Playoff-like atmosphere at packed Progressive Field
Indians witness second sellout of 2014 on night Vizquel inducted into team's Hall
CLEVELAND -- Earlier in the week, as a light rain fell down upon Progressive Field, the upper decks were empty, save for the 20 or so children who briefly ventured up to search for a Raul Ibanez foul ball. On Saturday, those same seats had a fan packed in each one as a sellout crowd engendered a playoff-like atmosphere among the Indians' faithful.
The Tribe would fall, 5-4, to the Tigers in extra innings. But the crowd of 40,712 -- no doubt influenced by Omar Vizquel's Indians Hall of Fame induction ceremony -- created a vibe the Cleveland players relished as they tied the game in the ninth inning and attempted to do the same in the 10th.
"It was awesome," starting pitcher Trevor Bauer said. "Obviously the atmosphere, the feel around the ballpark, there was this energy you kind of could sense throughout the whole game. It's definitely fun, and hopefully that continues to happen more as the season goes along."
For the Indians, it was just their second sellout crowd of 2014, with the previous one coming in the team's home opener against the Twins on April 4. The last time the Tribe drew an audience of that magnitude in a non-Opening Day or playoff setting was July 5, 2013, against the Tigers.
On Friday, the Indians estimated an attendance total of 33,545, which was the third-largest turnout of the season.
"It was fantastic, the last two nights," reliever Cody Allen said. "It's great to play in front of a crowd like that. Unfortunately, we haven't been able to pull out a win for them. The fans were outstanding tonight and yesterday. They were on their feet the entire game."
The Indians are now 23-14 at Progressive Field this year, which is the second-best home record behind Oakland (24-14) in the American League. However, through the first 35 home games, the team has drawn 15,888 fans per contest, according to ESPN, which is the worst mark in the Major Leagues.
Alec Shirkey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.