Tuesday, June 16

House of Horrors

As much as I like the Indians, enjoy going to baseball games, and admire Progressive Field, this has been one rough year for me going to the ballyard so far. It probably seems worse by comparison since I have a seven-year win streak going at the neighboring Q and my hockey team just won the Stanley Cup, but even taken objectively, this year has been trying for a team whose home mark is near .500. Check it out:

April 10 (Opening Day): I bolted right at the start of a three-hour, 49-minute rain delay, only to later see the Tribe set a precedent for the season with an eighth-inning bullpen meltdown that turned a 7-7 game into a 13-7 loss to the Blue Jays. I can't believe anyone stayed through that.

April 25: A beautiful day for ugly baseball, as the Tribe and Carl Pavano fall 7-1 to the Twinkies. Describing the Indians as "lifeless" on this night is insulting to the dead.

May 28: Another damn rain delay spoiled the free tickets I got for purchasing some Tribe gear at the previous game. The Indians actually went on to beat Tampa Bay 12-7, but I wasn't about to sit through 1:55 of watery goodness just to see a game I could watch in my house.

May 30: The return of CC and the first day of a disastrous Tribe Weekend saw the Tribe get mauled 10-5 by the Yankees. I left an 8-3 game after 6 to go watch the Cavaliers and Penguins both lose. Hey, one of those series turned out alright.

May 31: The lone bright spot on my season attendance, as the Tribe posted a 5-4 win over the Spanks thanks to Jhonny Peralta's game-winning hit in the 9th. The silence of Yankee fans is a joyous noise.

June 15: One of the most frustrating games in a season defined by them. The Tribe pitching staff ruined a perfect night with a poor start by Pavano and a collapsing bullpen that turned a 12-7 7th-inning lead into a 14-12 loss. Remember how I said Toronto's Opening-Day six-run eighth-inning explosion set the tone for the year? Milwaukee seems to have liked it so much that they put up their own six-spot in the 8th.

I hated, hated the way we blew this game. Pavano had a lousy start, but you extrapolate his 6 ER in 5 innings of work over the full nine and we win this game. To me, the two major culprits were a little-heralded defensive non-play and the bullpen issuing walks, walks, walks.

Tribe pitchers put seven men on base via the free pass last night, and seemed hell-bent on putting people on ahead of the Brew Crew's two main mashers, Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder, who combined for ELEVEN of the club's RBI on the night. Wow.

In the 5th, Craig Counsell walked and scored. Don't walk Craig Counsell!

In the fateful 8th, backup catcher Mike Rivera walked. Don't walk the backup catcher! Then Craig Counsell walked again. We just talked about this!

Fortunately, at this point, we relieved the non-strike-throwing Greg Aquino with Matt Herges...then Casey McGehee walked. Stop it! STOP IT!

Then came the biggest play of the game. The play-by-play records it simply as "R Braun reached on infield single to shortstop." In my own book, I charged Jamey Carroll with an error for not staying on the second base bag. Three game recaps that I read say nothing of this, but I still don't see how he didn't make this play after a nice stop in the hole by Valbuena. [I found one that said the throw was in the dirt, but Carroll needs to stay on the bag regardless. I'll split the blame in half.] That play changes the whole inning - he holds his ground and makes the pick and we probably win the ball game.

Instead, Rafael Perez comes in, throws one pitch, and Prince Fielder turns it into four runs and a 13-12 Brewer lead. A single, gratuitous walk, and an RBI single later, Perez was finally yanked and the final margin of 14-12 was set. Yuck.

In case you're wondering, Perez and Herges combined to yield 4 hits, 2 BB, 4 ER, and zero outs. Go Tribe.

1 comment:

Ernest said...

Totally agree with you about Braun's "infield single". Carroll should have stretched. I guess when it rains it pours . . .