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Indians Indians Archive Both Jakes Jumping
Written by Brian McPeek

Brian McPeek
WOW!!!  Talk about electric.  The Jake was a jumpin.  And Jake was a dealin'.  Backed by an absolutely frenetic throng of towel waving, alcohol aided, championship starved fans ... the Indians took a 2-1 lead in the ALCS with a 4-2 game three win at Jacobs Field.  Jake Westbrook was superb on the hill.  Kenny Lofton was partying like it was 1995.  And the Indians are two wins away from a trip to the World Series.  Brian McPeek shares his game log with us ...  

    * Editor’s Note (especially since I am my own editor)- Despite concerns some of you have, I am not a binge drinker, an alcoholic nor a father who prostitutes his pre-teen daughters for a base hit or a post-season victory. Oldest Girl (OG) was, whether you believe it or not, not sent to do hard labor on the Rafael Betancourt family farm in Venezuela despite what I wrote Saturday night/Sunday morning.

    In fact, she’s right here. Say ‘hello’ OG.

    OG- “Hi everyone. I love my dad and he embodies all the things a sober, loving father should. Bye. It was nice talking to all of you.”


    Okay, that was me that typed that.

    But still, if you’re offended by my style or by what I write, no need to read further. Don’t put yourself through 7 pages of game notes that are simply a reflection of what I see and how I deal with it if you hate what you’re reading. I’d ask you not to light up my e-mail either but I actually laugh my ass off reading the hate mail. So keep that coming. But you’re wasting keystrokes by telling me you’re never reading another word I write. I already assume no one is reading anything I write. Dig?


    On to the game.

I Have A Key Here

This is extremely simple: In the two games this October the Indians have lost, Grady Sizemore is 1-10. In the four games the Indians have won, Sizemore is 8/16 with 5 walks, 6 runs, 2 home runs and 2 RBI.

If Grady gets on base and plays a part offensively, everything else falls into place. He’s 4 for 8 against Daisuke Matsuzaka with a double, HR and 2RBI.

I’m not Brad Pitt, but Jeanne Zelasko and Kevin Kennedy are rarely referred to as ‘classically handsome’. They’re a couple of rough looking dudes.

706pm- Trot Nixon gets a start tonight in RF in place of Franklin Gutierrez. Oddly, I can find nothing negative to say about this after Game 3. But I will. Probably soon.

709pm- Dustin Pedroia stands in and takes strike 1 from Jake Westbrook. Two pitches later he is down on strikes.

711pm- Westbrook walks Kevin Youkilis. Looks like a thimble-sized strike zone tonight from home plate umpire Brian Gorman.

712pm- David Ortiz is in the box. He hits a missile to the left of 2B Asdrubal Cabrera. Cabrera spears the one-hop liner, throws to 2B where Casey Blake is stationed in the Ortiz shift, and Blake somehow turns the double play. The old 4-5-3 sets down the Red Sox in the top of the first. Terrific play.

716pm- Grady stands in to lead off the home half of the first. He bounces a 2-1 pitch up the middle where SS Julio Lugo makes a nice play to get Sizemore by inches.

719pm- Cabrera chases a ball up and out of the zone and strikes out for out number two. Travis Hafner is in the box.

722pm- Tim McCarver tells me umpire Brian Gorman is reputed to have a very small strike zone. Which, naturally, doesn’t stop Gorman from ringing up Hafner on a borderline pitch on the outside corner.

After an inning we have no score.

726pm- Manny Ramirez digs in. Aim small, miss small Jake.

728pm- Ramirez draws a leadoff walk to bring Mike Lowell to the plate.

729pm- Lowell singles on a 0-1 pitch to make it runners on 1B and 2B with JD Drew up. Wonder if this hack can bunt?

730pm- Drew bounces a three hopper to Ryan Garko who flat-out boots it to load the bases. Jake needs a ground ball from Jason Varitek.

732pm- A pop-up to short left does the trick. Kenny Lofton throws in to the plate and wags his finger at Ramirez on third base as if to say, “Don’t even consider trying to tag on that slop.”

733pm- Coco Crisp is in the box. A very tough guy to double up.

734pm- Yet they do exactly that when Crisp grounds a ball right at Peralta who steps on 2B and throws to first to get out of a bases loaded, nobody out inning. File that situation away folks. It may turn out to be a defining moment of this ballgame.

738pm- Victor Martinez climbs in against Dice-K. Victor bounces out to second base.

739pm- Joe Buck reminds me that Dice-k once threw 256 innings in a 17-inning high school game. The guy would be murder on the Cedar Point midway games.

740pm- Garko lines a sharp single to center field.

743pm- Jhonny Peralta strikes out looking.

744pm- McCarver is sharp tonight. He notes that Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek has to use his thumb at times to call for pitches, “meaning that Matsuzaka is capable of throwing more than 4 kinds of pitches.” Joe Buck immediately argues that it means Matsuzaka has more than 5 pitches. Unfortunately no fight ensues. Just when I thought McCarver was the dumbest man in the press box tonight Joe Buck chooses to pipe up.

744pm- K-Love!! Lofton hammers a Dice-K offering into the seats in RCF for a 2-run HR. First time since he’s been back that he’s homered and first time in a very long time I can remember Lofton turning on a pitch and driving it.

747pm- Nixon grounds out to Lugo to end the second inning. 2-0 Tribe.

751pm- Julio Lugo leads off the Red Sox half of the 3rd inning. He grounds out to Garko who manages to stay upright and make a play.

752pm- Pedroia grounds to Cabrera for out number two.

752pm- Oldest Girl makes her first appearance in ‘the bunker’ tonight. She asks if I’m going to do these running commentaries even after the Indians season is done.

(‘January 9th, 2008, 702pm- OG walks into the living room annoyingly and begins yapping about something I have zero interest in’. Possibilities. Would you read it?)

She leaves after telling me Ryan Garko is the cutest player ever to read a lineup on Fox. I can’t mount an argument before she flits off to do God knows what.

Littlest Girl (LG) is sharpening every pencil in the house for some reason. And she’s singing while doing it. We’ll be picking up those shavings all winter.

Middle Girl (MG) is back on the internet. She appears to be downloading blue prints and schematics for some reason. Interesting kid, that one. Think ‘Stewie’ from “The Family Guy”. Mat-Mice on one screen and the architectural plans for the Capitol building on another.

753pm- Quick, easy inning for Westbrook as Youkilis flies out to Nixon.

756pm- Casey Blake hits for the Indians. Blake flies out to Drew in right field. Back to the top of the order.

758pm- Sizemore flies to center. Dice-k is not fooling Indians hitters.

801pm- Cabrera extends the inning with a line-drive single to center and gets Hafner to the plate with two outs.

804pm- Hafner draws a walk. Martinez is up with two on and two out. Dice-K may reach 256 pitches in this inning. Matsuzaka is the Japanese equivalent of Jhonny Peralta. He seems to conserve energy whenever he can as if a sudden movement will completely kill him.

808pm- Dice-K gets Martinez on a 3-2 slider that almost hits Victor in the back foot. Great pitch. 2-0 Indians after three innings.

812pm- Ortiz nearly hits one out the opposite way to lead off the 4th. He stands at 2B with a double.

816pm- Ortiz gets hit by a groundball from Ramirez. What a hump. One out. McCarver says, “That was a bad base-running play by Ortiz.” He’s not the best color-man in the business for nothing folks.

817pm- Mike Lowell hits about an 840-foot foul ball over the Home Run porch in left that disrupts a Cavs exhibition game at the “Q” with Ramirez on first base.

819pm- Lowell bounces to Blake with Ramirez running. Casey throws out Lowell at 1B as Ramirez takes 2nd base.

820pm- The $14million pile of dung, JD Drew is hitting with a chance to halve the Indians lead. Drew grounds out to Garko to kill the threat and what is left of his reputation. Which was next to nothing anyway. Garko made a nice play on that ball as it actually hit the bag and took a funny bounce.

824pm- Ryan Garko facing Matsuzaka. He grounds to Lugo to start the bottom of the 4th. Garko looks and runs like Fred Flintstone. Fred actually may have been faster at the same age.

828pm- Peralta takes a couple fastballs down roadway and then lunges at a pitch thrown toward the right field camera bay. Two down for Lofton. Matsuzaka is over the 70-pitch mark. For comparison’s sake, Westbrook is at 53 going to the 5th inning. Still, Dice-K has another 180 in him based on that high school game.

830pm- Lofton grounds out to Pedroia to end the inning.

834pm- Varitek grounds weakly to Cabrera for out number one to begin the BoSox 5th.

835pm- Crisp follows suit with a soft ground ball to Peralta for the second out of the inning.

836pm- It’s the good Jake tonight. He gets Lugo to ground out to Blake. Westbrook snaps two bats and threw 10 pitches in the inning. We’re halfway through and it’s 2-0 Indians.

Westbrook is prone to that one big blow-up inning. If he can get through the Youkilis through Lowell gauntlet (2-5 in the order) unscathed one more time tonight, he gives a rested bullpen and his team a solid chance to win this game. And someone let the Indians know scoring with the lead is still allowed. And, lastly, if someone wants to call Joe Borowski and phone in a fake emergency that requires him to leave, I’m down with that too.

841pm- Nixon waves at strike three leading off the Indians 5th half of the inning. His post-season average has plunge 667 points in the last hour.

844pm- Blake singles to left to turn the lineup over to the top.

845pm- Blake does little things right. He gets a good secondary lead and takes 2nd base on a ball that bounced off Varitek and rolled but a foot or two away. He’s in scoring position now for Grady.

848pm- Sizemore draws the walk and AsCab is up again with a chance to hurt the Sox.

849pm- Anyone see Frank Caliendo on the Fox NFL pre-game show yesterday? For some reason I feel like I have a vested interest in how his appearances turn out. I’m sure he killed.

850pm- Mike Timlin warms up in the Boston bullpen.

852pm- Ryan Garko called him “Our rookie 10-year veteran, Asdrubal Cabrera”. That guy just singled in a run and pushed Sizemore to 3B with a big hit.

854pm- Hafner scores Grady with a fielder’s choice ground ball. 4-0 Indians. A bang-bang play at 1B to stay out of the double play. Excellent hustle by Pronk and as a good a play as you’ll see from a second baseman as well.

856pm- Victor with a great swing to serve a single into left field on an 0-2 pitch. That will end the night for Dice-K. $103million doesn’t go as far as you’d think. Timlin is coming on.

9pm- Garko will get the first crack at Timlin. Brian Gorman’s strike zone seems to expand and contract every half inning and it’s starting to really piss me off. Garko swings and misses for strike three and the home half of the 5th ends with t he Indians up 4-0.

908pm- Pedroia bangs a ball to Peralta for a groundout to begin the 6th. Here comes that gauntlet. Youkilis steps in.

909pm- Youkilis hammers a single to center to get to Ortiz. Westbrook has gotten 16 outs tonight. Only two have been in the air.

912pm- Ortiz walks. I’m getting the bullpen busy about now. Runners on 1st and 2nd base with one out for Manny.

913pm- Brian Gorman will not give Westbrook a corner. 2-0 to Ramirez.

914pm- A 3-0 pitch 10 inches inside is called a strike. 3-1 to Manny. And Manny bitches to Gorman.

916pm- The count evens at 3-2 as Ramirez fouls off a couple sinkers.

917pm- Manny scorches a bad-hop ground ball at Peralta who stays with the bad bounce and starts the 6-4-3 DP. That was the most beautiful ground ball I’ve ever seen and it was a huge moment for Westbrook, the Indians and the Sox.

922pm- Peralta grounds to Lowell and there is one out in the home half of the 6th. Peralta gets a pass this time around. The play that ended the Red Sox 6th earned him that.

924pm- Lofton strikes out for the second out.

927pm- Timlin is giving the Red Sox all they could ask for. He gets Nixon to ground to 1st base and the 7th inning is next.

I’ve opted to take the dip of Skoal Mint out of the left side of my mouth and put a fresh one in on the right side. These types of moves are magnified if something were to go wrong, but the left side cheek and gum have given all they’ve got tonight. It’s not a move I really like to make when the Indians are up 4-0 and the left side has gotten us to this point. But the playoffs call for difficult decisions.

930pm- Lowell pops out to AsCab for the 1st out in the 7th. Franklin Gutierrez has replaced Nixon in right field.

931pm- JD Drew grounds a single to center field. Varitek to the dish.

933pm- Varitek crushes a ball to the deepest part of the park and out for a 2-run HR that cuts the lead in half. Up until now the ‘C’ on Varitek’s jersey had stood not for ‘Captain’ but for ‘Can’t buy a hit’.

935pm- Crisp stands in. Westbrook looks a bit wobbly after the Varitek HR and as he approaches the 100-pitch mark. He gets Crisp to chase a fastball away for a big strikeout and for out number two.

938pm- Lugo stands in and the top of the Red Sox order looms. His infield single brings Pedroia to the plate with two outs. Westbrook will be lifted for Jensen Lewis.

I can feel myself aging in dog years.

Lewis is likely to face Pedroia and Youkilis. Rafael Perez waits for Ortiz and Rafael Betancourt will get ready for Manny. Jake Westbrook earned his varsity letter tonight. The pitch to Varitek will float through his mind tonight while he sleeps (though replays show Varitek did a nice job and went down and got it), but you’re not often likely to shut down this Red Sox lineup completely.

947pm- Where would this team be without Jensen Lewis? After a lengthy battle with Pedroia he strikes him out swinging on a 93mph fastball on the black.

Once Lewis got comfortable in Cleveland his presence, performance and fastball improved. He’s consistently at 92-93mph with a deceptive delivery. When he first arrived he was 87-88mph and erratic. The emergence of Lewis and Raffy Perez were perhaps the two biggest keys to this season.

Time to Jobo-proof the ballgame. Tack on a couple runs and take the drama out of the equation. About 7 runs will do it.

952pm- Chris Meyers reports on bug spray packets and midge cut outs being handed out to fans entering The Jake. Companies will stop at nothing to take advantage of any marketing opportunity.

On purely a side note, this half inning of running game log is sponsored by Skoal Mint Smokeless Tobacco. And I again remind you to hold the nasty e-mails.

955pm- Casey Blake grounds to SS Julio Lugo for out number one in the home half of the 7th inning. Grady steps up and in. Hideki Okajima has replaced Timlin to start the inning.

958pm- Sizemore sends Crisp to the wall in centerfield where the Sox center fielder makes the catch for the 2nd out of the inning.

959pm- Cabrera hits a weak fly ball to Crisp for the 3rd out. And here may be the biggest inning of the night with Youkilis, Ortiz and Ramirez due up.

Outstanding effort tonight from the Red Sox middle relief corps.

1002pm- Betancourt replaces Lewis. I don’t like this. I’d have let Lewis face Youkilis here and then play match-up the rest of the evening.

1004pm- Betancourt is not locating as well as he did Saturday night. A couple pitches miss their mark to Youkilis and he fouls them off. Youkilis is a very difficult and draining at bat for any pitcher.

1006pm- 5 straight foul balls for Youkilis.

1007pm- Betancourt mixes in a rare change-up and gets Youkilis swinging. I’m drained.

1008pm- Ortiz spares us any prolonged drama by hitting a head-high first pitch liner to Gutierrez who was playing him on East 9th Street and makes the play for the 2nd out.

1009pm- Ramirez takes a slider for strike 1 and hits a ball foul down the line in right for strike 2.

1010pm- Cabrera stumbles under a pop-up that Ramirez hits on a 1-2 fastball. He staggers a bit but retires Manny as we head to the bottom of the 8th. 4-2 Tribe.

Anyone feel more comfortable with a couple runs here? Lowell, Drew and Varitek await Borowski, if anyone is looking ahead.

1016pm- Hafner grounds out to Youkilis to start the Indians 8th.

1017pm- Come on Victor. Lift one out of here to left.

1018pm- Martinez walks on 4 pitches. Terry Francona will lift Okajima in favor of hard-throwing but young right-hander Manny Delcarmen. Power vs. power as Garko waits.

1022pm- A shot of Eric Gagne sitting alone in the Sox bullpen. He must literally stink out there.

1023pm- Garko is destroyed by Delcarmen on 4 pitches. 2 outs.

1024pm- Peralta spends less time in the box than Garko did. He strikes out on 3 Delcarmen pitches, the last one a head-high fastball that gets us to the nail-chewing ninth and the Bayonne (NJ) Bomber, Joe Borowski.

Please JoBo. Don’t let this be the night you inevitably let me down. Get caught with a teenage prostitute in a crack house somewhere in Atlantic City. That I can handle.

1028pm- Lowell somehow pops out on an 87mph ‘heater’ from Borowski. Drew is up.

1029pm- McCarver advises there are chants of “Let’s go Joe.” Just in case you couldn’t hear 44,000 people screaming it into about 324 field mics.

1031pm- Borowski momentarily makes Drew look like he has a clue. But Drew flies to Sizemore for out number two.

1032pm- Varitek expertly lays of Borowski’s Frisbee-like slider to get to 2-1 in the count. I thought he was going to catch it himself while giggling.

1034pm- Varitek gets to 3-2 on another JoBo spinner.

1035pm- BALLGAME. Varitek pops to Blake for the game-ender. Borowski males me physically nauseous at times but tonight was no muss-no fuss in the 9th inning.

2-1 Series lead for the Indians. Wakefield vs. Byrd. Sure wouldn’t suck to pin the Red Sox backs against the wall with a win tomorrow night and the two aces waiting and looking to prove themselves.

But I’ll take where we are tonight. All of this and it’s not 2am either?

Until tomorrow.

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