10/12/07 11:35 PM ET
Indians Short Hops: Game 1
Cleveland beaten on both sides of ball in ALCS opener
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
Josh Beckett outpitched left-hander C.C. Sabathia, who walked five and was hurt badly by Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz in the middle of Boston's order. Frozen moment
The Red Sox, in a 1-1 game, had the bases loaded with one out in the third when Sabathia got ahead on Ramirez, 0-2, but couldn't put him away. Instead, Sabathia threw four straight balls and Ramirez walked to force in a run. It was the first of two times that Ramirez walked with the bases loaded. Big number
85 -- That's the number of pitches Sabathia threw in 4 1/3 innings. The Red Sox succeeded in their goal of being patient and getting Sabathia's pitch count up early. Game balls
Three game balls. He gave the Indians a 1-0 lead in the top of the first by turning on a 96-mph fastball from Beckett and hitting it into the right-field seats for a home run.
Three game balls. Batting in the ninth spot in the order, Blake had a pair of doubles and scored two runs for the Indians.
Zero baseballs. It was a tough night for the Indians' leadoff hitter. He struck out in his first two at-bats, then grounded out and flied out with a runner in scoring position his next two times up. Sizemore ended 0-for-5, with his third and final strikeout coming with the bases loaded.
Sense of October
Sabathia's frustration was evident after being taken out in the fifth. He went to the bench, put on his jacket, rocked back and forth while shaking his head and muttering to himself. He expected better from himself on the big stage.
3 AB, 1 H, 1 HR, 1 RBI
Comment: He did give the Indians an early lead with his home run. But he and Victor Martinez were no match for Ramirez and Ortiz in the middle of the Indians order. The Cleveland duo was a combined 1-for-7 with a walk.
4 1/3 IP, 8 R, 7 H, 5 BB, 3 K
Comment: Sabathia just wasn't at his best. He has now issued nine unintentional walks in 9 1/3 innings in the playoffs after averaging 1.38 walks per nine innings during the regular season.
"I wasn't throwing strikes and I wasn't challenging guys. I wasn't going after guys in the zone and not being aggressive. That's what got me into trouble."
The Indians will send Fausto Carmona to the mound for Game 2 at 8:21 p.m. ET on Saturday, with Curt Schilling scheduled to pitch for the Red Sox.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.