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A quiet night at home

Sunday, October 11, 1998

By PAUL HOYNES
PLAIN DEALER REPORTER

In a game between two stale pitchers, Orlando Hernandez proved to be much fresher than Dwight Gooden.

Now the Indians are in a difficult spot against a New York Yankee team that became the winningest team in baseball history last night in Jacobs Field.

After losing Game 4 in the American League Championship Series, 4-0, the Indians must face left-hander David Wells today with the best-of-seven series tied at two victories each. Wells, 3-0 against the Indians in the postseason and 12-3 in his career, would seem to be the perfect man to take the series back to Yankee Stadium with New York leading, 3-2.

How important is Game 5?

The ALCS has been tied after four games seven times in the last 28 series. The team that won Game 5 has advanced to the World Series seven times.

Hernandez didn't pitch an inning in New York's three-game sweep of Texas in the division series. Last night's start was his first since Sept. 27.

But he showed no rust, holding the Indians scoreless for seven innings on three hits. Mike Stanton and Mariano Rivera completed the four-hitter with one scoreless inning each.

"Hernandez was very good," said manager Mike Hargrove. "He made a lot of tough 3-2 pitches to get some of our big hitters out."

Gooden, who had pitched just one-third of an inning since Sept. 25, looked as stale as a loaf of week-old bread. He didn't make it out of the fifth and is still looking for his first postseason victory.

He's 0-4 with a 3.60 earned run average (22 runs in 55 innings) in 10 postseason appearances. In his only other start this postseason, Gooden was ejected for swearing at plate umpire Joe Brinkman after registering one out on 22 pitches in Game 2 of the division series against Boston.

"Doc was around the strike zone," said Hargrove. "I thought he threw well enough to win. We just couldn't get any offense going."

The loss was Gooden's first since July 26. The victory was No. 119 for New York this year. It's the most by one team, including the postseason, in a single year.

The Yankees reached Gooden for three runs on three hits in 4 innings. New York's running game, as much as anything, seemed to take the steam out of Gooden. Not to mention catcher Sandy Alomar Jr., who left after the fifth inning with back spasms.

Enrique Wilson walked to start the eighth against Hernandez. Stanton relieved and struck out Kenny Lofton before Omar Vizquel singled to left. It was Vizquel's sixth hit in the last two games, but the potential rally ended when David Justice hit into a 4-6-3 double play.

The loss overshadowed another strong relief appearance by Dave Burba. He entered the game in the fifth and held the Yankees to one run over 3 innings. Burba has allowed four runs in nine innings this postseason.

He left with one out in the ninth and pinch-runner Homer Bush on third. Paul Shuey relieved and Scott Brosius scored Bush with a sacrifice fly to make it 4-0.

Gooden didn't make it out of fifth. After an 11-pitch duel with Derek Jeter ended in a fielder's choice at second, Jim Poole relieved to face O'Neill. Jeter stole second and went to third when Alomar's throw hit second-base umpire Jim McKean in the foot and deflected into right field. McKean, for some reason, jumped right in the path of Alomar's throw.

Poole struck out O'Neill to end the inning.

Alomar, however, was through for the night with spasms in his lower back. Rookie Einar Diaz replaced him to start the sixth.

Gooden allowed three runs on three hits in 4 innings. He struck out three and walked two. In two starts this postseason, Gooden has allowed four runs on four hits in five innings.

The Yankees made it 3-0 in the fourth. Once again they pushed the game against Gooden and Alomar.

O'Neill walked and stole second for his first steal of the postseason. Gooden complicated matters by walking Bernie Williams and giving up a ground-rule double down the left field line to Chili Davis. O'Neill scored and Williams stopped at third.

Tino Martinez followed with a fly ball to center. Lofton, hustling to get into position for a throw home, dropped the ball. He was charged with an error and Martinez was credited with a sacrifice fly and an RBI as Williams scored.

Hargrove argued with McKean, who ruled that Lofton did not catch the ball. Hargrove was apparently saying that Lofton caught the ball, but dropped it while transferring it to his throwing hand. McKean was unmoved by Hargrove's plea.

Lofton did catch Jorge Posada's fly ball for the first out. Chad Curtis ended the inning by hitting into a 6-4-3 double play.

Hernandez, making his first start since Sept. 25, showed little rust.

When Lofton doubled down the right-field line with one out in the third, he retired Vizquel on a liner to short and Justice on a weak bouncer back to the mound.

In the sixth, Vizquel blooped a single to left and Justice was hit on right elbow with one out. But Hernandez struck out Manny Ramirez and Jim Thome to end the threat. Ramirez and Thome entered the game with six of the Tribe's 11 runs batted in in the first three games.

The Indians' pattern of getting outscored in the first inning of the postseason continued. Gooden retired the first two hitters, but O'Neill drove a 3-1 pitch into the right-field seats for a 1-0 lead. It was O'Neill's first homer of this postseason and the ninth of his career.

The Tribe has been outscored, 12-1, in the first inning of eight postseason games this year.

Thome tried to counter that run in the bottom of the first. After Vizquel singled and stole second, Ramirez drew a two-out walk. Thome, who homered twice in Game 3, drove a 3-1 pitch to the warning track in right field where O'Neill made the catch.

Gooden pitched out of trouble in the second, but it was only partially of his doing.

He walked Martinez with one out. Martinez stole second and went to third on a wild throw by Alomar. Gooden came back to strike out the next two batters.

©1998 THE PLAIN DEALER. Used with permission.

BOX SCORE -    10/10/98


NY YANKEES (4) AT CLEVELAND (0) PLAYOFFS - FINAL 

NY YANKEES             ab  r  h rbi bb so lob   avg
Knoblauch 2b            5  0  0  0   0  1   2  .133
Jeter ss                4  0  0  0   0  1   1  .160
Oneill rf               3  2  1  1   1  1   1  .296
Williams cf             1  1  0  0   3  0   0  .167
Davis dh                4  0  1  1   0  1   2  .250
Martinez 1b             2  0  1  1   1  0   3  .154
 Bush pr                0  1  0  0   0  0   0  .000
 Sojo 1b                0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000
Posada c                4  0  0  0   0  2   4  .167
Curtis lf               3  0  0  0   1  1   3  .333
Brosius 3b              3  0  1  1   0  1   0  .333

Totals                 29  4  4  4   6  8  16

BATTING: 2B - Davis (1, Gooden); Martinez (3, Burba). HR -
Oneill (2, 1st inning off Gooden 0 on, 2 out). SF - Martinez,
Brosius. RBI - Oneill (3), Davis (1), Martinez (1), Brosius (6).
2-out RBI - Oneill. Runners left in scoring position, 2 out -
Curtis 1, Oneill 1, Posada 1, Knoblauch 1. GIDP - Curtis.  Team
LOB - 6.

BASERUNNING: SB - Martinez (2, 2nd base off Gooden/Alomar);
Oneill (1, 2nd base off Gooden/Alomar); Jeter (3, 2nd base off
Poole/Alomar); Williams (1, 2nd base off Burba/Diaz). 

FIELDING: DP: 1 (Knoblauch-Jeter-Martinez). 

CLEVELAND              ab  r  h rbi bb so lob   avg
Lofton cf               4  0  1  0   0  1   1  .229
Vizquel ss              4  0  3  0   0  0   1  .281
Justice dh              3  0  0  0   0  1   4  .250
Ramirez rf              3  0  0  0   1  3   2  .345
Thome 1b                4  0  0  0   0  2   4  .161
Fryman 3b               4  0  0  0   0  0   0  .172
Giles lf                3  0  0  0   0  0   0  .118
Alomar c                2  0  0  0   0  1   0  .154
 Diaz c                 1  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000
Wilson 2b               2  0  0  0   1  0   0  .125

Totals                 30  0  4  0   2  8  12

BATTING: 2B - Lofton (2, Hernandez). Runners left in scoring
position, 2 out - Thome 2, Justice 1. GIDP - Justice.  Team LOB - 6.

BASERUNNING: SB - Vizquel 2 (3, 2nd base off Hernandez/Posada,
3rd base off Hernandez/Posada). 

FIELDING: E - Alomar 2 (3, throw 2); Lofton (1, fly ball). 
DP: 1 (Vizquel-Wilson-Thome). 

--------------------------------------------------
    Ny Yankees     - 100 200 001  --  4
    Cleveland      - 000 000 000  --  0

--------------------------------------------------

NY YANKEES                   ip       h   r  er  bb  so  hr    era
Hernandez (W, 1-0)            7       3   0   0   2   6   0   0.00
Stanton (H, 1)                1       1   0   0   0   1   0   0.00
Rivera                        1       0   0   0   0   1   0   0.00

CLEVELAND                    ip       h   r  er  bb  so  hr    era
Gooden (L, 0-1)               4 2/3   3   3   3   3   3   1   9.00
Poole                           1/3   0   0   0   0   1   0   0.00
Burba                         3 1/3   1   1   1   3   4   0   4.00
Shuey                           2/3   0   0   0   0   0   0   0.00

Hernandez pitched to 1 batter in the 8th.

WP - Burba. HBP - Justice (by Hernandez).  Pitches-strikes:
Gooden 92-53; Poole 8-5; Burba 63-33; Shuey 5-4; Hernandez 115-70; 
Stanton 10-7; Rivera 10-7.  Ground balls-fly balls: Gooden 8-3; 
Poole 0-0; Burba 4-2; Shuey 1-1; Hernandez 3-12; Stanton 2-0; 
Rivera 2-0.  Batters faced: Gooden 20; Poole 1; Burba 14; Shuey 2; 
Hernandez 27; Stanton 3; Rivera 3. 

UMPIRES: HP--Larry Young. 1B--Tim Welke. 2B--Jim Mckean. 3B--Jim
Evans. LF--Ted Hendry. RF--John Shulock.
T--3:31.  Att--44,981.   Weather: 58 degrees, partly cloudy.  
Wind: 9 mph, left to right.