I was just as shocked as anyone when I returned home to see what destruction Choo had caused.
But also delighted.
Shin-Soo Choo became the 31st Indians player to homer three times in a game with his amazing performance on Friday night. Choo hit a grand slam, a two-run shot, and capped it off with a solo shot and my fantasy team is very thankful for this, especially in the middle of a playoff series. That's clutch Chooster, thanks buddy!
"You don't want [their] best hitter to beat you," said Royals catcher Brayan Pena, "and he beat us."
He beat you? He didn't beat you, he crushed you into an oblivion! He dominated, he slugged you across the face and then hit your limp body with a shovel.
More importantly than all this, Choo's massive home run binge ensures the Indians a legit opportunity to make sure they have a 20-home run hitter on their team, keeping a streak that has lived since 1983, alive.
Remember that discussion? About how this club is missing its power stroke? Choo is their most prolific home run hitter but injuries have prevented him from easily reaching the number of 20. Now with this herculean performance, he is right on the edge of doing so. He just needs one more to finish out the year and he'll save the Indians from having not a single player with 20 home runs on the roster.
Thank you Choo.
Choo said it was the best game of his life. I'd say so. He had been struggling, but after a talk with Pronk, he seemingly just let it all go.
"I've not been swinging well the last two weeks," Choo said. "So many fastballs I fouled off. A lot of things were on my mind. Tonight, after the ground-ball double play, I talked to Hafner and said, 'Maybe I just see the ball and swing at it.'"
THAT ISN'T A WORD!
Carlos Carrasco though has won his first ever Major League game. The way he's been pitching it seems as if he should have had it already, but better late than never. Carrasco and Choo received a shower of beer, not a shower beer, but a beer shower after the game. Carrasco didn't have to say much.
"Today," said Carrasco, freshly showered after his beer shower, "I feel great."
Acta believes the long inning effected Carrasco in the game, but with a long inning that gives you some runs, it is quite alright if you give up a few in route to finishing an inning. Oh well, you gots the win, you pitched five innings of great baseball. Enjoy the win young man.
"It was another great start for Carrasco to get his first win," Acta said. "I think the long inning [sixth] affected him. He went out and was flat and up in the zone."
It was a great game overall for the team. Carrasco pitched well, the hitting was on-point. It wasn't just Choo either. Yes he did all the damage, but Lou Marson had a career night with three RBI, Hafner was on three times, Cabrera twice with two runs. Brantley extended his hitting streak to 17-games.
And the Cleveland Indians are out of the AL Central Basement.
I like Shelley Duncan. He's a little loopy. He's the guy you hate when he plays for a team like the Yankees, but he's a guy you love when he's on your side. You know what I'm talking about. Anyway Duncan is always trying to bash skulls, even if they are on his own team and he just won the game, even though it was on an error.
"I was playing around with everybody," Duncan said. "Everybody usually tries to beat the guy up who drives in the winning run. So I said, 'I'll just turn it around and try to beat everybody up.'"
God Bless Choo? God Bless Crazy Shelley too.
Tonight is the final hurrah for Justin Masterson in 2010, so I say he goes out with a bang. Masterson will make the start for Mitch Talbot, get to that in a second, and with 173 innings, he is 7 away from his 180 threshold. The plan to move him to the bullpen so he could be around for the rest of the season was scrapped not just because of Talbot, but perhaps because of the Clippers playoff run and David Huff's dog house.
I'm sure if they needed a starter beyond this game, the Indians wouldn't mess with anyone and just call Huff up and not risk anyone over trying to prove a point, but this seems like a perfectly logical thing to do. There is only a few weeks, so you shut him down early, oh well. Masterson has been great in his past few outings, let's let him finish strong.
Don't hold Manny Acta to 181 or 179 though, either of which could happen. Acta said if he only goes five innings they might let him pitch a couple innings out of the pen, but I say we think positive and think Masterson is going to go out and throw a fantastic friggin game and go over that 180. I'm thinking no-hitter here.
Mitch Talbot meanwhile will play catch today. Go in the back yard with pops, toss the leather around. You know, have a catch, throw some ball. Some fun.
This catch could lead to a bullpen session, which would lead to him making Thursday's start next week. Hopeful.
I pointed out awhile ago that Trevor Crowe needs a haircut. Damn guy is looking stupid-silly with that hair. He isn't bad ass like Chris Perez. Crowe seems like he is just doing it because the ball and chain will make him cut it once the offseason arrives. What a loser.
She's going to say it has to get cut," Crowe said. "You wear a hat during the season, but, in the offseason, we're going to visit my family -- and I'm going to have to get it cut."
"It's funny, too, because most people, when they have long hair, it gets curly," he said. "My hair is like angel hair pasta."
Which makes it looks foolish. Cut that pasta off boy!
As you may have seen, the Indians claimed Chad Huffman, a Triple-A outfielder from the Yankees yesterday. He's now 40-manned and in Columbus. I wonder if he was in the clubhouse for the celebration. He went from being eliminated with the S/W-B Yanks to the friggin Champs. I don't understand this claim, the club needs 40-man space. Maybe they'll hold onto him try and pass him through waivers at a later date and just move on. If not whatever. Weird. Who cares, it's Chad Huffman.
I have a Sunday surprise for you all. I was going to make it a Saturday surprise, but with Choo's Hercules and Carrasco winning, I felt the need to do some ketchups.