clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

1998 Yankees Diary, July 30: An extra-inning shutout in Anaheim

Tino broke a scoreless tie in the 10th and the Yankees shut out the Angels 3-0

Tino Martinez #24

The Yankees entered this contest looking for the series win over the first-place Angels. New York won the opener, but lost the second tilt and now had the chance to take the rubber match.

They had the right man on the mound for the job, with southpaw Andy Pettitte facing off against an Angels offense led by Tim Salmon and Garret Anderson. And like Andy did so many times throughout his career in pinstripes, he gave the club exactly what it needed. When the last out was recorded, the Yankees escaped with the extra-inning victory and series win, and they were off to face Seattle.

July 30: Yankees 3, Angels 0 (box score)

Record: 75-27, .735 (15 GA)

Pettitte got some help from his defense in this one. In the bottom of the second inning, Anderson went the other way for the Angels, extending his hitting streak to 27 games. But he decided to try and stretch the knock into a double, and rookie Shane Spencer (a little over a month away from his unforgettable September) busted out the cannon from left field. Anderson was DOA at second and Pettitte escaped the inning with a couple of routine ground balls.

The Yankees had their best chance to score in the third against Angels starter Chuck Finley. The Yanks were a favorite opponent for Finley, who boasted a 17-10 career record against New York. And true to form, he was tough on this night. But in the third frame they managed to load the bases on a pair of singles and a walk.

Finley buckled down, however, and froze Tino Martinez with a beautiful front hip fastball on a 1-2 count. Crisis averted, and Finley went on to toss eight innings of shutout ball for Anaheim.

In the bottom of the frame, the Yankee defense again came through for Pettitte. Darin Erstad lined a ball into center field that looked destined for the right center field gap. But Bernie Williams ate up a ton of ground and laid out, making the catch and robbing the former Nebraska punter of extra bases.

The Angels came oh-so-close to putting some runs up in the seventh inning after a pair of singles and a wild pitch put runners on second and third with two out. Pettitte got Erstad to weakly ground out to third though, and kept the game scoreless. That was Andy’s 113th and final pitch of the night, and he left the game having hurled seven shutout frames.

The two clubs continued to trade zeroes through the ninth inning. Finally, in the 10th, the dam burst. Rich DeLucia entered the game for the Angels and left his mark on the contest by walking the bases loaded. Jeter ... O’Neill ... Bernie ... free passes for everyone!

And up stepped Tino, who had already left six men on base on the night. Perhaps determined not to walk in the go-ahead run, DeLucia left an 0-2 pitch in the strike zone and Martinez didn’t miss it. A grounder down the right-field line brought two runners in, finally breaking the scoreless tie. Chad Curtis followed later in the frame with a sacrifice fly to plate the third run.

It’s funny. I hate it so much less when it’s the other team missing inside the strike zone on 0-2 and getting burned. Huh.

Anyway, with a three-run lead, everyone knew the next step. The GOAT himself, Mariano Rivera, came in for the 10th to close it out. Credit to the Angels though. After what had to be a deflating top half, they battled. With two out, Anderson singled, as did future skipper (and Yankees coach) Phil Nevin, bringing Orlando Palmeiro to the dish as the tying run.

One groundball later, however, this one was finished. It was a 3-0 Yankee victory and the series win over a very good Angels club that often gave them fits throughout this era.

The victory gave New York an unbelievable 75 wins in the club’s first 102 games of the ‘98 season. Next on their radar were the Seattle Mariners, and a trade deadline involving with talks with the very ace on the other side: Randy Johnson.