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Nov. 2, 2001

November 2, 2001 -- Mike Mussina buzz-sawed his way through seven-ninths of the Arizona lineup, but Steve Finley and Rod Barajas gave him more than he could handle.

Mussina rebounded from a rocky World Series debut in Game 1 by pitching eight innings of five-hit ball in Game 5 last night at the Stadium. But gopher balls to Finley and Barajas on 1-2 pitches in the fifth inning left the Bombers down 2-0.

Scott Brosius took Mussina off the hook with the Yankees' second straight stunning rally and the Yankees won a 3-2 classic in 12th innings.

"I got dressed and went back out in the dugout for the last three innings of the ballgame," Mussina said. "You just have to be there. It's the World Series and you've got to be there."

By going eight quality innings, Mussina saved the bullpen extra work and eventually allowed the Yankees to take a 3-2 Series lead back to Arizona.

"I wouldn't even call them quality," said Sterling Hitchcock, who earned the victory with a 1-2-3 12th. "He threw a masterpiece. I don't know how many pitches he threw but he made, what, two mistakes?"

Mussina limited the Diamondbacks' opportunities, and stranded six runners when he got into trouble. Finley and Barajas were particularly troublesome, though. Not only did they both go yard, they combined for four of the five hits Mussina allowed.

Mussina walked three D'backs - two intentionally - and struck out 10. He allowed two earned runs on five hits, lasting 119 pitches. Even with Mike Stanton warm in the eighth, Joe Torre allowed Mussina to stay.

"I know I'm a lot grayer than I was two days ago," Mussina said of the back-to-back comeback victories. "These guys for some reason believe they can come back.

"The more it happens, the more they feed off it."

In Game 1, Mussina allowed five runs in three innings and was yanked down 5-1. Last night he did better.


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