The Tribe won Game 1 of their five-game series with the Boston Red Sox tonight. It was a fabulous, tight game, brilliantly managed by Indians skipper Terry Francona.
The key point in the game was Francona’s decision to go to his bullpen in the fifth inning. It was a ballsy move that could have blown up in Francona’s face — but it didn’t. Yes, lefty Andrew Miller had to pitch more than normal, but the bullpen held the lead, Cody Allen closed the door for the save, and the Tribe has a leg up.
I had more even confidence about Francona’s managerial skills when I read this article about Francona’s relationship with his players. Sure, he’s a deft manager — but it also turns out that he plays cribbage.
Cribbage? Hell, no wonder he’s a good manager. Anybody who plays the greatest card game of all, with its intricate strategies and maneuvering, is bound to have a good eye for figuring out how to win a ball game.
So the Tribe has a 1-0 lead in the series. I’ll take it. With the Cribbage King to set the strategy, I think more good things are to come.