- I Miss The Indians, And I Miss ‘Em BadPosted 3 hours ago
- Four of Five – Hey, Let’s Rejoice For A SecondPosted 1 day ago
- The Real Test Will Be On The RoadPosted 1 day ago
- The Orange BowlPosted 2 days ago
- Browns lose to Pats or the Refs?Posted 2 days ago
- Blown Lead and Falling ShortPosted 2 days ago
- Indians Ink 1B David CooperPosted 3 days ago
- The Delayed, Deciding FactorPosted 3 days ago
- The Browns Were CheatedPosted 4 days ago
- Buckeyes can Kiss Championship Aspirations GoodbyePosted 4 days ago
The Bug Game
- Updated: March 31, 2013
2007 was a very prosperous year for the Indians. The Tribe finished the year with an impressive 96 wins giving them a playoff birth for the first time since the 2001 season. A strong back end of the bullpen shut down opposing teams fighting their way back in the late innings. Rafael Betancourt would set up Joe Borowski for the save. Our ace C.C. Sabathia won 19 games compared to a mere 7 loses. A young Fausto Carmona (at the time) also won 19 games in a very impressive breakout season. These two pairs of pitchers were the main reason why the Indians found themselves squaring off against the Bronx Bombers in the 2007 ALDS.
Game 1 in Cleveland showcased our ace Sabathia against Taiwanese pitcher Chien-Ming Wang. Wang was the number two pitcher in the American League with 19 wins. Our Indians completely dominated with a 12-3 victory.
I was at Game 2. It was a battle between Fausto Carmona and Andy Pettitte. This game was a definition of a pitchers duel. No team could really seem to establish any offense throughout the whole game. The Indians tied it at one when a wild pitch scored Indians star Grady Sizemore in the 8th Inning.
Interestingly enough, late in the game the field was swarmed with midges. These small flies were everywhere. Attacking the pitchers, hitters, coaches, and fielders. Oddly enough, the fans were not bothered by the flies. Over 42,00 + roaring spectators at Progressive Field could only happily watch the Yankee players suffer. It’s hard enough to pitch/hit a hooking curve ball in a regular situation, but with millions of flies buzzing all around it becomes nearly impossible. The wild pitch thrown by Yankee pitcher Joba Chamberlain in the 8th inning was very controversial because he was unable to focus on the hitter due to the flies.
I remember the game being paused for Yankee fielders to drench themselves with bug spray. An array of nasty insults were shot at the Yankees by Cleveland fans including myself. A pumped up fan base completely behind their striving team was not going to settle for this shenanigans. Finally, the inning ended, and the bug-infested Yankee players could return to their big-infested dugout. Suits them right.
My most favorite memory of this game besides the walk off bases loaded line drive single to right field by DH Travis Hafner in the 11th Inning to give the Indians a 2-1 lead, happened in the top of the 9th inning. Fausto Carmona was pitching strong 1-run baseball through his first eight innings of play. While Carmona allowed a hit, he got out of the 9th inning in dramatic fashion. Yankee slugger Alex Rodriguez was trying to give the Yankees the lead for good. BUGS WERE SWARMING EVERYWHERE. FANS WERE SCREAMING THEIR LUNGS OUT. THE GAME WAS ON THE LINE. When Rodriguez whiffed at Carmona’s deadly sinker, you could hear the Cleveland roar halfway across the world. Carmona had overcome the adversity of the bugs. The Tribe was still alive!
This season brings us more hope. Stories like this one back in ’07 I will never forget. I hope the Francona regime brings many more stories to Cleveland. World series stories that is.
By: Zach Shafron