The Indians-Rays game Friday night didn’t end until 2:53 AM Saturday morning. It had five hours of rain delays in all, causing the cancellation of a fireworks show and dollar dog night at Progressive Field which drew nearly 30,000 fans, which is is pretty darn good for Cleveland.
Yesterday team president Mark Shapiro apologized for the delays:
“We feel terrible about that type of circumstance for our fans,” Shapiro said. “That’s not what we’re looking to do here. We’re looking to provide the best experience possible for our fans. To have them wait around that long with that much uncertainty is something we want to work to make right.”
What “make it right” means is unclear, but the team asked fans to hold on to their ticket stubs to the game.
The reason for trying to get Friday’s game in rather than suspend or cancel it was a crappy weekend forecast in Cleveland overall which threatened both yesterday’s and today’s games too.
Rain happens. It’s good of the Indians, however, to realize that even if it happens that it can really be a pain sometimes.
Following the Astros’ decisive 4-0 shutout over the Yankees on Saturday night, the team crowned ace Justin Verlander the Most Valuable Player of the American League Championship Series. Hall of Fame outfielder and former MLB manager Frank Robinson handed the award to Verlander, who was beaming as he thanked his teammates and members of the Astros’ organization.
“I’ve got to say, it came down to the wire, and one thing kept going off in my head was Dallas,” Verlander told the crowd gathered at Minute Maid Park. “When he called me, he said that I won’t regret my decision to join the Houston Astros. And here we are right now, it’s the best feeling in the world. We’ve got four more wins to win a World Series, and I do not regret my decision to come here. This is the best feeling a player can have. So, thank you.”
Among a cast that boasted the likes of Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and Dallas Keuchel, among others, Verlander was spectacular. He locked down a complete game win in Game 2, holding the Yankees to one run on five hits and a walk and striking out a postseason-high 13 batters. In Game 6, he saved the Astros from elimination with seven scoreless innings, helping propel the club to their eventual 7-1 finish that set up their series-clinching finale on Saturday.
The 34-year-old righty also took his place among some postseason greats. Thanks to an eight-strikeout outing on Friday night, his collective 136 postseason strikeouts are good for sixth-most in MLB playoff history, just a smidgen shy of Tom Glavine (143), Mike Mussina (145), Roger Clemens (173), Andy Pettitte (183) and John Smoltz (199). He also joined Bob Gibson, Curt Schilling and Sandy Koufax as one of just four hurlers to strike out 20+ Yankees in a postseason series.