At least a small part of me kind of feels bad about what happened to Cleveland in last year's ALCS. When it was the Yankees, the series comeback was just a karmic boomerang I was happy to see fly. When it was the Indians, the image of Victor Martinez in tears on the dugout rail as the Sox celebrated took the wind out of my sails just a little bit. I'm not saying I'm sorry the Sox won. But I also knew how they felt on the other side.
The Indians came in to this game having won just three of their last seven games. But they were coming off a 7-1 win against Oakland, and were leading by one run in the top of the ninth. They had not won two games back-to-back since Opening Day and the game that followed.
Then, Indians closer Joe Borowski imploded in on himself out there on the mound, first letting Julio Lugo cross the plate for the tying run, and then giving up an absolute bomb to Manny Ramirez, leaving the score 6-4 Sox.
The Indians players in the dugout looked blank. Some of them looked toward the field, but seemed to be staring off into space, as Papelbon put in a hellfire-and-brimstone performance to cap off the Sox comeback. The only Indian to get a bat anywhere near his fastball was Travis Hafner, who gave the ball a high arcing ride to the warning track in straightaway center, but it was caught there by Coco Crisp.
Eric Wedge was shown in the dugout, also looking toward the field. But he was not as expressionless as his players. In fact, his face clearly communicated, as he watched Papelbon slice and dice his hitters, that he was just waiting for it all to be over.
I've blown a lot of hot air around on this blog defending the Sox and Sox fans since we've been on top. But I could understand it if they hated us in Cleveland.
P.S. Papi managed to get a little bloop hit to left field tonight. I guess we should be glad they unearthed the jersey.