Monday, October 8, 2007

We had it from the start

Well, that might be a sliight strretttch!

How about this.

All's well that starts well!

When Grady Sizemore led off that first inning with a dinger you could feel it. The panic in me, born of so many what-iffs, seemed to fade at least a little bit.

Chien-Ming Wang wasn't on his game and that was good news for the Tribe who bounced him early and went on to take the ALDS from the Yankees 3 games to 1.

OK. Once again. A big man admits he was wrong, and I am a big man- in more ways than one.

Eric Wedge was right about Paul Byrd. He wasn't pretty (in any sense of the word). But he kept the Yankees from turning home plate into a subway turnstile- as I was afraid migh happen. The basepaths looked like Grand Central Station at rush hour. But the fact that very few of those "commuters" made it home is a testament to Byrd's grittiness. When all was said and done he went 5-plus innings, gave up 8 hits and 2 walks, but only 2 runs. He left with the Tribe in the lead 6-2. The homer he left on appeared to be a decent pitch that Robbie Cano went down nearly to his ankles to get.

So is Byrd a candidate for series MVP in your mind? He came up big in a tough spot - made tougher by naysayers like yours truly.

But Fausto Carmona was probably bigger in a spot that was at least as key as tonight - putting the Tribe in the series driver's seat by winning game 2.

What about CC? He got things off to a good start without his very best stuff and an umpire with no strike zone.

How about someone in the bullpen? Raffie Perez, who was lights out and did his work in some very key spots? (We'll ignore tonight's non lethal A-Bomb). Or Raffie Betancourt and Jensen Lewis who answered duty's call as well? JoBo got the only save he was called on to get (though I really don't know about nominating him).

Maybe the bullpen as a whole should be MVP. But then there's the Aaron Fultz fly in that ointment.

What about one of the everyday players.

Kenny Lofton provided spark and life and leadership, not to mention lots of hits, early in the series as the Indians took the first two,

Grady Sizemore certainly was MVP of game four and maybe game two as well. He might have scored the biggest run of the series with his scamper that ended by beating the tag of a "bugged" Joba Chamberlain at the plate.

Asdrubal Cabrera had his rookie-like game in game two, but otherwise was in the middle of quite a bit of the offensive mahem created by the Tribe.

The same can be said of Jhonny Peralta, who had a boatload of hits.

Victor had some big hits with runners in scoring position, including tonight's two cushion runs - numbers 5 and 6.

Ryan Garko wasn't in the game-four lineup, but he sure did hit in the first three games and played first base well throughout.

Travis Hafner had the game-winning hit in game two and a was a presence at the plate throughout.

What is becoming apparent here is that you could pick almost any one of the guys I just mentioned and no one would tell you you're crazy.

I guess what I'm getting at is this team did it the way they did it all year long, with everyone doing their part in a great TEAM effort.

The alarm clock goes off for me at 4:40 a.m. so I have to go for now. I'll have a celebratory post and recap tomorrow after work. Thanks for checking in throughout this series and stay with us for the ALCS. If there are any typos I'll clean 'em in the morning.

For all my fellow Tribe fans living in Yankeeland, here's a little inside joke.




akron expat said...

Nice John Sterling reference - I can practically hear that in my head. Go Tribe!

Berzerkomandor said...


NY, I officially flip you the Byrd

...can I get an 'Amen' ?

bobbydb19 said...

Holy Crap! I feel soooo damn good right now. How fun is it to watch a Yankee post-game after a loss? It is 10 times better when they lose to the Tribe!

I knew my boy Byrd would give us a good five. Thats all he needed to do.

I am so freaking pumped. I won't sleep too much tonite. Have to get back to the Yankee Post-Game.

Congrats all you Tribe fans in Yankeeland. Enjoy this. I know I will!

moose said...

wanted - Paul Byrd Fan Club Members !!!

Only the faint of heart apply

what a game - never over till its over with our joe Boro !!!

Boy I was hoping for a few more runs in the nineth to betancourt would come out in the ninenth !!!

as jackie gleason says


joe torre class act in the post game press conference

so lets all take a fews days off and go to bed early tonight - this 4 1/2 naps dont cut it

before we figure out how to beat the red sox

NY boys -enjoy you earned it !!!

josh said...

i hate living in yankee land.. but the look on their fans faces and the incompetency that comes out of their mouths is priceless after a series like this

swarty said...

I love living in Yankeeland! Getting on the air on XM last night to do a little gloating was fun too!

Listening to WFAN yesterday afternoon, Mike & the Mad Dog gave the Indians no chance to win Game 4. They said Byrd was the kind of pitcher who the Yankees feast on. They never even allowed for the fact that Wang might not have it. All I was thinking was that if we got to Wang, we were in business as their bullpen options were not so great tonight. Luckily Byrd gutted it out & we are on to Boston.

But games like that are bad for my ticker!

Jason said...

I'm glad that the Yankee fans with whom I work here in North Carolina are not particularly obnoxious. I remember when I lived in St. Pete, Florida and I had seasons for the Lightning. Dealing with Rangers fans was awful. I can't imagine what it's like to be on the NYers' turf. I hope you wear all your Indians stuff with pride for as long as you can.

What feels great to me is that for one moment they have to look past the Yankee greatness and the NY narcissism to see a team from the Rust Belt that just cleaned their clocks. Some of them might have to admit that our Raffies can pitch and that our center fielder is a legitimate playmaker and budding superstar. If they're really perceptive they may even notice how much this Indians team resembles the team that they still seem to think they have.

The funny thing is that many of them will now be rooting for Cleveland to beat Boston. Funny how that works.

Ron Vallo said...

I have an interesting dynamic in my office. Even though I work in NYC (actually Jersey City) I have many more Sox fans than Yankee fans in my office. Both my Sox-fan and Yankee-fan co-workers have been fine (though the Sox series hasn't started yet). The Sox fans were all rooting for the Indians but I'm not sure what dynamic was at work. It certainly wasn't fondness of the Tribe. They were either rooting for us because they hate the Yankees or rooting for us - and thus insulting us - because they thought we'd be easier to beat than the Yanks in round two. I'm saying it's a little of both. Many were rooting for the Tribe to loose Monday night but win in game 5 so CC would not be available for game 1.

Jason said...

I have a coworker who is from Boston who already expressed his disappointment that the series didn't go 5 games with an Indians victory. I think most of them were rooting with the "enemy of my enemy is my friend" mentality.

One of the Yankee fans I work with has already said that he thinks my Tribe in 6 prediction is a bit optimistic, but that he would love (his usage of bold) to see the Red Sox lose.

I don't really care what the NY faithful think. I just know that this team is special and that they are built to win it all and to remain competitive for years to come.