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This week in 1995: The Cleveland Indians wrap up a magical season

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With the best record in the AL clinched the Tribe had a few personal goals to play for and a shot at 100 victories.

The Tribe dugout had a lot to celebrate in 1995.
The Tribe dugout had a lot to celebrate in 1995.
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Having secured the top spot in the playoffs, the Tribe looked to see if they could reach a nice round 100 wins on the season. Also, a few players looked to achieve some personal milestones as they wrapped the season with three games in Minnesota with the Twins and three at home against the Royals.

September 26-28, 1995

September 26: Indians 4, Twins 13

September 27: Indians 9, Twins 6

September 28: Indians 12, Twins 4

This was not one of Charles Nagy best starts. After Sandy Alomar tied the game at one in the third with a solo shot, the wheels fell off. Marty Cordova slugged a two run shot in the third, and in the fifth, Nagy was chased after two walks, two doubles and a single. By the time Jim Poole minimized the damage, it was 7-1. Albert Belle hit his 47th homer to creep back to 7-3, but Alan Embree imploded for six runs in the seventh. Alomar did hit another solo shot though.

Ken Hill was staked to an early 1-0 lead when Eddie Murray hit a solo shot in the second. Murray again connected in the fourth and after RBI singles by Paul Sorrento and Kenny Lofton off Brad Radke, it was 4-0. Belle added another solo shot in the fifth. Matt Lawton hit a bases clearing triple in the sixth and Julian Tavarez managed to get out of bases loaded jam to keep the score 5-4. In the seventh, after loading the bases, a run scored on a double play grounder by Carlos Baerga. Then Belle hit yet another homer to make it 8-4. Jim Thome hit his 25th homer in the eighth to complete the Tribe scoring.

Dennis Martinez made his final tune up start in the finale. The Tribe got him a quick 3-1 lead in the second on four hits, including a two run single by Manny Ramirez. But Lawton tied it with a two run bomb in the third. A pair of unearned runs in the fifth made it 5-3 Indians. It was the seventh that blew it open. Alvaro Espinoza homered, and after an RBI double (his 51st!) by Belle, Murray crushed another one. When it was over, it was 10-3. The Tribe's final two runs scored in the ninth on a Ruben Amaro double.

September 29 - October 1, 1995

September 29: Royals 2, Indians 9

September 30: Royals 2, Indians 3, 10 innings

October 1: Royals 7, Indians 17

Orel Hershiser was great in his final start, giving up just four hits, walking two and striking out seven in seven innings. But it was just a 1-1 game heading to the bottom of the seventh. Paul Sorrento hit a solo shot and then Kenny Lofton scored after an error, passed ball, stolen base and another error on the stolen base attempt. Michael Tucker had a solo shot off Tavarez in the eighth to make it 3-2 Tribe. But the Tribe blew it open in the eighth themselves. After yet another double by Belle, Murray crushed another homer. Sorrento added his 24th homer, a solo shot, Omar Vizquel doubled in one, and Baerga singled in a pair, and voila, he score was now 9-2.

Mark Clark was also very good in his final start. The game was scoreless until the sixth when Tom Goodwin hit a two run shot. But some Lofton magic (bunt single, stolen base, fly ball by Vizquel, grounder by Baerga) got the Indians their first run. Then Belle connected on home run number 50 to tie it at two. It stayed that way until the tenth. Jesse Levis led off with a double and Lofton was given a free pass. Omar bunted them over to second and third. Baerga singled in pinch runner Jeromy Burnitz, and the Indians had their twelfth walk off win.

With a chance at securing their 100th victory in a strike shortened season, the Tribe hitters made quick work of Tom Gordon in the final game of the regular season. In the first, twelve batters came to the plate. After six singles and three walks, the Tribe led 6-0. In the second, another four singles and a walk led to five more runs. The Royals plated four in the third off Nagy to make it 11-4. Manager Mike Hargrove emptied the bench with the huge lead and they had a field day in the fifth. Billy Ripken homered and Brian Giles had an RBI single. Sorrento crushed a three run shot and Lofton tripled in the final Tribe run of 1995.

Win/Loss Review

Split

W

L

RS

RA

Home

54

18

400

272

Road

46

26

440

335

April/May

21

9

186

135

June

20

8

147

106

July

18

9

150

112

August

21

9

180

137

September/October

20

9

177

117

9 Innings

87

44

766

548

Extra Inning

13

0

74

59

One Run

28

14

202

188

Blowout (5+ runs)

29

11

324

171

Boston Red Sox

7

6

71

69

New York Yankees

6

6

54

57

Seattle Mariners

5

4

44

42

California Angels

2

3

27

32

Texas Rangers

6

3

69

44

Baltimore Orioles

10

2

57

39

Kansas City Royals

11

1

76

28

Chicago White Sox

8

5

79

59

Oakland A's

7

0

34

17

Milwaukee Brewers

9

4

86

64

Detroit Tigers

10

3

91

44

Minnesota Twins

9

4

91

66

Toronto Blue Jays

10

3

64

46

This team rarely lost, and the data from that season is amazing to look at.  Never lost an extra inning game. Never had a month with double digit losses. Only one team had a winning record, but it was only 5 games due to the abbreviated schedule. Only one other team outscored the Tribe, those hated Yankees. And in division they were 37-14. Ouch.

Summary

The final week was more of a coronation for the Tribe. They did go 5-1 on the week, while some individuals put some icing on some great seasons. As the Indians blew away the division, they should have been playing the Wild Card. But in those days, a division winner was not allowed to play a Wild Card from their own division. So the Tribe would open with the Boston Red Sox, who had the second best record in the league, while the Seattle Mariners and New York Yankees faced each other.

Standings

W

L

Pct

GB

RS

RA

Pythag

Cleveland Indians

100

44

694

-

840

607

644

Boston Red Sox

86

58

597

14.0

791

698

557

New York Yankees

79

65

549

21.0

749

688

539

Seattle Mariners

78

66

542

22.0

787

707

549

California Angels

78

66

542

22.0

800

688

569

Texas Rangers

74

70

514

26.0

691

720

481

Baltimore Orioles

74

73

493

29.0

704

640

543

Kansas City Royals

70

74

486

30.0

629

691

457

Chicago White Sox

68

76

472

32.0

755

758

498

Oakland A's

67

77

465

33.0

730

761

481

Milwaukee Brewers

65

79

451

35.0

740

747

496

Detroit Tigers

60

84

417

40.0

654

844

385

Minnesota Twins

56

88

389

44.0

703

889

394

Toronto Blue Jays

56

88

389

44.0

642

777

414