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.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

#103---All-Star Game, 7/13/1999

This was certainly the most memorable All-Star Game of my lifetime, with the famous Ted Williams first pitch meet & greet, then Pedro going all Carl Hubbell in front of the fans. You can see that Martinez fanned Barry Larkin, Larry Walker, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, and Jeff Bagwell. Hubbell’s famous strikeout skein was against Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons, and Joe Cronin--a more illustrious group, no doubt, but one can still make the case that Pedro’s should have also been five Hall of Famers.

I had no recollection that Tony Fernandez had bounced back to be an All-Star; in my mind his career ended with his tumultuous 1997 postseason with Cleveland, but Fernandez was worth over 6 combined bWAR in 1998-1999 back with Toronto. Other surprising all-star names that pop up include Ron Coomer, Jose Offerman, and Kent Bottenfield. And I still couldn’t spell “Guerrero”.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

#102---NYA @ CLE, 6/19/1998

This is at least the second time I’ve posted a scoresheet of the greatest team of my lifetime, the 1998 Yankees, losing. At the time I was a typical Yankee-hater, especially since they would ultimately beat my beloved Indians in the ALCS.

I distinctly remember this game; I was in Florida but was able to listen to this game on the Yankee’s Tampa affiliate (yes, they had such a thing, even in the Devil Rays’ inaugural season). I kept it on a form that was designed for tracking statistics for APBA games; on our vacation I had bought a APBP starter kit with the 1995 playoff teams for about $5 at a Big Lots. Why that compelled me to keep score of a major league game on the accompanying sheet is a mystery, though.

Jim Thome was the star of the game, hitting two homers and drawing two walks.

Monday, April 18, 2016

#101---CLE @ KC, 3/16/1997

For this spring training game, I was once again using a pre-printed form with the multiple choice quiz, but at least I was tracing the diamond and not being ridiculously excessive in my notation.

This is the second straight game I’ve posted in which Albie Lopez started for Cleveland; apparently I had the misfortune of choosing to disproportionately score his games. It’s a spring training game so there isn’t that much of note here, but I enjoy seeing Mike Sweeney batting eighth and catching for Kansas City, as well as the appearance of Trenidad Hubbard, who at least in my memory was scorching at the plate during spring training 1997. I believe I took to calling him the “Immortal Trenidad Hubbard” during this time in homage to the Immortal Joe Azcue. I should go to the storage locker and dig out old Baseball Weekly copies to verify. Hubbard would get into seven regular season games for the Indians. He had a weird career, making his major league debut at age 30 in 1994, then appearing in every major league season through 2003. His career OPS+ was 86 in 864 PA, but he was a  legitimately good bench piece for the Dodgers at age 34 in 1998, with a 116 OPS+ in 235 PA.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

#100---CLE @ TOR, 4/28/1996

My earliest scoresheets are horrible to try to read; not only was I using a terrible “circle how the batter reached” pre-printed sheet, but I insisted on using drawn out notations like “FLY 7” when a simple 7 would have sufficed. If you can soldier through that, this was a fun game for the Indians as they absolutely destroyed Frank Viola, lighting him up for ten runs in four innings. The biggest single blow was Sandy Alomar’s 3-run homer in the first, and Albert Belle hit a solo shot in the fourth. The onslaught didn’t stop when Viola got the hook, as the Indians scored six in two innings off Giovannie Carrara, including a two-run homer by Alvaro Espinoza, one of a career-high 8 he would hit in 1996 (8 of his career 22, it really was the silly ball era).

Toronto’s scoring came on three solo homers: Sandy Martinez, Carlos Delgado, and Ed Sprague. One thing I can’t figure out is how one was supposed to be able to tell if substitutions occurred in the top or bottom of an inning; the substitutes are all just listed with an inning number (e.g. Kirby 6). Maybe it was assumed to be top or offense or some other default unless otherwise noted?