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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Torre sets World Series lineup

NEW YORK (REUTERS) — New York Yankees manager Joe Torre has named Mike Mussina to pitch Game One of the World Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks, to be followed by Andy Pettitte, Roger Clemens and Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez.

During practice Wednesday on a summery October day at Yankee Stadium, Torre said the matchups with expected Diamondbacks starters Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson, the most feared pitching duo in the majors, had nothing to do with his decision.

“Moose, basically it was his turn,” Torre said.

Mussina, in his first year with the Yankees, may have been their best pitcher in the post-season, going 2-0 with a 1.38 earned run average, although Pettitte (2-1, 2.18) won the opening and clinching games against the Seattle Mariners in the American League Championship Series.

With Mussina going Saturday and Pettitte on Sunday, both in Arizona, Clemens (0-1, 3.38) would pitch Game Three, which Torre considers a pivotal game in a best-of-seven series, and Hernandez (1-1, 5.06) would start Game Four, both at home.

Mussina would then be in line for a Game Five in New York with Pettitte taking a Game Six in Phoenix and Clemens Game Seven, if needed.

Clemens has had hamstring problems, and the Yankees considered giving him more rest.

“We were considering putting him at the back of the line because of his leg problems,” Torre said. “But he feels fine.”

The manager said he would study the scouting reports before setting the full roster and deciding who would be in his line-up against the right-handed Schilling (3-0 with an awesome 0.67 ERA in the postseason) and the left-handed Johnson (2-1, 1.88).

“I’m going to look at the matchups, which we don’t have yet, and see if there’s any kind of history that any of my players have that show up, and I’ll make a line-up out of it,” Torre said.


With the designated hitter not used in the National League park, he will have to choose among right-handed hitters Chuck Knoblauch and Shane Spencer and left-handers David Justice and Paul O’Neill for two outfield spots in the first two games.

“I just have a feeling we’re not going to see the left-handers in there against Randy, I don’t think that’s any secret,” Torre conceded.

“I’m not sure all of them are going to sit, but it’s apparent it’s better to try to attack him from the right side.”

The Yankee pitchers will have to bat in Phoenix.

“Pitchers are hitting as we speak. That’s why I’m in here; I don’t want to have to watch it,” Torre jokingly told a roomful of reporters.

More seriously, he added: “It’s a bonus for them [the Diamondbacks], I guess, and a little bit of a penalty for us because we’re used to playing with that extra hitter in the lineup. But again, we’ve had the experience doing that.”

Mussina has actually batted against Schilling.

“I’ve heard his ball go past my head,” he said. “I think I got it in play once. I swung and missed a couple of times.”

He was not planning to give much attention to his batting. “No, I’m not going to the hitters’ meeting,” Mussina said. “I’m lucky I get batting gloves.”


The Yankees have never faced the Diamondbacks, a four-year-old franchise in their first Fall Classic.

“It’s like the old days,” Torre said with some enthusiasm. “You never used to face the guys you were going to face in the World Series. Now with interleague play, sometimes you do.”

He said that in addition to the scheduled practice on Friday in Phoenix, the Yankees would work out late Thursday afternoon to get familiar with Bank One Ballpark — “The Bob.”

Torre’s team lost two games at home before sweeping the next three to beat the Oakland Athletics in the first round and then took the first two on the road in Seattle on the way to the American League pennant.

He does not mind opening on the road.

“There’s not as much stress as starting at home. You just feel like you’re under the gun starting at home,” he said.

And if you can win the first game on the road, he said, “you have great momentum and you put a little more pressure on the home team. We felt it here, when we lost two in a row to Oakland. I’m not disappointed we’re starting on the road.”

This could be the last hurrah for some of the Yankees, who have won four of the past five World Series and the last three in a row.

Said Torre: “If we’re going to split up and lose more people probably than we’ve lost at one time, it’s great to have us all together for this last World Series, if that’s what it’s going to be.”

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