April 18, at Yankee Stadium: Yankees 9, Indians 2: The same theme pervaded a night later, as the Yankees' bats did not thaw while Cleveland's starting-pitching woes continued. Rodriguez hit his Majors-leading ninth homer, and the rest of the Bombers followed suit, as every starter got a hit and New York tagged Jeremy Sowers for six runs over just 2 2/3 innings. The early lead seemed to help struggling Yankees starter Kei Igawa, who allowed two runs over six innings.
April 19, at Yankee Stadium: Yankees 8, Indians 6: Cleveland's Yankee Stadium despair finally seemed in the past. The Tribe, after knocking around reliever Luis Vizcaino for four runs in the seventh, carried a 6-2 lead into the ninth inning. Yet after closer Joe Borowski quietly retired the Yankees' first two hitters, what followed would rate as the season's greatest comeback for one side, and the year's greatest collapse for the other. Josh Phelps hit a solo homer before run-scoring hits from Derek Jeter and Bobby Abreu set the stage for Rodriquez, who lined a game-winning shot over the center-field wall to become the first player in American League history to reach the double-digit homer mark in his team's first 14 games.
Aug. 10, at Jacobs Field: Yankees 6, Indians 1: Relying on two of the game's four youngest pitchers -- homegrown 21-year-old's Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain -- the team with baseball's highest payroll bombarded the Indians with the Tribe's own formula. Hughes, in his second start back from the disabled list, was masterful in tossing six innings of one run-ball. Chamberlain, in his second big league outing, was even better over the next two, striking out four over a perfect pair of innings. Meanwhile, the Yankees got to the Indians' youthful sensation of their own, tagging Fausto Carmona for four runs over seven innings.
American League Division Series schedule
|Wed., Oct. 3||6:30 p.m.||Fenway Park||TBS|
|Fri., Oct. 5||8:30 p.m.||Fenway Park||TBS|
|Sun. Oct. 7||3 p.m.||Angel Stadium||TBS|
|*Mon. Oct. 8||9:30 p.m.||Angel Stadium||TBS|
|*Wed. Oct. 10||8:30 p.m.||Fenway Park||TBS|
|Thu., Oct. 4||6:30 p.m.||Jacobs Field||TBS|
|Fri., Oct. 5||5 p.m.||Jacobs Field||TBS|
|Sun. Oct. 7||6:30 p.m.||Yankee Stadium||TBS|
|*Mon. Oct. 8||6 p.m.||Yankee Stadium||TBS|
|*Wed. Oct. 10||5 p.m.||Jacobs Field||TBS|
|* If necessary. All times ET.|
Aug. 11, at Jacobs Field: Yankees 11, Indians 2: Rodriguez's domination of the Indians continued, as he laced a pair of two-run homers to key a 19-hit attack from the Yankees' burning bats. The long balls meant Rodriguez had homered in each of the Bombers' five meetings with the Tribe. On the other side, it was Mike Mussina's turn to shut down the Tribe's offense. Winning for the 100th time in Yankees pinstripes, Mussina held Cleveland's fledgling bats to two runs over seven innings.
Aug. 12, at Jacobs Field: Yankees 5, Indians 3: The Yankees completed the season sweep over the Indians, but it would not come with the same ease characterizing most of the teams' meetings. Andy Pettitte held the Tribe to just two runs on seven hits over 7 1/3 innings, and the Yankees took a 5-2 lead into the ninth. Yet as the Yankees entrusted the game to closer Mariano Rivera, the Tribe at last showed some life. The Indians' first three hitters reached base to begin the inning, and Cleveland found itself with the tying run at second and none out. However, there would be no more movement. Returning to his usual form, Rivera struck out the next two hitters and induced a weak Casey Blake flyout to close out the win.
David Briggs is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.