Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Game is Afoot...On the Right Foot

If everything that Harry Doyle said can be applied to a baseball season, we’re in for a fun ride. Doyle memorably said that “A lotta people say you can tell how a season’s gonna go by the first hitter of the year. In the last 15 years, the Indians have never had the season lead-off hitter reach base” just prior to the old “hot shot toward the hole” by WMH.

As if on cue, Grady put his Clark Kentesque Spring behind him on the second pitch of the year, as SuperSizemore emerged from his phone booth to crush a Jose Contreras offering over the RF wall.

And…the rout was on.

Thanks to the glory of DVR, it was a blast to watch the Tribe pound out hit after hit against the villains from the South Side in the Season Opener. The Indians’ offense looked as it was supposed to look when the blueprint was drawn up in the off-season. Against a right-handed “ace” (term used loosely) from a divisional rival, the Indians threw lefty after lefty and put together quality plate appearances as they wore out Contreras in a hurry and forced Ozzie to use some of his bullpen innings early in the series.

C.C. took the lead and ran with it, pitching to contact and shortening a game no longer in doubt. The bullpen (notably Borowski) didn’t impress anyone, but giving the bullpen a 12-3 lead is one way to avoid a season sabotaged by a leaky pen. I still have a feeling that Shapiro has something up his sleeve to add to the bullpen (Nook Logan’s injury in Washington means a need for a CF and set-up man Jose Cappellan wanting out of Milwaukee may be two scenarios worth watching), but for now this whole “give the bullpen a 9-run cushion” plan looks sound.

I’m not sure why the two teams took a day off after the Opener, rather than playing three straight and allowing the Indians some travel time (from Chicago to Cleveland, I know) to get to the Jake for the Home Opener on Friday. But the schedule makers are an odd bunch (why don’t they start the season in cities that are generally warm in April or in domes is beyond me), so we’ll roll with the punches.

Lest we get too excited (the idea is to never get too high or too low this season), the Indians looked fantastic against the Sox and confidence remains high for the season. That could all change if the Tribe lays an egg on Wednesday – but for now, the Tribe’s looking good and things are good in the Wigwam.

7 comments:

Pat Tabler said...

A comment from the Baltimoran on the previous post:
"peralta's first hit looked like the low and away pitch that he struck out on about 600 times last year...must have been the laser surgery"

It WAS a low and away pitch, 0-2, with men on. He just poked a tough pitch through the right side of the infield. I can count on one hand how many times JP did that last year. In 2005, that's how he worked it - last year...not so much.

One game is too short of time to declare that Honey v.2005 is back, but the early results are encouraging.

Krems, what game are you thinking of going to? I have tix for Monday and Wednesday of next week, so I was going to hold off until then. But let me know.

Cy Slapnicka said...

Hammy's call of Casey's 9th inning fly out has already made my MLB audio subscription worth it. Man I missed that.

Undefeated season, Grady is on pace for 162 HRs, and I've chalked up the Big Borowski for 81 saves.

Baltimoran said...

one of the sox announcers yell "HE GONE" after every sox strikeout, i was ready to hang myself after that donkey struck out 5 in a row late in the game. there HR call is even worse with one guy yelling "YOU CAN CLEAR THE BOARD" then they both yell "YEAH"...terrible

gotta love the bullpen

Andy said...

@baltimorian

Check this out: http://heavethehawk.com/

That home run call is: "You can put it on the board.... YES!"... which I always retort during a Chicago flyout to the warning track... You can shove it up your ass... YES! F those White Sox announcers. Check that website. It made me laugh so much since I have to listen to whatever announcers DirecTV gives me, and the Chicago ones come up a lot on away games.

Baltimoran said...

I'm glad i didn't here that HR call enough to get it right. i like the "you can put it on mute...YES" t-shirt

Tom Hamilton's call of the last out was on sportscenter...good stuff

Cy Slapnicka said...

that site is 300% kick ass! already sent it to the nazi sox fans at work.

btw, for those of you that care, cable has worked out a deal for extra innings with MLB. John Kerry's one redeeming quality besides kiteboarding I guess. Still might make the switch b/c I hate comcast.

Andy, order MLB audio. If you have DVR, you can sync up the TV broadcast to the MLB audio broadcast (i think they delay like 2 min) and watch the game while listening to Hamilton. Its awesome, I used to do the same with the Browns on the Sunday ticket. I'll never understand why companies don't realize that people are doing this and there is a market for it.

Cy Slapnicka said...

Is there anything worse than losing due to AJ?

At least Grady is still on pace for 162 HRs....so we got that going for us.