I’m not superstitious by nature, but when it comes to baseball, I still believe in hot streaks and cold streaks and lucky socks and rally cows and jinxing a shutout/no-hitter/perfect game by saying it’s happening. I’m happy to talk about it afterward, but during the game, forget it. So it was with some trepidation that I went to a Friday the 13th game against the Mariners. I could stomach losing the last two games of the Rays series; they’re a strong team with some fantastic pitching. But the Mariners aren’t having that great a season. On any other day, given the way the Indians have been playing, there wouldn’t be a thing to worry about. But before this game, a mild case of triskaidekaphobia set in.
Things started out fine enough. More than fine. I didn’t say so, but Carmona was perfect through the first three innings. Unfortunately, someone sitting near me did say something about a perfect game, and Carmona promptly started off the fourth inning by walking Ichiro Suzuki. The inning ended without incident, and Carmona still had a no-hitter going. Again, someone sitting near me said something about no-hitters. The next inning, Carmona gave up a home run to Carlos Peguero. No more no-hitter. No more shut-out. Then came the 7th inning. The Mariners scored three runs, bringing their lead to 4-2. Meanwhile, after solo home runs by Choo and Brantley in the 1st and 3rd innings, respectively, our guys couldn’t get anything started. Suddenly it was the bottom of the 9th, we were still down by 2, and the game that had started off so swimmingly seemed to have spun into the crapper.
Well, you know what happened next. Back-to-back doubles by my darling Michael Brantley and Asdrubal Cabrera gave us one run. But Choo and Santana both grounded out. Then out of the ashes of my superstitious worries, Hafner came up and Pronk! Indians win, 5-4.
I don’t know if my baseball superstition is completely cured, but it’s getting there.