Friday, October 5, 2007

Joba!, Joba!, Joba!

I'm having a hard time deciding on my headline tonight.
The one I chose is not journalistically sound because it doesn't really tell the real story. But it does tell part of it.

And, I guess I chose it because all I've heard about in New York since August is how Joba Chamberlain will be the difference-maker in the playoffs.

And so today, it took thousands of soldiers to fell the feared Joba. Canadian Soldiers. Fleas. Or more accurately flies. And not of the sacrafice variety.

Here are some other headlines I considered:

Here's the buzz from Jacobs Field, Tribe wins 2-1.

Yankees flea Cleveland down 2-0.

Lacking a sacrafice fly, a living breathing one does the trick for the Tribe.

That last one I thought was pretty good, if a bit esoteric.

The Tribe tonight put 8 of their 11 leadoff runners on base. One time that leadoff hitter hit a triple. Another time a double. They left 14 men on base, including the bases loaded in the tenth.

Until Travis Hafner's bases-loaded, two-out, 3-2, walkoff single in the bottom of the 11th, the only way the Tribe could score was on a wild pitch, thrown by a flustered Joba Chamberlain who was so distracated by the bugs that infested Jacobs Field in the eigth inning that he forgot he had a job to do.
The Tribe scored the game-tying run in the eighth with a walk, a sacrafice bunt and two Chamberlain wild pitches.

That set the stage for an 11-inning, four-hour-and-twenty-three-minute hair-pulling victory.

For every hit with runners in scoring position in Game 1, it seemed the Tribe had at least two misses in Game 2.
And the real shame of it - a truly amazing performance by Fausto Carmona will be overshadowed on all the news shows by the flies that bugged Joba Chamberlain into surrendering the lead.

Carmona made one (real big) mistake, relying on his third-best pitch (a slider) with two strikes on Melky Cabrera, who yanked it deep down the right field line in the third inning for the Yankees' only run.

Fausto went a full nine, allowing just three hits and two walks against the most explosive offense in baseball. He threw 113 pitches - 77 for strikes.

After Cabrera's homer with one out in the second, Carmona allowed a single to Derek Jeter to lead off the fourth. He didn't allow another hit until Bobby Abreu's infield single with one out in the ninth - which was actually a bounce out that Jhonny Peralta half-assed into a hit.

The Tribe had some bad luck. Peralta's shot to center which hit the big wall in center instead of clearing the small wall a mere foot or two away comes to mind. Posada got a fairly lucky bounce on the run-scoring wild pitch, but Grady Sizemore just beat the tag on the flip to the plate by Posada. Then there was Haffner's lightning bolt right at a drawn-in Doug Mientkiewicz with Grady on third.

Despite the failure to get the big hit, and a bit of bad luck, the Tribe - especially its pitchers - sucked it up, made pitches, made plays in the field and came out on top.

And so, for the Tribe, its on to Yankee Stadium with two games in their pocket.

A famous man from New York once said it aint over 'til it's over. But after tonight, at least we have a fair amount of breathing room.

And it's a good thing too. One more game like tonight and I may not be alive for the rest of the post season.
(photo credits: The Associated Press)


Anonymous said...

I actually would think about Grady for MVP of the game. Two lead off hits (wasted), and he's the only one of the roster who score on the WP. The ball bounced very close to home plate.

But really, it was his AB in the 10th. Rivera has a 7 or 8 pitch 9th. Another quick inning, and we could've seen Mo go 3 or even 4 IPs. Instead, a 14 PITCH AT BAT!!! By the time the inning was over, Rivera was done. And not an inning too soon.

moose said...

I would have to agree that grady may have been a good choice - but it has to be fausto without him the game is over in 9. Grady's at bat in the 10 th was very good since he was down 0-2 quickly and I thought here we go with another grady strike out - wish he could bat like that all the time

grady is probably the only one who could score on that WP - posada got a good bounce and if joba covers home quickly they might get grady

the ump seemed a little inconsistent but in tribes favor

are the dreaded red sox next -

I now have a red sox fan in my family but says she is rooitng for indians in playoff - I told her be a silent rooter - dont need to read about a boston student homicide and invite any trouble

Dont know if I have a Tribe Fan in Beantownland !!!! or if its away to butter up dear old dad for $$$$

back to the game

cabrera played like a rookie
guttierez played like a rookie
he looked bad against joba - but givr him credit for a hit after missing 2 bunts in the 11

perez is really good -and no borowski yet

any thoughts on who was coming in the 12th if tribe does not score

yankees 8 hits in 2 games - does joe shake up his lineup

wouldn't it be nice to win sunday against one of the greatest pitchers of all time and send him to retirement maybe for the last time

pettite was the yanks best shot

hopefully westbrook can give 6 good innings - got day off but right raffe is ready and might see laffey

relax - recover - cut the grass !!!

Ron Vallo said...


You are clearly an astute fan.

Your are 100% right that Grady deserved consideration as MVP of the game. I was thinking that his at-bat was big at the time for the reason you mentioned, but by the time the game ended it sort of got lost in the rest of it. It was a major oversight on my part. My only defense is my head was still spinning as I was posting last night.

As Moose says, he probably is the only Tribe baserunner who is safe on that play. Your other point is even bigger, that he effectively eliminated Mo from the rest of the game. Fourteen pitches is usually a Rivera inning, not one batter, and that at-bat got him out of the way for the Tribe.

Still, I have to agree with Moose that Fausto's performance overshadows everything else. Too bad it is being overshadowed (at least here in NY) by the bug invasion.


Gutierrez did have some bad at-bats, and the bunt attempts were awful, but a real rookie performance would have meant he let all that bother him and caved. He didn't cave. He got a big hit at a big time and made his usual terrific plays in the outfield. For his defense alone, he should be in every post-season game, especially with a team that depends so much on its pitching to win.

Gonna give Asrubal a pass. He's still having a better series than ARod, but he did have a bad game yesterday.