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World Series 2001
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10/11/2001 03:51 AM ET
Long, Mulder lead A's past Yanks in series opener
By Paul C. Smith
MLB.com
Long drilled a home run to right on a 1-2 pitch to start the fourth.
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  • Box score

    NEW YORK -- It was his first postseason start, in Yankee Stadium and against Roger Clemens, but Mark Mulder could not sense any of the atmosphere stirred up by the 56,697 fans on Wednesday night.

    "I couldn't believe how focused I was," Mulder said after the A's beat the Yankees 5-3 to take a 1-0 lead in the ALDS. "I was in a tunnel with the catcher and I couldn't hear the crowd. I couldn't hear anything."

    Mulder allowed only one run in 6 2/3 innings, on seven hits, with no walks and five strikeouts. He threw 110 pitches, 75 for strikes.

    "He was just outstanding," said A's Manager Art Howe. "He made great pitches and worked out of jams all night long. And that's why we went with him in Game 1."

    Four times during the game, the Yankees had men in scoring position and did not score.

    "They had runners on base all day and I was just trying to make my pitches and get out of it," Mulder said. "I would like to have finished it but then I wasn't getting them out all night."

    Mulder said the run the A's got in the first inning against Clemens set the tone and helped him work through several innings.

    "That first run, as a starting pitcher, when they go out and get you that lead, it allows you to just relax and throw strikes," Mulder said.

    Mulder's efforts were backed by the offensive forces of Terrence Long, Jason Giambi and Johnny Damon.

    Damon had four hits in the game, including one in the first inning that turned into a run after he stole second, went to third on a ground out and scored on a sacrifice fly by Giambi.

    Long hit two solo homers and Giambi hit one into the upper deck which stole the momentum back from the Yankees. New York had just narrowed the A's lead to 2-1 when Giambi led off the seventh with a homer, his fourth in his last four games against the Yankees.

    "Yeah, that was tough," said Yankee Manager Joe Torre. "We cut the lead in half and something like that, especially in a short series, just turns the momentum. You know, it hurt.

    "Unless you can pitch effectively, those are the types of things they are going to do to you. They are going to hit home runs and that's the thing we have to, or need to, stay away from."

    Yankees starter Roger Clemens left the game in the fifth inning. He was removed for precautionary reasons after experiencing tightness in his hamstring while fielding Damon's ground ball in the fourth.

    "I felt it after that play, a twinge," Clemens said. "I went over in a hurry to try to plant and throw and it felt like a zinger, a burn. And then I bobbled the ball and I was trying to hurry again and I felt the same thing again. I just stopped at that point."

    Clemens said he was not sure if he would be able to pitch in Game 5, if necessary.

    "I'm going to have to wait until tomorrow to evaluate it," Clemens said. "But, you know, if I don't have a tear or something extremely bad in it and they are going to let me go out there, I'm going to go out there and try to beat somebody."

    The Yankees lost Game 1 against Oakland in last year's ALDS, too, only to recover and win the series in five games.

    "I think we won by the same score in the first game last year," Howe said. "Hopefully, the series won't end up the same."

    This year, Howe has Long, and newcomers Damon and Jermaine Dye to make sure the opposition can't focus on just Giambi. On Wednesday night, Long drilled a home run to right on a 1-2 pitch to start the fourth and make it 2-0.

    In the bottom of the fifth, Yankees right fielder David Justice was called out after running inside the baseline on a grounder just beyond the plate.

    "He was inside the baseline and he interfered with the catcher's throw," said home plate umpire Dana DeMuth. "If he wasn't, who knows what would've happened."

    Justice said he wasn't trying to run in the basepath.

    "I was running toward the base and, had (the ball) hit me five feet earlier, (DeMuth) would have had a case," Justice said. "But I had already touched first base, so it should have been a moot point. I had touched first base when the ball hit me.

    "I think Dana DeMuth tried to make the best call he could make at that time, and that's the way he saw it. I don't think he's trying to make the worst call, he saw it the way he saw it, and it didn't go in our favor."

    One out after Justice, Alfonso Soriano singled to center and stole second. He was driven home on a single by Chuck Knoblauch. That made it 2-1.

    Giambi's upper deck shot came in the seventh and, in the top of the eighth, Long hit his second home run of the game. The A's added another run on a sacrifice fly by Miguel Tejada to make it 5-1. The Yankees mounted a rally in the eighth. With one out, Derek Jeter singled to left. Bernie Williams reached on a fielder's choice and then Tino Martinez hit a 2-2 pitch out to right field to make it 5-3.

    Oakland closer Jason Isringhausen earned a save by pitching a perfect ninth.

    After the game, it was Mulder's poise that had the other players talking.

    "Mark is a very special pitcher," Damon said. "He's grown up in front of our eyes this year. And the scary thing about him is he possibly could become a better pitcher."

    Paul C. Smith is a regional writer for MLB.com based in Tampa.

    Box score

    Box score

    Athletics 5, Yankees 3

    Yankee Stadium

    FINAL

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    Athletics 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 2 0 5 10 1
    Yankees 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 0 3 10 1
    Athletics AB R H RBI TB BB K AVG
    Johnny Damon-CF 4 1 4 0 4 1 0 1.000
    Miguel Tejada-SS 4 0 0 1 0 0 0 .000
    Jason Giambi-1B 3 1 1 2 4 1 0 .333
    Jermaine Dye-RF 4 0 1 0 2 1 1 .250
    Eric Chavez-3B 5 0 1 0 1 0 1 .200
    Jeremy Giambi-DH 4 0 1 0 2 0 0 .250
    Ron Gant-PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
    Terrence Long-LF 4 2 2 2 8 0 1 .500
    Ramon Hernandez-C 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 .000
    Frank Menechino-2B 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 .000
    Totals 35 5 10 5 21 4 3 -

    Batting:
    2B - Je Giambi (1, Clemens); Dye (1, Hitchcock).
    HR - Long 2 (2, 4th inning off Clemens 0 on, 0 out, 8th inning off Hitchcock 0 on, 0 out); Ja Giambi (1, 7th inning off Hitchcock 0 on, 0 out).
    SF - Ja Giambi, Tejada.
    RBI - Ja Giambi 2 (2), Long 2 (2), Tejada (1).
    Runners left in scoring position, 2 out - Tejada 3, Je Giambi 1, Long 2.
    Team LOB - 10.

    Baserunning:
    SB - Damon 2 (2, 2nd base off Clemens/Posada 2).
    Fielding:
    E - Menechino (1, ground ball). DP: 1 (Tejada-Ja Giambi).
    Yankees AB R H RBI TB BB K AVG
    Chuck Knoblauch-LF 4 0 1 1 1 0 0 .250
    Derek Jeter--SS 4 0 3 0 3 0 0 .750
    Bernie Williams-CF 4 1 0 0 0 0 1 .000
    Tino Martinez-1B 4 1 1 2 4 0 1 .250
    Jorge Posada-C 4 0 3 0 4 0 0 .750
    Paul O'Neill-DH 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
    David Justice-RF 4 0 0 0 0 0 3 .000
    Scott Brosius-3B 4 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000
    Alfonso Soriano-2B 4 1 2 0 2 0 1 .500
    Totals 36 3 10 3 14 0 7 -
    Batting:
    2B - Posada (1, Mulder).
    HR
    - Martinez (1, 8th inning off Mecir 1 on, 2 out).
    RBI
    - Knoblauch (1), Martinez 2 (2).
    2-out RBI
    - Knoblauch, Martinez 2.
    Runners left in scoring position, 2 out
    - Martinez 1, Brosius 1, Oneill 1.
    GIDP
    - B Williams.
    Team LOB
    - 6.
    Base running:
    SB - Soriano (1, 2nd base off Mulder/R Hernandez).
    CS - Soriano (1, 3rd base by Mulder/R Hernandez).
    Fielding:
    E - Knoblauch (1, fly ball). DP: 1 (Martinez).
    Athletics IP H R ER BB K PIT B-S BF ERA
    Mark Mulder 6.2 7 1 1 0 5 110 35-75 26 1.35
    Jim Mecir 1.1 3 2 2 0 0 34 12-22 7 13.50
    Jason Isringhausen 1 0 0 0 0 2 13 4-9 3 0.00
    Yankees IP H R ER BB K PIT B-S BF ERA
    Roger Clemens 4 4 2 2 3 1 82 29-53 21 4.50
    Sterling Hitchcock 3 5 2 2 0 2 60 18-42 13 6.00
    Jay Witasick 0.2 1 1 1 1 0 19 8-11 4 13.50
    Mike Stanton 1.1 0 0 0 0 0 7 1-6 4 0.00
    Pitching:
    Clemens pitched to 1 batter in the 5th.
    Hitchcock pitched to 1 batter in the 8th
    HBP - R Hernandez (by Clemens).
    Ground balls-fly balls: Clemens 9-2; Hitchcock 0-6; Witasick 1-1; Stanton 0-4; Mulder 10-3; Mecir 2-2; Isringhausen 0-1.
    Umpires: Dana DeMuth (HP) Jeff Nelson (1B) Paul Schrieber (2B) Rick Reed (3B) Ed Rapuano (LF) Greg Gibson (RF)
    Time of game: 3:45
    Attendance: 56,697
    Weather: Partly Cloudy, 63 degrees. Wind: 6 MPH out to left
    BOXSCORE COURTESY OF SPORTSTICKER ENTERPRISES, L.P. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED