Each week during the 2012-13 offseason DTTWLN will take a look back at the 1997 Cleveland Indians season—specifically the 18 thrilling games of the postseason as the Indians made an improbable run to game seven of the World Series.
PART FIFTEEN: ALCS GAME 6—ONE FOR THE AGES
By Steve Eby
“There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be.”
As the Cleveland Indians started batting practice before their Game Six showdown with the Baltimore Orioles in the 1997 American League Championship Series, Manager Mike Hargrove figured that everything was where it was meant to be.
Bip Roberts, a key midseason acquisition, was leading off and playing second base.
Tony Fernandez, an offseason free-agent signing that had lost his regular playing time when the team traded for Roberts, was penciled in as a reserve player on the bench.
It was all set. The regular lineup was ready to face Mike Mussina…the hottest pitcher on the planet.
Tomlin’s First Inning Struggles Continue, Tribe’s Ninth Inning Rally Falls Short; Orioles 4, Indians 3July 22, 2012 | Mike Brandyberry
By Ryan Hohman
Josh Tomlin continued his first-inning struggles Sunday afternoon, giving up two runs to the Baltimore Orioles at Progressive Field. The score was 4-0 going into the ninth inning before the Cleveland Indians bats finally woke up. Cleveland would send eight men to the plate and score three runs but it was too little too late as the Orioles hung on for a 4-3 victory.
Tomlin, who has given up 19 runs in the first-inning this season, regrouped after the rocky start to pitch six innings, giving up two runs on eight hits and no walks with two strikeouts. His record fell to 5-7 as his ERA dropped from 5.51 to 5.34.
Before rallying to score three runs in the ninth, the Indians had only plated three runs in their last four games – all solo homeruns.
The defeat drops the Tribe below .500 (47-48) for the first time since April 14 (3-4). The Detroit Tigers beat the Chicago White Sox 6-4 in Detroit to extend their AL Central lead over the Tribe to four games. The White Sox remain one and a half games ahead of Cleveland, who is now three games back in the wildcard with six teams sitting in front of them.
By Matt Van Wormer
Now that we’re done with the American League Central, let’s move on to the East which could very well be the toughest division in baseball. The Baltimore Orioles have been a floundering organization since the Indians took them to the brink in the 1997 American League Championship Series. I asked Lauren Tilley of BirdsWatcher.com five questions about the Orioles and she has some great insight to the Baltimore ballclub. She has also asked me some questions about the Tribe and when I get those answered, we’ll be sure to get you connected with the link to that story. So, on to the Q&A!
By Matt Van Wormer
As the first half of the season came to a close, the Indians were on a little down swing, losing their final three games to the Toronto Blue Jays. The break couldn’t have come at a better time as some pitchers needed to get some rest and get healthy. The Indians are 5-5 so far in the month of July and they could have been doing a lot better for the month if it weren’t for the three straight losses. They took 2 out of 3 from the Yankees and Reds before the Blue Jays came to town.