Site hosted by Build your free website today!
Friday August 17, 2001
Mariners 0 @ Yankees 4

Gameday Pictures (New!)

| Home | Stats | Pictures | Collectibles | Profile | Moose Watch | News/Highlights | Message Board |

NEW YORK (AP) -- Derek Jeter and the New York Yankees didn't take long to show the Seattle Mariners who the World Series champions are.

Jeter homered on the first pitch and Mike Mussina pitched seven scoreless innings as the Yankees won the matchup of baseball's two best teams, 4-0 Friday night.

"Everybody's excited about this series, thinking it could be a prelim for what might happen in October," Mussina said.

"Certainly it's a confidence builder if you have a little bit of success against somebody. It gives you a good feeling going into a best-of-five or best-of-seven series."

With a frenzied sellout crowd, flashbulbs popping and high anticipation, the game was played with a bit of an October feel -- except for the 85-degree game-time temperature. And like the postseason, the Yankees came out on top.

"We don't care who the other team is," Jeter said. "If we play well, we think we'll win."

The three-time defending World Series champions established themselves right away against the team chasing their AL wins record. Jeter hit a first-pitch fastball from Paul Abbott into the seats in right-center to give New York a lead it wouldn't relinquish.

Jeter has had quite a bit of success leading off games, including his first-pitch homer off Bobby Jones in Game 4 of last year's World Series and last Saturday against Oakland's Eric Hiljus. Jeter has three leadoff homers in the past week.

Had Abbott known that: "I would have thrown him a slider."

Shane Spencer and Alfonso Soriano also homered for the Yankees, who started the day with a season-high five-game lead over Boston in the AL East.

The Mariners (87-35), five games off the Yankees' record pace in 1998, lost two straight games for the 10th time. They haven't lost three in a row since losing Games 2-4 in last year's AL championship series against New York.

"They've got the division locked up," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "They don't have to prove anything. If they lose to us it doesn't say anything about their team. They know they're good. Our club has been streaky."

Mussina (12-10) gave a performance that showed why New York gave him an $88.5 million contract in the offseason. He allowed five hits and four walks, but held baseball's highest scoring team without a run.

Mike Stanton put two runners on in the eighth, but Ramiro Mendoza retired Edgar Martinez and John Olerud to get out of the jam. Mendoza finished for his fifth save.

"We just haven't been hitting the ball too well," Mariners manager Lou Piniella said. "We had a few chances to get some runs in but we didn't. Give their pitching credit."

Mussina was sharp in the field, starting a double play on a hard liner by Mike Cameron to end the second inning. The four-time Gold Glove winner also fielded a hard grounder from Bret Boone to get out of a two-on, two-out jam in the sixth inning.

Mussina struck out Boone, the AL RBI leader, in a similar situation to end the fourth. Boone threw his bat away in disgust after swinging at a high fastball that was out of the strike zone.

"He's done this a number of times," Torre said of Mussina. "When it comes to a game when you really need a well-pitched ballgame, he's been there for us."

The Yankees haven't given Mussina much support this season. But three home runs off Abbott (12-3) were more than enough this game. Abbott won 10 straight decisions but couldn't make it past the fourth inning.

Abbott gave up four runs and six hits in four innings -- his second shortest start of the season -- to lose for the first time since May 22 at Minnesota.

Abbott walked David Justice to lead off the second inning before Spencer hit his seventh homer. Soriano hit a solo shot, his 16th, in the fourth inning.

"They were hanging sliders that were screaming, 'Hit me,"' Abbott said. "It was just a bad night. I had a pretty good run. That's the way it goes."

Game notes
Jeter has seven career leadoff homers. ... Pedro Martinez pitched eight scoreless innings against Seattle on May 1, as Boston beat the Mariners 2-0. ... Yankees C Jorge Posada, celebrating his 30th birthday, threw out Mark McLemore and Ichiro Suzuki stealing second base. McLemore has been caught in his last two attempts after converting 33 of 37 to open the season. ... Cameron struck out for the 26th straight game, the longest streak since at least 1975. ... Suzuki has a 14-game hitting streak, including five straight multihit games. ... The Yankees have 50 homers in their past 25 games.