Sunday, March 18, 2018

#144---CLE @ COL, 6/17/2008

This was a rough game for an Indians fan to watch. The notion of an Indians/Rockies series in 2008 was filled with regret to begin with, since that would have been the World Series matchup the prior season had the Tribe not blown a 3-1 lead to Boston in the ALCS. The fact that the Sox ran roughshod over the Rox made it even tougher to swallow. Then you tack on the fact that there were already some serious warning signs that 2008 wasn’t going as planned (Cleveland came into this game 33-37, five back in the Central), the scary notion of Paul Byrd pitching at Coors Field, and it wasn’t exactly a fun time.

Oh, and that was before the game started, and Jeff Baker hit a two-run inside the park home run that got through the massive gaps in the Coors outfield. It only got worse from there, with Colorado scoring in each of the third through the seventh, with all but the fifth featuring multiple tallies. I knew the “Bauer” on this scoresheet was much too old to be Trevor, but I had forgotten that Rick Bauer briefly toiled for the Tribe. The Indians pair of runs came as the result of leadoff triples and sacrifice flies because, you know, Coors Field.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

#143---BOS @ TEX, 4/8/2007

Big Papi powered the BoSox to victory by driving in all three runs on homers in first two at bats off Vicente Padilla. Frank Catalanotto countered with his own homer in the bottom of the first, and Boston took a 3-1 lead deep into the game. Curt Schilling pitched seven strong innings, but Joel Pineiro ran into trouble in the bottom of the eighth, issuing two walks and a bunt single to Kenny Lofton. Javier Lopez got pinch-hitter Nelson Cruz to hit into a fielder’s choice, plating a run and leaving men at the corners. Then Jonathon Papelbon was summoned for a five out save which he delievered, striking out Michael Young looking, popping up Mark Teixeira, and setting down the Rangers (including Sammy Sosa!) in order in the ninth.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

#142---CIN @ CLE, 6/25/2006

For some reason I was just keeping a play-by-play scoresheet for this game on a sheet with pre-drawn diamonds. Jeremy Sowers was making his major league debut for the Indians against the Reds, the team that had originally drafted him and then (if memory serves) negotiated in bad faith. Back into the draft he went where the Indians made him a first-round pick for the second time.

Sowers started well, yielding just one single through the first three frames. But in the fourth, Ken Griffey and Adam Dunn both hit two-run blasts (the 549th of Griffey’s career), and that was all the scoring they would get or need.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

#141---OAK @ SF, 5/22/2005

Moises Alou’s two run homer off Barry Zito in the sixth was the decisive blow of this Giant victory over their Bay Area rivals. San Francisco added an insurance run in the eighth thanks to bumbling by Oakland second baseman Keith Ginter. First he muffed a popup to leadoff the inning, then with two outs he booted a Lance Niekro grounder to allow the runner from second to score. To add insult to injury, his fly to right off Giant closer Tyler Walker was the last out of the game.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

#140---CLE @ CHA, 8/6/2004

The Indians did their scoring early against Mark Buehrle, with Coco Crisp launching a three-run blast in the top of the second. After two more hits in that inning, ChiSox pitchers held Cleveland to just three hits the rest of the night. CC Sabathia pitched well for the Tribe, yielding single tallies in each of his last two innings before giving way to former White Sock Bobby Howry for the eighth and Bob Wickman for the ninth. Wickman walked Paul Konerko with one out in the ninth, and after Carl Everett flied out, pinch runner Willie Harris swiped second. On a 1-2 count, Joe Borchard grounded towards second, reaching safely, but Harris made for the plate and was cut down by Ronnie Belliard to end the ballgame. At this stage in the season, it was a moderately important game as both the Indians and the White Sox ended the night six back of the Twins in the divison and 5.5 back of the Rangers in the wildcard. Real contention for both clubs would wait until the next season.

The note indicates this was Roberto Alomar’s first game as a White Sox, appropriately against the Indians with whom he spent three outstanding seasons. I used to try to make note of such events as team debuts on my scoresheets, but gave it up a decade or so ago--uninteresting most cases and perilous to rely on broadcasters for accurate information. I now limit such notes to especially notable events and MLB debuts.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

#139---LA @ SF, 4/13/2003

This is an example of a bad scoresheet design, with each box broken into a cross to allow for the runner’s progress around the bases to be tracked. My issue with it is that in so doing, it eats up any space in the box to record other details like pitches, and makes it awkward to write outs in which there never is a baserunner--which after all describes about two-thirds of MLB plate appearances. Because of the lack of space to track pitches, I only used this sheet when I had no intention of doing so, as was the case for this Sunday night game between NL West rivals.

On paper this should have been a great pitching matchup, with Jason Schmidt and Kevin Brown, but neither were on top of their game, each allowing four runs and fanning five (in six and five innings, respectively). The bullpens (including a Giant lefty named Troy Brohawn whose name is completely unfamiliar to me) kept things scoreless, including multi-inning outings from each team’s best relievers (Joe Nathan and Fernando Rodriguez for SF, Eric Gagne for LA). In the twelfth, the Giants finally broke through for a two-out rally against Andy Ashby, with Marquis Grissom doubling and Marvin Bernard winning it with a long single to right field.

Of particular interest in any Giant game of this era is Barry Bonds, and though he flew out twice, he did single, draw three walks (one intentional), and swipe one of his six bases for the season.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

#138---CLE @ DET, 4/6/2002

This was a non-descript early season game between two teams going nowhere, although the Indians did not act as if they knew that yet. Bartolo Colon, who would be traded to Montreal later in the campaign, was just ok, yielding three runs in 6 2/3 innings while fanning four. This may have been one of Brady Anderson’s best (or even one of his few good) games during his Cleveland career, reaching safely four times, hitting a homer, and swiping a bag.

On the other side, despite his horrible 3.0 career K/9, Nate Cornejo actually had a better K rate than Colon on this day (four in 5 2/3), but he needed 121 pitches. I’ve noted on here before how pitch counts of this type are something that has disappeared from the game in just fifteen years. Also note former #1 pick Matt Anderson working the ninth for Detroit.

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?