Dateline: Fox Mill 1
On a very warm Saturday afternoon, the Indians closed out their regular season with a thriller against the Twins. The Indians got on the scoreboard quickly with a leadoff walk to Brendan and a quick steal of second. Christian T grounded out to first for out one but he moved the runners to third and second. Will came up with an RBI as he grounded out to second to score Brendan. Connor came through with a huge two out RBI single to score Charles. Brendan got the start and he threw heat. After a leadoff single and a walk, the next batter grounded to Christian V. who alertly charged the ball and tossed to Nikhil at second for out one. The next batter struck out. A wild pitch put runners on at third and second. The next batter hit a long drive down the right field line. Nicholas was running at the sound of the bat, and he made a diving catch for out three. After one it was Indians 2 Twins 0.
In the second, the Indians continued to score. After a leadoff groundout, Nicholas walked, Bryon singled, and Pedro singled to load the bases. Christian V walked to score Nicholas. Jesus walked to score Bryon. Pedro then alertly stole home. Indians fans cheered. Charles walked to load the bases. Will hit a shot to center, but the Twins center fielder made a diving catch for out three. Brendan threw blistering heat as he struck out three Twins in a row. After two it was all Tribe at Indians 5 Twins 0.
In the third it looked like more runs were coming. Will led off with a single. Connor grounded out to third for out one but Will moved to second. Nikhil then hit a grounder to third and the throw to first was wild. Will rounded third and Coach Grossman sent him home. The first baseman ran after it and fired a perfect strike to the catcher to get Will by a step at the plate. With two outs, Chad hit a shot to short but the shortstop made a nice play and the inning ended. Christian T. came on for his inaugural appearance of the year and he was pitching to Bryon at catcher — a brand new battery for the Tribe. A leadoff single and a walk put runners on at first and second. The next batter bunted successful and the bases were loaded with no outs. The next batter hit a high fly to center and Charles camped under it, made the catch and fired home to hold the runner for out one. A long double to right scored three runs and another hard single scored the fourth run. After three it was suddenly Indians 5 Twins 4.
In the top of the fourth, Nicholas blasted a shot to center, but the center fielder chased it down for out one. The rest of the Indians went down quietly. Charles came on in the fourth and looked sharp. A leadoff single was followed quickly by a strikeout for out one. A walk put runners on at first and second. Two wild pitches scored a run and put a runner on second. The next batter popped up behind the plate and Bryon settled under for a great catch, he fired to second to get a double play as the runner on second was caught napping. Indians fans celebrated as the inning ended nicely and it was now all tied up at Indians 5 Twins 5.
In the fifth with one out Jesus walked. Brendan grounded to short, but the Twins through to first to move Jesus to second. A wild pitch moved Jesus to third. With two outs, Coach Grossman sent Jesus home on a wild pitch and the catcher made a great toss to the pitcher and got Jesus by a step. The Indians bats were quiet in the fifth. Will came on and walked the first batter and the second batter hit a hard grounder to third that took a tough hop to put runners on at first and second. Will settled down to strike out the next batter. A walk loaded the bases. The cleanup batter drilled a long double to score three runs and the next batter walked. Will settled down to get another strikeout but a wild pitch gave the Indians their fourth run of the inning. After five it was Twins 9 Indians 5.
The Tribe never gives up and today was no exception. After a leadoff strikeout, Christian T. walked and another strikeout set the stage for a two out rally. A hard single to left by Connor put runners on at first and second. Nikhil walked to load the bases. Chad walked to score Christin T. Nicholas walked to score Nikhil. Suddenly it was a two run game and the bases were loaded. The Indians bats were silent the rest of the inning and so the game ended Twins 9 Indians 7.
Coach Goldstein said, “Well our guys certainly never give up. I’m ready for a nice cold milkshake at Dairy Queen. People should not underestimate us in the playoffs.”
Coach Grossman said, “I liked how Christian T. looked on the mound and how Bryon looked behind the plate. That should give us some good depth as we head into the playoffs. I would have loved a bye in the first round, but it looks like we’ll come in 3rd place due to a second tie breaker (Editors Note: The Indians started the day in second place, one game ahead of the Twins. Since the Indians lost, they are in an exact tie with the Twins. To break the tie, the first tiebreaker is head to head competition, but alas that turns out to be 1-1-1 so a second tie breaker is needed. It is the editors understanding that the second tie breaker is the run difference of head to head competition, but we may be wrong so this column may be updated. In run difference, the Indians won by a run but lost by two runs so that would indicate that the Twins would move into to second place. It is the editors belief the Indians will play the fourth place Tigers on Monday and the winner will play the Twins on Wednesday and the winner of that will play the NL winner on Saturday. )
This reporter asked what Coach Grossman was thinking when he sent Will home and cost the team a precious sixth run and why he sent Jesus to give up the even more important seventh run. Well, I have to say, they made a great play and I’d say about 4 times out of 5 we’ll get that run with Will and I suspect the odds are even better on a wild pitch like that. However, we haven’t gotten too many of those sort of dice rolls this year — but the moment you stop playing with some confidence you might as well stay home. I’m very very proud of this team — they have made so much improvement and they came within one run of second place in our league. I think we’ve got a great shot in the playoffs as we match up very well with both the Twins and the Tigers.