Another milestone is met as Bobby’s banner year rolls on
Bobby Wick’s best-case scenario at the beginning of the season (according to the experts) was to will his reconstructed elbow through 30 or so saves with minimal time on the DL, then to pick up his last check, retire and ride off into the sunset.
But that isn’t Bob Wickman’s way. He
didn’t put in all that grueling rehab work to meekly hang on and limp away in
October. “I intend to let ‘er rip.” Bob said of his elbow in spring
training. “If she goes, she goes. Then I’ll walk away knowing I did all that
I could do.”
Leading up to his 200th career
save on August 7th, he had appeared in 11 of the Indians’ past 15
games, turning 8 of those appearances into saves. Wick is now second in saves in
team history at 110; 31-for-36 on the year as it stands today.
#200 came, unfortunately, on the road at
Comerica against the Tigers. After the Indians blundered their way to a 5-0
deficit with 4 errors in the second inning, the Tribe began their comeback with
dingers by Casey Blake and Grady Sizemore in the fifth to make it 6-3, then
pulled ahead on Ronnie Belliard’s 3 run shot in the eighth.
The Wickster came on in the bottom of the
ninth to face the Tigers’ 3,4, and 5 hitters with a 6-5 lead. Using his slider
to perfection, our hero struck out Chris Shelton and Rondell White looking, with
a weak groundout of Magglio Ordonez sandwiched in between. After throwing 16
pitches, Bob accepted his trophy ball from catcher Josh Bard and playfully
tossed it as he walked to the victory line. He received a champagne toast from
his teammates after the game.
His American League leading 31st
save sealed a three game sweep of Detroit, leaving the Tribe 4
1/2 games out in the wild-card race
with 50 left to play.
Instead of being in position to be lambasted by his critics as “another has-been who held on too long,” the Indians All-Star closer is leading his team into the thick of the wild-card race with his guns blazing. But that doesn’t surprise Wick’s Warriors at all. We all know that our guy has made a career out of shutting up his detractors and proving them wrong. J. Ladd – 8/8/05