The Perfect Game - All's WELLS

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YANKEES 4, Twins 0

Minnesota               AB  R  H BI BB SO  Avg.
Lawton cf                3  0  0  0  0  0  .239
Gates 2b                 3  0  0  0  0  1  .123
Molitor dh               3  0  0  0  0  1  .250
MCordova lf              3  0  0  0  0  1  .247
Coomer 1b                3  0  0  0  0  2  .264
Ochoa rf                 3  0  0  0  0  0  .244
Shave 3b                 3  0  0  0  0  2  .143
JvValentin c             3  0  0  0  0  3  .220
Meares ss                3  0  0  0  0  1  .290
Totals                  27  0  0  0  0 11      

New York                AB  R  H BI BB SO  Avg.
Knoblauch 2b             4  0  0  0  0  0  .238
Jeter ss                 3  0  1  0  1  2  .337
O'Neill rf               4  0  0  0  0  2  .303
TMartinez 1b             4  0  0  0  0  0  .324
BWilliams cf             3  3  3  1  0  0  .314
Strawberry dh            3  1  1  1  0  0  .272
Curtis lf                3  0  1  1  0  0  .307
Posada c                 3  0  0  0  0  1  .272
Brosius 3b               3  0  0  0  0  1  .318
Totals                  30  4  6  3  1  6      

Minnesota               000 000 000--0 0  0
New York                010 100 20x--4 6  0

LOB--New York 3. 2B--BWilliams 2 (11). 3B--Strawberry (2).
 HR--BWilliams (3) off Hawkins.
RBIs--BWilliams (19), Strawberry (19), Curtis (24). 
SB--Jeter (10), Curtis (6).

Runners left in scoring position--New York 2 (TMartinez, Brosius).

Minnesota                 IP     H  R ER BB SO  NP  ERA
Hawkins L, 2-4            7      6  4  4  0  5 123  5.26
Naulty                      1-3  0  0  0  1  0   7  5.14
Swindell                    2-3  0  0  0  0  1  12  3.65

New York                  IP     H  R ER BB SO  NP  ERA
DWells W, 5-1             9      0  0  0  0 11 120  4.45 

   Inherited runners-scored--Swindell 1-0.

   WP--Hawkins. PB--JvValentin.

   Umpires--Home, McClelland; First, 
   Hirschbeck; Second, Garcia; Third, Reilly.

   T--2:40. A--49,820 (57,545).

Wells pitched the fourth no-hitter against the Twins -- Catfish Hunter pitched a perfect game against them, and Vida Blue and Nolan Ryan, who last did it in 1974, also accomplished the feat.
Wells, a carefree character throughout a career that began in 1987 with Toronto, signed as a free agent with the Yankees before the 1997 season. Right away, he became embroiled in a bit of controversy when he broke his hand in an offseason street fight.
But Wells also eagerly embraced the Yankees' storied history and tradition. He once wore an actual Babe Ruth hat on the mound before manager Joe Torre made him take it off.
Wells tangled with owner George Steinbrenner last season. Both of them volatile, they argued loudly in the clubhouse and seemed ready to come to blows.
Wells' weight has often been a subject of contention, and that was part of the conflict with Steinbrenner, who is stickler for conditioning. Wells' weight also contributed to a condition of gout in the spring of 1997, and was an issue when met with Torre shortly after his problem on the mound against Texas.
Yankees' Wells throws perfect game, shuts out Twins

Copyright 1998
Copyright 1998 Associated Press

What the AP Wire said about the game ...

NEW YORK (May 17, 1998 - 16:38 EDT) -- David Wells, who stalked off the mound after a bad outing earlier this month, pitched only the 13th perfect game in major-league history as the New York Yankees beat the Minnesota Twins 4-0 Sunday.
Wells struck out 11 and dominated the Twins from start to finish. Yankees fielders made no exceptionally tough plays to protect the first perfect game since Kenny Rogers' gem for Texas on July 28, 1994, against the Angels.
Wells (5-1) went to a three-ball count on four batters -- coming back from a 3-0 on Matt Lawton in the fourth -- in pitching the first perfect game at Yankee Stadium since Don Larsen in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series.
The burly left-hander, three days short of his 35th birthday, spent the bottom of the eighth inning sitting alone in the dugout, stretching his neck and arms. The crowd of 49,820 gave him a standing ovation as he came out to pitch the final inning.
Wells made quick work of the Twins in the ninth, retiring rookie Jon Shave on a routine fly to right, striking out Javier Valentin and getting Pat Meares on a fly to right.
Wells pumped his left fist twice at the ground after the final out. His teammates swarmed him, and he was carried off the field.

By RONALD BLUM, AP sports writer

What NEWSDAY said about the game ..

DAVID WELLS' PERFECTO / Hats Off to Perfection! / Can't do it any better than Wells did

By David Lennon. STAFF WRITER

When the baseball finally dropped from the sky and landed safely in the glove of Paul O'Neill, an entire stadium exhaled. David Wells pumped his left fist as he lunged off the mound, and moments later became lost in a sea of pinstriped revelers. Perfect. The feeling was almost impossible for Wells to describe, the accomplishment too amazing to comprehend. On a flawed afternoon, beneath a gray sky, Wells became only the second pitcher in the history of the Yankees to throw a perfect game. He beat the Twins, 4-0, dominating Minnesota in front of 49,820 fans yesterday at Yankee Stadium, the same stage that Don Larsen used to become immortal almost 42 years ago. "Nobody can take this away from me, no matter what happens," said Wells, who received congratulatory phone calls from Larsen and George Steinbrenner. "I'm just going to cherish this for the rest of my life. I'm honored and I couldn't be happier."

Larsen, who graduated from the same high school (San Diego's Point Loma) as Wells, overwhelmed the Brooklyn Dodgers in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series. The stakes may not have been as high for Wells, but the payoff was just as great. He struck out 11, and the Twins managed only a couple of hard-hit balls the entire afternoon as Wells became the 13th pitcher in modern baseball history to fire a perfect game. He is the first since Kenny Rogers, then with the Rangers, did it in 1994. Dating to his last start, Wells has retired 37 consecutive batters and 44 of 45.

The closest the Twins came to a hit was Ron Coomer's one-hop bullet almost directly at Chuck Knoblauch with one out in the eighth. He reached to the backhand side, knocked it down, picked it up and easily threw out Coomer. With the crowd on its feet, Wells jogged out to the mound for the ninth and then secured his place in history. He retired Jon Shave on a fly ball to rightfield, struck out Javier Valentin and got Pat Meares to lift a harmless pop-up to O'Neill in right for the clincher.

"It wasn't a very hard play, and I'm glad for that," O'Neill said. "I didn't want to get a sinking liner right there." "I had butterflies, my heart was pounding, I was very nervous," catcher Jorge Posada said. "He was amazing." The fans flocked to the Bronx yesterday for a promotional giveaway of Beanie Babies but left as lucky witnesses to one of the greatest feats in sports. Even Joe Torre couldn't resist commenting on the strange coincidence of Wells and the cuddly stuffed animal occupying the same stage for an afternoon.

"I'm sure there have been no-hitters that have been pitched when there were like 16,000 people in the stands," said Torre, who also attended Larsen's perfect game, sitting in the upper deck between third base and leftfield. "It's nice to have one on a day when there's 50,000 people. We'll keep remembering what Beanie Babies mean from now on. Even though the Boomer is the farthest thing from a Beanie Baby."

Wells (5-1) became even more popular yesterday when people began to realize what was unfolding before their eyes. The Twins gave him a gift run in the second inning after Bernie Williams doubled, took third on a passed ball and scored on a wild pitch by Twins starter LaTroy Hawkins (2-4). Williams made it 2-0 in the fourth inning with his third homer and the Yankees tacked on two more runs in the seventh on Williams' double, Darryl Strawberry's triple and Chad Curtis' single. By then Wells was locked in for the long haul. "We let some fastballs go, we chased some curveballs," Twins manager Tom Kelly said. "To pitch a perfect game, you have to have all of your pitches working. It doesn't happen by accident. We got to see a real workhorse type of pitcher do something really special."

Wells was forced to three-ball counts on only four batters, including a nine-pitch grudge match with Valentin in the third inning that Wells won by striking him out for the first of three times. He fell behind 3-and-0 to leadoff hitter Matt Lawton to begin the fourth but fought back with a strike before getting him on a pop-up to short. The seventh inning, however, pushed Wells very close to the brink. Brent Gates worked the count full before grounding to Tino Martinez for the second out. Then Paul Molitor provided the toughest test. Wells went 3-and-1 to Molitor before coming up with a called strike, then slipped a sinker along the outside edge that the DH waved at for the final out of the inning.

"Sometimes I think pitchers have the tendency to maybe complicate things for themselves," Torre said. "Today he was so basic it was great to see. The first time, when he went 3-and-0 to Lawton, it didn't bother me that much because it was too early to even think about this. "But when he went 3-and-1 on Molitor, that's the one memory I think I'll take from this game. Because once he got Molly out, he was going to pitch a perfect game. That's being tested big-time when you go 3-and-1 on that kind of hitter." Said Wells: "When I fell behind in the count, I just tried to throw it right down the middle. Then I threw a sinker, and it sunk. It was probably one of my best pitches of the game."

Wells, who has always liked to be the center of attention, had a terrible time dealing with the isolation during the game. He sat alone in the dugout between innings, occasionally heading back into the clubhouse, but none of his teammates - except David Cone - would go anywhere near him and risk rupturing that aura. Cone teased Wells to try and keep him loose, but those good-natured tactics didn't seem to work. Wells said it was extremely tough to shake off the roar of the crowd, and though he fed off the energy, it almost became too much to bear.

"From the eighth inning on, I'd run out there, and they'd be screaming and yelling," Wells said. "Let me tell you, it's the greatest feeling in the world . . . but they got to me. They made me nervous out there. They got me pumped up, and when they start screaming, you want to get the punchout. They played a big part in it for me today." After Wells finished Meares, the Bronx exploded, and he was carried off on the shoulders of Williams and Strawberry. Wells, too often the problem child of the Yankees, was their favorite son for the day. "That was the finest moment of my baseball career," Wells said. "To be out there and be mobbed by every single member of the team, it was unbelievable." Exactly.

             ab r h bi.
Lawton cf     3 0 0 0.
Gates 2b      3 0 0 0.
Molitor dh    3 0 0 0.
Cordova lf    3 0 0 0.
Coomer 1b     3 0 0 0.
Ochoa rf      3 0 0 0.
Shave 3b      3 0 0 0.
Valentin c    3 0 0 0.
Meares ss     3 0 0 0.
Totals       27 0 0 0.
               ab r h bi.
Knoblauch 2b    4 0 0 0.
Jeter ss        3 0 1 0.
O'Neill rf      4 0 0 0.
Martinez 1b     4 0 0 0.
Williams cf     3 3 3 1.
Strawberry dh   3 1 1 1.
Curtis lf       3 0 1 1.
Posada c        3 0 0 0.
Brosius 3b      3 0 0 0.
Totals         30 4 6 3.
Minn.   000   000   000  -  0 0 0
Yankees     010   100   20x  -  4 6 0
LOB - Yankees 3. 2B - BWilliams 2 (11). 3B - Strawberry (2).
HR - BWilliams (3). SB - Jeter (10), Curtis (6).
               ip h r er bb so.
Hawkins L,2-4   7  6 4 4 0 5.
Naulty           1/3 0 0 0 1 0.
Swindell         2/3 0 0 0 0 1.
                ip h r er bb so.
Wells W,5-1     9  0 0 0 0 11.
WP - Hawkins. PB - Valentin. Umpires - Home, McClelland;
First, Hirschbeck; Second, Garcia; Third, Reilly. T - 2:40. A - 49,820.
TWINS FIRST: Matt Lawton flied out to LF Chad Curtis. Brent Gates flied out to CF Bernie Williams. Paul Molitor grounded out, 2B Chuck Knoblauch to 1B Tino Martinez.
TWINS SECOND: Marty Cordova grounded out, pitcher David Wells to 1B Martinez. Ron Coomer struck out. Alex Ochoa fouled out to C Jorge Posada.
TWINS THIRD: Jon Shave struck out. Javier Valentin struck out. Pat Meares struck out.
TWINS FOURTH: Lawton popped out to SS Derek Jeter. Gates struck out. Molitor flied out to LF Curtis.
TWINS FIFTH: Cordova struck out. Coomer struck out. Ochoa grounded out, 2B Knoblauch to 1B Martinez.
TWINS SIXTH: Shave struck out. Valentin struck out. Meares flied out to CF Williams.
TWINS SEVENTH: Lawton flied out to CF Williams. Gates grounded out, 1B Martinez unassisted. Molitor struck out.
TWINS EIGHTH: Cordova grounded out, SS Jeter to 1B Martinez. Coomer grounded out, 2B Knoblauch to 1B Martinez. Ochoa popped out to 1B Martinez.
TWINS NINTH: Shave flied out to rightfielder Paul O'Neill. Valentin struck out. Meares flied out to rightfielder O'Neill.
Strikes: 79
Balls: 41
Strikeouts: 11
Groundouts: 6 Flyouts: 10
Copyright 1998, Newsday Inc.
DAVID WELLS' PERFECTO / Hats Off to Perfection! / Can't do it any better than Wells did., pp A54.

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