The 1995 Cleveland Indians were an incredible team. They are rightfully famed for their other-worldly offense, but their pitching was excellent as well. As we all know, they fell in the World Series that October, making them arguably the best team ever among those that didn't win the Fall Classic.
It's been 20 years since that team brought the city of Cleveland to its feet and ended decades of frustration with an AL Pennant. Throughout this anniversary year we'll be celebrating them, as the current version of the Tribe hopefully makes its own run to the postseason. Each week I'll look back at one of the key players from that season, counting down to the very best of them.
- 25. Wayne Kirby
- 24. Alan Embree
- 23. Albie Lopez
- 22. Jim Poole
- 21. Tony Pena
- 20. Herbert Perry
- 19. Mark Clark
- 18. Paul Assenmacher
- 17. Paul Sorrento
- 16. Eric Plunk
- 15. Ken Hill
- 14. Omar Vizquel
- 13. Sandy Alomar
#12: Charles Nagy
Nagy, the Tribe's 1st round pick in 1988, had made his debut with the team little more than two years after being drafted, and basically been in the rotation ever since by the time 1995 rolled around, aside from missing much of 1993 while on the DL. He'd been an All-Star in 1992 and was coming off a very good 1994, when he posted a 3.45 ERA in a year when offense was exploding around baseball.
Nagy's first start of the season lasted only 4 innings, though I'm not entirely sure why, since after allowing 4 runs in the 1st inning, he'd gotten through the next three frames without allowing any further damage, and was only at 70 pitches. Whatever the case, he bounced back with a very good second outing allowing just 1 run in 7 innings against the Twins. From there, Nagy went on to have a very good first half of the season, in which he posted a 3.61 ERA in 14 starts, half of which he went 7+ innings in.
Nagy's numbers were not nearly as good in the weeks following the All-Star break. During his next eight starts he had a 7.25 ERA. That stretch including a nightmare outing against Baltimore on August 15, when he was tagged for 6 runs and didn't even survive the 1st inning. On August 26 though, Nagy struck out a career high 12 batters while facing the Tigers, which kicked off a strong finish to the regular season. His next four starts after that all lasted 7+ innings, including a 3-hit shutout of the Yankees on September 13, which was arguably the best game by an Indians pitcher all season.
Nagy finished the regular season with a nice-looking 16-6 record, to go with a team-leading 139 strikeouts and a 4.55 ERA, which was good for a 103 ERA+ that season.
Nagy next took the mound for Game 3 of the ALDS against Boston. He pitched 7 innings, giving up just 1 run as the Indians swept the Red Sox. Nagy was back at work for Game 3 of the ALCS against Seattle. He gave up a solo home run in the 2nd and then an unearned run in the 3rd. In the five innings after that though, Nagy allowed only two base runners, finishing the night with 2 runs (1 earned) in 8 innings, with 6 strikeouts; that was the same line as Randy Johnson had.
Nagy's last work of the season came in Game 3 of the World Series, where he held the Braves to 3 runs in 7 innings, before giving up back-to-back hits to begin the 8th and being pulled from the game. Those two both came around to score, tying the game, but the Indians went on to win.
1995 was not Nagy's best season, but he did well. If the Indians had found a way to win Game 6, Nagy would have gotten the start for Game 7. Alas...