Work in Sports
We have a Series
After Game 3 loss, Yankees know this won't be easy
Updated: Wednesday October 25, 2000 8:35 AM
By John Donovan, CNNSI.com
NEW YORK -- The streak is dead. The New York Mets are very much alive.
And the New York Yankees, who could have moved to just a step away from yet another sweep in the World Series, suddenly are facing a rather critical game themselves Wednesday evening at Shea Stadium.
"It's just going to be a grind until the end," said Yankees center fielder Bernie Williams, who has grinded to a halt in this World Series, going hitless in his 11 at-bats. "They have been known to come from behind. They're not afraid to be the underdogs."
In the best-played game of this Subway Series, the Mets played flawlessly Tuesday in a 4-2 win in Game 3 of the best-of-seven race. They kept the pressure on the Yankees, came through with clutch hits in the late innings and won it with marvelous relief pitching in the ninth.
In short, the Mets on Tuesday night in Shea Stadium played like the Yankees played in winning Games 1 and 2 in Yankee Stadium.
"We tried to hammer them down," shortstop Derek Jeter said. "But they can play."
Said first baseman Tino Martinez: "We had chances, plenty of chances, to score a few more runs. It was just one of those games where we just couldn't get the key hits we needed to, and they did."
In a stuffed clubhouse on the visitors' end of Shea on Tuesday, the Yankees players were openly concerned about giving life to a Mets team that could have been all but out of it with a loss.
The way the Yankees had played in the first two games of the Series, and the way the Mets had bumbled away a lead in Game 1 and fallen behind 6-0 in Game 2, the Mets seemed ripe for the picking. Add to that the fact the Yankees were riding a record 14-game winning streak in the World Series and this Series seemed all but over to many observers.
Not now. Not to the Yankees.
"I think it certainly has to pump them up," Williams said of the Mets' win. "It's going to give them some hope. You have to be aware of that."
The Yankees' World Series winning streak started with Game 3 of the 1996 Series against the Atlanta Braves, continued with sweeps of the San Diego Padres in 1998 and the Braves in '99 and finished with the two wins this Series. It was, in many ways, the last thing on many players' minds going into Tuesday night's game.
It was, in every way, the last thing on their minds after the game.
"Right now, I don't think anyone cares about the streak," Jeter said. "We're concerned about winning [Wednesday in Game 4]."
If they don't, there will be reason for some real concern.