Thanks to Oakland Athletics designated hitter Jack Cust, Indians closer Joe Borowski cussed, Tribe manager Eric Wedge cussed, everyone in the Indians dugout cussed -- heck, an entire city cussed.
Curses, foiled again.
This time it actually was a blown save, since Borowski came into the game with a two-run lead instead of a four-run lead. Since that disaster at Yankee Stadium, Borowski had picked up saves in seven of nine appearances, giving up just two runs in 8.1 innings pitched.
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, up comes Milton Bradley. Still mad that Eric Wedge dismissed him at the beginning of the 2004 season, Bradley stroked a game-tying homer off Borowski with two outs in the ninth. Two more hits knocked out Borowski and brought in reliever Fernando Cabrera. Then came Babe Ruth, errrrr, Jack Cust, who socked his sixth homer in 26 at-bats to win the game for Oakland.
All this after Borowski retired the first two in the ninth and put two strikes on Eric Chavez. It's the second time this season the Tribe's closer has melted like string cheese in an oven after getting to this point. How many true championship contenders have blown more than one multiple-run lead in the ninth with two outs, no one on, and an 0-2 count on the batter. The Tribe has snatched defeat from the jaws of victory twice in such fashion this year.
It's not all bad. The Detroit Tigers were pummelled last night, leaving the Tribe just a game and a half out of first place in the AL Central with the league's third-best record. But how many games can a team just give away like quarters to a beggar and expect to compete for a playoff spot? Hey, teams lose games in the ninth. Happens all the time. Even Mariano Rivera's wheels have come off a bit this season. But with two outs, no one on, an 0-2 count on the batter, and a multiple-run lead? That just can't happen.
And it better not again.