Thursday, August 4, 2011

1965 Round 1: Tribe takes 3 of 4 from Motown

GAME 1 - Tiger Stadium
Sam McDowell vs Denny McLain
Indians 3, Tigers 2

"Sudden Sam" McDowell
fanned 9 and had a shutout heading into the 8th when the 135 pitches that he threw finally caught up to him in the form of 2 Tiger runs.  Luckily for McDowell his offense supplied him with a 3-0 lead.  Fred Whitfield solo shot in the 4th made it 1-0 Tribe.  Vic Davalillo's sac fly in the 5th made it 2-0, but the most important run came in the top of the 8th as Pedro Gonzalez singled home Whitfield.  That insurance run would be the margin for victory.  Gary "Ding Dong" Bell closed the door on Detroit in relief of McDowell.  Denny McLain went 8 and spent the whole day dancing in and out of trouble.  McLain gave up 3 runs on 10 hits, but did fan 6.
Indians lead series 1-0

GAME 2 - Tiger Stadium
Luis Tiant vs Mickey Lolich
Indians 9, Tigers 6
In a battle of clutch post season hurlers, neither guy impressed very much.  Tiant gave up 6 in 5 1/3, while Lolich gave up 8 (6 earned) in 7 1/3.  Heading into the 7th the Tigers actually had a 6-5 lead, but the Tribe battled back for more runs vs Lolich and his replacement Terry Fox.  Vic Davalillo's two out homer in the 7th tied the game at 6-6.  Fred Whitfield's 2 run shot in the 8th gave the Tribe a 2 run lead and Leon Wagner's sac fly in the 9th bumped that lead up to 3.  Lee Strange did a fantastic job in relief of the ineffective Tiant.  Strange went 3 2/3 scoreless innings, where he gave up just one hit (a solo single to Dick McAuliffe in the 9th).  Strange deservedly earned the win.
Indians lead series 2-0

GAME 3 - Municipal Stadium
Hank Aguirre vs Sonny Siebert
Tigers 3, Indians 0
Al Kaline's two run shot in the top of the first was all the support that Hank Aguirre would need or require.  Detroit's veteran hurler went the distance with an impressive 2 hit shutout.  Aguirre fanned 9 Tribesmen, which included Pedro Gonzalez 3 times.  Aguirre struck out the side in the 5th and was a lock for the win once Don Wert added the 3rd run in the 7th on a squeeze play.
Indians lead series 2-1

GAME 4 - Municipal Stadium
Denny McLain vs Ralph Terry
Indians 3, Tigers 1
Working on short rest, Denny McLain was tasked with staving off elimination for the Tigers.  Al Kaline's solo blast in the first was the only run scored by both teams until McLain ran out of gas in the bottom of the 8th.  After giving up a single to Joe Azcue, McLain's day was done.  Terry Fox came in and got Max Alvis to pop out to left.  Things began to go south real fast after that.  Dick Howser worked out a walk and so did pinch hitter Chuck Hinton.  With the bases loaded Vic Davalillo lifted a sac fly to deep right to tie the game at 1-1.  Veteran Leon Wagner would then deliver the knock out blow with a 2 run single to score Howser and Hinton.  Ralph Terry, who left for a pinch hitter (Hinton), was replaced by Gary Bell.  After Jake Wood walked in the top of the 9th Al Kaline lined a bullet to right, but was robbed of a hit by prodigal son Rocky Colavito.  Norm Cash and Bill Freehan would also line out to Rocky, who is as sure handed as they come.  Bell would get his second save of this series and Terry, who gave up just 1 run in 8 innings of work, got the win.
Indians win series 3-1
Side note:  Tribe manager Bill Keller said after the series’ completion:  “This quite possibly might be my best Tribe team for the decade”

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