Red Right 88

In Cleveland, hope dies last

We can be heroes, just for one day

“Though nothing will drive them away
We can beat them, just for one day

We can be heroes, just for one day

We have no doubt that it played out just the way Cleveland Indians manager Manny Acta planned it.

Trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the seventh with two outs Monday night against the Yankees, the Tribe was on the verge of wasting a beautiful start from Josh Tomlin.

And that’s when the most unlikely of heroes stepped up to save the day.

First, Lonnie Chisenhall was given a second chance after Alex Rodriguez and Brett Gardner couldn’t figure out how to catch a routine pop-up. Chisenhall ended up working A.J. Burnett for a walk, joining Grady Sizemore as Tribe base runners.

Then Shelly Duncan had a fantastic at bat (we know!) battling back from an 0-2 count against Burnett before dropping a single into right field to score Sizemore.

Finally, Austin Kearns, of the .192, two RBI Kearns, dropped a three-run homer on the Yankees to give the Tribe the lead.

“That’s what we’ve been able to do — find heroes just about every day,” Acta said in published reports.

As unlikely as Kearns’ heroics were, Tomlin’s performance was the real story of the game.

Tomlin is now 10-4 with an ERA of 3.78 – but somehow was not worthy of being an All Star. He’s doing it with a below-average fastball, but can throw four pitches well and mixes them up. He also leads the majors with 1.07 walks per nine innings.

In other words, he’s a pitcher, rather than a thrower. Maybe the Indians should arrange to have Fausto Carmona spend some time with Tomlin over the All-Star break.

Tomlin has been money and, along with Carlos Carrasco and Justin Masterson, is a big part of why the Tribe is still in first place despite a horrible month of June.

“Tomlin deserved that … He continues to amaze everybody. He doesn’t back down from anyone,” Acta said in published reports.

As for the All Star snub, it’s not just Tomlin, but Carrasco deserved a spot as well. But we’re actually OK with them not being included. We’d rather they take the time to rest up for what should be a crazy second-half of the season.

Carrasco gets to show his stuff tonight against the Evil Empire.

We can’t wait to see who wants to be a hero, if just one day.

(Photo by The Associated Press)

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