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Mike Hargrove gives home plate umpire Joe Brinkman, left, an earful as Sandy Alomar watches after Brinkman ejected Hargrove from Game 2 of the Division Series Wednesday. Brinkman called the first three pitches from Indians pitcher Dwight Gooden balls to Boston Red Sox batter Darren Lewis prompting Hargrove to leave the dugout. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

Getting mad and even

Short fuses ignite Tribe's 9-5 victory

Thursday, October 01, 1998

By PAUL HOYNES
PLAIN DEALER REPORTER

It took 25 minutes to play the top half of the first inning yesterday in Game 2 of the division series between the Indians and Boston. Not a second went to waste.

At one point in the Indians' 9-5 victory that evened the best-of-five series at one victory apiece, Dwight Gooden was turning over tables, pounding walls and throwing chairs in the locker room after being ejected by plate umpire Joe Brinkman just 22 pitches and one out into the eighth postseason start of his career.

Meanwhile, in the runway that joins the locker room to the dugout, manager Mike Hargrove kept John Hart, his angry general manager, from confronting American League President Gene Budig over Brinkman's actions.

Why was Hargrove managing from the runway?

He'd been ejected by Brinkman after Gooden's first three pitches of the game.

With baseball's version of Camelot ablaze - the Indians trailed, 2-0, were missing their starting pitcher and manager and faced the prospect of being eliminated in Game 3 tomorrow in Fenway Park - Travis Fryman talked to some of his whiplashed teammates while the Jacobs Field crowd made more noise than at any time this season.

"We could have gone one of two ways," Fryman said. "We could have said the umpires and everyone else are against us. Or we could say in spite of all that's gone on, we've still got eight innings left to win this game."

It helped that the Indians had Dave Burba, who relieved Gooden and saved what is already a weary bullpen by pitching 5 innings for the victory. It didn't hurt that whatever flutter Tim Wakefield had in his knuckleball might have flown away during those 25 long, but action-packed, minutes in the top of the first.

It helped even more that the Indians finally scored some runs against the Red Sox. David Justice, who could have had four hits yesterday if not for some fine Boston defense, hit a three-run homer in the second for a 6-2 lead. He finished with four runs batted in, including a sacrifice fly in the first.

Sandy Alomar Jr., who had an offensive season to forget this year, doubled twice and drove in two runs. Kenny Lofton went 2-for-4, scored two runs and stole a base.

Now back to the first.

Gooden started the game by throwing three straight balls to Darren Lewis. He thought the last two were strikes. When he showed his frustration, Brinkman took off his mask and started yelling at him. Gooden put his hands in front of his chest trying to halt the argument.

Brinkman motioned to Gooden to bring his pitches up in the strike zone.

Hargrove walked to the mound to calm Gooden. On his way back to the dugout, he confronted Brinkman and was ejected.

When play resumed, Gooden still couldn't find Brinkman's strike zone as the crowd booed every ball called. John Valentin walked on a 3-2 pitch, but not before Lewis stole second and went to third on Alomar's throwing error. Gooden responded by striking out Mo Vaughn, but gave up a double high off the left-field wall to Nomar Garciaparra.

Lewis scored easily, but good relay throws by Brian Giles and Omar Vizquel had the ball in Alomar's glove at the plate ahead of the sliding Valentin. It appeared that Alomar tagged Valentin's left shoulder before he touched home, but Brinkman called him safe.

Alomar calmly walked away.

"He was out, I knew it," said Alomar, "but I wasn't going to get kicked out of the game."

By that time Gooden had no such restraint. He screamed at Brinkman, "Get in the [expletive- game," as he walked back to the mound after backing up the play at the plate.

"It wasn't like he was in a bad position and couldn't see the play," Gooden said.

What Gooden didn't see as he walked to the mound was Brinkman ejecting him. When Gooden was told he had to leave the field by the other umpires, he charged Brinkman and had to be restrained by third-base coach Jeff Newman. He even tossed his glove and cap at Brinkman.

"I told him you go pitch," he said.

Then Gooden took on the clubhouse.

"He tore the place up," said one witness. "Guys were coming in and saying, "Man, you really fired us up.' "

Said Gooden: "I was glad they said that, but in the back of my mind I was saying, "I didn't want to fire anybody up that way. I wanted to pitch.' "

His start equaled the shortest in Indians postseason history. Ray Caldwell piched one-third of an inning in Game 3 of the 1920 World Series against Brooklyn.

As for Hart, he did talk to Budig, but only after Hargrove talked him down.

"Grover was saying, "John, that's not a good idea,' " Hart said.

Burba allowed three runs on four hits to win his second postseason game. Mike Jackson, in the longest appearance of the season, pitched the final two innings for the save. The tension from the first inning still crackled when Jackson threw high and inside to Valentin to start the ninth.

Valentin and Jackson exchanged words as the teams came onto the field. But play quickly resumed and Jackson got Valentin to ground out, and eventually started a 1-4-3 double play to end the game.

The Tribe won it with five runs in the second. Alomar doubled home Brian Giles to make it 2-2. After a Joey Cora walk, Lofton doubled home Alomar to knock Wakefield out of the game. John Wasdin relieved and retired Vizquel, but Justice hit a first-pitch homer into the right-field seats for his ninth postseason homer.

"Today was a crash course in character building so to speak," Fryman said. "I think a game like this will elevate our play a little bit."

©1998 THE PLAIN DEALER.

BOX SCORE -    9/30/98


BOSTON (5) AT CLEVELAND (9) PLAYOFFS - FINAL 

BOSTON                 ab  r  h rbi bb so lob   avg
D Lewis cf              4  2  1  0   1  1   4  .500
John Valentin 3b        4  1  1  0   1  0   1  .500
Vaughn 1b               4  0  1  0   1  2   4  .444
N Garciaparra ss        4  1  2  3   0  0   3  .375
Stanley dh              4  1  2  0   0  1   2  .375
Oleary lf               3  0  1  0   1  1   1  .125
Bragg rf                3  0  0  0   0  1   1  .125
 a-Buford ph            0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000
 b-Cummings ph          1  0  0  0   0  0   2  .000
 Sadler 2b              0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000
Varitek c               4  0  1  1   0  1   2  .250
M Benjamin 2b           3  0  1  0   0  1   1  .143
 c-T Nixon ph-rf        0  0  0  0   1  0   0  .000

Totals                 34  5 10  4   5  8  21

a-pinch-hit for Bragg in the 8th; b-hit into fielder's choice
for Buford in the 8th; c-walked for M Benjamin in the 8th.

BATTING: 2B - N Garciaparra (1, Gooden); D Lewis (1, Burba). 
SF - N Garciaparra. RBI - N Garciaparra 3 (7), Varitek (1). 2-out
RBI - Varitek. Runners left in scoring position, 2 out - Oleary 1, 
D Lewis 2. GIDP - Bragg, N Garciaparra.  Team LOB - 8.

BASERUNNING: SB - D Lewis (1, 2nd base off Gooden/S Alomar). 

FIELDING: PB - Varitek 2. DP: 2 (John Valentin-
M Benjamin-Vaughn, N Garciaparra-M Benjamin-Vaughn). 

CLEVELAND              ab  r  h rbi bb so lob   avg
Lofton cf               4  2  2  1   1  0   1  .500
Vizquel ss              4  0  0  0   1  0   2  .000
Justice dh              4  2  2  4   0  0   3  .375
M Ramirez rf            3  0  2  1   0  1   3  .429
Thome 1b                4  0  0  0   1  1   5  .125
 Sexson 1b              0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000
Fryman 3b               3  1  1  0   1  1   2  .143
Giles lf                2  1  0  0   1  1   2  .167
S Alomar c              4  1  2  2   0  0   2  .429
J Cora 2b               2  2  0  0   2  1   1  .000

Totals                 30  9  9  8   7  5  21

BATTING: 2B - S Alomar 2 (3, Wakefield, J Wasdin); Lofton (1,
Wakefield); M Ramirez 2 (2, Lowe 2); Justice (2, Lowe). 
HR - Justice (1, 2nd inning off J Wasdin 2 on, 2 out). SF - Justice.
RBI - Justice 4 (4), S Alomar 2 (2), Lofton (3), M Ramirez (1).
2-out RBI - Justice 3, M Ramirez. Runners left in scoring
position, 2 out - Thome 4, Lofton 1, Fryman 1. GIDP - S Alomar 2.  
Team LOB - 8.

BASERUNNING: SB - Lofton (1, 2nd base off Wakefield/Varitek). 

FIELDING: E - S Alomar (1, throw). DP: 2 (Vizquel-J Cora-Thome,
M Jackson-J Cora-Sexson). 

--------------------------------------------------
    Boston         - 201 002 000  --  5
    Cleveland      - 151 001 01X  --  9

--------------------------------------------------

BOSTON                       ip       h   r  er  bb  so  hr    era
Wakefield (L, 0-1)            1 1/3   3   5   5   2   1   0  33.75
J Wasdin                      1 2/3   2   2   2   1   2   1  10.80
Lowe                          2 2/3   3   1   1   1   0   0   3.37
Swindell                      1 1/3   0   0   0   1   1   0   0.00
Gordon                        1       1   1   1   2   1   0   9.00

CLEVELAND                    ip       h   r  er  bb  so  hr    era
Gooden                          1/3   1   2   2   2   1   0  54.00
Burba (W, 1-0)                5 1/3   4   3   3   2   4   0   5.06
Shuey (H, 1)                  1 1/3   3   0   0   0   3   0   0.00
Assenmacher (H, 1)            0       1   0   0   0   0   0   0.00
M Jackson (S, 1)              2       1   0   0   1   0   0   0.00

Shuey pitched to 1 batter in the 8th.
Assenmacher pitched to 1 batter in the 8th.

WP - Gordon. IBB - Thome (by Lowe). HBP - M Ramirez 2 (by
Wakefield, by J Wasdin); Giles (by Lowe).  Pitches-strikes:
Gooden 22-8; Burba 75-50; Shuey 22-15; Assenmacher 1-1; 
M Jackson 23-12; Wakefield 42-21; J Wasdin 34-19; Lowe 42-22;
Swindell 20-11; Gordon 27-13.  Ground balls-fly balls: Gooden 0-0; 
Burba 6-6; Shuey 1-0; Assenmacher 0-0; M Jackson 5-1; Wakefield 2-1; 
J Wasdin 0-3; Lowe 8-0; Swindell 2-1; Gordon 1-1. Batters faced: 
Gooden 4; Burba 21; Shuey 7; Assenmacher 1; M Jackson 7; Wakefield 10; 
J Wasdin 9; Lowe 12; Swindell 4; Gordon 6. 

UMPIRES: HP--Joe Brinkman. 1B--John Hirschbeck. 2B--Larry Mccoy.
3B--Dave Phillips. LF--Chuck Meriwether. RF--Dale Scott. 
EJECTIONS: CLEVELAND's Manager M Hargrove by Brinkman (1st),
CLEVELAND's Gooden by Brinkman (1st). 
T--3:25.  Att--45,229.   Weather: 68 degrees, cloudy.   Wind: 7 mph, 
in from left center.