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Yanks in double trouble in Game 1
10/06/2004 12:51 AM ET
NEW YORK -- The Yankees constantly had runners on base in the first five innings against tough Minnesota left-hander Johan Santana. And they figured out some creative ways to break a postseason record with five double plays.

The first two were no normal GIDPs. The Yankees squelched potential rallies with overaggressive baserunning.

In the first inning, Santana allowed an infield single to Alex Rodriguez and then issued a walk to Gary Sheffield with one out. Bernie Williams battled Santana to a nine-pitch at-bat before Santana responded with a wicked fastball that Williams missed for strike three. Rodriguez, inexplicably running on the pitch, was thrown out at third base by 10 feet by catcher Henry Blanco.

In the second, Jorge Posada and Hideki Matsui singled. Ruben Sierra lifted a deep fly ball to left field, and Posada, taking advantage of Shannon Stewart's weak arm, advanced to third base. Stewart's arm strength is shaky, but Torii Hunter's isn't. John Olerud lined out to center fielder Hunter, who got a running start and threw out Posada trying to score. Double play No. 2.

The next two were more conventional. Williams laced a single to center field and Posada followed with a grounder to short, making it an easy double play chance for Minnesota shortstop Cristian Guzman.

Olerud was hit by a Santana pitch in the fifth and one out later, Derek Jeter, who bounced into 19 double plays in the regular season, hit one directly to Guzman, who turned another DP, ending the fifth inning.

In the eighth, right-handed reliever Juan Rincon walked Gary Sheffield with one out and Williams then hit a bouncer right to Guzman, who turned his third double play of the night and the Yankees were again left empty.

Three teams had hit into four double plays in a Division Series game -- the Braves in the 1995 NLDS, the Astros in the 2001 NLDS and the Angels in the 2002 ALDS.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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