Not bad for openers

  • KIRBY ARNOLD / Herald Writer
  • Tuesday, October 3, 2000 9:00pm
  • Sports

10th-inning homers by Martinez and Olerud lift Mariners to Game 1 victory


Herald Writer

CHICAGO — Before Lou Piniella made his curious walk onto the field, and before Edgar Martinez took his mighty game-winning swing, five guys in the Seattle Mariners’ bullpen simply did their jobs.

Without 6 2/3innings of scoreless relief pitching, Game 1 of the American League Division Series never would have come down to 10th-inning heroics.

Without Brett Tomko, Jose Paniagua, Arthur Rhodes, Jose Mesa and Kazuhiro Sasaki, the Seattle Mariners might be talking about a game that got away, and not a 7-4 road victory over the Chicago White Sox that has them sitting pretty in the best-of-five series.

The Mariners won Game 1 at Comiskey Park with crafty pitching against the American League’s third-best hitting team, and then a one-two hammering by Martinez and John Olerud in the decisive 10th.

Martinez lined a changeup from Keith Foulke over the left-field fence for a two-run homer, then Olerud drove a ball deep over the center field fence on the next pitch to silence a once-boisterous crowd.

Sasaki kept them, and the White Sox, quiet for another half-inning. He allowed a leadoff double by Carlos Lee, then finished with a groundout and two strikeouts to close a masterful night by the bullpen.

"Our bullpen is as good as anybody’s," Mariners pitching coach Bryan Price said. "I feel awfully good when we get a game like this, when Lou points a finger to any of these guys."

When starter Freddy Garcia fell apart by allowing two runs in the second inning and two in the third, Piniella pointed at everyone in the pen but rookie Joel Pineiro, and he did it with a magic touch.

Tomko relieved Freddy Garcia one out into the fourth inning and escaped a bases-loaded jam with two fly balls, then retired six of the next seven hitters he faced.

Paniagua mowed down the Sox in the seventh and eighth, then was lifted after allowing a leadoff single in the ninth to Charles Johnson.

Rhodes got Ray Durham on a sacrifice bunt that moved pinch-runner Josh Paul to second base, and he retired Jose Valentin with a fly to left field.

And then came Mesa, the once-dominant right-hander whose image, if not his command, hasn’t been the same since he allowed the run that gave the Florida Marlins a Game 7 World Series victory over the Cleveland Indians in 1997.

"I know I can do the job in any situation," Mesa said. "The past is in the past. You’ve got to move forward."

Moving forward against the White Sox doesn’t always make for effective therapy. Brought in to face Frank Thomas, Mesa nibbled for two straight balls, and then walked him intentionally to put runners on first and second.

"Mesa was trying to throw strikes, but they had to be the right kind of strikes," said Price, not at all disappointed at losing Thomas to a walk instead of something bigger that could have won the game for the White Sox.

The burden then fell to Magglio Ordonez, who had hit .250 in his career against Mesa. Make that .222 now, after Mesa got him on a fly to right field, ending the inning.

"To walk Thomas to get to Ordonez isn’t any easier situation by any means," Price said.

Out of that inning, the Mariners won it in the 10th.

Mike Cameron, who scored a run in the first inning and drove in the tying run with a single in the seventh, led off with a single to left off Sox closer Foulke.

With Martinez digging in at the plate and Cameron scratching the dirt, Foulke made several throws to first to keep him close.

Piniella called time out and slowly walked out of the dugout. He pulled Cameron off first base and filled his ear with instructions that nobody will reveal.

"It was baseball, a secret that we have to keep under the sheets," Cameron said.

Cameron stole second on the next pitch, a strike.

And Martinez won the game on the next, a changeup that he lined just over the fence in left for a 6-4 lead. There was no doubt about Olerud’s blast, a 415-foot drive to center field.

Sasaki nailed down his first major league postseason save, completing a day when the Mariners’ bullpen made an emphatic statement about its strength.

"This was a Herculean victory in the sense that we came into a ballpark with a lot of energy, against a team like the White Sox," Price said. "Then we play this kind of a game against them."

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Sports

The Herald's Athlete of the Week poll.
Vote for The Herald’s Prep Athlete of the Week for April 8-14

The Athlete of the Week nominees for April 8-14. Voting closes at… Continue reading

Archbishop Murphy players celebrate during a boys soccer game between Archbishop Murphy and Arlington at Arlington High School on Monday, April 15, 2024 in Arlington, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Archbishop Murphy routs Arlington 7-0 in boys soccer

Gabe Herrera scores a hat trick, and Zach Mohr contributes two goals for the Wildcats.

Prep roundup for Monday, April 15

Prep roundup for Monday, April 15: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Chicago Cubs shortstop Dansby Swanson, top, forces out the Seattle Mariners’ Jorge Polanco (7) at second base and makes the throw to first for the double play against Mariners’ Ty France to end the eighth inning of Sunday’s game in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)
Hitting woes plague Mariners again in series loss to Cubs

Seattle ended the weekend 6-10, and the offense has been the main culprit.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith may have been a Pro Bowler, but should Seattle consider prioritizing a quarterback in the NFL draft? (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)
Should Seahawks prioritize quarterback in draft?

A challenger to Geno Smith is something worth considering for Seattle.

Snohomish's Morgan Gibson returns the ball in her match against Stanwood's Ryann Reep on Friday, April 12, 2024 in Snohomish, Washington. Gibson lost the first set 4-6 but rallied back to win 6-2 in the second and 6-0 in the third. The Panthers bested the Spartans 5-2. (Taras McCurdie / The Herald)
Snohomish girls tennis bests Stanwood, 5-2

Panthers sweep singles, Spartans win first and second doubles

Prep roundup for Saturday, April 13

Prep roundup for Saturday, April 13: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Prep roundup for Friday, April 12

Prep roundup for Friday, April 12: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Lake Stevens’ Jesse Lewis takes the handoff as the anchor in the 4x400 during a meet Thursday, April 11, 2024, in Lake Stevens, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Lake Stevens track and field retains Pilchuck Cup

Vikings’ David Brown, Jada Sarrys and Arlington’s Dallas Miller were standouts.

Prep roundup for Thursday, April 11

Prep roundup for Thursday, April 11: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Prep roundup for Wednesday, April 10

Prep roundup for Wednesday, April 10: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

O.J. Simpson stands as he listens to Municipal Judge Kathleen Kennedy-Powell as she reads her decision to hold him over for trial on July 8, 1994, in connection with the June 12 slayings of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. Simpson, the decorated football superstar and Hollywood actor who was acquitted of charges he killed his former wife and her friend but later found liable in a separate civil trial, has died. He was 76. (AP Photo/Eric Draper, Pool, File)
OJ Simpson, fallen football hero acquitted of murder, dies at 76

Simpson’s legacy was forever changed by the June 1994 slayings of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.