Jeter's HR: 56k | 300k
|Kim provided the impetus for the ninth-inning momentum shift. Tino Martinez scores in the background.
Tino's HR: 56k | 300k
MLB.com Daily Web Show: 56k | 300k
NEW YORK -- Once Bob Brenly made up his mind about his starter, he felt he knew how Game 4 would end. And, he was almost right.
The Arizona manager moved ace Curt Schilling up to Game 4 to pitch on three-days' rest and expected closer Byung-Hyun Kim to be available to go long if needed. After all, Schilling had been dominant throughout the postseason and in Game 1 of the World Series and Kim hadn't yet pitched in the Series after being nearly unhittable in the playoffs.
Brenly got what he wanted from Schilling, as the veteran right-hander allowed three hits and a run, while striking out nine, in his seven innings. Schilling had thrown only 88 pitches when he left with a 3-1 lead.
"It was an easy decision to take (Schilling) out, considering he had started on three days' rest," Brenly said. "We had a lead and we insisted all along that we wanted to go to BK for two innings if needed."
Kim, who was 3-for-3 in save opportunities in the NLDS and NLCS, was game-rested and ready. And using his sidearm and submarine throwing style, which the Yankees had never seen, he struck out the side in the eighth.
With one out in the ninth, Paul O'Neill blooped a single to left. One out later, that set the stage for Tino Martinez, who drilled a fastball from Kim over the right-centerfield wall to tie the game at three.
Martinez said he went into the Yankees clubhouse during the eighth inning to watch Kim face the hitters ahead of him.
"I just saw a fastball and slider, so I went up there in that situation and was looking for a fastball," Martinez said. "Something over the middle of the plate I could just try to drive out, just try to take a big hack at it and I got a hold of it.
"After he mowed the guys down in the eighth inning, we thought, 'Oh, boy, he's got some great stuff.' But once we got a man on in the ninth there, you walk a guy, thinking what could happen at that moment. That's what our thought process was and fortunately I got up there and got a good pitch to hit and hit it."
Kim's face showed he was stunned by the home run and D-Backs Managing General Partner Jerry Colangelo could only watch in amazement as some Yankees leapt over the dugout railing and danced toward the plate to greet Martinez. It was a dramatic turnaround from which few teams, or 22-year-old relievers, could recover.
But, after Arizona failed to score in the top of the 10th, Kim went back to the mound for his third inning of work.
Kim, who started the season as a setup man for closer Matt Mantei and then rookie Bret Prinz, took over the job when Mantei and Prinz both went down with arm injuries. The Korean right-hander had pitched more than two innings in an outing four times in the regular season, and didn't allow a run in those outings. As the closer, he was used mostly in the conventional way.
He finished the regular season with 19 saves in 23 chances, pitching 98 innings over 78 games. He allowed 58 hits all season, including 10 home runs.
So, bringing Kim into Game 4 that early and leaving him in for three innings became the focus of questions for Brenly and the D-Backs after the game.
"We hadn't talked about (Kim pitching three innings) before the game," Brenly said. "But BK throws every day and throws a lot of pitches. It wasn't really pushing him beyond what he can do."
Arizona catcher Damian Miller said he wasn't surprised to see Kim come out for the 10th inning.
"No, not really, he's done it before," Miller said. "With his stuff, he's capable of doing it. He just made a mistake."
In fact, Kim had struck out five of the hitters he faced before Derek Jeter hit the game-winning home run off him with two outs in the bottom of the 10th. It was Jeter's second at-bat against Kim. In his first at-bat, Jeter led off the ninth by trying to bunt down the third base line for a hit, but was out at first.
"In the first at-bat, I just wanted to get on base, and Matt Williams made a great play," Jeter said. "But because I bunted the first pitch, I didn't get an opportunity to see him. Any time you have someone throwing sidearm or underarm, it is going to take a few pitches to pick up his release point.
"In the second at-bat, I was just trying to get on for Paul O'Neill to make something happen. I was able to see a lot of pitches, so I think that helped."
In the second at-bat, Jeter took a high slider on the outside part of the plate and lifted it down the right-field line and over the fence to even the series at two games apiece.
"The one to Jeter was a slider that I lifted too much," Kim said. "I'm not disappointed in the pitch. I was a little surprised it was a home run. I knew the ballpark was short to right field but not that short."
Kim said there was no concern about pitching a third inning.
"All I thought about was throwing the best pitches I could," Kim said. "I wanted to throw the third inning."
Schilling could only sit in the dugout and watch as Kim gave up the tying and winning runs, but he said he knew the situation.
"I felt fine," Schilling said. "I could have gone longer but [Brenly] thought that was enough. I was not as concerned about going on three days' rest as I was about the long layoff before Game 1 of the series."
Martinez said Schilling was strong all night and could have gone longer.
"I thought he had great stuff," Martinez said. "He was throwing the ball hard the whole night, and I thought that he was just as sharp as he was in Game 1, three days' rest or not. He had great stuff tonight and we knew we had our work cut out for us."
Game 5 starter Miguel Batista said he could identify with Kim.
"They hit two good pitches," Batista said. "Think about it. They only hit two balls hard. You can't blame a guy for that."
Arizona outfielder Reggie Sanders said he could only imagine how bad Kim must feel.
"It's a very tough situation because it's in the spotlight," Sanders said. "The team will have to show support and tell him we still believe in his stuff."
"I felt fine. I could have gone longer but [Brenly] thought that was enough. I wasn't as concerned about going on three days' rest as I was about the long layoff before Game 1 of the series."
Paul C. Smith is a reporter for MLB.com.