The Full Count: Indians on the doorstep


One Win Away: We are one game away from the network’s worst nightmare-an Indians-Rockies World Series. After getting crushed in Game 1 by the seemingly invincible Red Sox, the Indians gave the series a huge momentum change by scoring 7 runs in the 11th inning of Game 2. Since then, Cleveland has been nearly unstoppable. They won Game 3 to take the series lead, and on Tuesday they beat the Red Sox with ease to extend their lead to a commanding 3-1. They won 7-3 after a great performance from Paul Byrd and a seven-run fifth inning. Tim Wakefield was charged with five runs in the inning after pitching very well at the start of the game. Now the Red Sox need to win another Beckett-Sabathia matchup on Thursday or they’ll be going home.

One of the reasons the Indians have gotten this far is the pitching of Byrd and Jake Westbrook, who have actually performed better than Sabathia and Fausto Carmona this series. But the best pitching by the Indians has come from the bullpen, especially the sensational Rafael Betancourt. Betancourt has shut opponents out in 7 innings of relief this postseason. Every time he has appeared, the Indians have won. On Tuesday Betancourt was perfect through two innings to seal the deal. The Red Sox now find themselves back where they were in 2004–desperately needing a win to stay alive. If they win game 5, the series will go back to Boston–though Cleveland has shown that they can win there as well. According to ESPN.com, in MLB history only 10 teams out of 65 have come back from a 3-1 deficit. 34 of those teams lost in five games, as I predict the Red Sox will do as Sabathia bounces back from a weak earlier performance this series.

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