Tagged: Travis Hafner

One Hundred!

This is my 100th Entry everyone! The Indians decided to make sure I got to write it today by beating, no not beating, slaughtering the Yankees 22-4. I wrote a Live Blog but as you can probably imagine it got a little boring just talking about the game. Therefore I talked about silly things and I recommend reading it all because it pretty much exemplifies me. This game features only a few examples of how I watch baseball games. Usually when good things happen I am happy for awhile but then realize that the same thing could happen us the next inning so I shouldn’t get too excited and jinx it. So the first inning really features watching games with Melissa but after that it’s pretty abnormal.

First Inning: Grady strikes out on a ball in the dirt. As
usual he had two strikes got a pitch in the dirt and swung. Told you that’s a
guaranteed strike out.  I yelled,
“Are you kidding me Grady? I hate you!” Wang almost hits DeRosa. Didn’t like
that. DeRosa pops up after having a 3-1 count. Threw a leftover plastic Easter
egg at the TV. Martinez flies out to left. At least he didn’t look like a fool. 

Bottom: Fausto looks pretty good in the first at bat. Jeter grounds out. Fausto
walks Damon. Teixiera hits a home run. The egg is thrown again. I yell
something. I don’t remember what. I’m pretty sure no profanities were involved
though. At least he’s on one of my Fantasy teams. Fausto gets Swisher, who was
hilarious when reading the lineup, to ground out to second and Posada to pop
out. 2-0 Yankees.

Second Inning: I love Joe Buck. I am so happy he is
announcing although I think it is rude to take him and TIm away from St. Louis
especially during the Cubs series. Hafner gets an infield hit. Is it just me or
is the grass on the infield at the New Stadium really slow? Johnny Damon took a
swim before the game. Funny. Jhonny gets a base hit to left! I literally jumped
up and down. Big League Choo hits a home run! I definitely squealed and clapped
my hands. Lia, my roommate, probably thinks I am insane at this point.
Francisco hits a double. Awesome. Ben scores from second on a base hit up the
middle by Cabrera. This is why Cabby is one of my favorites. Grady’s up. Grady
hits a foul ball but takes awhile deciding whether it’s foul or not and then
decides it isn’t and starts to run. It promptly goes foul. Haha Grady gets a
double down the right field line. That’s more like it Grady. Tim McCarver,
“Another hanger by Wang. Sizemore says uh-uh I’ll handle that Jorge.” LOL literally.
Joe and Tim are talking about how the New Stadium’s ticket prices are not only
leaving seats empty but the people close aren’t just normal fans but business
people who aren’t very loud. I think this is true. So far I haven’t seen the
same fan base that I am used to seeing in New York. It’s weird. DeRosa hits a
double into right. Grady thought Swisher was going to catch it and tagged up at
second and then ran home. Tim says it was a mistake but I think he would have
made it home even if Swisher had made the throw. Then someone was yelling at
Grady in the dugout. Presonally I think they should yell at him every time he
swings at a ball in the dirt to strike out. They apparently don’t though. Wild
Pitch. DeRosa to third.  Martinez
hits a single into right. DeRosa scores. Now we get the Yankees bullpen for the
rest of the game. Wang goes 1 1/3 innings giving up 7 runs. 22 runs allowed in
only 6 innings pitched this season. Wow. Anthony Claggett is on for the
Yankees. He was just called up today. Hafner hits one to left-center that
Gardner almost catches but drops. Martinez and Hafner are one second and third
for Jhonny. Johonny hits a line drive into left-center as well. His double and
second hit of the inning scores Martinez and Hafner. Showing me stats of Cole
Hamels’ awful start last night did not make me happy. He is killing my fantasy
team. A bloop hit by Garko loads the bases. I was actually giving the edge to
the Yankees today despite Wang’s rough start because I figured he was due for a
good one. I guess I was wrong. Francisco strikes out. Two outs. Before
Francisco nine consecutive Indians had reached base safely. A-CAB HITS A GRAND
SLAM!!!!!!! He just made my day. Ninth hitter in the lineup hits grand slam.
Quickly 0-2 on Grady. Loser. haha JK 
Grady just crushed a ball to right. I mean crushed. I take it back, he
isn’t a loser. No doubt about that one. It was gone as soon as it left the bat.
14 runs this inning and ties the record set in 1950. 3 home runs this inning.
DeRosa strikes out to end the half inning. 14-2 Indians. Don’t blow it Fausto. I am so very optimistic. (Sarcasm)

Bottom: Cano hits a ball that just dies in front of home. Martinez throws him
out. Great play by Jhonny to steal a hit from Cabrera (Melky).  Fly ball to left. 1-2-3 inning for
Fausto. Still 14-2.

Third: The Yankees are sticking with Claggett. Martinez pops
out to Gardner. Hafner hits one well into left canter but not hard enough.
Gardner has it. Another hit for Jhonny. He isn’t in any of my lineups because I
was busy all morning and didn’t get a chance to change my lineup after he was
hurt yesterday. Choo walks. Garko hits a line drive into right. Swisher dropped
it so Jhonny scores. Francisco grounds into a fielder’s choice.

Bottom: Ground ball to short. One out. Eric Wedge is talking! He wants Fausto
to be aggressive. Wedge is really boring. He doesn’t ever say a whole lot.
Jeter grounds out to third. DeRosa makes a great play. Fausto is getting a lot
of ground balls which is a good sign for a sinkerball pitcher. Damon strikes
out. 15-2 Indians.

I love the Direct TV commercials with the stupid cable
company. They make me laugh every time. “Two words: Federal bailout. Pick
up  a paper, everyone’s doing it.”
haha

Fourth: They took Jeter out. Cabby is 3-3 today with a
leadoff base hit onto left.  Grady hits
another double. Pitching change! 
DeRosa’s singles to left scoring Cabby. This live blog is pretty boring.
Martinez walks. Brandan Ryan thinks someone should google the record for most
runs scored in an inning to see if the Indians beat the record. So funny. The
Indians have impressed my hometown team. A very nice tribute to Harry Kalas.
Peralta strikes out. Longest at bat ever for Choo. Choo finally after about ten
minutes strikes out.

This commercial isn’t fair. Bobby Mayweather can’t type with
boxing gloves on.

Bottom: They are showing some guy in a suit in the stands
who looks confused. He looks like he has never seen a baseball game in his
life. Nick Swisher cracks me up. He is so silly. Why does every locker in the
Yankees clubhouse have a laptop in it? Seems excessive. Posada hits a single
into right and Choo drops it. Swisher gets to third. Thank you Captain Obvious
Tim McCarver who has just informed us that The Yankees box score looks a lot
different than the Indians box score. Gradner grounds out to the mound to end
the inning and bases loaded threat.

Fifth: DeRosa hits a 3-run home run. My fantasy teams are
killing on offense today. Days like this and Thursday make me look like a
genius. I guess I can’t speak for the other teams yet but Thursday all of my
offensive players did something. It was awesome. Martinez hits a home run. I
told you he was all the way back. Hey if we get another home run today we will
break the record for home runs in the New Yankee Stadium hit by one team. That
record, of course, was set yesterday. This all happened with two outs. We broke
the twenties. Hafner strikes out to end the inning. 

Bottom: They took out Grady
but I didn’t know that and Trevor Crowe just made a Grady worthy play and I
definitely thought it was Grady until they showed his face.  Then I had a blond moment and was
confused for a second. Teixiera grounds out.  20-2 Indians.

Sixth: Ben Francisco almost killed the umpire on a foul ball
off of his mask. He broke the mask and the umpire had to borrow one of Jose
Molina’s masks. I love the Molinas. They are my favorite baseball family. 

Bottom: Ed Hickox was joking with Victor Martinez the inning after he hit his
home run. It was pretty funny. I always wonder what they talk about down there.
Especially when they are at first and are just chatting away. What do they say?
It bothers me that I don’t know. Home run for Cabrera (M). They showed a video
of Cody Ransom jumping 5 feet and said he could jump over Ken Rosenthal. It
was pretty funny. Ken was offended because apparently he is really 5’41/2″.
Which is so much better. (sarcasm)

eventh: Bottom: Kobayashi caught a ball in between his legs
and turned a double play without ever putting his glove on it. haha

Eighth: Ed Hickox is done for the day after being hit in
the head. They have replaced him with Edwards. Thank God not Phil Cuzzi, they
said he was an option. We would have never had a reliable strike zone again if
that had happened. TRAVIS HAFNER HITS A HOME RUN!!!!!!!!!!!! Well our problem
is not offense. 

Bottom: Kobayashi makes another awesome play on the mound. This
is probably his best performance all year.

Ninth: Francisco hits a double. Cabby hits a single. Marte
just doesn’t have it. I have said that so many times; about another Marte, of
course, but still it just rolls off the tongue. Trevor Crowe gets an RBI.
Hafner almost hits another grand slam. But it’s caught by Cabrera (M). 

Bottom:
Chulk is coming in. How about we avoid another breakdown Vinnie. He did.

Thank you everyone for getting me to 100 entries. 

 

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Trevor

The Indians finally won a game! Yay for 1-5! Maybe it was divine intervention, it is Easter after all. The point is the Erie Warriors have finally put pitching and offense together to beat the Blue Jays!

Highlights
1st inning: Grady walks (he amazingly did not swing the bat once… I bet that was hard for him). Then he steals second. Then he goes to third on what the scorer apparently thought was a wild pitch (I beg to differ, clearly a steal) and then goes home on a throwing error! Grady just ran his way home!
3rd inning: Grady walks again! Mark DeRosa crushes a home run to left. 
5th inning: Here’s where it gets good. After Martinez and Hafner strike out (purcey had ten total strikeouts today) Jhonny Peralta singles to right. Shin Soo Choo walks. Ryan Garko walks. Bases loaded for Trevor Crowe, my project. Earlier in the game Trevor had been up in the same situation. He was probably nervous and anxious to get his first hit in the majors and it showed. He struck out swinging at a pitch he probably should not have swung at. He broke his bat on his knee he was so frustrated. He said after the game he was embarrassed about that but I forgive him (I actually thought it was funny). So what does Trevor do this time? He hits two-run double and finally gets not only his first Major League hit but his first two RBI’s as well. 
8th inning: After DeRosa strikes out, Martinez walks. Travis Hafner, who was 0-3 with three strikouts, hits a home run to right-center giving the Indians the 7-4 lead. Jhonny Peralta doubles. Shin Soo Choo singles and scores Jhonny. 
9th inning: After going 3-0 to Scott Rolen Kerry Wood throws him three strikes to strike him out. He then proceeds to strike out the next two Blue Jay hitters. Awesome. Best game of the season. That is not really saying a lot but it is something.
Tomorrow the Indians travel to Kansas City to play the Royals. The Royals are pitching Zack Grienke and the Indians are pitching Fausto Carmona. I am not really sure how I feel about this match-up. Grienke is really good but I personally think Carmona has Cy Young talent if he can just control his emotions. I guess we will have to wait and see. Maybe Grady will choose this series to finally start to really hit. He has shown sign of life but he is still not quite right.
I am dedicating this entry to Trevor Crowe.
trevor!.jpg

Crazy Dreams

I think the Indians should listen to this song right about now. They clearly need some help.

Crazy Dreams- Carrie Underwood
Hello you long shots, you dark horse runners
Hair brush singers, dashboard drummers
Hello you wild magnolias just waiting to bloom.
There’s a little bit of all that inside of me and you.
Thank God even crazy dreams come true.

At this point I think most people would say the Indians are long shots. It may be too early to say that but I still think people will. But they can dream can’t they?

I’ve stood at the bottom of some walls I thought I couldn’t climb
Felt like Cinderella at the ball just running out of time.
So I know how it feels to be afraid
And think that it’s all gonna slip away
Hold on, hold on.

I’m sure a lot of Indians fans think their hopes of a successful have slipped away but I think there is still hope.

Here’s to you free souls, you firefly chasers.

Tree climbers, porch swingers, air guitar players

Here’s to you fearless dancers shaking walls in your bedrooms.
There’s a lot of wonder left inside of me and you,
Thank God even crazy dreams come true.
Never let a bad day (or five) be enough to go and talk you into to giving up.
Sometimes everybody feels like you, oh feels like you, just like you.

The Indians cannot let these bad games cause them to give up. They have to keep fighting and remember that every team goes through five game losing streaks just usually not right away.

I’ve met some go getters, difference makers,

There’s Always a Silver Lining

So the Indians lost today. That stinks. A lot. They are now 0-3.

What could possibly be the good news? I’ll tell you.
1) Zack Jackson- Zack came on in relief of Carl Pavano in the second inning with no outs (that is bad). Despite everyone saying he did not deserve to be there and Vinnie Chulk should have won the job over him he pitches four innings with six strikeouts, two runs, and four hits. Not bad. Maybe he should have started. Sorry I doubted you, Zack, you did great today.
2) Grady Sizemore- Grady hit two two-run home runs today. He also struck out three times. But he looked good doing it! haha JK
Grady_Sizemore_bats_wp.jpg
And still remember Nick Adenhart today. I was thinking about not writing another entry tonight but I think he would have wanted me to. After all he clearly loved baseball. RIP Nick.
Pictures:
2)http://wastingcotime.files.wordpress.com/2007/07/walkoff.jpg

They Want You to Take the Rolls

To avoid any confusion: Yesterday’s movie quote was from 10 Things I Hate About You. I miss you, Heath Ledger! 😦

After having time to get over yesterday’s game here are some good things:
1) Grady hit the ball hard twice and Josh Hamilton made a great play to rob him him of at least a double. 
2) Victor Martinez had some very good at bats. He got a hit out of one.
3) Travis Hafner, who scored the Indians’ only run, hit the ball pretty well when he singled. Other than that his main problem seems to be timing which seems to be getting a little better as he goes along.
4) Cliff Lee actually pitched pretty well before he got hit by that ball. He claims it did not affect him but I think it had to a little even if he does not know it.
5) Ben Francisco made a great diving catch in the outfield.
6) Grady so beat out a ball he mistakenly hit down the third baseline. It was a close call though so I do not blame the umpire.
So it actually was not as bad as it originally appeared. I would like to see the Jhonny Peralta and Mark DeRosa who have been playing in spring training at Rangers Park in Arlington on Wednesday however.
I saw this headline today: MLB.TV, season off to flying starts. I have a problem with this headline. MLB.TV is not off to a flying start. Yesterday the STO feed was messed up so I only saw the game and heard the sounds of the stadium, no Rick Manning! Then when I went to the Rangers feed they had no sound at all! Then I went back to STO and I heard a slowed down Rick Manning and Matt Underwood and no picture! Finally they figured it all out but it was not what I would call flying.
Tomorrow Fausto Carmona will be taking the mound for the Indians. I hope he can have as good a day as he has had a spring. He just needs to command his emotions and nerves and he should be fine.
Today’s quote:
“How long you been married?” “Who?” “What?” “They want you to take the rolls!” This masterpiece also gave us: “I Mary Poppinsed ya!” and “Hey Jack. I’m having trouble opening this jar.” “That’s because it’s a can.”and one more; “Nana Booboo I miss you! Is Nana Booboo dead?” ‘No.”
Alright. What are these from?

Why the Indians Win It All in 2009

Toady is a off day in Spring Training for the Indians so there is no real news to report so far. 

Ryan at Prose and Ivy recently asked me to comment on his blog about why I think the Indians will win the World Series in 2009. This got me thinking that it would be a great blog post on my blog.
So here it is: Why the Indians Win It All in 2009
1) The offseason was a great one for a mid-market team with limited resources this year that will definitely be hit hard by the economic crisis. They began the offseason with a list of priorities. The first was a closer. They got a top rate closer in Kerry Wood. They could have waited until he was cheaper or a cheaper option was available. However being passive in the offseason clearly did not work last year so they had a target and they hit it. Next they wanted an infielder that was not a first baseman. A third baseman would be ideal but a second baseman or shortstop would work as well. What did they do? They got Mark DeRosa who can play really anywhere and made him their third baseman. DeRosa actually says he feels most comfortable at third. Their third priority was a middle of the rotation starter. They got Carl Pavano. So far this is their most risky and questionable move. I think it will work out for them. He may not be like he was a few years ago but he says he feels more comfortable in Cleveland and feels healthy. So far his spring has not been too impressive but he claims he is fine. The one thing the Indians are giving him that no one else would is a chance. They are showing him that they believe in him and they are willing to let him try to come back. I think this will do a lot for him.
2) The Indians’ offense is shaping up to be one of the most potent offenses in the Majors. Just look at the projected lineup:

Grady Sizemore CF

Mark DeRosa 3B

Victor Martinez C/1B

Jhonny Peralta SS

Travis Hafner DH

Shin Soo Choo RF

Ben Francisco LF

Ryan Garko 1B

Asdrubal Cabrera 2B

Insert Kelly Shoppach for Ryan Garko on days Cliff Lee pitches and whenever else Eric Wedge feels like playing him.

The first six batters are all legit home run threats. Even without home runs there are some scary things happening in that lineup for opposing pitchers. If Grady gets on DeRosa has already said that he would love to figure something out with Grady to make it easier for Grady steal some more bases this year. So there is the stolen base threat. Then there is the RBI threat without a home run. This entire lineup is capable of hitting to drive runs in. 

3) The Indians injury problems seem to be fixed this year. With the exception of Jake Westbrook all of the players that the Indians lost to injury in 2008 are back. Hafner may not be back to his Pronk state just yet but he says he feels great and it is just a matter of time until he gets his rhythm back and finally starts to really drive the ball. Martinez has already shown that his power stroke is back. He has a great spring so far including a few home runs. Anthony Reyes’ elbow problems seem to be fixed. He has had a very dominant spring and has shown his ability to be a very effective fourth starter for the Indians this year. In my opinion Reyes could easily be the third starter for the Indians. He may be if Pavano gets hurt or does not work out as expected. 
4) The Indians bullpen was awful in 2008. In 2009 however it looks to be solid. The bullpen is much more organized; everyone has a role and everyone knows their role. Kerry Wood is already becoming the leader of the pen. His leadership will go a long way in solidifying the bullpen and making the younger pitchers more successful pitchers.
5) Fausto Carmona appears to be back. So far this spring he has shown better command of his pitches and seems to have his rhythm back. His return could be reminiscent of a certain Cliff Lee last year. In 2006 Cliff Lee was very good for the Indians but in 2007 he suffered an injury and was never able to fully recover and return to his previous form. In 2008 he started the season in the Majors and was able to return  to 2006 form and improve on it. I hope the same happens with Carmona and so far it looks that way. It is true that Spring Training numbers do not mean a whole lot in the long run but he is pitching with more confidence and command than he showed last year and that will matter in the long run.
6) Two words: Grady Sizemore. Grady had a small setback early in the spring but he appears to be 100% recovered from his minor groin injury that kept him out of the World Baseball Classic. In my opinion Grady is set to have another monster year for the Indians. I think there is a real chance he will have a 40/40 year. One thing I think Grady can do more of this year is bunt for base hits. I think this will help his average a lot and get him more stolen bases. I also think this is what the team needs more of this year. They have the people back who can hit home runs; they do not need him to be their power bat anymore. I love home runs as much as the next girl but Grady’s first priority this season should be to get on base I think.
The only problem is the starting rotation. If Carl Pavano pitches a solid season the rotation is great. If not, it is shot. I know everyone is saying that the key to the season is Pronk’s return or Martinez’ return. I disagree. Pavano is the key. Everything else is pretty much set. There are very few other questions or unsolved issues. I think his season will set the tone for the rest of the rotation. If the Indians have solid third starter it takes the pressure off of the first two as well as the last two. If Pavano can do that the Indians are good to go. If he is not able to put together at least a solid season I see the Indians finishing still finishing first or second in the division. If they finish first and make the playoffs I do not see them being able to make the World Series let alone win it. 
What do you think about your team’s chances this year? I know everyone is supposed to think that this is the year for their team but I know a lot of you do not think that. I would love to know why and who you think does win it all this year.

DeRosa shines in USA’s WBC win

Hey everyone!

I am so sorry I did not post anything yesterday! I do not know what happened. I failed you and I take full responsibility. 🙂 haha
Indians at A’s
kirksarloos.jpg
The Indians played the A’s yesterday and lost 8-5. The good news was Kirk Sarloos pitching 3 scoreless innings and just basically dominating his former team. More good news was Travis Hafner showing maybe he is getting his swing back in his 2nd ST game this year. He hit an RBI double in his first at bat yesterday. Also good, Grady returned yesterday! He walked and flew out. He also broke up a double play in the first inning though because he is tough like that. 
WBC: USA vs. Venezuela
derosaWBC.jpg
First of all I love the name Venezuela; it is just so pretty. That does not mean I was cheering for them or anything. I was really good and took notes on the game and everything! Even when my friends told me that was nerdy.
Through the first three innings or so I was really impressed with both pitchers. The first inning they were both really good. I was a little concerned because Venezuela’s pitcher, Galarraga, pitches for the Tigers and I really do not want him to be that good this year. However he did hit Mark DeRosa in his first at bat of the WBC. Welcome to the WBC, Mark, from a Detroit Tiger. I guess he just thought he would go ahead and get Mark ready for all of the Indians/Tigers rivalry games this year. In the bottom of the fourth, Oswalt really started to lose it. They did eventually take him out but I think they waited too long. When they put Linstrom in he did better but did almost break Iannetta’s wrist when he forgot about the “sequence of signs” the announcers said. This sequence seems like something a pitcher should know by now so I do not really know what happened. In the top of the sixth the US really broke it open. I guess pitching just went downhill after the starters came out. The US scored eight runs in the sixth to give them a 10-3 lead. They would score five more runs and Venezuela only three to give the US the 15-6 lead. 
Interesting notes for the game:
1) Indians fans should be thrilled with DeRosa’s performance. He had a 4 RBI night. He also showed great plate discipline in the sixth when he worked the count full and fouled a pitch off to force the pitcher to throw a bad pitch and walk home the tying run. The Indians are very good at working the count full and fouling pitches off until the pitcher messes up or throws what they want so he should fit right in. he showed some aggressive base running in the same inning and scored on a close play at home.
2) Iannetta, also making his debut, had a 4 RBI night as well and showed some great defense behind the plate.
3) Cabrera and Ordonez were both hitless last night. I think that had a lot to do with Venezuela losing. The Tigers better hope they figure that out before the season starts.
4) Everyone seems to be having a good time in the clubhouse. At one point Jimmy Rollins was dancing around and apparently DeRosa always has a joke or two to get everyone’s spirits up (another reason for Indians fans to be excited; you can not teach that stuff). 
5) It is really weird to see Youkilis and Jeter joking around like old buddies. Just plain weird.
Overall this was a great game for the US. It was fun to watch and showed off some new talent that people probably were not very aware of. I also want to give a shout out to the Venezuelan fans who never stopped cheering or having a good time last night no matter how far behind their team was; that was really classy.
Pictures:
2) mlb.com