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Written by Paul Cousineau

Paul Cousineau
162 regular season games.  11 playoff games.  Approximately 550 hours of baseball.  All changed by 5 minutes in time.  The Joel Skinner stop sign.  The Casey Blake double play.  The Casey Blake error.  The Dustin Pedroia home run.  Game, set, match.  Game over.  Series over.  Season over.  Let the healing begin ...

162 regular season games.  

11 playoff games.  

Approximately 550 hours of baseball.  
All changed by 5 minutes in time.  
In the top of the 7th, down one run, with Kenny Lofton on second base with one out, Franklin Gutierrez rifled a ball down the third base line bouncing away from the Red Sox, which would certainly tie the game and keep the momentum firmly in the Indians' dugout as Westbrook had settled in and the Tribe was chipping away at the Red Sox lead.  
But, as we all know, Joel Skinner threw up the "Stop" sign, halting Lofton at third base and setting Casey Blake up for an at-bat with men at first and third. First pitch swinging, Blake grounded into a 5-4-3 double play and the Indians' threat in the 7th is neutralized.  

With the winds of change in the air of a gorgeous New England evening, Rafael Betancourt - the workhorse of the bullpen, the "Untouchable" in the 2007 postseason - enterd the game to keep the game close. Facing the 12-year-old Jacoby Ellsbury, Senor Slo-Mo induced a grounder to Blake, who booted it, allowing the "tweenie" to lead off the inning standing on second. After Julio Lugo sacrificed Ellsbury to third, Dustin Pedroia (all 130 pounds of him) stepped to the plate and, with one swing, ended the Indians' season.  

And with that, the game was over, the series was over, the season was over.  

All in 5 minutes.  
Plenty of time (that's all we have now) to discuss the fantastic ride that the 2007 Cleveland Indians took us on and what lies ahead for this young, talented team of players.  
But, tonight, with the Red Sox raising the ALCS trophy, only two words are appropriate - it's over.

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