Charlie Brown had a bad reputation on the baseball field for being the goat, not the hero. On Monday night, Johnny Damon misplayed this Brandon Philips-hit ball, which scored two runs (you can say it was a double and he scored on an error but, come on, it turned into an inside-the-park home run). I was at the game, right in front of left field, and the cries of “You suck, Damon!” were flying fast and furious. And rightfully so. Those two runs could have cost us the game (fortunately, they did not). That the botched play came from a guy who was hitting .186 at the time just added insult to the injury.

The husband and I were watching the game tonight, and as Damon came up on the 4th inning, I mentioned the play from Monday. I was just relating the chorus of “You suck, Damon” when my husband said, “Um, what was that dear?” I stared at the television and watched the ball soar over the right field fence. The Indians were up 2-0. The thought that Johnny Damon had just hit a two-run homer to break a 0-0 tie caused what can only be described as cognitive dissonance.

Later in the 4th inning, Asdrubal Cabrera hit a three-run dinger. Then in the bottom of the 7th, Lonnie Chisenhall pounded a few more nails in the coffin with a three-run double to make it 8-0. Through it all, Justin Masterson ruled the mound. He gave up three hits and one run with no walks and nine strikeouts.  He pitched a complete game, and he struck out the freaking side in the 9th inning. That’s a hell of a night. It was so nice to see Masterson finally get some run support.  It’s just odd to think that the guy who can barely pull himself over the Mendoza Line hit the home run that turned out to be the winning run. But that’s baseball. Sometimes you’re the goat, sometimes you’re the hero.

It was nice to see a Cleveland team full of heroes tonight.


  • Edward Ennett says:

    Was a great game to see Justin get some run support. The Damon homer was a pleasant surprise, it is frustrating to see how far he has fallen and yet we are sticking with him every day. It seems to me we would be better off with LaPorta playing left. Hopefully, Damon does give some Veteran leadership in the club house, looking at the roster, the players left who were on the 2007 team are very few. That was on e thing I think Trot Nixon helped a lot off the field and in the club house that year which was under appreciated. Overall, was a great series to watch.

    One question I do have, is why do switch hitters continue to switch hit when they have such horrendous splits, lik Santana currently is going through. I would think that if it gets bad enough, try to hit from your better side of the plate no matter the pitcher. just a thought.

  • Josh says:

    Don’t forget to mention that Damon is hitting almost .300 over his last 16 games.

    “That upped the left fielder’s showing over his last 16 games to 13-for-44, or a .295 batting average. Damon is what he is on defense, but if his bat is coming around, that changes the look of the lower part of the Tribe’s lineup.” Courtesy of Jordan Bastian.

    He had a slow start, but is starting to come around, and he’s really the best option we have. Laporta can’t tell a slider from a fastball, and seems to have no clue where the strike zone is, so people need to forget about him.

  • Susan Petrone says:

    Edward, I wonder the same thing.

    Josh, your rationality is causing me psychological discomfort. (Yeah, I know he’s the best option we have at this point. And he does seem to be coming around, thank goodness.)

  • The Doctor says:

    I’d be fine with dumping our collective disaster in left field and picking up three guys playing beer league softball in Shaker Heights. Seriously though, could LaPorta, Crowe, and bum of choice really be any worse than these three? It’s difficult to imagine that we could not get improved performance in left field from quad-A player of your choosing – hence LaPorta!

    It’s embarassing that we even have Cunningham on the team. If our other 2 “left fielders” weren’t so noodle-armed and lead-footed, respectively, this guy would not have a job.

  • Swift says:

    I do have to say that Masterson pitched a gem. Striking out the side in the 9th was just icing on the cake

  • Josh says:

    The problem is that people expected Johnny Damon to come in and be our Knight in shining armor to save the season right away. The guy played a few games in extended spring training against kids that just got out of high school. He’s just now finding his groove and people seriously undervalue his clubhouse presence and the things he’s been doing on the field (recently).

    At this point, Shelly Duncan and Aaron Cunningham are destined to be designated. With Hafner’s health issues, Damon could become invaluable late in the season when we have no DH.

    The focus needs to be taken away from what the defense/offense are doing, and moved towards starting pitching. Yes errors cost runs, but so do pitches right down the middle. Ubaldo has come around as of late, and Masterson has been Masterful (pun intended) his last bunch of starts. Unfortunately, Lowe and Gomez have been getting progressively worse as the season carries on. Forget Youkilis, how about some kind of Rental pitcher…?