Williams, Torre play large parts in Game 2
Posted: Friday October 15, 1999 02:28 AM
Joe Torre smiles at the press conference after his chess-play like decisions turned out for the win. AP
NEW YORK (AP) -- The final score was 3-2, but the real result was more like: Checkmate, in nine moves.
The eighth inning of Game 2 of the AL championship series was as much a chess match as a baseball game, as Red Sox manager Jimy Williams cleared his entire bench to avoid a loss that would put Boston down two games to nothing.
"Things were spinning," said Yankees manager Joe Torre, who was Bobby Fischer to Williams' Garry Kasparov as he deployed all available relief pitchers to protect New York's 3-2 victory on Thursday night.
"You just make a decision that you are going to empty your bullpen and go for it, and that is the chess game,' Torre said after taking a two games to none lead in the best-of-7 series. "The greatest part of managing is going back and forth with the other manager."
Torre went through four pitchers, and Williams used three pinch-hitters and two pinch-runners in the pivotal inning. Williams also sacrificed his designated hitter like a pawn defending its king, meaning the pitcher would have had to hit if his spot in the order came up to bat.
"We didn't have more players, but we took a shot at it," Williams said. "We had the right people up. We had an opportunity. It just didn't work."
New York led 3-2 when Troy O'Leary doubled off Mike Stanton -- missing a homer by about six inches -- to lead off eighth inning. Jeff Nelson relieved and hit Mike Stanley with a pitch. Damon Buford ran for Stanley.
Jason Varitek sacrificed the runners to second and third. The Red Sox announced that lefty Scott Hatteberg would pinch hit for righty Darren Lewis and took one ball. Torre then brought in Allen Watson, and Lou Merloni pinch hit for Hatteberg with an 1-0 count; he drew an intentional walk to load the bases.
Butch Huskey hit for Trot Nixon, Ramiro Mendoza relieved, and Donnie Sadler -- Boston's last position player -- ran for Merloni. Huskey struck out on a 1-2 pitch, then Offerman hit an easy fly ball to center field.
"You've got to play for that inning," said Merloni, who admitted being personally disappointed that he could only contribute an intentional walk -- and just three-fourths of one, at that.
"You do everything you can to get that lead," he said. "Shifting people in and out, we're just trying to get the right matchup."
When Daubach, who had been the designated hitter, played first base in the bottom half, it meant that the pitcher would have to bat if Huskey's spot came up in the order.
"That was two good managers doing what they could to help their team win," said Paul O'Neill, who hit a go-ahead single in the seventh inning to set up the critical eighth. "You watch the moves, and then you sit back and see what they are all about."'
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