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Game Thread: October 18, 2007

Boston at Cleveland, 8:07 PM (FOX)
American League Championship Series, Game 4 (CLE 3-1)

Starting Pitchers:

Boston: Josh Beckett (200.2 IP, 3.27 ERA, 120 PRC)
Cleveland: C.C. Sabathia (241.0 IP, 3.21 ERA, 131 PRC)

The Indians have only ever won two postseason series in front of their home fans, the 1920 World Series and the 1997 Division Series.  I was at one of those series, and though I won't be there tonight, I will be well represented:  Both my parents, all three of my brothers and their wives and fiancé will all be right around first base.  Which is just is well, because they're totally useless in a Game Thread.

I think we're going to see a clinch tonight, but even if we don't there's nothing to worry about.  The Indians clinch postseason series in Boston pretty much routinely:  1948 World Series, 1995 Division Series and 1998 Division Series.  Hell, over the past 90 years, the Indians have clinched in Boston more often than the Red Sox themselves have.  You could look it up.

Now about C.C.  One, I'm certain that the opportunity to clinch this thing is something C.C. relishes, and I'm certain he realizes that having that opportunity tonight in particular was not earned by him, but rather given to him by his teammates.  One can only hope that this has strengthened his sense of brotherhood in a way that will count when it's time to talk contract again.

Two, these were not his two worst consecutive starts of the season.  His worst straddled the All-Star break, July 5 and 14, when he gave up 13 runs over 11 innings to the Tigers and Royals -- and I only mention this to remind everyone, even an ace having a Cy Young-worthy season will occasionally, well, you know.  And just because he got roughed up twice doesn't mean he isn't still the same ace, still C.C. 2007.

Be confident.  This is his his night, and this is our year.