Monday, April 04, 2005


April 4th, 1997

Indians Play at Angels

Although this was just the third game of the season for both teams, it proved to be an interesting start to the season, a battle between two teams that would finish within two games of each other in the standings, although thanks to divisions, one of them, Cleveland, would go to the playoffs and the pennant, while the other, Anaheim, would watch the World Series from home.

The game began with neither Indians' starter Bartolo Colon or Angels' hurler Allen Watson pitching well.
Colon allowed two runs in the bottom of the first, but Watson allowed the Indians to respond on a Sandy Alomar home run. The Angels responded with two off Colon in their half of the second, but Watson allowed a two-run Matt Williams double to tie the game. After three innings then, the score was 4-4 with neither starter impressing. After that however, the game would remain scoreless as Colon, Watson and three relievers on each side combined for seven shutout innings.

The game again took a wild turn in the eleventh. With knuckleball pitcher Dennis Springing in for Anaheim, David Justice walked and Sandy Alomar hit a ground-rule double, putting him on second and pinch-runner Chad Curtis on third. Tony Fernandez wrapped a double off the centerfield wall, scoring Curtis and Alomar, and putting the Indians up 4-2. After a Marquis Grissom walk, Jim Thome singled but Fernandez was thrown out at home plate by centerfielder Jim Edmonds.

Now down two runs, the Angels rued their performance in the 10th, when they had loaded the bases with nobody out only to see a pop-up and 8-2 double play get
Cleveland out of the inning without allowing any runs. Darin Erstad singled to lead off the bottom end of the eleventh and Luis Alicea followed with a single of his own. Jim Edmonds ran the count to three and two and after fouling off a pair of pitches drew a walk, again loading the bases with nobody out.

Indians reliever Paul Shuey ran the count to three and two again, this time on clean-up hitter Tim Salmon. After Salmon fouled off a split-fingered fastball, Shuey came back with a straight fastball and Salmon parked it straight over the fence for a walk-off grand slam, the exclamation point on a 8-6 Angels win.

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