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|Yankees go down swinging
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10/05/2002 7:29 pm ET
Yankees go down swinging
By Mark Feinsand / MLB.com
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- For the first time since 1997, a team other than the New York Yankees will represent the American League in the World Series. The Yankees were eliminated from the playoffs by Anaheim, dropping a 9-5 decision to the Angels in Game 4 of the American League Division Series.
"It was a bad time to have a three-game losing streak," said manager Joe Torre. "I have no explanation because we all know we're capable of pitching better than we did in this series."
The Angels used an eight-run fifth inning to wrap up the series three games to one, sending the Yankees home before the World Series for just the second time in Joe Torre's seven seasons as manager.
"They pitched well, they hit well, they played good defense and ran the bases well," said Derek Jeter. "They just flat-out beat us. I don't know what else to tell you. They were the better team in these four games."
David Wells was unable to give the Yankees a quality start, as the Angels hit him for eight runs in just 4 2/3 innings. It was the fourth straight game in which a Yankees starter failed to get through six innings.
The Yankees took a lead in the second inning, as Robin Ventura collected his fourth RBI of the series, doubling home Jorge Posada.
Anaheim tied the game with the help of an error in the third inning. With one out and runners at the corners, David Eckstein grounded to Alfonso Soriano at second base for what could have been an inning-ending double play. But the ball bounced under Soriano's glove and through his legs, allowing Shawn Wooten to score from third.
Angels starter Jarrod Washburn held the Yankees scoreless in the second and third innings, but New York grinded out some quality at-bats against the left-hander, who threw 75 pitches through four frames.
New York took advantage of an error themselves in the fifth, as Juan Rivera reached base to lead off the inning when Troy Glaus' throw from third base pulled first baseman Scott Spiezio off the bag. Soriano doubled off the wall to put runners at second and third, and Jeter's sacrifice fly brought Rivera home to put the Yankees ahead 2-1.
That lead lasted exactly three pitches, as Wooten led off the bottom of the fifth by launching Wells' 2-0 offering over the left-center field wall, tying the game 2-2.
After Bengie Molina flew out to right, Benji Gil and Eckstein singled, putting runners at the corners. Darin Erstad hit a high pop-up to shallow center that fell in between Soriano and Bernie Williams, scoring Gil to put the Angels ahead 3-2. Tim Salmon and Garret Anderson followed with RBI singles off Wells, making it a 5-2 game.
"There's nothing you can do, it was an in-betweener," said Wells of Erstad's hit. "You think it's going to be caught, but crazier things have happened. That's when things started happening. That would have been a key out, but you just have to keep making pitches and get the outs."
Glaus flew out, but Spiezio delivered the final blow of the inning to Wells, singling in Salmon to give the Angels a 6-2 lead. Anaheim batted around in the inning before chasing Wells (0-1) from the game, bringing Ramiro Mendoza out from the bullpen.
"I went out and did my best, I gave 100 percent. I can't hang my head," Wells said. "I went out with a positive attitude. I'll take the ball at any given time. It was a good day until the fifth inning, and that's when all hell broke loose."
Mendoza gave up an RBI single to Wooten and a two-run double to Molina, giving the Angels a 9-2 lead. Torre gave Mendoza the quick hook, calling on Orlando Hernandez to stop the bleeding. When Hernandez retired Eckstein for the third out, the Angels had sent 13 batters to the plate, scored eight runs on 10 hits and sent the home crowd into a frenzy.
"Boomer looked like he was on his way today," Torre said. "All of a sudden, something happened in that fifth inning where it got really ugly for us."
The eight runs in the inning were a Division Series record, while the 10 hits tied the postseason record, equaling the 1929 Philadelphia A's, who did it in Game 4 of the World Series.
Washburn (1-0) left the game after five, turning it over to his bullpen. Posada homered to lead off the sixth, cutting the lead to 9-3. New York put together a rally in the seventh, loading the bases with one out. Jeter scored on Francisco Rodriguez's wild pitch, but Posada struck out and Nick Johnson grounded back to Rodriguez to end the inning.
New York added a run in the ninth against Troy Percival, but the Yankees simply ran out of firepower.
"The team that played the best won," Torre said. "Am I going to say they're the best team? I'm too proud to do that. They played a whole lot better than we did. As I say, it just turned out it was a bad week for us and a good one for them."
While the Angels await the winner of Sunday's A's-Twins Game 5 to see who they will face in the AL Championship Series, the Yankees will head back to New York to clean out their lockers and part ways for the winter, wondering how 103 wins turned into a brief, four-game postseason.
"There's no doubt that I'm disappointed. We worked hard and won 103 games. That's not luck," Giambi said. "We played hard, there are no excuses. I can live with that. They just came out and beat us."
Mark Feinsand is a reporter for MLB.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
|Anaheim Angels 9, New York Yankees 5|
|N.Y. Yankees|| AB|| R|| H|| RBI|| BB||SO||LOB||AVG|
|Rivera, J, LF
a-Struck out for Coomer in the 6th.
2B: Ventura (2, Washburn), Soriano (1, Washburn).
HR: Posada (1, 6th inning off Donnelly, 0 on, 0 out).
RBI: Ventura (4), Jeter (3), Posada (3), Mondesi (1).
2-out RBI: Mondesi.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Soriano 2, Williams, Johnson 3.
GIDP: Williams, Ventura.
Team LOB: 11.
E: Soriano (1, fielding), Wells (1, throw).
DP: 2 (Soriano-Jeter-Giambi, Giambi-Jeter).
|Anaheim|| AB|| R|| H|| RBI|| BB||SO||LOB||AVG|
|Molina, B, C
a-Flied out for Gil in the 8th.
2B: Molina, B (2, Mendoza), Erstad (2, Stanton).
HR: Wooten (1, 5th inning off Wells, 0 on, 0 out).
RBI: Eckstein (1), Wooten 2 (2), Erstad (2), Salmon (7), Anderson (4), Spiezio (6), Molina, B 2 (2).
2-out RBI: Spiezio, Wooten, Molina, B 2.
S: Molina, B.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Spiezio, Eckstein, Salmon.
GIDP: Erstad 2.
Team LOB: 6.
E: Glaus (1, throw).
DP: 2 (Spiezio-Eckstein, Gil-Spiezio).
Schoeneweis pitched to 1 batter in the 7th.
Mendoza pitched to 2 batters in the 5th.
HBP: Giambi (by Washburn).
Pitches-strikes: Wells 59-43, Mendoza 3-3, Hernandez, O 34-19, Karsay 5-5, Stanton 7-5, Washburn 94-59, Donnelly 21-12, Schoeneweis 6-3, Rodriguez 30-14, Percival 21-15.
Ground outs-fly outs: Wells 7-7, Mendoza 0-0, Hernandez, O 0-4, Karsay 1-1, Stanton 0-1, Washburn 7-6, Donnelly 1-2, Schoeneweis 0-0, Rodriguez 1-1, Percival 0-2.
Batters faced: Wells 24, Mendoza 2, Hernandez, O 9, Karsay 2, Stanton 2, Washburn 22, Donnelly 7, Schoeneweis 1, Rodriguez 7, Percival 6.
Inherited runners-scored: Mendoza 2-2, Hernandez, O 1-0, Schoeneweis 1-0, Rodriguez 2-1.
Umpires: HP: Derryl Cousins. 1B: Joe West. 2B: Laz Diaz. 3B: Gerry Davis. LF: Chuck Meriwether. RF: Alfonso Marquez.
Weather: 83 degrees, sunny.
Wind: 5 mph, Varies.
Box score official statistics approved by Major League Baseball and the Office of the Commissioner