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BASEBALL PLAYOFFS | N.Y. YANKEES vs. SEATTLE

Team Capsules

October 10, 2000|MIKE DiGIOVANNA

SEATTLE AT A GLANCE

Lineup

Pos. Player: Avg

LF Rickey Henderson: .238

CF Mike Cameron: .267

SS Alex Rodriguez: .316

DH Edgar Martinez: .324

1B John Olerud: .285

RF Jay Buhner: .253

3B David Bell: .247

C Joe Oliver: .265

2B Mark McLemore: .245

P Freddy Garcia: 9-5

* Analysis: The Mariners can't out-slug opponents as they once did, and they have difficulty erasing large deficits, but they are well equipped to play Yankee-style baseball, which is the kind of ball required to win most postseason games. Seattle relies on solid starting pitching, and the Mariners do a good job of manufacturing runs, using speed in key spots, choosing to hit and run on occasion and going from first to third on base hits. If Seattle has a lead in the sixth inning, Manager Lou Piniella can turn the ball over to a seasoned bullpen that worked 11 2/3 scoreless innings against the White Sox in the division series, The middle of the order can be lethal--Rodriguez and Martinez combined for 277 RBIs this season, the most by any tandem in the big leagues, and 78 homers.

* Key reserves: OF--Stan Javier (.275), Al Martin (.285), INF--Carlos Guillen (.257), C--Dan Wilson (.235), OF--Raul Ibanez (.229).

* Team batting: .269 (11th in the league).

* Team pitching: 4.49 ERA (second in the league).

NEW YORK AT A GLANCE

Lineup

Pos. Player: Avg

DH Chuck Knoblauch: .283

SS Derek Jeter: .339

RF Paul O'Neill: .293

CF Bernie Williams: .307

LF David Justice: .286

C Jorge Posada: .287

1B Tino Martinez: .258

2B Luis Sojo: .288

3B Scott Brosius: .230

P Denny Neagle: 7-7

* Analysis: Those seven losses to end the regular season and the 15 losses in the last 18 regular-season games seem like ancient history, now that the Yankees have cleared their first playoff hurdle with their five-game win over the A's. But they could have more difficulty winning a seven-game series because of a rotation that is so thin Manager Joe Torre was forced to turn to first-round cast-off Neagle in Game 1 tonight. Torre also seems to have lost some confidence in Roger Clemens, who is 3-5 in postseason play and whose teams are 4-10 in his playoff starts. Clemens will start Game 4 of this series, meaning he will not pitch Game 7 if one is necessary. That assignment could fall to left-hander Andy Pettitte, who will start Game 3. The Yankees seem to be lacking some offensive punch and there isn't much speed in the lineup.

* Key reserves: OF--Glenallen Hill (.333), DH--Jose Canseco (.252), INF--Jose Vizcaino (.276).

* Team batting: .277 (sixth in the league).

* Team pitching: 4.76 ERA (sixth in the league).

KEYS TO THE SERIES

Seattle's chances will improve if leadoff batter Rickey Henderson and second hitter Mike Cameron get on base often for Rodriguez and Martinez. The Mariner starters for Games 1 and 2, Garcia and Halama, are second-year pitchers, and they can't afford to crack in the hostile environment that is Yankee Stadium in October. Yankee starting pitchers must provide quality innings and pitch deep into games to relieve stress on an overworked bullpen, and New York can't afford to fall behind by too many runs too early, because, like the Mariners, the Yankees are not a very good comeback team. If the series, as many expect, features several low-scoring games, a deeper Mariner bullpen could give them the edge.

* Records: Mariners 91-71, Yankees 87-74.

* Head to head: Mariners, 6-4.

THE SERIES

Tonight: Seattle (Garcia 9-5) at New York (Neagle 7-7), 5 p.m.

Wednesday: Seattle at New York, 1 p.m.

Friday: New York at Seattle, 5 p.m.

Saturday: New York at Seattle, 4:30 p.m.

Sunday: New York at Seattle, 1 p.m.*

Tuesday, Oct. 17: Seattle at New York, 5 p.m.*

Wednesday, Oct. 18: Seattle at New York, 5 p.m.*

TV--Ch. 4; *--if necessary

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