Monday, October 15, 2007

Tribe takes the lead as Westbrook flashes back to August

Have those ninth-innning popouts come down yet? Wow!!! Even popups in the infield can be nerve-wracking.
Of course, that's just me trying to vent the tension.

The BIG story tonight was the outstanding job by Jake Westbrook, keeping the Red Sox at bay for 6 2/3 innings while Kenny Lofton and others pushed across just enough runs for a win. It's the way the Tribe has done it all season.

Westbrook looked like the Westbrook of August tonight, allowing just the two-run dinger to Jason Varitek. You can't say enough about just how huge Westbrook's performance was.

But how 'bout that Kenny Lofton? His two run shot in the second on a first pitch by Matsuzaka put the Tribe in front to stay.
Cleveland played small ball in the fifth, adding two more runs on three singles, a wild pitch and Pronk huffing-and-puffing down the first base line to avoid an inning-ending double-play and allowing Grady to score the Tribe's fourth run.

And so what was the biggest moment of the game tonight?

Lofton's dinger to put the Tribe ahead two-zip?

How about Jake loading 'em up in the top of the second with no outs, getting out of it and setting the tone for the rest of his outing.
How about Hafner's sprint to first base to add a run?
Jensen Lewis, putting the genie back in the bottle in the seventh after Varitek's home run cut the Tribe's lead in half?
Raffie Betancourt did the heavy lifting in the eighth, getting Youkilis, Ortiz and Ramirez one-two-three - with only Ortiz getting good wood on the ball.
Then there's JoBo, who came in and got a spotless save on two infield popups and a routine fly to center.

Well, time to bring the blood pressure back down yet again and steel ourselves for yet another night in the ringer tomorrow.

It sure feels a lot better than it did Friday night, no?


Anonymous said...

great performance by westbrook - anybody think he should not have come out for the seventh

and how about wedge going with raffey right against big pappy

I thought he would let lewis pitch to youkilis in 8 th then bring in perez for big pappy and raffy right for manny

andhow many of us were saying leave raffey right in for the nineth

this was a game of inches

loftons home run could have been a double or even an hot

the fourth run could not have happened - could have been a DP on hafner

was that ball 4 and not strike one to manny in the sixth

werent a lot of pitches questionable

take a nap when you all get home tonight - could be a long one

50 % chance of rain - which willhurt the tribe
if it rains here comes becket tomorrow

enjot - 2 to go and I dont want to go to boston

congrats to colorado anybody who wins that many games in any league is amazing

but I dont think they will sweep the tribe - least hope not

I dont want the tribe to pull a Cavs

moose who forgot to change his name

one more thing - what will happen first the rockies loose or ron win a game in fantasy football

my monies on the rockies

have a great day

Ron Vallo said...


first off, we all know from reading this blog that my expertise is baseball not football. with that load of crap I call a fantasy football team I may not win a game all year.

I was glad to see Westbrook come out in the seventh. Once it became clear he was getting the ball up, they took him out.

I thought Wedge would go the way you thought with the relievers, but who's to argue with success. I think he was trying to set it up so borowski, the ninth inning and ortiz, ramirez and lowell would not all converge at the same time.

Had a class last night so I missed 3 1/2 innings entirely. watching the written updates online. sat in traffic near the TZ bridge so I didn't get home until the bottom of the sixth. from what I heard on the radio (I had WTAM on) the ump was inconsistent and horrible both ways. they said the strike to manny seemed like a make-good for a pitch that wasn't given during Ortiz's at-bat. I didn't see the calls until the bottom of the sixth, so I can't comment.

rain would not be a good thing tonight for the reasons you stated.

I was hoping Betancourt would pitch the ninth too, but that shows how much I know. Give Wedge credit for having guts and confidence in his guys.

akron expat said...

I was in and out of my apartment for most of the first half of the game and also can't comment on the ump, outside of the fact that he had a very tight strike zone at the top of the game, but got very inconsistent towards the end.

Nice performance by Westbrook, and very happy to see a 1-2-3 inning by JoeBo for once.

The Colorado Rockies look frightening right now. Hoping that their long layoff will do what the D-Backs could not.

Still a lot of work to be done. Go Tribe!

Ron Vallo said...

well, we still have to get there, but with Colorado I'm going to hope the law of averages takes over.

Plus, their No. 1 starter will not have pitched in 14 days by the time Game 1 rolls around, all because FOX wants it that way.

None of our guys (or anyone else's) have started on anything close normal rest (7 or 8 days between starts) because of TV. It takes them all out of their rhythm.

bobbydb19 said...

Due to the 7:00 start, I to was in transit at the start of the game, but like Ron, WTAM came in clear as day! You would think I was in the Cleveland suburbs. Better listening to Tom Hamilton then Buck and McCarver anyway. Hamilton made the DP in the 1st sound like a walk-off HR. Got me pumped!

This is what I love about baseball. Expect the unexpected. We felt great with CC and Fausto on the mound and had some concerns about Jake. Jake goes out and pitches a great game. I love double plays and Jake induced them all at the right time.

Did you see Ortiz talking to himself in the 8th? Gut had him played perfect. You could see Ortiz say "Double, thought it was a double".

Kenny is the man. He had Dice-K all screwed up by taking his time getting into the box. Took him out of his rhythm then hit a 2-run jack.

Need Byrd to come up big again and hope Wakefields knuclers aren't knuckling. I wonder if Chris Gomez plays today. He has good numbers against Wakefield (.350) in 40 ABs, but so does Victor (.600). Hafner does not (.000).

Don't know if it is time to play with the lineup, but maybe play Gomez and sit Blake or Hafner for a spell. They will be on the bench for PH purposes.

Ron Vallo said...

With Byrd pitching we'll already be missing Garko due to the personal catcher thing.

Casey hasn't done a heck of a lot in the post-season but it's been quite some time since Gomez picked up a bat in a game.

Normally I would like it because I think Gomez can hit, but for the reasons above I would be tempted just to let well-enough alone.

WHat about Nixon/Gutierrez. Should Nixon start because he is more likely to have some idea what to do with a knuckleball if it happens to be knuckling?

On the other hand we have a flyball pitcher pitching, so maybe we just play Gutierrez for defense?

Can't make up my mind on that one.

akron expat said...

I'd lean toward starting Gutierrez over Nixon in RF - we have the series lead, better to protect it at home with the better glove in the outfield.

Last time Byrd started, Wedge left well enough alone, with Gutz in RF, Martinez at 1B, Blake at 3b and Shoppach catching. I couldn't imagine pulling Pronk out of the line-up, but maybe have Gomez ready to pinch hit for either him or AstroCab if Wakefield's knuckler is effective and we need runs.

moose said...

I got tickets for game 5 - bought from a gal at work - lower reserve section 116 next to sox bullpen

hope to see the tribe clinch it