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Yanks hope to repeat Angels' feat
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10/19/2003  2:33 AM ET 
Yanks hope to repeat Angels' feat
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Derek Jeter and the Yankees have experience in dropping postseason openers and rebounding to win the series. (Charles Krupa/AP)
Since Major League Baseball expanded to three rounds of postseason series in 1995, only one team has lost every opener and gone on to win the World Series. The good news for the New York Yankees is you do not have to go very far back to find the team that overcame those odds. It happened just one year ago.

The Anaheim Angels lost Game 1 of the 2002 American League Division Series to the Yankees, 8-5, but then won the next three. The 2003 Yankees lost Game 1 of the ALDS to the Twins, 3-1, but then won the next three.

The Angels lost Game 1 of the 2002 AL Championship Series to the Twins, 2-1, but then swept the next four and advanced behind the power of unlikely hero Adam Kennedy. The 2003 Yankees lost Game 1 of the ALCS to the Red Sox, 5-2, but went on to win in seven behind the power of unlikely hero Aaron Boone.

The Angels lost Game 1 of the 2002 World Series to the Giants, 4-3, never leading in the game. But they went on to win the series in seven. Now, the Yankees only can hope to continue to follow those Angels' trail, having just lost the opener of this World Series to the Marlins, 3-2, never leading in the game.

"If we can take anything out of this, we've been here before, and now we have a job to do. These guys are all good pitchers or they wouldn't be here. We feel like we can hit them and execute. Unfortunately, tonight we came up one short."

That was not said by a 2003 Yankee, but by a 2002 Angel: World Series MVP Troy Glaus. Indeed, the experience of having survived series-opener losses seemed to help in their case. Much was made over the fact that those Angels left nine runners on base in Game 1 against San Francisco. Similarly, the Yankees left nine runners on base in Game 1 vs. Florida.

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



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