Counting playoff games, Brian Anderson was 20-7 with the Buffalo Bisons the last two seasons. That success, however, never translated into a permanent job with the Cleveland Indians.
Anderson has made quite a statement about his future with the Tribe this week, but he's not thinking about his role in 1998. His work out of the bullpen might get him some more innings -- in the 1997 World Series.
"This is the most fun I've ever had in baseball," the left-hander said after his 3 1/3 innings of relief allowed the Tribe to wipe out a three-run deficit and eventually beat the Baltimore Orioles, 8-7. "You get two strikes on someone and the crowd goes crazy.
"The key was to get ahead of their hitters or they'll kill you. It gave the offense a chance. We put runs on the board and what do you know? It's another wacky ending."
Anderson came on in the fourth with Cleveland down, 5-2. He pitched three straight hitless innings, retiring eight men in a row at one point. He gave up a leadoff single to Brady Anderson in the seventh and left after striking out Roberto Alomar. Brady Anderson eventually scored to snap Brian Anderson's 5 1/3 -inning scoreless streak in the series.
"He doesn't have a lot of fear," said pitching coach Mark Wiley. "He attacks and that was evident. It was crucial to have somebody long holding them. We were fortunate to have Brian and he was as ready as he could be."
Anderson was left off the Division Series roster, but added for the LCS in place of infielder Enrique Wilson as the Indians went from 10 pitchers to 11 for a seven-game series.
"I was pretty bummed out not making the first roster, but I remember a conversation with (teammate) Jeff Manto where he told me a pitcher could go down or they might need another one and it could be you," Anderson said. "He said, "Make sure you're ready and in the right frame of mind."
Anderson went 7-1, 3.05 in four stints with Buffalo this year and was 4-2, 4.69 in Cleveland. All that around two trips to the disabled list with shoulder trouble.
"All the up and down from Triple-A and my injuries have made this year a pain," he said. "I really thought this was the year I stepped forward and took on a bigger role. I just had to stay focused, whether I was in Triple-A or here. When I'm healthy and throwing, I know I can pitch in the big leagues."
Cleveland second baseman Bip Roberts left after the fourth inning due to a sprained knee. It's an old injury he aggravated on a head-first slide into first base.
Nearly 22 hours after he crossed the plate, Cleveland's Marquis Grissom was credited with a steal of home to win Saturday's 12-inning thriller. Originally scored as a passed ball on Orioles catcher Lenny Webster, the ruling was changed after the Indians consulted with the Elias Sports Bureau, baseball's statistical arm.
The steal of home is just the second in the ALCS, the other by Oakland's Reggie Jackson in 1972 against Detroit.
Cleveland's Jaret Wright became just the second pitcher in LCS history to yield three homers in an inning. The first was Baltimore starter Scott Erickson, who was torched by Cecil Fielder, Darryl Strawberry and Jim Leyritz in New York's Game Five clincher in 1996.