Tuesday, July 15, 2014

World Series 1995 Game 1 - Greg Maddux's Magic

Greg Maddux is my favorite player of all time.  He's simply a magician.

I came upon this video on YouTube the other day.  The video is every single pitch from Maddux's complete game victory in game 1 of the 1995 World Series, when he was pitching for the Atlanta Braves against the Cleveland Indians.  I remember watching this game as a teenager and was just blown away by Maddux.

The Indians lineup was scary good that year.  They lead the American League in runs and it featured a lineup with Kenny Lofton (.310/.362/.453), Carlos Baerga (.314/.355/.452), Albert Belle (.317/.401/.690), Eddie Murray (.323/.375/.516), a young Manny Ramirez (.308/.402/.558), and a young Jim Thome (.314/.438/.558).  Lofton, Baerga, Belle, and Ramirez were All Stars in 1995.  Kenny Lofton lead the AL in stolen bases that year and Albert Belle was second in MVP voting in the AL.  They scored the most runs in the MLB that year too.

Their lineup was so daunting that their #8 hitter Paul Sorrento hit 25 home runs and wasn't too shabby with a .235/.336/.511 line.

Cleveland's number 6, 7, and 8 hitters (Manny Ramirez, Jim Thome, & Paul Sorrento) had 81 home runs on the year while their 3, 4, and 5 hitters (Carlos Baerga, Albert Belle, & Eddie Murray) had 86 home runs.

It's worth noting this was a strike shortened year.  Across a full 162 game schedule, their 3 through 8 hitters averaged a 30 home run season each.

So what kind of game did Greg Maddux pitch that day?  A 95 pitch, two-hit, complete game gem in which he only gave up 2 runs, both unearned.

What was amazing is how Cleveland accomplished so little in that game.

Here's a breakdown of what happened with the 30 hitters that faced Maddux in this game:

Strikeout - 4
Groundout - 19
Groundball Reach on Error - 1
Infield Popup - 2
Flyout/Lineout - 2
Line Drive Single - 2

Notice anything special in the above?  Maddux didn't walk anyone, which was typical Maddux amazing.

What I found absolutely amazing was only 4 of the 30 plate appearances got the ball into the outfield at all.  Of the 26 non-strikeouts, 22 stayed in the infield. 

Just amazing.

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