Saturday, May 13, 2006

Doc Gooden's No-Hitter

I'm watching a "Yankee Classic" on the YES Network right now, and it's Doc Gooden's No-Hitter, a game I attended 10 years ago tomorrow. Yes, it was 1996, the first year of the Joe Torre era, the year the Yankees won their first World Series since 1978. However, looking at the lineup the Yankees threw out there, you almost have to question how they won.

This is not the 2006 Yankees lineup, even minus Hideki Matsui and Gary Sheffield. Here we go:

SS- Derek Jeter
3B- Wade Boggs
C - Joe Girardi
RF- Paul O'Neill
LF- Ruben Sierra
1B- Tino Martinez
DH- Jim Leyritz
CF- Gerald Williams
2B- Robert Eenhorn

In the 7th inning, they used Andy Fox as a pinch hitter. He wasn't even batting .200.

They faced Sterling Hitchcock, and with this lineup it's not surprising that the Yankees didn't score until the 6th inning.

The lineup has Joe Girardi batting third. He was batting .282 with no home runs. Paul O'Neill only had 1 home run at this point, and he was the cleanup hitter. Granted, Bernie Williams was a bit hurt and was a day away from coming back. I'm not sure why Mariano Duncan wasn't playing. Tim Raines was on the bench. By the time they hit the postseason, Gerald Williams, Ruben Sierra, and Robert Eenhorn were no longer on the team.

This is a good example of how the Yankees are a work-in-progress during the season.

How times have changed:
The announcers were very critical in the 3rd inning when Gooden walked ARod with 2 outs because Ken Griffey, Jr. was on deck, and you can't walk somebody like Alex Rodriguez when there is such a better hitter behind him.

How times have changed but stayed the same:
When going through the scores Jim Thome and Manny Ramirez both homered (of course it was for Cleveland though).

How times have really really changed:
They were marvelling at how large of a crowd it was, and there were only about 35,000 fans there, and it was only that size because this was one of the three games they gave free tickets out for the fans who sat through opening day in the snow. They were also suprised that the crowd was so big because the Knicks were playing a playoff game against the Bulls.

How times have changed but stayed the same, part II:
Mariano Rivera was warming up in the game. The announcers called Rivera the Yankees' secret weapon. He's still a weapon, hardly a secret anymore.

Al Leiter had thrown a no-hitter three days earlier. Hideo Nomo threw the only other no-hitter in 1996.

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