2001 MLB Postseason

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Seattle Mariners 14
New York Yankees 3
Posted: Saturday October 20, 2001 10:53 PM
Seattle Mariners
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BRONX, New York (Ticker) -- Seattle's Jamie Moyer was not a part of last year's American League Championship Series between the Mariners and New York Yankees. In his first appearance this year, he clearly was the difference.

Moyer allowed four hits in seven innings and John Olerud and Bret Boone homered in a record-tying seven-run sixth inning as the Mariners routed the Yankees, 14-3, in Game Three of the ALCS.

After being shut down by Andy Pettitte and Mike Mussina in the opening two games of the series, Seattle was held scoreless through the first four innings Saturday. But a misplay by Yankees left fielder Chuck Knoblauch led to two runs in the fifth and Seattle matched the biggest inning in ALCS history in the sixth.

The Mariners tacked on two runs in the seventh, another in the eighth and two in the ninth. The 14 runs set an ALCS record, eclipsing the previous mark of 13 set by the Yankees against the Oakland Athletics in Game Two in 1981. The Boston Red Sox also scored 13 in routing the Yankees in Game Three of the 1999 ALCS.

The 14 runs allowed by New York were the most in its illustrious postseason history.

The offense was more than enough for Moyer (3-0), who allowed a two-run homer to Bernie Williams in the opening inning and just three singles thereafter. The 38-year-old lefthander continued to baffle the Yankees this season.

After going 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA in two starts against New York during the season, Moyer was nearly as good Saturday. He walked just one and struck out five in his first career LCS outing.

Last season, Moyer was prepping for a possible Division Series start when he suffered a hairline fracture of his left kneecap during a simulated game and did not take part in the postseason. This season, he rebounded to win 20 games, plus two more in the Division Series. Saturday's win kept the Mariners from the brink of elimination.

"Moyer, again, he gave us seven great innings of baseball," Seattle manager Lou Piniella said. "He gave up that two-run homer in the first inning to Bernie, and then settled down and really, really pitched well."

"I feel like I really need to try to stay focused on what my task is, and that's to go out and pitch and be effective," Moyer said. "So if we score one or two or five or whatever it is, I really try not to get caught up in that."

No team has come back from a three games to none deficit in the postseason. With the win, their sixth in seven games at Yankee Stadium this season, Seattle moved halfway toward meeting manager Lou Piniella's guarantee that the series would return to Seattle for Game Six.

"We are fortunate, we are happy that we won today," Piniella said. "Tomorrow we are going to come out and play hard again. I said the things I said because I have confidence in this baseball team and I believe in them."

Seattle's late offense handed righthander Orlando Hernandez just his second loss in 11 postseason decisions. Hernandez allowed five runs and five hits in five-plus innings.

The bullpen trio of Mike Stanton, Mark Wohlers and Jay Witasick offered little relief, combining to allow nine runs and 10 hits over the final four innings.

Game Four is Sunday night in New York, with the Yankees giving the ball to Cy Young Award favorite Roger Clemens. Seattle counters with 17-game Paul Abbott, who will be making his first start of this postseason.

"There's a long way to go, but tonight was pretty crucial, being down 0-2," Boone said. "You go down 0-3, you're in big trouble. Today was a crucial game and we got the win. We can enjoy this a little bit, but tomorrow is going to be another tough one. With Roger going out there, we're going to have to find a way to even this thing up."

After Hernandez breezed through the first, striking out Suzuki and Mark McLemore, and New York jumped on Moyer in the first. David Justice walked with two outs and Bernie Williams lined a 3-2 pitch over the left-center field wall for a 2-0 lead.

It was Williams' 14th career postseason homer, four behind former Yankees Mickey Mantle and Reggie Jackson for the most all time.

"Bernie is a good hitter, let me start off by saying that," Moyer said. "He's a professional hitter. He's hit me well at times. I got behind -- actually I started out and got ahead in the count and he worked the count to full. ... I tried to force contact and he went out over the plate and hit the ball. I didn't know if it was going to be a home run."

Seattle stranded a runner in the second and left two aboard in the third. The Mariners did get a huge play from veteran outfielder Stan Javier, who stole a home run at the left-field wall from rookie Alfonso Soriano to open the third.

"When he hit it, it was pretty high and gave me enough time to go back to the wall and time it," Javier said. "I saw the wall and I jumped and made the catch. You know, that's the thing we're always trying to do in batting practice and I just caught it."

Hernandez got the first out of the fifth but Tom Lampkin singled. David Bell bounced into a forceout but Ichiro Suzuki and McLemore each walked on five pitches. Boone followed with a short fly ball to left that Knoblauch misjudged and failed to catch, allowing Bell and Suzuki to score.

"I can go by the reaction of the fans, it sounded like he did have it but bounced it around and dropped it," Yankees manager Joe Torre. "We can't see anything. He disappeared when he dived for the ball. And it sounded like a good result, but then the 'Aah' followed the cheers and I knew where we were."

"It relaxed us," Piniella said. "We got those two runs in, and all of a sudden, we started really swinging the bats. Knoblauch almost made a great play on that ball. I didn't think he had a chance. But we got fortunate, it fell out of his glove when he hit the ground, and then we started swinging the bats really well. Hitting is a contagious things, as everybody knows."

Moyer breezed through the bottom of the fifth and Olerud opened the sixth with his eighth career postseason homer, a blast off the right-field foul pole.

Javier followed with a single and Mike Cameron walked. Stanton came on and Dan Wilson attempted to sacrifice. The ball rolled near the third-base line and Stanton tried for the forceout at third but threw wildly and Javier scored.

"We practice that play all the time," Stanton said. "If I make a good throw I get him. I made a bad throw. No one expected a sweep in this series anyway. If we lose one, we lose one."

Bell flied out and Suzuki was intentionally walked. That strategy worked in Game Two but backfired this time as McLemore tripled into the left-field gap for a 7-2 lead. Mark Wohlers came on for Stanton and surrendered a two-run homer to center to Boone.

The seven runs were the most scored in the sixth inning of an ALCS game and matched the record for any inning, most recently accomplished by New York, which scored seven against Seattle in the eighth inning of last year's Game Two.

Seattle got RBI singles from Bell and Boone in the seventh and Bell had another run-scoring base hit in the eighth.

After Justice had an RBI single in the eighth, former Yankee Jay Buhner capped the scoring with a long homer in the ninth. It was Buhner's eighth career postseason homer.


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