The Browns survived the storm on Sunday, but let’s hold off on the champagne for now.
They say that’s Derek Anderson sliding through the snow to celebrate a Browns’ victory over Buffalo. I see a 3 in there somewhere, so I’ll have to take their word for it. Anderson, who admitted he’d never played a game in conditions remotely close to this, spent the majority of the game watching his big running back carry the pile 3 or 4 yards. Watching the game with me, Mrs. Adjustments repeatedly said, “I can’t believe they didn’t cancel this game.” She grew up in Kentucky, where they probably would have cancelled it.
This was a game built for Jamal Lewis. As many have already said, his stature and short choppy running style are perfect for these conditions. I’m frankly surprised that he didn’t find the end zone. Lewis ran for 163 yards, averaging just a hair under 5 yards per carry. His counterpart on the Bills had a decent game going early on, but finished with 82 yards on 21 carries. It was Lynch’s first time running in these types of conditions.
The Browns looked to be in their element. They certainly seemed to be the most confident and sure-footed of the two teams out there. The defense was aggressive, daring the Bills to try and beat them through the air. Safeties Brodney Pool and Sean Jones crept up to the line of scrimmage early and often to make plays in the running game. The defense pitched a shut-out, and my first reaction was that there probably should be some type of asterisk next to this shut-out, but then I reconsidered. If we had shut-out the Buccaneers, or the Dolphins, or the Cardinals I would say none of those teams are designed to play in these type of conditions, and you could understand why they would struggle. But these are the Buffalo Bills! Last time I checked their weather was about the same as ours. They get no sympathy from me. Edwards and Lynch are California guys who looked startled to even be standing around in snow like this, let alone trying to play football. Continue reading
Cleveland hosts the Bills this week with a wild card spot on the line. Good to have meaningful football on the North Coast in December again!
It certainly has been a long time since a December game in Cleveland had playoff implications for both teams. Not since the Kelly Holcomb led Browns have we even sniffed a December to remember. That is about to change.
The Buffalo Bills come to town with a chance to get back to the playoffs themselves, but they will have to leapfrog the Browns for the last wild card slot. A win this Sunday would certainly help them in that leap. They will have to beat a motivated Cleveland team to do it. The Browns have the playoffs in their sight. They can nearly taste it. But they realize that without this game it will be an uphill battle. Browns quotes to follow. Continue reading
Let’s start with the good…(crickets chirping)…ok, let’s move on.
I’m not even going to take time to talk about the final play. Yeah, the refs probably got that one wrong, but there were two calls that could have been reversed and weren’t earlier in the game. The refs aren’t to blame for this game. The Browns are.
First the bad. 1. Josh Cribbs and the return team. Josh gets a pass for this performance. He has played at a pro-bowl level this year, and so we give him a break for the fumble yesterday. The return team as a whole did not perform well yesterday. The Cardinals squibbed several kicks instead of giving Cribbs the opportunity to burn them, and the Browns didn’t seem to know how to handle those kicks. They nearly lost another kick-off by not fielding the ball properly. 2. Derek Anderson. DA made poor choices with the ball. He overthrew and under threw receivers all day. His sloppy play forced the Browns to abandon the running game too early.
Now the ugly. This one goes to the entire team, but probably needs to be pinned on the coaching staff. What in the world is going on with this team and stupid penalties? Bodden kicks a ball after a big third day stop for a 15 yard penalty? After the penalty gives a first down to the Cardinals they finish the drive for a TD. How many false start penalties do we average a game? That is the most ridiculous penalty, and is a tell-tale sign of a team without discipline. Andre Davis and the offsides penalty on the final drive? You are right over the ball!! Continue reading
Easy there big guy, take a breath. One game at a time.
For once it wasn’t all Derek Anderson and the flying receivers. The defense and especially the running game contributed to this win. Chud’s game plan was terrific in this one. I will admit that in the first half I was a bit skeptical. It seemed we were calling an awful lot of running plays without much to show for it. But those early running plays helped set the ground work for the pounding that was delivered in the second half.
Jamal Lewis was running downhill by the end of the game, finishing with 134 yards on 29 carries. Jason Wright provided a nice change of pace as well. The pair finished Houston off in the fourth quarter, as the Browns held the ball for roughly 11 minutes of the final quarter.
The defense rose to the occasion as well. Much has been, or will be written about rookie cornerback Brandon McDonald who was spectacular on Sunday. He covered Pro Bowl wide out Andre Johnson for most of the game, and absolutely shut him down. Before Sunday Johnson had played just three games due to injury, but in those 3 games he averaged just over 125 yards and scored at least 1 TD in each of his games. Against the Browns- 3 catches for 37 yards. McDonald sealed the win when he made a great read and jumped one of Johnson’s routes for an interception. Continue reading
Filed under Brandon McDonald, Browns, Cleveland Browns, Derek Anderson, Draft Picks, Eric Wright, football, Jamal Lewis, NFL, play-offs, Sports
I am a Cleveland sports fan. I was raised that way. I’m not the only one. I know that around Ohio, and scattered around the country, people were hurting as I was yesterday. I feel like Victor does in this photo. I could hardly watch at the end either. I never saw the last half inning of the game. If I hadn’t seen something about it when searching for photos, I’d have never known that Casey Blake was the last out. It was too painful to watch.
The last 12 months have been pretty brutal for those of us that follow the teams that this blog is primarily about. The Browns were abysmal last season. But the Buckeyes put on an unbelievable show. They won game after game after game, including the most monumental rivalry game of my lifetime. And then, they completely fell to pieces. The Cavs and Buckeye basketball teams had great regular seasons. Mike Conley came to life and along with superstar Oden propelled the team into the Championship game. And got beaten soundly. Continue reading
Filed under ALCS, Browns, Buckeyes, Casey Blake, Cavs, Cleveland Browns, Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland Curse, Cleveland Indians, Fausto Carmona, Greg Oden, Indians, Jake Westbrook, LeBron James, Mike Conley, Ohio State, play-offs, San Antonio Spurs, Sports, Victor Martinez, World Series
Watching last night’s game was very painful. Kind of like last year’s National Championship game. I thought Sizemore’s rocket foul ball/could have been a home run might be a sign of good things to come. Kind of like Ginn’s kick return. In both instances I spent the next 3 hours getting punched in the gut. The Indians have one game to win. 172 games into the season, and if they don’t win today they are finished.
Now, ESPN is reporting about Paul Byrd and HGH use back in 2002. I don’t even want to talk about that today. I’ll post in the next week sometime concerning that issue. The more pressing trouble is a game 7 at Fenway Park. Here’s hoping the Indians get back on track today behind Jake Westbrook.
Filed under ALCS, baseball, Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, ESPN, HGH, Indians, Jake Westbrook, Paul Byrd, play-offs, Sports, steroids
The Buckeyes came through, so we’ll be talking soon with our buddies over at Wayne Fontes. But for now…It’s Tribe Time!
How do you kill zombies again?
Seriously, Lugo looks dead in this photo! We gave up a bunt single to a corpse!
(No, I did not alter this photo in any way!)
If you are looking for me to make excuses for Thursday’s loss you will be disappointed. Josh Beckett beat the Indians. That’s it. Should Sabathia have pitched in the seventh? No. Did that cost us the game? No. The Indians will travel to Boston and have a 1 in 2 chance to go to the World Series. And honestly, I like our chances. Fausto Carmona vs Bloody Sock, then Jake Westbrook/Paul Byrd vs Dice K/Tim Wakefield. I think we end it in game 6. I really do.
Fausto will get ahead of hitters with the fastball, then make them swing at the sinker. The same recipe he used all season. Jake Westbrook should be his guide, and the Tribe wins at Fenway. That’s my prediction. Remember the pressure is still on the Red Sox. They are facing elimination, not the Tribe.
Last night the game time temperature was in the high 60’s. There was a slight breeze, and most players were wearing short sleeves. Um, there won’t be many tonight. Look for temperatures to drop, and rain to fly early. In short- it could be a messy game. Here’s hoping that favors the Indians over the dancing knuckleball of Tim Wakefield. A win tonight and the pressure on Boston is enormous. Pour it on Cleveland!
Jake Westbrook pitched the Indians into a 2-1 lead in the ALCS tonight. Inducing 13 ground ball outs, and 3 double plays Westbrook put gave the Tribe faithful more than could be expected. The bullpen was excellent as usual. In fact, this game looked more like the 96 wins we saw over the course of the regular season. Jensen Lewis replaced Westbrook in the seventh and shut the door on a Sox rally. Rafael Betancourt was tremendous, striking out Youkilis, and getting Ortiz and Ramirez in the eighth. Borowski even recorded a rare 1-2-3 ninth for the save.
Providing the spark for the Tribe offense was again Kenny Lofton. Kenny hit a 2 run shot in the second, giving Westbrook room a little room to breathe. Cabrera came through with an rbi single, and Hafner added an rbi of his own in the 5th. The Indians managed only 6 hits, but they capitalized on those hits. Continue reading
Filed under ALCS, Asdrubal Cabrera, baseball, Boston Red Sox, C.C. Sabathia, Cleveland Indians, Indians, Jacob's Field, Jake Westbrook, Joe Borowski, Kenny Lofton, Paul Byrd, play-offs, Rafael Betancourt, Sports, Travis Hafner, World Series
ALCS game one, not pretty. C.C. had all kinds of control problems while Josh Beckett had a decent night giving up only 2 runs on 4 hits with 7 strikeouts. Sebathia only worked 4 and a third giving up 8 runs on 7 hits and 5 walks. So the Indians trail the Sox 1 game to none. Bottom line: it is one game in a long series, the Tribe has looked pretty good so far in the playoffs so I am not that worried. Continue reading
Filed under baseball, Big Ten, Big Ten Network, Boston Red Sox, Brian Hartline, C.C. Sabathia, Cleveland Indians, college football, defense, Fausto Carmona, football, Indians, Jim Tressel, Kenny Lofton, Maurice Wells, Ohio State, Pennant race, pitchers, play-offs, Sports, Todd Boeckman
Paul Byrd wasn’t perfect, but he was good enough to get the Indians to their bread and butter relievers with the lead. Byrd allowed base runners, but got the big outs when he needed them most. The Tribe took advantage of Wang, touching him up officially for 4 earned runs, while only getting 3 outs. Torre was forced to go with Mike Mussina, and the Indians worked 4 walks and 4 hits off him in his 4.2 innings of work, scoring 2 more off the aging vet. Perez pitched two strong innings, allowing a solo homer, and Betancourt absolutely shut down the Yankees in the eighth. Borowski, as he usually does, made things interesting in the ninth. He gave up a solo homer and had a 400 bomb cross a few feet on the Tribe side of the foul pole. He finished the game off however, and the Tribe will meet Boston in the ALCS!
Filed under ALDS, baseball, Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, Eric Wedge, Indians, Jhonny Peralta, Joe Borowski, Kenny Lofton, Paul Byrd, Pennant race, play-offs, Rafael Betancourt, Rafael Perez, Sports, Victor Martinez
The Indians had a chance yesterday to take the Yankees behind the woodshed and put the country out of its misery. Unfortunately, they couldn’t finish the act and we are subjected to more over-priced pinstripes. I just finished reading a column by Howard Bryant of ESPN who seems to think that the Indians are in serious trouble because they are pitching Byrd instead of Sabathia tonight. I will admit that I don’t really love the idea of Paul Byrd throwing against that line-up in Yankee Stadium, but my mood changed dramatically when I discovered that the Yankees are bringing back Chien-Ming Wang on only 3 days rest to pitch the game. Wang was completely ineffective against the Indians on Thursday night. He didn’t get out of the fifth, and threw 95 pitches in the process. I was more nervous that the Yankees would trot Hughes out there than Wang. After having to use Hughes for nearly 4 innings last night, that scenario flew out the window. Continue reading
Filed under ALDS, baseball, C.C. Sabathia, Cleveland Indians, Eric Wedge, ESPN, Fausto Carmona, Indians, Jacob's Field, Jake Westbrook, New York Yankees, Paul Byrd, play-offs, Sports
Bases loaded, 2 outs, bottom of the 11th with a 3-2 count and in steps Travis Hafner. Every kid dreams of this situation as he plays whiffle ball in the back yard. Travis was 2-6 on the night but saved the biggest at bat for last. Travis singled to left to drive home Lofton and take a 2 games to none lead over the Yankees in the ALDS.
The Tribe got an amazing performance from Carmona. He pitched 9 super innings giving up 1 run on only 3 hits and striking out 5 including A-Rod 3 times. Continue reading
Filed under A-Rod, Asdrubal Cabrera, baseball, Cleveland Indians, Division race, Fausto Carmona, Grady Sizemore, Indians, Jacob's Field, Kenny Lofton, New York Yankees, pitchers, play-offs, Rafael Perez, Sports, Travis Hafner
Major League Baseball in all of its wisdom has made the nation wait an extra day to start this series. Yes, I know Boston got to choose, but I am really not seeing the reasoning behind it. Wouldn’t it make sense to start one of the NL series today too? But that’s not why you’re here.
Chances are you want to find some words of hope about tonight’s game. Chances are you have been surfing the Internet the last few days and have found ‘expert’ after ‘expert’ predicting a Yankee series win. You’ve been bombarded with the stats. You’ve compared the line-ups. You know all about Joba Chamberlain. You’ve read 57 articles on why Joe Borowski will cost the Tribe the chance to play on. (I hope he has read them too- and I hope it ticked him off!)
You want me to tell you that the Indians can beat the Yankees. You want me to convince you that Cleveland’s hitters will not wilt under the pressure. You want me to remind you that good pitching beats good hitting. You need something…anything to lift your spirits before tonight’s first pitch.
Alright. First, watch this.
Now, about that encouragement. I believe the Indians will win. Great pitching beats good hitting every time. And the Indians have great pitching. C.C. Sabathia will set the tone tonight. Betancourt and Perez are rested and eager to go. The bats will come to life. We have two lead-off men. Sizemore at the top of the order, and Lofton in that 7 hole. It’s perfect. Even when the top of the order has struggled the past month, Lofton always gets us started at the bottom. He’ll draw a walk, or send one up the middle. Then he creates disorder. He makes fielders play out of position. He distracts pitchers. He gives Blake and Gutierrez fast balls to hit. Victor Martinez will get big hits. Travis Hafner will continue his hot streak. We will win. And then we can really celebrate!
Filed under baseball, C.C. Sabathia, Cleveland Indians, Fausto Carmona, Indians, Kenny Lofton, New York Yankees, pitchers, play-offs, Rafael Betancourt, Rafael Perez, Sports, Victor Martinez