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Indians Indians Archive Bask In The Glow
Written by Brian McPeek

Brian McPeek
Yes SIR!!!!!  What a ball game!!!  The Tribe dropped a touchdown on the Red Sox at 1:30 AM in the top of the 11th inning, winning game two of the ALCS by a 13-6 count!  It was Trot Nixon of all people with the go ahead hit, and Franklin Gutierrez (after a rough night) who slammed the door with a majestic blast over the Green Monster.  And just like that ... we got ourselves a series.  And it's coming back here to the Jake for three.  Brian McPeek chimes in with his game log ...

Game 2 of the ALCS tonight TCF readers.  

I’m fresh off a big clambake that I selflessly cut short to be here and do this. 2-dozen cherrystones and a farm full of chicken later, I’m a bit bloated but no worse for the wear. No yams though. Never been a big yam man. 

Funny thing about both shellfish and Curt Schilling. Just a little bit too much of either makes me retch.  

Anyway, in regard to Game 2. There’s not a must win until you have to win or go home. Hence the origin of the term. That said, I can’t think of a bigger game this season. Getting a couple early runs (as always) would help the cause and would keep Schilling on his heals.  

On a side note, good to see Jeanne Zelasko wearing her Jane Curtin 1970’s costume during the pre-game show. 

822pm- Grady Sizemore takes a called strike to start Game 2. 

824pm- Sizemore leads off with a double. Good to see him hit something he swung at. 

826pm- Asdrubal Cabrera pops out a bunt attempt for out number 1. The kind of little stuff you have to execute on to beat Schilling and force the Red Sox to play from behind. 

831pm- Travis Hafner flies out to the track in left but Victor Martinez delivers a 2-out double off the monster to plate Grady and give he Tribe that early lead. 

833pm- Garko grounds out to Mike Lowell to end the Tribe’s half of the first inning. 

835pm- Singer James Taylor announces the Red Sox lineup. It lasts longer than his marriage to Carly Simon and was actually less successful. 

836pm- Fausto Carmona makes quick work of Dustin Pedroia. Filthy in the first is fine by me. 

838pm- Fox’s Joe Buck makes the 84th reference tonight to Carmona’s meltdown in Fenway as the Tribe closer in 2006. Doesn’t he have a ‘House’ promo he can read? 

840pm- Carmona walks Kevin Youkilis on a good at bat by the Red Sox first baseman. 

842pm- Ortiz gets the 4-pitch walk and it’s two on and one out in the first. These middle of the order Red Sox hitter will not go outside the zone to help Fausto. 

845pm- After 11 consecutive plate appearances by Manny Ramirez and Ortiz, the Indians solve Ramirez. He bounces into a 6-4-3 double play on which Jhonny Peralta actually got a good break on a ball hit toward the hole to start the twin killing. When Peralta looks awake at SS it just might be the Indians’ night. 1-0 Tribe after one. 

850pm- Peralta lines a single to right to start the 2nd inning. Someone check to see if that’s actually Jhonny Peralta and not Rhonny Peralta, his hustling younger brother. 

853pm- Lofton flies to left and Gutierrez continues to be just miserable at the dish as he grounds into a double play. 

857pm- Mike Lowell, another veteran hitter, works deep into the count before bouncing out to Casey Blake. 

859pm- No one wake up Jhonny. On a ball hit in the hole by JD Drew, Peralta moves like a cat and quickly releases a strong throw to get Blew by a step. Joe Buck advises that Peralta “Can sometimes be deliberate in the infield”.  That is politically correct announcer-speak for “Peralta is one lazy bastard.” 

903pm- Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek hits a pill toward right center. But Cabrera is there to make a diving stab. Sit down Captain. Top of the 3rd is next. 

907pm- Blake strikes out on a wrist-snapping check swing to start the 3rd. Sizemore pops out to left and Cabrera follows suit with a fly ball that Ramirez grabs for as fast an inning as you’re likely to see. 

914pm- Coco Crisp singles to right field to start the Sox 3rd inning. Maybe time for some small ball here with Crisp on 1B and Julio hitting is wife…err…hitting. 

917pm- Crisp easily steals 2nd base despite a horrific jump. 

918pm- Carmona’s ball is moving all over the place. Unfortunately it isn’t crossing the plate too often and when it does the Red Sox are getting a piece. 

920pm- Lugo swings at a pitch that Victor caught behind Lugo’ back leg. The bad news is Fausto is already over 50 pitches or real close. 

922pm- Carmona walks Pedroia on 4 pitches. That’s simply a waste of 4 pitches as Pedroia is an annoyance and not a true threat. 

925pm- Youkilis screws himself into the ground swinging a strike three. Then he looks at Carmona as if to say, “What the flock as that?” Still, Carmona needs to be more efficient if he wants to see the 7th inning. 

927pm- Carmona gets ahead of Ortiz but is living dangerously using the outside part of the plate exclusively. A second later Ortiz bangs a ball off Carmona’s glove for a rare Ortiz infield hit and they’re loaded for Manny. How does Ramirez continually come up in these situations? 

932pm- Another 4 pitch walk and we’re even at 1-1. Carmona is approaching the 40-pitch mark. Not for the game, but for this 3rd inning. 

935pm- Lowell breaks his bat and singles to right on Carmona’s 36th pitch of the inning. Gutierrez promptly misses the cutoff man when Ramirez was dead-to-rights in no man’s land between 2nd and 3rd base. Thankfully, the Human Inning Ender, JD Drew, breaks his bat and grounds out to tonight’s 3rd inning abomination. I was somewhat hoping a piece of it would impale Mike Lowell but that didn’t happen. To be fair, Lowell is about the one guy on this Boston team that isn’t a complete hump. 

This Red Sox lineup has definitely been schooled to lay off anything starting in the middle of the plate. They are simply having outstanding at bats. 

940pm- Hafner flies out to left for the first out.  

942pm- Victor lines a single to right to bring up Garko. The Indians need a big ball to rein in the Sox momentum. 

944pm- Garko bounces a 12 hopper up the middle and Peralta steps in. Don’t ruin a promising night with a ground ball to SS Jhonny. 

946pm- What a bad rap this Peralta fella gets in some circles. Honny hits a 420 foot missile over the left center-field wall. The Tribe is back on top 4-3 and I’m googling ‘Jhonny Peralta Fan Club’ immediately after it lands.    

950pm- Franklin Gutierrez takes advantage of the momentum and strikes out swinging to end the inning. Changes need to be made right now if not sooner with Gutierrez. He’s simply overmatched in every at bat and it’s becoming painfully obvious every time he stands in the box. 

954pm- Varitek strikes out to lead off the Boston 4th. There’s really nothing wrong with a 1st pitch ground out every now and again. It also wouldn’t suck to see him mix in something on the inside 3rd of the plate, or an occasional breaking ball for that matter. 

957pm- Crisp line out to 2nd base for out number two. The quick, quiet inning? 

959pm- Uhh…no. Carmona walks his fifth hitter of the night in Julio Lugo.  

1003pm- Carmona gets Pedroia for his fifth strikeout of the night. Through four innings its 4-3 Tribe. Again, how long before we see Jensen Lewis getting a couple meaningful innings at this rate? 

1007pm- Lost in Carmona’s pitch-a-palooza is that Schilling is laboring as well. I am not at all opposed to winning this game 13-7. 

1009pm- Schilling watches Blake scorch a ball down the line at 3B that Lowell spears for out number one. That saves a double and a scoring chance.  

1010pm- Sizemore scorches the next pitch and Lowell and the rest of the Red Sox watch it leave the yard and land in the Red Sox bullpen. Unfortunately it didn’t hit Papelbon in the back of the dome but it is a run. 

Nobody is getting cheated on their swings against Schilling and there may be a fight at the bat rack to get a chance against the Red Sox right-hander. 

1013pm- Cabrera strikes out on a pitch that couldn’t have been set on a tee any better than it was thrown. I’m actually rooting for Schilling to mix in an out here and there to keep him on the hill.  

1016pm- Hafner hits a hanger through the whole at SS for a 2-out single. 

1017pm- Martinez ‘garkos’ a ball through the right side to end Schilling’s night. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. And by nice I mean the biggest jackass in baseball not named Barry Bonds. 

1020pm- Manny Delcarmen will face Garko. Delcarmen gets him on a ground ball to Lowell. 5-3 Indians lead as the bottom of the 5th approaches. 

1026pm- Carmona can’t stand prosperity. After giving up a leadoff single to Youkilis, Eric Wedge yanks Carmona and Rafael Perez will face David Ortiz. Neither Indians ace makes it out of the 5th inning in Fenway Park. I hope this sick feeling in my stomach is just bad clams and food poisoning. 

1030pm- Perez picks up where Carmona left off and goes 3-0 on Ortiz. Ortiz bounces into a fielder’s choice when Casey Blake, playing essentially the SS position on the Ortiz shift, can’t quite get Big Papi at first base. One out for Manny.

1036pm- In a bad match-up for the Indians, Ramirez drives a slider from Perez way out to right center field and we’re again knotted up.  

1037pm- The wheels are falling off the Perez bandwagon. Lowell nearly leaves Massachusetts with a long HR to left field and the Red Sox are playing the middle innings with a lead and the better bullpen. 

1039pm- How bad has it gotten for Perez? JD Drew just hit a ball hard into centerfield for a single. That’s how bad. Perez is done. Thanks for coming Raffy Left. Next up is Jensen Lewis for Cleveland. 

1045pm- Lewis gets Varitek to bang a ball at Blake who goes to 2nd base for the force despite the fact Drew was running. Not only do they get the force on Drew but Cabrera also turns an acrobatic, leaping double play with a throw to Garko. Stunning play from Cabrera, though it doesn’t erase the memories of balls flying out of Fenway nor the 6-5 Boston lead. 

1051pm- Peralta walks and Kenny Lofton shatters his bat on a single to right that sends Peralta to 3B. The windmill known as Franklin Gutierrez stands in. Gutierrez gets a small amount of wood on the baseball and Lugo throws him out on a close play at 1B. The trickler does score Peralta and moves Lofton to 2nd base. Good things happen when you actually make contact Goot. Both vaunted bullpens have been scored on. Hideki Okajima coming in to relieve Delcarmen. 

1101pm- Okajima gets Blake on the strikeout. Nasty stuff. Too bad Okajima doesn’t see it since his finishing position is worse than that of a bobble-head doll. 

1103pm- Grady gets the intentional walk after Okajima goes to 3-0 on Sizemore. Tim McCarver thinks it’s a good move. That in itself suggests it is not.

AsCab to the dish. 

1105pm- Lugo saves a run with a great stop of a one-hop liner to the hole. He can’t make a play but it’s 7-6 Cleveland if he can’t get there. 

1106pm- The Lugo play looms large after Hafner rips a ball right at Pedroia for the 3rd out.  

It’s officially white-knuckle time. I wonder if Rafael Betancourt would object to finishing these last 4 innings against the Sox. 

1112pm- Coco Crisp just caused me to throw up clams in my mouth. Off the bat, down that short right field line, I thought that midget had homered. Just a fly-out to right. I still need to change my drawers between innings. 

1114pm- Lewis makes quick work of Lugo. Even after McCarver calls him Justin Lewis, Joe Louis, Jerry Lewis and Jensen Lewis in one breath. Do you have to be a knob to work these games from the broadcast booth? Is it a requirement to get an interview? 

1116pm- Jensen Lewis (see how easy that was) gives us the most rare and precious of 2007 ALCS occurrences, that being a quick, efficient, effective inning of actual and literal relief.  

Speaking of relief, back after a quick wardrobe change. 

1120pm- Okajima strikes out Martinez for the first out in the 7th inning.  

1126pm- Garko pops out weakly to Youkilis at 1B.  Okajima doesn’t miss many spots. Throwing batting practice speed fastballs, he truly can’t afford to miss many spots. 

Good news Tribe fans. Garko (Stanford) and Lewis and Jeremy Sowers (Vanderbilt) should give the Indians an easy victory in the academic decathlon event over Manny, Ortiz and Lugo that takes place on tomorrow’s travel day. 

1129pm- Peralta strikes out for the 3rd out. Bottom of the 7th and tied 6-6, with Youkilis, Ortiz and Ramirez coming up. Here come those clams again. 

1133pm- Lewis gets Youkilis and Ortiz quickly before Wedge calls to the pen for Raffy Right. If Betancourt can get Ramirez here, I’m officially shipping Oldest Girl to Venezuela to work the Betancourt farm during the tough summer months. Middle Girl and Youngest Girl are being held in reserve for later in the post season. Their rotten attitudes wouldn’t serve them to well down there anyway. Not to mention the wife would surely notice all three of them missing. 

1142pm- Betancourt Just Blows Away Manny. A 3-2 fastball in a sequence where nothing was less than 94mph and Ramirez, after a couple healthy swings, sits his ass down. I’m going to miss Oldest Girl. But all of us need to do what we can.  

That was a big at bat. If Ramirez goes off there, he’s invincible for the remainder of this series. 

Mike Timlin is coming on for the top of the 8th. 

1149pm- Lofton lines out to Crisp leading off the 8th.  

1150pm- Gutierrez again hits the smallest piece of the ball you can hit and put it in play. Timlin makes the play for the 2nd out. 

1152pm- Blake grounds meekly to Lowell to set the Indians down in the top of the 8th. 

1156pm- Tim McCarver is talking incessantly about the remarkable story of Betancourt having 6 screws in his right elbow. I’d like to talk to the Fox executives about the dozen loose screws tumbling around McCarver’s melon.  

1201am- Raffy right finally strikes out Lowell after a long, solid at bat. JD Drew then pops out on the first pitch of his at bat. Everything evens out in life. JD Drew is the solid at bat equalizer.  

1204am- Varitek bounces to Cabrera for out number three. We go to the 9th where the Red Sox have Papelbon waiting and the Indians have Joe Borowski. That’s extremely comforting. 

1207am- Papelbon is on. McCarver describes Papelbon as ‘calm and stoic’. I describe McCarver as ‘tedious and self-absorbed’. 

1210am- Sizemore pops out to Lowell for the first out. Papelbon will earn any quiet inning here with the top of the order taking their cuts. 

1215am- Cabrera pops out to Pedroia. 2 outs. Hafner stands in. 

1218am- Hafner singles to center and is lifted for a pinch runner, Josh Barfield, as Martinez gets ready to hit. On ball 1 to Victor, Barfield steals 2nd base without a throw and Martinez draws the intentional walk to set up Ryan Garko. 

1220am- Garko, on a 1-0 pitch, gets one to hit and pops it foul. You don’t get many opportunities like that against this guy.  

1224am- Garko does get another one to hit and hammers it. But he hammers it on one hop right at Lowell, an excellent defensive third baseman. Lowell picks it nicely and throws to 2nd for the force on Martinez. Money play by Lowell.

1228am- Crisp to face Betancourt who stays on in the 9th. Betancourt sits down Crisp on a swinging strike three.  

1231am- Lugo pops up to Peralta. I’m due down at Cleveland Browns Stadium in 6 ½ hours for a tailgate party. The fare? Clambake.  

1233am- Pedroia singles to left for the first knock of Raffy right. Ellsbury runs for Pedroia. Given it takes Raffy 12 minutes to boil a 3-minute egg, Ellsbury should be running. 

1235am- Ellsbury runs and there is no throw. A single by Youkilis likely wins this. 

1242am- The Betancourt/Youkilis battle goes on. 11 pitches and counting. 

1243am- Youkilis hits a rope off Betancourt into left center. But Sizemore makes a sliding catch to save (or at lest delay) disaster and we play on. 

THAT was a clamshell in the throat at bat. I can’t take this anymore. I’m heading to get 12 minutes of sleep before I have to get up for tomorrow.  

Tom Mastny is warming up in the Indians pen. It’s hard to really say anything more than that. Other than ‘crap’, that is. 

1248am- Peralta goes down to Papelbon high heat. 

1250am- Lofton flies out to center. 

1253am- Gutierrez is doing a fine JD Dew impersonation. He pops out to first to end the Indians’ half of the 10th. All Mastny needs to do is navigate through Ortiz, Ramirez and Lowell. 

I can honestly not remember being so sure a team was going to score than I am here. And it’s a helpless feeling.  

1257pm- Ortiz is in the box, Many is on deck. Mastny is on the mound. How do you like your chances? 

101am- Ortiz hits a ball off the lip off the outfield grass and off of one of Peralta’s two chins. JP recovers and gets him by a hair. 

102am- Manny flies out to right. Two bullets dodged. Gagne up in the BoSox pen. Please get me an out Mr. Mastny. 

103am- Lowell flies out to right. The Red Sox are out. Gagne is in. I’m stunned. 

105am- Blake strikes out and looks like dog dung doing it. Sizemore rips a first pitch single to right. Cabrera is up and Trot Nixon climbs into the on-deck circle. I smell a Hollywood moment. Unfortunately, this Gagne looks like the 2002-2004 version of Eric Gagne. 

110am- Cabrera milks a walk from the suddenly 2007 Gagne. This is getting confusing. Thankfully (?) Terry Francona pulls the plug on this whole time-space continuum thing and goes to Javier Lopez out of the Red Sox pen after Nixon is announced as the pinch hitter.  

114am- God love Trot Nixon. Nixon dumps a single into center and Sizemore beats Crisp’s throw him for the 7-6 lead. That’s the good news. The bad news is Borowski is loosening in the Indian bullpen. I’ll trade my clambake for a 3-run home run. I’ll go as high as Youngest Girl. Screw it. 

117am- Holy Ghost of Joba Chamberlain. Lopez throws one behind Victor and the tribe plates a HUGE run. 8-6. Still not enough. Cash them all in. Victor gets another intentional walk. 

120am- Garko with the knock to deliver a run and maybe salvation!! Lopez gets the hook after retiring nobody. Jon Lester is in the game. 

124am- Peralta unconsciously provides a proper greeting to Lester with a run-scoring double. Looking forward to more clams in a few minutes. 

127am- Lofton flies out to center and looks more than a bit pissed that Garko stayed at 3rd. 

128am- And it was an outstanding decision as Gutierrez just CRUSHES a ball that has yet to land but clearly cleared the wall in left. 13-6 Tribe. Blake strikes out and this inning has been nearly JoBo-proofed. 

What a BIG inning. Getting through this game and coming to The Jake tied in this series when both your pocket aces were beaten by A2 off suit can’t be underestimated. 

131am- Borowski is on. To ease him slowly into the game, JD Drew will lead off. 

132am- Still, it is Borowski. JD Drew may as well be Nancy Drew but he’s standing on first base with a single. 

133am- Varitek is down on strikes. One out. 

136am- Crisp singles but Lugo hits a ball to the Player of the Game, Jhonny Peralta, who starts the game ending double play. 

Come on down off the ledge Tribe fans. Disaster has been avoided and momentum swings to the Indians.  

Take a day off. Bask in the glow. Be back here Monday night.

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