October 9th in Indians playoff history: Colon's gem one of five Tribe wins

Ed Szczepanski-US PRESSWIRE

Up next is the other date tied with the second most playoff games. We have Game 4s of the 1920 and 1948 World Series, Game 2 of the 1997 ALCS, Game 3 of the 1998 ALCS, Game 3 of the 1999 ALDS and Game 1 of the 2001 ALDS,

October 9

W

L

Pct

All-Time

5

1

.833

Home

3

0

1.000

Road

2

1

.667

Tuesday

1

0

1.000

Thursday

1

0

1.000

Friday

1

0

1.000

Saturday

2

1

.667

Robins (Dodgers) WS-4 1920

1

0

1.000

Braves WS-4 1948

1

0

1.000

Orioles ALCS-2 1997

1

0

1.000

Yankees ALCS-3 1998

1

0

1.000

Red Sox ALDS-3 1999

0

1

.000

Mariners ALDS-1 2001

1

0

1.000

1920 World Series Game 4, Dunn Field: Indians 5, Robins 1

After a disappointing start to the series in Brooklyn, the Indians returned home to the comfy confines that was Dunn Field. The Stadium had pretty much a reverse Fenway Park feel to it with a rectangular configuration of 375 feet down the left field line, 420 feet to dead center and just 290 feet down the right field line. The right field was very short down the line, but had a 45 foot high wood and chain link fence. Tris Speaker sent Stan Coveleski back out but the Robins sent Leon Cadore out instead of Rube Marquard.

Coveleski started the game just like game one, retiring the side in order in the first three innings. Cadore did not fare as well. A one out walk to Bill Wambsganss and a single by Speaker, brought Elmer Smith to the plate. He singled in Wambsganss with both Speaker and Smith taking an extra base on the throw home. Lee Gardner hit a deep enough flyball and the Speaker run made it 2-0 Indians. Joe Sewell and Steve O'Neill started the second with singles and Wilbert Robinson called on Al Mamaux to intervene. He struck out Coveleski and Jamieson hit into a double play. The third also started well. Wambsganss singled and went to third on Speaker's single to left, with Speaker taking second on the throw. Another trip to the pen brought out Marquard. George Burns greeted him with a two run single and taking second on Zach Wheat's muff. After a Lee Gardner strikeout, Smoky Joe Wood pinch hit for Doc Johnston and lined to center for the second out. Sewell had an infield single and O'Neill was intentionally walked to load the bases for Coveleski, who grounded out to end the inning with the bases loaded. But the lead was now 4-0, and with how Coveleski was pitching, it looked good.

The Robins finally generated some offense in the fourth, scoring a run on a Jimmy Johnston single and Tommy Griffith double. The Tribe offense went cold in the fourth and fifth, six consecutive outs. An Ed Konetchy walk in the fifth was erased on a double play and a one out single by Ivy Olson in the sixth went for naught.

Jeff Pfeffer replaced Marquard after he pinch hit for in the sixth. A single by Coveleski and a wild pitch got him to second. Joe Evans singled him to third and Wambsganss likewise singled, stretching the lead to 5-1. The Tribe threatened in the eighth again, loading the bases on a Burns walk, Gardner single and O'Neill free pass. Coveleski almost broke it wide open, flying out to deep right. But he continued to mow down the Robins, retiring nine of the last ten hitters, with a Johnny Johnston single the lone hit. The offensive ineptitude had stuck with the road team as the Robins netted just five hits to the Indians twelve. And just like that, the series was even 2-2, with the next three scheduled in Cleveland. It was now a best of five series.

1948 World Series Game 4, Cleveland Stadium: Indians 2, Braves 1

Instead of going back to Bob Feller for game four, Lou Boudreau decided to send Steve Gromek out to face Johnny Sain. This would turn on to be fortuitous. The Tribe broke the ice in the first on a Dale Mitchell single and RBI double by Boudreau. Larry Doby added the second run on a deep drive to right in the third. But other than that, Sain was terrific. Eddie Robinson had a two out single in the second and leadoff one in the fifth. That was the extent of the offense. If the Tribe was going to win this game, Gromek would have to come through.

Gromek was nowhere near as efficient. Earl Torgeson had a two out double in the first, Eddie Stanky had a leadoff single in the third and Marv Rickert a two out single in the fourth. Sain had a two out single in the fifth and a one out walk to Torgeson in the fifth was erased on a 6-4-3 double play. Rickert matched Doby, by homering to deep right leading off the seventh and the lead was just one. Mike McCormick was stranded in that seventh singling after Rickert and the second double by Torgeson was also with two outs in the eighth. Gromek retired the side in order with two strikeouts in the ninth, his only ones of the day. The Braves numbers through four games now stood at three runs and 22 hits. The Tribe now led the series 3-1 with ace Bob Feller headed to the mound to close out the series.

1997 ALCS Game 2, Oriole Park at Camden Yards: Indians 5, Orioles 4

After a lackluster four hits and no runs in game one, the Indians took to the field, trying to get the split before heading home. Taking the hill for the Tribe this evening was Charles Nagy, who had gotten shellacked in game three of the Yankees series. After flailing at Scott Erickson's stuff the night before, they faced Jimmy Key. Omar Vizquel was hit by a pitch and driven in by a Manny Ramirez shot to deep center. Matt Williams singled and stole second. David Justice became the second hit batsmen and both moved over on a Sandy Alomar grounder to second. Key promptly plunked Tony Fernandez. But Kevin Seitzer couldn't make Key pay, leaving the bases juiced.

Marquis Grissom led off the second with a single and was stranded. After a perfect first from Nagy, Rafael Palmeiro doubled and Cal Ripken took him deep, and the game was even-steven, 2-2. Key managed to keep the Indians off the board in the next two innings, but they got runners to first and second and first and third in both. Nagy did about the same dance, second and third in the third and first and second in the fourth.

Davey Johnson had had enough and called on Scott Kamieiecki. He pitched three scoreless frames, with only Seitzer working a walk in the sixth. Nagy worked around a Tony Fernandez error in the fifth, but did not get out of the sixth. Singles by Palmeiro and Ripken and a Harold Baines grounder put runners second and third with two out. After walking Chris Hoiles to load the bases, Mike Bordick lined a single to right to plate two. Alvin Morman prevented more damage, but the Orioles now led 4-2.

Morman, Jeff Juden and Paul Assenmacher pitched a perfect seventh. In the eighth, Johnson brought out set up man Armando Benitez. He struck out Jeff Branson, who pinch hit for Justice, walked Sandy and struck out Fernandez. Hargrove sent Jim Thome up to pinch hit for Seitzer, and he coaxed a walk. Grissom came to the plate, and with one swing of the bat, gave the Indians the lead back with a three run homer. Assenmacher and Mike Jackson got through the eighth with just a BJ Surhoff walk. Jose Mesa came in to close it out. After walking pinch hitter Jeffrey Hammonds, he got Brady Anderson to force Hammonds, struck out Robbie Alomar and got Eric Davis to force Anderson. The Indians had evened it up and headed back to the Jake for the next three.

1998 ALCS Game 3, Jacobs Field: Indians 6, Yankees 1

After earning the necessary split in New York, the Indians headed home with Bartolo Colon slated to take on Andy Pettitte. The Yankees jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead in the first with a little small ball: single by Chuck Knoblauch, sacrifice by Derek Jeter, grounder by Paul O'Neill and a single by Bernie Williams. The Indians got two on Omar Vizquel's walk and Manny Ramirez's single, but both were stranded. The same happened to the Yankees in their second at bat, walk by Chili Davis, single by Joe Girardi, but nothing further.

The Indians took the lead in the second on a solo shot by Jim Thome, a double by Mark Whiten and a single by Enrique Wilson. That would conclude the scoring until the fifth. Manny hit a solo shot with one out. After Travis Fryman walked, Thome took Pettitte deep again and Whiten ended his night with another solo blast. With a 6-1 cushion, Colon went to work with four perfect innings to conclude his complete game victory. The Tribe had taken a 2-1 lead over the heavily favored Yankees.

1999 ALDS Game 3, Fenway Park: Red Sox 9, Indians 3

Riding a 2-0 series lead, the Indians headed to Boston to try and close out the best of five series. Dave Burba and Ramon Martinez were the starting pitchers for this matchup. Both pitched well for the first three frames with Martinez giving up a one out single to Omar Vizquel in the first and a two out walk to David Justice and single to Travis Fryman in the second. Burba retired each of the first nine hitters.

The Tribe took the lead in the fourth on singles by Jim Thome and Harold Baines, and Thome scoring on Justice's fly ball. Burba walked Jose Offerman, and then with one out, Butch Huskey singled, but Mike Stanley hit into an inning ending 1-4-3 double play. After 1-2-3 fifth for the Tribe, Jaret Wright replaced Burba for the fifth. Lou Merloni singled with one out and went to third on Jason Varitek's double. Darren Lewis singled in one and Trot Nixon's fly ball scored the second, and the Red Sox led 2-1.

The Indians tied it up with a leadoff double by Robbie Alomar, moving to third on Manny Ramirez's grounder. Thome was walked and Alomar scored on a Baines force out. John Valentin took Wright deep in the bottom half, and the Sox went back up 3-2. Kenny Lofton scored the tying run in the fifth off his single, a ground ball, a stolen bag and a Valentin error. Wright walked Merloni and hit Varitek, sending Mike Hargrove to the pen for Ricardo Rincon. He retired the first two but he walked Offerman to load the bases. Valentin atoned for his previous error with a two run double and Brian Daubach hit a three run shot to make it 8-3. Sean DePaula entered, walked Mike Stanley who scored on consecutive base hits by Troy O'Leary and Merloni. The Indians mounted a mini threat in the ninth, but left runners on second and third. But with Bartolo Colon ready for Game 4, all hope was not lost.

2001 ALDS Game 1, Safeco Field: Indians 5, Mariners 0

After wrapping up their sixth division title in seven years, the Indians finished at 91-71, a full six games up on the Minnesota Twins. But even though they won the Central, they had the fewest wins of any of the four playoff teams. As the 102-60 Oakland Athletics were the wild card team, they could not face the juggernaut Seattle Mariners. The Mariners finished fourteen games ahead of the A's at 116-46, the second best regular season record ever (behind our 1954 Indians team). So in essence the Tribe finished 25 games behind the Mariners that season.

With that much time off, the Mariners wet up their rotation and had Freddy Garcia on the mound to match up with Bartolo Colon. The first third of the game was quite quiet, at least on the offensive side of things. Ichiro Suzuki had a leadoff single in the first, Ellis Burks a two out double in the second, another two out double in the second by Stan Javier, a two out walk to Kenny Lofton in the third and another Ichiro single in third, but he was gunned down by Einar Diaz.

The Indians' bats awoke in the fourth. Robbie Alomar doubled to start thing off. Juan Gonzalez singled him home for the first run of the game. A walk to Jim Thome and a single by Burks loaded the bases. Travis Fryman and Marty Cordova both had RBI singles to make it 3-0. But the Tribe left the bases loaded as Diaz and Lofton struck out and Omar Vizquel flew out. Colon issued a one out walk to Edgar Martinez in the fourth, but John Olerud hit into a 3-6-3 double play. Garcia struck out the side in the fifth. Then Colon had his first two baserunner inning in the fifth, a two out single by Dan Wilson and a walk to David Bell. But Ichiro failed to get a hit in his third try.

The Indians tacked on one more run in the sixth on consecutive singles by Fryman, Cordova and Diaz. Martinez had a two out single in the bottom half but was stranded. Neither team got on base in the seventh. Jose Paniagua came out for the top of the eighth, replacing Norm Charlton who came in after the Diaz RBI single. Burks greeted him with a solo shot. Ichiro doubled in the eighth for his third hit, but never moved from second. After eight strong innings from Colon (six hits, two walks, ten strikeouts), Charlie Manuel summoned Bob Wickman to finish it up. Martinez popped to short and both Olerud and Mike Cameron truck out. Just like that, the Indians took the first game of a best of five series.

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