Saturday, October 20, 2007

Making sense out of this series
When you're from the Cleveland area, you don't inject logic into your arguments, especially when it comes to sports.

But when the Indians grabbed a three games to one lead over the Red Sox in the American League Championship Series, I started thinking like a non-Clevelander. That is, thinking logically.

With a three games to one lead, the Indians were sending C.C. Sabathia and Fausto Carmona -- 38 wins between them in the regular season -- to the mound in the next two games.

One of those guys, I thought, ought to be able to bring it home.

Sabathia wasn't bad, but wasn't an ace, while Josh Beckett was. Then, Saturday night, Carmona pitched his worst game since he was a closer last season.

Now, Cleveland's trip to the World Series hinges on its No. 3 starter -- Jake Westbrook. No disrespect to Westbrook. He's a good starter. But he's not exactly what you'd want going into Game 7. The Indians can't turn to Jared Wright like they did the last time they faced such a game. They don't have any tricks up their sleeves. Westbrook has got to be great Sunday. He has to pitch the game of his life.

In a season where nothing has gone the way one expected, I'm not saying it's impossible. But the Indians have looked bad in their last two games, while the Red Sox have looked confident and comfortable.

Should the Indians lose, this is not an "Only in Cleveland" moment. The Indians called on their aces, only to see them fall flat. Should Boston prevail, it's because it is the better team. Simple as that.

As an Indians fan, I'm hoping that in a season of surprises, the team can pull one more out, and give the city hope it's long championship drought is nearing an end.



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