The Indians trio performed much the way that they have all season- there was a scorless inning of work by C.C. Sabathia, a two-run homer by Victor, (off Billy Wagner by the way!) and Sizemore struck out. That about sums up the first half don’t you think? Turns out that homer was pretty important because the ninth inning got hairy.
J.J. Putz gave up two runs, and walked a batter before Leyland pulled him for Angels’ closer Francisco Rodriguez. Not that he did a lot better, throwing breaking balls in the dirt at an alarming rate, but he got Rowand to fly out to end the game. I suppose everyone will be asking LaRussa why he didn’t pinch-hit with Albert Pujols in the ninth. It’s a fair question. With men on first and second and Orlando Hudson coming up with two outs, Pujols certainly could have hit, but that was Hudson’s first at bat. That would have been a little bush league if you ask me. Hudson is an all star, and it would be tough to justify taking the bat out of his hands, especially since he is a switch hitter. But Hudson walked. That loaded the bases and brought up Rowand, who had hit once already.
LaRussa said he was saving Pujols for an emergency-type situation. Um, you were down by one, bases loaded with two outs in the ninth. If he gets a hit, two runs will score and the game is over. If he doesn’t get a hit, the game is over. Pujols was the only NL batter left on the bench. Not really brilliant strategy there Tony.
(Home field, and Martinez discussed after the jump)
So once again the American League will have home field advantage for the World Series. Is that fair? Since the AL has been so dominant for the last decade, (10-0-1) is it fair to award home field based on the ALl-Star game? Well, probably not, but honestly I’m for it right now, because the AL is winning. If I were a
Reds fan, actually, if I were a fan of an NL team with a shot at the Series I’d be pretty hacked off about this. This was a good day for Cleveland, Boston, Detroit, and Anaheim.
Seeing Martinez round the bases, and then thinking he had a shot at the MVP award made me think of another Indian’s catcher in that same situation- Sandy Alomar. My favorite Indian. 1997 All-Star game in Cleveland. I was there, first base side, about 20 rows up from the bag. Sandy hits the game winner and is named MVP at Jacob’s Field. Good memories. I like Victor, but I miss Sandy. Not that Sandy is better than Victor, but he was my favorite player. And I’m a little hesitant to follow players as closely anymore, because they just don’t stick around. Sandy’s number should hang at the Jake if you ask me. Maybe it will some day. So should Nagy’s. I suppose Thome’s should too, he does have more home runs than any other Indian.
In any case our boys did well last night. Now get some rest, you’re going to need it.