Cleveland Sends Message to Red Sox Nation: Indians 7, Boston 3
(Photo Credit: AP)
All year long MLB has forced fed the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox down baseball fan’s collective throats. This practice has masked just how good the rest of the league has become. The Colorado Rockies have won 21 out of 22 games to make their first World Series appearance. The Cleveland Indians, seemingly another team of destiny, have shown the world they are for real and trust that Red Sox nation doesn’t know what hit ‘em.
Eric Wedge’s Cleveland Indians are using a total team effort to push the vaunted Boston Red Sox to the brink of playoff extinction. Using quality pitching and timely hitting to energize the Jacob Field faithful Cleveland won Game 4, 7-3.
Since trailing early in game two, Cleveland has outscored the American League East champions 18-5. They have also scored first every game of this series–putting pressure on the Sox–and are 4-0 at home in the post season. Paul Byrd’s old school double pump windup and subsequent cut fastballs kept Boston’s batters guessing as the Red Sox failed once again to put runners on in front of David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez.
Byrd threw first pitch strikes to eighteen of the twenty one batters he faced.
Kevin Youklis, Ortiz and Ramirez did become the first post season teammates to go back to back to back, but the effort was wasted as Cleveland firmly had Game 4 in hand.
In the bottom of the fifth, Casey Blake started jump started the scoring with a bomb off Wakefield–who up to that point kept Cleveland’s lineup in check. Naysayers can second guess Terry Francona for his pitching choice but Francona made the right decision even in defeat. Cleveland was hitless for 4 and 2/3 innings before Peralta doubled off the left center wall. This loss was not on Wakefield, it was more a testament of the hunger, discipline and magic surrounding Cleveland’s franchise in realizing their World Series Championship quest.
An ALCS victory will add credibility to what has always been a very tight knit organization.
These fans can taste it and have given their team the total support it needs to get that ring.
When Casey Blake stepped to the plate for the second time and delivered a run scoring single, fans were rejoicing the decisive seven run, thirty five minute bottom half of the fifth inning that might have effectively catapulted Cleveland to the brink of an American League Pennant. Jhonny Peralta, who hit a three run homer to start a seven run 11th in Game 2, hit another three run blast as Cleveland became the first team to have two seven run innings in a series.
Rafael Betancourt and Jensen Lewis allowed one run after Byrd was chased in the fifth to seal the victory and hand a series clinching opportunity to Cleveland’s ace, C.C. Sabathia.
In the three victories, Cleveland has chased Schilling, Matsuzaka and
Charlie Hough Wakefield after exactly 4 and 2/3 innings.
Josh Beckett, C.C. Sabathia II. The probable Cy Young front runners meet again with the series on the line.
Beckett might win the Cy Young award, but C.C. is pitching for team prominence and assuredly wants everyone to forget his ALCS opening abysmal performance.
Will we see a performance for the ages or will Game Five be a repeat Game One?