Freddy Garcia didn’t pitch against the New York Yankees during the regular season, but he’ll open the American League Championship Series against them Tuesday night in Yankee Stadium.
The Yankees advanced to the ALCS by beating the Oakland Athletics 7-5 in the fifth game of their Division Series Sunday night in Oakland.
Seattle manager Lou Piniella set his starting rotation Sunday but had to make one change after he got to Safeco Field for a late-morning workout.
Jamie Moyer, who was penciled in to start Game 4, had to be scratched because of a fractured kneecap he suffered in a simulated game on Saturday. Moyer was hit by a batted ball and will be lost for the rest of the playoffs.
“This is a terrible thing,” Piniella said. “He worked so hard and so long this season to get to this point. I feel terrible for Jamie.”
Moyer’s replacement will be Paul Abbott, who got the win in the second game of the division series against the Chicago White Sox. The M’s swept the series, 3-0.
Left-hander John Halama, who didn’t pitch in the division series, will get the start in the second game Wednesday. When the series moves to Seattle on Friday, Aaron Sele will open for the M’s with Abbott pitching on Saturday.
Rob Ramsay, a left-handed reliever, will be added to the roster to take the place of Moyer.
Garcia, who was 9-5 with a 3.91 ERA average, started the first game of the division series, but made it through only 3 1/3 innings as he gave up four runs and six hits.
Piniella said the Game 3 pitcher – Sele – is very important “because he’s the Game 7 pitcher if needed.”
Piniella couldn’t guess how the three-day layoff would affect his team. “We’ve played pretty well going from one (season) to another, but we could use a couple of days off,” he said. “We’ve been going at it pretty hot and heavy for the last month.”
On his impressions of first-year pitching coach Bryan Price, who has helped take the Mariner staff from next-to-last in the American League in 1999 to second this season, Piniella said, “He’s a bright guy, he communicates well with the pitchers, he commands their respect.
“I feel that way about all my coaches. It’s been a real good staff.”
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