I took a seat along the right field fence in the sixth inning after the rain delay put the Indians-Rays game on pause for a while, and according to my estimates, there were about six thousand or so other fans who joined me. While looking around, I couldn’t help but think that these sports fans are what Cleveland’s all about. These are diehard Tribe fans, and they don’t really care that their clothes are now saturated with rain water, the beer guys were gone, or that their team was 12.5 games back. Whoever wants to sneak away to South Beach can, they’ll be here in Cleveland rooting for the Tribe. I mention this, not to infer that I’m one of these fans right now, but because I feel I owe the Indians, and this contingent of supporters, an apology.
I became bitter over the last year towards the Indians, and I’m not proud of it. Losing to the Red Sox a few years back in that game five at home hurt. As I then watched Cy Young winner after Cy Young winner leave over the last couple seasons, I decided I’d make a personal protest for the 2010 campaign. I paid attention to the Tribe, but didn’t watch a full inning until after the All Star Break. Ridiculous idea. As a Cleveland fan, I went all in on the Cavaliers emotionally, and turned up my nose towards the organization that actually got us as close as we might ever get to a title in this town…twice. I was wrong. It took ‘the decision’ to make me realize that. I went to my first game this season last Friday to watch Westbrook get the W, and watched Carmona notch number ten yesterday. I’m 2-0 this season, and I’ll be working my way back to the Tribe for the duration.
So on the actual game, Shin Soo Choo jumped off the DL and offered a web gem in collision with the wall for the first out and it was a huge play. Fourth pitch of the game, Choo snagged what would have been a double, and could’ve rattled Carmona early. But he caught it, Carmona settled in, and ended up pitching five innings, allowing only one run, on one hit, and struck out seven. He looked like that All Star he was a couple weeks ago, and over the last eight he’s 6-2 (10-7 overall).
Another All Star type play was the laser Santana offered to prevent that theft of second base, I mean you can’t throw that ball any better. Offensively, while Santana didn’t get a hit, he did walk twice and accounted for one of the three RBI’s. The other two runs were driven in by Choo who went 1 for 3 on the night, as well as Trevor Crowe who went yard in the sixth. Crowe went 2 for 3 on the rain shortened game, Asdrubal Cabrera 3 for 4, and Micheal Brantley went 1 for 3 with a walk while scoring twice.
Those two runs scored by Brantley were all the Indians needed in the end. The Rays only manged one run when Jaso Jago drove in Carlos Pena in the second. When the game was officially called in the 7th, the Indians had notched their 18th straight home win over Tampa Bay – which is crazy by the way – and their 41st overall of the season.
Said Rays Manager Joe Maddon on his club’s inability to win in the CLE after the game:
“We have not played well here or done anything consistently well here. Why? I have no idea, but it’s true.”
What’s also true, is that we’ll be getting a real good idea of what these young kids are made of on this team over the next week. They have the Rays at home tonight, finish up on Sunday, and then open a four game set with the Yankees through Thursday - all at home. So if you can relate at all to any of my thoughts to open, I suggest you head down to Progressive Field at somepoint over the next week. It helps the healing process, believe me on that.