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This week in 1995: Tribe looks mortal on the west coast

The smoking hot Indians had won ten of eleven out of the All-Star break. This week they wrapped a four city AL West tour by playing the Angels and Mariners. Also, we look at some reliever pitching splits.

Jose Mesa led one of the best bullpens in all of baseball in 1995
Jose Mesa led one of the best bullpens in all of baseball in 1995
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Riding a six game winning streak, the tour of the AL West continued with three in Anaheim and the Angels, and a four gamer in Seattle and the Mariners. Also, with the July trade deadline looming, the Tribe picked up another starter for the stretch run by sending David Bell, Rick Heiserman and Pepe McNeal to the St. Louis Cardinals for Ken Hill.  Also, we at the relievers splits.

July 24-26, 1995

July 24: Indians 9, Angels 7, 10 innings

July 25: Indians 5, Angels 6

July 26: Indians 3, Angels 6

Albert Belle got the ball rolling in the opener with a solo shot in the second, but the Angles scored right back off Charles Nagy. The Indians tacked on two more in the third and three in the fourth on a Sandy Alomar three run dinger, making it 6-1. But the angels clawed back with three of their own in the fourth and another in fifth. Wayne Kirby tacked on an insurance run in the sixth, but Jim Edmonds tied it up with a two run shot off Julian Tavarez in the seventh. Lee Smith opened the top of the tenth with doubles by Jim Thome and Manny Ramirez, with Manny scoring on a Paul Sorrento single. Jose Mesa put the tying runners on base in the bottom half, but escaped with no damage.

The Angels jumped all over Orel Hershiser the next night, scoring five runs on five hits and four walks in just three innings. Garrett Anderson did most of the damage with a solo shot and RBI single. Alomar singled in Thome in the second and Herb Perry double din a pair in the third to keep it close, 5-3. Edmonds singled in a run off Albie Lopez in the fourth but Omar Vizquel doubled in Dave Winfield off Chuck Finley in the sixth to keep it close. And when Thome homered in the seventh, the Tribe was down just one. But there would be no late inning magic this time against Troy Percival and Smith.

Omar drew first blood against Mike Harky the next day with a sacrifice fly. But Dennis Martinez got hammered in the third. Tony Phillips singled in one and then Chili Davis hit a grand slam to make it 5-1. Sorrento and Thome added solo shots in the fourth and sixth, but that was as close as they got. And the Indians had lost their first series since late June.

July 27-30, 1995

July 27:  Indians 5, Mariners 11

July 28:  Indians 6, Mariners 5

July 29:  Indians 3, Mariners 5

July 30:  Indians 5, Mariners 2

The opener looked to be a laugher early on as Carlos Baerga doubled in Vizquel and Manny hit a three run homer in the first. And after Winfield homered in the second, it was a quick 5-0 lead for the Tribe off Tim Belcher, But Chad Ogea could not maintain the lead. Mike Blowers hit a three run shot of his own in the second and his two run shot took the lead in the fourth (after a Tino Martinez double play that scored one in the third). Albie Lopez got out of a bases loaded jam in the fourth, but Jay Buhner and Warren Newson went back-to-back in the fifth. Jim Poole allowed two more in the sixth and one more in the seventh to make it 11 unanswered runs while Belcher finished with a complete game. The Tribe staff had allowed just the fourth team all season to reach double digits.

After acquiring Ken Hill the night prior, he took the bump against Bill Kreuger. Perry singled in a pair in the first and it stayed 2-0 until the fourth when Blowers doubled in Tino Martinez and a Felix Fermin grounder scored Newsom. The Tribe scored three in the sixth when Alomar singled in Winfield, Ruben Amaro doubled in Thome and Vizquel hit a sacrifice fly. But Julian Tavarez could not convert the hold in the seventh as Edgar Martinez scored a pair and Buhner hit a deep enough fly ball to knot it at five apiece. Thome led off the eighth with a single and was bunted over by Alomar and then scored on an Amaro single. Mesa again struggled, loading the bases, but struck out Luis Sojo to end the threat.

Belle got the Indians an early 3-0 lead with a homer in the third off Chris Bosio, but that would be the only offense generated all day. Blowers would continue his hot series by singling in Buhner in the fourth and Dan Wilson tied it in the sixth with a two out two run base knock. Nagy was pulled after six innings, but Alan Embree was the victim of a Baerga error. After a walk and force out, Julain Tavarez could not quell it as Buhner's grounder scored the go ahead run and Newson doubled in another insurance run.

The finale again opened with an early Cleveland lead. A bases loaded free pass to Manny in the first scored the first run, but they left the bases juiced. Baerga singled in Tony Pena in the second, but Buhner got it right back with a solo homer. Manny went deep in the fifth with Baerga aboard off Salomon Torres to make it 4-1. Hershiser was much sharper this time out, only giving up four hits and a walk in his seven innings of work, The second run off him came from none other than Blowers again with a solo shot in the seventh. Sorrento tacked one more with his own solo shot in the eighth. And this time Eric Plunk and Mesa were perfect to end the game and salvaging a split.

Pitching: Relievers Splits Review

Games Relieved

Blown Save

Save%

Hold

IS%

Out/GR

Pit/GR

Jose Mesa

62

2

96%

0

25%

3.1

16

Julian Tavarez

57

4

0%

19

19%

4.5

23

Eric Plunk

56

3

40%

10

19%

3.4

19

Paul Assenmacher

47

1

0%

9

11%

2.4

12

Jim Poole

42

0

-

6

15%

3.6

18

Alan Embree

23

0

100%

6

10%

3.2

19

Jason Grimsley

13

0

100%

1

33%

6.5

37

Dennis Cook

11

0

-

1

14%

3.5

24

Paul Shuey

7

0

-

0

0%

2.7

16

Chad Ogea

6

0

-

0

20%

10.8

46

Albie Lopez

4

0

-

0

20%

7.5

55

Gregg Olson

3

0

-

0

100%

2.7

16

Mark Clark

1

0

-

0

0%

16.0

75

Ken Hill

1

0

-

0

-

6.0

21

Bud Black

1

0

-

0

-

6.0

42

John Farrell

1

0

-

0

-

14.0

70

Total

335

10

83%

52

18%

3.8

20

League Average

67%

33%

3.9

22

There was definitely a strong core of five players that Mike Hargrove trusted. Mesa was truly fantastic as he led the league with 46 saves and blowing just two of them. And each of the other core of four had inherited run percentages (IS%) below 20%, far better than the league average of 33%.

Summary

Even though the Indians had their first losing week in over a month, their lead still picked up another half game. They also still had a six game lead over the Angels as the best team in the league. Next week, they return home to take on the Twins and White Sox.

Standings

W

L

Pct

GB

RS

RA

Pythag

Cleveland Indians

59

26

694

-

483

353

640

Kansas City Royals

41

42

494

17.0

331

381

436

Milwaukee Brewers

42

44

488

17.5

447

426

522

Chicago White Sox

36

42

429

22.5

444

472

472

Minnesota Twins

30

56

349

29.5

391

522

371