The ’95 Indians were first in the majors in hits, runs, HR, OPB and slugging. Their team OPS was .839, .002 points lower than Freddie’s in 2015. Starters Albert Belle, Manny Ramirez, Carlos Baerga, Kenny Lofton, Jim Thome and Eddie Murray all batted higher than .300.
Fortunately, the Braves had Greg Maddux going in Game 1 of the World Series., and the best pitcher of his generation was never better. He allowed only two hits, both singles, and walked none in The two runs scored against him were unearned; in the first, Lofton reached on an error, stole second, stole third and scored on a grounder to short by Baerga. The second run scored in the 9th, on a throwing error by Fred McGriff.
The Braves scored all the runs they’d need in the 7th.
With the infield playing at double-play depth, Polonia sent a bouncer to Omar Vizquel at shortstop. It looked like a double play, but Vizquel bobbled the ball and barely managed to step on second base to force Devereaux as McGriff scored for a 2-1 lead.
When Hargrove was asked why he didn’t play the infield in to cut off the run at the plate, he said, “Maddux was so dominant, we decided to give him the one run.”
With the bases still loaded, Rafael Belliard squeezed home Justice with a perfectly placed bunt.
Only two balls reached the outfield. Maddux retired 13 and 12 batters in a row at different points in the game.
Orel Hershiser was stout as well and the score was tied at 1 going into the 7th. But after the Braves loaded the bases with none out, on consecutive walks to Justice and McGriff, Hershiser removed himself from the game, saying he couldn’t locate his release point. Paul Assenmacher got the call and promptly walked Mike Devereaux, loading the bases for new pitcher Julian Tavarez.
Maddux needed just 95 pitches in a game that took just two-and-a-half hours.