October 18 in Cleveland Indians history: A pair of losses

1997 World Series caps - fittedid.com

First up is the opener of the 1997 World Series against the Marlins and then Josh Beckett dominates the Tribe in Game 5 of the 2007 ALCS.

October 18

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1997 World Series Game 1, Pro Player Stadium: Marlins 7, Indians 4

After a riveting five game ALDS against the hated Yankees and a six game series against the Orioles in the ALCS, the Tribe faced off against a World Series newbie in the Florida Marlins. Created just five years before and qualifying as a Wild Card, they had dispatched of the Giants and Braves to make the final matchup of the 1997 season. Mike Hargrove tabbed Orel Hershiser to face the NL Rookie of the Year candidate, Livan Hernandez.

The Indians got off to a good start as Bip Roberts ripped the first pitch he saw into right for a double. Omar Vizquel then sacrificed him over. Manny Ramirez worked a free pass and David Justice singled in Roberts with Manny stopping at second. But neither Matt Williams nor Jim Thome could provide another hit and the lead was just 1-0. Hershiser did fine in the first. Devon White grounded out, Edgar Renteria flew out to deep right, Gary Sheffield walked and after a seven pitch battle, Bobby Bonilla struck out.

In the second, Hernandez struck out Sandy Alomar, Marquis Grissom and Hershiser in order while Orel also had a 1-2-3 inning against Darren Daulton, Moises Alou and Charles Johnson. The wasted another leadoff double by Roberts in the third, while the Marlins cashed in on Craig Counsell's in the bottom half., knotting the score at one. Grissom hit the Tribe's third double in the fourth, but it was with two out and he was stranded as Hershiser unsuccessfully bunted for a single.

That bunt must have taken Orel out of his game because the Marlins got to him in the bottom half. Bonilla walked and Daulton singled. Alou and Johnson followed with back to back homers and the Marlins now had a 5-1 lead. Manny got one back with a solo shot in the fifth, but in the bottom half, Orel exited after a one out walk to Sheffield and a pair of singles by Bonilla and Conine plated another. Jeff Juden got Alou to force Conine at second, but when he walked Johnson, his final pitch was wild and Bonilla scored. He walked Counsell to load the bases, but Hernandez grounded out to leave them full. But the lead had been extended to 7-2.

Thome cranked another solo shot in the sixth to get it within a granny and when Alomar and Grissom singled, a mini rally had started. Jeff Branson pinch hit for Juden but struck out looking and Jim Leyland replaced Hernandez with Dennis Cook. He retired Roberts on a deep fly to right. Eric Plunk took over in the bottom of the sixth and was perfect.

In the seventh, Omar battled cook for eight pitched before striking out. Manny threatened with another deep fly, but it wasn't quite deep enough. Justice walked and Williams flew out. Bonilla singled of Plunk to start the seventh but was erased on a 4-6-3 double play. Alou had a four pitch walk, but Johnson popped out.

Cook stuck around to face Thome and did his job, striking him out looking. Jay Powell followed him and Alomar popped out to first in foul ground before Grissom walked. Brian Giles pinch hit for Plunk and doubled to the gap in right scoring Grissom with Giles taking third on Sheffield's error. Roberts worked another walk but Omar struck out looking, leaving two on with a three run deficit.

Paul Assenmacher came in from the pen and retired the side in order, meaning the Tribe would have to score three off closer Robb Nen in the ninth. After Manny grounded to short, Justice and Williams both singled, bringing Thome to the plate as the tying run. But both he and Alomar struck out swinging to end the game. The Marlins had broken the ice first, taking a 1-0 series lead.

2007 ALCS Game 5, Jacobs Field: Red Sox 7, Indians 1

After a rare day off between games four and five, the Tribe tried to clinch their fifth World Series berth with CC Sabathia taking on Josh Beckett in a rematch of game one starters. Sabathia got off to a rough start. After a Dustin Pedroia ground out, Kevin Youkilis took him deep. He managed to whiff David Ortiz but Manny Ramirez doubled to center. Mike Lowell then singled to right, but Franklin Gutierrez gunned down Manny at the plate, with the lead staying at 1-0.

Grady Sizemore led off with a double and stopped at third on Asdrubal Cabrera's single to right. Travis Hafner hit into a 6-3 double play, but Sizemore scored to tie it up. After Victor Martinez singled, Ryan Garko struck out and we headed to the second. Both pitchers only allowed a sole baserunner in the second, a Jason Varitek hit by pitch and a Gutierrez walk. The Red Sox pushed another run across in the third. Pedroia had a leadoff single but was wiped out on a 1-6-3 double play. Ortiz walked and somehow scored on Manny's subsequent single. The Red Sox now had 2-1 lead and Sabathia was already at 59 pitches.

Two more singles to start the fourth began another rally, but Julio Lugo hit into a 6-3 double play. Sabathia avoided a few more land mines in the fifth. Three pitches got Pedroia and Youkilis to both ground out. Ortiz singled, and went to second on a wild pitch. Manny walked and then CC hit Lowell loading the bases. But Bobby Kielty flew out to right. After that walk by Gutierrez back in the second, the Tribe bats went cold. The next guy to get on was Casey Blake when he singled with two out in the fifth. He went to third on Sizemore's single, but Beckett struck out Cabrera.

Buoyed by Sabathia's 1-2-3 sixth, Eric Wedge let him come out for the seventh. That was a bad decision as Pedroia doubled and Youkilis tripled. Rafael Betancourt got the next three batters out, but Ortiz's fly ball was deep enough to score Youkilis, making the score 4-1. The eighth ended up being the death knell. Rafael Perez walked JD Drew and retired Varitek on a fly ball. Coco Crisp was safe on Raffy's error and Lugo had a bunt single to load the bases. Tom Mastny releived and Victor couldn't handle his pitch, scoring Drew on a passed ball. Pedroia ended up walking anyways, and another walk to Youkilis scored another. A sacrifice fly by Ortiz and a Manny strikeout completed the inning, but the score was now 7-1.

Beckett continued to cruise. The only baserunner was due to Beckett's own error in the seventh. The Tribe got Garko on via a double and Lofton via a walk off Jonathon Papelbon in the ninth, but that was it. The Tribe now had to go back to Boston to try and clinch. But with Fausto Carmona on tap, there was still hope.

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