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Notes: Torre not second-guessing
10/18/2004 5:54 PM ET
BOSTON -- Joe Torre may not have slept well on Sunday night after watching his team lose Game 4 of the American League Championship Series, but it wasn't because he was up second-guessing himself for bringing in Mariano Rivera for a six-out save.

Rivera got through the eighth inning -- normally Tom Gordon's territory -- without any trouble, retiring the heart of the Red Sox's batting order in the process. But a leadoff walk to Kevin Millar in the ninth led to the tying run, as Rivera blew just his fourth save in 36 career postseason opportunities.

Torre also didn't second-guess himself for leaving Orlando Hernandez in to face Ortiz, who drove in two runs in the fifth with a bases-loaded single, even though lefty Felix Heredia was warmed up. In six career at-bats against Heredia, Ortiz is 1-for-6.

"I didn't replay any of it," Torre said. "You replay it because you want the results to be different, but I don't wish I had done something else. It's like the World Series Game 7 in 2001. We wish the outcome would have been different."

After Rivera issued the leadoff walk, pinch-runner Dave Roberts stole second, scoring on Bill Mueller's single up the middle to tie the game. Three innings later, David Ortiz ended the game with a walk-off shot against Paul Quantrill.

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"The reason I brought in Rivera was for the 3-4-5 guys. To me, that was the inning that needed to be gotten," Torre said. "I love Gordon, but Mo is still the guy we go to. He hadn't pitched in three days, so I had no hesitation. If it were the bottom of the batting order, I may have [used Gordon in the eighth]."

Rivera has blown two saves this postseason, and the Sox have accounted for seven of Rivera's 21 blown saves in the regular season since 2001. Rivera is just 15-for-22 against Boston in the regular season, an astonishingly low 68 percent success rate.

"Mo is human. Even though he's the best, it doesn't mean that bad things don't happen," Torre said. "He just tried to be too careful with Millar, and that's what happens in a one-run game in this ballpark. I can't fault him for it, because you certainly don't want him to throw one down the middle."

Bronx bound: Jon Lieber, who will pitch Game 6 for the Yankees if Boston is able to win on Monday, flew back to New York on Monday afternoon to prepare for his potential start.

This is a common practice for the Yankees, who often send the next day's pitcher home early on getaway day. Mike Mussina left Minnesota before Game 4 of the Division Series, though he was not needed when New York wrapped up the series in four games.

Should the Yankees win Game 5, Lieber would miss out on the pennant-clinching celebration, but he would be lined up to pitch one of the first two games of the World Series at Yankee Stadium.

Olerud healing: John Olerud won't be available for the Yankees in Game 5, but Torre is encouraged by the improvement of the first baseman's bruised left foot.

Olerud suffered a bruised instep in the sixth inning of Game 3, when his bat struck his foot on the way out of the batter's box. He was using crutches to get around on Sunday, but was walking under his own power on Monday.

"He's better, which is good," Torre said. "They weren't sure, because it was so painful, if it was only a bruise. The fact that it's better, though I'm not sure what it means, is good news."

X-rays on the foot were negative, and Torre said that no further tests have been planned. Tony Clark started at first base for the Yankees again in Game 5, batting eighth.

Looking ahead? Curt Schilling will take the ball for the Red Sox if the series moves back to New York, but the Yankees aren't thinking about a potential showdown with Boston's banged-up ace.

"Whatever," Torre said when asked about facing Schilling. "You're going to have to face people as they come. We'll attack [Game 5] as we did last night. If we have the chance to win, we're going to take that chance. We have to look at the big picture, know who is one win away. We have to play our game. If that's not good enough, so be it."

Second best: Although Enrique Wilson has had success in his career against Pedro Martinez, Torre opted to stick with Miguel Cairo at second base in Game 5.

"Every time we face him I get the same question, which is fine," Torre said. "But at this juncture, with the people we've been playing every day, I think it would be unfair to him to ask him to come in there and carry us or help us or whatever."

Wilson is 11-for-25 (.440) in his career against Martinez, while Cairo is just 6-for-24 (.250). Wilson, however, has not gotten into any of New York's eight postseason games, while Cairo has started at second base in all of them.

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

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