Game Diary: Cleveland Indians @ LA Angels 7/28/09

Mike MacdonaldCorrespondent IJuly 29, 2009

ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 27:  Jhonny Peralta #2 of the Cleveland Indians is congratulated by third base coach  Joel Skinner #35 after hitting a solo home run in the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium on July 27, 2009 in Anaheim, California. The Indians defeated the Angels 8-6.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

I’ve been wanting to try out writing a game diary. Basically watching a game and typing out my thoughts as the action happens.

The Indians are out on a west coast trip, so I decided to stay up late tonight and write about Tuesday night's game.  The Tribe came back in Monday night’s game in the ninth inning capped off by Victor Martinez and Jhonny Peralta home runs to win 8-6. The Indians are hot, having won 5 in a row.

The Angels are playing well right now too, 7-3 in their last ten. Tonight’s pitching matchup is youngster David Huff (5-4, 6.35 ERA)for the Indians, coming off his best performance last week in a win at Toronto vs. Jared Weaver (10-3, 3.57 ERA) for the Angels.

I got some sunflower seeds, a cold beverage and my favorite recliner, I’m all ready. So from sunny, sultry Southern California here we go….

Top of the 1st

The Angels come out in 1980’s throwback jerseys.  Tonight’s starter, Jered Weaver is wearing red stirrup socks, very nice. The Indians are wearing navy blue tops, gray pants. No throwbacks. Disappointing.

Asdrubal Cabrera leads it off for the tribe. No Grady Sizemore. He’ll miss his second straight game with the flu. And we’re under way, first pitch 10:08pm EST.

Camera shows a close up of Jered Weaver. He is really young looking. I’m trying to decide his age. It’s definitely under 20.

Luis Valbuena in the 2 hole tonight, singles to right for the first hit of the night. LV is on a 6 game hitting streak. Shin Soo Choo follows with a hit to right. Chooooooooo!

Last night’s hero Victor Martinez comes to the plate. Victor has been in a lot of trade rumors lately along with Cliff Lee. I would keep them both, but if we were to trade one, I’d rather see Martinez go. He’s getting older and the Indians have a hot catching prospect in Carlos Santanna waiting in the wings.

Martinez walks and the bases are loaded for the hottest hitter on the team right now, Jhonny Peralta. JP just hit a grand slam on Sunday in Seattle. This time he flies out to left, but good enough for a sacrifice fly. 1-0 Cleveland.

Bottom of the 1st

I feel good getting the early lead but I’m interested to see how David Huff performs. The Angles lead off with Chone Figgins. He grounds out to third.

By the way with the trade of Ryan Garko last night, the Indians have called up Andy Marte. The former hot prospect was put on waivers in April, was not claimed, tore up the International league this season, and now is back in the majors. He’s in the lineup tonight batting ninth and playing first base. Andy just had a nice pick at first on a good play by Peralta after a bunt attempt.

Huff goes 1,2,3. Nice! On to inning #2.

Top of the 2nd

I’ve decided on Weaver’s age. I’m going with 15.

Ben Francisco leads off with a home run right down the left field line!!! Apparently if you make fun of Jered Weaver’s age, he gives up home runs. It was barely fair. Even the broadcasters weren’t sure at first. Man, the Indians bats are as hot as Megan Fox at a swimsuit photo shoot right now.

Here comes Andy Marte. He hit .327 in triple A this season. Let’s see what he does here. Psh, pops up to short. Cabrera strikes out looking. But the Indians get one, 2-0 Cleveland.

Bottom of the 2nd

Juan Rivera hitting .311 starts the Angels off here in the second. He grounds out to third. All four outs by the Angels have been put outs by Jhonny Peralta. Weird.

Mike Napoli up. He went deep in last night’s game. I like this guy. I like his beard, I like his tattoos, and I like his name. He promptly singles to left for Anaheim’s first hit of the night. Can I call them Anaheim?? Is Bud Selig gonnna have me arrested?

Huff gets the next two batters. He looks strong in the early going. Let’s go to the third!

Top of the 3rd

Valbuena leads off with another hit. He’s 2 for 2. Valbuena gets thrown out trying to steal second. Close play. Here comes Eric Wedge to argue. Waiting for the replay….yep, he was out. And then Choo K’s on the next pitch, 2 down.

It’s 80’s night at Angel Stadium tonight, hence the throwbacks. The way the Indians have been playing this season, it feels like the 80’s. Peralta strikes out, mid third.

Bottom of the 3rd

Gary Matthews Jr. starts it off. He’s hitting eighth tonight. How much are they paying this guy and he’s batting .234 and hitting eighth? Of course he hits a double to left center. Oops.

Robb Quinlin singles to right, Matthews scores, 2-1 Indians. This Angles offense can really strike quickly. Figgins singles, three straight hits. Uh oh.

Eric Aybar up. Huff could use a double play ball right here. Aybar plugs the gap in right center. Quinlin scores, here comes Figgins, the relay throw, Martinez dives back and makes the tag, he’s OUT!!! What a play! But the Angles do tie the score at two. Aybar at third, just one out for Bobby Abreu. Another hit, Aybar scores to give Anaheim the lead. Huff looks rattled, Carl Willis out to talk to him.

Huff gets a double play ball to short, they turn it! Out of the inning, but the damage has been done. 3-2, Angels.

Top of the 4th

Hafner walks on four straight pitches. Let’s see if the Indians can get those runs right back. Francisco with a hit to right, wait…he’s trying for 2…nooooooooooo…..he’s out by a mile. Stupid. Hafner to third, 1 down. Chance for a big inning dashed right there.

Chris Giminez flies out to deep center, Hafner scores and we are tied at three. Good game going here. Neither pitcher has settled in and both offenses are on fire. Andy Marte singles up the middle for his first hit of the season. Welcome back Andy!

Cabrera comes up and doubles right down the first base line. Marte is a truck and is stopped at third. I hope third base coach Joel Skinner has an oxygen mask handy over there. Tribe has runners on 2nd and 3rd for Luis Valbuena who already has two hits on the night. Full count on LV. Big pitch coming here….he lines out loudly to right, middle of the fourth.

Bottom of the 4th

We come back from commercial with a shot of some Def Leopard look-a-likes in the crowd for 80’s night. Love it. I wish I was at this game.

My favorite part about the Angels throwback jerseys is the two snap buttons on the waist of the pants instead of a belt. Is there any question that the 80’s were the greatest decade in modern history?

The first two Angels are retired, and then Morales doubles, but Huff gets Matthews to fly out to Center. Good bounce back inning by David Huff. Let’s go to the fifth!

Top of the 5th

Going into the fifth, both teams lines are identical- 3 runs, 7 hits, 0 errors. Very even ballgame so far.

I’ve learned two things about Angel Stadium watching the game tonight. The LA Rams of the NFL used to play here and it will host next year’s MLB All Star Game.

Jhonny Peralta hits one to deep left………GONE!!! Jhonny P is hotter than Megan Fox right now. Even in that swimsuit! The Tribe takes the lead 4-3,mid-fifth.

Bottom of the 5th

Weaver’s pitch count is over 100, he might be done as Matt Palmer gets up in the Angels pen. David Huff meanwhile, under 60 pitches.

Quinlin flies out, back to the top of the order and Chone Figgins. He sends a grounder to short that Cabrera boots. E 6. Can’t give this Angels offense extra outs.  Aybar flies to left, long run for Giminez, he’s got it, 2 outs. Figgins trying to steal second, Martinez with a good throw, he’s out! Nice way to end the inning, after five it’s 4-3 Indians.

Top of the 6th

Matt Palmer comes on for the Angels, he’s 8-1 on the year, pretty impressive. Francisco and Giminez go down very quickly.

Time for the Allcare Dental Smiling Eeeeeasy Cam! This is like a fan cam where they show a bunch of different shots of the crowd. It has become my favorite part of watching an Indians’ game, mainly because 90% of the shots are of the hottest girls they can find. Hey when the team is 16 games under .500, you gotta do something to attract viewers.

Marte singles but Cabrera grounds out. That inning took like 12 seconds. On to the home half of the sixth.

Bottom of the 6th

David Huff at 67 pitches, 7 hits, no walks. He’s settled in nicely, let’s see if he can get through the sixth unscathed. He’s up against the 3-4-5 hitters. I jinxed his no walks stat, Abreu draws the first free pass of the night for Anaheim.

Rivera pops up. I just noticed Anaheim has a huge crowd tonight. They haven’t had much to cheer about other than that 3 run third inning. Another walk by Huff. Crowd making some noise now, here comes Howie Kendrick. The Indians bullpen starts to stir. Slow grounder to short, only play is at first, 2 outs.

Runners at 2nd and 3rd, 2 outs, crucial point in the game for Huff and the Indians. Kendry Morales the hitter and he pops up to short on the first pitch! Wow, Great job by David Huff! Let’s go to the 7th with the Tribe clinging to a one run lead!

Top of the 7th

Just past Midnight here in Ohio, not sleepy yet. Palmer, on for his second straight inning, will face Valbuena, Choo, and Martinez. Valbuena goes down on strikes, followed by a Choo walk. Martinez comes up and hits into a double play.

Stretch time at Angel Stadium, let’s see if Huff comes out for the 7th.

Bottom of the 7th

Huff stays on and Sportstime Ohio shows the stat that he is 4-0 when he pitches 6+ innings. Looks good to me. He’ll face Gary Matthews Jr. to start the inning. He pops up to shallow right, one down.

Sportstime Ohio shows the replay of Figgins getting thrown out at home in the third. Right now, that’s the difference in the game. Quinlin and Figgins go quietly. 1-2-3 for Huff in the 7th!

Top of the 8th

Palmer on again, Reggie Willits in to play left, and Peralta grounds out to short on the first pitch of the 8th. Here comes Travis Hafner, a homer would be nice here. I would feel a lot more comfortable if we could get at least one more run. Hafner grounds to short, but a bad throw by Figgins goes into the dugout and the Indians have a runner in scoring position. The Indians catch a break.

Grounder by Francisco and another bad throw by Figgins, but this one is saved by Morales at first base, 2 outs. Giminez strikes out to the end the inning. Good job by Matt Palmer. I get the feeling Huff will come back out for the bottom of the eighth. 4-3 Indians.

Bottom of the 8th

Huff is back out there. I’m really impressed by him tonight. Other than that third inning, he has been spectacular. Aybar sends a slow roller to short, Cabrera has to hurry, can’t get him. Leadoff man aboard for Bobby Abreu.

Huff walks him and Eric Wedge is going to make a move. In comes Joe Smith. Great job by David Huff tonight, hopefully the bullpen can keep the lead and give him a win. I’m pretty nervous now, the tying and go ahead run on base with nobody out, and it’s up to our awful bullpen. AND the rally monkey is out. Gulp.

Juan Rivera the hitter. I’m calling for a double play. Base hit in between third and short, tie game. Runners on first and second now and still no one out. Crap.

Napoli hits into a double play! Huge DP right there. Anaheim still has the go ahead run at third, but 2 outs now. Maicer Izturis will pinch hit for Kendrick and Wedge will bring in the lefty Tony Sipp.

We are back to identical lines for both clubs- 4 runs, 9 hits, 1 error. Alright, here we go, tying run at third, 2 out, bottom of the eighth, tie game. Sipp starts Izturis 3-0. Come on. Sipp comes back to run the count full. The payoff pitch… he walks him. Ahhh! That’ll bring up Morales. Full count to him too and Sipp walks him too. Bases juiced. I’m not really sure why Wedge brought in Sipp. He wanted to turn Izturis around to bat right handed, just because he has less at bats from the right side? And the next two hitters are both righties.


Plus he’s a young kid, just up from the minors a few weeks ago. You really want to put him in a pressure situation here? This isn’t making sense.

Gary Matthews up. He sends a deep liner to left center. This will clear the bases. 7-4 Angels. Unbelievable. Our bullpen flat out sucks. Sipp’s 2 walks come around to score. Huff is now on the hook for the loss. Now I’m pissed off. How many times can our bullpen blow a game in the 8th inning? It’s happened all season long. Sickening.

Sipp gets the next batter to fly out. But a 4 run 8th by Anaheim has given them the lead. Last night it was the Indians who had the late came back with a 4 run 9th and 8-6 victory. The roles have been reversed tonight. We go to the ninth, 7-4 Angles.

Top of the 9th

Last chance for the Indians as Brian Fuentes comes on to try and close it out for Anaheim. The Tribe rocked him last night in the 9th and booted him out of the game before he even recorded an out.

Man that move by Wedge to bring in Sipp really grinds my gears.

Andy Marte leads it off, he’s 2-3 on the night. He walks on five pitches. Nice. Here comes Cabrera. He sends one down the third baseline…just foul! A couple pitches later he drives one to deep right…off the wall! 2 on, nobody out. Good start to the inning. Fuentes’ confidence has to be shaken. Jamey Carroll will pinch hit for Valbuena. Carroll with a base hit up the middle! Marte scores! 7-5! Runners at the corners and Fuentes has still not recorded an out in 2 appearances against the Indians. The Angels’ bullpen is scrambling to get someone up.

Shin Soo Choo the batter now. Full count on Choo, Fuentes struggling to find the plate this inning. He walks him! Bases loaded and Victor Martinez will not get to face Fuentes again. Mike Scioscia yanks him. Back to back horrible performances by the Angles closer. We are past 1 am now but I’m wide awake. This is exciting, what a game!

Bases loaded, 7-5 Angels leading, still nobody out as Jason Bulger comes on to try and clean up Brian Fuentes’ mess. Victor is up with a red hot Jhonny Peralta on deck. Martinez hits a grounder to first, to second for one, on to first- double play! Nooo! Damnit Martinez! What a huge play for the Angels.

7-6, tying run on third for Jhonny Peralta, but two outs now. Peralta sends a grounder to short…ballgame. Somehow the Angels get out of it with the victory. Matthews’ bases clearing double and Martinez’s double play were the plays of the game. What a crazy series so far. Very entertaining. They’ll wrap up the series with an afternoon affair Wednesday at 3:35pm EST.

That’ll do it. 7-6 your final, the Angles win it. And the Indians win streak ends at 5. It’s 1:15 in the morning. Time for bed. Hope I can sleep, I may have nightmares of Tony Sipp.


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