Yanks Lose ALCS Opener To M’s

By Francis Walker
Updated: February 25, 2008

Rickey Henderson Alex Rodriguez NEW YORK, NY– Just one day after an exuberant win against the Oakland Athletics, the defending 1999 World Series Champion New York Yankees were shutout 2-0 in the first game of their American League best-of-seven game series against the Seattle Mariners at Yankee Stadium last night.

Whereas the Yankees’ bats had come to life behind a first inning, three-RBI triple by Tino Martinez and a solo homer from David Justice in the fourth inning of their 7-5 victory against the Athletics, the Yanks’ bats were sadly silenced behind Seattle-starter, Freddy Garcia. Garcia, one of three pitchers from the Mariners, blanked the Yankees through 6 2/3 innings. Garcia allowed just three hits and stuck out eight.

Denny Neagle pitched well for the Yankees. Neagle, in just 5 2/3 innings, allowed both the Mariners’ runs: a two-out RBI single by Rickey Henderson in the fifth and a solo homerun by Alex Rodriguez in the sixth.

Despite the fact that the Yankees bullpen pitchers Jeff Nelson, Jason Grimsley, and Randy Choate held the Mariners scoreless through the remaining 2 2/3 innings, allowing only two hits, and struck out six Mariner batters, the Yankees were unable to score.

Derek Jeter and Scott Brosius both struck out three times. Also, Bernie Williams, Paul O’ Neill, and David Justice each were fanned twice. Overall, thirteen Yankees were strikeout victims.

The Yanks rallied in the bottom of the ninth against Mariner closer, Kazuhiro Sasaki. Williams and Martinez took first and second base on a pair of singles to left field. However, Justice stuck out, Jorge Posada popped-up to right field, and Luis Sojo flied to left field to end the ball game.

Game two of the American League Championship series will be held here in New York at Yankee stadium at today at 4 p.m. Eastern.