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The American League Championship Series (ALCS) was a matchup between the Eastern Division Champion New York Yankees (98–64) and the Wild Card Boston Red Sox (94–68). The Yankees had advanced to the Series after sweeping the Western Division Champion Texas Rangers in the AL Division Series for the second consecutive year, and the Red Sox advanced by beating the Central Division Champion Cleveland Indians three games to two. The Yankees won the series four games to one and went on to win the World Series.


Both teams came into the series on a roll; New York had swept the Texas Rangers for the second straight year in the 1999 American League Division Series and Boston had come from two games down to defeat the Cleveland Indians in their division series. However, the Yankees won in five games. They would register their only postseason loss of the 1999 season in this series.

New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox

Game summaries

Game 1

Wednesday, October 13, 1999 at Yankee Stadium marker in Bronx, New Yorkmarker

Game 1 was a matchup between Kent Mercker and Orlando Hernández. The soon-to-be-named 1999 ALCS MVP got into trouble in the first two innings. After a leadoff single by Jose Offerman, John Valentin would reach on an error by Derek Jeter, scoring Offerman for the first run of the game in the first. Valentin would score on Brian Daubach's single to right. It looked like the Red Sox were ready to clobber the Yankees, but no more runs would score in the inning. Darren Lewis would score on an infield hit in the second to make it 3–0 Red Sox. But the Yankees resilience showed itself in the bottom half. With Shane Spencer on first with two out, Scott Brosius slugged a home run to make it a one-run game. The duel continued into the seventh. With Derek Lowe now pitching, Brosius singled to lead off the inning. A sacrifice bunt by Chuck Knoblauch moved him into scoring position. Jeter would single to center and drive in Brosius to tie the game. Small ball helped the Yankees tie the game, but the long ball would win it in the bottom of the tenth. Rod Beck came on in relief and promptly gave up a leadoff homer to Bernie Williams to lose the game for the Red Sox. The Yankees had a one-game lead in the series.

Game 2

Thursday, October 14, 1999 at Yankee Stadium marker in Bronx, New Yorkmarker

Game 2 pitted Ramón Martínez against David Cone. After grabbing a 1–0 lead behind a solo home run in the fourth by Tino Martinez, the Red Sox responded. With one man on in the top of the fifth, Nomar Garciaparra homered to put the Red Sox ahead. A double by Knoblauch and a single by Paul O'Neill put the Yankees ahead in the bottom of the seventh. The lead would stand and Mariano Rivera, who won Game 1, got the save in the ninth to put the Yankees up two games going to Fenway Parkmarker.

Game 3

Saturday, October 16, 1999 at Fenway Parkmarker in Boston, Massachusettsmarker

Game 3 was the long anticipated matchup between Pedro Martínez and Roger Clemens. But the Red Sox would come out swinging. After a leadoff triple by Offerman, Valentin homered to put the Red Sox ahead 2–0. The onslaught would continue as the Red Sox would score in all but two innings. Clemens was done in the third inning and the Red Sox would go on to win 13–1 and make the series two games to one. When Clemens was knocked out Red Sox fans chanted "Where is Roger?" and then a response chant of "In the Shower". Martinez, for his part, pitched brilliantly, striking out twelve Yankees in seven scoreless innings and allowing just two hits. He would finish 1999 with a streak of seventeen scoreless innings in the playoffs.

Game 4

Sunday, October 17, 1999 at Fenway Parkmarker in Boston, Massachusettsmarker

Game 4 pitted Andy Pettitte against Bret Saberhagen. The Yankees would score first in the second on a solo homer by Darryl Strawberry. But the Red Sox would tie it in the bottom half when Troy O'Leary singled to score Butch Huskey. Damon Buford scored in the third to put the Red Sox ahead 2–1. Two unearned runs gave the Yankees the lead in the fourth. The score would remain the same until the ninth when the Yankees pulled ahead. A six-run inning, capped by a Ricky Ledee grand slam, gave the Yankees the win. They were one win away from the World Series.

This game also featured the infamous trash throwing incident by fans when Jimy Williams was ejected from the game after arguing a later admittedly blown call by umpire Tim Tschida on a Chuck Knoblauch tag attempt of Jose Offerman in the ninth inning. The blown call is now famously referred to as "The Phantom Tag".

Game 5

Monday, October 18, 1999 at Fenway Parkmarker in Boston, Massachusettsmarker

Game 5 was a rematch between Mercker and Hernandez. Jeter hit a two-run homer in the first to put the Yankees up for good. The Yankees would continue to add to their lead and El Duque kept the Red Sox in check, allowing only one run on a homer by Jason Varitek. Both teams left eleven men on base and the Yankees would go on to win the pennant.

Composite box

1999 ALCS (4–1): New York Yankees over Boston Red Sox


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