Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Game #4

October 14, 2000. Yankees 5, Mariners 0 (Game 4, ALCS).

Of the 162 games I will have attended (as of this Saturday), 5 have been playoff games (no World Series games yet...and the way the M's are playing, it'll be a helluva long while). A good playoff game trumps a good regular season game. I watched this ballgame from the center-field bleachers with the then-girlfriend, my dad, my brother, and his wife. Alas, I saw my Mariners shut down by one of the best pitching performances in playoff history.

Roger Clemens pitched a one-hitter...struck out 15, walked two. He held onto the no-hitter through six innings. I don't talk about no-hitters in progress until the end of the sixth, and this was the only time I got to mention it. I turned to my dad and said: "I'm ready to talk about it now." He actually said "What?" "The no hitter, of course." Al Martin ended it with a double to lead off the seventh inning...but it was a liner to the left-field wall that either nicked or just missed first baseman Tino Martinez's glove. In other words, it turned out that Clemens was only an inch or two from pitching a playoff no-hitter. The M's were only trailing 3-0 at that point, so when John Olerud walked, they actually had the tying run at the plate...a big deal late in a playoff game against a hot Clemens. But Mike Cameron struck out, just like everyone else had. Then Dave Justice homered to make it 5-0, and it was all over. Yeah, I was sad and disappointed, but still, it was incredible to be there for that kind of pitching.

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