July 31, 2009 – Indians Walkoff Win in the 13th after Trading Lee and Martinez
The Indians had just traded Cy Young winner Cliff Lee to the Phillies and fan favorite Ryan Garko to the Giants. In the afternoon prior to Game 103, the Indians traded beloved catcher and clubhouse leader Victor Martinez to the Red Sox for Justin Masterson, Nick Hagadone, and Bryan Price. The Indians were classic sellers at the trade deadline, as they were 43 and 60 going into July 31st and 11 games behind the division-leading Tigers at the trade deadline.
Those same Tigers were in town for a Friday night contest at Progressive Field. Fausto Carmona throwing against Detroit’s Edwin Jackson. Both pitchers took a minute to find their footing. Fausto gave up two runs on three hits in the top of the first. Asdrubal Cabrera battled Jackson through a full count, sending the ninth pitch of the at bat over the right field wall for a two-run homer.
Shin-Soo Choo gave the Tribe a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the fourth when he doubled in Trevor Crowe, who had reached on an error to lead off the inning.
Taiwainese reliever Fu-Te Ni came in to pitch for the Tigers in the bottom of the sixth. He gave up a leadoff single to Trevor Crowe and then a line-drive RBI double to Asdrubal Cabrera. After hitting Choo in the next at bat, Ni was pulled with the score 4-2.
Brandon Inge closed the gap for Detroit, poking a ground ball single into center that scored Maglio Ordonez to make it a 4-3 ballgame.
Trevor Crowe led off the bottom of the eighth with a triple–his third hit of the night. Grady Sizemore drove him in with a single through the right side of the infield to extend the lead to 5-3.
The Indians had acquired Kerry Wood as a free agent to be their closer after the steep decline of Joe Borowski in 2008. Wood had secured fourteen saves with the Tribe to date. He gave up a line drive single to left to Placido Palanco to lead off the bottom of the ninth. Carlos Guillen stepped in and cranked Kerry’s 3-1 pitch deep into right center. Although he retired the next three Tigers on eight pitches, he was credited with his fifth blown save of the season and the game went to extra innings.
Tomo Okha pitched some very solid relief for the Tribe, scattering four hits across his four innings pitched.
Johnny Perralta knocked a line drive down the right field line for a double to lead off the bottom of the 13th. Utility man Jamey Carroll, who had pinch run for Travis Hafner in the bottom of the ninth, stepped in. Carroll sliced a single just inside the first base bag to drive in Perralta and give the Tribe an emotional walkoff win.
The next day, a Victor Martinez bobblehead promotion was planned for Game 104. Despite V-Mart’s departure the bobbleheads were distributed as planned. Six days later, the promotional team went ahead with a Victor Martinez chest protector backpack giveaway–a case study in why not to schedule player-specific promotions the week after the trade deadline.