Oddly, it began as a disaster. Atlanta might have done far better, loading the bases in the first and then failing to score. The club moved around only two of the six men to reach base in the first three innings. Fred McGriff twice failed to get the ball out of the infield with men in scoring position and then in the fifth inning grounded into a double play.
Those failures were further magnified by what transpired in the top of the second, when Eddie Murray’s two-run homer put the Tribe out front. The Braves had led in just three of the first 14 innings played. To squander such an early chance and then trail 2-0 was forboding.
But the hot start also broke a pattern of Cleveland pitching that had delivered them from Boston and Seattle. After the pitcher’s paralysis of Game 1, the second time around was going to be a little friskier.
Braves first baseman Fred McGriff handles a high pick-off throw in Game 2 of the World Series Oct. 22, 1995, in Atlanta.
In the Braves' half of the first, Mark Lemke walked and Jones quickly doubled. And with men on second and third, McGriff grounding out to pitcher Dennis Martinez. After Justice milked a walk after trailing Martinez 1-2 in the count, Klesko, who had hit .462 this year with the bases loaded, then fouled out to third baseman Jim Thome, who ran down the ball in front of the Cleveland dugout. Three men on, none in.
Martinez was able to rip through the bottom of the order but was right back in trouble in the third inning, which he began by hitting Marquis Grissom in the left elbow with a 2-2 pitch. Lemke singled Grissom to second and Martinez granted him third with a wild pick-off attempt that was four feet wide of the base with Omar Vizquel covering. Jones then delivered a sacrifice fly to left field to bring in Grissom, and David Justice, with only one RBI in his 25 postseason at-bat, sent a hard single to right, bringing in Lemke to tie the game 2-2.
Game 1: Greg Maddux pitches 2-hit masterpiece