Month: April 2014

Kansas City Blast

kcMan oh MAN does it feel good to be back in this situation.  FINALLY we are back playing good old baseball, and doing it in the good old Indians way.  Until this point I will be honest, I was pretty terrified of where the season was going.  Yes I know that with baseball, anything can change at any time, and I know that this could be some false hope, but I would rather have this than another W.  Plus, no matter what you say, it’s nice to WIN a 4 game series.

There are a few things that accounted into this great victory, for one, we are actually playing like the Tribe that earned a spot in the playoffs last season.  From our batting, to our pitching, we just had it all on this series, and we showed that we weren’t going to go down easy.  It was thrilling to see our runs not just scored from walks and a big double, but single after single after single, especially in the series wrap up.  We needed out bats to get going, and gain some confidence in ourselves from an offensive standpoint, and this really did the trick.

However, without pitching, we wouldn’t be able to win.  While most of the klubpitching this series was quite impressive, nothing more than the incredible arm of Kluber.  9 innings in only 101 pitches, that was something people and teams dream of, and something Cleveland has been in desperate needs of this season when our relievers feel like starters.  Especially given the sub-par starts Kluber has given us so far, it is nice to see his arm falling into place.

All in all, I honestly feel that all we needed was a little hope, a little time, and just a few good starts.  We were never a team that started perfectly right out of the gate, and we never will be, especially with a team this young.  Granted, things can change, and we can fall back, but we have already shown that we can stand with the big guns, and we’re ready for them at all corners.

Advertisements

USA vs. Canada right in Downtown CLE.

jaysTo be completely honest, I love seeing the Indians play the Blue Jays, even when it doesn’t pan out how it should like this series did.  Why you ask?  For some reason, it is amazing to see, and hear, the U-S-A chants all game long no matter what, and it is also pretty cool to see two different cultures collide on something that both treasure.  Cleveland is relatively close to Canada, and since the Blue Jays are their only MLB team, it is not surprising that a lot of their fans leak down into progressive field, sometimes even just as much as Indians fans.  Thankfully, Canadians are pretty awesome people, and the games turn into one massive love fest for the game itself, and sometimes the score doesn’t even matter.

Nonetheless, we obviously still want the tribe to win.  Sadly in this case, we just couldn’t get it done.  While there are some glimmering signs of improvement, we still are falling into the same old issues that seem to plague us forever.  To be blunt, we should’ve won that first game.  We essentially did if it wasn’t for that one bad inning from scrabble.  If we had had that one on lockdown, I guarantee the outcome would have been different.  I actually blame that one on Tito for over-managing the team, Masterson could’ve finished that inning, and we could have been going home with the W.

In any case, the Tribe, minus a few *CoughBourn’sbattingaverageCOUGH* things, are actually starting to pick up.  While I don’t really see us having the time we did last year, though don’t count us out of the playoffs yet, I see this year as more of a struggle than we have ever had before.  It is going to test us all as fans, but that is definitely something we can handle…as always.

Slow Engines Lead to a Tough Ending

jkghHere we are again, falling behind to teams that we should easily beat.  Just like the past couple years, it’s always the same story.  We start off slow, dropping games to teams like Chicago, that were easily in our hands, only to have to make all that ground up later.  We have always had the ability to pull this feat off, and somehow come out on top int he end, but for once it would be nice to start ahead and stay ahead.  Alas, this is Cleveland, and we are rarely offered such a luxury.  We are actually starting off better than we did last year technically, but after last year, I think we were all kind of hoping that our entire season wouldn’t be one massive catch up game.

The problem is that, for some reason, and no matter what we do, we can never seem to get the gears turning right off the bat like we need to.  It always seems like it takes us 6-7 innings just to realize we are actually playing a baseball game.  For instance the final game of the Chicago series.  That was a game that shouldn’t have ended the way it did.  I honestly don’t even blame Axford, be has been amazing to this point, and we can’t rely on him to have a perfect record in saves, it just won’t happen.  Sadly, it took us 9 innings just to get back into a 3 point game, something that should never happen against the White Sox.

Unfortunately, with the Tigers being up next on the schedule,  I don’t see much improvement from the club in the next couple games, I just don’t have the faith at the moment.  This doesn’t mean that they can’t surprise me and win, or sweep the series.  However, with our current play, you can’t help but be skeptical.  Though I will admit that it is nice how Murphy is catching on to the club.murphy

With the additions of Bourn and Giambi in the next couple days, it might be that our team will finally come back to Cleveland and help us back to the playoffs, though like usual, it will probably be a sprint to the finish line.  Sigh.

An Opening Series to Forget

We finally did it!  We wonasdfasdfasd a home opener!  We haven’t done that since what?  2008?  At first it seemed like we finally got over that bump we had in Oakland to kick it all off..but then we went right back to the same old same old.  Is it panic time yet?  No.  Should we be concerned however?  Maybe a little.

Granted, last year at this time we were doing no better.  Even our best hitter, Kipnis, was only batting .200, and almost lost his spot in the order.  Francona stood by his skill however, and eventually he became one of the keys to our success on offense last season.  So all of the fans will just have to do the same.  After all, waiting is what we are bred for.

This doesn’t forgive all of the problems that we had over this series against the Twins.  The Twins we should have, and could have beaten all three games.  We just let things get to our head, and is cost us in the long run.

Nonetheless, there were some silver linings to this disaster of a series, one of them actually being our hitting.  Granted, the first two games were dismal, but there was finally some gleaming light in the final game, and some hope that maybe we were finally working the bugs out.asdfads

The Hot

1:  It’s actually hard to think of anything that fit into this category, but if I had to think of anything, it would be our ability to always keep in the game.  Even though the games got away from us, we still kept trying.

2:  Swisher and Gomes.  At this point, these are they only guys we can rely on.  They finally have gotten their bats swinging, and on the field these guys will literally leave it all, especially Gomes.  He doesn’t always come through with the throw to second, but you can be sure he is at least going to try.

The Not

Everything else.  Seriously.  Especially our starting pitching, as I have zero confidence in them currently, even Masterson.  We need work all around, and if we don’t do something quick, we might get ourself in quite a bit of a hole.  We played sloppy, **COUGHinfieldCOUGH**, and we couldn’t get our bats around…again.  Hopefully we will be playing true MLB quality baseball soon.

a;lsdkjfAll in All

All in all, I am still confident that we will be able to hold through.  Watching other games no one else, besides Detroit of course, is playing up to their abilities either.  It’s the beginning of a long year, and they are getting the bugs out still.

As I said, there are still some silver linings, for instance our batting.  While it has been awful lately, the last game did show some promise, and some hope.  Our Indians are just being Indians, and they will never let us down, and when they do, we will keep following anyway.

Oooooooooakland: A Typical Beginning

indexFinally the season is back and into full swing!….and we are still being the same ol’ Tribe.  What much can you really say about it?  Even though the Indians were on a better track that they have been in the past couple of years, we still managed to, quite literally, scare the hell out of everyone who watched.  To be completely honest, it doesn’t even feel that good.  Sure, we won the series, which is all that matters at the end of the day, but there are some serious red flags that need to be addressed.

I can’t be the only one who got a little nervous when we started out with the same issues we had last year, I mean I thought we were going to learn.  Nonetheless, I am happy it turned out the way it did, and now it is time to move on and  continue the streak here in good old CLE at opening day!  As for the first series, here is a little bit about what I saw.

The Hot

1:  OUR ROOKIES.  Seriously, if it weren’t for some of the new and younger faces on the team, this blog post could be a whole lot different.  Every year it is key that you bring in good talent, and you expect them new guys to carry their own.  But winning the game for the team?  That’s almost unheard of.  Even with Morgans annoying swing he does in between pitches, he can do that all day long for all I care, as long as he keeps it up.

2:  Our relief pitching.  For most seasons, but this one the most, we always have high expectations on what our pitchers are going to do.  We expect nothing but the best every year, especially this one.  So to those people who were worried about our relief in the bullpen, I think after this series you can finally eat your words, they sure saved our buts this time.  I can’t even begin to express how amazing it is to have confidence in a closing pitcher again.  AX man?  You’re alright.

3:  Shutout ability.  Even before this season started, individuals -coughEPSNcough- claimed we were a fluke, and that we would never be able to win those close 1-0 games again that got us to the playoffs before.  However, since the FIRST GAME we had a shut out, I think we can all finally agree that some people…….just hate the Tribe, and will never have confidence in us.  I have never seen a team that can hold on to such a slim margin and still win, it’s insane.  While it scares us all to death, and probably will all season, you can’t deny we seem to always pull something out of our back pocket to keep us ahead.

The NOT

asdfds1:  Our starting pitchers.  Seriously, what the heck happened??? Of course I am completely ignoring Masterson, as he did amazing like we all expected, the others were just downright awful.  Neither Kluber nor McAllister could even find the strike zone, let alone have an inning where we didn’t have at least one base runner.  Granted, Kluber has never done well against the A’s but still, they need to calm themselves and work on some serious issues on the mound before they get the teams confidence back.

2:  Our batting.  Dear Lord…I mean I knew we weren’t the best hitting team in the league, but I thought we were at least past the old days of 1,2,3 innings EVERY inning with just pop ups to the corners.  Thank fully we had our ROOKIES to keep us in the game, and thanks to Brantley for sealing the deal and taking it home in the 3rd game.  It was sad how bad the veterans were actually doing hitting-wise, and a little concerning.  I didn’t really expect much from Swisher, but even Kipnis was having his issues.

dazfgadfAll In All

We came home with 2 W’s, and that’s all that matters when it comes to the end of the day, however we do need some serious work in our pitching and hitting.  Our fielding was great, but we can’t always rely on those 2-0 innings, especially with Detroit.

We took a little bit to warm up, but after a while we began to feel comfortable in our own shoes and picked up the pace.  It might have been a little scary seeing our beloved Indians falling into the same problems they always do, however now that the cobwebs are all shaken off, I fully feel that the tribe will fall into a positive swing, no pun intended.  It was scary, but they got it done like always.  Once some of the bugs are worked our, it will be TRIBE TIME in CLE.