SHANNON DRAYER

Drayer: Mariners’ 2000 ALCS matchup had a lot of familiar faces from ’95

Apr 16, 2020, 5:12 PM
Mariners Alex Rodriguez, Yankees Derek Jeter...
"Best friends" Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter back in 2000. (Getty - Jamie Squire/Allsport)
(Getty - Jamie Squire/Allsport)

With baseball season delayed for the foreseeable future, 710 ESPN Seattle will be broadcasting classic Mariners games throughout the spring. At 7 p.m. tonight we kick off the 2000 American League Championship Series after Seattle’s ALDS sweep of the White Sox. Here’s Shannon Drayer’s preview of the airing of Game 1 between the Mariners and Yankees.

ALCS Game 1: Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2000

Fresh off their sweep of the Chicago White Sox, the Mariners looked to take an advantage of extra rest going into the series opener in the Bronx against the Yankees, who were taken to a Game 5 by the Oakland A’s in their ALDS matchup. The Mariners had three days off, the Yankees just one, which forced them to start July acquisition Denny Neagle, who did not pitch in the division series after giving up 18 runs in his final three starts of the regular season.

The Mariners were able to line up their pitching with Freddy Garcia in the opener, but the man they had hoped would pitch Game 2 suffered a freak injury on one of the off days and was out of the postseason. Jamie Moyer, pitching a simulated game on the previous Saturday, was hit on the knee by a comebacker off the bat of catcher Chris Widger and suffered a hairline fracture in his left kneecap. The Mariners would go with a rotation of Garcia, John Halama, Aaron Sele and Paul Abbott in the best-of-7 series.

While the Yankees came into the series as defending World Series champions, they were just an 87-win team in 2000. The Mariners won more games in the regular season and held the season advantage over New York 6-4, which included winning three out of four in the Bronx in August, but the Yankees had home-field advantage because Seattle was the AL’s wild card. And once they got past Neagle, the Yankees’ rotation was stacked with Orlando Hernandez scheduled for Game 2, Andy Pettitte in Game 3 and Roger Clemens in Game 4.

There was a marquee matchup heralded by national television in this game, but it wasn’t the pitchers. Rather the focus was on the young shortstops, “best friends” (they weren’t) Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez. Jeter hit .282/.391/.410 for an .802 OPS against the Mariners. Good numbers, but A-Rod was otherworldly against the Yankees that year, putting up a line of .389/.457/.778 for a .1.234 OPS.

Lineups!

Mariners

Rickey Henderson, LF
Mike Cameron, CF
Alex Rodriguez, SS
Edgar Martinez, DH
John Olerud, 1B
Jay Buhner, RF
Joe Oliver, C
David Bell, 3B
Mark McLemore, SS

Freddy Garcia, P

Yankees

Chuck Knoblauch, DH
Derek Jeter, SS
Paul O’Neill, RF
Bernie Williams, CF
David Justice, LF
Tino Martinez, 1B
Jorge Posada, C
Luis Sojo, 2B
Scott Brosius, 3B

Denny Neagle, P

Not-so-fun-fact: Both teams with two players in their lineups that were starters for the 1995 Mariners – Edgar Martinez and Jay Buhner for Seattle, Tino Martinez and Luis Sojo for New York. The Yankees and Mariners each had three players in this game from that ’95 team as Jeff Nelson made an appearance from the pen for the Yankees and Rodriguez was a reserve player for Seattle in ’95.

Follow 710 ESPN Seattle’s Shannon Drayer on Twitter.

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Drayer: Mariners’ 2000 ALCS matchup had a lot of familiar faces from ’95