The Tribe had fallen behind two games to none before landing in Cleveland. Both losses in Atlanta were close while the Game Three victory happened in extra innings. Could the Tribe complete the comeback like they had done against Seattle the series before
After getting through the Hall of Fame trio of Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz, the offense looked to get untracked against Steve Avery. Midseason pickup Ken Hill was manager Mike Hargroves's choice. Hill and Avery both avoided a bit of trouble in the first. And while neither was dominate, the game was scoreless through five innings.
In the top of the sixth , Ryan Klesko connected on solo shot to deep right to break the scoreless tie. Albert Belle answered in the bottom half with a line shot deep down the right field line. Hill came back out in the seventh. After striking out Rafael Belliard, he walked Marquis Grissom. The very next pitch, Luis Polonoia doubled to the right field gap, scoring Grissom. Paul Assenmacher came in to intentionally walk Chipper Jones. A passed ball by Sandy Alomar moved both runners up. Assenmacher did strike out Fred McGriff, but David Justice singled to make it 4-1.
A leadoff double by Jim Thome was wasted in the bottom half. Julian Tavarez loaded the bases in the eight, but Alan Embree escaped as Jones hit one to the wall that Kenny Lofton chased down. Greg McMichael had a perfect eighth as the top of the Tribe lineup all grounded out.
The Braves tacked on one more in the ninth as McGriff and Javier Lopez doubled. Closer Mark Wohlers came in and Manny Ramirez hit a towering shot to left-center. After Paul Sorrento doubled, manager Bobby Cox wasted no time in calling for Pedro Borbon. He struck out both Thome and Alomar and Lofton lined out to end the game, and likely the Tribe's chances in the series.
October 26, 1995; Jacobs Field; Braves 4, Indians 5
On the verge of elimination, the Indians got to face Greg Maddux for a second time. After dominating the Tribe offense in Game One, it didn't look good. Bu that is why the games are played.
In the bottom of the first, Omar Vizquel walked and Belle crushed another one deep down the right field line for a quick 2-0 lead. And after three, neither offense had done much else against Maddux or Orel Hershiser. Polonia hit a solo shot in the fourth to cut the lead in half.
The Braves tied it in the fifth. Klesko singled and was dafe at second on a bad throw from Hershiser on a Mark Lemke grounder. Charlie O'Brien bunted them both over. Pinch hitter Dwight Smith was walked to load the bases. Grissom hit an infield single to Hershiser and beat it out. Hershiser recovered to get Polonia to hit into a double play.
The offense finally strung a few hits together off Maddux in the sixth. Carlos Baerga doubled with one out. Belle was given first. Eddie Murray almost broke the deadlock, but his liner was caught in deep right with Baerga taking third. Thome singled to center to score Baerga and Ramirez singled a swell, making it 4-2 Indians.
In the bottom of the eighth, Thome crushed a homer over the trees in center field to add a most important insurance run. That is because Jose Mesa was not his usual shutdown self. With one out McGriff doubled in the ninth and then Klesko crushed one to deep right. But Mesa struck out Lemke to ensure that the Indians would make the trip to Atlanta.
October 28, 1995; Atlanta Fulton County Stadium; Indians 0, Braves 1
After a travel day, and solving Maddux the game before, the Indians offense looked to figure out Glavine to force a Game Seven. Ace Dennis Martinez lloked to avenge his earlier loss as well.
The Tribe went in order (which sadly would be a recurring theme this evening) while Martinez worked around two singles. Belle walked to leadoff the second, but was caught stealing. Martinez again dodged danger, walking the first two Braves, but getting a double play. The Braves loaded the bases in the fourth on a double and two walks, but once again Martinez survived.
Belle again walked in the fifth but was erased on a fielder's choice. Martinez just didn't have it that night. After a quick two outs, a walk to Lemke and a single by jones and Hargrove had had enough. Jim Poole struck out McGriff to keep it scoreless.
The best scoring chance the Tribe would have ended up being the sixth. Tony Pena opened with a single to center. Poole tried to bunt him over but popped out. Lofton forced Pena and stole second. But Vizquel also popped out, and that was that. Justice led off the sixth with a bomb off Poole and that effectively ended the game, series and season.
The last baserunner the Tribe got was in the seventh when Murray walked with two out. The Tribe finished with just that one hit and three walks while striking out eight times against Glavine and Wohlers.
Postscript: I hope everyone enjoyed reliving the best team the Tribe in the past half century. We can only hope to see one of the upcoming Tribe teams return to the World Series and this time win it all.