Oh...Oh...Oh..it's magic, Indians press on towards postseason
By RAY ROBINSON | 9/27/2013, 7:37 p.m.
The Indians are on a hot streak and looking to capture a playoff spot. But, in order to do that, they must get past the Minnesota Twins, who they play three more games against in enemy territory.
Of late, the fairy godmother of baseball has been shining on the Indians and willing them into the postseason with seemingly a simple wave of her wand. Whatever the case, something magical is happening. Just like back in 1995 and 1997.
On Tuesday night, while trailing the Chicago White Sox 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning, Tribe batter, Michael Brantley hit a routine grounder that took a strange bouce right at the edge of the outfield grass and then elevated just above the defenders glove and then rolled into the outfield for a base hit.
Designated hitter, Jason Giambi, crept up to the plate, taking a good hard swing at a pitch that was down in the dirt from Sox closer, Addison Reed. He didn't connect on the huge swing though.
Still, Brantley made his move, stealing second and opened up the gateway to tie the game up. Any well-hit ball from Giambi and Branley, with his exceptional speed, would probably score from second. Luckily, there was no need for Brantley to emulate Jamaican track star, Usain Bolt, because Giambi lifted the next pitch to deep into the lower deck seats for the walk-off home run and the 5-4 victory.
Then, on Thursday night, Tribe closer, Chis Perez, almost lost a 6-1 lead going into the ninth inning, as he gave up four runs on four hits, to bring the score within one, 6-5, before Tribe Manager went to the bullpen to grab Joe Smith to finally shut the door on the charging Twins. Perez was all over the place and never seemed to be focused while he struggled with his location all night long.
Still, the magic kept them a step ahead of baseball's Grim Reaper named, "Wait until next year."
The two teams face off over the weekend and when it's all over said and done, either the Indians will be in the playoffs and smiling, or cleaning out their lockers at Progressive Field and wearing faces longer than Perez's was on the night of his implosion.
The crystal ball still shows a shamrock of hope for the Indians though.
As the Indians head into game two of a four-game series tonight against the Twins, they bring along the fact that they have won seven in a row, while the Twins have been slipping and sliding and have gone 5-17 over their last 22 games.
Tonight, the Tribe will send Corey Kluber to the mound and the twins are putting their faith in left-hander, Pedro Hernandez. Kluber has gone 10-5 with a 3.61 ERA and Hernandez is 3-2 with a 6.05 ERA. Kluber has had four starts this month and each time, the Indians have been victorious.
The Indians are still peering at the Tampa Bay Rays, who are just ahead of them by one game, for the top Wild-card spot. The Indians, however, have a one game lead over the Texas Rangers for the second wild-card spot.
The two teams square off at 8:05 p.m. tonight at Target Field.