The Indians pulled off a mild upset, upsetting the division-winning Angels in seven games in the opening round of the playoffs. There were four really close games and three blowouts. Pitching, especially from the bullpens, was atrocious. Get these numbers -- Armando Benitez (14.73 ERA) and Todd Jones (16.20) for the Indians and Mike Venafro (18.00), Curtis Leskanic (15.43), Trevor Hoffman (7.74) and Hopolito Pichardo (7.71) for the Angels, who had a team ERA of 6.51.
Manny Ramirez was definitely the series MVP. He hit .433 with 6 HRs and 14 RBIs. Jim Thome chipped in with a .400 average, 3 HRs and 7 RBIs. The Angels hit .307 as a team, led by Pudge Rodriguez's .526 average (also 2 HRs, 6 RBIs) and Devi Cruz -- 2 HRs, 7 RBIs, .433 average. However, Sean Casey hit only .118 and team regular-season MVP Tim Salmon just .192.
Here are recaps of the seven games. Attached are all the box scores and export files.
Game 1 -- Indians 11, Angels 8 in 12 innings (Thome and Jenkins homered as Cleveland assumed a 6-4 lead in the 8th. However, Kennedy tied it with a 2-run shot in the bottom of the 8th. In the 9th, Erstad threw out Thome (1-12 chance) who was the go-ahead run in the 9th. In the 10th, an Ausmus RBI triple and a Lofton single made it 8-6, but Glaus' RBI double and Erstad's run-scoring single in the bottom half tied it again. Lofton threw out the potential winning run at the plate in the 1th, then Cleveland scored three times (Thome sac fly and Manny 2-run HR) in the 12th off a tiring Trevor Hoffman)
Game 2 -- Indians 12, Angels 4 (Manny hit a 3-run HR in the first and it was all downhill from there for the Angels. Lofton and Vizquel also homered and the Indians pounded out 21 hits)
Game 3 -- Angels 7, Indians 5 (Cleveland takes the lead in the 8th on a three-run homer by Fryman, but Benitez implodes as the closer in the 9th, walking four as Anaheim rallies to prevent the Indians from taking a 3-0 series lead)
Game 4 -- Angels 4, Indians 3 (Another ninth-inning comeback. Manny gave the Tribe a 3-1 lead in the 8th, but Glaus tied the game with a two-run shot off Jones in the 9th, and later Salmon added the game-winning blast)
Game 5 -- Indians 10, Angels 4 (Cleveland had 16 hits off the beleaguered Anaheim pitching staff. And, there was a rare good effort out of one of the bullpens -- three hitless innings by Howry to close it out)
Game 6 -- Angels 13, Indians 2 (Never close as Angels collected 19 hits to support a combined 3-hitter by Dreifort and Wunsch. Halos hit 4 homers and Glaus drove in 3 runs)
Game 7 -- Indians 5, Angels 4 (A nail-biter for the Indians, who nearly blew a 5-1 lead. Benitez got the save, but not before allowing two runs in the 9th. He fanned Erstad with the tying run at second base. Manny hit his 6th homer of the series and got RBIs No. 13 and 14 with a 2-run blast in the 1st. Lofton had an RBI single in the 2nd and Jenkins a 2-run homer in the 8th for a 5-1 edge. But Jones yielded an RBI single to Pudge in the 8th, then Benitez gave up a homer to Anderson and an RBI double to Cruz before settling down.)