In case you haven’t heard, the Cleveland Indians returned to the playoffs
for the first time since 2001. The Tribe finished the season with a 96 - 66
record. It took until the last week of the season to clinch the American League
Central, and it was their first division title since 2001.
The Tribe played one of their oldest rivals, the New York Yankees, in the ALDS. In the first game the Indians ace, C.C. Sabathia, struggled but hung on to get the win. In game two Fausto Carmona showed why he will be in the top five in Cy Young voting, holding the high powered Yankees offense to only one run. Game three did not go the Indians way with a tough 8-4 loss. But, the tribe came back strong to win game four and clinch the series in Yankees stadium.
The Indians then had another opponent from the American League Eastern conference, the Boston Red Sox. In game one the Indians were pounded by the Red Sox in a big 10-3 loss. In game two it was all Tribe with an eleven inning overtime win. The Indians scored seven runs in the bottom of the eleventh. During game three the Indians got two surprising, dominating performances by the always underrated Jake Westbrook and the never-aging Kenny Lofton. Kenny “the mayor of Cleveland” Lofton hit a big homerun in the second inning to put the Indians on top for good. Game four started out as an unexpected pitching duel. The Indians Paul Byrd and Boston’s Tim Wakefield both were throwing their best stuff of the year. In the fifth inning Cleveland’s offense came alive and unloaded seven runs on Boston, putting the game out of reach. The next three games were all Boston with the sox winning all three games with dominating pitching and explosive bats.
It ended a storybook season for the tribe, but we are left saying the Cleveland battle cry, “There is always next year.”