There is something about that ballpark in Cleveland that seems to bring out the worst in Tampa Bay. When I heard that the Rays were 1-for-their-last-15 in Progressive Field I thought, ‘Well, that’s not much of a stat… The Rays STUNK in those years! They didn’t get good until last season when they won the American League.’ So, the fact that the Tribe have a winning record vs the Rays in the Prog didn’t mean much to me going into this 4-game series.
Game 1 did NOT start well! Carmona just collapsed in the 2nd when he walked four straight! At the end of the 2nd, TB led 5-0 and at the end of the 4th, they led 10-0… This is where I shut the game off! It’s not like me to quit watching a game because my team it doing badly, but after a very bad day and seeing the Tribe basically kill themselves in this game, I shut it off, read a little bit of ‘The Yankee Years’ and went to bed.
I woke up around 2am, came downstairs and said ‘Ok, how bad did do?’ I logged on the ESPN and saw one hell of a surprise! WE WON! Holy Crap! WE WON! Victor Martinez with the 2-run single to win it in the classic ‘Bottom-of the 9th, 2-Strikes, 2-Out, Game-on-the-Line’ fashion that every kid imagines themselves in in their backyard growing up. WOW! If you think I was disapointed that I missed this epic comeback, you’re wrong! I was jumping up and down yelling ‘YES! YES! YES!’ Memorial Day was a memorable one for the Tribe.
I didn’t listen to Game 2 of this series because of the Cavs playoffs. But, I did follow it on ESPN’s GameCast and was happy to see the Indians win 5-1. I was even happier that all the points scored was via the Home Run! (Take THAT New Yankee Stadium!) Any hope the Rays had to prove that the game before was a fluke were ended early. Pavano was shut-out over seven complete inning only giving up the one run. He’s definitely gotten better in the last few starts.
Before Game 3, There was a 2-hour rain delay before it started so I miss the real start about 8:30 or so. Glad I did too, The Rays got off to a fast start by scoring 5 in the 1st. But the Indians responded with 5-runs of their own in the 2nd. Tampa tied it in the 3rd, but the Tribe also took over in that inning and won the game 12-7. There was also one other thing at the game that made that night special…
MIKE AND MIKE!!!http://espn.go.com/broadband/player.swf?mediaId=4212128
They even broadcasted the ESPN Radio show from Progressive Field the next day for the ESPN2 show.
Game 4 was a mid-afternoon game that was also started late due to rain. Not much to say about this one other than the Tribe won 2-1, Martinez drove in both runs for the Indians (his third straight game with two RBIs), and the Rays have now lost 17 straight game in Cleveland.
A 4-game sweep. I didn’t think I was gonna see one this season. Now, we face the Yankees for another 4-game set. I’m interested to see how we play them now the we’ve won 4-in-a-row. I think we can win tonight (Lee on the mound) and Sunday (Pavano) but I’m not so sure about Saturday or Monday’s game. We’ll just have to see waht happens.
…But what a series for the Tribe! Against the AL Champs no less!
‘Bout time things started to go our way!
By the way: I will be co-hosting the sports talk-show I help work on this week. I’ll be on Sports PowerTalk this Sunday from 4-7pm on WZIP 88.1 Akron. If you don’t live in that area, you can listen online at WZIP.fm I really hope you guys will check it out!
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10:49 Top 8th: Oh God… here we go again
10:44 Top 8th: Jays score two on base hit and error
10:37 End 7th: Just when you thought the Tribe’s pitching had quit! Jays bullpen end up giving Cleveland runs to tie this game.
10:35 Bot 7th: THE PITCHER BEANS A WALK-ON! THIS GAME IS TIED! 7-7!
10:29 Bot 7th: The left-hander the Jays had ended up walking two left handed batters. Pitching Change
10:20 Bot 7th: VIC IS BACK! 2-RUN HOME RUN! TOR 7 CLE 6!
10:14 Mid 7th: Ok… game’s back but… Well, let’s just say pitching is still a problem…
7:55: Radio just switched to the Cavs game…
7:30: So far, Still in rain delay… I really doubt this game is going to get done tonight…
6:41: Right now, I’m on my college campus waiting for my ride so, I’m logging off for a little bit. If the game comes back on, I’ll try to get back to the blog asap.
I was going have my first real blog post be my 2009 MLB and Cleveland Indians preview, but this is something I just have to talk about now…
A little history lesson for those not familiar with the games developer, 2K Sports. In 2005, right before SEGA released ESPN MLB 2K5, Take-Two brought the third-party rights to the Major League Baseball license. So, they created 2K Sports and slapped their name on SEGA’s finished work (even though you can still see SEGA’s logo in the backgrounds throughout the game). Now, I was a little mad that SEGA was thrown to the side like that as they’re my favorite game company. But, I knew it was buisness and besides, 2K5 was a DAMN GOOD game! Plus, it was only $20 bucks… pretty good deal if I say so myself.
I was stuck with playing 2K5 and my original Xbox until I finally got a 360 this year. Of course, being a baseball fan I wanted a MLB game. Only problem? the games by 2K are the ONLY baseball games on the 360. The only other MLB licensed game is ‘MLB: The Show’ and that’s only on Sony’s game systems. So, before I paid $60 for this game, I decided to rent it first.
Thus began one of the most frustrating gaming experiences in my life…
First off, the menus are confusing as hell! If your trying to go back to the last menu you were at… good luck! You can’t go back by pressing the B button (like EVERY OTHER game) or the back button on the controller. You have to find something in the menu itself to take you back. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but I just want to pick up the game and play! Not waste 15 minutes of my life trying to get the game going.
The graphics on the stadiums are epic! Epic to the point to where you think you’re looking at a real photo of the ballpark! Too bad the same can’t by said about the players in the game. They honestly look like stoned zombies suffering for both insomnia and Down’s syndrome and not at all like the players they are meant to represent. Plus, puffs of dust from the dirt look like something out of a Roadrunner cartoon.
And while I have no real problem with ads video games, but they should of thought some things out more in this one. For example, The Indians ballpark is Progressive Field, named after the insurance company… So, why are logos for State Farm on the center field wall and the scoreboard? I realize State Farm in a big sponsor of Major League Baseball, but still, they could of avoided putting the logo in that park and just stuck with the play-by-play guys saying the staring lineups and replay were sponsored by State Farm like on TV.
Now, the gameplay… Dear God! The controls are awful! For both batting and pitching, you have a choice between Classic Control (where you just push one for the main buttons) or Total Control (where your use the right thumbstick).
In pitching, total control is useless! You can never get the pitch to go where you want and if you do, you won’t throw it hard enough to help you any. However, the classic control in batting is the problem. Why? It simply doesn’t work. You’ll get a great pitch to hit but when you press A to swing… you won’t do it! The batter will almost always check his swing on hittable pitches leaving you 10 seconds away from breaking your TV in frustration.
The fielding and baserunning isn’t any better. The outfielders act like the ball is likely to kill them and run away from it! Even when you get one of the player in place to catch a popfly ‘Can-Of-Corn’ style, the ball will fly over his head and fall for a base hit! WHY?!
The baserunners are beyond clueless. You try to advance them to 2nd or 3rd and they’ll just stand in place until the other team moves the ball too close to advance and throw you out because of it! Every aspect of this game is broken beyond repair! It’s more frustrating than Sonic the Hedgehog on the 360 and if you’ve ever played that, you should get the idea on how bad MLB 2K9 really is!
Bottom line: 2K Sports seems to think since they have the only third-party MLB license, they can halfass it and people will still buy it because it’s the only one available. WRONG! I paid only $3 bucks for a 3-day rental of this and I still feel ripped off! I won’t be blowing any money to buy this game even if I find it used. I’ll wait for MLB 2K10… can’t be any worse than this.
My season preview will be posted either later tonight or first thing tomorrow.