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Home » 2007 PostseasonOctober 2007 » Pact


ALCS Game 2: October 13, 2007 · 11 innings
WinIndians 13 W: Tom Mastny (1-0) ALDS: 3-1
ALCS: 1-1
Red Sox 6 L: Eric Gagne (0-1) ALDS: 3-0
ALCS: 1-1
Highlights: Manny Ramirez now has the most home runs in the postseason, although Fox would have you believe this is not a significant record since the postseason has more games than it did in the good ol’ days. I’m sure Fox broadcasters said the same as Bernie Williams compiled his 22 four-baggers. David Ortiz tied the postseason record of 10 for consecutive times reaching safely with the fielder’s choice in the fifth.

Just as they did in the first game of the series the Indians sprung to an early lead. Grady Sizemore led off with a double that dropped between Manny Ramirez and Coco Crisp for a double. The spry center fielder scored with Victor Martinez’s wall-scraping two-bagger.

And just as C.C. Sabathia proved more threatening in regular season play than the playoffs, Fausto Carmona faded in his ALCS debut. The former closer lasted just four innings, walking and striking out five. He began to sputter in the third, when the home team took the lead spurred by Crisp’s leadoff single to right.

Somewhat unnerved with speed at first, Carmona walked Dustin Pedroia and deflected David Ortiz’s grass-singing ball to short for an infield hit. Deja vu was the order of the evening: Manny Ramirez watched four pitches miss the zone by quite a bit to tally the tying run.

Mike Lowell remained incandescent and singled to the opposite field to plate Pedroia and Ortiz. If Curt Schilling could pitch how he typically did in such games, it should have been all the runs he would need.

As disappointing as Carmona’s efforts were to his team, so was Schilling in his start. A bleeder and bloop by Martinez and Ryan Garko respectively were the prelude to a bomb by Jhonny Peralta to the camera hut in center for the lead. Schilling dismissed the bottom of the order easily, perhaps giving Terry Francona too hale an assessment of his starter’s effectiveness.

It took a homer by Sizemore and back-to-back singles by Travis Hafner and Martinez to end Francona’s infatuation with with Schilling. Manny Delcarmen was brought in to bail out the veteran, and did so admirably with a groundball force out.

Eric Wedge had a quicker hook, pulling Carmona when Kevin Youkilis singled to left-center. Rafael Perez was lauded by Joe Buck as the best left-handed reliever in the game; I guess he didn’t see Hideki Okajima in the shadows of the bullpen.

Perez chewed at his glove laces as a dog gnaws at rawhide after Ortiz legged out a fielder’s choice that could have been a bases-clearing double play ball. He would have to face Ramirez with one out and one one.

The sound of the ball off Ramirez’s bat made Perez jump out of his skin; one can see him hop in the replay of the at bat. After Lowell’s homer, however, Perez had no reaction. He was clearly resigned to the fact that he had nothing, but Wedge stubbornly allowed him to face J.D. Drew.

After Drew lined to center, Wedge at last pulled Perez in favor of Jensen Lewis. At last a Cleveland pitcher lived up to his praise; this reliever threw perfectly for two and one-third innings.

This beastly game became tied 6-6 in the sixth when Peralta crossed the plate after leading off with a walk. Whatever unholy pact the Tribe entered helped knock down Crisp’s deep fly to right that was just feet away from breaking the tie in the sixth. It ensorcelled their bullpen to shutdown the Red Sox into extra innings. It bewitched their bats to notch seven runs in the eleventh inning off Eric Gagne, Javier Lopez, and Jon Lester. That is was pinch hitter Trot Nixon who drove in the tying run is further evidence for the extent of this profane covenant.

An anagram for “Cleveland Indians” is “Nine Devil Scandal.” Need I say more?

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