Monday, September 26, 2011

1965 ALCS: Tribe outlasts Pale Hose in 7 games

GAME 1 - Comiskey
Luis Tiant vs Joe Horlen
Indians 4, White Sox 3
Fireballing Cuban Luis Tiant went the distance allowing 3 runs off of 6 hits.  Horlen exited in the middle of the 4th due to blisters.  The Tribe scored a solo run in 4 consecutive innings (2-5).  Max Alvis' double in the 5th off of Bob Locker scored Leon Wagner and held up to be the game winner as nobody scored over the final 4 frames.
Indians lead series 1-0

GAME 2 - Comiskey
Sonny Siebert vs John Buzhardt
Indians 10, White Sox 5
The upstart Tribe outslugged the Pale Hose en route to a 2-0 series lead.  Leadoff hitter Vic Davalillo went 4 for 5 with 3 runs scored and one RBI.  Rocky Colavito had a 3 for 4 day as the Tribe blistered Buzhardt and company with 10 runs on 13 hits.
Indians lead series 2-0

GAME 3 - Municipal
Tommy John vs Ralph Terry
White Sox 5, Indians 2
The number #2 seeded Pale Hose found themselves in desperation mode.  Down 2-0 in the series and heading to the road is not the ideal way to win a pennant.  With young Tommy John and veteran Ralph Terry dueling to a 2-2 tie after 7 innings of play the Chisox cashed in off of reliever Don McMahon thanks to consecutive throwing errors by Tribe catcher Joe Azcue.  Mighty Mite Al Weis singled home Don Buford and with 2 outs Ron Hansen delivered the knockout punch with a 2 run double to make it 5-2 visitors.  Hoyt Wilhelm came on board as John tired and got the final 5 outs to get the Chisox back into the series.
Indians lead series 2-1

GAME 4 - Municipal
Gary Peters vs Sam McDowell
White Sox 10, Indians 2
Max Alvis' single in the bottom of the first gave the Tribe a quick 1-0 lead that had no chance of making it to the finish line once the Chisox exploded offensively in the 4th and 5th.  Six huge runs broke the game wide open in the 4th as Sudden Sam became Sullen Sam.  Johnny Romano's grand salami signaled the end for McDowell.  Three more runs in the 5th salted away the victory as the Pale Hose evened up the series.  To this point the home team had not gained a victory.  Hail to the Road Warriors.
Series tied 2-2

GAME 5 - Municipal
Joe Horlen vs Luis Tiant
Indians 4, White Sox 2
A virtual replay of the series opener.  An RBI single by Moose Skowron and a bases loaded walk to Johnny Romano gave Joe Horlen a 2-0 lead even before he threw his first pitch.  Horlen would throw just 12 pitches on the day and not record a single out as the Tribe battered him to the tune of 4 runs on 3 hits.  Leon Wagner's grand slam off reliever Horlen gave the Tribe a 4-2 lead and marked the end of Horlen's abbreviated stint.  After combining to score 6 runs in the first inning the Tribe and the Pale Hose settled into a scoreless tie the rest of the way.  Tiant would toss 5 of those scoreless innings before yielding to veteran reliever Don McMahon, who pitched 3 scoreless innings in relief for the save.  Chicago trotted out 4 relievers to hold the Tribe in check and give the offense a chance to mount a comeback that never came.  Finally a home team won a game in this series !
Indians lead series 3-2

GAME 6 - Comiskey
Sonny Siebert vs John Buzhardt
White Sox 3, Indians 1
After having his first bad stint in the tournament in game 2, John Buzhardt (4-0, 1.54) rebounded with 7 innings of shutout ball before handing the ball over to Bob Locker.  Chicago scored right out of the starting block when Buford and Floyd Robinson led off the bottom of the 1st with singles and Al Weis bunted home Buford to make it 1-0.  Moose Skowron, who is hitting .362 in the tournament once again turned back the clock to his Yankee glory years with a solo blast to lead off the 4th to make it 2-0.  Floyd Robinson's RBI single in the 5th gave Buzhardt a solid 3-0 lead.  Cleveland put together a two out rally in the 9th off of Locker to score Alvis on Azcue's single.  After weak hitting shortstop Larry Brown worked out a walk to load the bases tension began to mount.  Locker needed 1 more out to force a decisive game 7.  After working the count to 2-2 Davalillo hit an elevator in a silo that dropped neatly into Romano's glove in front of the plate to end the game.
Series tied 3-3

GAME 7 - Comiskey
Ralph Terry vs Tommy John
Indians 3, White Sox 2
Game 7's come with a built in tension all to themselves.  Throw in 4 scoreless innings of baseball to start the game and you have yourself a big time pressure cooker.  Chicago's youthful southpaw, Tommy John was going pitch for pitch with the wiley veteran Ralph Terry, who is no stranger to game 7 pressure.  For those of you not up on your history, Terry had the misfortune of standing on the hill back in 1960 when Bill Mazeroski hit a series clinching homer to lead off the bottom of the 9th.  In 1962 he was on the mound when Willie McCovey hit a missile to Bobby Richardson to end that series, this time with better results.  Terry, who is now an old 29, is trying to turn back the clock and recreate the magic of his pinstripe years.  Who would crack first ?  They young lefty for Chicago or Cleveland's crusty veteran ?  The answer would be that they would both crack.  John cracked first in the 5th when he issued a leadoff walk to Brown who scored on a Pedro Gonzalez double to make it 1-0.  Terry figured into the offense by squeezing home Gonzalez to make it 2-0.  

As the day began to grow shorter and shorter the Chisox needed to get something going and solve Terry soon.  After Moose Skowron singled off of his former teammate to lead off the bottom of the 7th Johnny Romano followed suit and Danny Cater worked out a walk to load the bases with nobody out.  Tommy McCraw dropped down a perfect squeeze bunt to make it a 2-1 game and Ron Hansen grounded weakly to second to score Ken Berry, who pinch ran for Romano, to tie it up at 2-2.  Did Chicago sell themselves short by playing small ball in the 7th ?  Should they have gone for the gusto and played for the big inning ?  The answer came just a half inning later when Rocky Colavito lined a 2 out double off of Hoyt Wilhelm.  With first base open and Max Alvis on deck the Chisox elected to pitch to Leon Wagner, who promptly lined a single to right to score Rocky and give the Tribe a 3-2 lead.  By this point Terry was sitting squarely on the bench a spectator to the festivities.  Gary "Ding Dong" Bell was not on board for his second inning of relief.  After Don Buford reached first on a Gonzalez error Al Weiss hit a bullet to right that Colavito caught off his shoetops.  Since Buford was moving on the hit and run Rocky, who has the best arm in the business, rifled a throw back to first to easily double up Buford.  Floyd Robinson worked out a 2 out walk, but was stranded on base when Moose Skowron's blast succumbed to the depth of the big ballpark on 35th street.  Skrowron got all of it, but between the wind and Comiskey's size the ball landed safely in Colavito's glove one stride from the base of the wall.  Bell would have an easier time in the bottom of the 9th when Ken Berry was thrown out stealing and McCraw grounded back to the box.  Ron Hansen attempted an ill advised bunt for a hit that Alvis barehanded and nipped Hansen by a stride to end the game and the series.  Bell would be awarded the win for his 3 scoreless innings of work and the Tribe would make an improbable march to an all Ohio World Series vs the Reds.
Indians win series 4-3

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