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Indians Indians Archive The Brooms Stay In The Closet
Written by Paul Cousineau

Paul Cousineau
Ouch.  With the Indians primed and ready to make this a quick and painless series, Johnny Damon, Phil Hughes, and Joba Chamberlain had other ideas.  Yet, at the end of the day, Paulie C reminds us all to take a step back and remember that the Indians still sit in a great position in the series, up a game, with C.C. still sitting in their back pocket if the team is in need of an Ace in the final hand. With the Yankees’ pulse still beating after an 8-4 win in the Bronx to bring the series to a 2-1 advantage for the Indians, the ALDS sweep that would have been so sweet will have to remain in my dreams. While the loss was hard to stomach as the Yankees and their fans gleefully lived to see another day, who out there predicted a sweep for the Tribe?



Let’s all take a step back and remember that the Indians still sit in a great position in the series, up a game, with C.C. still sitting in their back pocket if the team is in need of an Ace in the final hand.

To start the game (with Jake’s sinker still darting and diving), the Indians did exactly what they set out to – get at the aged Roger Clemens and force him out, causing Joe Torre to go to the beleaguered Yankee middle relief corps. The Tribe was patient with Clemens, working counts and manufacturing runs while the Yankees saw their season slipping away. As Clemens unceremoniously exited the game (despite the announcers’ attempt to sugarcoat what was likely his last MLB appearance by pointing out that his last pitch was a K), visions of a repeat of Game 1’s massacre danced before my eyes with the idea that the Tribe would simply put the Yankees out of their misery and blast their way into the ALCS.

Of course, Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain had other ideas.

Before saying anything about Hughes and Joba, let’s establish that both are undoubtedly talented young pitchers who have very bright futures in MLB. But, to me, their introduction to the baseball world this year (and all subsequent coverage throughout the season) by ESPN and most national media outlets is akin to that parent that brags just a little too much about the accomplishments of their child. For all I know, the kid may be a genius, a humanitarian, and a saint, but the way that their parent prattles on and on about their good deeds, I cannot help but hate the kid.


Because all I do is hear about how great they are and how proud we should all be of them.

We got it, all right?

Shut up about it already.

Same thing with Hughes and Chamberlain, who if they were in Arizona or Colorado would be a nice little story in that they both arrived in the same year to excel on an playoff staff. But, because they’re from NYC, all I get is Hughes and Chamberlain…Chamberlain and Hughes shoved down my throat.

Anywho, after tonight, I hate that kid that the proud parent brags about more than ever as the two youngsters rescued an aging and pressing Yankees team as they gave up 1 run over 5 2/3 innings, kept the Yankees in the game, and allowed the struggling Yankee offense to find their stroke (and some vast expanses of grass in RF behind Trot Nixon) against the Tribe.

It seemed early in the game that the starting pitching that had put the Tribe in the catbird’s seat was continuing as Westbrook did what he does when he’s going well – giving up seeing-eye singles, inducing DP grounders, and minimizing damage while eating innings on a low pitch count. Frankly, he was doing that until the Cano double and the improbable pop-up to RF by Johnny Damon that cleared the W.B. Mason sign. But when that ball starts to rise on Jake and the fly balls start, it becomes apparent very quickly that the sinker has lost its bite and that it’s only a matter of time before crooked numbers start hitting the scoreboard.

After the Damon HR and the Cano worm-burner that Trot Nixon simply missed (how long did the goodwill for Wedge putting him in the lineup last…45 minutes…an hour?), the Yankees had that bounce back in their step and, despite a nice rally in the 8th by the Tribe, Game 4 was a foregone conclusion.

And so, the Indians and Yankees will square off in the only Game 4 of the Divisional Series segment of the playoffs as Paul Byrd will attempt to escape the fate of Jake Westbrook’s 5th inning and the Indians will hope to re-capture their offensive success of in the series against Yankees pitchers not named Pettitte, Hughes, and Rivera (who smoked his way through the 9th).

At the end of the day, we have what we expected at the outset of the ALDS – not a sweep…a series.

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