I was able to get to the Jake for the first this year, and I picked a great night to go. Thanks to the Pepsi can promotion, I got a pretty good bleacher seat for $6. Parking was $3, so if you add in the gas spent getting to the ballpark, the total cost was a little over $12. Not bad at all.
The ballgame itself was a typical Indians game; good pitching, little to no hitting. The Twins gave the Indians a run in the 7th when left fielder Lew Ford flat-out dropped a fly ball. Aaron Boone, who seems to be hitting the ball better, drove Gerut home later in the inning with a 400-foot sacrifice to center. And that was it until the 9th inning, when the Twins brought in closer Joe Nathan with a one-run lead. Several fans were leaving the ballpark at that point, and for good reason; he hadn’t given up a run to the Indians in his previous three appearances. Unfortunately, the fans who left after the top of the ninth were kicking themselves when they got into their cars and turned on the radio; Ben Broussard hit the first pitch he saw into the seats. Tie game.
The Indians’ bullpen had been worked hard in the past couple days, and when Kevin Millwood left the game in the fifth with a strained groin (although I feared the worst – an arm injury – when he hunched over on the mound), a tired pen had to pitch 4.1 innings. And for the most part, the relievers did their jobs. Betancourt, who was brought in without throwing in the bullpen, got the Indians to the 7th inning. Matt Miller was very good yet again, but Arthur Rhodes, pitching for the third straight day, was hit hard. Torii Hunter (who essentially was the Twins offense) doubled, and Jacque Jones singled him in. Just like that, the Twins had a 2-1 lead, and three outs from winning the game.
In the 10th, the Indians did what they couldn’t do in the 9th; Victor Martinez drew a walk, Grady Sizemore bunted him to second, and Travis Hafner blooped a single to left for the win.
With Millwood likely heading to the Disabled List, Brian Tallet should be the first to be called up, although the team may bring up a reliever to help in the bullpen. Fernando Cabrera could fill that role until Millwood’s spot in the rotation comes up. Or Kaz Tadano could be called up to provide some length.