CHICAGO -- Outfielder Coco Crisp got just one at-bat in Game 3 of the World Series against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field Friday night, but he certainly made it count.
Inserted into the lineup as a pinch hitter for pitcher Andrew Miller in the top of the seventh inning, Crisp hit a looping single to right field, which drove in the lone run of the 1-0 Indians win over the Cubs.
“It obviously feels good,” Crisp said. “No matter if you get the big hit or lay the bunt down, you want to do something that can possibly help the team. Fortunately enough for me today, it was the hit.”
The ability to step in off the bench and deliver a clutch hit is not a foreign concept to anyone on the Indians’ roster because of the way they approach the game. Knowing the Cubs would have a better story if they won and broke a 108-year World Series drought, the Indians have taken a “Cleveland against the World” mentality to the postseason.
And it has worked well, as just two wins separate them from a World Series title.
“Coming here and seeing all the blue in the stands and all the blue that was at our ballpark, you know the support for the Cubs is worldwide,” Crisp said. “You know what you're dealing with coming into the game, and our fans do a great job of supporting us as well.
“But coming in here and getting the victory tonight is big for us. I think our clubhouse is loose. Regardless of any situations, wins or losses, we come in the same way, but it's always nice to get that victory.”
Coming through with the game-winning hit was even more special for Crisp, who grew up in the Indians’ organization and spent the first four years of his career in Cleveland before going on to win a World Series with the Boston Red Sox and spending six seasons with Oakland.
Now, Crisp wants to deliver a title to the very organization that gave him a chance to grow as a player, and then, brought him back to the team when there was an opportunity to do so in a meaningful situation.
“I feel blessed,” Crisp said. “I have a lot of love for this franchise and the fans in Cleveland. They've treated me so well over the course of the time that I was here the first time, and are treating me well this time around as well.
“To be in this situation with the team that I broke in with is a very special feeling for me. Everybody has a lot of love for the first club that they break in with, but I think being able to ride the wave that these guys started and being a part of this franchise at this time of the year is truly a blessing.”