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World Series 2001
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10/19/2001 04:48 AM ET
Mussina, Yankees edge Mariners in Game 2
By Carrie Muskat
MLB.com
Scott Brosius drove in the first two runs of Game 2.
Postgame press conferences:
Torre | Piniella | Brosius
Box score
Cups o' Joe: Best and worst of Game 2
Inning-by-inning rundown

Game highlights: 56k | 300k
Yankees' three-run second inning: 56k | 300k
Javier's three-run homer: 56k | 300k

SEATTLE -- Some friends from New York called Seattle manager Lou Piniella Thursday. The message?

"They said, 'Enough already with these Yankees. Get somebody else into the World Series,'" Piniella said.

If the Mariners can do that now, they'd be the first.

Mike Mussina showed why the Yankees paid big bucks for him Thursday night as New York posted a 3-2 victory over Seattle in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series to take a 2-0 lead in games.

No team has ever lost a LCS in either league after winning the first two games on the road. Only twice has a team ever lost a series after taking a 2-0 lead: In 1982, Milwaukee rallied to beat California, 3-2; and in 1985, Toronto lost in seven to Kansas City.

Before Piniella entered the interview room, he told anyone within earshot the same thing he said before anyone could ask a question.

"We're going to be back here to play Game 6," Piniella said. "I told the people outside the same thing. Now you can ask any question you want. I've got confidence in my ballclub. We've gone to New York and beaten this club five out of six times. We're going to do it again."

You win 116 out of 162 games and that's the way you think.

"You have to think like that," Seattle's Stan Javier said. "If you don't think that way, then the series is over."

"You play all year from February and the kind of year they had, (Piniella) knows what they're capable of doing," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "It's similar to what I said to my club in Oakland when we were down 0-2 in a best-of-five series. It's the confidence you show in your ballclub and I'm sure that's the big part of why Lou feels that way."

After a day to travel, the best-of-seven series will resume Saturday at Yankee Stadium when Orlando Hernandez (1-0, 3.18 ERA) faces Seattle's Jamie Moyer (2-0, 1.50 ERA), unbeaten in two Division Series starts.

"We certainly know that this series isn't over," said Yankees third baseman Scott Brosius, who hit a big two-run double. "It takes four to win but it's definitely a more positive flight knowing that we can go back to play Game 3 and take an edge in the series."

The Yankees, now two wins away from reaching the World Series for the fourth straight time, were the first Major League team to come back and win the Division Series after losing the first two games at home. They're also the three-time World Champions. They don't want to make another cross-country flight if they don't have to.

"We have to keep doing what we've been doing," said Yankees closer Mariano Rivera said. "We're going home now and hopefully we can keep doing what we've been doing."

And the Yankees have Mussina, the $88.5 million man who won despite himself. The right-hander (2-0), who went 17-11 in his first season in pinstripes, gave up four hits and one walk over six innings, striking out three.

Mussina is lucky to have Ramiro Mendoza and Mariano Rivera. Mendoza pitched 1 1/3 inning of relief before giving way to Rivera who got the final five outs for his fourth save this postseason. Rivera now has 23 career postseason saves, extending his Major League record, and has converted 22 in a row since his one blown save Oct. 5, 1997, at Cleveland in the Division Series.

"I don't think about it," Rivera said. "I just go and do it."

The M's tried to change their luck Thursday by pulling out all the stops for the sellout SAFECO Field crowd of 47,791. The roof was closed this time and they brought back good luck anthem singer Alan Woodrow, who sang Games 2 and 5 of the Division Series. Seattle won both of those games.

M's starter Freddy Garcia listened to his salsa music while standing behind the batting cage. Mark McLemore led early bird fans behind the M's dugout in cheers. It might have been another beautiful but cloudy day off the Puget Sound but those damn Yankees spoiled it.

Garcia (1-2), an 18-game winner in the regular season who had won both of Seattle's games in last year's ALCS against New York, gave up three runs on seven hits and four walks over 7 1/3 innings, striking out six.

The Yankees stress scoring early and they got started in the second against Garcia. With runners at first and second and one out, Brosius doubled into the left field corner, making Seattle's Stan Javier scramble to get to the ball.

One out later, Chuck Knoblauch singled to center. The ball short-hopped into center fielder Mike Cameron's glove but Cameron held his glove aloft as if he caught it. Right field umpire Ed Montague signaled a hit, not an out, and Brosius scored to go ahead 3-0. Brosius was 1-for-20 in the postseason prior to that hit.

"It's been a long time since I've run the bases," Brosius said.

"We rely on our pitching and pitching really needs defense to function properly," Torre said about why he sticks with Brosius, who's hit .059 in the ALDS and is batting .143 in this series. "Whatever he gives us offensively is a bonus."

The Mariners made it close in the Seattle fourth. With one out, Cameron was hit by a pitch to set up Javier's first career postseason home run off a 1-0 pitch from Mussina over the center field fence to make it 3-2.

The runs snapped Mussina's string of scoreless postseason innings at 18. He had allowed one run or less in six of his last seven regular season starts and gave up only seven runs in those seven starts for a 1.29 ERA. In Game 3 of the Division Series against Oakland, Mussina threw seven scoreless innings.

"It wasn't flowing as well as it has in the last few games," Mussina said. "It was work and it was tough."

He threw 103 pitches over six innings, and had thrown 81 after four.

"He had trouble with his changeup tonight," Torre said of Mussina, who changed the momentum in the Division Series with his 1-0 victory in Game 3. "He couldn't get it down and it took one of his weapons away.

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"He saved his best pitching for the last two innings," Torre said. "We didn't know if we'd get past five (innings) with him. He can pitch in a big park ballpark but he wasn't as sharp tonight as he has been. Nobody could stay as sharp as he was."

Cameron did make a legitimate catch in the Yankees third, robbing Bernie Williams of an extra base hit and RBI when he made a giant leap at the wall in left center to snare the ball with one out and a runner on.

Apparently Cameron's diamond earrings aren't a distraction.

But Mussina and the Yankees bullpen shut Seattle down.

The Yankees couldn't contain Ichiro Suzuki. He singled in the first and reached on an error by Williams in the third. The ball hit the heel of Williams' glove but he then glanced at the wall, which he was closing in on, before closing his glove. The ball dropped and Ichiro was safe at second. The right fielder also flew out in the fifth and was intentionally walked in the seventh.

The miscue was Williams' first error in 73 career postseason games and gave the Mariners hope. Hey, the Yankees are human.

"You know, they can be beaten," Piniella said. "The same way when I played there, our teams could be beaten."

There is that Yankees mystique.

"Yeah, it is spooky," Torre said. "I would like to believe that we are in other people's heads."

The Mariners will have a long flight Thursday night to think about the next step. Pitching, defense -- although not exactly perfect but it didn't cost them -- and timely hitting. Didn't we say that about the Yankees in Game 1 when Andy Pettitte pitched a gem?

"The history, the tradition that they have had of winning. It's a source of strength," Piniella said of the Yankees. "It's a source of motivation. But there's really no mystique to it. You go out there and you play better than they do and you beat them."

Maybe next time.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com

Box score American League Championship Series

YANKEES 3, MARINERS 2

at SAFECO Field

FINAL

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
YANKEES 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 9 1
MARINERS 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 6 0
YANKEES POS AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG.
Chuck Knoblauch LF 3 0 2 1 1 0 0 .367
Derek Jeter SS 2 0 1 0 1 0 0 .360
David Justice DH 3 0 0 0 1 0 4 .200
Bernie Williams CF 4 0 1 0 0 1 2 .200
Tino Martinez 1B 4 1 2 0 0 0 3 .154
Jorge Posada C 3 1 0 0 1 3 1 .375
Paul O'Neill RF 3 0 1 0 0 0 2 .235
Shane Spencer RF 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 .300
Scott Brosius 3B 4 1 1 2 0 3 1 .083
Alfonso Soriano 2B 4 0 0 0 0 1 2 .231

TOTALS

31 3 9 3 4 8 15 -
Batting:
2B - Brosius (1, Garcia); Spencer (2, Nelson).
S
- Jeter. RBI - Brosius 2 (3), Knoblauch (3).
2-out RBI
- Knoblauch.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out
- B Williams 1, T Martinez 1, Soriano 1.
GIDP
- Justice.
Team LOB
- 6.
Baserunning:
SB - Spencer (1, 3rd base off Nelson/D Wilson).
CS
- Knoblauch (2, 2nd base by Garcia/D Wilson); T Martinez (1, 2nd base by Garcia/D Wilson).
Picked off
- Oneill (1st base, Garcia).
Fielding:
E - B Williams (1, fly ball).
DP:
1 (Brosius-Soriano-T Martinez).
MARINERS POS AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG.
Ichiro Suzuki RF 3 0 1 0 1 0 0 .519
Mark McLemore SS 4 0 0 0 0 0 4 .130
Bret Boone 2B 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 .143
Edgar Martinez DH 4 0 1 0 0 1 3 .292
Charles Gipson PR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
John Olerud 1B 4 0 0 0 0 0 1 .125
Mike Cameron CF 3 1 0 0 0 2 1 .263
Stan Javier LF 3 1 1 2 1 1 0 .250
Dan Wilson C 3 0 2 0 0 0 0 .238
a-Al Martin PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
David Bell 3B 4 0 0 0 0 2 2 .227
TOTALS 33 2 6 2 2 6 11 -
a-grounded to catcher for D Wilson in the 9th.

Batting:
HR
- Javier (1, 4th inning off Mussina 1 on, 1 out).
RBI
- Javier 2 (2).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out
- Bell 1, E Martinez 1, Mclemore 1.
GIDP
- E Martinez.
Team LOB
- 7.

Fielding:
DP: 2 (Boone-Mclemore-Olerud, D Wilson-Mclemore).
YANKEES IP H R ER BB K P B-S BF HR ERA
Mike Mussina (W, 2-0) 6 4 2 2 1 3 103 36-67 24 1 1.38
Ramiro Mendoza (H, 2) 1.1 2 0 0 1 0 24 6-18 7 0 0.00
Mariano Rivera (S, 4) 1.2 0 0 0 0 3 17 4-13 5 0 1.17
Pitching:
IBB
- Suzuki (by Mendoza).
HBP - Cameron (by Mussina).
Ground balls-fly balls: Mussina 2-13; Mendoza 4-0; Rivera 2-0.
MARINERS IP H R ER BB K P B-S BF HR ERA
Freddy Garcia (L, 1-2) 7.1 7 3 3 4 6 109 43-66 29 0 3.79
Arthur Rhodes 1 1 0 0 0 1 15 7-8 4 0 0.00
Jeff Nelson 0.2 1 0 0 0 1 19 5-14 3 0 0.00
Pitching:
Ground balls-fly balls: Garcia 6-7; Rhodes 1-1; Nelson 0-1.
Umpires: HP--Wally Bell. 1B--Gary Cederstrom. 2B--Charlie Reliford. 3B--John Shulock. LF--Tim Welke. RF--Ed Montague.
Time: 3:25
Attendance: 47,791
Weather: Indoors.
BOX SCORE COURTESY OF SPORTSTICKER ENTERPRISES, L.P. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED