Monday, January 10, 2011

Fielder Slam Turns Major League Monday Into Manic Monday






On June 15, 2009, the Cleveland Indians were sitting in last place in the AL Central 6.5 games out first place with a record of 29-37.  There was still hope that the Indians could turn their season around, one winning streak and the Tribe would be right back in the thick of  pennant race, right?  A crowd of 25,415 were at the park to watch the Indians take on the Milwaukee Brewers.  There was extra energy in the air as the Indians were celebrating "Major League" night.  Fans were given a "Wild Thing" Bobblehead, Bob Ueker threw out the ceremonial first pitch, and was in the Indians booth as a guest announcer for an inning or two.  The fans were treated to four hours of baseball, the Indians would score 12 runs, hit four home runs, and hold a 8-3 lead and a 12-6.  Unfortunately, for the Indians fans in attendance that night, they'd have to watch the Brewers continue to come back and finally pass the Tribe on the strength of an 8-run Brewer outburst, highlighted by Prince Fielders Grand Slam, to defeat the Indians 14-12.  Eric Wedge was unable to summon the magic of Lou Brown and lead the Indians to a rousing magical finish to the season.  The Indians would go on to lose 14 of their next 18 games to fall to find themselves 13.5 games out of first place. 



 

The Brewers would strike first in the game as Ryan Braun (video) would hit a 2-run homer in the top of the first off Indians starter Carl Pavano.  The Indians would come right back to tie the game in the bottom of the first when Shin-Soo Choo (video) would hit a 2-run homer off of Brewers starter Dave Bush.  The Indians would be trailing 3-2 as the game entered the bottom of the 3rd inning but Victor Martinez (video) would hit a 2-run homer to give the Tribe a 4-3 lead.  The Indians would extend their lead to 8-3 in the fourth and victory seemed certain.  By win probability chart logged over at fangraphs.com, the Indians had a 93.2% chance of winning.  The Brewers would score three times in the top of the 6th to cut the Tribe lead to 8-6. Greg Aquino replaced Carl Pavano in the sixth inning and give up a solo run to the Brewers to narrow the game to a 1-run Indians lead at 8-7.  The Indians would extend their lead to 12-7 in the bottom of the 6th.  Mark DeRosa (video) would lead off the inning with a solo homer and Travis Hafner (video) would hit a 3-run shot.  With a 12-7 lead, the Indians win expectancy stood at 96.5% which wouldn't drop too much as the Brewers would score a single run to cut the lead to 12-8 in the top of the seventh. 


THE 8TH INNING DISASTER

The Indians held a comfortable 12-8 lead as the top of the 8th inning and Luis Vizcaino would be asked to protect the lead.  He'd get J.J. Hardy to flyout before issuing walks to catcher Mike Rivera and Craig Counsell.  Manger Eric Wedge would replace Vizcaino with Matt Herger.  Herges would walk Casey McGahee to load the bases before allowin Ryan Braun to hit an infield single to score a run.  Eric Wedge would call replace Matt Herges with lefty Rafael Perez to face the left handed hitting Prince Fielder.  Fielder would hit Perez's first pitch for a Grand Slam to give the Brewers a 13-12 lead.  Perez would gibve up a single to Corey Hart and a walk to Mike Cameron before giving up a run scoring single to Mat Gamel. Perez would be removed and Joe Smith woudl retire the last two hitters.  The Indians were unable to mount a comeback and veteran reliever Trevor Hoffman would come in the 9th inning and get the save making a winner out of Todd Coffey.


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