The good news is the Tribe wins, Tigers lose and the Indians lead the division by half a game. Paul Byrd pitched 6 solid innings giving up 1 run on 9 hits improving his record to 11-5. It was not a pretty win; the Tribe is still struggling to cross the dish, only managing 2 runs despite 12 hits and they left a pretty depressing 14 runners stranded. They also made some poor choices (in my humble opinion) in the 7th inning.
Martinez leads off with a double. Garko is robbed of a hit by a great catch by Iwamura at the hot corner. Peralta breaks his 0 for 18 slide with a base hit moving Victor to 3rd. Now here’s where I question Wedge’s decision; instead of batting Franklin Gutierrez (1 for 3 on the day) with his .284 average, Wedge pinch hits the struggling and hobbled Travis Hafner. This is a double play waiting to happen; anything on the ground would double up Peralta and Hafner because Pronk, with his bad knee, could barely beat me in a footrace to first. With that said Travis hits it in the air to shallow right field. Delmon Young makes the catch. Now if someone had read a scouting report they’d know that Young has a cannon that has rung up something like 14 assists during the year from right field, and with Martinez on third the smart bet is to hold him and hope for a 2 out hit to score some insurance. However, Victor, who isn’t the slowest member of the team but only because of Hafner’s knee problems, tags and is thrown out by a mile.
All that being said the Tribe hangs on for the 2 to 1 win. In the end I am reminded of one of my high school football coaches. After each game our coaches would take time to outline the positives and negatives. This coach would usually just sum up the game by saying, “A dubblya’s a dubblya.” (a W[in] is a W[in])