Indians prove not all is lost, come back from dead vs. LA
AUG 11, 2013 5:17p ET
It may not be the season, but after Sunday’s 6-5 win over the visiting Los Angeles Angels, at least the season no longer seems lost.
Things sure looked that way at the start.
The Indians (63-55) entered the afternoon having lost six straight at Progressive Field. They hadn’t lost seven in a row at home since 1990.
It got even worse when the Angels jumped on prized Indians starter Justin Masterson, the man expected to save the day. Instead, Masterson gave up two runs in the first inning, two more in the second and another in the fourth for good measure.
Suddenly, the fans were on their feet -- and headed straight for the exits, as the Indians trailed 5-0 and their best pitcher was finished after 4 1-3 innings.
The hits, and not the good kind, just kept on coming, as Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera was tossed in the second for arguing balls and strikes. This was bush-league stuff, and everyone had to be wondering how far, exactly, the Tribe could fall.
Then, surprisingly, everything changed.
And sometimes, that’s all it takes in baseball. A hit here, a home run there, and you’re right back in it and thinking happy thoughts again. On Sunday, that was the Indians.
While Masterson struggled, Angels starter Jerome Williams began the game looking like the next Cy Young. And this from a guy who entered the day with an 8.59 ERA and was fighting to keep his spot in the rotation.
Heck, Williams even wore a pink glove as a good-luck charm of sorts. (Why he went with pink is anyone’s guess.)
Anyway, it worked, as Williams surrendered just one hit to the Indians’ first 18 batters.
But not long after that, Williams’ pink magic turned to black and blue. It happened quickly, too.
Indians centerfielder Michael Bourn started it off with a routine single in the sixth inning. Nick Swisher and Mike Aviles, who wasn’t even supposed to play, followed with two-run homers. (Aviles’ came after Lonnie Chisenhall walked.)
Next thing you know, it’s 5-4, and even if the Indians didn’t win, by golly, at least they showed some fight when they had every reason to just start planning Monday’s trip to Minnesota.
That all happened in the sixth. In the seventh, Carlos Santana ripped a solo homer to the right-field seats to tie it at 5-all, and of the Indians’ first five hits, three were homers.
Then came Bourn’s turn again. It didn’t take a homer. It just took a well-placed single off Angels reliever Nick Maronde to drive in Chisenhall, who walked earlier.
The Angels (53-63) never recovered and that was that.
“One thing we did today is we kept playing,” said Indians manager Terry Francona. “That’s the type of team we gotta be.”
Sounds simple, but Francona makes a valid point. The Indians probably aren’t going to out-pitch or out-hit most opponents in these final seven weeks.
The lone option is to out-scrap opponents. And they just might have to do it when things are fairly bleak -- namely, when they’ve lost six straight at home and trail by five runs in game No. 7 of a homestand.
“It’s how we want to play the game,” Francona said. “Knowing that we’re not perfect, but we have to fight through it. That was a good way to win.”
It was a way to win that may have proved to the Indians that, hey, we’re not out of this thing yet. They weren’t out of the game, they’re not out of the season.
That’s quite a difference from how the game began and the week almost ended.
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