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Yankees short hops10/13/2004 1:26 AM ET
By Spencer Fordin / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- Pick your plot line. A pitcher flirting with perfection, a massive comeback, a heartwarming tale of triumph over adversity. The Yankees and Red Sox compressed an entire soap-opera rivalry into nine innings Tuesday night, an episode won by New York without benefit of a cliffhanger ending.
A look at key statistics through Game 1 of the ALCS. Team stats
Both of the game's key doubles could've been caught. When David Ortiz doubled to left field, Matsui was under the ball at the wall, but he wasn't able to catch it. Likewise, in the eighth, Manny Ramirez had a chance at a deep drive by Bernie Williams, but he wasn't able to make the leaping grab. Frozen moment
Ninth inning, tying run at the plate. Two men on, one man out. Rivera's been in that situation thousands of times before, but none with the emotional weight he carried Tuesday night. No matter: The closer coaxed a ground ball back to the box and started a 1-6-3 double play to end it all. After that, he stood in line for some healing hugs from his teammates. Slick move
After sticking with Tom Gordon against David Ortiz, Joe Torre brought Rivera in with the tying run on third base and four outs to go. Rivera got out of one jam with a popup, then closed down the ninth for an emotional save. Almost perfect
Don Larsen, rest easy. Mussina's bid for perfection ended with one out in the seventh, when Mark Bellhorn doubled to deep left-center. Matsui gave a great effort, but he had no chance to make the play. Modern history
Matsui's five RBIs tied an ALCS record, done most recently by Adam Kennedy in 2002. New York's left fielder had a late chance to break the mark, but he popped up to shortstop with two runners on in the eighth. Famous faces
Hollywood was covered Tuesday night, with Jack Nicholson, Billy Crystal and Penny Marshall sitting in the crowd. Matthew Modine slipped past the paparazzi, but Jay-Z caught a few flashbulbs on his way inside the stadium. Magnates made the cut, too: Robert Kraft and Donald Trump took in the sights. Last word
"All of those people who say you sit in the dugout and it's so calm? You didn't want to be there tonight."
-- Torre, talking about all the emotional swings in the 10-7 win
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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