The Top 20 Moments in Jacobs Field History: Pedro Martinez Out of the Bullpen
The 2013 season will mark the 20th year of baseball at Progressive (ie Jacobs) Field. It’s been a relatively short history (although with the stadium building boom in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Progressive Field is the 13th oldest facility in the majors). Did the Tribe Win Last Night? has compiled a list of the 20 most memorable moments in the field’s history. We’ll count them down while we wait for Opening Day.
By Vince Guerrieri
17. 1999 ALDS Game 5–Pedro Martinez Out of the Bullpen
By 1999, the Indians were a Central Division dynasty. They had clinched their fifth straight division title with 97 wins, and would advance to meet the Red Sox in the Division Series. The Indians were 7-1 all-time against the Crimson Hose, winning a 1948 tiebreaker, sweeping the 1995 ALDS and winning the 1998 ALDS 3-1.
And the Tribe won the first two games of the Division Series, both in Cleveland, including an 11-1 trouncing in Game 2. The series went back to Boston, where the Red Sox won both games at Fenway Park. Jaret Wright, the ostensible Game 4 starter, came in to relieve Dave Burba, who left in the fourth inning with a strained forearm. The Red Sox won that game 9-3, and Bartolo Colon, who won Game 1, started Game 4 on short rest. The effort failed miserably, as the Red Sox set a postseason record with a 23-7 win.
The Indians hosted Game 5 at Jacobs Field, and appeared to have righted the ship after taking a 5-2 lead in the second inning. But Charlie Nagy gave up five runs in the top of the third, including a grand slam to Troy O’Leary. The Indians regained the lead, 8-7, with three runs in the bottom of the third, including a two-run home run by Jim Thome, his second of the game, chasing Derek Lowe, who had come on in relief in the second after Bret Saberhagen got shelled.
Pedro Martinez had left the first game with an ailing back, but came on in relief of Lowe in the fourth inning.
After Nagy left in the fourth, manager Mike Hargrove, who had effectively blown up his rotation in Game 3, brought reliever Sean DePaula in. He threw three scoreless innings (the one run that scored to tie the game was charged to Nagy), but was lifted for Paul Shuey, who gave up a single, a walk and then O’Leary’s second home run of the game.
Martinez, on the other hand, was throwing BBs. He didn’t allow a hit in six innings of relief, and the Indians became the second team in ALDS history to blow a 2-0 series lead. The game was also Hargrove’s last as Indians manager. He was let go after the season in favor of hitting coach Charlie Manuel.