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Yankees short hops
10/09/2004 1:25 AM ET
After a rough Game 1, the Yankees are beginning to turn this series around statistically in their favor after a dominating performance in Game 3. The Bombers are doing exactly what they envisioned against the upstart Twins -- they are getting quality starting pitching and clutch hitting with two out. Five of the eight Yankee runs were scored after two were out on Friday.

Also, the starters' ERA is 2.75 in this series as Mike Mussina, Jon Lieber and Kevin Brown have delivered quality starts. Not bad for what was expected to be the team's biggest weakness entering the postseason. After being held scoreless by Johan Santana and a duo of relievers on Tuesday, the Bombers are hitting .291 with 15 runs in the past two games.

They rapped 14 hits and Game 2 star Alex Rodriguez was the lone starter who went hitless. Also, five different Yankees have now homered in the series, including Bernie Williams, who has a Major League record 20 in the postseason.

The lone detractor so far is the bullpen, which has allowed six earned runs in 10 1/3 innings.

Vitals check
A look at key statistics through Game 3 of the ALDS.

Team stats

Digits Trend The Deal
ERA 3.60 Three quality starts in three games
BA .291 This time, the entire lineup contributed
BA w/ RISP .214 Despite 4-for-11 on Friday, still not producing in clutch
Runs 15 Have responded after the Game 1 shutout
Fldg % .995 Jeter throwing error in the second spoils perfect series

Who's hot?

Player Digits Trend The Deal
Hideki Matsui .462 BA, 1 HR, 2 RBIs Is his power still deceptive?
Derek Jeter .375, HR, 4 RBIs Jeter makes this offense go

Who's not?

Player Digits Trend The Deal
Ruben Sierra .000, 0 HR, 0 RBI Did not play on Friday
John Olerud .200, 0 HR, 0 RBI He scored both times he was on base, an encouraging sign

Behind the numbers
The Nos. 6-9 hitters were 1-for-17 in Wednesday's Game 2 win, but responded on Friday by going 5-for-14 with two RBIs and five runs scored. Kenny Lofton, who did not play in the first two games, collected an RBI single while Jorge Posada, quiet in the series before Friday, was 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Alex Rodriguez and Gary Sheffield did not have an RBI or run scored.

Frozen moment
The Twins faithful were waiting anxiously for a home team rally but Bernie Williams silenced the homer-hanky waiting fans with a two-run homer off Carlos Silva in the top of the sixth inning. It gave the Yankees a four-run lead and essentially sealed the game for the Bombers.

Good move
Yankee manager Joe Torre made a good call in going with right-hander Kevin Brown to start Game 3. Brown shook off a first-inning home run by Jacque Jones and gave the Bombers six dependable innings. Brown wasn't at his sharpest, but he did pitch well enough to win. The offense gave him enough run support to pitch with less pressure.

Postseason post-its
The Yankees improved to 3-0 against the Twins in the postseason at the Metrodome. ... Jeter has reached base in 19 straight ALDS starts. He began the streak in Game 4 of the ALDS against Oakland. ... Posada has played in 75 postseason games, tying Yankees great Yogi Berra for ninth on the all-time list. ... Lofton played in his 78th postseason game, surpassing Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson for seventh on the all-time list. ... Bernie Williams hit his record-setting 20th career postseason home run and eighth ALDS home run, tying Juan Gonzalez, Chipper Jones and Jim Thome for the all-time lead.

Last word
"I didn't fight myself at all. He was getting up. I wasn't waiting for a save situation." -- Manager Joe Torre on bringing in Mariano Rivera in the ninth inning with a six-run lead

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


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