Right-field umpire Rich Garcia wasn't the only one to make mistakes last night. The Yankees and Orioles played terribly in what is theoretically a matchup of the American League's two best teams.
Tim Raines led off the game by hitting a high fly to left field, an easy pop. But B. J. Surhoff raised his arms in confusion; the ball fell in front of him. "He never saw it," said center fielder Brady Anderson.
The Orioles gave the Yankees three extra outs in the second inning, and it cost them a run. Roberto Alomar mishandled a chopper by Paul O'Neill and was charged with an error. Mariano Duncan hit a double-play grounder to second, but Cal Ripken's throw to first pulled Rafael Palmeiro off the bag. Jim Leyritz hit another potential double-play grounder, but third baseman Todd Zeile fumbled the play.
Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte committed a balk on a strange play, looking to throw to first when Tino Martinez was playing behind the runner.
Brady Anderson hit a high pop to left in the ninth, and it fell between Raines and shortstop Derek Jeter.
The Orioles went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position, the Yankees 1-for-14.
Orioles manager Davey Johnson was asked after the game if Garcia's call cost his team the game. "I always say that one play doesn't beat you in a ballgame," Johnson said, "but this is about as close as it comes to one play beating you. We had a lot of opportunities. We gave them a couple of runs early in the game and made some fielding mistakes, but it should not have been that close."