Last week, we took some fun still shots from Game 1 of the 1990 ALCS between Oakland and Boston at Fenway Park.
Today, the series continues with a recap of Game 5 of the 1999 ALDS: the Red Sox at Indians at Jacobs Field. The starting pitching matchup was Bret Saberhagen versus Charles Nagy. But a certain other right-hander for Boston would calmly bide his time on the bench before eventually stealing the show.
The Fox feed is spliced with audio from Indians radio announcers Tom Hamilton and Mike Hegan.
04:21: A Cleveland fan sporting a sign that says, “We Are the Curse” is really quite excited that Charles Nagy has induced two quick groundouts in the first inning.
06:06: Brian Daubach singles and Nomar homers to center field (on the first pitch). 2-0, Boston.
08:55: Bret Saberhagen, his shoulder tendons held together with “steel anchors,” got the start for Boston in Game 5. Sabes also started Game 2 and gave up six runs in the 3rd inning as Cleveland won 11-1. Shoulder pain (which forced him to the DL three times during the regular season) restricted his ability to throw his change-up, which at his advanced age was about the only swing-and-miss stuff he had left.
11:44: After Saberhagen misses badly en route to walking Kenny Lofton to open the inning, a shot of Pedro Martinez calmly sitting in the dugout.
13:29: Mike Hargrove quickly gave up on his dispute that Jason Varitek may have touched an Omar Vizquel bunt attempt in fair territory. So Jimy Williams’ coming out of the dugout afterward feels a bit, you know, gratuitous…almost like he just wanted to be seen here. He looks pretty comfortable and relaxed, though.
14:20: For no reason in particular, let’s take a moment to admire the well-timed, controlled extension of Kenny Lofton’s left arm on this slide as he easily steals second base.
16:01: For no reason in particular, Fox takes a moment to show Pedro sporting spikes in the dugout after the Indians quickly get a run back off Saberhagen.
17:00: Manny’s well-documented struggles in the series (0-for-15, 7 Ks) were believed to be due to a glitch in his batting stance in which he had his feet too close together.
19:44: Split screen of Pedro Martinez trying to will Saberhagen out of the inning from the dugout. Jim Thome would hit a mammoth two-run homer. Three more cuts to Pedro sitting on the bench. Hamilton eventually says Pedro is available for maybe two innings. Hegan says that’s still a “big if.”
35:25: Travis Fryman’s home run (briefly called a double before the umpires conferred) in the 2nd inning chases Saberhagen. Derek Lowe is first out of the bullpen. Lowe would wind up surrendering three runs in two innings.
47:31: Trot Nixon doing eye drops in the dugout in plain view of everyone. Everything you’ve heard about performance enhancers in the late 1990s was obviously very true. And just look at a dejected Bret Saberhagen pretending not to notice or care.
50:57: The Indians walk Nomar to get to Troy O’Leary.
51:55: Troy O’Leary hits a grand slam on the first pitch. 7-3, Boston.
1:00:09: Capping off an Indians rally, Jim Thome hits his second jack of the game – this one off Lowe – to quickly give the Indians back the lead, 8-7.
1:03:06: Look who’s up in the bullpen….Rod Beck! And some other guy in the shadows on the left.
1:14:24: Pedro comes in with the game tied, 8-8, after John Valentin hit a sacrifice fly in the top of the 4th.
1:14:51: Jimy must have been saving John Wasdin, Kent Mercker, et al for later…
1:15:02: Pedro had actually gone only four innings in Game 1, looking mortal while striking out just three batters before leaving with back pain. It was no foregone conclusion he was OK five days later.
1:18:16: Lofton tries to beat out a grounder to first with that same slide he used to steal second base.
1:18:23: The result is a bit more painful…a dislocated left shoulder. A bad omen for the Indians. (Is there any other kind of omen in Cleveland?)
1:33:35: Still shaking off some rust in the 5th, Pedro has a breaking ball slip out of his hand and barely miss Manny Ramirez. Manny would wind up earning one of three walks surrendered by Pedro.
1:36:45: Pedro drops an absolutely perfect 3-1 curve right on the outside corner to Thome.
1:50:40: A somewhat forgotten fact: Dave Roberts took over for Lofton in center after his ill-advised slide into first base. Roberts appeared in 41 games for Cleveland in 1999. The announcers would even lament that the team needed to “count on” guys like Dave Roberts to get to the ALCS.
2:00:34: Paul Shuey gives up an infield hit to Valentin and, after an intentional walk to Nomar, Troy O’Leary does it again. A three-run HR lands right over the Red Sox bullpen, which Pedro had rendered into a glorified cheering section.
2:00:57: 11-8, Boston. This Cleveland fan’s face sums it up…
2:03:12 / 2:03:32: These guys too.
2:04:52: And, as Pedro begins to look more untouchable, striking out contact hitter Roberto Alomar swinging.
2:06:10: Manny strikes out looking, which doesn’t help this fan’s outlook. Fox spent as much time showing Cleveland fans just staring into space as it did Pedro breezing his way through a 1-2-3 bottom of the 7th.
2:18:00: Nomar ends the eighth with this catch in foul territory.
2:20:40: Rheal Cormier, Ramon Martinez and Rod Beck all got loose in the top of the 9th.
2:21:36: Donnie Sadler! In to run after a Brian Daubach double, Sadler would score Boston’s 12th and final run on a Nomar double. Not that they needed it.
2:31:00: Pedro completes six shutout, hitless relief innings. Finishing with Beck or Cormier just wouldn’t have been right.