I’m not an Indians fan. I’m a Braves fan (which should be painfully obvious). But I have a good friend who was born and raised an Indians fan, and I hate the Red Sox. So, I rooted for Cleveland during this postseason. I wish I had a friend that was a Rockies fan.
There are countless things that you can point to as reasons why the game was lost last night. There was Lofton getting thrown out at second; Skinner holding Lofton up at third; Blake hitting into a double play shortly thereafter; Blake’s two-base error the next inning; but one thing that no one is talking about is why Eric Wedge left Betancourt in the game for so long. It was clear by the second batter he faced that Betancourt didn’t have his best stuff. For some reason, Wedge didn’t realize this until the game was well out of hand.
Granted, it may not have mattered who the Indians put out there–the Red Sox were on a torrid scoring streak, outscoring Cleveland 30-5 over the final 3 games. However, if the score is still 3-2, or even 6-2 going into the 8th and 9th inning, you’ve got a different ballgame. Instead, Wedge was treating it as if it were a mid-August game where he needed a reliever to “take one for the team” in a blow-out, so Wedge wouldn’t have to wear out the rest of his staff.
Joe Posnanski, being a born and raised Clevelander (and an actual writer) describes the game much better than me.
I told my Cleveland friend, when the Indians were up 3-1, that everyone in the media and on the blogs was giving the series to the Indians. I countered that the same reasons Tribe fans were scared at the beginning of the series were the same reasons why they should still be scared: Beckett, Manny, Ortiz. However, you had to be confident as a Cleveland fan, with your top two pitchers (and Cy Young candidates) taking the mound in the next two games, and (God forbid it should get that far) Jake Westbrook in Game 7, who looked great in Game 3.
But hey, at least there’s only one Rocktober. Go Rockies!!