The Indians gave Jose Mesa the night off. You'll never guess who closed their 10-3 over the Florida Marlins.
Mike Jackson? Paul Assenmacher? Eric Plunk? Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
How about left-hander Brian Anderson?
Believe it. A career starter who's turned into a bullpen star in the playoffs, Anderson retired nine of the final 10 hitters to earn the first save of his professional career.
There was no seven-run ninth for Florida as in Tuesday's 14-11 Tribe defeat. Anderson set the Marlins down in order, ending the game by taking care of Craig Counsell's grounder to the mound.
"I didn't want to play any prevent and let them score that touchdown in the ninth," Anderson joked. "We just wanted to go 'man up' and hold that line."
It was the first three-inning save in a Series game since Atlanta's Mike Stanton finished a 7-2 win at Toronto in Game Five of the '92 Series. Anderson was sure he was done after the eighth -- until he saw no one warming in the Cleveland bullpen.
"I couldn't believe it. I thought there was no way I was finishing," Anderson said. "Sandy (catcher Sandy Alomar) came over before the ninth and said to me, 'If they come out, don't let them take you. You and (pitching coach) Mark Wiley are going to fight. You're throwing strikes.' "
"Brian has pitched four times in postseason and had only one rough outing," said manager Mike Hargrove. "We've been having a little inconsistency trying to get to (Paul) Assenmacher and (Mike) Jackson, and Brian has helped us bridge that gap. In effect, he saved our bullpen tonight."
On Aug. 14, Anderson tossed the first complete-game shutout of his pro career while with the Bisons. On Sept. 9, he threw a five-hitter with 10 strikeouts in Game Two of the American Association Championship Series against Iowa.
He didn't even make Cleveland's Division Series roster. So what in the world is he doing as a closer in the World Series?
"It was great to get early action (in the ALCS against Baltimore) and get a taste of this," Anderson said. "This is the absolute last thing I expected to be doing. Not these roles. No way. I've never done them. Great time to try it, huh?"
Sure is from the Indians' standpoint. The Tribe now has plenty to think about come next spring. That's, of course, if it can get Anderson through next month's expansion draft. He's never been on any mock lists of the 15 protected players, but his name is cropping up as a sure pick by Arizona or Tampa Bay if he isn't.
To Anderson, those are issues for another day. He was thrilled to earn a championship ring for the Bisons last month. Now he's two wins away from baseball's ultimate piece of jewelry.
"Last night (Tuesday) was such a debacle, we had to do something to get back into this," Anderson said. "It was great to contribute. I'm living a dream that I hope continues."
One of the few Cleveland negatives was the end of Marquis Grissom's World Series hitting streak at 15 games, two shy of the record. He went 0 for 4 and was on deck at the end of the Cleveland eighth. . . . Cuban-born Livan Hernandez, Florida's starter for Game Five tonight, isn't worried about the cold weather here. Asked if it made him uncomfortable, Hernandez said, "That's resolved with a little bit of coffee and just by going out and throwing."
The Marlins, who are staying nearly four miles from Jacobs Field, aren't happy with their hotel accommodations. Visiting teams normally stay at one of two downtown hotels within walking distance of the ballpark, but rooms are at a premium in Cleveland this week due to two large business conventions.
The Marlins are also upset with tickets for players' wives, most of which are in the upper deck in left field. Manager Jim Leyland told his club to take their anger out on the Indians.
Leyland's challenge to his players: "Are you going to let a team beat you that doesn't treat you like a first-class organization?"
Matt Williams' eighth-inning homer made him just the seventh player to homer for champions of both leagues. He connected for San Francisco against Oakland in 1989. . . . Williams became the 11th player to reach base in all five at-bats, the first since Cincinnati's Billy Hatcher in 1990. . . . The Indians have not had a series lead since they won in 1948. They were swept in 1954 by the New York Giants and dropped the first two games to Atlanta in 1995 before falling, four games to two.