There were two earthquakes today in Cleveland and they came just hours apart from each other. The first earthquake was a 5.9 on the Richter scale, which shook most of the northeast of the United States and the other came hours later as Shin Soo-Choo hit a walk-off three-run home run to help the Indians pull the win out of the team’s proverbial butts.
It was the first game of a day-night doubleheader and Choo almost didn’t play following the birth of his daughter, but the Indians were certainly thankful that was not the case. After the tribe had given up the lead in the ninth on a two-run double, Choo came up in the bottom of the ninth with two on and crushed the first pitch he saw from Seattle Mariners closer Brandon League. The loss was the 12th this season that came on a walk-off for Seattle and it was their 68th game decided by two runs or less.
"It's like a movie," the South Korean said. "It's the first walk-off homer of my baseball career and one of the biggest. That's the perfect present, right?"
The Indians have been in a skid as of late and had previously lost four in a row before Tuesday’s win. Currently, Cleveland is tied with the Chicago White Sox for second place in the AL Central and trail the first place Detroit Tigers by five games.
The Indians started the season on a tear and enjoyed first place exclusively until close to the All-Star break. However, injuries and streaky play have cooled the Indians down and time is beginning to run out. Travis Hafner has been one of Cleveland’s biggest bats this season but now it looks as though he is finished for the season. The Indians are also wondering when they’ll get Grady Sizemore – who has been out since July 18 – back to help the team remain in the hunt. These are two very big question marks for a team that can only make the playoffs by winning the division.
If the team has one more good run left in it, it is going to have to come soon but right now it doesn’t help that the Tigers are playing some of their best baseball of the season.
Photo courtesy of The Associated Press.