It looked like the same old story. Fausto Carmona was effective but wild and only made it through 5 innings. The first time through the order the Indians bats came up with one 30 foot single off the end of the bat of newly promoted Ben Francisco.
The Indians found themselves down 1-0 on a fielder's choice in the bottom of the 1st inning. The Tribe grabbed themselves a 2-1 lead on a Jhonny Peralta home run in the top of the 4th but Carmona relinquished the lead in the bottom of the inning after issuing a lead-off walk.
Andy Pettite and Kyle Farnsworth kept the Tribe silent through the 7th as Rafael Perez held the score at 2-1. In the top of the 8th the Indians finally showed some signs of looking like the pesky 2007 incarnation of themselves.
Grady Sizemore worked a lead-off walk off of an uncharacteristically wild Joba Chamberlain. Jamey Carroll sacrificed Sizemore to second and Jhonny Peralta worked Chamberlain for another walk to put to go ahead run on base. Ryan Garko popped out badly to right on a 2-0 pitch for the second out and thoughts of another rally dying a slow death arose in every one's heads.
But Eric Wedge played the book to perfection, sending up lefty David Dellucci to pinch hit for Franklin Gutierrez against the right-handed Chamberlain. The Looch stepped up and cracked a 3-run homer over the Yankee Stadium right-field short porch for a 5-3 lead. Jensen Lewis worked a scoreless 8th and Rafael Betancourt looked like the Betancourt of old with a 1-2-3 9th to notch his 3rd save of the year.
We'll see where the Tribe goes from here but maybe this can be the spark that wakes their bats from their collective slumber. Carmona's control problems are disconcerting but the 4 scoreless innings from the bullpen more than made up for it. The 8th inning was the approach that the Indians took to the plate in 2007, let's see if they can start applying it to all 9 innings on a consistent basis.
It's Tribe Time Now. Believeland.