10/05/07 10:46 PM ET
Indians Short Hops: Game 2
Tribe one step away from moving on to ALCS
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
Fausto Carmona absolutely dominated the Yankees. Cleveland's offense could not say the same, but in the 11th inning, Travis Hafner produced when it mattered most. Frozen moment
With Grady Sizemore on third and two outs in the eighth, another prime scoring chance appeared to have been wasted by the Indians. But Joba Chamberlain uncorked a wild pitch with Victor Martinez hitting, and Sizemore's speed barely beat the throw home for the game-tying run. New York's pitching produced what Cleveland's offense hadn't accomplished to that point. Big number
8 -- The number of Cleveland leadoff hitters who reached base Friday, including Sizemore's leadoff triple in the sixth. Sizemore scored the tying run in the eighth and Kenny Lofton scored the game-winner in the 11th. That's all Cleveland needed. Game balls
The talented right-hander made one mistake in his first career playoff start, resulting in Melky Cabrera's third-inning home run. The Yankees managed just two singles the rest of the way, as Carmona worked nine virtually flawless innings.
Led off the first inning with a single, started the sixth with a triple, opened the eighth by drawing a walk off of Chamberlain, and reached to begin the 10th on a passed ball off of a swinging third strike. He also scored the tying run on a wild pitch that didn't bounce far from catcher Jorge Posada. Quintessential play from the top of the order.
The playoff warrior knocked out two more hits, including his fourth straight with runners in scoring position. Lofton also was picked off from second base by Andy Pettitte, ending a fifth-inning scoring opportunity.
Sense of October
Casey Blake wouldn't use the word momentum on Thursday to talk about a somewhat slow-moving game such as baseball, so let's call it playoff baseball on display in the bottom of the sixth Friday. Sizemore triples to open the inning, sending the home crowd into a postseason frenzy. Three batters later, Pettitte had silenced the sellout at Jacobs Field by retiring Asdrubal Cabrera on a grounder back to the mound and by striking out Hafner and Martinez to keep Cleveland scoreless.
4 AB, 1 H, 3 K, 1 BB
Comment: Peralta's second-inning walk eventually resulted in the shortstop being thrown out at the plate on Lofton's single. His seventh-inning double would have been a home run if it traveled four feet to the right. He also struck out twice with men in scoring position, and once in the 10th with the bases loaded and two outs. It was quite an eventful night amongst a dearth of real offense.
9 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 2 BB, 5 Ks, 1 HR
Comment: Nineteen ground balls, including two of which that went for double plays. It's safe to say Carmona's sinker looked fairly sharp.
"We did a good job of playing two different types of games and winning them both. It was a great team effort on all sides of the ball. But I know we aren't going to relax one bit up 2-0. It's about winning three games, not two, and not just winning at home." --Ryan Garko.
Jake Westbrook hopes his sinker works just as effectively in Game 3 as Carmona's did Friday, as the Indians look for the sweep in New York.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.