This post first appeared on BaseballDigest.com
Following the epic one game tie-breaker between the Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers to determine the American League Central champion, Orlando Cabrera told the sideline reporter that it was the greatest game that he had ever played in.
Perhaps O-Cab was caught in the moment of victory, or maybe he really felt that he had just played in the best game of his life. However, I must say that Orlando Cabrera was involved in several games that several millions of Red Sox fans would argue were more impressive than winning the division title. Namely, the 2004 postseason and World Series championship hoisted by the Boston Red Sox!
Since 2004, Orlando Cabrera has made the postseason every season except for 2006. He has appeared with the Red Sox, Angels, White Sox, and now the Twins. Biased as I may be, statistically Cabrera’s best postseason performance(2009 excluded due to only 1 game played) came with the Red Sox in 2004.
In 2007, Orlando Cabrera knocked in a run during the Angels’ only real threat during that season’s ALDS versus the Red Sox. For 3 innings, the Angels lead during Game 2. The Red Sox tied it in the 5th and won it with a walk off 3 run home run by then left fielder Manny Ramirez. For a brief moment, Orlando Cabrera gave the Angels a chance; a chance that ended up slipping away.
Cabrera has moved on from the Angels, and Erick Aybar now occupies the shortstop position for Anaheim. In 19 at bats spanning 5 games during the 2007-2008 ALDS’ versus the Red Sox, the Angels shortstop is hitting .105 with 2 hits. However, Aybar drove in the run that gave the Angels the lead in their 5-4 Game 3 win in last year’s ALDS.
Maybe Aybar will come through in the clutchlike he has in the past, and like Cabrera has done now for several teams, but the hope here is that Aybar and Angels go quietly into the October night.
Here we go, Red Sox!