Brosius' RBI single: 56k | 300k
|Brosius (left) and Derek Jeter congratulate each other after the Yankees' win on Tuesday.
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NEW YORK -- Scott Brosius has been here before. There's nothing new to Brosius, regarding the role of World Series hero. After all, he was named the MVP of the 1998 Fall Classic, after he helped the Yankees sweep San Diego.
This year, though, Brosius has been especially anemic at the plate during the postseason, and the World Series has been no exception. Heading into Game 3, he was only hitting .167.
But one thing hasn't changed: When the Yankees need a big hit, they know they can count on Brosius. And he delivered the game-winner once again in Game 3 on Tuesday, lining a clutch two-out, single to left field to score Bernie Williams for a 2-1 lead.
"This was a game we wanted to win," Brosius said. "This was a game we had to have."
It certainly was, because if the Yankees lost, they would've been down, three game to none, and in 96 previous editions of the Fall Classic, no team has ever won after facing a 3-0 deficit.
In the Yankee clubhouse after the game, there was a palpable sense of satisfaction. The players knew how close this game was to going the other way.
"We needed this one today," Jorge Posada said. "Brosius' hit was tremendous. It was a big relief."
In the bottom of the sixth inning, with the game tied at 1-1, Brosius came to the plate. There were two men on and two men out, and Brosius was facing reliever Mike Morgan, who had just struck out pinch-hitter Dave Justice on four pitches.
The third baseman swung and connected on a pitch, sending a flare into left field. Luis Gonzalez, Arizona's left fielder, came in gingerly on the ball. Instead of sprinting in and trying to dive, Gonzalez played it safe and let the ball bounce in front of him.
"As an outfielder, you have a split-second to decide," Gonzalez said. "If I try to make the catch [and don't], two runs score. Shane took a chance (in the top of the inning) and made a great catch. If he misses, two runs score and it's a whole different game. You're damned if you do, damned if you don't."
It didn't get by Gonzalez, and Brosius didn't get extra bases. More importantly, though, it was hit well enough to score Bernie Williams, who had been running on the crack of the bat.
Did Gonzalez make a tactical mistake? Should he have made a better effort? Shane Spencer, who made a stellar play on a similar ball in the top of the inningstarted in left field for the Yankees, offered his own take on the play.
"The wind was blowing a lot out there, and that ball would normally go down the line," Spencer said. "I think he thought it was going to go into the corner. It's tough to play out there."
That may be the case, but it didn't stop Spencer from making a game-saving catch in the top of the sixth.
At any rate, the hit by Brosius gave Joe Torre all the options he needed. Specifically, it allowed the Yankee skipper to leave Roger Clemens in the game through the seventh inning.
After that, Mariano Rivera got six outs for his seventh career World Series save.
"That's a pretty good formula, if you can get the ball from Rocket to Mariano," Brosius said. "You like it if you have a chance."
There's no doubt about that, and also no reservations about Brosius at the bat. Regardless of his average at the current time, the Yankees know that Brosius will be there when they need him. If he's in the game in a tight spot, his teammates like his odds of coming through in the clutch.
After all, Scott Brosius has been here before.
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com.