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September 25, 2013

What You Need to Know

Cleveland Socks

by Daniel Rathman


The Tuesday Takeaway
Game one of two between the Indians and White Sox was a seesaw affair.

Cleveland got on the board first in the bottom of the second on an RBI single by Michael Brantley. The visitors tied it on a fourth-inning sacrifice fly by Avisail Garcia and grabbed a one-run lead of their own on a run-scoring knock by Alejandro De Aza. Moments later, Brantley countered with a solo shot that knotted the score again, and Jason Kipnis drove in a go-ahead tally with a single. And so the game went into the ninth inning with the Progressive Field scoreboard reading Indians 3, White Sox 2.

Chris Perez promptly coughed up that edge on a big fly by Dayan Viciedo. He struck out the next two batters he faced. And then the White Sox—eager to play spoiler—earned their second lead of the night on another long ball, this one by De Aza.

With the Rangers hosting the Astros—the team the Indians swept over the weekend—after entering play a game behind the Tribe, the margin of error for Terry Francona’s team was razor-thin. As ESPN’s Jayson Stark tweeted, the homers by Viciedo and De Aza “were daggers.” If the Indians fell just short in their bid to secure a wild card spot, this loss would sting as much as any.

Cleveland came within an out of defeat with Addison Reed on the hill for Chicago in the bottom of the ninth. Brantley singled between strikeouts by Yan Gomes and Mike Aviles, and Francona was down to his last chance, with the bat in the hands of Matt Carson, who had delivered a walk-off victory on September 19.

Carson, batting .700 in limited action, did his part that day, but Francona had someone else in mind for this assignment. Up stepped Jason Giambi, 42 years old and hitting below the Mendoza line for the season, but an imposing presence in the box nonetheless. With the count even at 1-1, Reed went down and in with a slider, and Giambi sent it high and far:

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<< Previous Article
The Lineup Card: Nine ... (09/25)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article What You Need to Know:... (09/24)
Next Column >>
Premium Article What You Need to Know:... (09/26)
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The BP Wayback Machine... (09/26)

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