The calendar had just flipped to August and the Pennant & Wild Card races were just starting to heat up. The Boston Red Sox were, in spite of numerous injuries to key contributors, hanging in both the AL East Race and Wild Card Race at 6.5 games back with a 60-45 record. The Red Sox had won 7 of their last 10 games and had a home 4-game series with the 44-61 Cleveland Indians team playing for nothing more than pride. The 4-game series would be extremely important for the Red Sox as after the series the Red Sox would head out on a 10 game road trip with a 4-game series against the Yankees, a 3-game series against the Blue Jays, and a 3-game series against the Rangers. The Red Sox could not afford to look past the Cleveland Indians as their season was at stake.
Adam Van Arsdale (APV) over at Lets Go Tribe wrote a recent piece on Carlos Santana titled I believe in Santana in which he expresses the thought of "Let The Runner Score!!!" Adam is not alone in his thoughts that a single run in a single game may not be as important as the big picture of keeping Santana in the lineup day in and day out. Buster Olney of ESPN did a video blog expressing the same sentiment. I've included a link to Adam's piece and the Olney Video Blog.
The series opener would match Fausto Carmona against John Lackey. Shelly Duncan would not only throw a runner out, he'd give the Indians a 2-1 lead with a double in the top of the 4th inning. The Indians would build a 6-1 lead after a bases loaded 2-run single by Shin-Soo Choo. The Red Sox would tack on a solo run in the bottom of the 7th thanks to a leadoff home run by Adrian Beltre. Ryan Kalish would follow Beltre with a double. Bill Hall was unable to advance the runner to third as Carmona got him to ground out to shortstop. The next play would go down as the play that really took the wind out of every Cleveland Indians fan. The name most commonly uttered by the older fan at this point was Ray Fosse. Daniel Nava, pinch hitting for Eric Patterson, would line a single to right fielder Shin-Soo Choo. Choo, who has one of the better arms in the American League, would throw a strike to catcher Carlos Santana. Ryan Kalish would slide in hard on Santana flipping him over in a gruesome scene. Santana would hold on to the ball and eventually be carted off the field. The Indians bullpen would do their best to give the lead up but despite a 3-run homer by Adrian Beltre in the 8th inning, the Indians were able to win 6-5.
Santana would not return in 2010 and would be sideline 4-6 months with a strained lateral collateral ligament in his left knee. The Indians released the following details about Santana's Rehab on November 18, 2010:
Santana, meanwhile, has progressed to full lower body strength and conditioning. He's scheduled to initiate a land-based, walk-jog progression later this week. He, too, is scheduled for baseball activities beginning in early January.
The Indians expect to begin working Santana -- who was stellar in his first 46 big league games before wrenching his knee in a horrific home-plate collision in early August -- in at first base next season to prevent some of the wear and tear on his body that the catching spot provides.
Indians November 18, 2010 Update on Santana Rehab (HERE)