News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

The Holden Arboretum

Levin Furniture

Northeast Ohio Medical University


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Sports


If history is any indication, this is the Indians' year
The last time the Indians played a one-game playoff was 1948, the year they won the World Series
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
The Indians went 21-6 in September to pass Texas and Tampa Bay to win the top wild card spot.
Download (WKSU Only)

The Cleveland Indians have done the improbable this season: Won 92 games and made the playoffs for the first time in six years. But, as quickly as the excitement has built in Cleveland, it could all end tonight, as the Tribe plays one game against the Tamp Bay Rays at Progressive Field for the American League wild card. 

WKSU commentator Terry Pluto talks about the Tribe's remarkable September, the last time they were in a one-game playoff situation and what we can expect from the Rays.

LISTEN: Terry Pluto commentary: Indians wild card game

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:51)


A September to remember
This Indians finished out the season on a 10-game winning streak – and a falter during any one of those could have cost them a shot at the wild card.

“But this pressure will be just a a little bit different for them...because in effect this is the the whole baseball nation watching,” Terry Pluto says. Tonight’s game is the only one in baseball, and “you either win this game or it’s over.”

The Indians have the home-field advantage and “probably think they can beat  anyone," Pluto says – with reason. The team was 51-30 during the regular season and won 11 of those games with their last at bats.

“(But) Tampa Bay’s pretty good. It’s a tough one.”

Putting their faith in a rookie
With starter Justin Masterson injured and limited to just a few innings, and Ubaldo Jiminez pitching Sunday, the Indians are starting rookie pitcher Danny Salazar. Pluto says Salazar has turned in performances that justify Manager Terry Francona making that choice.

“Salazar has this tremendous stuff, 96 mph fastball, 98.” And last month, he put that fastball to use in front of a sell-out crowd in Detroit.

“Salazar pitched against I would say the best lineup in the American League on the road in front of a crowd that doesn’t like you” – and won.

History bodes well for Tribe in one-game playoffs
The last time the Indians fate hung on a one-game postseason series was in 1948, when Cleveland and Boston finished with identical 96-58 records – in the days before the American League has wild cards and division championships.

The Indians “played an afternoon game in Cleveland, took 12-hour train ride to Boston to play an afternoon game the next day. They had to walk 10 blocks from the train station in Boston to their hotel. They were there for about an hour and then just walked over to Fenway.”

Where, they beat Boston, and then went on to beat the Boston Braves to win the World Series.  

From the perspective of 65 years later, Pluto says it’s easy for fans to think of Cleveland as a dominant team then, “but they were one game away from not getting to the World Series.”

Pluto acknowledges it could be an omen. But he’s also a realist.

A tough test tonight
“Even if I weren’t a skeptical beaten-down Cleveland fan over the years, Tampa would scare me. They have really good pitching. They’ve been in the playoffs for four of the last six years. They’ve always been kind of the little team that could. They may not win the title, but they make everyone’s life miserable.

“It’s a scary game, but the point is: It’s a big game and a meaningful game and a game I never thought we’d see at this point for the Indians.”

Listen: Pluto on Browns QB Brian Hoyer
Other options:
MP3 Download
(3:28)

Related WKSU Stories

Two big wins for Cleveland sports fans
Monday, September 30, 2013

Manager Francona says there is no single MVP this Indians season
Monday, September 30, 2013

Indians fans start to say, 'Maybe this year'
Sunday, September 29, 2013

Pluto: Can Cleveland sports fans handle winning?
Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Indians may return to playoffs, but fans will return...when?
Monday, September 23, 2013

Pluto: What it will take for the Tribe to play in October
Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook





Stories with Recent Comments

The Black Keys guitar tech's moment in the spotlight
Nice job, Vivian. It's always nice to hear about the unsung heroes getting their due! Thank you, Chuck Johnston (Full disclosure - I'm a friend of the Carney fa...

Akron's Tuba Christmas: A resounding blast of holiday spirit
Nice piece, Vivian! Looking forward to hearing you move from flute to tuba on Saturday. Love hearing your interviews and this seemed extra special since I kno...

Cleveland Hugo Boss workers are fighting for their jobs again
Bro. Ginard; I support your effert to keep your jobs, I understand all about concesions, I was a Union offical from 1965 until 1991 and the company th...

Asian Carp control could benefit from bill passed by House, heading to the Senate
help me fight the battle against invasive carp by method of harvest

Ohio's Portman supports lifting limits on party political money
If Portman was legitimately concerned about outside groups influence on elections he would have supported the DISCLOSE act. Instead he helped block it being bro...

Study shows trade with China has cost more than 3 million U.S. jobs
I disagree with James Dorn! If we don't change the playing field and make it a fair competition the whole US industry will be weaker and weaker. Eventually all ...

Video of Cleveland police shooting a 12-year-old is critical to the investigation
While I think this is a very unfortunate, the fact is that police are trained to aim for the large mass of a human to stop them. If they aimed for the leg it w...

Wayne County teacher says he was fired for criticizing dairy
This is bull crap Smithville Schools have changed ever since the new school I'm so ashamed at the district I wish I could pick my house up and move it to anothe...

White Castle is closing its five Northeast Ohio restaurants
you should open a white castle in logan ohio.i'm pretty sure you disappointed,thank you...

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University