1995 National League Championship Series

The 1995 National League Championship Series (NLCS), the second round of baseball's 1995 National League playoffs, matched the East Division champion Atlanta Braves against the Central Division champion Cincinnati Reds. The Reds had the home field advantage due to a predetermined formula which awarded home field advantage to the Central Division champion or its playoff opponent.

The two teams were victorious in the NL Division Series (NLDS), with the Braves defeating the wild card qualifier Colorado Rockies three games to one, and the Reds defeating the West Division champion Los Angeles Dodgers three games to none. The Braves won the series four games to none to become the National League champions, and defeated the American League champion Cleveland Indians in the 1995 World Series.

This NLCS was notable as it matched up what had been the two easternmost teams in the National League West Division from 1969–1993, both teams having been placed there at the insistence of the New York Mets and Chicago Cubs (the former team wanted the Cubs' rivals St. Louis Cardinals, then the dominating power of the NL, in the National League East Division, and the Cubs wanted in the same division as St. Louis). It was also the first NLCS since 1989 not to feature either the Philadelphia Phillies or the Pittsburgh Pirates. The two teams reigned exclusively as NL East champions from 1990 to 1993.[1]

The Braves would go on to defeat the Cleveland Indians in the World Series in six games.

1995 National League Championship Series
Teams
Team (Wins) Manager Season
Atlanta Braves (4) Bobby Cox 90–54, .625, GA: 21
Cincinnati Reds (0) Davey Johnson 85–59, .590, GA: 9
DatesOctober 10–14
MVPMike Devereaux (Atlanta)
UmpiresPaul Runge, Jim Quick, Dana DeMuth, Gerry Davis, Randy Marsh, Jerry Crawford
NLDS
Broadcast
TelevisionABC (Games 1–2)
NBC (Games 3–4)
TV announcersAl Michaels, Jim Palmer, Tim McCarver (Games 1–2)
Greg Gumbel, Joe Morgan (Games 3–4)
RadioCBS
Radio announcersJim Hunter, Jerry Coleman

Summary

Cincinnati Reds vs. Atlanta Braves

Atlanta won the series, 4–0.

Game Date Score Location Time Attendance 
1 October 10 Atlanta Braves – 2, Cincinnati Reds – 1 (11 innings) Riverfront Stadium 3:18 40,382[2] 
2 October 11 Atlanta Braves – 6, Cincinnati Reds – 2 (10 innings) Riverfront Stadium 3:26 44,624[3] 
3 October 13 Cincinnati Reds – 2, Atlanta Braves – 5 Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium 2:42 51,424[4] 
4 October 14 Cincinnati Reds – 0, Atlanta Braves – 6 Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium 2:54 52,067[5]

Game summaries

Game 1

Tuesday, October 10, 1995, at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 R H E
Atlanta 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 2 7 0
Cincinnati 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 8 0
WP: Mark Wohlers (1–0)   LP: Mike Jackson (0–1)   Sv: Greg McMichael (1)

The opening game of the 1995 NLCS would be well-pitched and decided in extra innings. The only run allowed by Tom Glavine, who would go seven innings, came on a Ron Gant single following a Barry Larkin triple in the fourth. Pete Schourek was lights out the entire game, but allowed back-to-back leadoff singles in the ninth before David Justice hit into a forceout at second to send the game to extra innings. In the eleventh inning, bench player Mike Devereaux singled in Fred McGriff, who drew a leadoff walk off of Mike Jackson and moved to third on two groundouts, to give Atlanta a 2–1 lead. Manager Bobby Cox needed to use three pitchers in the bottom of the inning, but Greg McMichael induced a double play with runners on first and third that ended the game.

Game 2

Wednesday, October 11, 1995, at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E
Atlanta 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 4 6 11 1
Cincinnati 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 9 1
WP: Greg McMichael (1–0)   LP: Mark Portugal (0–1)
Home runs:
ATL: Javy López (1)
CIN: None

With John Smoltz on the mound, the Braves took an early 1–0 lead when Marquis Grissom hit a leadoff single in the first off of John Smiley, moved to second on a groundout and scored on Chipper Jones's single, then got a second run in the fourth when Fred McGriff hit a leadoff double and scored on a Mike Devereaux RBI double. In the fifth, Lenny Harris's two-out RBI single with two on put the Reds on the board, then Jeff Branson stole home to tie the game at two. That score held until the tenth inning, when the Braves scored four runs and took the game. Cincinnati reliever Mark Portugal's wild pitch with the bases loaded allowed Mark Lemke to scamper home with the go-ahead run. Javy López followed with a three-run blast that blew the game open. This would be the final postseason game ever played in Riverfront Stadium.

Game 3

Friday, October 13, 1995, at Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Cincinnati 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 8 0
Atlanta 0 0 0 0 0 3 2 0 X 5 12 1
WP: Greg Maddux (1–0)   LP: David Wells (0–1)   Sv: Mark Wohlers (1)
Home runs:
CIN: None
ATL: Charlie O'Brien (1), Chipper Jones (1)

Greg Maddux went eight innings and only gave up one run in another strong start for an Atlanta starter. Lefty David Wells, acquired by Cincinnati in anticipation of facing the predominantly left-handed Braves lineup in the playoffs, matched Maddux with a scoreless first five innings. Later, right-handed Atlanta catcher Charlie O'Brien belted a three-run home run in the sixth off Wells. Rookie Chipper Jones hit a two-run shot in the seventh to make it 5–0. The Reds got on the board in the eighth on three straight one-out singles, the last of which to Hal Morris scoring a run. Mark Wohlers earned the save in the ninth despite allowing a leadoff double to Jeff Branson, who moved to third on a groundout and scored on Thomas Howard's sacrifice fly, as the Braves held on for a 5–2 victory.

Game 4

Saturday, October 14, 1995, at Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Cincinnati 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 1
Atlanta 0 0 1 0 0 0 5 0 X 6 12 1
WP: Steve Avery (1–0)   LP: Pete Schourek (0–1)
Home runs:
CIN: None
ATL: Mike Devereaux (1)

Steve Avery, who was inconsistent all season, got the start for Atlanta and tossed six scoreless innings. Rafael Belliard hit a leadoff single off of Pete Schourek in the third, then moved to second on a fly out before Mark Lemke hit an RBI single to give Atlanta a 1–0 lead. The game remained close until the seventh, when Mike Jackson allowed a leadoff triple and one out walk before a passed ball allowed Marquis Grissom to score. After an intentional walk, series MVP Mike Devereaux hit a three-run home run to put the Braves up 5–0. After a double and intentional walk, Dave Burba relieved Jackson and Luis Polonia's RBI single made it 6–0 Braves. Bobby Cox took no chances and used closer Mark Wohlers to finish off the Reds in the ninth. The shutout victory completed a surprisingly easy sweep of Cincinnati and sent the Braves to their third World Series in five years.

The Reds offense only managed to score five runs in four games off Atlanta's pitching staff, even with the fact that the first two contests went to extra-innings.

This was the only NLCS to end in a four-game sweep until 2007, when the Colorado Rockies defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks in four games.

Former Brave Ron Gant would play against his former team with the Reds, then again the next year as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals.

To date, this is the Reds' most recent NLCS appearance.

Composite box

1995 NLCS (4–0): Atlanta Braves over Cincinnati Reds

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 R H E
Atlanta Braves 1 0 1 1 0 3 7 0 1 4 1 19 42 3
Cincinnati Reds 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 1 1 0 0 5 28 2
Total attendance: 188,497   Average attendance: 47,124

References

  1. ^ Collier, Gene (September 27, 1993). "Pirates, Phillies Have Owned the Outgoing NL East Division". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. D1.
  2. ^ "1995 NLCS Game 1 - Atlanta Braves vs. Cincinnati Reds". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  3. ^ "1995 NLCS Game 2 - Atlanta Braves vs. Cincinnati Reds". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  4. ^ "1995 NLCS Game 3 - Cincinnati Reds vs. Atlanta Braves". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  5. ^ "1995 NLCS Game 4 - Cincinnati Reds vs. Atlanta Braves". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.

External links

1995 Cincinnati Reds season

The Cincinnati Reds' 1995 season was a season in American baseball. It consisted of the Reds winning the National League Central, and the National League Division Series in three straight games over the Los Angeles Dodgers before losing the National League Championship Series in four games to the eventual World Series champion Atlanta Braves.

1995 National League Division Series

The 1995 National League Division Series (NLDS), the opening round of the 1995 National League playoffs, began on Tuesday, October 3, and ended on Saturday, October 7, with the champions of the three NL divisions—along with a "wild card" team—participating in two best-of-five series. As a result of both leagues realigning into three divisions in 1994, it marked the first time in major league history that a team could qualify for postseason play without finishing in first place in its league or division. The teams were:

(1) Atlanta Braves (Eastern Division champion, 90–54) vs. (4) Colorado Rockies (Wild Card, 77–67): Braves win series, 3–1.

(2) Cincinnati Reds (Central Division champion, 85–59) vs. (3) Los Angeles Dodgers (Western Division champion, 78–66): Reds win series, 3–0.The Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati Reds went on to meet in the NL Championship Series (NLCS). The Braves became the National League champion, and defeated the American League champion Cleveland Indians in the 1995 World Series.

Barry Larkin

Barry Louis Larkin (born April 28, 1964) is a retired Major League Baseball (MLB) player who played shortstop for the Cincinnati Reds from 1986 to 2004.

Born and raised in Cincinnati, Larkin attended the University of Michigan, where he played college baseball. He briefly played in the minor leagues before making his MLB debut in 1986. He quickly won the starting shortstop role for the Reds and enjoyed a long run of strong seasons with the team. Larkin struggled with a string of injuries between 1997 and 2003, limiting his playing time in several seasons.

Larkin retired after the 2004 season and worked in a front office position for the Washington Nationals for several years until he joined ESPN as a baseball analyst. He served as a coach for the American team in the 2009 World Baseball Classic and managed the Brazilian national team in the qualifiers for the same event in 2013.

Larkin is considered one of the top players of his era, winning nine Silver Slugger awards, three Gold Glove awards, and the 1995 National League Most Valuable Player Award. He was selected to the Major League All-Star Game twelve times, and was one of the pivotal players on the 1990 Reds' World Series championship team. Larkin was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in January 2012 and was inducted on July 22, 2012.

Charlie O'Brien

Charles Hugh O'Brien (born May 1, 1960 in Tulsa, Oklahoma) is an American former professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball as a catcher for the Oakland Athletics (1985), Milwaukee Brewers (1987–90), New York Mets (1990–93), Atlanta Braves (1994–95), Toronto Blue Jays (1996–97), Chicago White Sox (1998), Anaheim Angels (1998–99) and Montreal Expos (2000).

O'Brien was a solid defensive catcher and a modest right-handed batter. He is best remembered for pioneering the hockey-style catcher's mask. He was playing with the Toronto Blue Jays when he invented this different style of mask. During his tenure with the Braves, O'Brien was notable for being the personal catcher for Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Greg Maddux.

The Baseball Network

The Baseball Network was a short-lived television broadcasting joint venture between ABC, NBC and Major League Baseball. Under the arrangement, beginning in the 1994 season, the league produced its own in-house telecasts of games, which were then brokered to air on ABC and NBC. This was perhaps most evident by the copyright beds shown at the end of the telecasts, which stated "The proceeding program has been paid for by the office of The Commissioner of Baseball". The Baseball Network was the first television network in the United States to be owned by a professional sports league. In essence, The Baseball Network could be seen as a forerunner to the MLB Network, which would debut about 15 years later.

The package included coverage of games in primetime on selected nights throughout the regular season (under the branding Baseball Night in America), along with coverage of the postseason and the World Series. Unlike previous broadcasting arrangements with the league, there was no national "game of the week" during the regular season; these would be replaced by multiple weekly regional telecasts on certain nights of the week. Additionally, The Baseball Network had exclusive coverage windows; no other broadcaster could televise MLB games during the same night that The Baseball Network was televising games.

The arrangement did not last long; due to the effects of a players' strike on the remainder of the 1994 season, and poor reception from fans and critics over how the coverage was implemented, The Baseball Network would be disbanded after the 1995 season. While NBC would maintain rights to certain games, the growing Fox network (having established its own sports division two years earlier in 1994) became the league's new national broadcast partner beginning in 1996, with its then-parent company News Corporation eventually purchasing the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1998 (although the company has since sold the team).

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