Sunday, January 14, 2018

#137---KC @ CLE, 6/30/2001

The first thing that stands out about this game is how many home runs were hit. Five from the Royals, all from players you’d pick out now as the biggest names (apologies to Jermaine Dye)--two from Mike Sweeney, two from Carlos Beltran, one from Raul Ibanez. The Indians hit four of their own (two from Juan Gonzalez, Jim Thome, Kenny Lofton), but Kansas City’s five run fourth game them a 10-3 lead and they cruised home from there

The Wilson who started for KC was Kris, who I don’t remember at all.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

#136---BOS @ CLE, 4/29/2000

It’s a Red Sox game from 2000 and Martinez is pitching! Never mind, it’s just big brother Ramon. Martinez pitched okay, fanning three and walking one over five innings; he allowed three runs, all on sacrifice flies, one of which paved the way for the third run when it was dropped by Darren Lewis.

On the other side, Chuck Finley pitched well and deep into the game as he was doing with regularity at the start of his first season as an Indian, making 112 pitches in 7 2/3. He surrended a home run to Mike Stanley in the second, and Stanley hit what would have been a go-ahead homer to the warning track when Paul Shuey relieved Finley in the eighth.

The Indians lineup is, uh, interesting--Jacob Cruz leading off while Jim Thome hit sixth.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

#135---CLE @ ATL, 4/3/1999

This was one of those exhibition games played in a MLB stadium just before the start of the season, that seem like they used to be more common (at least in cold weather cities--the Indians used to occasionally play these at home, but now they are almost always on the road. Of course, the start of the season has drifted earlier and earlier in the calendar over time as well). As such, there’s nothing particularly interesting about Atlanta’s 4-2 win.

What drew my attention to this scoresheet, though, was John Rocker working a 1-2-3 eighth inning with two strikeouts. As you can see, Rocker was pitching in the eighth and Mark Wohlers still had the ninth for Atlanta, although Rocker would quickly supplant Wohlers as the closer and record 38 saves this season after breaking out in the second half of 1998. Rocker would be traded to Cleveland in a bizarre move in 2001, after the infamous SI article and the associated fallout, completing a strange obsession that the Indians brass seemed to have with Rocker. Could this be the moment that it all started?

Saturday, June 17, 2017

#134---CLE @ KC, 7/3/1998

Sometimes when I look at an old scoresheet, most of the time in fact, I have no recollection of the ballgame. This is fun; the scoresheet restores a personal connection back to a game you experienced at one point but no longer remember. But it’s even more fun when I find a nearly twenty-year old scoresheet and distinctly remember the game, then be reminded of details you’d never remember (like Shawon Dunston of all people DHing for the Indians) in your own handwriting.

I remember listening to this one on the radio at my grandmother’s house and in the car on the way home. The Royals took a 1-0 lead off Dwight Gooden on Johnny Damon’s third inning single, and Jose Rosado was pitching very well, at least in the pre-DIPS sense. He’s allowed three walks with 2 Ks and no hits until Manny Ramirez homered to left with two outs in the sixth. Gooden matched him fairly well, going seven with three Ks and no walks. Rosado walked Sandy Alomar in the seventh, but he was erased on a K/CS double play. Paul Shuey, in relief of Gooden, walked the first two batters he faced but fanned Shane Halter on a foul bunt before getting Jose Offerman to fly out and fanning Jeff King.

With one out in the ninth and the game still tied, Manny Ramirez hit another homer to left. Mike Jackson set down the Royals in order in the ninth and the Indians won 2-1 with their only two hits coming on Ramirez longballs. And while I didn’t sum up the pitch count here, Jose Rosado made 123 pitches according to Baseball-Reference; he wouldn’t turn 24 until after the season. Nineteen years can be a long time in baseball.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

#133---ANA @ CLE, 4/13/1997

There wasn’t anything too remarkable about this mid-April game, with the Angels winning 8-3. Jack McDowell, the Indians big offseason signing to bolster the rotation, didn’t make it out of the fifth and coughed up six runs, which was representative of his Cleveland career. Baseball-Reference tells me this was Eddie Murray’s first homer of the season, the 502nd of his career and one of just three he would hit in his final major league season, in which he mustered an OPS of just 598.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

#132--TEX @ CLE, 5/17/1996

When I look at games I scored as a fledgling scorekeeper, sometimes I regret that I wasted such a good game with such lousy scorekeeping. This is one of those occasions, as my scoresheet is so cluttered that it’s hard to really follow what happened in a game that could serve as a historical snapshot of mid-to-late 90s baseball, a slugfest between two of the most powerful lineups in the league (both teams would win their divisions).

Trailing 2-1 (with their run coming on one of the whopping 24 homers Kevin Elster would hit in a season in which he recorded a 90 OPS+), Texas got six straight hits off Orel Hershiser to start the fourth inning, then added two more hits and two walks off long reliever Joe Roa, making his only appearance of the season (and second and last of his Cleveland career). Texas added two more in the fifth to make it 9-2, but the Indians matched that in the bottom of the frame.

Eddie Murray homered to lead off the Cleveland sixth, but Elster countered with another solo homer and it was 10-5 going into the bottom of the seventh. The Indians had Kenny Lofton at first with 2 outs and then all hell broke loose. Baerga, Belle, and Murray singled, and Thome walked to make it 10-7. Then Manny Ramirez (who’d pinch-hit for Jeremy Burnitz in the seventh) hit a grand slam and it was 11-10. Belle singled home Lofton in the eighth for the last run in a crazy 12-10 game that deserved to be scored by a better scorekeeper on a better scoresheet.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

#131---BAL @ NYA, 3/2/2017

When I’m not scoring a spring training game pitch-by-pitch, using my scoresheet with field diagram is a great way to avoid the need for scrap paper to track defensive substitutes, allowing them to be penciled-in in a visually-pleasing manner. This early spring night game in Tampa featured a 1-2-3, 2 K inning from Aroldis Chapman in his return to the Yankees and a prodigious longball clubbed by Greg Bird (returning from missing all of 2016 with injury) in the fourth. Other than Caleb Joesph’s leadoff third inning homer off Adam Warren, Baltimore did not manage until Aderlin Rodriguez blooped a single to center with two outs in the ninth. New York would go on to notch a spring no-no against Detroit on St. Patrick’s Day.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

#130---CIN @ CLE, 2/25/2017

This was the first spring training game I had the opportunity to watch in 2017, and a rare February scoresheet with the early start due to the World Baseball Classic. The first weekend of spring training is always a fun time to score, jumping back into the deep end of the pool by having to keep track of myriad substitutions. This task has been greatly eased with the availability of Gameday for spring training contests, but beware defensive substitutes - Gameday often does not correctly place them in the batting order. I usually keep a list of defensive substitutes on scrap paper, then write them in to the batting order as they actually come to the plate (and sort out anyone who hasn’t batted at the end).

The game featured lots of offense, but Cleveland did a much better job of converting it to runs, particularly in the seventh when Nellie Rodriguez and Guillermo Quiroz singled leading to Bradley Zimmer’s three-run homer. With Quiroz coming up to bat in the eighth, the sprinklers came on for about twenty seconds, leading to a humorous seen as Reds pitcher Ariel Hernandez hopped off the mound to avoid getting an early shower. He proceeded to walk the next two hitters and get one anyway.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

#129---MIA @ CLE, 9/2/2016

Usually I keep score on a single-sided sheet; as long as I devote the whole page to scoreboxes and not stat summaries, I have plenty of room to keep score, and I like seeing the whole game without having to flip back and forth. However, sometimes it’s nice to give yourself a lot of room, and use both sides of the page. When I do so I keep the same basic design, except as a landscape to take advantage of the extra spance, and including room for pitcher’s statistics (Since pitchers face many batters and span multiple innings, while batters might only have 3-5 PA, I find it’s easy to see how a batter performed with a click glance of his row, so if I’m going to devote space to statistics, it makes a lot more sense to give it to pitchers).

The Indians jumped on Andrew Cashner early, scoring three in the first thanks largely to three walks. Abraham Almonte’s two-run double in the fifth made it 6-0. That was more than enough for Carlos Carrasco as he pitched 7.1, scattering six hits and a walk but fanning eleven. JT Realmuto’s homer off Jeff Manship made it 6-2, but Cody Allen got the Marlins 1-2-3 in the ninth to finish it off.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

#128—TB @ CLE, 6/19/2015

Many people only keep score when they attend games in person. I keep score of any game I plan to watch from start to finish, but of course that includes games I attend. To remind myself, I have the “LIVE” notation in the box at the top of the sheet.

This game was unremarkable, as the Indians mustered only one run in the bottom of the first, aided by two wild pitches. The highlight of attending this game as a fan was it was just the fifth game of top prospect Francisco Lindor’s career. Lindor had two infield singles (including the bunt back to the pitcher that contributed to the first inning tally). Carlos Carrasco didn’t pitch poorly, but he would still get revenge on Tampa Bay within the span of a month.