2007 American League Championship Series

The 2007 American League Championship Series (ALCS), the second round of the 2007 American League playoffs, began on October 12 and ended on October 21. It was a best-of-seven series, with the East Division champion Boston Red Sox facing the Central Division champion Cleveland Indians. The Red Sox came back from a 3–1 deficit to defeat the Indians 4–3, outscoring them 30–5 over the final three games of the Series.

The Red Sox had swept the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in three games in the AL Division Series, while the Indians had defeated the New York Yankees three games to one. The series marks the fourth postseason meeting of the two teams, following the 1995 and 1998 AL Division Series, both of which were won by the Indians, and the 1999 ALDS, won by the Red Sox (in a similar fashion to this series). It was the eighth ALCS appearance for Boston, and the fourth for Cleveland.

The Red Sox would go on to sweep the Colorado Rockies in the World Series, winning their seventh World Series championship.

The series was broadcast on Fox television.

2007 American League Championship Series
2007 ALCS Logo
Teams
Team (Wins) Manager Season
Boston Red Sox (4) Terry Francona 96–66, .593, GA: 2
Cleveland Indians (3) Eric Wedge 96–66, .593, GA: 8
DatesOctober 12–21
MVPJosh Beckett (Boston)
UmpiresRandy Marsh, Kerwin Danley, Brian Gorman, Paul Emmel, Gary Cederstrom, Dana DeMuth[1]
ALDS
Broadcast
TelevisionFox (United States)
MLB International (International)
TV announcersJoe Buck and Tim McCarver (Fox)
Dave O'Brien and Rick Sutcliffe (MLB International)
RadioESPN
Radio announcersJon Miller and Joe Morgan

Summary

Boston Red Sox vs. Cleveland Indians

Boston won the series, 4–3.

Game Date Score Location Time Attendance 
1 October 12 Cleveland Indians – 3, Boston Red Sox – 10 Fenway Park 3:35 36,986[2] 
2 October 13 Cleveland Indians – 13, Boston Red Sox – 6 (11 innings) Fenway Park 5:14 37,051[3] 
3 October 15 Boston Red Sox – 2, Cleveland Indians – 4 Jacobs Field 3:28 44,402[4] 
4 October 16 Boston Red Sox – 3, Cleveland Indians – 7 Jacobs Field 3:12 44,008[5] 
5 October 18 Boston Red Sox – 7, Cleveland Indians – 1 Jacobs Field 3:46 44,588[6] 
6 October 20 Cleveland Indians – 2, Boston Red Sox – 12 Fenway Park 3:09 37,163[7] 
7 October 21 Cleveland Indians – 2, Boston Red Sox – 11 Fenway Park 3:33 37,165[8]

Game summaries

Game 1

Friday, October 12, 2007 at Fenway Park in Boston

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Cleveland 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 3 8 0
Boston 1 0 4 0 3 2 0 0 X 10 12 0
WP: Josh Beckett (1–0)   LP: CC Sabathia (0–1)
Home runs:
CLE: Travis Hafner (1)
BOS: None

In Game 1, the Cleveland Indians took the lead when Travis Hafner hit a home run to deep right field in the first inning against Josh Beckett, who retired the next ten batters in a row, finishing by striking out seven while allowing only two runs in six innings pitched. The Red Sox tied the game in the bottom of the inning off of CC Sabathia on three straight one-out singles by Kevin Youkilis, David Ortiz, and Manny Ramirez. In the third, the Red Sox loaded the bases with one out on a double, walk, and hit by pitch before Ramirez walked to force in a run, then Mike Lowell's ground-rule double scored two more. After Bobby Kielty was intentionally walked, Jason Varitek's groundout put Boston up 5-1. In the fifth, the Red Sox again loaded the bases on a single and two walks when Kielty's single scored two with Lowell being tagged out at third. Jensen Lewis relieved Sabathia and allowed an RBI double to Varitek. Sabathia was charged with eight runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings. Casey Blake doubled to lead off the top of the sixth and scored on Asdrúbal Cabrera's single one out later. Dustin Pedroia and Youkilis hit back-to-back singles to lead off the bottom of the sixth. Aaron Fultz relieved Lewis and walked two to load the bases and force in a run. Tom Mastny relieved Fultz and allowed a sacrifice fly to Lowell to put the Red Sox up 10-2. The Indians scored their last run in the top of the eighth off of Javier López when Blake hit a leadoff double, moved to third on a fly out, and scored on Cabrera's sacrifice fly. They loaded the bases with two outs off of Éric Gagné in the ninth, but Grady Sizemore struck out on a full count to end the game as the Red Sox went up 1-0 in the series.

Game 2

Saturday, October 13, 2007 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 R H E
Cleveland 1 0 0 3 1 1 0 0 0 0 7 13 17 0
Boston 0 0 3 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 10 0
WP: Tom Mastny (1–0)   LP: Éric Gagné (0–1)
Home runs:
CLE: Jhonny Peralta (1), Grady Sizemore (1), Franklin Gutiérrez (1)
BOS: Manny Ramírez (1), Mike Lowell (1)

Game 2 was billed as a matchup of aces in nineteen-game winner Fausto Carmona and veteran postseason ace Curt Schilling. However, both starters were out by the fifth as both offenses took charge in what evolved into an eleven-inning, run-scoring saga that clocked in at 5 hours and 14 minutes. After the Indians took the lead in the first on a Victor Martinez RBI double after a leadoff double by Grady Sizemore, the Red Sox loaded the bases in the third on two singles and a walk before a Manny Ramírez walk tied the game, then Mike Lowell's two-run single put them up 3–1. In the top of the fourth, Jhonny Peralta hit a three-run blast into the camera well in center field off Schilling, giving the Indians a 4–3 lead. Sizemore's home run next inning made it 5–3 Indians. In the bottom of the inning, Manny Ramirez hit an opposite-field two-run home run to tie the game followed by a go-ahead Mike Lowell home run over the Green Monster, both off Indians reliever Rafael Pérez. In the top of the sixth, Peralta drew a leadoff walk off of reliever Manny Delcarmen, moved to third on a single and scored on Franklin Gutierrez's groundout to tie the game 6–6. Each team's bullpen put up scoreless frames after the sixth inning, leading to extra innings. The eleventh inning proved to be a historic one as Cleveland took advantage by scoring seven runs off a shaky Sox bullpen, a postseason record for runs in an extra inning by one team. One of the highlights was the go-ahead RBI base hit by former Red Sox right fielder Trot Nixon off Boston's lefty specialist Javier López after a one-out and single off of Eric Gagne. What made the base hit significant was that Nixon has historically struggled against left-handed pitching, but manager Eric Wedge left Nixon in to hit against López, and the move paid off. A wild pitch allowed another run to score. After retiring Víctor Martínez, López gave up a single to Ryan Garko and was lifted for Jon Lester, the only pitcher left in the Boston bullpen. Lester did not fare much better; Peralta greeted him with a run-scoring double, which was followed one out later by Franklin Gutiérrez's three-run homer, capping the scoring as the Indians took Game 2 by a score of 13–6, tying the series heading to Cleveland.

Game 3

Monday, October 15, 2007 at Jacobs Field in Cleveland, Ohio

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Boston 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 7 0
Cleveland 0 2 0 0 2 0 0 0 X 4 6 1
WP: Jake Westbrook (1–0)   LP: Daisuke Matsuzaka (0–1)   Sv: Joe Borowski (1)
Home runs:
BOS: Jason Varitek (1)
CLE: Kenny Lofton (1)

Coming off a lopsided 13–6 loss in eleven innings, Boston sent Daisuke Matsuzaka to the mound to face off with Jake Westbrook for Game 3 at Jacobs Field. Kenny Lofton's two-run home run gave the Indians a 2–0 lead in the second inning. Dice-K would be knocked out after allowing RBI singles to Asdrúbal Cabrera and Travis Hafner to make it 4–0 in the fifth inning. Jason Varitek's two-run home run in the seventh inning off Westbrook cut the lead to 4–2, but the Sox could get no closer as Cleveland's closer Joe Borowski, who led the AL in saves during the regular season, shut the door on the Sox, giving the Indians a 2–1 lead in the series.

Game 4

Tuesday, October 16, 2007 at Jacobs Field in Cleveland, Ohio

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Boston 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 3 8 1
Cleveland 0 0 0 0 7 0 0 0 X 7 9 0
WP: Paul Byrd (1–0)   LP: Tim Wakefield (0–1)
Home runs:
BOS: Kevin Youkilis (1), David Ortiz (1), Manny Ramírez (2)
CLE: Casey Blake (1), Jhonny Peralta (2)

After being confounded for four innings by Tim Wakefield's knuckleball, the Indians scored seven runs in the bottom of the fifth in Game 4. Casey Blake led off the inning with a homer off Wakefield, Franklin Gutiérrez singled, Kelly Shoppach was hit by a pitch, and Grady Sizemore reached on a fielder's choice. After Kevin Youkilis bobbled and dropped a foul ball, Asdrúbal Cabrera reached on an infield single as Gutiérrez scored. Travis Hafner struck out, and then Víctor Martínez hit an RBI single to left. At that point, Boston skipper Terry Francona yanked Wakefield for reliever Manny Delcarmen, who gave up an opposite-field home run to Jhonny Peralta on a 2–1 pitch. Kenny Lofton followed with a single, then stole second—his 34th career postseason stolen base, passing Rickey Henderson for first place on the all-time list—and scored on Blake's second base hit of the inning. Gutiérrez struck out to end the inning, but the Indians had already scored seven runs—the second time in this series in which the Indians plated seven in one inning. This also marks the third consecutive game in this ALCS wherein Boston's starter lasted only ​4 23 innings.
The Red Sox answered immediately when Youkilis and David Ortiz hit back-to-back homers, chasing Indians starter Paul Byrd in favor of rookie reliever Jensen Lewis. Manny Ramírez followed with another homer—the Red Sox' third consecutive home run, something that had never before been accomplished in LCS history—in the top of the sixth inning. However, that would be all the offense the Red Sox could muster as the Indians took a three games to one lead in the series behind Lewis and fellow reliever Rafael Betancourt.

Game 5

Thursday, October 18, 2007 at Jacobs Field in Cleveland, Ohio

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Boston 1 0 1 0 0 0 2 3 0 7 12 1
Cleveland 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 6 1
WP: Josh Beckett (2–0)   LP: CC Sabathia (0–2)
Home runs:
BOS: Kevin Youkilis (2)
CLE: None

Danielle Peck was invited by the Cleveland Indians to sing the National Anthem prior to Game 5 of the American League Championship Series between the Red Sox and Indians.[9] Beckett was the starting pitcher in that game, and some Red Sox fans theorized that her invitation was an attempt by the Indians organization to distract Beckett, since the pair had dated the previous summer. The Indians denied this claim. Cleveland also played the All American Rejects hit song "It Ends Tonight" before the game, predicting that the Indians would win and eliminate the Red Sox that evening. Facing elimination in Game 5, the Sox struck first with a home run from Kevin Youkilis in the top of the first inning off of CC Sabathia. The Indians answered right away, putting runners on first and third with nobody out but could only muster one run on Travis Hafner grounding into a double play. The Red Sox regained the lead in the third on a Manny Ramírez RBI single, scoring David Ortiz from first. On the play, Ramírez stopped at first base believing the ball hit beyond the yellow line on the outfield wall, but after discussion among the six umpires, the home run was disallowed and Ramírez was left at first with a single. Meanwhile, Josh Beckett pitched eight dominant innings for the Red Sox, and collected eleven strikeouts, tying a career post-season high. Dustin Pedroia doubled to lead off the seventh and scored on Kevin Youkilis's triple. Rafael Betancourt relieved Sabathia and allowed a sacrifice fly to Ortiz to put Boston up 4-1. Next inning, Boston loaded the bases off of Rafael Perez on a walk, error, and single. Tom Mastny relieved Perez and threw a passed ball to Pedroia that let one run score. Mastny then walked Pedroia and Youkilis to reload the bases and force in another run. Ortiz's sacrifice fly then scored Boston's final run. Jonathan Papelbon pitched a scoreless ninth despite allowing a double and walk as the Red Sox's 7-1 win ensured a return trip to Boston for Game 6.

Game 6

Saturday, October 20, 2007 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Cleveland 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 6 2
Boston 4 0 6 0 0 0 0 2 X 12 13 0
WP: Curt Schilling (1–0)   LP: Fausto Carmona (0–1)
Home runs:
CLE: Víctor Martínez (1)
BOS: J. D. Drew (1)

After Curt Schilling retired the Indians in the top of the first, the Red Sox loaded the bases on infield hits by Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis plus a full-count walk to David Ortiz. Fausto Carmona struck out Manny Ramírez and got Mike Lowell to pop out, but J. D. Drew then hit a grand slam to center field to give Boston a 4–0 lead. Víctor Martínez got the Tribe on the board with a lead-off home run to cut the Sox lead to three. The Sox had a chance to pile on more runs in the bottom of the inning but a key double play ended the threat. The Indians threatened in the top of the third after two hits to lead off the inning but Schilling got the next three batters to work out of it. The Sox put the game away with a six-run explosion in the bottom of the inning. After two leadoff walks, Drew drove in his fifth run of the game with a single in the third inning that ended Carmona's pitching that night. Jacoby Ellsbury followed with another single off of Rafael Perez, driving in Boston's sixth run. Julio Lugo then drove a double down the third-base line to make it 8–1. After a walk, Youkilis added two more with a single compounded with a throwing error to make it 10–1. Ryan Garko started the top of the seventh with a triple and scored on a Jhonny Peralta sacrifice fly, but that would be all the offense Cleveland could muster against Schilling on the night. The Red Sox scored two more runs in the eighth off of Joe Borowski when Youkilis walked with one out, moved to third on Ortiz's double and scored on Ramirez's sacrifice fly before Lowell's RBI single scored their final run, tying the series at three games apiece.

Game 7

Sunday, October 21, 2007 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Cleveland 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 10 1
Boston 1 1 1 0 0 0 2 6 X 11 15 1
WP: Daisuke Matsuzaka (1–1)   LP: Jake Westbrook (1–1)   Sv: Jonathan Papelbon (1)
Home runs:
CLE: None
BOS: Dustin Pedroia (1), Kevin Youkilis (3)

The pitching matchup for Game 7 was a rematch of Game 3, featuring Jake Westbrook for Cleveland and Japanese rookie Daisuke Matsuzaka for Boston. The Red Sox returned Cleveland's favor from Game 5 by playing "It Ends Tonight" before the game, poking fun at the Indians' untimely prediction. In the first three innings, Matsuzaka looked like the more dominant starting pitcher of the night retiring the first eight batters he faced before giving up a base hit to number-nine hitter Casey Blake; he then struck out Grady Sizemore to end the inning. Meanwhile, during those same first three innings, Westbrook gave up seven hits, one walk (intentionally), and three runs (on Manny Ramirez's RBI single in the first after two leadoff singles, Julio Lugo's double play in the second after a leadoff single and double, and Mike Lowell's sacrifice fly in the third with two on). Westbrook settled down and pitched three shutout innings, striking out four, and their offense began to take advantage of Matsuzaka putting up single runs in the top of the fourth (on Ryan Garko's RBI double after a Travis Hafner double) and fifth (on Grady Sizemore's sacrifice fly). Boston's top two relief pitchers took over after Matsuzaka's exit following the fifth inning; Hideki Okajima and Jonathan Papelbon were able to hold Indians hitters scoreless over the final four frames, giving up just four hits combined, all singles.

In the seventh inning with one out and Kenny Lofton at second base, Franklin Gutiérrez singled over the third base bag, into foul territory, with the ball ricocheting back into left field off the infamous angular foul territory fence of Fenway Park. Shortstop Julio Lugo and outfielder Manny Ramirez went after the ball. As he was about to turn toward home plate, third base coach Joel Skinner held Lofton at third. The Indians' at-bat ended when Casey Blake hit into a 5–4–3 double play.

Rookies Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia were the center of the offense in the seventh with Ellsbury reaching second on a Blake error then Dustin Pedroia hit a two-run home run off of Rafael Betancourt into the Green Monster seats, giving the Red Sox some insurance runs, before they put up a six-spot in the bottom of the eighth. Lowell doubled with one out and scored on J.D. Drew's single. After a ground-rule double, intentional walk, and strikeout, a three-RBI double by Pedroia knocked Betancourt out of the game, then a two-run Kevin Youkilis home run off of Jensen Lewis made it 11–2 Red Sox, which cemented their victory and led to their second American League championship and World Series appearance in four years.

This marked the third time Boston came back from a three games to one deficit in a League Championship Series. They had previously done so in 1986 and in the historic 2004 series from which they came back from a 3-0 deficit. It was a painful defeat for Cleveland, as they had blown such a big lead in games to cost them a shot at going to their first World Series in 10 years. The Indians would not return to the playoffs for the next six years.

Composite box

2007 ALCS (4–3): Boston Red Sox over Cleveland Indians

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 R H E
Boston Red Sox 7 1 15 0 6 5 6 11 0 0 0 51 77 3
Cleveland Indians 3 3 0 4 11 2 1 1 0 0 7 32 62 5
Total attendance: 281,363   Average attendance: 40,195

Notes

  1. ^ "MLB names League Championship Series umpires" (JSP). Major League Baseball. October 10, 2007. Retrieved October 21, 2007. Randy Marsh, a 26-year Major League Umpire, will be the crew chief when the Cleveland Indians and the Boston Red Sox meet in the 2007 American League Championship Series. The Kentucky native has been assigned to the eighteenth postseason series of his career, including his eighth LCS. Marsh's crew will feature Kerwin Danley, Brian Gorman, Paul Emmel, Gary Cederstrom and regular season crew chief Dana DeMuth.
  2. ^ "2007 ALCS Game 1 - Cleveland Indians vs. Boston Red Sox". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  3. ^ "2007 ALCS Game 2 - Cleveland Indians vs. Boston Red Sox". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  4. ^ "2007 ALCS Game 3 - Boston Red Sox vs. Cleveland Indians". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  5. ^ "2007 ALCS Game 4 - Boston Red Sox vs. Cleveland Indians". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  6. ^ "2007 ALCS Game 5 - Boston Red Sox vs. Cleveland Indians". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  7. ^ "2007 ALCS Game 6 - Cleveland Indians vs. Boston Red Sox". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  8. ^ "2007 ALCS Game 7 - Cleveland Indians vs. Boston Red Sox". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  9. ^ McIntyre, Michael K (October 18, 2007). "Anthem singer was special to Sox pitcher". The Plain Dealer.

External links

1999 American League Division Series

The 1999 American League Division Series (ALDS), the opening round of the 1999 American League playoffs, began on Tuesday, October 5, and ended on Monday, October 11, with the champions of the three AL divisions—along with a "wild card" team—participating in two best-of-five series. The teams, which were identical to those qualifying in 1998, were:

(1) New York Yankees (Eastern Division champion, 98–64) vs. (3) Texas Rangers (Western Division champion, 95–67): Yankees win the series, 3–0.

(2) Cleveland Indians (Central Division champion, 97–65) vs. (4) Boston Red Sox (Wild Card, 94–68): Red Sox win the series, 3–2.The Yankees rolled over the Rangers, who scored 945 runs in 1999, for the second straight year three games to none. The Red Sox battled back down two games to none against a Cleveland Indians team that was the first to score 1,000 runs in a season in nearly 50 years and won the Series three games to two, thanks to Pedro Martínez. The Yankees would go on to defeat the Red Sox four games to one in their first-ever meeting in the postseason in the AL Championship Series, and would then go on to sweep the National League champion Atlanta Braves in the 1999 World Series.

2016 American League Division Series

The 2016 American League Division Series (ALDS) were two best-of-five game series to determine the participating teams in the 2016 American League Championship Series of Major League Baseball. The three divisional winners (seeded 1-3) and the winner of a one-game Wild Card playoff played in two series. The divisional winners were the Texas Rangers in the American League West with the first seed by virtue of having the best record in the American League, the Cleveland Indians in the American League Central with the second seed, and the Boston Red Sox in the American League East with the third seed. The Toronto Blue Jays beat the Baltimore Orioles in the Wild Card Game, earning the fourth seed.

The top two seeds had home-field advantage, and the top seed was matched against the lowest seed. The matchups were:

(1) Texas Rangers (West Division champions) versus (4) Toronto Blue Jays (Wild Card Winner)

(2) Cleveland Indians (Central Division champions) versus (3) Boston Red Sox (East Division champions)TBS televised all the games in the United States, with Sportsnet, a property of Toronto Blue Jays owner Rogers Communications, airing the games in Canada using the TBS feeds. The Blue Jays and Indians both swept their respective opponents in three games to advance to the ALCS.

Bill Mueller

William Richard Mueller (; born March 17, 1971) is an American retired professional baseball third baseman who played in Major League Baseball (MLB). Mueller's MLB playing career was spent with the San Francisco Giants (1996–2000, 2002), Chicago Cubs (2001–2002), Boston Red Sox (2003–2005), and Los Angeles Dodgers (2006).

A number of Mueller's accomplishments came during the 2003 season, when he won the American League batting title and a Silver Slugger Award. A switch hitter, he became the only player in major league history to hit one grand slam from both sides of the plate in the same game on July 29, 2003. He was the starting third baseman for the Red Sox' 2004 World Series championship team that beat the Cardinals. Since his playing career, he has served in MLB as a front office assistant and hitting coach.

Cleveland sports curse

The Cleveland sports curse was a sports superstition involving the city of Cleveland, Ohio, and its major league professional sports teams, centered on the failure to win a championship in any major league sport for a period of 52 years, from 1964 to 2016. Three major league teams based in Cleveland contributed to belief in the curse: the Browns of the National Football League (NFL); the Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association (NBA); and the Indians of Major League Baseball (MLB). Combined with the short-lived Barons franchise of the National Hockey League (NHL), Cleveland teams endured an unprecedented 147-season championship drought, having not won a title since the Browns defeated the Baltimore Colts in the 1964 NFL Championship Game two seasons prior to the first Super Bowl.Cleveland's 52-year championship drought finally ended when the Cavaliers beat the Golden State Warriors in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals, an event widely interpreted as having broken the curse.

David Ortiz

David Américo Ortiz Arias (born November 18, 1975), nicknamed "Big Papi", is a Dominican-American former Major League Baseball (MLB) designated hitter (DH) and first baseman who played 20 seasons, primarily with the Boston Red Sox. He also played for the Minnesota Twins. During his 14 seasons with the Red Sox, he was a ten-time All-Star, a three-time World Series champion, and a seven-time Silver Slugger winner. Ortiz also holds the Red Sox single-season record for home runs with 54, which he set during the 2006 season.

Originally signed by the Seattle Mariners in 1992, Ortiz was traded to the Twins in 1996 and played parts of six seasons with the team. Ortiz was released by the Twins and signed with the Boston Red Sox in 2003, where he spent the remainder of his career. In Boston, Ortiz established himself as "one of the greatest designated hitters the game has ever seen." He was instrumental in the team ending its 86-year World Series championship drought in 2004, as well as during successful championship runs in 2007 and 2013, and was named MVP of the latter.

Ortiz finished his career with 541 home runs (which ranks 17th on the MLB all-time home run list), 1,768 RBIs (22nd all-time), and a .286 batting average. Among designated hitters, he is the all-time leader in MLB history for home runs (485), runs batted in (RBIs) (1,569), and hits (2,192). Regarded as one of the best clutch hitters of all time, Ortiz had 11 career walk-off home runs during the regular season and two during the postseason.

Game seven

A game seven is the final game of a best of seven series. This game can occur in the postseasons for Major League Baseball (MLB) (League Championship Series and World Series), the National Basketball Association (NBA) (all rounds of the NBA playoffs), and the National Hockey League (NHL) (all rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs).

The game is generally played at the site of the team holding the home advantage across the series.

The nature of a best-of-seven series requires that the series be tied 3–3 going into game seven, such that either team can take the series (advancing further in the playoffs or winning the championship) by winning the game. Because of this decisive nature, game sevens add an element of drama to their sports.

Aside from North American sports leagues, game sevens are also a fixture in many other sports around the world, mostly in baseball, basketball, and ice hockey leagues. Most codes of football do not employ a best-of-seven series (or any best-of-x series in general), hence game sevens are not played in those leagues.

Some playoff rounds (such as MLB's current Division Series) are played in a best of five format, such that game 5 has similar qualities to those described above, though the suspense and drama have less time to build in a shorter series. Furthermore, the World Series of 1903, 1919, 1920, and 1921 were played in a best of nine format, though none of the four went to a decisive game 9.

The game seven is comparable to a final or to a single game in a single-elimination tournament or to a one-game playoff. A championship series' game seven is equivalent to the Super Bowl game in the National Football League in that the game's winner is the league's champion for the season.

Home run

In baseball, a home run (abbreviated HR) is scored when the ball is hit in such a way that the batter is able to circle the bases and reach home

safely in one play without any errors being committed by the defensive team in the process. In modern baseball, the feat is typically achieved by hitting the ball over the outfield fence between the foul poles (or making contact with either foul pole) without first touching the ground, resulting in an automatic home run. There is also the "inside-the-park" home run where the batter reaches home safely while the baseball is in play on the field. A home run with a high exit velocity and good launch angle is sometimes called a "no-doubter," because it leaves no doubt that it is going to leave the park when it leaves the bat.

When a home run is scored, the batter is also credited with a hit and a run scored, and an RBI for each runner that scores, including himself. Likewise, the pitcher is recorded as having given up a hit, and a run for each runner that scores including the batter.

Home runs are among the most popular aspects of baseball and, as a result, prolific home run hitters are usually the most popular among fans and consequently the highest paid by teams—hence the old saying, "Home run hitters drive Cadillacs, and singles hitters drive Fords (coined, circa 1948, by veteran pitcher Fritz Ostermueller, by way of mentoring his young teammate, Ralph Kiner).

Jacoby Ellsbury

Jacoby McCabe Ellsbury ( jə-KOH-bee; born September 11, 1983) is an American professional baseball center fielder for the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball (MLB). He played in MLB for the Boston Red Sox from 2007 through 2013, and joined the Yankees before the 2014 season.

Ellsbury was first drafted by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the 23rd round of the 2002 MLB draft, but did not sign. He was drafted next as 23rd overall by the Red Sox in the 2005, after playing college baseball for three years at Oregon State University. Ellsbury was the first Red Sox player in history to be a member of the 30–30 club. In 2011, Ellsbury also won the Gold Glove Award, the Silver Slugger Award, and was the American League MVP runner-up to Justin Verlander. After the 2013 season, Ellsbury signed a 7-year, $153 million contract with the Yankees in free agency.

Ellsbury is an enrolled member of the Colorado River Indian Tribes; Ellsbury's mother, Margie, is full-blooded Navajo and his father is of English and German descent. Ellsbury is the first Native American of Navajo descent to reach the major leagues. In 2008, he was one of three active non-Hispanic Native American players in Major League Baseball, along with Kyle Lohse and Joba Chamberlain.

Josh Beckett

Joshua Patrick Beckett (born May 15, 1980) is an American former professional baseball pitcher. A three-time Major League Baseball (MLB) All-Star, he played for the Florida Marlins, Boston Red Sox, and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

After a stellar high school career, where he was regarded as one of the top prospects in the country, he was drafted by the Marlins with the second pick in the 1999 MLB draft. He won the 2003 World Series with the Marlins and the 2007 World Series with the Red Sox, and received the 2007 American League Championship Most Valuable Player (MVP) award and the 2003 World Series MVP award. He was traded from the Marlins to the Red Sox in 2006 and from the Red Sox to the Dodgers in 2012, both as part of multi-player transactions.

Beckett recovered from a serious injury that caused him to miss most of the 2013 season and pitched a no-hitter against the Philadelphia Phillies on May 25, 2014 for the Dodgers, becoming the 19th man to do so in Dodgers history. However, his season was again cut short due to an injury and he announced his retirement on October 7, 2014.

Kevin Millar

Kevin Charles Millar (; born September 24, 1971) is an American former professional baseball first baseman who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) and current analyst for MLB Network. He played in MLB for the Florida Marlins, Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles, and Toronto Blue Jays from 1998 through 2009. He is currently a host along with Chris Rose on the MLB Network show Intentional Talk, and (as of late-March 2018) the show's companion audio podcast "Intentional Talk: Caught Listening".

List of Major League Baseball players named in the Mitchell Report

The List of Major League Baseball players named in the Mitchell Report includes active and former Major League players as well as free agents. The Mitchell Report is the result of former US Senator George J. Mitchell's (D–ME) 20-month investigation into performance-enhancing drug use in Major League Baseball (MLB). It was released December 13, 2007.

The following is a list of the Major League Baseball players named in the Mitchell Report. Inclusion on the list does not necessarily mean the player was involved in illegal activity. In some instances, insufficient evidence was provided to draw a conclusion, and some players were mentioned in other contexts.

The Mitchell Report also stated that interviews were requested of five MLB players who had spoken out publicly on the steroid issue. Of these players, only one, Frank Thomas, was willing to be interviewed. The Mitchell Report stated that there was no evidence that any of these five had used performance-enhancing drugs. Curt Schilling, one of the four players who declined to interview with Mitchell, explained that he denied Mitchell's request because he "would have nothing to offer" Mitchell's investigation "other than personal opinion and hypotheticals."Jason Giambi was required to interview with Mitchell and his investigators by Commissioner Bud Selig under threat of discipline. This stemmed from Giambi's ongoing involvement with the BALCO investigation and statements he had given to the media.

Manny Ramirez

Manuel Arístides Ramírez Onelcida (born May 30, 1972) is a Dominican-American former professional baseball outfielder. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for parts of 19 seasons. He played with the Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox, and Tampa Bay Rays before playing one season in the Chinese Professional Baseball League. Ramirez is recognized for having had great batting skill and power. He was a nine-time Silver Slugger and was one of 27 players to hit 500 career home runs. His 21 grand slams are third all-time, and his 29 postseason home runs are the most in MLB history. He appeared in 12 All-Star Games, with a streak of eleven consecutive games beginning in 1998 that included every season that he played with the Red Sox.Ramirez was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. When he was 13 years old, he moved to New York City with his parents, Onelcida and Aristides. He attended George Washington High School and became a baseball standout. He was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the first round of the 1991 MLB draft, 13th overall. He made his MLB debut on September 2, 1993.

In 1994, Ramirez became a major league regular, and finished second in voting for the Rookie of the Year Award. By 1995, he had become an All-Star. He was with the Indians in playoff appearances in 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, and 1999; this included an appearance in the 1995 and 1997 World Series. In 1999, Ramirez set the Indians' single-season RBIs record with 165 RBIs. After the 2000 season, Ramirez signed with the Boston Red Sox. During his time in Boston, Ramirez and teammate David Ortiz became one of the best offensive tandems in baseball history. Ramirez led the Red Sox to World Series Championships in 2004 and 2007 before being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2008 as part of a three team deal that also involved the Pittsburgh Pirates.

In 2009 Ramirez was suspended 50 games for violating baseball's drug policy by taking human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a women's fertility drug that is often taken after steroids. In the spring of 2011, Ramirez was informed by MLB of another violation of its drug policy, and a 100-game suspension. He chose to retire on April 8 rather than be suspended. However, in September 2011, Ramirez wished to be reinstated and agreed in December with the league to a reduced 50-game suspension. Though he played at various points in the Oakland Athletics, Texas Rangers, and Chicago Cubs systems, as well as internationally, Ramirez did not appear in another Major League game.

Known as a complete hitter who could hit for both power and average, and widely regarded as one of the best right handed hitters of his generation, Ramirez finished his career with a lifetime .312 batting average, 555 home runs (15th all time), and 1,831 RBI (18th all time).

Mitchell Report

The Report to the Commissioner of Baseball of an Independent Investigation into the Illegal Use of Steroids and Other Performance Enhancing Substances by Players in Major League Baseball, informally known as the Mitchell Report, is the result of former Democratic United States Senator from Maine George J. Mitchell's 20-month investigation into the use of anabolic steroids and human growth hormone (HGH) in Major League Baseball (MLB). The 409-page report, released on December 13, 2007, covers the history of the use of illegal performance-enhancing substances by players and the effectiveness of the MLB Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. The report also advances certain recommendations regarding the handling of past illegal drug use and future prevention practices. In addition, the report names 89 MLB players who are alleged to have used steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs.

Tom Mastny

Thomas Raymond Mastny (born February 4, 1981) is a former Major League Baseball right-handed relief pitcher. He stands 6 feet, 6 inches in height and weighs 220 pounds. Mastny is the only Indonesian-born player in Major League history, although he was raised in Zionsville, Indiana, where he played for Zionsville Community High School. He made his major league debut with the Indians on July 25, 2006.

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