ATLANTA (AP) -- The New York Yankees play a waiting game, and it
almost always turns into a winning game.
It did in Game 1 of the World Series.
The Yankees suddenly broke loose for four runs in the eighth
inning against Greg Maddux and John Rocker and, behind Orlando
Hernandez, beat the Atlanta Braves 4-1 Saturday night.
On a chilly October night when it looked like one mistake might
make the difference -- Chipper Jones homered on a bad fastball by
Hernandez -- the Yankees once again struck with late lightning.
"It didn't surprise us when we got a little crack," Yankees
manager Joe Torre said. "We've been a very patient ballclub."
The Braves managed just one hit in seven innings against
Hernandez, and only one more against three Yankees relievers. And
it appeared as though Maddux, making an emergency start because Tom
Glavine got the flu, might make it stand up.
"I thought he was as good tonight as he's ever been," Braves
manager Bobby Cox said of Maddux.
And then, look out!
Shut down on three singles for seven innings, the Yankees
took advantage of defensive replacement Brian Hunter's two errors
at first base to rally for their ninth straight World Series
|Orlando Hernandez allowed just one hit, a fourth-inning home run to Chipper Jones.|
Derek Jeter singled home the tying run to finish Maddux. Paul
O'Neill, playing with a broken rib, followed with a two-run single
off Rocker and pinch-hitter Jim Leyritz walked with the bases
loaded and two outs.
"If we're in a close game, and we get an opportunity, we know
we can win a game," said Darryl Strawberry, who drew a key walk in
"It's just about confidence. We've got a very experienced
ballclub and we don't panic and that's a very big key for us," he
It looked eerily similar to Game 1 last year, when the Yankees
struck for seven runs in the seventh against Kevin Brown and his
relievers to stop San Diego, sending New York on its way to a
But the Yankees have been doing this all along, winning for the
19th time in their last 22 postseason. This year,
they've outscored opponents 22-5 from the seventh inning on in the
The Braves will try to get even Sunday night when Kevin Millwood
starts against David Cone.
The Yankees won their sixth straight Series game on the road,
including three in a row in Atlanta during the 1996 World Series.
Hernandez was almost untouchable, allowing only Jones' homer in
the fourth inning. The MVP of the ALCS struck out
10 in seven innings, fanning the side in the first and third
innings, and remained certain the Yankees would win.
"I had enough respect and confidence in my team that we'd
eventually come back and win," El Duque said through an
interpreter. "I didn't think one run would win this game."
Showing off a dazzling assortment of pitches and deliveries,
Hernandez looked nothing like the pitcher the Braves had roughed up
for nine runs in 8 1/3 innings of interleague play.
"He continues to just make you shake your head," Torre said.
Hernandez improved to 3-0 in this postseason and 5-0 overall
with a 1.02 ERA in six career starts in the postseason.
The other hit by Atlanta was a ninth-inning single by Bret Boone
off Mariano Rivera, who earned the save by getting the last four
Rivera escaped a jam when, after Boone singled with one out and
Jones walked, he struck out Brian Jordan and got pinch-hitter Greg
Myers to foul out.
Maddux fell to 10-10 lifetime in the postseason. The four-time
Cy Young winner cruised into the eighth before 1998 World Series
MVP Scott Brosius led off with his third straight single, a grounder into left, and
Strawberry, batting for Hernandez, drew a walk.
Chuck Knoblauch followed with a bunt past Maddux that Hunter,
subbing for Ryan Klekso, fumbled as he tried to throw, loading the
"We got a break on the bunt and that set up the whole inning
for us," O'Neill said.
The Yankees had been 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position
when Jeter, after taking a close 0-2 pitch, singled home the tying
run to finish Maddux.
"We are always very positive on the bench, always thinking we
can get runs," Jeter said.
Rocker came on and O'Neill grounded a go-ahead single to right, past a drawn-in Boone.
The runners advanced on the play on Hunter's poor throw.
Hernandez had struck out five straight hitters before Jones hit
a drive that wrapped around the right-field foul pole with one out
in the fourth.
Yankees catcher Jorge Posada had set up low and away, but
Hernandez left a 90-mph fastball right over the plate and Jones
clocked it. As Jones began his home-run trot, Hernandez looked at
Posada and pointed at his chest, admitting the bad pitch was his
GAME 1 AT A GLANCE
Every game a hero
Orlando Hernandez may need to purchase a nickname from Reggie Jackson, because El Duque is one tough customer come October. He allowed just one hit in seven innings -- a fourth-inning home run to Chipper Jones -- while striking out 10. In six career postseason starts, he is now 5-0 with a 1.02 ERA.
Brian Hunter replaced Ryan Klesko at first base in the top of the eighth. With two runners on, Chuck Knoblauch placed a nice bunt past the pitchers' mound. Hunter bobbled the ball, allowing Knoblauch to reach and load the bases with no outs.
Managerial move of the night
Even though the Braves have three left-handers in the bullpen, Joe Torre found a way to get Darryl Strawberry into the game. After Scott Brosius' leadoff single in the eighth against Greg Maddux, Strawberry hit for Hernandez. He drew a walk, setting up the four-run inning.
19-3. In the past two postseasons, the Yankees have won 19 of 22 games, a remarkable winning percentage of .864, and have outscored their opponents 97 to 56.
"I feel pretty good, I really do. For the most part, it's feeling better. Right now, I don't feel it's changing anything I do on the field. I'm sick of talking about it, to tell you the truth."
-- Paul O'Neill, playing with a broken rib, singled in two runs off John Rocker past a drawn-in infield to make it 3-1.
NY Yankees Clubhouse
Frozen moment: The fates of the eighth
El Duque's voodoo baffles Braves
Braves must solve right-handed pitching
Maddux replaces flu-stricken Glavine for Game 1
Derek Jeter describes his eighth-inning hit.
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Peter Gammons and Harold Reynolds break down Game 1.
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Yankees postgame news conference
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Braves postgame news conference
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Paul O'Neill believes he was fortunate to get the two-run single.
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Darryl Strawberry says he was patient against Maddux.
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