Sunday, January 9, 2011

Flock Of Seagulls with One Last Hit

Editors Note: At the bottom of this entry is a recap of the Dave Winfield Seagull seagull incident.
On June 11, 2009, the Indians had taken residence the cellar of the AL Central with a record of 26-35, 8 games behind the first place Detroit Tigers.  The season was early enough that some Tribe fans were holding out hope that the Indians could climb back into a race for the AL Central crown.  To do this, the Indians had to pass 4 other teams and they had the opportunity to pass the Kansas City Royals and into fouth place that evening.  The Indians would win the game with two key hits in the 10th inning, one off the bat of Shin-Soo Choo and the other an unexpecting seagull in centerfield.

The Royals sent Cy Young Award Winner Zach Greinke with a record of 8-2 and a 1.55 ERA to the mound to face Indians left-hander Jeremy Sowers 1-3 with a 5.40 ERA.  Sowers was coming off of two starts which seemed to show that he was making progress as a starting pitcher.  He went 5 innings fiving up 1 earned run in 5 innings in a loss against the New York Yankees and 2 earned runs in 6 innings in a loss to the White Sox. 

The Indians held a 1-0 lead as the game entered the fifth inning.  The Royals lineup was turning over for a third time, which is where Sowers had struggled all year.  True to form, the Royals put up two runs to move ahead 2-1.  Sowers would leave after the fifth inning, throwing 99 pitches, and being charged with 2 earned runs.  The score remained 2-1 until Miguel Olivo hit a towering home run off Indians reliever Greg Aquino (video) to give the Royals a 3-1 lead.

Meanwhile, Zach Greinke continued to dominate the Indians through 7 innings before tiring in the 8th.  After retiring the first batter Greinke gave up a single to Mark DeRosa and a walk to Victor Martinez.  The Royals went to their bullpen and John Bale would enter the game to face Shin-Soo Choo who grounded into a force out but the shortstop threw wildly trying to complete the double play, which allowed Victor Martinez to score and Choo to advance to second.  The Royals brought in closer Joakim Soria to face Johnny Peralta.who narrowly miss a home run with a double off the wall in left (video).

The game went into extra innings and Indians reliever Matt Herges worked a scoreless tenth inning.  The Indians mounted a rally in the bottom of the 10th inning off Royals reliever Kyle Farnsworth.  With runners at first and second and nobody out Shin-Soo Choo lined a single up the middle, Coco Crisp charged the ball for a play at the plate but the ball would glance off of a seagull and the winning run would score.


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