Bases loaded, 2 outs, bottom of the 11th with a 3-2 count and in steps Travis Hafner. Every kid dreams of this situation as he plays whiffle ball in the back yard. Travis was 2-6 on the night but saved the biggest at bat for last. Travis singled to left to drive home Lofton and take a 2 games to none lead over the Yankees in the ALDS.
The Tribe got an amazing performance from Carmona. He pitched 9 super innings giving up 1 run on only 3 hits and striking out 5 including A-Rod 3 times.
It was a weird game. The Indians went 2-19 with runners in scoring position and left 14 stranded. The Indians first run came in the 8th: Sizemore walked, went to second on a wild pitch, third on a Cabrera bunt and scored on Joba Chamberlain’s second wild pitch of the inning. At that point the Indians had something like 16 futile attempts with runners in scoring position. So the Tribe’s first run comes in to tie the game without a hit.
The pitching was key. Both starters looked good: Pettite went 6 and a third giving up no runs and pitching through several tight spots. Joba Chamberlain had a buggy meltdown as the gnats attacked in the 8th. The normally solid fireballer was visibly distracted by the cloud of gnats surrounding his head. It was his walk and subsequent wild pitches that led to the Indians’ knotting the game for eventual extra innings. Rafael Perez Pitched to perfect innings and picked up the win in his first post season outing.
It was like deja-vu watching the Indian’s bats flounder with Carmona on the mound pitching a brilliant game. I’ll tell you the truth I couldn’t help but think of Rick’s August article “Dear Fausto, I’m Sorry” , but none of that mattered when Kenny crossed the plate in the 11th to win the game.
Rick and family were fortunate enough to score tickets for this evenings festivities. I am sure they had a great time.
So the Indians head to the Bronx up two games to none. Sunday will see Jake Westbrook against Roger Clemens. With the first two games so vastly different, one can only guess at what to expect. GO TRIBE!