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Closer Look

Pettitte got into jams and got out of them with location

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Posted: Monday October 18, 1999 02:57 AM


By Jamie MacDonald, CNN/SI

BOSTON -- At the very moment Kevin McGlinchy was opening the door for the Miracle Mets at Shea by walking in the game-tying run, Andy Pettitte was here at Fenway shutting the door on the positively miracle-free Red Sox.

The game will go down in history for an number of "key moments," but Game 4 should go down as Pettitte's.

"It's about the same way he's pitched every time he had to pitch a good game," manager Joe Torre said after the game. "It was something. [He] got himself into some jams, [and] got out of jams, made some great pitches."

Granted, Boston's errors in Game 4 were huge in light of the very plain fact that the Red Sox can not give runs away to the Yankees.

The second inning included Nomar Garciaparra's fourth error of the series and Bret Saberhagen's booting of Mike Stanley's shin-high feed from behind the bag ... 2-1 Yankees. The ninth included Jose Offerman's botched double-play attempt that landed at Garciaparra's feet and Darren Lewis' wild throw from right field.

The latter signaled the end of the night for many of the fans at Fenway. But it was Pettitte's gritty pitching performance that gave little reason for them to hope for a better outcome. Nowhere was this more evident than in the bottom of the sixth inning.

"I felt like I was in trouble every inning, or what seemed like trouble," Pettitte said. "Overall I feel great about it."

Pettitte needed to battle through the sixth to keep the Red Sox at bay. With a tenuous 3-2 lead, Pettitte breezed through the fourth and fifth innings before running into trouble. John Valentin, who had already doubled in the third inning, jumped on a 1-1 pitch for a single to left. Pettitte got Garciaparra to fly out, but he was in for perhaps his toughest challenge of the night.

Mike Stanley ran the count full and continued to foul pitches back to stay alive. After a handful of foul tips, the big lefty calmly looked to his catcher's mitt and fired. He eventually struck Stanley out with a pitch low and away.

The rest of the ride was smooth for Pettitte. Each batter in the seventh grounded out and when Pettitte gave up a single to Offerman in the eighth, Torre called on Rivera to shut the door, which had been a solid work-in-progress since the sixth inning.

Related information
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Boston one game from another playoff failure
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