10/23/2003 11:54 PM ET
Notes: Bench bomber
MIAMI -- Ruben Sierra came up with another huge pinch-hit for the Yankees in Game 4, tying the contest in the ninth inning with a two-run triple against Marlins closer Ugueth Urbina.
By Mark Feinsand / MLB.com
Torre said Thursday that he planned to keep Sierra on the bench rather than play him in right field, because he likes having the switch-hitting veteran as a player off the bench.
"Coming off the bench, I can pick and choose a spot to use him," Torre said. "I don't want to sacrifice defense, because our pitching is such a major part of what we do."
Sierra is 2-for-6 this postseason with a home run and three RBIs.
Backing up Weaver: Although Jeff Weaver gave up the game-winning home run to Marlins shortstop Alex Gonzalez in the 12th inning of Game 4, Torre said he was pleased with the effort the 27-year-old right-hander gave him.
Weaver sat down Jeff Conine, Mike Lowell and Derrek Lee in order in the 11th inning, as it looked like the right-hander may redeem his poor regular season in one game. But Gonzalez, leading off the 12th, worked the count full before lining a fastball 332 feet, barely clearing the left-field wall.
"He went through a tough part of the lineup," Torre said of the 11th. "He just got behind Gonzalez and had to throw a strike. It was just bad luck for him. I had no problem with the way he pitched. I was so pleased when he came out of the first inning having thrown as many strikes as he did, getting that part of the batting order out."
Torre said that once he had to pinch-hit for Jose Contreras in the top of the 11th, going to Weaver over his three left-handed relievers was the obvious choice for him.
"He was the only choice in our mind at that point in time," Torre said. "He's our long man, and that was a long-man situation right there. I thought he was sharp."
After the game, Torre told Weaver that he appreciated the effort, even in a losing cause.
"I patted him on the head last night to let him know that we appreciate the fact that he went out and busted his butt," Torre said. "Unfortunately, we had a bad result. He threw a strike at 3-2. The guy hit a home run, but I'd probably have been more upset if he walked the guy."
Mark Feinsand is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.