Well, Hell. Eerything was going so well. David Phelps held the Indians scoreless through the first 6 innings and had a modest 3-0 lead. But he was relieved of his duties after giving up a couple of hits to start the 7th and by the time the inning was over, the Indians led, 4-3.
Biggest play of the game might have been the single that came immediately after Phelps left the game. Ground ball up the middle might have been a double play, but Matt Thornton reacted and knocked the ball down. Instead of getting through to Jeter, it was an infield single to load the bases. The triple that followed tied the game. “It’s reaction,” Girardi said. “But if you could think real quick, you’d say, ‘Matt Thornton, get out of the way.’ Then you’ve got a double play ball. It changes the complexion of the game. It changes who we use. It just changes everything. But it happens. It’s a reaction, it happens, and you want your pitchers to try to field balls, but that happened to be one that is the double play ball we’re looking for.”
Thornton on that play: “I know where Derek’s at in that situation. I know that we’re pinching up the middle there, but the ball gets hit hard back at you, that’s instinct. Love to look back and be able to jump out of the way of it, but that’s not how it works. … Anyone who’s been on the mound and had the ball hit back to them, you’re going to react to it. I reacted just slow enough to slap it, and not quick enough to get it. It changes the momentum of the game there big time.”
The Indians scored 5 more times in the 8th just to rub it in and what appeared to be a series win was lost.
Just like the Yanks lost their ace, and more than likely, the 2014 season.
We’ll keep watching, of course. There’s entertainment to be had, and this is our team, and we love baseball, so we ain’t going anywhere. Still, the Tanaka news was a Holly Hunter punch right between the eyes, wasn’t it?
Final Score: Indians 9, Yanks 3.