August 07, 2003

I can't believe I now have to root for Armando "Clutch" Benitez.
For all his success during the regular season, however, Benitez struggled egregiously during the post-season. He allowed three game-winning hits in the Orioles' six-game loss to Cleveland in the 1997 ALDS, including a three-run homer in the eighth inning of Game Two by Marquis Grissom and a pennant-winning home run by slap-hitting shortstop Tony Fernandez in the 11th inning of Game Six.

The pattern continued during Benitez' tenure with the Mets, most notably during New York's Division Series matchup with San Francisco, when he surrendered a game-tying three-run blast to J.T. Snow in the ninth inning of Game Two. The Mets rallied to win that game in extra innings, but weren't so fortunate when Benitez blew another ninth-inning lead in Game One of the World Series against the crosstown rival Yankees. The Bombers won the game in the 12th and took the series in five games.

In just 28 1/3 career post-season innings, Benitez had surrendered seven home runs, a record for a relief pitcher.
Yeah, I'm really looking forward to that post-season matchup against the Yankees...please kill me now.

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