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Something fishy in the Bronx
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10/18/2003 12:15 AM ET 
Something fishy in the Bronx
Yankees drop World Series opener, 3-2, to Marlins
By Mark Feinsand / MLB.com

Derek Jeter drives in the Yankees' first run Saturday with a third-inning single. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
  • Game 1 wrapup: Marlins 3, Yankees 2

    NEW YORK -- The Yankees opened the 2003 World Series in the same fashion they opened the AL Division Series and AL Championship Series -- with a loss.

    New York never held a lead in dropping Game 1 of the Fall Classic, 3-2, to Florida Saturday night at Yankee Stadium. Marlins leadoff hitter Juan Pierre scored his team's first run of the game and drove in its final two, giving the Fish a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

    "He's the catalyst for their offense," said Derek Jeter. "He was the difference."

    The loss snapped the Yankees' 10-game home winning streak in the World Series, dating back to Game 2 of the 1996 Fall Classic. Game 2 against Florida is scheduled for Sunday night in the Bronx, as Andy Pettitte takes on Mark Redman in a matchup of left-handers.

    Under manager Joe Torre, the Yankees are 7-1 in series in which they have lost Game 1. The Yankees dropped the first game against both the Twins and Red Sox this postseason, only to come back and win the series.

    "It's nice that we've had this track record in these last two series, but we had so many opportunities tonight, it was certainly frustrating," Torre said. "But since we've done it the last couple of times, it keeps us from getting to the point of, 'We got to, we got to, we got to.'"

    After Thursday's emotional ALCS Game 7 against the Red Sox, Yankee Stadium didn't have the juice that would be expected for a World Series opener. Several players said that it didn't feel like the Fall Classic, including starter David Wells, who characterized the contest as "a game in June."

        David Wells   /   P
    Height: 6'4"
    Weight: 235
    Bats/Throws: L/L
    Nickname: Boomer

    More info:
    Stats
    Splits
    Red Sox site

    Wells, who started Tuesday afternoon and relieved briefly Thursday night, battled his way through seven innings, holding Florida to three runs on six hits and two walks. Wells threw 104 pitches, giving the Yankees a valiant effort after Thursday's draining game.

    "I felt good, made my pitches and had pretty good stuff tonight," Wells said. "For the most part, I put the ball where I wanted. I did my job, gave us an opportunity to make things happen. It just wasn't our night."

    Wells was scratched for a run in the first inning. Pierre's bunt single was followed by Luis Castillo's flare single to right, putting runners at the corners. Ivan Rodriguez lifted a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Pierre and giving Rodriguez a playoff-best 17 RBIs.

        Derek Jeter   /   SS
    Derek Jeter
    Height: 6'3"
    Weight: 195
    Bats/Throws: R/R

    More info:
    Player page
    Stats
    Splits
    Hit chart
    Yankees site

    The Yankees tied the game in the third against Brad Penny, as Derek Jeter continued his October legend with an RBI single to center, scoring Karim Garcia from second and injecting some life into the crowd of 55,769.

    Wells escaped a one-out, first-and-second jam in the second by inducing a double play by Alex Gonzalez, and the big left-hander settled in to retire the Marlins in order in the third and fourth. But Pierre put the Marlins back on top in the fifth with a two-run single to left, giving Florida a 3-1 lead.

    "They're a team that makes you work," Wells said. "You have to try to keep those first two guys off the bases, then shut down the power hitters. They're a quality team."

    On the play, Hideki Matsui made a nice play to field the ball and fire home, but the throw was cut off by Aaron Boone, who turned and fired to first to try to catch Pierre instead of trying for Juan Encarnacion at home.

        Aaron Boone   /   3B
    Height: 6'2"
    Weight: 200
    Bats/Throws: R/R

    More info:
    Player page
    Stats
    Splits
    Hit chart
    Yankees site

    "In hindsight I wish I had let it go," Boone said. "I saw Encarnacion go past me. I know he runs decent. I figured that if there wasn't a play I just didn't want to let it go and have another man on second.

    "Looking at the replay and talking to (catcher Jorge) Posada now, I think we would've had a chance."

    Penny used a pair of double plays to get through the fourth and fifth, but Bernie Williams touched the right-hander for a solo home run with one out in the sixth, pulling New York within a run. It was Williams' first homer of the postseason, the 18th of his career, tying him with Mickey Mantle and Reggie Jackson for the most playoff long balls in Major League history.

    Matsui followed with one of his three singles, prompting Marlins manager Jack McKeon to pull Penny in favor of rookie left-hander Dontrelle Willis, who retired Posada and Jason Giambi to end the inning. Penny was charged with two runs on seven hits and three walks, striking out three.

        Jason Giambi   /   1B
    Height: 6'3"
    Weight: 235
    Bats/Throws: L/R

    More info:
    Player page
    Stats
    Splits
    Hit chart
    Yankees site

    "We had our chances, but they did a great job getting out of situations," Giambi said. "Their pitching did a nice job."

    Willis retired the first two men in the eighth, but Williams and Matsui rapped back-to-back singles, putting runners at the corners. Florida called on closer Ugueth Urbina, who struck out Posada to move the game to the ninth.

    Urbina walked Giambi to lead off the bottom of the ninth, then walked Ruben Sierra one out later. Alfonso Soriano struck out looking at a 3-2 pitch for the second out, and Urbina got Nick Johnson to pop out to center, nailing down the win for the Marlins.

    "Willis did a hell of a job coming out of the bullpen," Torre said. "Urbina wiggled off the hook and made the pitches when he had to."

    The Yankees send Pettitte to the mound in Game 2, looking for the southpaw to produce another classic performance like the ones he gave them in the second games of the first two rounds.

    "We lost the first game against Minnesota and Boston here," Jeter said. "I guess we're not very good in the first game of a series."

    Mark Feinsand is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.




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