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Brown holds Yanks' fate in Game 7
10/19/2004 11:36 PM ET
NEW YORK -- It'll be Brown pinstripes in Game Seven. The Yankees have settled on Kevin Brown as their final starter, picking the veteran over Javier Vazquez and Orlando Hernandez.

Hernandez would've meant a short stint on short rest -- two days, to be precise. Brown and Vazquez both pitched in the tumultuous Game 3, which means they're both working on three days' rest. Brown got the start in that game but Vazquez got the win, throwing 96 pitches in relief to steady New York's staff.

The decision came down to two factors: experience and endurance. Vazquez is younger and has better stuff, but Brown threw fewer pitches in the last game and has far more experience. The veteran lasted just two innings in his last start, allowing five hits and four runs.

The Yankees got plenty of offense of their own, but Vazquez was the one that came in and did the heavy lifting. The right-hander got 13 outs and allowed four earned runs, but he also threw three scoreless innings right when the game was poised to become a rout.

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That pattern could repeat itself. Game 7 could be a tandem situation, with Brown and Vazquez teaming up to get New York into the late innings. Hernandez would also be available, as would most of the team's relievers. At any rate, Yankee manager Joe Torre is keeping all his options open.

"I really don't want to mention names," Torre said after Tuesday night's game. "Other than the fact that you know you could probably guess in your mind who's the most rested. But again, we may go out there and get three innings from one guy, two innings from another guy."

The Red Sox had the same kind of dilemma, waiting until Wednesday to name Derek Lowe their starter. Regardless of who's pitching, both teams are playing for one win and one shot at the World Series.

That means that they won't hesitate to go with a quick hook if the game seems to be getting away. With the game just hours away, a thought like that is miles away from their minds. Optimism reigns supreme -- at least in their interaction with the media.

"We have faith in everyone, regardless of who pitches," said Derek Jeter. "You've got to have faith."

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

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