2007: A 3-1 ALCS lead, 1 game from the World Series, brought the matchup against Josh Beckett. The blogs the day before Game 5 brought out comments that were amazing. The fans of a team down 3-1 were tremendously confident that Beckett would save their season and send them to the 2007 World Series. We, Tribe fans, remember this and get reminded about it often.
2011: Game 4 This was personal to me. I was commenting on Twitter how the Indians could not give the Red Sox 4 losses in the ALCS of 2007 but they could tonight and to make it even better, the starter was Josh Beckett. The same Josh Beckett, with this cocky look and attitude that made this fan want to wipe it right off with their fist and adjust it. “What is it with this guy, why does he act like this?”, I would think. Now Beckett is to be respected for his accomplishments. But does he respect Cleveland? So many athletes do not respect Cleveland, at least publically. What we are crying out for in Cleveland is respect. Granted it was only the 4th game of the 2011 campaign, but for me, it was so very important to beat this guy.
Also, the Red Sox were reeling and I was taught that if you have someone against the ropes or on the ground, in sports don’t let the team or player back up. Rather keep them down. If them can, blow them out, keep scoring, don’t let them have any breathing room. Losing 24-5 to the Red Sox in 1986 and losing 23-7 in Game 4 of the ALDS are two of the worst defeats. It was important to keep this franchise losing, at least in Game 4 of the 2011 season. This is what the Indians did.
Behind the efforts of Josh Tomlin, the Red Sox offense was limited to 1 run on 4 hits, the Goliath-type offense with its estimated 162 million dollar payroll. Cleveland was David with its 49 million dollar payroll. Its offense like the biblical account, came ready to strike stones right at the Red Sox players’ salaries. Today we did it. We kept them winless at 0-4 Sure it is not a 4th loss in the ALCS or NBA Eastern Conference playoffs but it still is a fourth loss that keeps them down for another day at least.
They played like a team advancing runners, getting key hits and sacrificing runners home. Isnt this the way the game should be played? It is especially if you are David in Major League Baseball and they are. The Indians now currently stand at 2 wins and 2 losses against teams so far picked to win their respective divisions, the Red and White Sox. We ourselves currently wear a blue sock. I guess we are helping Boston feel blue at the start of today and that is a good thing. Go Tribe!