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Yankees short hops
10/06/2004 1:10 AM ET
Not in 100 years of Yankees baseball have the Bombers had as many as nine hits in a postseason game and not scored a single run. The Yankees were shut out on Tuesday by Minnesota left-hander Johan Santana and two relievers, and finished 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and seven runners left on base.

The Yankees have been blanked in the postseason before, but probably did not have as many scoring opportunities as they were presented with Tuesday. The Bombers also broke a postseason record by hitting into five double plays.

It is rare for the Yankees to set records for offensive futility, but this was an unusual night. Santana gave the Yankees chances to mount rallies, but no one could deliver a clutch hit. The last time the Yankees had numerous hits but did not score was in Game 6 of the 1956 World Series when they lost a 1-0 decision to Clem Labine and the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Vitals check
A look at key statistics through Game 1 of the ALDS.

Team stats

Digits Trend The Deal
ERA 2.00 A familiar theme: Mussina did his job but got no support.
BA .290 Nine hits off Santana was good, but the DPs killed rallies
BA w/ RISP .000 There wasn't one clutch hit to speak of
Runs 0 Santana did his job -- the Yankees didn't do theirs
Fldg % 100 The Yankees' defense kept them in the game

Who's hot?

Player Digits Trend The Deal
Hideki Matsui .500 BA, 1 2B Had two hits off a tough left-handed pitcher
Mike Mussina 0-1, 2.57 ERA Mussina's poor playoff luck continues

Who's not?

Player Digits Trend The Deal
Ruben Sierra .000, 0 HR, 0 RBI Hit the ball hard, but no results
John Olerud .000, 0 HR, 0 RBI Has not really hit for average this season

Behind the numbers
The Yankees' 0-for-6 clip with runners in scoring position was deceiving. Three times the Yankees moved a runner to second base with two out and were unable to produce a clutch two-out hit against the tough Santana, who induced ground balls to escape jams in the fourth, sixth and seventh innings.

Frozen moment
Ruben Sierra lifted a long fly ball that sailed down the left-field line in the seventh inning. It first appeared to curl inside the foul pole for a momentum-changing home run and the 55,749 went into a frenzy because the Bombers sliced the lead in half. But the umpires huddled in shallow left field and home plate umpire Charlie Reliford overturned the call and ruled it a foul ball. Television replays showed it was indeed foul.

Second guess
With Jorge Posada on deck, Yankees manager Joe Torre had Alex Rodriguez running from second base on a 3-2 pitch to Bernie Williams. Rodriguez was thrown out by 10 feet and the Yankees ruined their best scoring chance.

Double trouble
The Yankees broke a postseason record by hitting into five double plays. And they were not just your normal GIDP. Williams struck out and Rodriguez was thrown out trying to steal third. And Torii Hunter flagged John Olerud's line drive and threw out Jorge Posada trying to score in the second inning.

Postseason post-its
The Yankees are 5-5 in Game 1 of Division Series since 1995 and have rallied to win the past four series. ... The Yankees have gone 18 innings without scoring in the postseason. Josh Beckett and the Florida Marlins blanked the Bombers in Game 6 of the World Series last season. ... Derek Jeter played in the 100th postseason game of his career and collected his record 124th postseason hit. ... Mussina is 3-2 in Division Series games and both losses are to Minnesota. ... Mariano Rivera tossed a scoreless ninth inning and lowered his postseason ERA to 0.74.

Last word
"Santana probably didn't have his best stuff tonight but when he needed a ground ball, he got it." -- Torre

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


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