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Tribe pitcher Bartolo Colon pitches in the 1st inning. (Phil Masturzo/Beacon Journal)

Tribe's Jim Thome rounds the bases enroute home in his 2nd homerun of the night in the bottom of the 5th inning. (Phil Masturzo/Beacon Journal)

Arm and hammers

Saturday, October 10, 1998


The team with the raggedy record from the raggedy division did it again last night.

This time, they left the bunt in the dugout and turned to their long game. Andy Pettitte's neck might still be stiff today because of it.

The Indians hit four homers against Pettitte, including three in the fifth inning, to beat New York, 6-1, in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series in Jacobs Field. They lead the best-of-seven series, 2-1, following their second straight victory against the favored Yankees.

Dwight Gooden will face Orlando Hernandez tonight in Game 4.

Bartolo Colon did just what he had to do against the Yankees. He stopped their offense, and gave the Tribe's hitters enough time to draw a bead on Pettitte.

After giving up a run in the first, Colon stopped the Yankee offense cold on a four-hitter. New York has scored just two runs in the last 21 innings against Indians pitching.

"We're not hitting," said manager Joe Torre, "but I don't want you to think that the kid didn't pitch a hell of a game. If I'm going to use my team's not hitting as an excuse for losing, then I'm not giving him enough credit."

In two postseason starts, Colon is 1-0 with a 1.23 earned run average (two runs in 14 innings). He's 2-0 with a 0.53 ERA (one run in 17 innings) against the Yankees this year.

Colon's pitching and the Tribe's power overwhelmed a Yankees team that set a league record with 114 regular-season victories to win the AL East by 22 games. The Indians won the AL Central with an 89-73 record. They were the only club with a winning record in the division.

Jim Thome, with one hit in the first two games, ignited the offense with a 421-foot homer into the Tribe's bullpen behind the center-field wall in the second to tie the game, 1-1. Pettitte never recovered.

Mark Whiten, making his postseason debut and his first start since Sept. 27, followed the homer with a double to left. Sandy Alomar Jr. moved him to third with a grounder to second. Then Enrique Wilson bounced a single over second against a drawn-in infield for a 2-1 lead.

Manager Mike Hargrove inserted Whiten and Wilson into the lineup because Pettitte is a left-hander. Whiten went 3-for-4, and Wilson helped turn two of the Tribe's three double plays with shortstop Omar Vizquel.

The Tribe put the game away with four runs in the fifth. The runs were loud and long and came with two outs.

Manny Ramirez homered into the Yankees' bullpen for a 3-1 lead. Travis Fryman drew a walk against Pettitte and Thome hit his second homer, a two-run shot to right.

"I didn't think that one was going to go out," said Thome. "I was trying to help it out by blowing in that direction."

Whiten followed Thome with a 416-foot drive onto the home run plaza in left field. As soon as the ball left Whiten's bat, he tossed the bat high into the air. It landed about eight feet in front of the plate.

"That wasn't rehearsed," said Whiten. "It just happened."

Pettitte was done for the night. A 16-game winner during the regular season, Pettitte has not done well against the Tribe in the postseason.

He's 0-3 with a 9.37 ERA (17 runs and 23 hits in 16 innings) in three starts against the Indians. In last year's division series, Pettitte was 0-2 against them.

Pettitte was 1-1 against the Tribe during the regular season this year. Including the postseason, he's 3-7 lifetime against the Tribe.

"This is the postseason," said Torre. "Every pitch is important. I think Andy is feeling a little extra pressure because we're not scoring runs. We're in a little bit of a dry spell."

The Indians' three homers in the fifth tied an ALCS record. Their four homers in the game also tied an ALCS record.

"That's an awesome lineup," said Torre. "They've got a lot of power. They can really beat you up."

Ramirez, who just missed hitting a second homer when he doubled off the yellow line on top of the center-field fence in the seventh, has hit four homers this postseason. He has 13 in his postseason career, which puts him fourth on the all-time list. Mickey Mantle and Reggie Jackson with 18 and Babe Ruth with 15 are ahead of him.

Thome's homers gave him 10 in his postseason career. Of his five hits this postseason, four are homers.

Last night's victory was a dramatic about-face from the Tribe's crucial victory in Game 2 on Wednesday in Yankee Stadium. In that game, the Indians broke a 1-1 tie on a hotly debated bunt by Travis Fryman in the 12th inning. Wilson scored all the way from first on the bunt to lead the Indians to a 4-1 victory.

"I'm proud of this team," said Hargrove, "but they don't surprise me. We've played well this postseason, and we understand that we were the underdogs coming into this thing. This is not new to us."

Colon's complete game was the first in the ALCS since Chicago's Wilson Alvarez pitched one against Toronto on Oct. 8, 1993, in the SkyDome. It was the first complete game in the postseason by a Tribe pitcher since Bob Lemon went the distance in Game 1 of the 1954 World Series.

"Bartolo was obviously outstanding," said Hargrove. "He was overthrowing his four-seam fastball early in the game. Mark Wiley [pitching coach- went out and talked to him and then he started throwing a nasty two-seamer."

Colon walked four and struck out three. Double plays in the third, fourth and eighth innings got him out of trouble.

The Yankees' only run came on Bernie Williams' two-out single in the first. Chuck Knoblauch, who opened the game with single, scored the run.

Colon allowed just one hit over the last seven innings. He faced 22 batters, only one over the limit, in those seven innings with the help of the three double plays. Vizquel had 11 chances, tying an ALCS record.

"What can you say about Omar," said Colon. "He's a great athlete. But don't forget Enrique Wilson. He was out there, too."

©1998 THE PLAIN DEALER. Used with permission.

BOX SCORE -    10/9/98


NY YANKEES             ab  r  h rbi bb so lob   avg
Knoblauch 2b            3  1  2  0   1  0   2  .160
Jeter ss                3  0  0  0   0  0   2  .190
Oneill rf               3  0  0  0   1  0   0  .292
Williams cf             4  0  1  1   0  0   1  .174
Martinez 1b             4  0  0  0   0  2   1  .125
Davis dh                1  0  0  0   2  0   0  .250
Spencer lf              3  0  0  0   0  1   2  .250
Brosius 3b              3  0  0  0   0  0   1  .333
Girardi c               2  0  1  0   0  0   0  .333
 a-Posada ph-c          1  0  0  0   0  0   0  .250

Totals                 27  1  4  1   4  3   9

a-lined to first for Girardi in the 8th.

BATTING: S - Jeter. RBI - Williams (3). 2-out RBI - Williams.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out - Knoblauch 1. GIDP -
Williams, Spencer, Jeter. Team LOB - 4.

CLEVELAND              ab  r  h rbi bb so lob   avg
Lofton cf               5  0  0  0   0  2   1  .226
Vizquel ss              4  0  3  0   1  0   0  .214
Justice dh              5  0  0  0   0  1   5  .276
Ramirez rf              4  1  3  1   1  0   1  .385
Fryman 3b               3  1  1  0   1  0   3  .200
Thome 1b                4  2  2  3   0  0   2  .185
Whiten lf               3  2  2  1   1  0   1  .667
Alomar c                4  0  0  0   0  0   3  .167
Wilson 2b               4  0  1  1   0  1   3  .167

Totals                 36  6 12  6   4  4  19

BATTING: 2B - Whiten (1, Pettitte); Ramirez (3, Mendoza). HR -
Thome 2 (4, 2nd inning off Pettitte 0 on, 0 out, 5th inning off
Pettitte 1 on, 2 out); Ramirez (4, 5th inning off Pettitte 0 on,
2 out); Whiten (1, 5th inning off Pettitte 0 on, 2 out). RBI -
Thome 3 (5), Wilson (1), Ramirez (6), Whiten (1). 2-out RBI -
Ramirez, Thome 2, Whiten. Runners left in scoring position, 
2 out - Fryman 1, Justice 1, Wilson 2. Team LOB - 10.

FIELDING: DP: 3 (Vizquel-Thome, Vizquel-Wilson-Thome, Wilson-Vizquel-Thome). 

    Ny Yankees     - 100 000 000  --  1
    Cleveland      - 020 040 00X  --  6


NY YANKEES                   ip       h   r  er  bb  so  hr    era
Pettitte (L, 1-1)             4 2/3   8   6   6   3   1   4   5.40
Mendoza                       1 1/3   3   0   0   0   0   0   0.00
Stanton                       2       1   0   0   1   3   0   0.00

CLEVELAND                    ip       h   r  er  bb  so  hr    era
Colon (W, 1-0)                9       4   1   1   4   3   0   1.23

Mendoza pitched to 2 batters in the 7th.

IBB - Whiten (by Stanton).  Pitches-strikes: Colon 116-67;
Pettitte 87-51; Mendoza 26-18; Stanton 28-17.  Ground balls-fly balls: 
Colon 16-8; Pettitte 7-6; Mendoza 3-1; Stanton 1-2. Batters faced: 
Colon 32; Pettitte 25; Mendoza 7; Stanton 8. 

UMPIRES: HP--John Shulock. 1B--Larry Young. 2B--Tim Welke.
3B--Jim Mckean. LF--Jim Evans. RF--Ted Hendry.
T--2:53.  Att--44,904.   Weather: 57 degrees, partly cloudy.  
Wind: 6 mph, in from center.