I am a Cleveland sports fan. I was raised that way. I’m not the only one. I know that around Ohio, and scattered around the country, people were hurting as I was yesterday. I feel like Victor does in this photo. I could hardly watch at the end either. I never saw the last half inning of the game. If I hadn’t seen something about it when searching for photos, I’d have never known that Casey Blake was the last out. It was too painful to watch.
The last 12 months have been pretty brutal for those of us that follow the teams that this blog is primarily about. The Browns were abysmal last season. But the Buckeyes put on an unbelievable show. They won game after game after game, including the most monumental rivalry game of my lifetime. And then, they completely fell to pieces. The Cavs and Buckeye basketball teams had great regular seasons. Mike Conley came to life and along with superstar Oden propelled the team into the Championship game. And got beaten soundly. Continue reading
Filed under ALCS, Browns, Buckeyes, Casey Blake, Cavs, Cleveland Browns, Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland Curse, Cleveland Indians, Fausto Carmona, Greg Oden, Indians, Jake Westbrook, LeBron James, Mike Conley, Ohio State, play-offs, San Antonio Spurs, Sports, Victor Martinez, World Series
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
Paul Byrd wasn’t perfect, but he was good enough to get the Indians to their bread and butter relievers with the lead. Byrd allowed base runners, but got the big outs when he needed them most. The Tribe took advantage of Wang, touching him up officially for 4 earned runs, while only getting 3 outs. Torre was forced to go with Mike Mussina, and the Indians worked 4 walks and 4 hits off him in his 4.2 innings of work, scoring 2 more off the aging vet. Perez pitched two strong innings, allowing a solo homer, and Betancourt absolutely shut down the Yankees in the eighth. Borowski, as he usually does, made things interesting in the ninth. He gave up a solo homer and had a 400 bomb cross a few feet on the Tribe side of the foul pole. He finished the game off however, and the Tribe will meet Boston in the ALCS!
Filed under ALDS, baseball, Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, Eric Wedge, Indians, Jhonny Peralta, Joe Borowski, Kenny Lofton, Paul Byrd, Pennant race, play-offs, Rafael Betancourt, Rafael Perez, Sports, Victor Martinez
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
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
Major League Baseball in all of its wisdom has made the nation wait an extra day to start this series. Yes, I know Boston got to choose, but I am really not seeing the reasoning behind it. Wouldn’t it make sense to start one of the NL series today too? But that’s not why you’re here.
Chances are you want to find some words of hope about tonight’s game. Chances are you have been surfing the Internet the last few days and have found ‘expert’ after ‘expert’ predicting a Yankee series win. You’ve been bombarded with the stats. You’ve compared the line-ups. You know all about Joba Chamberlain. You’ve read 57 articles on why Joe Borowski will cost the Tribe the chance to play on. (I hope he has read them too- and I hope it ticked him off!)
You want me to tell you that the Indians can beat the Yankees. You want me to convince you that Cleveland’s hitters will not wilt under the pressure. You want me to remind you that good pitching beats good hitting. You need something…anything to lift your spirits before tonight’s first pitch.
Alright. First, watch this.
Now, about that encouragement. I believe the Indians will win. Great pitching beats good hitting every time. And the Indians have great pitching. C.C. Sabathia will set the tone tonight. Betancourt and Perez are rested and eager to go. The bats will come to life. We have two lead-off men. Sizemore at the top of the order, and Lofton in that 7 hole. It’s perfect. Even when the top of the order has struggled the past month, Lofton always gets us started at the bottom. He’ll draw a walk, or send one up the middle. Then he creates disorder. He makes fielders play out of position. He distracts pitchers. He gives Blake and Gutierrez fast balls to hit. Victor Martinez will get big hits. Travis Hafner will continue his hot streak. We will win. And then we can really celebrate!
Filed under baseball, C.C. Sabathia, Cleveland Indians, Fausto Carmona, Indians, Kenny Lofton, New York Yankees, pitchers, play-offs, Rafael Betancourt, Rafael Perez, Sports, Victor Martinez
Yep. Fausto will do that to you.
Fausto Carmona won his 19th game, as the Tribe rolled to a 12-4 victory in the first game of a double header with the Mariners. It was probably the last game Carmona will pitch in the regular season. If it is, he has most certainly won the era title. He has come a long way from his disastrous ’06 campaign, but that has been well documented already. If you are looking for the reason the Indians have claimed the A.L. Central title, it is hard to look past Fausto. Sure, C.C. may win the Cy Young, and I’m not taking anything away from Sabathia, but nothing was expected from Carmona. Truth is if you asked who might win 19 games other than Sabathia, most Tribe fans would have answered Westbrook. The others would have said Cliff Lee. Nobody would have said Fausto. This kid picked up the team and became a force. Continue reading