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Live from the Jake: Tribe-Yanks Game Two

CLEVELAND -- Keep refreshing this thread for updates on Game Two of the division series. For openers: Yankees fan LeBron James is not supposed to be here tonight because the Cavaliers have an intrasquad training camp scrimmage in Akron. James has been getting crushed here on talk radio all day. A couple minutes before the first pitch, fans on the jumbotron got a huge cheer by holding up a pro-Kenny Lofton sign that said "Sorry LeBron, Kenny is King."

It's over after 4 hours, 23 minutes: Nice time for a wireless crash. Anyway, the Tribe won it, 2-1, on Travis Hafner's two-out, bases-loaded single in the bottom of the 11th on a full-count pitch from Luis Vizcaino.

End-10th:  The Indians loaded the bases against Mariano Rivera but Jhonny Peralta struck out to get the Yankees back into the dugout. Grady Sizemore got to first on the 13th pitch of his at-bat as he struck out but reached when the ball got away from Jorge Posada for a passed ball. Posada fired high to first and Sizemore crashed into Doug Mientkiewicz to reach base. Asdrubal Cabrera sacrificed Sizemore to second and Travis Hafner sent him to third on a groundout. Victor Martinez was intentionally walked and Ryan Garko was nicked by a pitch to load the bases and set up Peralta. On to the 11th.

End-9th: Fausto Carmona was unbelievable with 18 groundball outs and five strikeouts. Pitch No. 113 was good for his third K of Alex Rodriguez, ending a nine-pitch at-bat and leaving Bobby Abreu at second. Mariano Rivera -- pitching on the 10th anniversary of the tying home run to Sandy Alomar he gave up here in Game Four of the '97 division series -- pitched a 1-2-3 inning. In the words of former Bisons voice Jim Rosenhaus, who's now working here for the Indians, we're headed for Bonus Baseball. Rafael Perez is coming on for Carmona.

Joba_bugs Bot-8th: Things have gone completely buggy here as the Indians have finally tied the game at 1-1 with a bizarre run off Joba Chamberlain, who needed to get sprayed (left) so he could attempt to pitch. There's all kind of gnats around the plate and the mound and the rookie pitcher is clearly distracted. With TV closeups showing the bugs all over his head and back, Chamberlain walked two, hit a batter and uncorked two wild pitches. The second, with two out, allowed Grady Sizemore to scamper home from third with the tying run as the crowd exploded. Batters, infielders and umpires are constantly waving in front of their faces to get rid of the bugs. Bizarre.

End-7th: Joba rules. How is Chamberlain a rookie? He's just unfair. He came on with runners at first and second and one out. Five pitches later, the inning was over as Franklin Gutierrez flailed at three curveballs and Casey Blake popped an 0-1 pitch into right. The Tribe is pretty snakebit. Cleveland is 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position and Jhonny Peralta's one-out double to dead center off Andy Pettitte stayed in the park because it hit the top of the 19-foot wall. Two feet to the right and we'd be tied. Pettitte threw 92 pitches (58 strikes) in his 6 1/3 innings. The Tribe is in trouble with Chamberlain lined up for the eighth and Mariano Rivera for the ninth.

End-6th: What a job Pettitte is doing. He's still holding a 1-0 lead even though the Yankees have just two hits off Carmona while the Indians have had a leadoff base hit in five of six innings. Grady Sizemore opened the sixth with a triple down the right-field line but an overanxious Asdrubal Cabrera tapped back to the mound and a fist-pumping Pettitte celebrated strikeouts of Travis Hafner and Victor Martinez to get out of the jam. The Indians are just 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position. That won't get it done.

Sheppard_2 End-5th: The Yankees just passed out a release that legendary public-address announcer Bob Sheppard (left), their "Voice of God", will miss the games in the Bronx in this series due to a bronchial infection. Sheppard, who turns 97 next Friday and in his 57th season, will thus have a streak of 121 consecutive postseason games snapped. It began in Game One of the World Series against the Giants -- in 1951!!!! Sheppard will be replaced by longtime backup Jim Hall. Poor guy. How can you possibly replace that voice? It's not going to be the same sitting in the Bronx without hearing Sheppard.

It's still 1-0 despite the fact the Indians have had a leadoff hit in four of the five innings. Lofton (2 for 2) is the only player on either team with two hits and he's 5 for 6 in the series. But Pettitte just picked him off trying to go from second to third (where was he going?) and that was the final out.

End-4th: K-Rod just swung through a 96-mph fastball for strike three. It's still a 1-0 lead for the Yankees but check out what I just stumbled upon: There are nearly 200 comments -- and most aren't too complimentary -- on Cleveland.com's blog discussing LeBron. The Indians are just 1 for 6 with runners in scoring position after scoring eight of their 12 runs in Game One with two out.

Melky Mid-3rd: The Melk Man taketh away and then he giveth. After his big defensive play to end the second, Melky Cabrera drove a 86-mph Fausto Carmona changeup into the Yankees bullpen for a solo home run and a 1-0 lead (right). It's the Yankees' only hit so far and they're just 6 for 40 at the plate in the first 12 innings of the series.

End-2nd: The Lofton lovefest continues. A big standing O when he came to the plate with two out and Jhonny Peralta at first. More cheers when he flailed at a breaking ball and the bat nearly took out Pettitte on the mound. And another huge roar when he singled to left-center after Peralta had stolen second. The cheers quickly went away, however, as Peralta was gunned down at the plate on a perfect one-hop throw from Cabrera. Peralta was his own worst enemy, however, as a replay showed the turn he took around third base sent him somewhere in the direction of Cincinnati.

So it's zip-zip after two. As for the man in the pink hat (see Jon Splett's comment), I have no idea. You'll now note it's neon yellow. No clue.

Mid-2nd: Our first A-Rod update ends in one pitch with a lazy popup to second. Hmmm. A little overanxious perhaps? That's 0 for 3 in this series, 3 for 32 in the last three division series and 4 for 44 --- with no RBIs -- in the postseason since Game Four of the 2004 LCS. Amazing. Carmona walked Hideki Matsui but got out of the inning when Jorge Posada bounced into a double play on a full count.

Mid-1st: There was some concern that Carmona's eight days off would make his sinker flat. Next case. He just blew through the Yankees in order, needing only four minutes and 11 pitches to retire the side. Johnny Damon flew out to left, Derek Jeter swung through an unhittable 96-mph sinker and Bobby Abreu hit a meek tapper back to the mound. The crowd's white rally towels have already gotten a good workout.

---Mike Harrington

(Photos: Associated Press)

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AL Division Series
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About Inside Pitch

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has covered the Buffalo Bisons since 1992 and Major League Baseball since 1995. A member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, Harrington has reported on more than 30 MLB postseason series — including every game of the World Series in this century — and all three of the Bisons' championship runs in their modern era. He is a connoisseur of the famous Stadium Mustard at Cleveland's Progressive Field.

@BNHarrington | [email protected]


Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has covered the Bisons for The Buffalo News since 2002. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz | [email protected]

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