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World Series 2001
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10/12/2001 01:10 PM ET
Moyer stifles Indians as Mariners even series
By Carrie Muskat
MLB.com
Moyer retired the first eight batters he faced.
Video Highlights: 56k | 300k
Moyer Highlights: 56k | 300k
Seattle's dingers: 56k | 300k
Ichiro nearly homers: 56k | 300k
  • Box score

    SEATTLE -- That's a sigh of relief you heard from the Seattle Mariners.

    Jamie Moyer, looking at times as if he was soft-tossing a Wiffle ball to his kids, shut down Cleveland over six-plus innings to lead the Mariners to a 5-1 victory Thursday over the Indians and even the best-of-five American League Division Series at one win apiece.

    Mike Cameron and Edgar Martinez each hit two-run homers in the first inning and David Bell added a solo shot to power the M's, who apparently were able to adjust to the shadows across SAFECO Field.

    "What happened was just what we didn't want to happen," Indians Manager Charlie Manuel said.

    The series now shifts to Jacobs Field for Game 3 on Saturday when Cleveland rookie C.C. Sabathia (17-5, 4.39 ERA) will face Aaron Sele (15-5, 3.60 ERA). Game 4 will be Sunday.

    "[Moyer] gave us exactly what we needed," Seattle Manager Lou Piniella said. "This gives us a chance to end it there or bring it back here. We'll see."

    The Mariners did not want to say goodbye to the sellout crowd of 48,052, the largest ever at SAFECO, and go to Cleveland behind 2-0 in the short series. The Indians are anxious to say hello to their hometown fans.

    "I look at it right now is it goes to best two out of three," Manuel said. "Do I like our position? I like it a heck of a lot better than being 0-2."

    Seattle tried to downplay Thursday's game as a must-win situation. It was. The luster of posting an American League record 116 wins and going wire-to-wire to win the American League West Division would definitely be diminished if they were swept in the first round.

    "Today was as close to a must win as you want," Piniella said. "It's a resilient group of young men and there's a lot of confidence in that clubhouse. After a loss, we've come out and tried to get it done as much as possible and we were fortunate today to get it done."

    Cleveland's Bartolo Colon stifled the M's 5-0 in Game 1 with 90-plus heat. That's his fastball speed, not the temperature. Moyer (1-0) was just the opposite.

    The left-hander's first pitch to Kenny Lofton registered at 84 mph, and that's high for him. Indians starter Chuck Finley (0-1) rarely threw anything under that speed.

    The M's lefty, who allowed one earned run over 14 innings in two starts against the Indians this year, both wins, retired the first eight batters he faced. He scattered five hits over six-plus innings, departing after serving up back-to-back hits in the seventh to Ellis Burks and Jim Thome.

    Jeff Nelson came in and walked Travis Fryman to load the bases, then got Marty Cordova to hit into a double play, which allowed a run to score.

    Nelson, Arthur Rhodes and Kazuhiro Sasaki each pitched one inning of relief for Seattle.

    The Indians stressed they wanted to be patient against Moyer, appearing in only his second playoff game and first since 1997. Lofton must have missed that meeting. He saw three pitches in his first two at-bats.

    Moyer struck out Thome on a 77-mph pitch to end the second, and then whiffed Thome again to finish the fourth and strand two Indians. That time, Moyer cranked it up to 85.

    "That's all I have to offer," Moyer said, laughing. "I can't throw 95."

    Of course, the Indians will probably say they had trouble picking up Moyer's pitches because of the late afternoon shadows.

    Piniella complimented Moyer's guile.

    "He's not a power pitcher, obviously, but there are different ways to skin a cat," Piniella said. "He does it the sly way."

    Moyer baffled the Indians with his ability to change speeds.

    "Right now we're not hitting the ball, the top of the lineup," Manuel said. "That concerns me a little bit, but at the same time we have guys who are veteran hitters and they can bounce back day to day. Baseball's a day-to-day thing. They will hit, they have hit and right now is the time for us to hit, don't get me wrong."

    Some of the M's had hoped for rain and overcast skies.

    "It's an open air stadium and the weather is really nice outside," Piniella said. "It would be a shame to have the roof on it."

    Hey, sunny days in Seattle are as rare as a 90-mph fastball by Moyer.

    Which Finley would show up was a question mark for the Indians. Injuries and inconsistency have bothered him all year. Before the game, Manuel said it wouldn't be difficult for him to gauge the veteran's effectiveness.

    "Command of his fastball," Manuel said when asked what he uses to get a read on the veteran. "At times, if he's going to throw his split, first or second pitch, that means he's going to throw it for strikes."

    Which Finley didn't do. Instead, he threw it just where the Mariners wanted in the first.

    "That first inning, [Finley] had trouble with his command," Manuel said. "He got behind in the count and he didn't know what to pitch and paid for it. He was struggling to get his command in the first inning."

    Ichiro Suzuki walked to lead off and Cameron followed with his first career postseason home run off a 0-2 pitch from Finley that just reached the left field seats. Bret Boone then singled, prompting a visit from Indians Pitching Coach Dick Pole.

    Pole probably told Finley to not give Martinez anything to hit, but there must have been a breakdown in communications. Martinez launched the first pitch he saw to straightaway center to open a 4-0 lead, his sixth career Division Series homer.

    "[Finley] made two mistakes there in the first inning and we fell behind 4-0 and after that Moyer settled in," Manuel said. "He's pitched against us three times and handled us the same way."

    Ichiro almost gave the Japanese television viewers back home something to cheer about with a high fly ball to the warning track in deep right, but it stayed in the park long enough for right fielder Juan Gonzalez to grab it.

    Bell did clear the left field fence leading off the M's fifth, hitting a 2-0 pitch from Finley, who had settled down and not allowed a hit since Martinez's blast.

    One out later, Ichiro singled to chase Finley, who gave up five hits and walked two over 4 1/3 innings, striking out two.

    The Mariners had two left-handers in the lineup against southpaw Finley as Piniella opted for Jay Buhner in left instead of Stan Javier. Javier batted .326 against left-handers but Buhner has played for Piniella for nine years. Okay, he missed five months with a foot injury and had appeared in 19 games.

    "He's worked hard to get to this point," Piniella said of the veteran. "He deserves the opportunity. I'm loyal to my players."

    They feel the same.

    Moyer is a member of Lou's fan club. He did not pitch in the Mariners' ALDS sweep against the Chicago White Sox last year and while preparing for the next round, Moyer was hit on the knee by a teammate during batting practice. End of season.

    "Getting to the playoffs healthy, getting through a game healthy and winning a playoff game, this is a dream come true," Moyer said. "It's a team effort and we played well together today and I expect we'll go to Cleveland and have the same results.

    "We all strive to reach the playoffs and perform well in the playoffs," he said. "Today it all came true for me."

    Today, at 38, the left-hander is the oldest player to win 20 games. And his 21st was probably the most important.

    Carrie Muskat is a regional writer for MLB.com based in Chicago.

    Box score

    Mariners 5, Indians 1

    Safeco Field

    FINAL

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    Indians 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 5 0
    Mariners 4 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 x 5 6 0
    Indians AB R H RBI TB BB K AVG
    Kenny Lofton - CF 4 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000
    Omar Vizquel - SS 3 0 1 0 1 1 0 .250
    Roberto Alomar - 2B 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 .111
    Juan Gonzalez - RF 4 0 1 0 1 0 1 .222
    Ellis Burks-DH 4 1 2 0 2 0 0 .625
    Jim Thome-1B 4 0 1 0 1 0 2 .143
    Travis Fryman - 3B 3 0 0 0 0 1 2 .286
    Marty Cordova - LF 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 .286
    Einar Diaz - C 3 0 1 0 1 0 0 .286
    Totals 32 1 6 0 6 2 7 -
    Batting:
    Runners left in scoring position, 2 out - Thome 1, Diaz 1.
    GIDP - Cordova.
    Team LOB
    - 6.
    Fielding:
    DP: 1 (Fryman-Alomar-Thome).
    Mariners AB R H RBI TB BB K AVG
    Ichiro Suzuki - RF 3 1 1 0 1 1 0 .571
    Mike Cameron-CF 4 1 1 2 4 0 2 .125
    Bret Boone - 2B 4 1 1 0 1 0 1 .125
    Edgar Martinez - DH 4 1 1 2 4 0 1 .286
    John Olerud - 1B 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
    Jay Buhner-LF 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 .000
    Stan Javier-LF 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .250
    Dan Wilson-C 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 .167
    David Bell-3B 3 1 2 1 5 0 0 .400
    Mark McLemore-SS 3 0 0 0 0 0 2 .000
    Totals 29 5 6 5 15 2 8 -
    Batting:
    HR - Cameron (1, 1st inning off Finley 1 on, 0 out); E Martinez (1, 1st inning off Finley 1 on, 0 out); Bell (1, 5th inning off Finley 0 on, 0 out).
    RBI
    - Cameron 2 (2), E Martinez 2 (2), Bell (1).
    Runners left in scoring position, 2 out
    - Boone 1.
    GIDP
    - Wilson.
    Team LOB
    - 2.
    Baserunning:
    SB - Suzuki (1, 2nd base off Riske/Diaz).
    Fielding:
    DP: 1 (Mclemore-Boone-Olerud).
    Indians IP H R ER BB K PIT B-S BF ERA
    Chuck Finley (L, 0-1) 4.1 5 5 5 2 3 66 27-39 19 10.38
    David Riske 1.2 0 0 0 0 3 19 7-12 5 0.00
    Paul Shuey 1 1 0 0 0 1 17 4-13 4 0.00
    Danys Baez 1 0 0 0 0 1 15 6-9 3 0.00
    Pitching:
    Ground balls-fly balls: Finley 7-3; Riske 1-1; Shuey 1-1; Baez 0-2.
    Mariners IP H R ER BB K PIT B-S BF ERA
    Jamie Moyer (W,1-0) 6 5 1 1 1 4 86 31-55 24 1.50
    Jeff Nelson 1 0 0 0 1 0 12 606 3 0.00
    Arthur Rhodes 1 0 0 0 0 1 10 2-8 3 0.00
    Kazuhiro Sasaki 1 1 0 0 0 2 16 6-10 4 0.00
    Pitching:
    Ground balls-fly balls: Moyer 3-11; Nelson 2-1; Rhodes 0-2; Sasaki 0-1.
    Umpires: Ted Barrett (HP), Kerwin Danley (1B), Jerry Layne (2B), Mark Hirschbeck (3B), Ron Kulpa (LF), Steve Rippley (RF)
    Time of game: 2:41
    Attendance: 48,052
    Weather: 55, Sunny. Wind: 5 MPH right to left
    BOXSCORE COURTESY OF SPORTSTICKER ENTERPRISES, L.P. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED