Monday, July 25, 2016

#113---CLE @ LAA, 7/23/2008

This game was a slugfest, with the teams trading multi-run innings until Los Angeles’ five in the fifth gave them a 10-6 cushion, and pairs in the sixth and seventh allowed them to take a 14-7 lead. Down 14-10 going into the ninth, David Dellucci’s two-out RBI double off Jose Arredondo made it a save situation, which allowed Francisco Rodriguez to record the 42nd of his record 62 saves.

While any 14-11 game is bound to have plenty of offensive standouts, what makes this one interesting is how many of the big hitters were very marginal players. Ryan Garko drove in four of Cleveland’s runs, while Casey Kotchman went 5-5. But both pale in comparison to Jeff Mathis going 4-5 with a grand slam and a two-run double.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

#112---CHN @ CIN, 4/4/2007

There’s not a whole lot that stands out looking at this scoresheet. Bronson Arroyo dropped down a bunt hit, Edwin Encarnacion reached on catcher’s interference, and Jared Burton made his major league debut, walking the only three batters he faced and throwing a wild pitch for good measure.

Monday, July 11, 2016

#111---SEA @ CLE, 4/21/2016

Sometimes I find myself somewhere with a ballgame on the radio and really want to keep score, but I didn’t expect to have that opportunity and don’t have a scoresheet handy. Or I’m not sure if I’ll be able to take in the whole game and don’t want to “waste” a pre-printed sheet on the game (because that $0.09 printing cost is inhibitive). In such cases, improvisation is an option if there is paper available.

This is one such example. I simply took a standard 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper and folded it in half (vertically), using one side for the visitors innings and the other side for home. Unfortunately, this sheet really reveals why I’m an analyst/writer and not an artist, as I found that I was using way too much space for each inning and had to shrink down. I also shouldn’t have used diamonds, which inherently involve more art than my usual approach.

I decided during the game that I would make a simple pre-printed form to avoid any such future problems…and then ended up being able to test it right away as the game went to extra innings. Seattle had a built a lead off shaky pitching from Cody Anderson and Trevor Bauer, but Cleveland chipped away, with the big blows a three run homer from Rajai Davis to open the scoring and a two out, two run pinch hit homer to tie it in the eighth from Mike Napoli. But in the tenth, Robinson Cano hit a three run blast off Cody Allen and Seattle won 10-7. Note that I tracked the running tally for each team by writing the number of the run inside each diamond; usually when I use diamonds, I just use a dot for a run scored, but knew I wouldn’t have a lot of space for summary stats on this scoresheet.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

#110---CLE @ DET, 4/14/2006

This was a fairly uneventful early season game, with Kenny Rogers shutting down the Indians backed by two homers from Brandon Inge. Within a month or so it would become apparent that the AL Central might not play out as expected, with defending World Series winner Chicago and late-charging Cleveland looking up at Detroit. The Tigers would lead the division much of the summer before settling for the wildcard at the hands of Minnesota. I suppose this game was an early season, small sample warning that things were not what they appeared.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

#109---CLE @ LAA, 5/11/2005

My guess is that I started watching this game in-progress, and thus didn’t want to waste one of my regular scoresheets on it. It was also scored in pen, which as you can see is not something that I personally recommend.

Cleveland scored nine runs and hit three homers,  but all of them were solo shots, so there was plenty of other offense, particularly from Coco Crisp who was three for four with two doubles, a walk, and a steal (although he was also caught stealing). I do not remember Jake Woods, who finished the game for the Angels. He pitched 162 innings, mostly in relief, for LAA and SEA between 2005-2008.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

#108---DET @ CLE, 4/19/2004

Jeff D’Amico did not have a good day.

First Omar Vizquel booted a Fernando Vina grounder to start the game. Then the next five Detroit batters reached through walks or hits, plating four runs and leaving runners at first and second with nobody out. D’Amico threw a strike to Craig Monroe, and there was a rain delay for 65 minutes. While D’Amico couldn’t have been long for the game sans precipitation, afterwards Jake Westbook came in and retired the side in order.

In the bottom of the first, Ronnie Belliard led off with a double. Then Omar Vizquel bunted him to third, down 4-0. Vizquel would often attempt to bunt for hits, which I can only hope is what was going on, but he was credited with a sacrifice.

Then Westbrook retired the side in order in the second. And the third. And the fourth. And the fifth. And the sixth. And the seventh. Sportswriters must have been scrambling to relate Jeff D’Amico to Babe Ruth and Jake Westbrook to Ernie Shore. Meanwhile, the Indians had managed to tie the game at four off Nate Robertson and Jamie Walker.

Alas, Westbrook’s perfect relief appearance was cut short at seven innings, as he was likely not stretched out enough. But Westbrook would pitch a complete game in his next outing and would never again work out of the bullpen for the Indians. Rafael Betancourt retired Vina to make it 22 in a row, but two singles and a Rondell White homer followed and he was knocked from the game. Scott Stewart, who is listed below in “Road Pitchers” in a terrible scorer’s error, came on and gave up three more runs of his own. David Lee (David Lee! Scott Stewart!) pitched the ninth, and despite Westbrook’s brilliance, the first and eighth innings gave Detroit a deceptively large margin at 10-4.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

#107---KC @ CLE, 4/11/2003

Eleven years before they finally made the playoffs again, the Royals had a bit of an uprising in 2003 under Tony Pena. They would wind up 83-79, thanks largely to a 9-0 start. This was #8 as they edged the Indians 1-0.

Looking at the names in the Royals lineup, it does seem remarkable that they even managed a .500 campaign…Dee Brown, Desi Relaford, Angel Berroa (Rookie of the Year!), starting pitcher Runelvys Hernandez. In this game, they managed only four hits, scoring in the fifth with a walk, groundout, and single. Meanwhile, the Indians had eight hits, two of which were doubles, but failed to get a runner to third base the entire night. Leading off the ninth, Shane Spencer doubled and tried to become the first, but was cut down by Dee Brown at third. From there, Mike MacDougal needed just three pitches to retire Bill Selby and Travis Hafner to close it out.

Note the “N/A” for second base umpire; I’m not sure what the circumstances were, but the Baseball-Reference box score confirms that only three arbitrators worked this game.

Monday, May 30, 2016

#106---TEX @ CLE, 5/4/2002

Until I started writing this up, I had completely forgotten that Eddie Perez played for the Indians in 2002 (which was for the best as he had a 46 OPS+ in 125 PA). The 2002 Indians were the first bad baseball team I ever watched/listened to/followed on a daily basis, as my baseball fandom was sparked by the opening of Jacobs Field and corresponding Indians contention in 1994. The 2002 Indians went 74-88, not dreadful (especially by the standards of the bad Cleveland teams of the previous generation) but not exactly exciting either. So you get fun stuff like Eddie Perez and Brady Anderson batting sixth and Jolbert Cabrera in the lineup.

The Indians actually finished two games ahead of the Rangers, in year two of A-Rod’s massive contract. Texas mustered just five hits in this game, two by Rodriguez, one by Michael Young, one by Carl Everett, and one by some guy named Murray. I had no idea who he was until I checked Baseball-Reference to see that it was Calvin Murray (“besting” Perez with a 30 OPS+ over 86 PA).

Bartolo Colon was the brightest star for the Indians and would soon bring a bounty in trade; it is now, just fourteen years later, nearly inconceivable that such a pitcher in that circumstance would be allowed to make 125 pitches. Colon fanned eight and walked one, but had to work hard in the fifth through seventh, making 20 pitches in each and working around a hit in each frame.

Ismael Valdes pitched well for Texas, shutting out the Tribe into the sixth, but Vizquel’s two out homer was one of just five he would hit this season.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

#105---CHA @ CLE, 4/4/2001

This was the second game of the 2001 season, and I noted a the top of the page that it marked the end of the streak of 455 consecutive sellouts at Jacobs Field, coming on the heels of the Indians first season failing to reach the playoffs since 1993 (which came at the hands of their opponents, the White Sox). Fickle lot, those Tribe fans, although the 32,763 that showed up for this one is almost equal to the current seating capacity of the ever-shrinking stadium.

This was Sandy Alomar’s first season after leaving Cleveland, so the fans were surely upset by his two-run second inning homer that started the scoring. But the Tribe put up a five spot in the bottom of the second and would later get a homer from (of course) Russell Branyan and roll to an 8-4 win. No, I do not specifically search for scoresheets with Branyan homers to post here.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

#104---CLE @ TOR, 3/5/2000

For this spring training game, I was using a customized version of my normal scoresheet designed especially for spring training. Thus the special line for “SITE” and the pre-marked “ST” label, to save ten seconds of writing?

Looking at old spring training scoresheets, the game itself is usually not that interesting, but it’s fun to see the names that pop up earlier than one might expect, later, or in a different place. One example of the first and third items I listed is Casey Blake, later the third baseman for the Indians 2007 division winner and then trade bait for Carlos Santana, replacing Tony Batista for Toronto and doubling in the eighth. Blake had actually made his big league debut in 1999 with Toronto, but would appear in just 35 games in the majors over the next three seasons before emerging as a regular for the Indians in 2003 at age 30.

Charlie Manuel wasted no time getting his regulars out of this game, yanking Jim Thome, Travis Fryman, and Sandy Alomar after just one PA each (including running for Thome and Fryman when they reached base). Maybe he knew something; the Indians would have a ridiculously injury-riddled season this year, although more on the pitching than hitting side. Russell Branyan pinch-ran for Fryman and homered. Of course he did. It seems at least that every Cleveland spring training scoresheet I’ve ever posted here features a Branyan dinger.