Friday, April 24

Big games tonight

I've got a race tomorrow so I'm not going out tonight. Live-blog both the Cavs and Tribe games? Sure, why not.

6:55: Tribe
Rick Manning keeps saying how the Indians' objective should be to win 2 out of 3 and move on to the next series. I hate to split hairs, but shouldn't they maybe try to win all three games? Wouldn't that be, like, one game better? Winning a series is an admirable goal, but let's dare to dream big.

My goodness it's hot outside. Did I miss Spring? How long have I been asleep? Since it's clearly July, did the Cavs win the NBA yet? Has Rafael Perez recorded an out?

7:05: Cavs
Austin Carr absolutely could not look happier to be alive and watching Cavalier basketball. I know about 60% of the FCF articles (at least those by Nick and I) praise AC, but the amount by which he increases my enjoyment of watching basketball is considerable.

7:10: Cavs
It's game time for Los Caballeros. Let's sweep these turkeys. They were barely .500 at home for the season - let's drop that down a little bit during the final two games the Palace will see in '09.

7:13: Tribe
Carmona is making a spot start for the FCF fantasy team tonight, so we've got quite a bit invested in Mr. Fausto's performance this evening.

1-0 Twins, 8-0 Pistons. Cabrera might be hurt. Ugh.
Hey, at least Fausto didn't walk anyone. Wedge should make him do push-ups every time he walks a guy, like how Lou Brown made Willie Mays Hayes give him 20 for every pop-up. For that matter, the more Eric Wedge does like Lou Brown, the better.

7:24: Cavs
After roughly the 93rd foul committed on LeBron, one is actually called, and everyone boos, including Rasheed Wallace.

7:129: Tribe
News flash: Victor Martinez is good at batting. Getting back to the FCF fantasy team: Mark DeRosa and Jhonny Peralta are serious deadweight on our climb out of the Cleveland Sports Blog Sports League cellar. We're getting nothing out of these guys.

Gibson hits one " the Palace." AC is like the Cavs and their fans now - playing it cool, handling business, expecting to win. Save the excitement for late, if necessary.

7:35: Cavs
Cavs and Pistons tied up at 18 after a quarter in which the Caballeros committed approximately 34 turnovers. I hope the Pistons enjoyed that lead they had. Unrelated to this game: wow, did the Bulls ever play horribly last night. Wow, after such strong efforts in Boston, coming home to a raucous Chicago crowd, and just giving nothing. I was stunned.

7:47: Tribe
Give me 20, Fausto.

7:50: Tribe
Or 3 outs in 3 pitches, either way.

A sweet 3-point play by Varejao gives the Cavs their first lead of the night at 30-29; solid work without LeBron on the floor. The Indians, for their part, continue to follow yesterday's approach of making outs a quickly as possible in the early innings of the game.

7:55: Tribe
Everything I write is quickly disproven tonight: the Indians almost instantly collect their first run via a Cabrera double and Sizemore RBI single...and DeRosa takes offense to my criticism of his fantasy performance with a base hit. Underwood now claims that 13 of Sizemore's RBIs on the year are in his last 11 games. So? How is that a stat of any value?

8:01: Cavs
'Sheed collects a pointless technical a couple minutes after going to the bench. Classy guy. In related news, we're suddenly up nine, 40-31, meaning we've ripped off a 40-23 run since the 8-0 Piston start.

8:05: Cavs
Get that weak stuff outta here! Nice work, Z. More importantly, Varejao is superb at the show on the pick and roll. No matter what route the Piston guard takes, he runs into a Brazilian Brick Wall.

8:07: Tribe
Maybe 20 isn't a fearsome enough punishment. 50? 100? Throw strikes, Fausto.

8:11: Cavs
Z's fast break is easily the best moment of the game so far. That was magnificent. That was nothing less than the basketball equivalent of a Shaun-Rogers-style defensive lineman chugging the other way with an interception. Z's last-second attempt came a fraction of a second too late, but the Cavs still will take a solid seven-point advantage into the locker room.

8:14: Tribe
Meanwhile, Carmona continues to torch the Tribe game as well as the FCF fantasy club, though DeRosa's throwing error directly caused one of the Twins' two runs in the frame.

If I was drinking tonight, I definitely would have stepped it up over those last 15 minutes.

8:33: Cavs
Technical difficulties have pushed me over to ESPN for my coverage of the second half. Sure, I'm losing AC, but the picture is clearer and we've got Hubie Brown, who I think is more knowledgable about basketball than anyone else. If Hubie told me that two-point baskets were more valuable than three-pointers, I'd believe him.

8:37: Cavs
Maybe I'm exercising selective memory, but when I was a younger basketball fan, I don't remember quite so many of these fouls where defenders make no play on the ball whatsoever, instead just grabbing the offensive player and sort-of throwing them down, as if they were a hammer.

Cavs only up by one now, probably because we haven't made a shot in like an hour, we have all of two points from the West/Williams backcourt, and we're gunning for the league turnover record. The Tribe continues to be a buzzkill, trailing 3-1 and looking hopeless at the plate.

8:30 into the 3rd and the Cavs have scored...wait for it...two points. A wild Mo Williams J doubles the Cavs' total for the quarter, but we're still down one. Kwame Brown's dumb-play execution remains superb. The Indians, over on STO, are continuing their out-making clinic.

Another cheap run for the Twinkies and the Cavs are tied after 3 quarters. I'm getting a bit salty here. I really don't like these teams

Cavs back up 5, some degree of order restored to the universe. Tribe, meanwhile, digging themselves a deeper hole, now down 5-1. There's really nothing they've done well tonight - so-so pitching, awful defense, lousy hitting. I've admired the Indians clubs in recent years for playing hard and being competitive even in defeat, but this year's edition is extra-uninspiring. Um...go Cavs.

9:14: Cavs
Wow, Joe Smith is bringing it tonight for the Cavaliers. On a night where they don't have the same swagger they showed in the two easy home wins, Smith is giving them a spark with defense and rebounding and is raining jumpers on the Pistons. It almost excuses him naming his rap alter ego "Joe Beast." Before long, I'm sure LeBron will contribute his own outburst and we'll be in business.

9:17: Cavs
I can't think of one nice thing to say about Detroit coach Michael Curry's suit. Let's move along.

9:19: Cavs
Up 69-60 with 6 minutes left. Looking solid. LeBron has put up a 20/10/7 rather quietly. If a guard can make an actual shot, we're looking at a triple-double.

9:23: Tribe
Unrelated to the Indians' continued struggles, I decide to go for a beer. My screwed-up knee will decide how I do tomorrow, not whether I do a little alternative carb loading.

9:23: Cavs
We're up 13, this is over. Don't even play Game 4. I wonder how Philly-Orlando is coming along?

9:27: Cavs
Z for 3! One of the Cavs' special moments caps off a 13-0 Cleveland run as Ilgauskas drops one from deep in the corner and AC goes nuts. I have officially erased my memory of any baseball I may have seen this evening.

9:36: Cavs
79-68. Now that's some defense. A few postgame numbers of note:

- 25/11/9 for LeBron to go along with a +13
- 38% shooting for the Pistons
- Cavs attempt 30 foul shots to just 12 for Detroit
- 19/10 for Joe Beast and a +12. Give him your player of the game award (LeBron already has a bunch)
- 'Sheed: 5 points, 7 boards, -10. No effort.
- Cavaliers 4-22 on three-pointers. That's terrible. Bron, Mo, and Red combined 0-14 from beyond the arc.
- Boobie with 9 points and a game-high +17 rating.
- Detroit is toast.

9:54: Tribe
Joe Nathan and the Twins formally euthanize the Indians for the evening. Better luck to the Tribe tomorrow, with Nick and Andy representing FCF in the Progressive Field bleachers!

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