Mariners defeat Yankees
3 games to 2
|Game||Date||Winning Team||Losing Team|
|1||Oct. 3||NYY 9||SEA 6|
|2||Oct. 4||NYY 7||SEA 5|
|3||Oct. 6||SEA 7||NYY 4|
|4||Oct. 7||SEA 11||NYY 8|
|5||Oct. 8||SEA 6||NYY 5|
Managers: Piniella, Lou, SEA; Showalter, Buck, NYY
Path to the ALDS: Seattle (79-66) won the AL West by one game; New York (79-65) won the AL Wild Card
A new postseason era began with the introduction of four best-of-five Division Series, and this followed the pre-1985 League Championship Series format of the first two games in one venue and the next three games, as necessary, at the other ballpark. As the Wild Card, the Yankees would have the first two in the Bronx, and then their series would shift to the Kingdome. The Mariners-Yankees series not only went the full five games, with the home team winning each one, but there would be some extra-inning excitement along the way to enhance its place in postseason lore.
The Yankees won the first two at home, and Game 2 went 15 innings before Jim Leyritz sent everyone home with a two-run homer. At that point, it was the longest playoff game by elapsed time. Seattle then returned home, surviving a pair of Bernie Williams homers for a 7-4 win in Game 3 and then an 11-8 win in Game 4 thanks to Edgar Martinez's grand slam and seven RBIs.
In the clincher, Randy Velarde's RBI single off Randy Johnson gave the Yankees a 5-4 lead in the top of the 11th. Unfortunately for the Yankees, rookie right-hander Mariano Rivera had already thrown and was not an all-world closer yet. Jack McDowell had to protect the lead in the bottom of the inning at the Kingdome, and he surrendered a bunt single to Joey Cora, a single to Ken Griffey Jr., and then a two-run walk-off double to Martinez. Seattle was on its way to the ALCS against the Indians.
It was the first postseason appearance in Don Mattingly's brilliant 14-year career with the Yankees, the most sparse stretch of postseason involvement in the club's rich history. For the outgoing captain, it also would be his last postseason as a player. The Hit Man gave a glimpse of what might have been on that grand stage, as he went 10-for-24 with six RBIs in the five games. Meanwhile, a new Yankees captain already was on the way: Derek Jeter, a rookie shortstop callup from Michigan who had not been on the postseason roster.