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Throughout the 2015 season, Did the Tribe Win Last Night will take a look back at the 1995 Cleveland Indians for the 20th anniversary of their fourth pennant winning season. Included will be historic game recaps, headlining stories and a ranking of the team’s most influential players that truly made 1995 The Greatest Summer Ever. Today looks back at player #22 Alvaro Espinoza.
The 1995 Indians were not only known for being an explosive offensive team with a very solid pitching staff, they were also known for being a very loose and close knit team. Cleveland fans fell in love with the ’95 Tribe not only because they kept winning and winning, but because they looked like they genuinely liked each other and showed that they were always having fun.
Of course, if you were a member of the best team in baseball, how could you not have a great time? The team won almost 70% of the games it played, won the division by 30.0 games, led the league in almost every offensive category, and seemed to hit a walk-off homerun every three days. From the very beginning of the season, the Indians were the talk of baseball and were the favorites to win the American League Pennant and the World Series.
With this kind of fun, however, comes tremendous pressure…especially in the city of Cleveland. The story is well documented, but is worth mentioning. The Indians had not made the playoffs since 1954 and had not won the World Series since 1948. The Cavaliers were a sometimes up, but mostly down, franchise that still could not beat the Chicago Bulls in the playoffs even though Michael Jordan was retired, and the Browns were mediocre at best and already had one foot out the door for their move to Baltimore. The Browns were (and still are) the last championship team in Cleveland, having won the title in 1964. The pressure for the Indians to win was enormous.
I won’t call it a comeback, as a four-game winning streak does not a playoff run make. The Indians still have a long way to go until they can be deemed to be even close to the team that fans and the media expected them to be to start the season. However, they seem to have at least turned some corner, no matter how small of a turn that may be. What exactly has been working for the Indians this past week that has finally given them some Ws?
The Indians have always had a dominant starting rotation but, this past week finally saw the rotation get some wins. Ironically, Cy Young winner Corey Kluber is still only at 1-5 this season after nine starts, though, as has been said before, the reason for the lack of wins is not entirely his fault. Kluber lost out on a win on Monday night when the Indians fell to the White Sox 2-1 in ten innings. It wasn’t poor pitching by Kluber that kept the game tied 1-1 into extra innings, but rather a lack offense that kept the Indians off the board to maintain a higher score throughout the game.
Suddenly, the Cleveland Indians are trending back in the right direction. At the same time, the cross-state rival Cincinnati Reds are trending in the completely opposite direction, losers of five straight. Their two worlds will collide at Progressive Field this weekend as the Indians host the Reds in their second Interleague series of the season.
The Indians (17-23) pulled back within two games of the White Sox by taking three of four in Chicago during the week to complete their second consecutive series sweep and have now won a season-high three straight games. While they gained no real ground on Kansas City and Detroit, who have won three and two in a row respectively, it was progress for a club that entered a seven-game road trip with a 6-9 record away from home. A successful 5-2 trip pulled the club’s road record back to .500 at 11-11. They will need to have a similar bit of success on the coming home stand to improve on a 6-12 mark at home.
If there’s one thing the Indians have an abundance of, it’s outfielders. Fans know it, big league players seem to have taken notice, and 22 year-old Taylor Murphy knew it.
Murphy played in the outfield last year for the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, and spent much of his collegiate career in the outfield, as well. He didn’t do poorly in the outfield, either. In 46 games last season, Murphy committed just three errors with 74 putouts. However, he knew that even a good performance in the outfield might not be enough to keep him with an organization that already had a logjam of outfielders, including some who have the potential to be flat-out excellent.
“An opportunity presented itself at the end of last year at the Instructional League in Arizona,” Murphy said. “I ended up following through with it this offseason at the strength and conditioning camp in January at the facility in Arizona and carried it through. Now, here we are, working at it every day.”
The Cleveland Indians took a major hit on April 11 when their starting catcher, Yan Gomes, took a big hit in a home plate collision against the Detroit Tigers. The play left Gomes with a sprained right MCL and left the Tribe scrambling to replace one of the more valuable players on the roster.
In 2014, after breaking out in Cleveland the prior year, Gomes showed how key he is to any hope the Indians have of postseason contention. He is as good as they come on offense, as attested by the American League Silver Slugger he was awarded a season ago. He is also an excellent handler of the pitching staff as Cleveland and its fans have learned in his absence.
The worth of Gomes on offense is obvious. Last year, his first one as an everyday starter, the catcher mashed 21 home runs, drove in 74 and batted .278. It was continued growth after his first campaign with the Tribe in which he hit 11 bombs and hit .294 in 2013. He did not begin that season as the starting catcher, after being acquired in an offseason trade with the Blue Jays. However, by the end of that year, Gomes was starting and was a big reason the Indians earned a spot in the American League Wild Card Game.
Did The Tribe Win Last Night is honored to join the More Than a Fan Network in their Tribe Time Now podcasts this season. DTTWLN.com will be represented along with Indians Baseball Insider, Burning River Baseball and Itâs Pronounced Lajaway …
Joe Sever is not the amongst the most recognizable names on the High-A Hillcats roster, but this former Pepperdine Wave second baseman has been instrumental in catalyzing the team’s recent winning ways.
After beginning the season 9–19 the Hillcats have …
In Major League Baseball today, 3,000 hits is a milestone – a number that demonstrates enough talent and longevity to virtually guarantee a plaque at the Baseball Hall of Fame.
But when Tris Speaker reached that number this week in 1925, it was regarded as little more than a curiosity – mostly because it was such a rare occurrence.
Speaker, in his 10th season playing for the Indians (and his sixth full season as manager), was hitting the ball well, with a 15-game hitting streak to begin the 1925 season. But he was not in top shape as the defending champion Washington Senators came to town. Speaker was nearing 40 with more than 18 years as a major league player, so it wasn’t exactly crawling out on a limb to say he had more years behind him than ahead of him as a ballplayer, but age and injuries were starting to add up.
Throughout the 2015 season, Did the Tribe Win Last Night will take a look back at the 1995 Cleveland Indians for the 20th anniversary of their fourth pennant winning season. Included will be historic game recaps, headlining stories and a ranking of the team’s most influential players that truly made 1995 The Greatest Summer Ever. Today looks back at player #23 Alan Embree.
Alan Embree started his Major League career as a September call-up in the 1992 season. At this time, he was a young, left handed starting pitcher who was coming off of a fantastic year in the minor leagues where he won a combined 17 games with a 2.85 ERA for High-A Kinston and Double-A Canton-Akron. His big league numbers that September were not as impressive, as the 22 year old Embree struggled through his only four Major League starts with an 0-2 record and a 7.00 ERA. With being so young and successful in the Minor Leagues, however, Embree had the makings of a solid young starting pitcher.
Embree’s left elbow had other plans in mind. Embree hurt his throwing elbow playing catch before the 1993 spring camp opened, and this injury sidelined him for almost the entire year. Embree was able to make one start for Canton-Akron in ’93, and was on the shelf for the rest of the season.
If only the Cleveland Indians could find a way to play all of their road games in the state of Texas.
After concluding their second series win and pulling off the ever elusive series-opening win on Friday night, the Indians ended the Texas portion of their schedule with a 4-2 record on the season. The Lone Star State just happens to be the site of the Indians only two series wins on the season, which would seem to be a bad factoid as the team moves on to Illinois to take on the Chicago White Sox in a four-game series this week.
The Indians got that rare series opening win on Friday against the Rangers in an 8-3 final as the bullpen supported strong efforts from Jason Kipnis, Michael Brantley, and Nick Swisher at the plate. Kipnis continued his excellence of late with a three-hit night and drove in the deciding runs with two outs in the top of the ninth in a 10-8 victory on Saturday. With the opportunity for a sweep, Carlos Carrasco threw a complete game but the Indians offense slumbered in a 5-1 loss on Sunday.