First, the Pirates eliminated the Cincinnati Reds, and then last night, the Tampa Bay Rays sent the Cleveland Indians their fans and the rest of Ohio checking the Sunday NFL schedule. For the rest of us, we are down to the elite eight and, unless there is an ultimate game, we are done with the pressure of the one-and-done.
Much to the disappointment for me and Marty Appel (which sounds like a Janis Joplin song title), we will not see eight of baseball’s original 16 teams in the first-round of finals as those new-fangled Tampa Bay Grays crash the party.
The Rays have proven to be road warriors defeating the very blue Jays in Toronto on Sunday, the last day of the regular season, giving them the opportunity show the Rangers in Texas, in the play-in playoff, that the David Price was right, then topping the Indians in Cleveland in the play-in. Next they head to Red Sox Nation, where they will face the Bostonians in the House of David (a.k.a. Fenway Park).
Eventually, they will work their way back home to St. Pete where they will be greeted in the Dome by Dick Vitale and the Raylettes and thousands of New England retirees who can finally get an affordable ticket to see their team play. They will, of course, be disappointed to see that Rico Petrocelli is no longer in the starting lineup.
Last night, the Tribe was shut out by Alex Cobb and Kryptonian reliever Joel Peralta, Jake McGee, and Navy Blue Arrow Fernando Rodney. As a group, they held the top of the Indians batting order, Michael Bourn, Nick Swisher and Jason Kipnis, to a combined 0-for-12.
Which leads us to the answer to the “Why, Oh Why Ohio?” question.
Between the first three Indians batters: Bourn, Swisher, and Kipnis, and the 3-4-5 batters for the Reds: Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, and Jay Bruce (who actually got a single), these key cogs went a combined 1-for-24.
Swisher continues to not deliver in the postseason
Not trying to throw single out Nick Swisher, but twice when the Tribe needed a single, Nick was swinging for the fences.
In the 5th, with runners on first and third and the Rays up 3-0, Swisher grounded out to first which was better than in the 7th when the Rays were still leading just 3-0 and the Indians really, really needed a single with runners on first and second. Nick was swinging so hard that it came as no surprise when he struck out on three pitches.
Swisher is brutal in the postseason.
|7 Yrs (12 Series)||47||185||158||16||26||9||0||4||8||0||0||24||48||.165||.277||.297|
The Browns host the Bills tonight and on Sunday, in Cincinnati, the World Series matchup that didn’t happen, will occur as New England comes to town.