Game Four: Hanging By a Thread

We face the abyss, as others have before us. The Yankees praise us, they refer to us as the best opponent they have played (take that, Atlanta), but the grim reality is that defeat is near. The climb is not an impossible one, it has been done before. The problem is that there is no reason to believe we can. When you lose three one-run games, it just takes the heart out of you. We got a decent game out of Bobby Jones, but Timo Perez bumbled around in right, turning a double into a triple and suddenly we were in a hole. The homer by Piazza was all we really had. The rallies were slight, the pressure never built; they were in control. When Mariano Rivera came in to finish the job, we responded meekly.

The Mets were one of the best one-run teams in baseball, yet they have met their match in the Yankees. Like I said after game one, you can't afford to make mistakes, to give away runs. We did it again last night and they made us pay.

There is little to analyze in last night's game. It was close, it was hard-fought, and the Yankees won. Maybe the difference was in the managers. When Valentine conceded the third run, giving the Yankees a 3-0 lead in the third, Valentine was envisioning a very different game than the one that was to follow. Joe Torre had it right, pulling Denny Neagle in the fifth, refusing to risk his facing Piazza again. He brought Rivera in for two innings, just squeezing the life out of the Mets. That third run which was conceded, and which, as things turned out, could have been prevented by a drawn in infield, was the key run. Torre managed like it was and was right.

It's late and I must cut this short. I still expect Leiter to beat them tomorrow and send it back to the Bronx. After that, well, we'll take it one game at a time.

Hero: Derek Jeter -- a homer and a triple leading to a run in a 3-2 win makes him the obvious choice
Goat: Timo Perez -- in a one-run loss, everything is magnified and the misplayed ball in the outfield was the extra run the Yanks needed.

Got something to say about this?
Send me a letter,
please include the title of the article in the subject.

Back to Sports Homepage