Yankees 1, Orioles 1, tie
A steady rain and the imminent arrival of winds up to 35 mph caused Thursday’s game between the Orioles and Yankees to be stopped after five innings in a 1-1 tie.
The individual statistics will count, and Katy Feeney of the commissioner’s office said the game will be made up as part of a doubleheader in New York on either Sept. 26 or 27.
Umpires called the game after a 44-minute wait—immediately after the Orioles botched a chance to score the potential go-ahead run.
New York, closing in on its sixth straight AL East title, is five games ahead of Boston in the AL East with 10 games remaining.
The circumstances surrounding the scheduling of the game, and the fashion in which it ended, infuriated the Yankees.
Yankees owner George Steinbrenner issued a statement that said the commissioner’s office showed “terrible judgment and overall stupidity” in proceeding with the game.
“Schools, businesses, athletic events—virtually everything—was called off,” Steinbrenner said. “And for them to proceed was stupidity at its worst.”
The game was rescheduled from 7:05 p.m. to 12:35 p.m. to beat Isabel’s arrival, but the rain began falling shortly before Mussina threw his first pitch in the bottom of the first inning.
“It’s the wrong decision to play unless we were going to play at 10 in the morning,” Mussina said.
Gene Orza, the No. 2 official of players’ association, said that when he discussed with Mussina on Tuesday whether to hold a day-night doubleheader Wednesday, Mussina was against it. Orza said he then asked the commissioner’s office on Wednesday to postpone Thursday’s game and make it up on the final weekend at Yankee Stadium.
“The U.S. government, the state government and the city government had concluded that it was not business as usual, they basically closed down Baltimore. If they can close down, that’s pretty good indication major league baseball should close down.
“They took a calculated gamble, and the gamble didn’t pay off,” he said. “They should have canceled the game last night, as I suggested to them, and had some monetary compensation worked out with the Orioles.”
Bob DuPuy, baseball’s chief operating officer, did not return a telephone call seeking comment.
“Nobody talked to us,” Yankees manager Joe Torre contended.
So the teams went at it Thursday—for 1 hour, 27 minutes.
“It couldn’t come out with a worse outcome than this,” Mussina said. “They moved the game up, we played five innings and it ends in a tie. And now we might have to play two anyway.”
Minutes after the game was called, the Yankees boarded buses in an effort to get out of town before the weather worsened. If they had their way, they would have been on a flight hours earlier.
“They’re canceling everything around here—schools are canceled, the government left, the Navy’s pulling out, and the Orioles and Yankees are playing baseball,” shortstop Derek Jeter said.
“I wasn’t surprised at all,” Orioles manager Mike Hargrove said. “If we would have been New York, I’m sure they would have done the same thing.”
The Orioles would not keep the gate receipts if the game was played in New York.
The announced attendance was 29,093, but there were only a few thousand people were in the stands. The Orioles shut off the upper deck and allowed those who showed up to sit anywhere in the lower seating bowl.
The flags in center field were flapping hard in the stiff wind by the third inning. At that point, the infield was starting to get sloppy and some of the fans’ umbrellas were blown inside out.
Fortunately, Mussina and Orioles starter Pat Hentgen were both sharp, which enabled the game to be played at a crisp pace.
The rain intensified in the bottom of the fifth. Pedro Swann hit a leadoff double, and the Orioles’ sense of urgency was hammered home when Robert Machado, assigned to get Swann to third, struck out on a two-strike foul bunt.
Roberts then singled to left, and Orioles third base coach Tom Trebelhorn initially waved Swann home. Trebelhorn then put up the stop sign—too late for Swann to make it back to third.
He was tagged out in a rundown, and Matos followed with a groundout.
Seconds later, plate umpire Rob Drake called for the tarp.
And so ended Mussina’s bid to earn his 200th win against his former team. Baltimore beat the Yankees on Wednesday night to deny David Wells his 200thvictory.
The career-high hitting streak of Baltimore’s Larry Bigbie ended at nine games. … Jeter has a 17-game hitting streak at Camden Yards. … It’s the 12th tie since the Orioles moved to Baltimore before the 1954 season. … The previous tie for both teams was at Yankee Stadium on Sept. 30, 2001, a 1-1game that lasted 15 innings.