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Game 118

August 13, 1984 – Joe Carter Gets Walkoff Hit Against the Yankees in the 11th Inning

Joe Carter has one of the most famous walkoff hits in baseball history. This is not that one, but it does prefigure the clutch hitting he displayed throughout his 18 year career. 

Brett Butler and Joe Carter

Brett Butler led off the bottom of the first with a triple, but was put out on a fielder’s choice when Joe Carter sent one back to the pitcher. Julio Franco followed with a single that advanced Carter to third. Andre Thornton walked to load the bases. 

The Tribe jumped out to an early lead when Pat Tabler drove home carter with a sacrifice fly, and Carmello Castillo singled in Franco.  Chris Bando walked to juice the bases once again. Brook Jacoby knocked a 2-run single, but Bando was thrown out trying to go from first to third to end the inning with the score 4-0. 

The Yankees made up some ground in the top of the third with consecutive RBI singles by Tim Foli and Don Mattingly. 

In the bottom of the fourth, Yankee starter Jim Deshaies got in trouble once again. He put on Bando and Jacoby with consecutive singles and then walked Mike Fischlin. The Yankees brought in Mike Armstrong from the bullpen to attempt to clean things up. Brett Butler hit a sacrifice fly to center which scored Bando from third. However, Fischlin was picked off at second for the 8-6-4 double play. 

The Yankees slowly but surely closed the gap, with an RBI single by Butch Wynegar in the top of the sixth, and RBI single by Don Mattingly in the top of the sixth, and a game-tying double by Omar Moreno in the top of the eighth. The blown save was hung on Ernie Camacho. 

Tribe reliever Steve Farr held onto the 5-5 tie through the tenth and eleventh innings. In the bottom of the eleventh, Brook Jacoby knocked a single to get things started. Tony Bernazard hit a double that advanced Jacoby to third. The Yankees intentionally walked Brett Butler to load the bases and set up the double play for Joe Carter. Instead, Carter poked the game-winning hit into left field to send the Indians home a winner. 

Baseball Reference Box Score

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Game 48

May 28, 1989 – Joe Carter Walkoff Bunt

The Indians came into this Sunday afternoon game on a five game losing streak, and trying to avoid a sweep by the Orioles. Pitcher Greg Swindell later remarked to the media, “Everybody was feeling the pressure of the losing streak. The players were ducking their heads. They were walking on the field instead of running. I wanted to pump this team up.”

On Swindell’s suggestion the Indians even switched bat boys in an attempt to break the losing streak. Matt Rowland, who usually the Indians’ bats, was told to put on the visiting uniform. Mark Haas, who normally serves in the visiting dugout was directed to wear an Indians uniform.

Despite the superstitions, Orioles’ Bob Milacki was nearly unhittable through the first eight innings. In 8 ⅓ innings, Milacki struck out six and gave up only two walks and two hits.

Likewise Swindell, who was used to putting the struggling Indians on his back (as discussed in Game 45) walked four, and held the Orioles hitless through six innings.. He worked efficiently, retiring the Orioles in order in the first, second, fourth, and fifth innings. After 27 batters, he had used only 117 pitches, but the Tribe had provided zero support.

Felix Fermin drew a walk off Milacki to lead off the bottom of the ninth. When Milacki got behind 2-0 to Indians left fielder Oddibe McDowell, Baltimore made a move to the bullpen. Mark Williamson came into the game in relief and McDowell moved Fermin over to second with a sacrifice bunt. Fermin reached third on a infield ground-out by Jerry Brown.

The powerful Joe Carter stepped to the plate with two outs. Manager Doc Edwards relayed a signal to the third base coach. Indians’ manager Doc Edwards signaled to third base coach Jim Davenport to relay the message to Carter.

In a post-game interview he said, “It was not an order to bunt. It was a signal to look at the third baseman and use his own judgment. Joe was definitely bunting on his own, but we all knew he was going to do it.”

Carter laid down a perfect bunt down the third base line. Fermin scored the winning run, and the Indians ended the losing streak on a 40-foot bunt off the bat of their most prolific power hitter.

Baseball Reference Box Score

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