The Indians beat Boston 7-3 Tuesday night, on the strength of good pitching and a seven run 5th inning. Hmmm, 7. That’s a good number for the Indians. How about a recap in seven parts, or more specifically the 7 reasons the Indians are 1 win away from a date with Colorado.
#7 Outstanding Defense
Not really known as a good defensive team, the Indians have made the plays in this series. In game 4, there were outstanding plays by Asdrubal Cabrera, who went high in the air to snatch a base hit away, plus Victor Martinez made a couple of really nice plays at first. Kenny Lofton and Franklin Gutierrez are providing outstanding coverage flanking Sizemore in the outfield. Then there are the double plays. 1 tonight, 3 last night, 3 Saturday night, even 1 in Friday’s loss. 4 games and 8 double plays. More than just the number of doubles turned, 6 of those were in key situations. The defense so far has been the pitching staff’s friend. Continue reading
Filed under Aaron Laffey, ALCS, Asdrubal Cabrera, Boston Red Sox, C.C. Sabathia, Cleveland Indians, defense, Fausto Carmona, Franklin Gutierrez, Grady Sizemore, Jacob's Field, Jake Westbrook, Jhonny Peralta, Kenny Lofton, Paul Byrd, Rafael Betancourt, Rafael Perez, Victor Martinez, World Series
Jake Westbrook pitched the Indians into a 2-1 lead in the ALCS tonight. Inducing 13 ground ball outs, and 3 double plays Westbrook put gave the Tribe faithful more than could be expected. The bullpen was excellent as usual. In fact, this game looked more like the 96 wins we saw over the course of the regular season. Jensen Lewis replaced Westbrook in the seventh and shut the door on a Sox rally. Rafael Betancourt was tremendous, striking out Youkilis, and getting Ortiz and Ramirez in the eighth. Borowski even recorded a rare 1-2-3 ninth for the save.
Providing the spark for the Tribe offense was again Kenny Lofton. Kenny hit a 2 run shot in the second, giving Westbrook room a little room to breathe. Cabrera came through with an rbi single, and Hafner added an rbi of his own in the 5th. The Indians managed only 6 hits, but they capitalized on those hits. Continue reading
Filed under ALCS, Asdrubal Cabrera, baseball, Boston Red Sox, C.C. Sabathia, Cleveland Indians, Indians, Jacob's Field, Jake Westbrook, Joe Borowski, Kenny Lofton, Paul Byrd, play-offs, Rafael Betancourt, Sports, Travis Hafner, World Series
Sometimes a moment, or a game can define a season or a team. Friday night the 2007 Indians might have had that moment. By now you know the story. You watched as 23 year old Fausto Carmona pitched the playoff game of a lifetime. You saw him strike out 5 Yankees, including soon to be AL MVP Alex Rodriguez 3 times. You watched him limit baseball’s most potent offense to 3 hits. One lone home run accounting for the only Yankee to get past second base. And yet it almost wasn’t enough.
Filed under A-Rod, ALDS, Asdrubal Cabrera, baseball, Casey Blake, Cleveland Indians, Fausto Carmona, Indians, Jacob's Field, Jake Westbrook, Jhonny Peralta, Kenny Lofton, LeBron James, New York Yankees, Paul Byrd, Rafael Perez, Sports, Travis Hafner, Victor Martinez
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. Continue reading
Filed under A-Rod, Asdrubal Cabrera, baseball, Cleveland Indians, Division race, Fausto Carmona, Grady Sizemore, Indians, Jacob's Field, Kenny Lofton, New York Yankees, pitchers, play-offs, Rafael Perez, Sports, Travis Hafner
Indians 12 Yankees 3!
Just like we thought it would be! Alright not exactly. C.C. Sabathia struggled a little, but not the Tribe offense. Pumped up from the log wait, C.C. didn’t have his best command tonight. He was high in the strike zone an awful lot. He threw an ungodly amount of pitches. And I might add that the strike zone was pretty small tonight. But what he did was keep the Yankees in check. Though he went only 5 innings, he left the game with the lead, and pitched his way out of a couple of serious jams. Obviously, the 5th inning was the big one. With the bases loaded and one out, and a 3-0 count on Jorge Posada, Sabathia struck him out on high fastballs. Now, a Yankee fan would be quick to point out that the pitches Jorge swung at were more than likely balls. Yep. I’ll agree to that, with the exception of the first one. So what? Your guy swung at them. After a weak pop up by Matsui, the Tribe and C.C. had held strong.
Filed under A-Rod, Asdrubal Cabrera, baseball, C.C. Sabathia, Casey Blake, Cleveland Indians, Indians, Kenny Lofton, LeBron James, New York Yankees, Ryan Garko, Sports, Travis Hafner, Victor Martinez
Joe Borowski blew a save, but the Indians came back to win 4-3 in 12 innings.
You might notice that Kelly Shoppach is giving the first pound to Rafael Betancourt here, instead of Victor. Well, Kelly didn’t start the game. Victor, in fact, had the big hit of the night, a three run homer in the first inning of Mariners’ fireballer Felix Hernandez. But Martinez left the game in the eighth inning after fouling a ball of his knee. Early word on Victor is that he will be able to pitch one of the two games that are part of Wednesday’s double dip. Continue reading
Filed under Asdrubal Cabrera, baseball, Cleveland Indians, Fausto Carmona, Grady Sizemore, Indians, Joe Borowski, Pennant race, Rafael Betancourt, Sports, Victor Martinez
The magic number…
What I especially liked about tonight’s win over Oakland was the workman like way the Tribe approached the game. There could have been a letdown. Big series sweep, then a day off? Yeah, that’s a recipe for a trap game. But Fausto and the Indians handled their business and came away with the W. It was Carmona’s 18th for the season. He pitched well, though he gave up more walks than usual, which led to a higher pitch count early. He finished the sixth inning, giving up 5 hits, 1 run, striking out 7, and walking 4. A bigger story tonight might be that Rafael Perez gave up 2 runs. I guess he’s human after all. Continue reading
Filed under Asdrubal Cabrera, baseball, Cleveland Indians, Fausto Carmona, Indians, Jhonny Peralta, Rafael Betancourt, Rafael Perez, Ryan Garko, Sports, Video