Charlie Brown had a bad reputation on the baseball field for being the goat, not the hero. On Monday night, Johnny Damon misplayed this Brandon Philips-hit ball, which scored two runs (you can say it was a double and he scored on an error but, come on, it turned into an inside-the-park home run). I was at the game, right in front of left field, and the cries of “You suck, Damon!” were flying fast and furious. And rightfully so. Those two runs could have cost us the game (fortunately, they did not). That the botched play came from a guy who was hitting .186 at the time just added insult to the injury.
The husband and I were watching the game tonight, and as Damon came up on the 4th inning, I mentioned the play from Monday. I was just relating the chorus of “You suck, Damon” when my husband said, “Um, what was that dear?” I stared at the television and watched the ball soar over the right field fence. The Indians were up 2-0. The thought that Johnny Damon had just hit a two-run homer to break a 0-0 tie caused what can only be described as cognitive dissonance.
Later in the 4th inning, Asdrubal Cabrera hit a three-run dinger. Then in the bottom of the 7th, Lonnie Chisenhall pounded a few more nails in the coffin with a three-run double to make it 8-0. Through it all, Justin Masterson ruled the mound. He gave up three hits and one run with no walks and nine strikeouts. He pitched a complete game, and he struck out the freaking side in the 9th inning. That’s a hell of a night. It was so nice to see Masterson finally get some run support. It’s just odd to think that the guy who can barely pull himself over the Mendoza Line hit the home run that turned out to be the winning run. But that’s baseball. Sometimes you’re the goat, sometimes you’re the hero.
It was nice to see a Cleveland team full of heroes tonight.