Nick Swisher hit a walk-off grand slam this afternoon in the tenth inning of a game the Indians trailed 3-1. After Scott Atchinson gave up a ground ball, two-run single with two outs in the top of tenth, the Indians went to work in the bottom half of the inning against an unlikely adversary.

Ernesto Frieri has been the Angels closer of late, but he has kind of sucked, so manager Mike Scioscia didn’t go with him for this save chance. Joe Smith — the only other Angels’ reliever that has recorded a save so far this season — had worked a clean ninth inning on just 12 pitches, so they could have left him out there. They didn’t.

They instead went with with rookie Cam Bedrosian, who has accumulated a 10.13 ERA and 2.25 WHIP in five major league appearances. Bedrosian — the son of former Cy Young Award Winner, Steve “Bedrock” Bedrosian —  had an outing that was about as good as his numbers would suggest: he walked Michael Bourn, struck out Asdrubal Cabrera, gave up a double to Jason Michael Kipnis, and then walked Carlos Santana. So with one out and the bases loaded, Scioscia came out and took the ball from Bedrosian so that he could hand it to Frieri thirty seconds later, as if to say to the members of the baseball media interested in the Angels: “I’m really looking forward to those post game questions about my closer situation.”

Frieri got David Murphy to pop out to left prior to serving up the 1-2 grand slam to the ice-cold Swisher (3-25 since his DL stint). The game-winner cleared the fence by about six inches and eluded Kole Calhoun’s grasp by even less. But the Indians will take it.

In honor of this achievement, let’s watch several other walk-off grand slams by our favorite team named after the native people of our favorite country.

Up first, we have Carlos Santana taming the Tigers with this shot off of Joaquin Benoit in 2011:

Later that season, Travis Hafner hit one off the Blue Jays. Trailing 4-1, the Indians needed every one of these runs:

How about Bill Selby? That’s right, Billy Selby, who had 11 homers in his career, took Mariano Rivera yard for a 10-7 victory in a game the Indians had trailed 7-0. It was the first walk-off home run Rivera had allowed in his career. This was in 2002, some six years into his being a full time closer. The cutter rides in hard on Selby’s hands, but he somehow gets the bat head to the ball in time to send it over the wall and inside the foul pole.

And then, of course, Albert Belle, from that 1995 season in which the Indians became American League Champions for the first time in 41 years. This 7-5 win moved the Indians to 51-22, helping maintain their absurd 13.5-game lead in the AL Central. Try watching this video pretending nobody is on steriods, and that the Indians could today draw a crowd like this for a game on a Tuesday night in the middle of July:

To the walk-off grand slam!

Go tribe.

 

Cover Image courtesy of Keith Fujimoto.