The Cleveland Indians won a fiercely fought game tonight vs. the Detroit Tigers. The victory increased the Indians win streak to 6 games, but better than that, it increased their lead over the Tigers to 3 games.
This was a game of adversity that the Indians had to overcome through 11 innings. Home plate umpire Derryl Cousins drew the ire of both teams with a very inconsistent strike zone. When the Indians refused to fold, the Tigers began to nitpick and attempted to distract the Indians from their destiny. Complaints about Travis Hafner's batter's box stance to how long Raphael Betancourt took between pitches (he had two balls called on him as a result) failed to unnerve the Tribe.
The Tigers loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the 10th inning but failed to score, thanks to a gutsy pitching performance by Tom Mastny.
Then, with two outs in the top of the 11th, Casey Blake buried a hanging curve into the left field stands to go ahead by a score of 5-4. Joe Borowski pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the 11th to earn save #25.
It is important to mention how Indians' manager Eric Wedge was a driving force in this victory. From pinch hitting Ben Francisco (drove the first pitch out of the park) to vehemently defending his players (especially standing up for Betancourt), Wedge was focused on the win pitch by pitch, play by play. There were many heros in this game, including an unbelievable catch in right field by Franklin Guttierez in the bottom of the 10th, but the game ball should go to manager Eric Wedge.
Eric, thanks for a hard fought, entertaining, and intellectually stimulating win for Cleveland tonight!