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Boston's Pitching Implodes In Fifth Tribe Wins 7-3 Lead ALCS 3-1

Trying to hit a pitch when a knuckle ball pitcher is on top of his game is like trying to catch a butterfly with a pair of pliers, almost impossible. But when a knuckle ball pitcher loses it, it's like going against a batting practice pitcher. Tim Wakefield was on top of his game for the first four innings against the Cleveland Indians in game four of the A.L.C.S. However, Wakefield did a Chernobyl like meltdown in the bottom of the fifth as Cleveland scored all seven of their runs, and held on for a 7-3 victory. Cleveland, with the win takes a 3-1 series win, and just need one more victory for a trip to the World Series to take on the red hot Colorado Rockies.

If you are a regular reader of mine, you know that I hold a very high opinion of Cleveland Indians third baseman Casey Blake. To me he is the heart and soul of the Indians and one of MLB's most underrated players. Blake has played a myriad of positions over the years for Cleveland since first joining the team in 2003. Last year Blake, a career infielder was moved to right field and looked as natural their as if he has played there all his life. Blake does not have the career numbers of Victor Martinez, Grady Sizemore, or the Pronk Travis Hafner. He also does not get the respect that these players get in Cleveland, but make no mistake Casey is as integral to Cleveland's success as the others.

It was only fitting that Blake broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the fifth with a home run off Wakefield over the left field wall. Casey would also get another RBI in the inning driving home Kenny Lofton in his second at bat in the frame with a single. The final nail in the Red Sox coffin was supplied by Indians shortstop Jhonny Peralta who hit a three run homer off Sox reliever Manny Delcarmen. Wakefield was charged with giving up five runs, Delcarmen two more and Cleveland led 7-0 at the end of five.

Indians starter Paul Byrd who sat on the bench while all the fireworks were going on was definitely rusty when he reentered in the sixth. Byrd gave up back to back jacks to Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz and was replaced by reliever Jensen Lewis. Lewis gave up the third consecutive Boston homer of the inning to Manny Ramirez, an A.L.C.S. record and Boston trailed 7-3. But Lewis got out of the rest of the night unscathed, as he ended up pitching two innings giving up two hits and the one run. Another underrated Cleveland player reliever Rafael Bettancourt finished the game throwing 2 innings with zeroes across the board.

The two teams have Wednesday off and will meet again Thursday at Jacobs Field in a rematch of the game one starters. Josh Beckett, who has the Red Sox sole win in the series faces up against C.C. Sabathia
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