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:
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.
|1995 National League Division Series|
|Dates||October 3 – 7|
|Television||NBC (Games 1–2)|
ABC (Games 3-4)
|TV announcers||Pete Van Wieren and Larry Dierker (Games 1–3)|
Al Michaels, Jim Palmer and Tim McCarver (Game 4)
|Radio announcers||Gene Elston and Gary Cohen|
|Dates||October 3 – 6|
|Television||NBC (Games 1–2)|
ABC (Game 3)
|TV announcers||Greg Gumbel and Joe Morgan (Games 1–2)|
Al Michaels, Jim Palmer and Tim McCarver (Game 3)
|Radio announcers||Jerry Coleman and Jim Hunter|
|Umpires||John McSherry, Jerry Layne, Joe West, Terry Tata, Harry Wendelstedt, Charlie Reliford (Atlanta–Colorado, Games 1–2; Cincinnati–Los Angeles, Game 3)|
Ed Montague, Bob Davidson, Eric Gregg, Frank Pulli, Bruce Froemming, Gary Darling (Cincinnati–Los Angeles, Games 1–2; Atlanta–Colorado, Games 3–4)
Atlanta won the series, 3–1.
|1||October 3||Atlanta Braves – 5, Colorado Rockies – 4||Coors Field||3:19||50,040|
|2||October 4||Atlanta Braves – 7, Colorado Rockies – 4||Coors Field||3:08||50,063|
|3||October 6||Colorado Rockies – 7, Atlanta Braves – 5 (10 innings)||Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium||3:16||51,300|
|4||October 7||Colorado Rockies – 4, Atlanta Braves – 10||Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium||2:38||50,027|
Cincinnati won the series, 3–0.
|1||October 3||Cincinnati Reds – 7, Los Angeles Dodgers – 2||Dodger Stadium||3:15||44,199|
|2||October 4||Cincinnati Reds – 5, Los Angeles Dodgers – 4||Dodger Stadium||3:21||46,051|
|3||October 6||Los Angeles Dodgers – 1, Cincinnati Reds – 10||Riverfront Stadium||3:27||53,276|
|WP: Alejandro Peña (1–0) LP: Curt Leskanic (0–1) Sv: Mark Wohlers (1)|
ATL: Marquis Grissom (1), Chipper Jones 2 (2)
COL: Vinny Castilla (1)
Game 1 was a match-up between aces: Greg Maddux for the Atlanta Braves and Kevin Ritz for the Colorado Rockies. Ritz and Maddux worked their way out of minor trouble early on, but, in the top of the third, Marquis Grissom broke the scoreless tie with a shot to make it 1–0. However, the Rockies soon answered in the bottom of the fourth. After Maddux got Dante Bichette to ground out, he walked Larry Walker. Then a single by Andrés Galarraga moved Walker to third. Ellis Burks's sac fly brought Walker home. The next batter, Vinny Castilla, would hit a two-run homer to give Colorado its first lead of the night, but In the top of the sixth, Chipper Jones led off with a home run to make it a one-run game. David Justice then walked just before a single by Ryan Klesko. An error during the play by Burks moved Justice to third. Steve Reed relieved Ritz and Luis Polonia reached on a fielder's choice, bringing Justice home to tie the game. The Braves would load the bases, but Maddux struck out to end the inning. In the top of the eighth, Mike Munoz took the mound for Colorado. He got two quick outs, but surrendered a single to Klesko. Darren Holmes came in and gave up a single to Javy López. Dwight Smith followed with a pinch-hit RBI single to center to give the Braves a 4–3 lead. In the bottom of the inning, Bichette walked off Greg McMichael, then moved to third on a single by Walker and an error by Justice on the play. Galarraga would then reach on a fielder's choice (on a diving stop by Chipper Jones robbing the Big Cat of extra bases), with Walker out at second. Alejandro Peña came on to face Burks with one out. Burks doubled to tie the game at four apiece, but Pena got the next two outs. Curt Leskanic came on in the top of the ninth and got two outs, but gave up a home run to Chipper Jones. The Braves now had a 5–4 lead, but the Rockies were able to rally in the bottom half off Mark Wohlers. With one out, Mike Kingery singled and was followed by another single by Bichette. Walker was then walked, loading the bases with only one out. That put the winning run in scoring position. Wohlers, however, was able to get Galarraga and pitcher Lance Painter (Rockies skipper Don Baylor had run out of position players in his first postseason game as manager) to strike out to end the game and give the Braves a well-earned victory.
|WP: Alejandro Peña (2–0) LP: Mike Munoz (0–1) Sv: Mark Wohlers (2)|
ATL: Marquis Grissom 2 (3)
COL: Larry Walker (1)
Game 2 matched Atlanta pitcher Tom Glavine against the man who made the final out in Game 1, Lance Painter. Marquis Grissom gave the Braves the lead with a lead off home run in the top of the first. Glavine then held the Rockies to one hit in the first two innings. In the top of the third, the Braves struck again when Mark Lemke singled and Chipper Jones had a bunt single. After Fred McGriff struck out, David Justice walked to load the bases with only one out. Javy López's sac fly made it 2–0, but the Braves could muster no more runs as Ryan Klesko struck out to end the inning. In the top of the fourth, Grissom again went deep with two outs to make it 3–0 Braves. All was silent until the bottom of the sixth. With one man out, Ellis Burks reached on an error by Jeff Blauser. Dante Bichette then singled to center to put runners on the corners. Then, Larry Walker hit a mammoth three-run home run to tie the game at three. In the bottom of the eighth, the Rockies took the lead when Andrés Galarraga drove home Bichette with a double off Alejandro Pena after Bichette had reached with a double of his own off Steve Avery. The Rockies were now three outs away from tying the series at one game apiece, but the Braves would not give in. Jones doubled to left to lead off the top of the ninth off Curt Leskanic, then came home on a single by McGriff off Mike Munoz to tie the game. With two outs now, Mike Devereaux singled off Darren Holmes, then Mike Mordecai followed with another single that drove home McGriff to give the Braves the lead. An errant throw to first by Eric Young, his second error of the game, allowed two more runs to score to give the Braves a 7–4 lead. Mark Wohlers saved the game in the bottom half to give the Braves a two-games-to-none lead going home.
|WP: Darren Holmes (1–0) LP: Mark Wohlers (0–1) Sv: Mark Thompson (1)|
COL: Eric Young (1), Vinny Castilla (2)
The potential clincher pitted Bill Swift against John Smoltz. A wild pitch by Smoltz allowed Eric Young, who walked and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt, to score to make it 1–0 Rockies. Then Young made it 3–0 when he homered with one man on in the third. But the Braves put together three runs in the fourth thanks to an RBI double by Ryan Klesko after a single and walk followed by a two-run single by Javy López. During the final play of the inning, Jeff Blauser struck out and sprained his ankle in doing so, putting him on the bench for the rest of the postseason. The Rockies quickly responded with a two-run homer by Vinny Castilla in the sixth. But the Braves would chip away at the score in the seventh when Mike Mordecai doubled home Klesko, who singled to lead off Bill Swift, off Mike Munoz. Then in the ninth, the Braves would tie the game thanks to a two-out, pinch hit RBI single by Luis Polonia off Darren Holmes, the run charged to Bruce Ruffin. With Mark Wohlers on the mound in the tenth, after a two-out double and intentional walk, the Rockies would put together back-to-back RBI singles by Andres Galarraga and Castilla to make it 7–5. Mark Thompson retired the Braves in order in the bottom half to give the Rockies their first ever postseason win.
|WP: Greg Maddux (1–0) LP: Bret Saberhagen (0–1)|
COL: Dante Bichette (1), Vinny Castilla (3)
ATL: Fred McGriff 2 (2)
Greg Maddux was matched against Bret Saberhagen, who was hoping to keep Colorado's momentum intact. The game was scoreless into the third when Dante Bichette launched a three-run homer with one out after back-to-back singles in the top of the third. But the Braves responded in the bottom of the inning. After back-to-back two-out singles, Chipper Jones's two-run double cut the Rockies' lead to one before Fred McGriff's home run put the Braves up 4–3. Next inning, after a single and walk, Eric Young's errant throw to first, his third error in the series, on Rafael Belliard's fielder's choice allowed Ryan Klesko to score from, then Marquis Grissom's RBI double made it 6–3. McGriff's second home run of the game in the fifth off Kevin Ritz made it 7–3. The Rockies got that run back in the sixth on Vinny Castilla's home run, but in the bottom of the inning, Mark Lemke followed back-to-back two-out singles with an RBI double. After an intentional walk loaded the bases, Mike Munoz relieved Ritz and allowed a two-run single to McGriff. Alejandro Pena pitched two scoreless innings of relief as the Braves would advance to the 1995 National League Championship Series with a 10–4 win.
|Total attendance: 201,430 Average attendance: 50,358|
|WP: Pete Schourek (1–0) LP: Ramón Martínez (0–1)|
CIN: Benito Santiago (1)
LAD: Mike Piazza (1)
Pete Schourek of the Reds faced Ramón Martínez of the Dodgers in Game 1. Back-to-back singles with one out got the rally started in the top of the first for the Reds. After Reggie Sanders popped out, Hal Morris struck the game's first blow by doubling home the two runners on base. Then Benito Santiago hit a two-run home run to make it 4–0 Reds. In the top of the fifth, after a leadoff double and single, Benito Santiago's sacrifice fly made it 5–0 Reds. After a double, John Cummings relieved Martinez and allowed a two-run double to Jeff Branson. The Dodgers scored their first run of the game in the bottom of the fifth on Brett Butler's RBI single with two on, then added another run next inning on Mike Piazza's home run, but could not score again off Schourek, Mike Jackson or Jeff Brantley as the Reds took a 1–0 series lead with a 7–2 win.
|WP: Dave Burba (1–0) LP: Antonio Osuna (0–1) Sv: Jeff Brantley (1)|
CIN: Reggie Sanders (1)
LAD: Eric Karros 2 (2)
Former 20-game winner John Smiley of the Reds faced Ismael Valdez of the Dodgers in Game 2. Eric Karros, who would drive in all the Dodgers runs, got them on the board with an RBI double in the first to score Brett Butler, who singled to leadoff and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Reggie Sanders put the Reds up 2–1 with a two-run home run in the top of the fourth, but Karros responded with a leadoff homer in the bottom of the inning to tie the game at two. Raúl Mondesí was ejected from the game in between innings in the eighth on his way to right field, when he badmouthed umpire Bob Davidson for a play at home in the seventh that went the Reds' way. In the eighth, the Reds took the lead on a Barry Larkin single that scored Mariano Duncan, who singled with one out and stole second off Antonio Osuna. In the ninth, the Reds loaded the bases on three walks with one out off Kevin Tapani, then Mark Lewis's fielder's choice off Mark Guthrie and Duncan's RBI single off Pedro Astacio made it 5–2 Reds. In the bottom half, a leadoff single off Jeff Brantley gave the Dodgers life. With one out, Karros hit his second home run of the game to make it 5–4 Reds. However, Brantley got the next two men out to save Game 2 and give the Reds a two-game lead going to Cincinnati.
|WP: David Wells (1–0) LP: Hideo Nomo (0–1)|
CIN: Ron Gant (1), Bret Boone (1), Mark Lewis (1)
Soon-to-be-named National League Rookie of the Year Hideo Nomo of the Dodgers faced playoff-savvy David Wells of the Reds. A two-run home run by Ron Gant got the scoring started for the Reds in the third. The Dodgers would cut the lead in half when Eric Karros reached second due to right fielder Reggie Sanders dropping his fly ball, then scored on an RBI single by Raúl Mondesí in the fourth, but Bret Boone's home run in the bottom of the fourth gave the Reds that run back. Then, in the sixth, Nomo began to lose his control, giving up two singles, a walk, and wild pitch. Then pinch hitter Mark Lewis came up and socked a grand slam off Mark Guthrie to make it 7–1 Reds. Next inning, the Reds loaded the bases on a single and two walks off John Cummings when Mike Jackson cleared them to make it 10–1 Reds. The Dodgers changed pitchers five times as the Reds advanced to the 1995 National League Championship Series with a series sweep. As of 2018, this is the Reds' most recent playoff game victory at home, and the 1995 NLDS remains the most recent playoff round won by the Reds.
|Los Angeles Dodgers||1||0||0||2||1||1||0||0||2||7||31||2|
|Total attendance: 143,526 Average attendance: 47,842|
On November 17, 1992, during the 1992–93 offseason, Major League Baseball (MLB) held an expansion draft in New York City to allow two expansion teams, the Florida Marlins and Colorado Rockies, to build their rosters prior to debuting in the National League's (NL) East and the West divisions, respectively, in the 1993 MLB season.
The 1990 collective bargaining agreement between MLB owners and the MLB Players Association allowed the NL to expand by two members to match the American League (AL). In June 1991, MLB accepted bids of groups from Miami, Florida, and Denver, Colorado, with debuts set for 1993.The Marlins and Rockies used the expansion draft to build their teams using different strategies. As the Rockies had a smaller operating budget than the Marlins, the Rockies targeted prospects with low salaries, while the Marlins selected older players intended to provide more immediate impact. All three rounds of the draft were televised by ESPN.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 Los Angeles Dodgers season
The 1995 Los Angeles Dodgers season was notable for the American baseball debut of Japanese pitcher Hideo Nomo. In his first season with the Dodgers after an accomplished career in the Japanese leagues, Nomo went 13-6 with a 2.54 ERA and a league leading 236 strikeouts. He was the starting pitcher in the All-Star game and won the Rookie of the Year award.
The Dodgers won the National League's Western Division title, but lost to the Cincinnati Reds in the NLDS.Dante Bichette
Alphonse Dante Bichette Sr. (; born November 18, 1963) is a former professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball as an outfielder for the California Angels (1988–1990), Milwaukee Brewers (1991–1992), Colorado Rockies (1993–1999), Cincinnati Reds (2000), and Boston Red Sox (2000–2001). He was also the hitting coach for the Rockies in 2013. He batted and threw right-handed.
Bichette was a four-time All-Star as a member of the Rockies, and was a member of the 1993 inaugural team. In 1995, he won the Silver Slugger Award and finished second in the Most Valuable Player Award (MVP) voting while leading the National League in home runs, runs batted in, slugging percentage, total bases and hits. The next year, he joined the 30–30 club with 31 home runs and 31 stolen bases, and in 1998, again led the league in hits with 219. Each year from 1993−1998 he batted over .300, and in each year from 1995−1999, drove in at least 100 runs.Mark Lewis (baseball)
Mark David Lewis (born November 30, 1969) is an American former professional baseball infielder, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds, Detroit Tigers, San Francisco Giants, Philadelphia Phillies, and Baltimore Orioles.Mark Thompson (baseball)
Mark Radford Thompson (born April 7, 1971 in Russellville, Kentucky) is a former right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball. He graduated from Logan County High School in Russellville, Kentucky and he then attended the University of Kentucky.
Standing at 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) tall and 205 pounds (one source has him at 213), Thompson was selected by the Colorado Rockies 65th overall in the second round of the 1992 draft. In his first two minor league seasons, he was an effective pitcher, posting a record of 14–6.
He spent less than three seasons in the minors before making his big league debut on July 26, 1994 against the San Diego Padres. He earned the win in that game, but his overall earned run average in his rookie season (which consisted of two games) was 9.00.
He spent most of the rest of his career bouncing between the majors and minors. He spent only one season entirely in the majors-1996, when he posted a 9–11 record with a 5.30 ERA. He was ninth in the league in shutouts that year (with one), but he was also ninth in runs allowed (100) and fourth in hit batsmen (13).
He finished his major league career with an 18–24 record, with a 5.74 ERA. He struck out 198 and walked 161 in 337 innings pitched.He had a .154 batting average in 104 career at bats, with the highlight of his batting career being the home run he hit off of Kent Bottenfield in a 1997 game. He appeared in one postseason game in his career, pitching a perfect inning for the save in the 1995 National League Division Series. He played his final major league game on July 27, 2000.He stuck around in the minors until 2003, when he finished his career with the independent Long Island Ducks.In 2006, he was the pitching coach for the Casper Rockies.Thompson in the 2010s has worked in a variety of professional positions in his native Kentucky, serving among other things as a representative for the school memorabilia company Jostens.Raúl Mondesí
Raúl Ramón Mondesí Avelino (born March 12, 1971) is a Dominican former politician who was the mayor of San Cristóbal, Dominican Republic, and a former professional baseball right fielder. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for 13 seasons, primarily for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and made his MLB debut with them in 1993. He was the National League (NL) Rookie of the Year in 1994, an MLB All-Star, and a two-time Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner. Known for his combination of power and speed, Mondesí twice achieved the 30–30 club. Also noted for his strong throwing arm, he led right fielders in his league in assists three times while registering over 100 in his career.
After baseball, Mondesí began a career in politics, gaining election to the Dominican Chamber of Deputies in 2006. In 2010, he became mayor of San Cristóbal for a six-year term. On September 20, 2017, Mondesí was sentenced to eight years in prison on corruption charges.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).The Baseball Network announcers
The following is a list of announcers who called Major League Baseball telecasts for the joint venture (lasting for the 1994-1995 seasons) between Major League Baseball, ABC and NBC called The Baseball Network announcers who represented each of the teams playing in the respective games were typically paired with each other on regular season Baseball Night in America telecasts. ABC used Al Michaels, Jim Palmer, Tim McCarver and Lesley Visser as the lead broadcasting team. Meanwhile, NBC used Bob Costas, Joe Morgan, Bob Uecker and Jim Gray as their lead broadcasting team.Todd Hollandsworth
Todd Mathew Hollandsworth (born April 20, 1973) is an American former professional baseball outfielder in Major League Baseball (MLB). In 1996, he won the National League Rookie of the Year Award, setting a record as the fifth consecutive Los Angeles Dodgers rookie to do so (preceded by Eric Karros, Mike Piazza, Raúl Mondesí, and Hideo Nomo).
|American League teams|
|National League teams|