Throughout the World Series, Yankees reliever Mike Stanton has done an exclusive "First Person" diary with Yankees.com and MLB.com. The Yankees lost 3-2 in Game 7, losing the World Series four games to three to the Diamondbacks. With a 2-1 lead entering the ninth inning, Mariano Rivera blew his first postseason save since 1997, ending the Yankees' string of championships at three straight.
|It looked like Mike Stanton was going to be the winning pitcher after Alfonso Soriano hit a home run in the top of the eighth inning.
Sunday, Nov. 4 -- Postgame
It's obviously disappointing to lose Game 7, but the disappointment is in the result, not how we got there. We fought and fought, our offense struggled and the pitching kept us in the game. Roger Clemens was outstanding tonight, Curt Schilling was equally outstanding. It just didn't work out for us. It was a disappointing pill, but it's not that bitter. We didn't give it away -- we made them take it away.
We had the game where we wanted it. We had our best in there, and if they were going to beat us, they had to beat our best. That's what they did. They didn't hit the ball hard, they just hit it where we weren't. You just have to tip your hat. They came out fighting in the ninth and got the job done.
Getting the ball to Mariano has been a great equation and it will continue to be a great equation. As much as us and our fans would like to believe differently, he is human. As great as he's been in the playoffs, it didn't work out for us today. As far as I'm concerned, there is no one else in the history of baseball that I'd want out there, and I still feel that way.
This game was a nail-biter. It's much harder to watch these than to play in them. I probably didn't sit still for five minutes total down in the bullpen. Roger kept us in the game, and the home run Alfonso Soriano hit was a pretty good pitch by Schilling. We got Mo in the game and it just didn't work out for us.
Both starters were outstanding. Schilling had no ill effects from pitching again on short rest, and Roger matched him pitch-for-pitch. This was a fitting ending for this series as it had been played. It went down to the last inning of the last game. They just took it away from us.
I came in and got us out of a jam, then Soriano hit the home run to give us the lead. I would have been the winning pitcher, but I didn't care about that as long as someone on our team was the winner. Even after they load the bases in the ninth, you still think Mo will get out of it. When Luis Gonzalez got that last hit, I just turned around and walked off.
One of the characteristics of this team has been to keep the fire burning. You see some teams win it once and they're a flash in the pan. We want to win it every year, we want to win every game. That's not going to change because we lost Game 7.
It does hurt and there is some disappointment for us, but I don't think it's disappointing for our fans in New York. They saw how we fought until the end and they just took it away from us. Our fans can look at the character of this team and feed off that.
This was a classic World Series, but I think we'll have to wait a few weeks or months to really appreciate it. The predominant feeling right now -- just disappointment.
We didn't give it away, they took it from us. We've been blessed over the last few years to be the ones to take it away, and this year it got taken away from us. We'll be back next year, we're still the American League champions, and we'll continue to hold our head up high.
Sunday, Nov. 4 -- Pregame
This is it. This is what it's all about -- Game 7 of the World Series. As much as we would have liked to finish it off yesterday, it just didn't happen for us. We're looking forward to tonight.
Today hasn't been any more stressful than normal. In fact, we were probably a little more relaxed than we were yesterday. Yesterday we may have put some pressure on ourselves to go out and get it finished, but today, after accepting last night, we're just going to go out and play Yankee baseball.
Blowout games like last night are easier to deal with than one-run games, because in a close game you spend all night thinking "what if" on one or two plays. Last night, you just accept it and there's no second-guessing. We got a good night's rest and we're ready to go.
This is how it's supposed to be -- Roger Clemens vs. Curt Schilling in Game 7. It's our best against their best. There are a lot of themes in this game tonight -- including Roger helping Curt earlier in his career. It's probably going to be a low-scoring affair. We may have some advantage because of the experience we have, we've been doing this for a while. Of course, if we don't execute and perform, it won't make a bit of difference.
I played in Game 7 of the World Series in 1991, and a decade later, it feels the same. This approach is the same as any other day. I've talked the whole postseason about staying in our comfort zone, and that's what tonight is all about. You don't do anything different just because it's Game 7.
When I played Game 7 with the 1991 Braves, I was on the visiting team then, too, against the Twins. The home field can play into it a little, but hopefully we can get a run or two off Schilling early and try to take the crowd out of it. If we can do that, home field won't make any difference. On the other hand, if they get ahead early, the crowd will be really into it and very loud. It can work for you or against you.
This is how you always want it. When you're a kid in the backyard, you're always at the plate in the seventh game of the World Series. I never quite understood that, I always thought you'd rather have Game 4 and you're up 3-0, but that's not how it is. It's always the seventh game. This is when baseball is fun.
Mike Stanton is a relief pitcher for the New York Yankees.