AL Pool 2
In the tightest pool of the four, each team was still alive heading into the final day of round robin play. The Orioles, behind two complete game victories (McNally over the Yankees 4-2; Cuellar over the Mariners 5-1) were in the best position at 2-0. New York and Cleveland stood at 1-1, with Seattle yet to win a game.
In the first game of the day, the Indians, behind a complete game by Orel Hershiser and homeruns from Kenny Lofton and Eddie Murray, defeated the Orioles 5-1. Before the second game started, Seattle had been eliminated by the Indians’ victory. The Yankees would make the next round with a win. A loss and Cleveland would be on its way to the second round..
Things got off to a bad start for the 98 Yankees, as Seattle scored four runs off of David Wells in the home half of the first inning. Wells settled down, and the Yankees slowly climbed back into the game, eventually taking the lead in the top of the seventh on a two run homerun by pinch-hitter Shane Spencer. The lead was short lived, however, as the Mariners answered with two runs in the bottom of the seventh. After adding an insurance run in the eighth, the Mariners eliminated the Yankees with an 8-6 victory.
Round 1 Standings: 1. 95 Indians 2-1; 2. 69 Orioles 2-1; 3. 01 Mariners 1-2; 4. 98 Yankees 1-2.
AL Pool 1
The 27 Yankees, known for the middle of the lineup dubbed “Murderer’s Row”, used strong pitching performance to dominate the first round. The Yankees allowed only five runs in three games on their way to the second round.
Meanwhile, the 1912 Red Sox and the 1931 A’s squared off for second place on the final day. The Red Sox outscored the A’s 10-7 behind the offensive performances of Tris Speaker and Duffy Lewis.
Round 1 Standings: 1. 27 Yankees 3-0; 2. 12 Red Sox 2-1; 3. 31 A’s 1-2; 4. 54 Indians 0-3.
NL Pool 1
Pittsburgh 1909, led by Dots Miller, swept its way into the second round with a series of close wins, most notably a 4-3 win over the 42 Cardinals on day 2. The 04 Giants defeated the 42 Cardinals on the final day to earn the second spot. The Cardinals looked to be in good shape, up 6-3 heading into the bottom of the fifth, but the 04 Giants scored seven runs in the frame (with the help of two Cardinal errors and a passed ball) to take the lead for good.
Round 1 Standings: 1. 09 Pirates 3-0; 2. 04 Giants 2-1; 42 Cardinals 1-2; 06 Cubs 0-3.
NL Pool 2
The 1998 Atlanta Braves used dominant pitching to sweep through the pool, allowing only four runs in the process. The 2004 Cardinals used the opposite approach, relying on their offense to advance, scoring 27 runs in three games (including a 17-3 drubbing of the 86 Mets on day 2).
Round 1 Standings: 1. 98 Braves 3-0; 2. 04 Cardinals 2-1; 3. 75 Reds 1-2; 4. 86 Mets 0-3.