In the 2nd inning of Saturday night’s game, my husband walked into the living room and asked “How do you keep writing about them when they keep losing? What do you say?” I kind of told him to buzz off. He is far more negative than I am in most things anyway. But e ven though I pooh-poohed my husband’s comment, I had my doubts about the Indians maintaining their little 3-game winning streak. (By the way, the last time they won 3 games in a row was July 3-5.) Surprisingly, things looked okay at that point.
Despite my doubts, I willingly suspended my disbelief and pretended to myself that the Indians could win this. That willing suspension of disbelief lasted about 4 minutes. We were up 1-0 when the Royals had a 6-run blowout in the 3rd. After that, it was pretty much a whole lot of the same nothing we’ve been seeing–a couple of singles, a stolen base or two, runners in scoring position, a lot of elevated hoped, then somebody chokes in the clutch.
A friend and I started sending instant messages back and forth around the bottom of the 7th. The Indians scored a run in the 6th when Ezequiel Carrera reached first on a fielding error that scored Travis Hafner. Then in the 8th, they did things correctly for a change. With the bases loaded, Shin-Soo Choo hit a single that scored Michael Brantley and Jason Donald. But that only brought the score up to 6-4. Regardless, we over-used a bunch of exclamation points in our instant messages. Then in the bottom of the 9th, Asdrubal Cabrera hit a double that scored Carlos Santana and Chisenhall to tie the game. It was a “holy crap!” moment if ever there was one. More exclamation points, more virtual rejoicing. I wanted to believe, and I tried to keep the faith, to keep believing that they could come back and win it.
We could have won it in the bottom of the 9th, but the Indians couldn’t quite manage it. But you figure, “Hey, we’re at home, extra innings aren’t so bad. They can still pull it out.” In fact, we could have won it in the 10th inning too. We had a man in scoring position. We could have won it in the 11th or 12th innings too. My friend and I kept messaging back and forth “Dear Carlos, please don’t try to kill it” and “Chiz is going to win it for us here.” Just to keep the suspense going, he didn’t, and we didn’t.
Instead the game went on and on. Half a ballgame later, in the top of the 14th freaking inning, the Royals scored. It was just a stinking little single by Tony Abreu that scored Mike Moustakas, but it broke the tie. That’s when my heart began to sink, because I knew we weren’t going to answer that run. Even when we had the bases loaded with no outs, I couldn’t believe. My husband had gone to bed long before the 14th inning, so he wasn’t there to say “I told you so” when the Indians again collapsed. He wasn’t there to see them leave 20 runners on base and go 3-21 with runners in scoring position.
In a season full of disappointing losses, this one takes the cake.