Orioles' magic runs dry in Game 5
NEW YORK — Yankees-Orioles. Playoffs. Disputed home run to right field. Yankees win.
CC Sabathia and his New York teammates saw Nate McLouth's long drive called foul by the slimmest of margins — hello, Jeffrey Maier — and then hung on to beat Baltimore, 3-1, on Friday night in the decisive Game 5 of the AL Division Series.
With Alex Rodriguez benched, the Yankees advanced to the AL Championship Series against the Detroit Tigers, starting Saturday night in the Bronx.
“It is still a long way to go,” Sabathia said. “I still got hopefully three or four more starts. So the job is not done yet.”
Sabathia pitched a four-hitter, wriggling out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth inning. It was his first complete game in 17 postseason starts and the first for the Yankees since Roger Clemens in 2000.
Yet it was another piece of history that this game evoked.
The Orioles were in a foul mood, stung on a close play in right that echoed what happened across the street at the old Yankee Stadium in the 1996 ALCS opener, on a fly ball that still stirs emotions in Baltimore.
This time, with the Orioles trailing, 1-0, in the sixth, McLouth sent a 3-1 pitch down the right-field line. Right-field umpire Fieldin Culbreth waved foul with both arms.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter came out to ask for a video review, and most of the umpiring crew went down a tunnel to examine the images. When they ran back onto the field about two minutes later, they didn't make any signal — meaning the original call stood. McLouth struck out on the next pitch, ending the inning.
“I saw it go to the right of the pole,” Culbreth said. “There is netting there, and it didn't touch the netting. It did not change direction.”
Showalter? Not sure.
“It was real close,” he said.
Steven Ellis, a fan from the Broad Channel section of Queens, caught the ball with his Yankees cap in the second deck.
“It was foul all the way — never hit the pole,” he said.
A stadium usher who wouldn't give his name said he saw the ball glance off the pole.
In 1996, Maier, 12, reached over the wall above right fielder Tony Tarasco and deflected Derek Jeter's fly ball. Umpire Richie Garcia called it a home run, which tied the score 4-all in the eighth inning, and the Yankees went on to win in the 11th.
“Just watching at home, I promise,” Maier texted Friday.
Sabathia defeated the Orioles for the second time in six days, Raul Ibanez hit a go-ahead single in the fifth off Jason Hammel, and Ichiro Suzuki added an RBI double in the sixth.
Curtis Granderson boosted the lead to 3-0 with a second-deck solo homer against Troy Patton in the seventh.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.