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This week in 1995: Tribe beat both Eckersley and Lee Smith

The second half of the season kept rolling along. This week the Tribe played three opponents, the Angels, Rangers and A’s. They also had some more fun at the expense of two great closers. Also, we take out first foray into some pitching splits.

The ace of the 1995 starters, Dennis Martinez
The ace of the 1995 starters, Dennis Martinez
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Fresh off a four game sweep of the A's, the Tribe continued their schedule against the AL West. This week the Angels played a pair in the Jake to pen the week. Then the Tribe headed on a four city road trip, with the first two stops being the Rangers and A's. Also, we take our first peek at some pitching splits, the starters.

July 17-18, 1995

July 17: Angels 8, Indians 3

July 18: Angels 5, Indians 7

Chad Ogea got the spot start and wasn't sharp early. Two runs in each of the two first frames, had the Angels up 4-1, with the lone Tribe run a Carlos Baerga RBI double. It stayed 4-1 until the seventh when a three run homer by J.T. Snow and an EBI single by Jorge Fabregas off Jim Poole put it out of reach. Sandy Alomar had a two run shot in the seventh, but that was basically it as Brian Anderson shut down the Indians very well.

Mark Clark blinked first in the Tuesday matchup with Mark Langston, with Tony Phillips homering in the third and a two run shot by Jim Edmonds in the fifth making it 3-0. Five singles by the Indians in the third tied it up, with Baerga, Albert Belle and Manny Ramirez all plating someone. But Clark faltered again, this time Garrett Anderson took him deep and the score was 5-3. Lee Smith came in the ninth for the save, but the Tribe magic showed up again. Wayne Kirby singled to lead off. Jim Thome whiffed, but Kirby stole second. Omar Vizquel had an infield single and Baerga walked to load the bases. This brought up Belle, who hit a walk-off grand slam, and the Tribe had the two game split.

July 19-20, 1995

July 19:  Indians 14, Rangers 5

July 20:  Indians 6, Rangers 3

The Indians then started a lengthy road trip with the first stop in Texas. They batted around in the first, with Omar doubling in Kenny Lofton and Baerga driving him in. Paul Sorrento had a sacrifice fly and Herb Perry singled to make it a quick 4-0 lead off Kevin Gross. Baerga had another RBI single in the second, while Perry doubled in a pair and Sandy Alomar scored Perry in the third. Mickey Tettleton's solo homer off Charles Nagy in the second was not much as the lead was 8-1. The Rangers scored twice more in the fourth, but Sorrento answered with a two run homer in the fifth. RBI singles by Perry and Alomar, along with a sacrifice fly by Kirby made it 13-3 in the seventh. Sorrento drove in one more in the eighth and the Rangers scored two garbage runs in the ninth off Julian Tavarez.

Another Tettleton homer in the second off Orel Hershiser got the Rangers an early 1-0 lead. But Alomar answered with his own homer and Omar singled in Lofton to make it 2-1 in the third. Otis Nixon's RBI double tied it right back up. Alomar's two run shot and Baerga's RBI single in the seventh off Mark Brandenburg made it 5-2 Tribe. Pudge Rodriguez singled in one in the eighth off Eric Plunk, but Belle got it right back in the ninth with an RBI grounder. Jose Mesa made it a bit interested, with a the tying run coming to the plate, but he struck out Tettleton and Rusty Greer to end it.

July 21 - July 23, 1995

July 21:  Indians 6, A's 1

July 22:  Indians 6, A's 4

July 23:  Indians 2, A's 0

Dennis Martinez pitched a beauty on Friday night, allowing just one run on six hits, three walks and six strikeouts. That was more than enough as the offense tagged Todd Stottlemyre for six runs in six innings. Belle started it off with a solo bomb in the second. Manny's three run shot in the fourth and Tony Pena's solo shot in the fifth made it 5-1. Perry added one more with a single in the sixth.

Ogea blinked first against Todd Van Poppel on Saturday, as Scott Brosius singled in a pair in the second. The offense was held in check until the sixth when Thome's sacrifice fly and Manny's single tied it up off Rick Honeycutt. A missed flyball error by Ruben Sierra got the Tribe the lead. But Belle's own error in the eighth and a wild pitch by Tavarez and the A's handed the lead to Dennis Eckersley. But like the week prior, the Tribe came through against the Hall of Famer. Kirby struck out, but Omar singled and stole second. Baerga was hit by a pitch and Belle popped out in foul ground. Thome grounded one down the right field line to score Omar and Baerga. Manny walked and then Sorrento singled in Thome. After Perry walked to load the bases, Eckersley had to be pulled. Mesa stryuck out the side in the ninth for his 25th save.

The series finale was Clark taking on Ariel Prieto. And for once in the week, there was a pitching duel. The only scoring was in the fourth when Sorrento drove in Belle and Manny with a single. Clark was not exquisite, but kept Oakland off the board. Plunk got the final out in the seventh and pitched the eighth as well. Mesa had a perfect ninth and the Indians had swept the A's in Oakland.

Pitching Starters Splits Review

Starts

Wins

Team Wins

Quality

Game Score Avg

RS/IP

IP/GS

Charles Nagy

29

16

22

14

49.2

7.5

6.1

Dennis Martinez

28

12

18

21

55.4

5.5

6.7

Orel Hershiser

26

16

18

16

53.5

5.2

6.4

Mark Clark

21

8

13

7

44.4

4.8

5.7

Chad Ogea

14

8

10

9

52.2

6.6

6.0

Ken Hill

11

4

9

7

50.2

6.5

6.6

Bud Black

10

4

6

3

41.3

6.9

4.5

Jason Grimsley

2

0

2

0

31.0

1.8

2.8

Albie Lopez

2

0

2

0

62.0

5.5

6.5

Joe Roa

1

0

0

0

36.0

4.5

6.0

Total

144

68

100

77

50

6.0

6.1

League Average

47

5.2

5.9

While the 1995 offense rightfully gets tremendous praise, the 1995 pitching was one of the best on baseball this year. This week we review some starting pitching splits. Dennis Martinez was the ace of this staff. He may have only netted 12 wins, but he threw 21 quality starts and had a high Game Score Average. He was saddled with a low run scoring while he was in the game (RS/IP), but surprisingly Hershiser and Clark netted even less. The offense definitely liked when Nagy pitched though as he netted 2 more runs per game over the entire season.

Summary

Another outstanding 6-1 week, and the Tribe picks up two more games in the standings. The Tribe was well on their way to one of the best records in team history. Next week, they complete the lengthy road trip with three in Anaheim and three in Seattle.

Standings

W

L

Pct

GB

RS

RA

Pythag

Cleveland Indians

56

22

718

-

447

311

660

Milwaukee Brewers

40

39

506

16.5

419

377

548

Kansas City Royals

37

40

481

18.5

312

358

437

Chicago White Sox

33

45

423

23.0

415

444

469

Minnesota Twins

28

51

354

28.5

368

486

375