A Look Back At This Date In Cleveland Indians Playoff History; Sept. 30

USA TODAY Sports

Next on our trip down memory lane, Game 2 of the 1954 World Series, Game 1 of the 1997 ALDS, and the earliest Tribe playoff victory, in Game 2 of the 1998 ALDS.

September 30

W

L

Pct

All-Time

1

2

.333

Home

1

0

1.000

Road

0

2

.000

Tuesday

0

1

.000

Wednesday

1

0

1.000

Thursday

0

1

.000

Giants WS-2 1954

0

1

.000

Yankees ALDS-1 1997

0

1

.000

Red Sox ALDS-2 1998

1

0

1.000

1954 World Series Game 2, Polo Grounds V: 1954: Giants 3, Indians 1

Game 2 was probably just as frustrating to watch as Game 1 was as an Indian fan. Early Wynn took on Johnny Antonelli in this one. Al Smith led off the game with a home run to deep left. After a quick two outs, they loaded the bases on a Al Rosen walk, a Vic Wertz free pass and a Wally Westlake single to center. But George Strickland popped out to end the inning. That missed scoring opportunity would come back to haunt them. They also wasted a leadoff double by Jim Hegan in the second and a first and second chance in the third. In the meantime, Wynn had retired the first twelve in order, striking out three. But the wheel sort of came off in the third. Willie Mays led off with a walk and went to third on Hank Thompson's single. Pinch-hitter extraordinaire Dusty Rhodes hit for Monte Irvin and delivered Mays. After a strikeout of Davey Williams, Wes Westrum was walked to load the bases for Antonelli. Wynn got the ground ball he wanted, but they couldn't turn two and the Giants now led 2-1.

The Indians had a two out double in the sixth, first and second with one down in the seventh, but neither really became a big threat. Rhodes led off the bottom of the eleventh with his second homer in two days, and the lead was now 3-1. The Tribe went 1-2-3 in the eighth for the first time all game. And in the ninth, Smith and Avila both singled leading off the inning. But a Doby strikeout, a Rudy Regalado grounder and a Wertz fly to left ended the game. The Tribe amassed eight hits and six walks, but left thirteen men on base and went a woeful 1-11 with runners in scoring position. The Giants were much more efficient, scoring three runs on four hits and two walks.

1997 ALDS Game 1, Yankees Stadium II: Yankees 8, Indians 6

The Indians won the Central division by a full six games, but won only 86 games, the only team in the division with a winning record. Their opponent, the Yankees, were the wild card team but were a full 10.5 games better than them that season. As the division winner, the Indians had home field advantage but that consisted of games 3, 4, and 5 and therefore opened on the road in Yankee Stadium.

That proved beneficial in the first when they scored five runs off of David Cone. Bip Roberts walked and stole second. Omar Vizquel sacrificed him to third. Manny Ramirez singled Roberts home and then went to second on a Jim Thome single. David Justice forced Thome at second, with Manny taking third. He scored on a wild pitch before Cone ended up hitting Matt Williams. Sandy Alomar continued his storybook season by homering to deep left before Brian Giles flew out to end the inning. Orel Hershiser had a 1-2-3 first, but the Yankes got one back in the second on a bases loaded grounder by Wade Boggs.

Marquis Grissom tripled in the fourth and Roberts singled him home. After he stole second and Omar walked, Cone was pulled in favor of Ramiro Mendoza, who ended the inning on a double play. Tino Martinez homered in the bottom of the fourth and the lead was now 6-2. Hershiser was chased in the fifth after a Joe Girardi single, Rey Sanchez double, Tim Raines sacrifice fly and a Derek Jeter single. Alvin Morman came in and promptly walked Paul O'Neill to load the bases. Eric Plunk got out of the jam by getting Bernie Williams to pop up and striking out Martinez, keeping the lead at three.

But Plunk was not as fortunate in the sixth. After a one out single by Boggs, he moved to second on a Girardi ground ball. Boggs scored on a Sanchez single, before Plunk gave up back to back homers to Raines and Jeter, giving the Yankees the lead. Paul Assenmacher made it back to back to back when O'Neill also went deep, 8-6 Yankees. The Tribe threatened in seventh, loading the bases off Mendoza and Mike Stanton, but Jeff Nelson survived the inning on a deep fly ball by Williams that stayed in the yard. Alomar singled to lead off the eighth, but Nelson was replaced mid-batter with Roberts by Mariano Rivera, who ended up walking him, but getting Omar on a grounder. A leadoff single by Manny did not lead to anything in the ninth, although Thome and Justice both smoked line drives, but right at Jeter. And the Yankees led the best of five, 1-0.

1998 ALDS Game 2, Jacobs Field: Indians 9, Red Sox 5

After seeing Pedro Martinez on the hill the previous day, the knuckleball from Tim Wakefield could prove to be tough to hit. But the Red Sox got first crack at Dwight Gooden. He walked Darren Lewis, who stole second and went to third on Sandy Alomar's wild throw. John Valentin also walked and Mo Vaughn struck out. But Nomar Garciaparra would double both runners in and the Red Sox were off to another quick lead, 2-0. Mike Hargrove wasted no time with his hook, calling on Dave Burba to get the final two outs in the first.

Kenny Lofton returned the favor in the bottom half, walk, steal, went to third on a Omar Vizquel grounder deep in the hole at short. David Justice hit a deep enough fly ball to cut the lead in half. Manny Ramirez was hit by a pitch and went to second and third on passed balls, but was stranded. In the second, Travis Fryman singled and after a force on a Brian Giles grounder, Sandy Alomar doubled in Giles. Joey Cora walked, Lofton doubled home Alomar, ending Wakefield's outing. Omar flew out out to left, but Justice hit a three run homer off John Wasdin, giving the Tribe a 6-2 lead. Burba gave one back in the third on a Lewis double and a pair off fly balls by Valentin and Garciaparra. But he pitched well overall, getting the Indians to the sixth without any more damage.

Alomar doubled in Fryman in the third off Wasdin. The Tribe threatened in the fourth against Derek Lowe, but left runners on first and third. Burba's sixth inning started off with singles by Garciaparra and Mike Stanley and after he walked Troy O'Leary to laod the bases, he induced a double play grounder from Darren Bragg, but Nomar scored, making it 7-4. Paul Shuey came in to face Jason Varitek and Varitek singled home Stanley, and the lead was down to two. In the bottom of the sixth, the Tribe got one back on back to back doubles by Justice and Ramirez. They went down in order in the seventh against former Tribesman, Greg Swindell.

The eighth was a Hargrove matchup inning. Stanley singled off Shuey and O'Leary singled off Paul Assenmacher. Jimy Williams pinch ran with Midre Cummings for Stanley, and Damon Buford pinch hit for Darren Bragg. Mike Jackson came in an inning early, got Cummings to hit into a force out and Varitek on a pop fly. After walking Trot Nixon to load the bases, Lewis grounded out with the bases juiced. The Tribe loaded the bases in the ninth against Tom Gordon and got one insurance run when he wild pitched home Cora while Thome was at bat. Jackson faced the minimum in the ninth, grounder, single, double play and the Indians had tied the series at a game apiece.

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