September 28, 2013
I think the enormity of what the Indians have done will hit us in the middle of November. With today's win, they have won 9 games in a row, and they still haven't clinched a spot in Wednesday's Wild Card game. Had the Indians gone even 7-2 over the same stretch, they'd be a game behind Texas and Tampa Bay with a game to go. What they've done to get to this point is beyond just a normal hot streak. And I don't care who they've played, winning 9 games in a row when even one loss would have drastically changed their situation is incredible. That goes no matter what happens tomorrow or next week.
Today the pitching had a great afternoon, with Scott Kazmir getting through six innings, and the trio of Scrabble, Cody Allen, and Joe Smith blanked the Twins over the last three innings. Kazmir wasn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but he made the pitches he had to make, getting out of a couple jams in the middle innings. He allowed 6 hits, two walks, and a run, striking out 11 in the process. He ends the regular season with 162 strikeouts in 160 innings, becoming the third Tribe starter to have more strikeouts than innings pitched. Scott ended his day by striking out the side in the sixth inning.
For the first third of the game it looked like the Indians would be locked in a low-scoring game. Cole De Vries retired the first eleven batters, but after Jason Kipnis' single, Carlos Santana blasted a two-run homer to break the ice. The Indians didn't have many hits on the day (7) but they made them count. In the fifth inning they scored three runs after there were two outs with nobody on. Yan Gomes and Mike Aviles singled, then Michael Bourn blasted a two-run triple off the wall in right field. Aviles should have been called out on the play, as his foot didn't touch home plate, but he was called safe, and Jason Kipnis added another run with a single.
So now it comes down to one game. Because the Indians have won nine in a row, and because Tampa Bay and Texas have faltered just a little bit, if they win tomorrow, they host the Wild Card game on Wednesday. And if they lose tomorrow, they at worst will be in a three-game tiebreaker to determine who goes to the Wild Card game.
- CLE win OR CLE loss, TB loss: host Wild Card game on Wednesday
- CLE lose, TB win, TEX win: host tiebreaker game with TB on Monday, loser to TEX on Tuesday
- CLE lose, TB win, TEX lose: travel to TB for Wild Card game on Wednesday
So there is no way that the Indians' season will end tomorrow. Obviously it will be much easier for the Indians to win tomorrow, as not only would they host the Wild Card game, but it would allow them to give the bullpen two full days' rest and have the rotation set up for the ALDS if they win on Wednesday.
AL Game of Interest
- Texas (-1.0) 7, LA Angels 4 - Final
- Toronto 7, Tampa Bay (-1.0) - Final
American League Wild Card Standings
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