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1995 Cleveland Indians: Week 3; Second Base Splits

Entering the third week of the season, the Tribe sat in second place. This week they take on the Royals and Orioles. Also, we review the second base splits.

Carlos "Bye-Bye" Baerga
Carlos "Bye-Bye" Baerga
Al Bello/Getty Images

The Indians concluded their first homestand with a visit from the Royals and then take on the Orioles in Baltimore. Also, we review how seond base fared against the rest of the AL.

May 8-10, 1995

May 8: Royals 2, Indians 6

May 9: Royals 0, Indians 10

May 10: Royals 2, Indians 3, 10 innings

Mark Clark was spotted a two run lead in the first after Kenny Lofton tripled, Omar Vizquel singled and went to second on the errant throw, and a Carlos Baerga single. Baerga singled in Lofton in the third to push it to 3-0. The Royals got within one in the fifth on three straight hits and a sacrifice fly by Vince Coleman. The Tribe pushed the lead to four in the sixth with RBIs from Eddie Murray, Manny Ramirez and Paul Sorrento. Dennis Cook and Jason Grimsley shut down the Royals over the last 3.2 innings.

The middle game was a laugher from the get go. The Tribe batted around in the first, scoring eight times on six hits and three walks. Lofton led off with a deep homer and Baerga homered in Vizquel. Manny walked with the bases loaded before Sorrento crushed one to deep right for a granny. Amazingly enough, Doug Linton still pitched through the fifth. Oh and Orel Hershiser was superb. Four hits and a walk in eight shutout innings with five strikeouts.

Charles Nagy also only allowed four hits on Wednesday, but three of them led to two runs in the sixth. The Tribe left a lot of guys on base. They scored one in the third on a solo shot by Tony Pena and tied it in the bottom of the ninth off closer Jeff Montgomery. Sorrento walked with one out and Jim Thome singled pinch runner Ruben Amaro to second so he could score on Wayne Kirby's subsequent single. Baerga led off the thenth with a double and scored on a Manny single, sweeping the Royals.

May 12-14, 1995

May 2: Indians 3, Orioles 2

May 3: Indians 1, Orioles 6

May 4: Indians 3, Orioles 1

In the opener, the scoreless game was broken by a Pena RBI single in the third off Kevin Brown. Manny plated Thome in the fifth, while Dennis Martinez kept the Orioles off the board until their fifth. Thome homered in the seventh for an insurance run, which came in handy as Harold Baines homered off Jim Poole in the eighth. But Jose Mesa had a three up, three down ninth.

Clark struggled in his second start of the week, giving up five runs in five innings. The Tribe had no answer for Mike Mussina, only getting three hits, one of them a solo shot by Thome, snapping the five game winning streak.

Hershiser wasn't as sharp in his second start, only lasting five innings, but still only gave up one run, a Chris Hoiles homer. Manny doubled in a pair off Arthur Rhodes (who was a starter at this point) in the fourth to take a 2-1 lead. Murray added a solo shot for insurance in the eighth. Paul Assenmacher and Mesa pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to win the series.

Second Base Splits Review

G

PA

R

RBI

SB

BA

OPS

BAbip

Carlos Baerga

133

595

87

89

11

316

814

313

Alvaro Espinosa

15

36

3

5

0

294

688

303

Billy Ripken

5

15

3

3

0

400

1.200

364

Total

646

93

97

11

317

816

314

League Average

615

75

61

16

269

720

295

I always remembered Baerga as a stud that season. And that average, runs and RBI total appear to corroborate that memory. But the 814 OPS wasn't really all that special in that offensive age. Yes, his sOPS was 123, so he was better than average, but there were only three AL second sackers with a wRC+ over 100. Roberto Alomar tied Baerga's 107 and Chuck Knoblauch had 139. Baerga was also a workhorse, starting every game until August 31. Espinosa played only 102 innings all year. Ripken was a September callup who played fantastic in his brief run.

Summary

The offense hot decently, but it was the pitching that was fantastic, only giving up thirteen runs all week. And the 5-1 week moved them into first place, which they would not relinquish for the rest of the year.

Standings

W

L

Pct

GB

RS

RA

Pythag

Cleveland Indians

11

5

688

-

103

68

681

Milwaukee Brewers

10

7

588

1.5

101

80

605

Kansas City Royals

7

9

438

4.0

62

76

408

Chicago White Sox

6

10

375

5.0

93

105

445

Minnesota Twins

5

12

294

6.5

84

125

326