What an opening act!The Cleveland Indians opened their 2008 season at home on Monday, March 31 without any snow! In fact, the game time temperature was over 60 degrees! The final score was Cleveland 10, Chicago 8. I had made a prediction that the score would be Cleveland 5, Chicago 2. Well, it was, during the second inning. I also said that I would have a hot dog with spicy brown mustard for every run the Indians scored. Well, I couldn't keep up but after downing 5 dogs, I am paying for it now!
So how did we do it?
C.C. Sabathia gave up a Jim Thome 2-run homer in the 1st inning. The Tribe needed to answer and they did with a 7 run second inning! Franklin Guttierez put the Tribe ahead with a 3-run homer, Grady Sizemore put one out as well, and Victor Martinez had two hits in the inning. Victor left the game with soreness in his left hamstring and he remains to be day-to-day.
Thome's next at bat brought a second 2-run homer. All of the heckling that the opening day "amateurs" could dish out seemed to propell Jim to bigger hits. After C.C. left the game in the 6th inning, the bullpen could not hold the lead as the Sox tied the game at 7 runs apiece.
As the Sox continued to threaten with bases loaded in the 8th inning and nobody out, things went the Tribe's way. Kelly Shoppach tagged out Joe Crede as he attempted to score a go ahead run. Ozzie Gullien argued that it was a phantom tag. Up comes Thome with the bases still loaded and only one out. As Thome sent a slow bouncer to second base, Orlando Cabrera interfered with Jhonny Peralta as he stepped on second base, taking the throw. In the bottom of the 8th inning, Casey Blake hit a 3-run double with bases loaded. Then it was up to Joe Borowski to hold it together. Well Joe had to make it interesting by giving up a home run to Jermaine Dye before getting the second and third out of the 9th inning to preserve the victory for Rafael Betancourt who wins the game in relief.
So it may not have been the prettiest game ever played but it certainly had all of the excitement and drama you could ask for. The Tribe continues to find a way to win. You have to believe that they expect to win and I love that attitude.
This was a true team effort where the guys kept picking each other up.
But 5 hot dogs as the Indians came from behind twice to win?