Thursday, May 8, 2008

Cliff is God and Underwood is an Amateur

Seriously, who is this man dressed as Cliff Lee, wearing #31, looking ultra-confident, and where did he come from? Whoever he is, thank goodness Mark Shapiro didn't deal him in the offseason. For the sixth consecutive time, he has dominated his opponent, this time the mighty Yankees, to lead the Tribe to a 3-0 lead and a guaranteed season series win over the Bombers for the first time since 1992.

Lee was spectacular, busting the Yankees inside all game long, striking out seven, walking nobody, and giving up six hits, four of which were bloops. Three runs were more than enough for the man we used to call "Stiff." Clutch two-out hits by Fake and David Dellucci produced runs did the damage. (SIDE NOTE: Nice at bat by Hafner with the bases loaded in the 9th. Seriously, I think he is not snapping out of this slump. This is the real guy we are watching.) Lee, Raffy Left and Raffy Right took it home from there. Lee is now 6-0 with a 0.81 ERA. He has allowed just four earned runs in 44.2 innings, striking out 39 and walking just two.

As great as Lee was last night, the highlight of the night by a mile was the banter between Tribe announcers Matt Underwood and Rick Manning. Underwood is clearly an amateur, with his constant reading from the game notes, cheesy "souvenir city" home run call, and his horrible attempts at analysis. Take these three samples I jotted down while watching the game:

Underwood: Blake flips to first and Lee is beaten to the bag!

Manning: Naaaah...terrible flip.


Underwood: Farnsworth met with the dean of discipline Bob Watson yesterday. He was there for two hours. What could they have talked about for two hours?

Manning: Please, that's what the media says. He was probably there for two minutes.


Underwood: I know they are starting to vote for the all star game. You'd have to say that Cliff Lee looks like he should start the game.

Manning: Its waaaaaaaaaaay too early for that. Way too early. You've got all of May, June, and half of July. What's that, 15 starts? Way too early.


Underwood: curiously, Giambi is on deck. You'd think he'd be saved to come up as the tying run.

Manning: Well, look who he's hitting for. Ensberg. He's a righty. They don't have any other better options to keep the inning going.

It is so clear Manning has zero respect for Underwood. He was really on his game last night. He rightfully ripped Wedge for putting on the botched hit and run/double steal saying "why would you do that with your best hitter up? Let him hit!" He also was on point dissecting Asdrubal Cabrera becoming pull happy: "he isn't trying to use the whole field as he did last year." Finally, for the second straight day, he continued to give Andy Marte the benefit of the doubt, telling the audience "its impossible to get into any kind of groove when you haven't started back to back games all year and had 13 at bats in the first month." Manning is a real pro.


Zach said...

Nothing quite like hearing Underwood say a hitter is "quickly behind in the count" when it's 0-and-1.

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