Over the past week in between work, the wife, and the holiday madness, I knocked out three series from my 'APBA Tournament of Champions' (ATOC) project.
- 1967 Boston Red Sox vs 1995 Cleveland Indians
- 1946 Boston Red Sox vs 1954 New York Giants
- 1941 Brooklyn Dodgers vs 1999 Arizona Diamondbacks
First we will start with the 'Impossible Dream' Red Sox of 1967 facing the 1995 Indians.
In Game 1 (in Cleveland), Sandy Alomar Jr. smacks a three-run homer during the bottom of the 2nd, while three other Indians (Carlos Baerga, Kenny Lofton & Jim Thome) will later hit home runs. Red Sox starting pitcher Jim Lonborg had no control, as he walked 4, allowed 4 hits & 6 earned runs in only 4.1 innings of work. Cleveland wins 9-2.
Game 2 (also in Cleveland) - In a sense of somewhat deja vu, Sandy Alomar Jr strikes again during the bottom of the 2nd (again), this time with a grand slam. In both games, Sandy gave the Cleveland gang a 4-0 lead through 2 innings. This game would be closer, each time Boston cut the lead in half (trailing 4-2 or 6-3), Cleveland would add some insurance runs. Reggie Smith's two-run home run during the top of the 9th, to suddenly make it only a Cleveland 7-5 lead with one out, made the Indians call for closer Jose Mesa. Indians hold on to 7-5 victory.
Finally back in Boston, the Red Sox have a chance to win one at home & hopefully put themselves in position to make this a series. The Indians' Charles Nagy didn't have his A-Game in Game 3, in fact he didn't even have his C-Y Game (Nagy is graded a C-Y)... allowing 4 earned runs (5 runs), 8 hits & a walk in only 3.2 innings. The Red Sox' Mike Andrews hit a two-run single during the bottom of the 4th, to give Boston a 5-1 early lead.
The latest hit for Andrews gave him 5 hits in 10 at-bats, to go along with 3 RBI.
The Red Sox kept that comfy 5-1 lead entering the top of the 7th, as Kenny Lofton's RBI single kept Indians in striking distance, trailing 5-2. Boston's reliever Dan Osinski did an excellent job at getting Boston out of the 7th inning, but not-so-much in the 8th inning. Osinski walked lead-off hitter in Albert Belle, which was followed by a two-run homer by Jim Thome. Indians suddenly trailing only 5-4, with no outs, Manny Ramirez hits a triple. Tying run on 3rd, Paul Sorrento makes Osinski pay the price as Sorrento sends it into the stands to give the tribe a 6-5 lead. The collapse would continue in the 9th as Jim Thome hits a two-run double off of Sparky Lyle, as the Indians would end up sweeping the 67' Red Sox, 3-0, while crushing their dreams.
Carl Yastrzemski, by the way, had no hits in 8 at-bats, he reached base 5 times on three walks, a hit-by-pitch & 2nd on Error. Tony Conigliaro didn't do much better, he went 1-for-8 during the first two games, and appeared to finally show up with 2 hits during his first two at-bats, until he was ejected from the game in the 4th inning of Game 3, as he was called out stealing second.
Sandy Alomar Jr ended the series 5-for-8 (.625) with 2 HR, 8 RBI, 2B & 3 runs during 2 games of action. The Indians gave Alomar the day off in Game 3, while the team had a comfortable 2-0 series lead.