As confident as I have been about the Tribe making the playoffs, I started thinking about 2005 again before and during last night’s game with Detroit.
It seemed like just a week ago Cleveland had a 7 or 8 game lead over the Tigers and now Detroit was coming into the Jake back only 4.5 games. If they swept, it would be just a game and a half. I didn’t expect that happen, but as any Cleveland fan (of any sport) will tell you, it wouldn’t have been all that shocking if it did. We’ve seen worse.
As the Tigers opened a 5-1 lead, that’s all I could think about. Luckily, I had three guys from my fantasy football team playing in the Monday Night game and I watched them to take my mind off the Tribe (I only need two points to win and I had David Akers, Brian Westbrook and Chris Cooley. That was a great game for me). After my fantasy victory was well in hand, I flipped back to the Tribe game to see Jhonny “don’t call me Johnny or Jonny” Peralta tie the game with his second home run of the game. OK, maybe this isn’t going to be like 2005.
Casey Blake made sure of that in the 11th, just like he did Friday against the Royals, with a walk-off home run capped with a pie in the face. Every team needs a Casey Blake. Yeah, people put him down and of course he isn’t the best at anything, but he’s real good at everything.
First base? No problem.
Right field? You got it.
Third base? He can do that do.
Bat second? Sure.
Bat seventh? Doesn’t bother him.
Bat fifth? He can do that too.
Anyone who knows baseball knows how valuable this guy is to the team. I know he’s not our best player and he might not even be back next year, but Cleveland fans won’t know exactly how much he does until he’s doing it for some other team.
Now the Tribe is back in control of the AL Central. Detroit had won five straight heading into last night and they were gaining momentum. Not now. The race is all but over. No 2005 like collapse this year. Casey Blake made sure of that.
The Magic Number is down to 7. If Cleveland sweeps the Tigers, it will be 3. I’m heading to the game on Saturday with faithful reader and commenter Rosenberg (at least he use to be). If the Tribe wins out until Saturday (two more over Detroit then two with Oakland) and Detroit then loses either Friday or Saturday to Kansas City, Cleveland will clinch while we are in Cleveland. Now that will be a good game to go to. It’s probable but not likely. But last week I would have also so it’s not likely Casey Blake will hit two walk-off home runs in four days.
One NFL topic, the Atlanta Falcons sign Morten Anderson, again. The 47-year old replace Matt Prater, who was born in 1984, two years after Anderson made his first kick. That’s got to be a little bit demoralizing to Prater. In a similar move, the Buffalo Bills resigned O.J. Simpson to replace Marshawn Lynch. The team says they made the move because they liked Simpson’s aggressiveness and the fire weapons, err… fire power he brings to the offense.