An instant classic ends in heartbreak and elimination
In a game that will go down as one of the most dramatic postseason games’ in MLB history, the Cleveland Indians saw their 2020 season end in heartbreak.
After dropping Game 1 of a best-of-three Wild Card series to the New York Yankees, the Tribe entered Game 2 of the series with their backs against the wall.
The game got off to a wild start as after a rain delay pushed first pitch back from 7:00 to 7:50 p.m., Cleveland began to rally in the bottom of the first as Ramirez hit an RBI-double off Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka to give the Tribe an early 1-0 lead. Then the rain began to fall again, leading to a 45-minute rain delay.
After the delay, the Indians picked up right where they left off as Naylor hit a two-run double and Perez hit an RBI single to give the Tribe a 4-0 lead.
In the top of the fourth, the Bombers knocked Carrasco out of the game, leaving James Karinchak with a bases-loaded no-out jam. This would not end well for the young right-hander as former Indian Gio Urshela lifted a grand slam to left-center to put the Yankees in front 5-4.
New York would extend the lead to 6-4 in the top of the fifth, but the Tribe showed no signs of quitting. Ramirez answered back with a two-run double off Yankee reliever Chad Green in the bottom of the fifth to even the game at six.
In the bottom of the seventh, Jordan Luplow delivered a clutch two-out, pinch-hit two-run double to tie the game and in the bottom of the eighth, the Tribe pulled ahead with an RBI single from Hernandez.
With a one-run lead, the Indians called on closer Brad Hand who was the only reliever in baseball during the 2020 regular season not to blow a save. That streak would come to a crushing end, as the Yankees loaded the bases with nobody out. Hand would strikeout Brett Gardner but with one-out, Sanchez tied the game with a sac-fly.
It appeared Hand was set to escape the inning with the game tied but with two strikes, DJ LeMahieu delivered an RBI single to put the Yankees ahead 10-9. This time, there would be no comeback from the Indians as Aroldis Chapman struck out three in the ninth to end the Indians’ season.
With a game that lasted nearly five hours (4:50) and featured four lead changes being the end of the Indians season, there’s no competition in naming this the worst loss of the year.
Honorable Mention: Cubs walk-off Tribe handing Indians eighth straight loss