I’ve started to dread the Indians’ annual trip to Oakland each year. For some reason, the combination of the Athletics and the Coliseum seem to befuddle the Tribe. In fact, the Indians had not even won a series in Oakland since 2002 – when Ryan Drese and Terry Mullholland were the winning pitchers of record. Even CC Sabathia, a Bay Area native, always seemed to struggle when he returned to his home stomping grounds while wearing a Cleveland Indians uniform. When the Tribe defeated Oakland 4-3 today, they finally broke their nine year series losing streak against the Athletics and propelled themselves to a 21-9 record.
I knew they’d be in for a tough series this week, as they were set to face Tyson Ross, Trevor Cahill, and Brett Anderson. In Tuesday’s game, the Indians were able to get to Brian Fuentes late, while they fell to the Athletics 3-1 on Wednesday night. Wednesday night’s game started to feel like it was the Cleveland Indians versus David DeJesus after a while, thanks to a couple of mistake pitches by Josh Tomlin.
The Indians needed to find a way to get to Oakland pitching, since the Athletics’ offense is definitely containable right now. (They’re ranked 28 out of 30 Major League teams.) I’m on an excursion to Las Vegas at the moment, so I had to settle for listening to the game over my cellular phone as I drove from Las Vegas to Hoover Dam. I managed to hear up to the point where the Indians pulled into the lead 2-1 on Asdrubal Cabrera’s two-run single. At that point I descended into the bowels of the Hoover Dam to tour the power plant facilities. By the time I emerged and cellular service returned, I figured the game had long since ended.
Much to my surprise, the game was in the 12th inning with the Indians up 4-2. I had already mentally ceded this game to the Athletics; in part due to the fact that I did not expect much from the Indians while in Oakland because of their past record in the city. As much as I’d like to see the Indians win every game, I know they’re going to lose every so often. So I propped my phone on the ledge of the Hoover Dam, leaned against the wall, and listened to the bottom of the 12th. I can’t tell you how many odd stares I got as people walked by (I like to think they were trying to figure out what game I was listening to). The fact that I kept screaming out loud at the game probably didn’t help matters, although I did an admirable job of keeping my language G-rated. It got to the point where I was nervously pacing back and forth on top of the dam, pausing only to shoot a picture every so often. When Hideki Matsui popped out to end the game, I pumped my fist in the air and yelled an emphatic YES! If I thought people were staring at me before…
First, I need to remind myself that it is May and I should calm down. I’m having so much fun watching this team sometimes staying calm is easier said than done. Today’s win marks the seventh time in team history the Indians have started the season 21-9. (I should mention that 1948 was one of those seasons) It’s hard not to have a little fun with them, as a number of people in Nevada learned from me today.