The Guardians will play the Rays this weekend in a 3-game Wild Card series. Cleveland will host all three games against Tampa. As the Guardians are the #3 seed in the AL Central, they matchup against the #6 seeded Rays.
Game times are as follows: Friday 12:07pm, Saturday 12:07pm and if necessary, Sunday, 4:07pm.
Cleveland postseason memories
As fans gear up for postseason play for the first time since 2020, they shared with me some of their fondest playoff memories.
I’ll begin with mine, which was also a huge fan favorite. While bittersweet, the homerun by Rajai Davis in the 2016 World Series Game 7, is monumental. We all remember that feeling when Davis knocked out a two-run blast off Aroldis Chapman. His home run tied the game at six in the 8th.
Lebron James reaction was how all of Cleveland felt. Regardless of the outcome of the game, that moment still gives me chills.
Just a kid from Texas
Ryan Merritt stepped into big shoes, or should I say boots, in Game 5 of the ALCS. The rookie left-hander took the hill against the Toronto looking to help the Indians punch their ticket to the World Series. The Blue Jay’s slugger Jose Bautista told reporters before the game: “Not having seen him is something that could go either way. But with our experience in our lineup, I’m pretty sure he’s going to be shaking in his boots more than we are.”
Things didn’t go the way Bautista envisioned. Merritt shut down the Blue Jays through 4.1 innings, allowing two singles and striking out four. His efforts led to a 3-0 win over Toronto. It also led to the fans buying everything on Merritt’s bridal registry at the time.
Midges, midges everywhere
The 2007 ALDS against the Yankees will be remembered as the “bug game” due to the emergence of the Lake Erie midges. New York pitcher, Joba Chamberlain, was quite bothered by the pests. The mosquito-type bugs engulfed the reliever. Yankees’ Skipper Joe Torre sent the trainer to the mound with bug spray to repel the midges. This effort had the opposite effect, instead the bugs seemed to be drawn to the spray. The swarm of midges led to a “bug delay.”
Cleveland would go on to win the game in the 11th by a walk-off single from Travis Hafner.
Cleveland treasure: Kenny Lofton
In 1995 during Game 6 of the ALCS, Lofton gave fans a huge moment to remember. Tony Pena led off the top of the 8th with a double. Ruben Amaro came in to run for Pena. This set up a bunt situation for Lofton. All players were safe and with men on the corners, Lofton stole 2nd. Randy Johnson threw a fastball a little outside and it bounced off Dan Wilson’s glove. Amaro came home and Lofton took off like the wind. The centerfielder scored from 2nd base on that passed ball. Carlos Baerga would add a solo shot that inning giving the Indians a 4-0 win and a trip to the World Series.
Many fans who shared memories spoke of those they made with their families and have now passed down to their own. I was raised to love the game of baseball when I was three years old. It’s still America’s favorite pastime to me.
This season the Guardians have made history with the youngest team in baseball. The guys are full of energy and confidence. They are fun and have provided fans many regular season great moments. May the 2022 postseason bring Cleveland memories that we will all remember for decades.
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