolen bases and a .300 avg.
When anyone brings speed to the team that’s great. But Brantley brings something else; some kind of swagger. Some kind of unknown swagger that really makes this kid great. He is confident at the plate – fast as all get out; and a great team player.
It’s great that Brantley shined in his debut; I really believed in this kid’s swing – and was one of the only one’s who thought this kid was ready. He showed us that he can hit — with his to – die – for line drive swing: and his crazy speed on the base paths.
Brantley really gets along with his teammates. On STO you could see Brantley and the guys cracking jokes; and talking about their last at bat’s. It’s always fun to have a guy like Brantley around. A young leader – who has all of the confidence in the world.
Like Barry Bonds when he was on the Pirates: except the steroids were left at home. Bonds had something weird about him – he could hit for power and had speed. You don’t see that much often. In his rookie year: Bonds only hit .223 but had 16 homers and 46 runs batted in. To go along with that; he had 36 stolen bases – which meant pitcher’s didn’t want him on base.
That just shows that sometimes; your rookie year doesn’t matter. Sometimes players come out and get the rookie of the year award – and then never see daylight again. And most times like this case: they come out – and it takes them a few seasons to get used to hitting before they explode.
With Barry: I am not sure when he first used steroids. Could have been when he was with the Pirates – could have been with the Giants. But I do know this – he hit like a regular guy: and played like a regular guy for 4 years in Pittsburgh.
I think Brantley will have a year in the next few: that he will explode like Bonds did. Not home run wise – but he will steal a good 35 bases and will hit .300. He has been compared to a young Kenny Lofton; and that is spot on correct. He has the speed – hits line drives: all like Kenny did. And I would like that back in Cleveland – it has just been missing for so long.
It’s like that special song that you heard one day and you didn’t know the name of it. Five years later you heard the song and heard the name of it: and finally realized – I have been missing this for so long! Then you jam to it for a minute or two; and then gone.
Cleveland has been missing true base stealers like that song. We haven’t had a true base stealer since Lofton was here: and was a catcher’s nightmare. The whole team in the 90’s and early 2000’s was pretty darn good all together. Kenny made the team whole. Kind of like Michael Brantley makes this team whole.
Its kind of like a puzzle: the Indians are all scattered around in pieces until someone starts building – (rebuilding.) They are almost finished except they have one piece left. They have been fitting every other piece in: but none fit. Michael Brantley was that last piece. He holds everything together. Think about it…
Are you kidding me?! I didn’t see the game because I went to the fair yesterday. Boy, what a game I missed. When I saw the boxscore, dang was I surprised. Laporta and Marte are actually on legitimate hot streaks. Laporta (4-4 last night) raised his average up to .296 while Marte (2-4) raised his up to .289. These kids can play, and have finally found out how to hit at the big league level. Next year could be a shocking season Cleveland, you be ready!
Marte saved the Indians once again by hitting a three run bomb in the sixth that helped the Tribe topple the Orioles, 5-3. That was the second night of the row Marte hit a game winning homer, and he is on a tear. Marte has a 10 game hitting streak while going (15-36) .417 with three homers and twelve runs batted in. Him and Laporta have really ganged up, and destroyed opposing pitching. Who would have guessed?
Is this the same Andy Marte? The guy that was hitting in the low .200’s for his career BA? The same guy who couldn’t catch up to the fastball, and couldn’t lay off of the low curve? Yes, that’s Andy Marte, only he has a different swagger about him. He seems like he has more confidence, and patience at the plate, which leads to him getting his pitch, and nailing it every time. Andy has really came out of his shell, and finally reached his potential after so many years. I stopped believing myself last year when he hit in the .100’s. Guess it’s time to start believing!
Matt Laporta, as I said is an XBH machine. Well, last night, he went 4-4 with a double and a run. Let’s just add another one to his double column. I think he has like a five game double streak? Laporta has hit (16-39) .410 since joining the Indians and has a 10 game hitting streak. Laporta is a great hitter, the question was, “When will he become a big league hitter?” The answer is, “Now.” Laporta has a great swing, and is really seeing the ball well. Like Andy, Matt is staying back and waiting for his pitch, and his patience has really helped him.
With Marte and Laporta both on 10 game hitting streaks with similar numbers during the streak, they are adding extra fire power to a young Indians lineup. Everyone in the Indians lineup had one hit last night except for Choo, and Giminez who were 0-fers. That’s never a good night, but I am sure Choo will make up for it tonight with a good 3 hits. He is just like that. That’s how he rolls. That’s how the Indians roll. We love you Cleveland!
I can’t believe I missed the game. A friend invited me to go to the County Fair and watch a demolition derby, so I went, and we ended up watching some big smashing and banging and some smoke a-flyin. It was all a good time, but I wouldn’t trade all of that for missing a great Indians game. It’s okay though, I didn’t see the Indians 22-3 win over the Yankees. Dang! I am unlucky, that’s it.
Jeremy Sowers my friend, could you try to go more than 5 innings while giving up 2 earned runs or less? He just doesn’t have the stamina or something, because Sowers pitched pretty well yesterday but only went 4.2 innings. He gave up 2 earned on 6 hits which leads me to think he was near 70 pitches. Why wouldn’t he keep going? Who knows? Maybe Eric Wedge holds him to an 80 or so pitch count so he will ease his way into throwing more pitches. I guess he just dipped his toes in the water cause there is no way he is already halfway in.
He almost seems like Pedro Martinez, where they hold him on a leash until he gets to a certain amount of pitches. Hmmm, if only he was him… I see the similarities, 4.2 innings of work, nibbles on the corner’s, and gives up many hits. Jeremy Sowers needs to start throwing more pitches now, and see where he goes with it. Gosh I remember when my grandpa was a boy. Juan Marichal threw something like a 160 pitches and just iced his arm and was ready to throw the next day. Why can’t pitcher’s go back to the past and throw that many pitches?
Money factor definitely plays into it. If you lose a guy who threw 120 pitches to injury, or his arm is too sore to pitch for the next month, there goes $3 million right out the window. Back then, they didn’t care about money or anything. They would just go out there and pitch every day for the love of the game. I just don’t feel that factor anymore, everyone is about money, money, money. You see young guys at the Draft holding out to get more money, cough cough Stephen Strasburg. Who cares about the money? Who cares about your arm? Let’s just play baseball.
And play it the right way. The love of the game is almost shattered completely. With players not caring about baseball, just wanting money and more money. That just sickens me that players hold out just for more money so they can pay for the Ferrari, and for a mansion. Heck, $1 million is enough for me by itself! Milton Bradley is a good example, having a crappy year, and just not doing anything about it. What adjustments has he made? None. Zero. He hasn’t even thought of making adjustments. He is laughing at the Cubs because he gets paid, and the Cubs got screwed.
The Indians are showing me they have this factor, they go out there every night, gunning for the W. The starting pitchers go out there time after time, and really give the Indians a chance to stay in the ballgame. In Fausto Carmona’s case, keep the Indians within 7 runs. Good enough right? The offense has been shining with the young stars in Andy Marte and Matt Laporta, and have really been playing off of them. They are the energizer bunnies of the Cleveland Indians, and have enough power to run the team.
Even though Progressive Field hasn’t let many home runs out of the yard happen, the Indians have still won many games there. And who needs the long ball? The Indians have the gaps and all kinds of time to run! That’s old school, and that is the Cleveland Indians! Progressive Field has been helpful to pitcher’s as it ranks about 20th for home runs hit. I guess it must be the left field wall, the mini monster. Or it could be the 410 wall at center, which doesn’t give up alot of homers. You have to be a man to hit one out there. We haven’t seen many hit it out there.
This all leads back to one factor, the love of the game. Players like Derek Jeter, Omar Vizquel, always play for the love of the game. They just love baseball itself, and don’t care about money or if they are sore or not. Cal Ripken Jr. is a great example. He was hurt many times throughout his record consecutive games streak. But did he stop? No, cuz he wanted that record. He has the love of the game and my respect. If only all players could have that, oh how the game would change…
“Here is the 3-2 pitch, Marte swings, and a long drive,.. deep center field. And it’s gone to souvenier city! The Indians take the lead off of Andy Marte’s two run home run!”
They did it. I don’t know how? But they did it. They came back from being down a run down to their last strike. Incredible! Andy Marte won it for the Tribe?! Yes, Andy Marte. The same one who is on an 8 game hitting streak. What?! I salute you Andy, ‘cuz you have finally learned,… for now, how to hit at the big league level. Shocking isn’t it, that when you are patient, you get your pitch and hit it into the gap? Shocking. Andy has it figured out for now. And hopefully can keep a-rolling for the Tribe.
It didn’t start with Andy though. Matt Laporta, the other maniac rookie, came up in the ninth and battled Jim Johnson in an eight pitch at bat, where Laporta finally got his pitch and lined it up the middle. Wow, has he learned how to hit! He is just a machine, pumping out hit after hit.
The two young guys, hit like veterans and won the game for the Indians. Not the first time we have seen that! Luis Valbuena has been hot. Asdrubal Cabrera has been seeing the ball great! Shin-Soo Choo also had 2 doubles in yesterday’s game, and has been really staying on the ball and taking it to left field. The Indians are starting to hit. They are starting to play as a team, and are really starting to open eyes!
“The two at-bats there in the ninth inning were obviously huge for us,” Indians manager Eric Wedge said. “Both were long at-bats, tough at-bats against a guy out there throwing the ball pretty good.”
“The guy’s got great stuff,” LaPorta said. “I knew that going into the at-bat, and I just wanted to put up a good at-bat for the ballclub. I just kept fighting, and I got the better end of it that time. I really just tried to bear down.”
Oh yeah, Aaron Laffey pitched a great game. I guess no one knows that because they were so happy about the Indians coming back and beating the Orioles. I will have you know, Aaron Laffey is why the Indians won the game. He went 5 2/3 innings, giving up 2 ER on 5 hits. I would give him a big pat on the back if I were Eric Wedge, because he consistantly goes out there and gives the Indians a chance to win. He locates well, and really throws his pitch to get hitters out.
The Indians won? I still can’t believe it!! Random thought: How many losses has the Orioles bullpen given up?
What a great game overall. To talk about the game here is Ted’s Take: