Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Cleveland Advances; Yankees Go Home

Cleveland 6 NY Yankees 4 - Grady Sizemore (right) got it started with a leadoff home run, and Joe Borowski closed it out in the 9th as the Cleveland Indians ousted the NY Yankees from the playoffs, 3 games to 1. Paul Byrd took the win, working out of trouble in his 5+ innings, allowing 8 hits and 2 earned runs. For the third consecutive season, the Yankees were knocked out in the opening round and that continuing failure may cost manager Joe Torre his job. Owner George Steinbrenner said before game 3 that he would likely fire Torre if the Yankees didn't win the series. There was no mention of Torre's future following the loss, but in the Cleveland locker room the champagne was flowing. The Indians again had victimized Yankee starter Chien-Ming Wang, pitching on three days rest, for two runs in the first and two more in the second inning. Wang did not retire a batter in the second before being replaced by Mike Mussina, who allowed the other two runs over 4 2/3 innings, when Victor Martinez singled home a pair in the 4th. The Yankees managed to cut into the lead with solo homers by Robinson Cano, Alex Rodriguez and Bobby Abreu, but while they nearly matched Cleveland in hits, 13-12, they could not get runners home in key situations, stranding 10 runners for the game. For the series, the most notable flops were by Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez. Jeter was 3-17, didn't score a run and drove in just one while fanning 5 times in the series. Rodriguez went 4-15, but only drove in one run on his homer in game 4. He struck out 6 times in the four games. The Cleveland bullpen was dominant, allowing just two earned runs - both in game 4 - on 7 hits over 13 innings of work. The Indians will open play in the best-of-seven AL Championship Series Friday night in Boston.

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