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Ultimate Series: The Concept
Recaps: Game 1 *Game 2 * Game 3 Below
Box Scores: Game 1 * Game 2 * Game 3

The scene shifted south of the border to The House That Ruth Built, but the storyline stayed the same in Game 3 of the Ultimate Series between the1977-2002 All-Star New York Yankees and the all-time All-Star Toronto Blue Jays as the Bronx Bombers survived a bizarre ninth-inning Toronto rally for a 4-3 win and a 2-1 series lead.

Those unchanging storylines? Despite the presence of some of the finest relief pitchers in the modern era, both teams stayed with their starting pitching deep into the contest. Both first baseman continued to pound the ball all over the diamond. And the Yankees benched a Hall of Famer.

Before each game, the Yankees renowned College of Coaches gathers to vote on which Hall of Fame outfielder will have a seat that day; in Game 1, it was Rickey Henderson, while in Game 2 it was Dave Winfield.

For Game 3, the vote by Bob Lemon, Gene Michael, Joe Torre and Lou Piniella was a draw, so the tie-breaking vote -- by Billy Martin -- determined that Mr. October himself, Reggie Jackson, would watch this game from the shade of the dugout.

"Actually," said Henderson after the game, "I hear he was in the clubhouse playing cards with Cliff Johnson." Winfield, hitting cleanup, had a two-run homer in the game while Henderson walked, stole second and scored what proved to be the game-winning run. Jackson refused comment.

After Game 2's lefty matchup of Jimmy Key and Tommy John went the Jays' way, the Game 3 duel between righthanders Dave Stieb and Mike Mussina once again turned on the bats of the first basemen known as Donnie Baseball and Carlos Del-GOT-it.

The Yankees' Don Mattingly had three hits in four at-bats and knocked in Henderson with the game-winner but was actually upstaged in victory by Toronto's Carlos Delgado, who had three hits, a walk and was hit by a pitch in five plate appearances. His massive three-run homer into Monument Park in the third inning accounted for all of Toronto's runs off Mussina.

Delgado, the dominant offensive presence throughout the series, is hitting .667 with two homers, four runs batted in, three runs scored and a ridiculous OPS of 2.083. Mattingly, hitting .545, also has two homers and three runs scored, and one more RBI than Delgado with five, but has compiled a paltry 1.674 OPS through three games.

As is often the case, Mussina looked shaky to start the game, giving up a single to Tony Fernandez and hitting Delgado in the first, but he settled down to strike out George Bell and Shawn Green for the first of his 10 punchouts on the day.

After Delgado's homer in the third, Mussina scattered five more hits into the ninth, but appeared to tire as his 120th pitch walked pinch-hitter John Olerud with one out in the ninth. New York closer Goose Gossage trotted into the game and on his first pitch got Roberto Alomar to hit an easy comebacker to the mound for what appeared to be a game-ending double play. But then, as Yankee fan Dave Letterman is fond of saying, wackiness ensued.

When Gossage couldn't get the ball out of his glove and realized there would be no time to turn two, he actually heaved the glove itself to Mattingly in an attempt to retire Alomar. But the ball fell to the ground as Mattingly gloved the glove and the Jays had runners on first and second.

Then Tony Fernandez hit a wicked line drive right at Mattingly who snared it for the second out. Both Mattingly and Alomar dove back toward the first base bag, with the Jays' second sacker appearing to lose the race by more than a foot. But umpire Don Denkinger signaled Alomar safe and the game continued. The entire Yankee College of Coaches, including bullpen catcher Jorge Orta, was tossed from the game for arguing the call.

Clearly rattled, Gossage walked Delgado on four pitches to load the bases for George Bell.

Bell, the Jays cleanup hitter, continues to suffer through a miserable series, and entered the at-bat 0-for-4 on the day with two errors on dropped fly balls, neither of which -- fortunately for Toronto -- had led to Yankee runs.

With a chance to redeem himself, Bell worked the count full then rifled a shot into the hole between short and third which seemed destined to score two runs and give the Blue Jays a lead for Tom Henke to hold in the bottom of the ninth.

But Derek Jeter, who sat out Game 2 after mental miscues in the opener, was cheating far to his right and was able to knock down Bell's low liner, then from his knees throw to Graig Nettles at third for the only play he had. The throw just nipped Alomar to end the game.

For a contest that featured 16 hits and three errors, the final score of 4-3 was more indicative of the excellent work by Mussina and Stieb; the Jay starter finished his eight-inning complete game on 127 pitches and surrendered seven hits and three walks while striking out seven.

With a 2-1 series advantage, the Yankees are expected to give fourth starter Andy Pettitte the ball for Game 4, while the Jays have not yet announced if Juan Guzman will go as originally planned or if ace Roger Clemens will come back on short rest.
Delgado Can't Do it Alone as Yanks Top Jays 4-3 in Ultimate Series | 2 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Craig B - Sunday, May 04 2003 @ 04:02 PM EDT (#33499) #
I just wanted to mention what an entertaining feature this has been. Thanks, MED.
_Spicol - Monday, May 05 2003 @ 04:32 PM EDT (#33500) #
Clemens to start on short rest

Associated Press

NEW YORK, NY (AP) - Looking to inject a dose of intensity into his Toronto club, Blue Jays' manager Spicol has decided that Roger Clemens will start on short rest for Game 4 of the World Series.

Clemens, who started Game 1 in Toronto, looks forward to the task.

"When I get too much rest, I'm usually erotic", Clemens said.

Despite taking the loss, the righthander struck out 12 Yankees in the series opener, including Derek Jeter three times.

Juan Guzman, originally the scheduled starter for Game 4, took the decision in stride. When asked if he was disappointed over Spicol's decision, the young Dominican was heard as saying, "things could be worse. At least I'm not on the DL or pitching in Tampa or something."

Spicol announced additional lineup changes in today's press conference. Pat Borders will again start in Ernie Whitt's place against the Yankees' lefthanded starter, Andy Pettitte. Jesse Barfield will be inserted into the lineup in right, replacing Game 3 starter Shawn Green.
Delgado Can't Do it Alone as Yanks Top Jays 4-3 in Ultimate Series | 2 comments | Create New Account
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