Well, Kelly found the dog! Odds are that we won’t leave her in mom’s backyard anymore.
The Indians began another 4 game series, (can’t remember the last time we did back to back four games series) this one against the Devil Rays at the Jake. Pitcher’s dual for most of the game, as Westbrook looked sharp in his second outing since the injury. He pitched seven strong, giving up only one run, and working out of a major jam in the first. Good thing too, because the Tribe couldn’t get it going offensively. Tied at 1 going into the ninth, Borowski retired the Rays with a nice pick-off throw at to first to get a pinch runner who was leaning.
Then Ben Francisco came to the plate. If you are wondering who that is, that’s ok. He has had a couple trips to the big club filling a seat when someone goes on the DL. He came up this time to replace the injured David Dellucci. Last night was his first start. Ever. He got his first hit in the fourth, then hit a blast to end the game in walk off fashion. Quite a night for the rookie, and the dog!
So my wife and I took my daughter to her first Indians game Thursday. (Grandma Carol came too.) First thing- Tribe wins 4-3 on a 3-run shot by Michaels in the 7th. (Thank you Jason!) There was plenty for my nearly three year old to do, including the play area, and the build a bear workshop. We even found a decent food baragin- the Sliders mini-burger platter. Three small cheeseburgers and about a pound of fries for $5.50. As far as ballpark food costs go, that was the equivalent of the dollar value menu. The game took only about 2.5 hours. We were out of the park by 3pm. The Jake did his part.
Unfortunately, the experience was tainted. Life crept up and bit us when our dog jumped the fence at my mom’s house the night before and ran away. We searched for hours in the rain Wednesday night. We went to bed late and woke up at 6am to continue the search. After a few more hours of searching we looked again, to no avail. We went to the game and came back to search some more. The game was fine, but we were exhausted, Rachel hadn’t slept much and so she was tired and cranky a lot of the day. Kelly did her best to enjoy the experience, but her heart was elsewhere. Perhaps the experience will be more joyful if Maya is returned. If not, I have to say the game will always be remembered not for Rachel’s first Indians experience, but for the day we lost a member of the family.
Had the opportunity to watch a game in its entirety last night (that is so rare). Watched Cliff Lee have a decent outing, and the Tribe bats came to life at the last minute to pull off the remarkable comeback scoring 5 runs in the bottom of the ninth to beat the A’s 8-5. Kelly Shoppach got the walk-off 3 run dinger pinch hitting. Great moment for Kelly, but for my money the pressure hit of the game came from Travis Hafner.
Before getting the game tying hit with two outs in the ninth Pronk left the bases loaded in the seventh. He was ticked after letting the team down, and you could see him dying for another shot. When Martinez reached in the ninth, Pronk got his wish and didn’t waste any time, lining Embree’s first pitch in the gap for a game tying double.
“I was pumped up,” said Hafner, who pumped his fist in glee at second base after the hit. “I had a chance earlier with the bases loaded and didn’t come through. If I don’t get a hit there, the game is over.”
Haren pitched well for the A’s, but gave up his season high with 3 earned runs. Are you kidding me? The worst this guy has done this year is 3 earned runs? Wow. Talk about consistency.
What just topped the night off was the Rangers coming from behind to beat the Tigers, deadlocking the Tribe for first in the Central once again. Huge night when you were about to be down two games, and suddenly you are even again. I hope that this win starts the Tribe on another hot streak. We need to be playing our best when we get to Detroit next week.
So last night C.C. pitched another complete game win for the Indians. This raised his record to 11-2, and lowered his era to 3.24. He is currently tied for first in wins, and 3rd in strikeouts with 108. Obviously he is on pace for a 20 win season and 200 punchouts. And I have to say that could spell disaster for the Indians.
What am I talking about? Well if the Indians don’t win the World Series this year, I think we can kiss our staff ace goodbye. Sabathia is flirting with the Cy Young right now. I would dare say he would be the favorite. You tell me how much money he could squeeze from the Yankees, Red Sox, or Mets if he won 20 and collected his first Cy? The Indians would not match any kind of offer that C.C. would be sure to get.
I didn’t think we had much of a shot to sign him before, but his dominance this season has all but assured us that he will be gone.
So, do the Indians have what it takes to win this year? Let’s hope so.
Since ‘The Sweep’ as it will come to be known in Cleveland sports lore. (For some reason we feel the need to name our disappointments- Red Right 88, The Drive, The Fumble, The Shot, The Collapse…) I have thrown my sports self in to the Indians and their quest to win the division. Currently they sit atop the Central by a game over the Tigers, and the Twins are 6.5 back, but certainly within striking distance. I have to say that nothing tickles me more this year than knowing that the White Sux have collapsed. Three teams are enough to battle for one division title thank you.
While we wait for Sizemore and Pronk to remember that they are all-star caliber players- the pitching staff has been excellent this year. Sabathia finally is showing signs of being a true ace, and Carmona has been a fantastic surprise so far. I always have reservations about young arms going to the post-season, but what he has given the Tribe already this year is more than you bargained for with him. Hopefully Westbrook and Lee will regain the form that they had last season. If they do- we should glide to the division crown.