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Quintessential Mo-Ments No. 15: Closing out a bitter battle

09/03/2013 9:04 AM ET
By Lou DiPietro

Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada did this a lot in 2000, but it came with a big sigh of relief after ALDS Game 5.(AP)
The famed "flip play" made the 2001 ALDS between the Yankees and Athletics legendary, but a year earlier, they battled tooth-and-nail in a grueling 2000 ALDS that also went five games…and, of course, ended with some Rivera heroics.

After being staked to a six-run lead in the first inning, Andy Pettitte nearly gave it all back before being lifted in the fourth inning; the bullpen held it close, but with the tying run at the plate and one out in the eighth, Joe Torre turned to his closer to pick up Pettitte and the rest of the pen.

Any surprise that the five-out save was no trouble for Mo?

Rivera retired two straight batters (on six pitches, no less) to get out of the eighth, then nailed down the save with an 11-pitch ninth that sent the Yankees to their third straight ALCS and first of two straight pennant showdowns with Lou Piniella’s Mariners.

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