NEW YORK -- Had you arrived late to Yankee Stadium on Saturday, you might have thought that new 101-foot-by-59-foot scoreboard in center field was already malfunctioning.
But what the Indians did in their 14-run second inning and the rest of this ballgame was real. They unloaded on Yankee pitching to post a 22-4 blowout victory, cranking out 25 hits, including six homers, tying a club record with 50 total bases, notching a club record with 52 at-bats and stunning the 45,167 in attendance.
Asdrubal Cabrera cranked out his first career grand slam, and Mark DeRosa tied a career high with six RBIs. Yet that merely scratches the surface of the Indians' offensive highlights. Every member of the starting lineup contributed at least one hit and one run scored.
It was an exorbitant display befitting this $1.5 billion monument to excess.
"Today was an aberration," DeRosa said. "This was one of those games that got away from [the Yankees]."
Did it ever.
The Yankees wanted to bring the mystique of their beloved old Cathedral into this new ballpark, but the Tribe brought back a painful memory for the Yanks and their fans in this game. It marked the first time the Indians put up 20 runs in a game since their 22-0 victory at old Yankee Stadium on Aug. 31, 2004.
As if the ridiculous second -- which tied a Tribe record for a single inning's output and set a record for the most runs and hits (13) allowed by the Yankees in one inning -- against Chien-Ming Wang and Anthony Claggett wasn't enough, the Indians just kept going against the New York 'pen. By the time all was said and done in this nearly four-hour affair, the Yankees had thrown 226 pitches.
"Our guys did a good job fighting through at-bats," said manager Eric Wedge, whose 500th career victory was certainly a memorable one. "We have a combination of veteran players and younger guys, and they do a good job paying attention to their teammates' at-bats and taking that into their own at-bats."
And they made starter Fausto Carmona's job embarrassingly easy. Still trying to refine the command of his sinking fastball, Carmona was able to treat this start like something akin to a Spring Training work day. Would Carmona like that kind of support every time out?
"I want it!" he said with a big smile. "Come on! Everybody wants it!"
Carmona went six innings, allowing four runs on six hits with four walks and a strikeout. He's walked more batters (10) than he's struck out (eight) this season, so the walks in this one are a concern, particularly given the run support he was afforded. Still, Wedge was pleased with what he saw from Carmona after the right-hander gave up a two-run homer to Mark Teixeira in the first.
"They got a couple early, and it was important for him to keep moving forward," Wedge said. "We saw some good things from him."
Second to None
|Hafner||Wang||Single to 3B||Scored (Choo)|
|Peralta||Wang||Single to LF||Scored (Choo)|
|Choo||Wang||Homer to LF||Scored (Choo)|
|Garko||Wang||Popout to C||First out|
|Francisco||Wang||Double to LF||Scored (Cabrera)|
|Cabrera||Wang||Single to CF||Scored (DeRosa)|
|Sizemore||Wang||Double to RF||Scored (DeRosa)|
|DeRosa||Wang||Double to RF||Scored (Martinez)|
|Martinez||Wang||Single to RF||Scored (Peralta)|
|Hafner||Claggett||Double to CF||Scored (Peralta)|
|Peralta||Claggett||Double to CF||Scored (Cabrera)|
|Garko||Claggett||Single to CF||Scored (Cabrera)|
|Cabrera||Claggett||Homer to RF||Scored (Cabrera)|
|Sizemore||Claggett||Homer to RF||Scored (Sizemore)|
And Wedge saw some incredible things from his offense.
The players were still shaking their heads after the 37-minute, 14-run outburst in the second, in which Shin-Soo Choo hit a three-run homer, Cabrera cleared the loaded bases, Grady Sizemore hit a solo shot, DeRosa and Jhonny Peralta each had a two-run double and Cabrera and Victor Martinez each had an RBI single. The key to the inning was waiting for the struggling Wang to elevate his sinker, and he did so often.
"Usually, [Wang] throws 94-96 [mph]," Choo said. "Today, he was 88-90. He still had good movement with his sinker. But before the game, the hitting coach [Derek Shelton] said to look middle away."
Wang threw middle away enough to be put away early, and the Indians kept unloading on Claggett and anybody else the Yankees threw their way. The Tribe put up a run each in the third and fourth before DeRosa and Martinez went deep on consecutive pitches from Edwar Ramirez in the fifth to reach the 20-run mark. Travis Hafner's solo shot off Jose Veres in the eighth and Trevor Crowe's RBI single off Damaso Marte in the ninth made it 22-4.
"We did a good job not missing pitches," Wedge said.
The 14 runs set a Major League record for the most in the second inning. The record was 13, and it was last accomplished, ironically, by the Yankees exactly four years ago against Tampa Bay. The Yanks went on to win, 19-8, at the old Yankee Stadium on April 18, 2005.
The only other time the Indians have recorded 50 total bases was in a July 16, 2004, game at Seattle. The six home runs were their most since hitting six against the Yanks on July 4, 2006.
All historical context aside, what the Indians are doing, from an offensive standpoint, in this series is pretty special. Thanks to Saturday's efforts and the nine-run seventh they strung together Thursday, they have outscored the Yankees 37-12 in the first three games of the four-game set.
"After a tough loss [Friday]," DeRosa said, "to have an offensive outburst like that feels good. If you play this game long enough, you're going to experience things you've never dreamed of, both good and bad."
What transpired in this one was an experience the Tribe hitters -- and the Yankees pitchers -- won't soon forget.
Indians use 14-run frame to rout YanksCabrera hits first career grand slam; DeRosa drives in six
|Cleveland 22, NY Yankees 4|| |
NY Yankees (6-6)
|Standings thru 4/18/09 | Recap: CLE | NYY | Wrap | Gameday|