August 1, 1999
Naturally I usually show the Red Sox portion of the scorecard when I do this. As you may notice almost immediately, I didn’t do that this time. I figured with everyone celebrating Derek Jeter finally retiring, I’d show his side of the card. How did he do in this game? See for yourself.
But first, the rest of the team. Whenever I do a scorecard from 1999 I am amazed at the line-up the Red Sox threw out there. Especially since that team made it to the ALCS. Well, the Yankees in 1999 won their second of three consecutive World Series. How do they look?
Maybe the Red Sox side has some merit after all. That bottom of the order looks inept to me. It certainly looked it on this day. The rest of them are probably only household names because they played for the Yankees.
How about the player of the game? In a losing effort. I think it’s pretty clearly Bernie Williams. He went two for three on the day, driving in three of the four Yankees runs. Isn’t that exactly what you’re looking for out of your clean-up hitter? Get people on in front of him, and he’ll drive them home.
The goat? Well, there are a few choices, I suppose. Four players went hitless on the day. Tino Martinez, Jorge Posada, and Shane Spencer all went 0-4. Which makes Williams’s performance even more impressive since he had Tino popping out after him all day long. But, really, you expect o-fers from the bottom of your line-up. You shouldn’t be getting them from the top of your line-up. That’s exactly where Derek Jeter was batting when he went 0-5. Yup, five times to the plate from your number 2 hitter, and five times outs were made. Struck out twice, and didn’t even advance a runner. You need more than that!
And, that might have been the Yankees downfall that day. With Bernie hitting the lights out, an extra base runner, or an extra runner in scoring position, might have made all the difference in a one-run game. Knoblauch had two hits leading off, and O’Neill had three hits in the three-spot. The lack of production in the two-hole could have led directly to a Red Sox win.
And the scorecard shows how it happened.