October 1, 2014

Elyria
Partly sunny
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One last mountain before the Rockies

CLEVELAND — “The Indians are going to the World Series.”

Those are the words Tribe fans have yearned to hear for a decade, words that could be bellowing out of the mouth of the team’s recognizable radio man Tom Hamilton when this night is over.

Owning a 3-1 lead in the American League Championship Series, the Indians have the opportunity to wrap things up and eliminate the favored Boston Red Sox with a win in front of the hometown fans at Jacobs Field.

To accomplish as much and avoid a return trip to Boston , the Indians will need a better postseason outing than the first two they’ve received from ace C.C. Sabathia, who will pitch against Red Sox ace Josh Beckett in a rematch between the top two American League Cy Young Award candidates.

The first bout went to Beckett in Game 1 at Fenway Park . Now, Sabathia will be back in front of what is expected to be another sell-out crowd at The Jake.

“It’s going to be loud in here. Everybody’s going to be excited,” Sabathia said. “I look to stay calm and stay in control and not try to overthrow and do so much. I think I’ll be fine.”

There’s no doubt Sabathia and the Indians are in a prime position, needing to win just one more game to Boston ’s three. That type of ALCS deficit has been erased just three times in 13 tries. The only problem? The Red Sox have done it twice, coming back to beat the Angels in 1986 and the Yankees in 2004 —  the same year Boston ended the curse of the Bambino with its first world championship since 1918.

The Indians aren’t counting on their American League championship rings just yet.

“That last thing you want to do is get ahead of yourself,” said manager Eric Wedge. “Yeah, we’d love to do it here at home, but the pace and the way we play, it needs to be the same thing we’ve been doing all year.”

“No one’s looking ahead,” said Cleveland third baseman Casey Blake. “We play a game at a time. We know our work here is not done.”