Game 26: Progressive Field, Cleveland, OH
Detroit Tigers vs Cleveland Indians – Monday, August 5, 2o13
We left Cooperstown, NY on Sunday afternoon and arrived around 10 PM at the home of our dear and long time friends, Professors Jim and Janice Zinser, who live just outside Oberlin, OH. We hadn’t seen them in a couple of years, so it was wonderful to catch up.
The next day, we went with Janice to visit Oberlin College, which will always remain a special place for us. We hung out with some old friends and went around the campus. Later that evening, the five of us along with three other friends (Professor Nelson DeJesus, his wife Roseanne, and their 10-year old grandson Ben) went to Cleveland to see the Indians play. To avoid traffic, we parked our cars away from town, and took the train in. We actually got to Progressive Field about 45 minutes before game time. So two of us (Luca and Das) went around the ballpark taking pictures, while the rest went in. Before first pitch, however, all eight of us were in our seats (just beyond the right field wall) loudly cheering for our Tribe.
The second place Indians played awesome baseball for the first eight innings in this opening game of a crucial four-game series against first place Detroit. Corey Kluber pitched his heart out for seven and a third, there were spectacular defensive plays, and the Tribe even scratched out a couple of runs. In the second inning, Michael Brantley singled, stole second, and scored on a Jason Giambi single to center to put the Tribe up 1-0. Brantley also scored the second run when he singled, and was brought home by a double from Carlos Santana. Things were looking good for the Indians up until the end of the eighth as they tried to gain ground on the Motor City Kitties.
Then came a nightmarish top of the ninth authored by Indians closer Chris Perez. Perez, who was pitching for the third straight day, issued a lead-off double to Prince Fielder and an RBI single to former Indian Victor “V-Mart” Martinez to make it 2-1. Perez then walked Andy Dirks to put two men with still nobody out. Then came the big blow! The Tribe closer, whose stuff looked completely flat, tossed a lollipop to Alex Avila who crushed it to left center for a three-run homer. That shot seemed to suck all the air out of the ballpark as the home fans watched in horror. Detroit had come from behind to grab a 4-2 lead that ended up being the final score. We were devastated.
During the game, two of us (yes, Luca and Das again) went around the ballpark to view the action from different points and take pictures. The highlight of this trip around the stands was a meeting and photo-op with John Adams, who has been banging away at his drums for many years at Indians home games.
After the game, we made our way back home, still fuming at the ugly events that transpired in the top of the ninth. Talk about snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. This loss really hurt as it put our beloved Tribe further back in the race to make the play-offs. Hopefully, they will bounce back soon.
See you from our next game. So long!