World Series 2001 |
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World Series 2001
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10/19/2001 12:25 AM ET
The rundown: Yanks take 2-0 lead
By Jim Banks
Mike Mussina delivers against the Mariners during the first inning of Game 2.
Yanks score 3 in the 2nd: 56k | 300k
Stan Javier's 4th inning homer: 56k | 300k

In Game 2, it's Mike Mussina vs. Freddy Garcia. Yankee pitchers have allowed only 14 runs in six games and held the Mariners to two runs in Game 1. The M's will have to do better than that tonight against Mussina, who is riding 15 consecutive scoreless innings in the postseason (dating to 1997 ALCS), to avoid going to New York down 2-0.

It appears to be cooler than during Game 1, as fans and players alike are donning jackets and the roof is closed. The 5 p.m. PT start eliminates the issue of having the mound in the sun and the plate in the shadows. Yankees manager Joe Torre is going with the same lineup that served him well in Game 1's 4-2 victory. Right-hander Freddy Garcia toes the rubber. He's no Aaron Sele, having beaten the Yankees twice in last year's ALCS (2-0, 1.54 ERA). Chuck Knoblauch rips a 3-2 pitch to right, but Ichiro quickly cuts it off and holds him to a single. Derek Jeter lays down a bunt on the first pitch, but third baseman David Bell reacts quickly and makes the play at first, Knoblauch advancing to second. The Yankees already knocking on the door. David Justice lines an inside pitch to John Olerud, who throws to second but Knoblauch gets back safely to avoid the double play. Now it's up to Bernie Williams to bring the runner home with two outs, but he ground harmlessly to Olerud for the inning's final out.
Yanks 0, Mariners coming to bat.

Mike Mussina starts all business, going ahead of Ichiro, 0-2. FOX analyst Steve Lyons points out that Mussina is tough because all his pitches are thrown from the same arm angle, making it difficult to pick up what he's throwing. Ichiro, a master batsman, picks up the 1-2 offering, skipping the low-outside pitch past a diving Jeter into left field. Let's see how Mussina deals with the speedy Ichiro, the AL's leader in steals with 56, on first. He goes 1-1 on Mark McLemore before the Seattle utility man flies out to left. Now it's Bret Boone, who has struggled throughout the postseason (3-of-24, no RBIs), but did get a hit in Game 1. He takes a big rip at strike one, then watches strike two paint the outside corner. He hangs tough this time, though, taking a nice 0-2 off-speed pitch up the middle for a single. Mariners have a threat of their own brewing as the game's most-successful designated hitter, Edgar Martinez, steps to the plate. He's a career .363 hitter with five HRs vs. Mussina, but pulls a 2-0 pitch to Scott Brosius for an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play. Both pitchers have pitched themselves out of trouble in the first. Let's see what the second inning has to offer.
Yankees 0, Mariners 0

FOX is a little late getting back to the action as we pick it up as Tino Martinez lining Garcia's first offering of the inning into left field for a single. All four hits in the game have gone to the opposite field. What's it mean? I don't know. Jorge Posada works a walk to put men on first and second with none out. Looks like trouble is brewing again, let's see if Garcia can wiggle out of it again. Paul O'Neill, who hit a decisive two-run homer in Game 1, steps to the plate. Mariners playing for the double play, which makes sense because O'Neill hit into 20 of them during the regular season. Not this time, he pops out to Stan Javier in short left field. One down, two to go for Garcia. But Brosius, hitting just .050 in the postseason, lines Garcia's first pitch down the left-field line. Javier misplays the ball in the corner, allowing Posada to score from first without a throw to the plate. Yankees 2, Mariners 0, and the red-hot Alfonso Soriano at the plate. Soriano flies out to center, not deep enough to advance Brosius. A big at-bat here for Garcia against Knoblauch, who lines a ball to center field. Gold Glove candidate Mike Cameron rushes in to make the shoestring catch and holds the ball up as if he made it. But it's ruled that he trapped it and Brosius races around to score as Cameron coasts in as if the inning were over. Second-base umpire Charlie Reliford didn't run out very fast, but he made the right call anyway. The inning ends when Knoblauch is cut down trying to steal second.
Yankees 3, Mariners 0
Yanks score 3 in the 2nd: 56k | 300k


The Mariners need to get something going here, but Olerud and Cameron fly out to left for two quick outs. Mussina, 3-1 with a 2.17 ERA in the postseason in his career, isn't nearly as sharp as he was against the A's in Game 3 of the ALDS. Nevertheless, a three-run lead is looking pretty big right now. Javier fouls off several two-strike pitches and wins the nine-pitch skirmish by drawing a walk. That brings Dan Wilson, a career .077 hitter (78 at-bats) in the postseason, to the plate. He's battling, though, fouling off several pitches and lining one foul down the left-field line. He's up to nine pitches now, count at 2-2. Fouls off another, ten pitches. He lines pitch 11 into the right-field gap, but O'Neill cuts it off and flips it to Williams, whose throw holds Javier at third and Wilson at first. So the bottom of the Mariners order is stirring the pot. Now it's No. 9 hitter David Bell's turn. He's a .305 hitter this season with two out and runners in scoring position. Mussina appears to be laboring, continually, missing high in the zone as the count goes full. But he pulls the string, striking out Bell on an off-speed pitch up in the zone.
Yankees 3, Mariners 0

The difference, so far, is that the Yankees have cashed in on their opportunities while the Mariners have not. Garcia, throwing on three day's rest for only the second time in his career, has not looked good. Although he threw only 80 pitches in a ALDS Game 4 victory over the Indians, he is not the same pitcher he was on Sunday. Jeter swings at the first pitch and grounds out to Olerud. Justice draws a walk, and after Garcia goes 1-0 on Williams, catcher Dan Wilson makes a trip to the mound to calm him down. Williams hit a blast to center field, Cameron gets a great jump and leaps at full-speed to catch the ball as he crashes into the fence. What a play, and Justice has to scramble back to first to avoid being doubled off. Tino Martinez flies out to left to end the inning, but not before FOX's Thom Brennaman provides some food for thought during the break: Neither pitcher has been sharp, but pitching effectively without your best stuff is the difference between being a very good pitcher and a great one. That appears to be the difference tonight between the young Garcia and veteran Mussina.
Yankees 3, Mariners 0

Ichiro to lead it off, and FOX spins The Vapors "Turning Japanese" as the highlights roll. A bit obvious, but it's nice to hear the 80's classic, anyway. Brennaman points out that he is so popular in Japan that every stadium there had an Ichiro-only souvenir stand. He hits one deep to center and Williams has a bead on it at the warning track, but the ball bounces off his glove for a two-base error. McLemore pops out down the left-field line, Knoblauch grabbing it just foul. Not a good at-bat, Mac needed to get him over to third there. The Mariners don't seem to be doing the little things that got them here. Boone with another chance to collect his first RBI of the postseason, but he flies out to straightaway center. Ichiro advances to third. That would have scored Ichiro had McLemore been able to get him over. Mariners now 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position after going 0-for-5 in such situations in Game 1. It bears mentioning that the A's went 5-for-29 with runners in scoring position (RISP) in the ALDS and it likely cost them the series. Coincidence? I think not -- these Yankee pitcher know what they're doing. On cue, Edgar Martinez flies out to Williams to end the inning. M's now 0-for-10 with RISP, and counting.
Yankees 3, Mariners 0

Garcia still bringing it up there pretty good, hitting 95 on the FOX gun. Posada whiffs to start the inning, but O'Neill follows with a single up the middle. Give Garcia credit, he is battling, turning to his off-speed stuff. A snap throw to first catches Paulie napping -- he's picked off. He strikes out Brosius on the next pitch, perhaps this is the lift he needs.
Yankees 3, Mariners 0

FOX leads into the inning with a promo for their new series, 24, starring Keifer Sutherland for about the 5,000th time this postseason. It had better be good. Olerud, leading off the inning, hasn't been good. He pops out on the first pitch he sees for the second time. Two pitches, two pop outs for Olerud. Cameron takes one off the left elbow and takes first base. He didn't do much to get out of the way, but the M's need baserunners and he's now a baserunner. He's fast, too. But it doesn't matter as Javier hammers the second pitch he sees deep over the center-field wall for a two-run homer. Yanks 3, Mariners 2. Javier, who is retiring when the season is over, hit just four homers all year. Wilson flies out to right and Bell flies out to left to end the inning, but the Mariners have found a little of that Mojo they've had going all season. Game on.
Yankees 3, Mariners 2
Stan Javier's 4th inning homer: 56k | 300k

Garcia flashes a little Mojo of his own, whiffing Soriano on three-straight breaking balls. He seems to have settled in with a renewed emphasis on his off-speed stuff. Knoblauch walks, reaching base for the sixth time this series -- he's doing exactly what the Yankees hoped he'd do all year. Jeter, again swinging at the first pitch, dumps a blooper into short right to put runners on first and second with one out. Former Nasty Boy Norm Charlton gets up in the bullpen (was it really 11 years ago that he, Rob Dibble and Randy Myers propelled the Reds to a World Series title?), but Justice grounds into an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Yankees 3, Mariners 2

Ichiro to lead off. He flies out to left swinging at the first pitch. Too much of that going on with two pitchers struggling to find a groove out there. McLemore is a bit more patient, working the count to 2-2 before flying out to right. Here comes Boone, he pops out on the second pitch. Mussina's easiest inning of the night.
Yankees 3, Mariners 2

Love those MasterCard commercials with the two kids traveling across the U.S. to every Major League Baseball stadium, but someone in the office points out that Pac Bell Park shouldn't count because they didn't actually go in it. A good point, what do you think? OK, back to baseball. Bernie Williams up, Garcia still pitching. Bernie is battling, takes the count full and fouls a few off. FOX pans in on two boys with their gloves, one of them having snagged one of the foul balls -- is there anything better? Back to action, Garcia gets Bernie waving at a curveball on the outside corner. One down. Martinez rips a fastball back up the middle, nearly knocking Garcia off the mound, for a single. Jeff Nelson gets up in the bullpen, Charlton no longer throwing. No need for Nellie, Garcia and Wilson combine for a strike 'em out, throw 'em out as Posada misses a low 2-2 pitch and Tino is cutdown at second on the aborted hit-and-run. Hey, give Garcia this: He is a warrior. The AL ERA leader has allowed seven hits and three walks through six innings but keeps coming at the Yankees and hasn't allowed a run since the second.
Yankees 3, Mariners 2

Edgar steps up to the plate as Lyons illustrates the Mariners' moxy with this factoid: The M's lost the first game of a series 16 times this season and came back to split or win the series 11 times. Mussina notches just his second strikeout with a nasty pitch down in the zone. Olerud up. Hey, he takes a pitch. Yankees pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre is on the phone, he's probably not calling home. Lefty Mike Stanton gets up in the bullpen. Olerud continues to struggle, popping out for the third time, this one to Jeter. Ramiro Mendoza joins Stanton in the pen, looks like this might be it for Mussina. He goes out on a high note, striking out Cameron swinging at a fastball up in the zone.
Yankees 3, Mariners 2

O'Neill, Brosius and Soriano due up, Garcia takes the hill again. Earlier in the game, Brennaman mentioned that some say Garcia resembles The Rock of WWF fame. He's certainly been a rock for the M's over the last five innings. He'll need some help in the bottom of the frame, but right now O'Neill is his primary concern and he gets him to bounce out to Boone at second. Brosius watches two curveballs fall in for strikes, Garcia's got the hammer working now, then freezes him with a fastball on the outside corner. Brosius isn't pleased with the call, the 47,791 fans are. The chant begins: Freddie, Freddie, Freddie ... Soriano lines out to left. Garcia gives his team another solid inning, and another opportunity to tie it up. The crowd stands for the singing of God Bless America. This never gets old, does it? Perhaps this is a new tradition we should keep.
Yankees 3, Mariners 2

Javier, Wilson and Bell to start the inning -- they've been trouble tonight, pushing Mussina deep into counts and going 2-for-5 with a walk and Javier's two-run home run. Torre's not taking any chances, he turns it over to Mendoza. That closes the book on Mussina, who pitched six strong innings, surrendering just two earned runs on four hits. Mendoza gets the job done against Javier, who grounds out to first. A pinch hitter for the light-hitting Wilson? No, Lou Piniella sticks with his veteran catcher and it pays off -- a single to right field. The tying run is aboard. A pinch runner for the slow-footed catcher? No, again Piniella stands by his man. One out, one on for Bell. Mendoza gets ahead, 0-2, but Bell hangs in, fouling off two pitches. A fastball in on the hands shatters Bell's bat. The slow roller to third leaves Brosius only with a play at first, Wilson advances to second. Two out. Ichiro steps to the plate. He hit .445 with RISP, .468 with two out and a RISP. Torre is in a gambling mood. He walks Ichiro, putting the go-ahead run on base. He's also letting Mendoza face McLemore, a switch-hitter who hit .311 vs. righties, .169 vs. lefties. Why not Stanton here to turn him around? Mendoza falls behind 3-1, then gets strike two on a pitch that appeared out of the zone. Mac swings and grounds an inside pitch to Tino at first. Mendoza, and Torre, escape. One gets the feeling, with Mariano Rivera in the offing, that this missed opportunity might come back to haunt the Mariners.
Yankees 3, Mariners 2

Garcia begins the inning with a strike to Knoblauch, his 100th pitch of the night. Arthur Rhodes is throwing in the bullpen; one has to believe he'll relieve Garcia when Justice comes to bat. Knoblauch lines out to left to bring up Derek Jeter, 1-for-2 with a sac bunt. This likely is Garcia's final batter. He walks him and that's it, here comes Piniella. Garcia exits to a well-deserved ovation from the Seattle crowd as Rhodes comes on to face Justice. He gets him, breaking Justice's bat on a flyout to Cameron in right-center. But he doesn't get Williams, who lines a 2-1 pitch into right field. Ichiro cuts it off and comes up throwing, holding Williams at first and Jeter at third. Man, does he have a cannon. Rhodes goes to 3-0 on Tino, the third ball appearing to be a strike. He comes back with a strike, then gets Martinez on a high chopper up the middle. Boone cuts it off and beats Williams to the bag for the final out. Close the book on Garcia: 7 1/3 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K. He'll get the loss if the M's don't rally and can't get the win, but he definitely pitched like a winner tonight on just three days rest.
Yankees 3, Mariners 2

We'll know Torre means business if we see Rivera to start the bottom of the eighth. Nope, he sticks with Mendoza. We've seen him go to Rivera for two innings before, but not tonight. Let's see how it turns out. Mendoza gets ahead of Boone, 0-2, and Soriano makes a nice play up the middle to cut off a hit and get Boone at first. One down, five to go for a 2-0 Yankees lead in the ALCS. Not so fast, Edgar singles up the middle and Piniella calls for the speedy Charles Gipson to run for him. Here comes Torre and he signals for Rivera. Brennaman points out that Torre didn't want to have to go to Mo for two full innings after throwing him in Game 1, but you have to do what you have to do. Rivera will have to get five outs to close this one out. FOX cuts to an interview with Torre, who explains his philosophy for using the bullpen. With both bullpens as strong as they are, Torre points out, you don't want to surrender a lead late in the game. As long as his team is ahead, he'll use Rivera to get the outs needed to secure the victory. Who's to argue? It's been working nearly flawlessly for five years -- Rivera has saved 22 and blown but one in the postseason. Olerud bounces to Tino and Martinez goes for the lead runner at second, throwing wide and low inside of the bag. Jeter stretches inside the bag and scoops the throw to get the out as Gipson plows into him. Is there anything Jeter can't do? Two outs. Rivera blows away Cameron on three pitches. Inning over.
Yankees 3, Mariners 2

Rhodes still pitching, facing Posada to start the inning. Rhodes gets ahead in the count, then freezes him with a fastball on the outside corner. One out and that's it for Rhodes, he did his job. Piniella calls for Nelson to face Shane Spencer, who took over for O'Neill in right field in the bottom of the eighth. Brosius on deck. Right-handers batted just .119 off Nellie this season, so this inning might be over. Or not. Spencer doubles to left on a fastball that swings back over the plate. Count goes to 1-2 on Brosius and Torre sends Spencer on a hit-and-run. Brosius fouls it back; too bad for the Yankees, Spencer had third standing. The potential run at second is huge, and both Nelson and Brosius know it. Nellie keeps pounding the strike zone; Brosius keeps fouling them off. Finally, Brosius goes down swinging on a nasty 2-2 slider, but Spencer was running on the play and takes third without a throw. Soriano now with a chance to give the Yankees a little cushion. Nelson jumps head 0-2 on a pair of sliders, but Soriano hangs tough, fouling off a few. Soriano takes an outside slider to right but Ichiro makes a nice run to get to it and then makes the grab while sliding to keep the M's within a run.
Yankees 3, Mariners 2

These are some long odds the Mariners are facing, but they've never quit this season so there's no use starting now. Javier, Wilson and Bell, the bottom of the order, are due up. They've been effective tonight, let's see who Piniella lets bat with the game on the line. Al Martin, Jay Buhner, Tom Lampkin and Carlos Guillen are available on the bench. Javier falls behind 1-2 on a called check swing, then gets frozen by a fastball. One down. Piniella calls on Martin to bat for Wilson. He batted .240 with seven homers this season. Martin bounces the first pitch out in front of the plate and Posada gets the easy out at first. One out to go and the Yankees take a commanding 2-0 lead back to New York, where they'll have three chances to win two games and close out the ALCS. Bell falls behind 1-2 and the Yankees gather on the top step. Ball two, high. Then a blistering fastball right down the pipe; Bell swings through it. Game over. The Mariners have a tough row to hoe now, having lost the first two games at home. No team has ever come back to win an LCS after losing the first two at home. The Yankees appear poised to play for their fifth World Series title in six years as the series heads back to the Big Apple. Final: Yankees 3, Mariners 2

Jim Banks is the American League Executive Producer of Send comments, questions and suggestions to