The Indians did it again last night with another dramatic late inning rally. This time the Boston Red Sox were the victims. Of course, this isn’t the first time the Red Sox have seen this nightmare play out. They saw it first hand back in April as they were being swept out of Cleveland. However, this time it’s a completely different scenario playing out. The Red Sox are no longer a running joke. They’ve been one of the hottest teams in baseball over the past few weeks. The Indians meanwhile are no longer a nice little story. With the win last night, the Tribe became the first team in baseball to reach the 30 win mark, further solidifying their status as the best team in baseball.
Last night’s game really had two key story lines. First of all was the pitching duel between Justin Masterson and Clay Buchholz. Masterson threw 7.2 solid innings giving up 2 runs on 4 hits. Once again he did everything he could to put the Indians in position to win the game. That’s pretty much become routine for him at this point. With the exception of a few mistakes here and there, the Red Sox continually beat that heavy sinker into the ground. Kudos also to the bullpen, who again kept the red Sox off the board and closed out the game… even if Chris Perez decided to make thing interesting in the 9th.
Buchholz was just as impressive for 7.1 innigns. He was charged with 2 runs and up until the 8th inning was virtually unhittable. Unfortunately for Buchholz, his bullpen couldn’t come through when it mattered. After he exited the game, Daniel Bard would give up the hits and runs that would ultimately make the difference in the game. It’s the second time this season that the Indians have victimized Bard in the late innings of a game. He’s normally unhittable, but for whatever reason the Indians are his kryptonite.
The other story of last night’s game was the continued hot streak of Asdrubal Cabrera. In the 4th inning, Cabrera roughed up Buchholz for a home run to deep right center. It was his seventh consecutive hit at the time and his 3rd home run in two games. In the bottom of the 8th, after Michael Brantley had successfully singled home Adam Everett following an amazing at bat, Cabrera doubled off the wall in left to score Brantley and put the Indians up 3-2. Twitter and Facebook immediately lit up with updates calling for Cabrera to be the AL MVP. Not to toot my own horn, but I definitely wrote an article about 6 hours earlier stating that same exact thing. Last night’s game is just more fuel to throw on that ever-growing fire. So what say you, people? Is Cabrera the MVP?
One last highlight from last night’s game was the ejection of Manny Acta in the 8th inning. How awesome was it to see Acta come out to defend Masterson only to see the umpire say something not too nice and have Acta flip out. As Acta ripped into the umpire the chants started to swell up from the crowd…”Man-ny! Man-ny! Man-ny!” It only seemed to stoke the fire raging inside of Acta. He got all up in the first base umpire’s face, started pointing, spit flying. Eventually he would be tossed, but he made a point to get his money’s worth. In fact, Acta’s argument and subsequent tossing seemed to act as the catalyst for the Tribe’s comeback. He showed the team that this game, at this moment mattered. The team responded and they won. So here’s another questions for everyone reading this right now… Is Manny Acta the AL Manager of the year?
Let the campaign begin…