SHANNON DRAYER

Mariners classics: M’s try to keep it together in Game 4 of 2000 ALCS

Apr 21, 2020, 3:37 PM
Mariners Edgar Martinez...
Edgar Martinez was looking for redemption in Game 4 of the 2000 ALCS. (Getty)
(Getty)

With baseball season delayed for the foreseeable future, 710 ESPN Seattle is broadcasting classic Mariners games throughout the spring. At 7 p.m. tonight we continue 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 4 between the Mariners and Yankees.

ALCS Game 4: Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2000

After splitting the first two games of the series in New York, the Mariners returned home to drop Game 3 to the Yankees 8-2, putting themselves in the precarious position of having to win at Yankee Stadium again if they were to win the 2-3-2 format, best-of-seven series.

Game 3 exposed a number of ills the Mariners had been suffering over the previous week. The offense? Nowhere to be found with the team scoring just five runs in the first three games of the series and only seven runs in their past four total. The bullpen? Anything but lockdown having surrendered 11 runs in the seventh inning or later the previous two games.

Worse yet, mistakes were starting to pop up.

With the Yankees executing in Game 3, the Mariners almost inexplicably were able to score just two runs on 10 hits in Game 2. Big bats had gone silent, big situations had drawn groundouts and double plays, and Edgar Martinez was picked off of first base with Jay Buhner at the plate.

The reward for their misdeeds? A date with the Rocket in Game 4. Roger Clemens had stumbled badly, giving up 10 runs in his two games against the A’s in the division series, but that perhaps made him even more dangerous. The 2000 season was not a Cy Young year for him but he still finished with the sixth-most votes. In August he pitched seven innings of shutout ball against the Mariners at Safeco Field. It had to be in the backs of minds that he was due.

Also no doubt on the Mariners minds? They would need to get runs off Clemens because they weren’t getting them off Mariano Rivera, who the night before passed Whitey Ford for the MLB record for most consecutive postseason innings without giving up a run (33 1/3). The last October run he had surrendered came in the 1997 Division Series when Sandy Alomar Jr. took him deep.

LINEUPS!

Yankees

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

Roger Clemens, P

Mariners

Stan Javier, RF
Al Martin, LF
Alex Rodriguez, SS
Edgar Martinez, DH
John Olerud, 1B
Mike Cameron, CF
Carlos Guillen, 3B
David Bell, 2B
Dan Wilson, C

Paul Abbott, P

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Mariners classics: M’s try to keep it together in Game 4 of 2000 ALCS