2001 American League Division Series
|Dates:||October 9–October 15|
|Television:||Fox (Games 1, 3, 5)
FOX Family (Games 2, 4)
|TV announcers:||Josh Lewin, Rex Hudler|
|Dates:||October 10–October 15|
|TV announcers:||Joe Buck, Tim McCarver (Games 1–2)
Thom Brennaman, Steve Lyons,
Al Michaels (Games 3–5)
|Umpires:||Steve Rippley, Ted Barrett, Kerwin Danley, Jerry Layne, Mark Hirschbeck, Ron Kulpa (Mariners–Indians, Games 1–2, 5; Yankees–Athletics, Games 3–4)
Dana DeMuth, Jeff Nelson, Paul Schrieber, Rick Reed, Ed Rapuano, Greg Gibson (Yankees–Athletics, Games 1–2, 5; Mariners-Indians, Games 3–4)
The 2001 American League Division Series (ALDS), the opening round of the 2001 American League playoffs, began on Tuesday, October 9, and ended on Monday, October 15, with the champions of the three AL divisions—along with a "wild card" team—participating in two best-of-five series. The teams were:
- (1) Seattle Mariners (Western Division champion, 116–46) vs. (3) Cleveland Indians (Central Division champion, 91–71): Mariners win series, 3–2.
- (2) New York Yankees (Eastern Division champion, 95–65) vs. (4) Oakland Athletics (Wild Card, 102–60): Yankees win series, 3–2.
The higher seed (in parentheses) had the home field advantage (Games 1, 2 and 5 at home), which was determined by playing record. Although the team with the best record was normally intended to play the wild card team, the Mariners played the Indians, rather than the wild card Athletics, because the Mariners and Athletics are in the same division.
The Seattle Mariners and New York Yankees went on to meet in the AL Championship Series (ALCS). The Yankees became the American League champion, and lost to the National League champion Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2001 World Series.
Seattle Mariners vs. Cleveland Indians 
Seattle won the series, 3–2.
|1||October 9||Cleveland Indians – 5, Seattle Mariners – 0||Safeco Field||3:05||48,033|
|2||October 11||Cleveland Indians – 1, Seattle Mariners – 5||Safeco Field||2:41||48,052|
|3||October 13||Seattle Mariners – 2, Cleveland Indians – 17||Jacobs Field||3:24||45,069|
|4||October 14||Seattle Mariners – 6, Cleveland Indians – 2||Jacobs Field||3:16||45,025|
|5||October 15||Cleveland Indians – 1, Seattle Mariners – 3||Safeco Field||3:18||47,867|
New York Yankees vs. Oakland Athletics 
New York won the series, 3–2.
|1||October 10||Oakland Athletics – 5, New York Yankees – 3||Yankee Stadium (I)||3:45||56,697|
|2||October 11||Oakland Athletics – 2, New York Yankees – 0||Yankee Stadium (I)||3:24||56,684|
|3||October 13||New York Yankees – 1, Oakland Athletics – 0||Network Associates Coliseum||2:42||55,861|
|4||October 14||New York Yankees – 9, Oakland Athletics – 2||Network Associates Coliseum||4:13||43,681|
|5||October 15||Oakland Athletics – 3, New York Yankees – 5||Yankee Stadium (I)||3:23||56,642|
Seattle vs. Cleveland 
Game 1, October 9 
|WP: Bartolo Colón (1–0) LP: Freddy García (0–1)
CLE: Ellis Burks (1)
In Game 1, the Indians held the Mariners scoreless. Bartolo Colón pitched brilliantly, giving up six hits and no runs in eight innings while fanning 10. The highlight for Seattle was the hitting performance of Ichiro Suzuki, who had three hits from four at bats in his playoff debut.
Game 2, October 11 
|WP: Jamie Moyer (1–0) LP: Chuck Finley (0–1)
SEA: Mike Cameron (1), Edgar Martínez (1), David Bell (1)
In the first inning, Seattle made up for Game 1 by scoring four runs in the first inning, headlined by two two-run blasts by Mike Cameron and Edgar Martínez. David Bell helped the cause with an insurance homer in the fifth. Jamie Moyer kept the Indians at bay with one run in six innings, and the trio of Jeff Nelson, Arthur Rhodes, and Kazuhiro Sasaki sealed the deal out of the bullpen.
Game 3, October 13 
|WP: CC Sabathia (1–0) LP: Aaron Sele (0–1)
CLE: Juan González (1), Kenny Lofton (1), Jim Thome (1)
The Mariners drew first blood early on after a walk by John Olerud drove in a run. Seattle left the bases loaded in that inning, but it didn't matter as Cleveland overwhelmed the Mariners by winning 17–2. Starter Aaron Sele was knocked out after giving up four runs in two innings, but his replacement, Paul Abbott, was far worse. In three-plus innings, Abbott surrendered eight runs on nine hits, including three home runs by Juan González, Kenny Lofton, and Jim Thome.
On the pitching side for the Indians, CC Sabathia gave up just two runs in six innings, and four more pitchers pitched scoreless ball the rest of the way. Up two games to one in this series, the Indians were ready to pull the upset over the Mariners, who won 116 games in one season and not even advance past the first round of the playoffs.
Game 4, October 14 
|WP: Freddy García (1–1) LP: Bartolo Colón (1–1)
SEA: Edgar Martínez (2)
CLE: Juan González (2)
The Mariners, in a do-or-die spot, called on Freddy García to go up against Bartolo Colón in a Game 1 rematch. The Mariners trailed 1–0 going into the seventh inning, but staved off elimination thanks to some clutch hits by David Bell, Ichiro Suzuki, and Mark McLemore, resulting in a three-run seventh inning. Seattle tacked on some insurance runs in the eighth and ninth to tie the series at two games apiece and forced it back to Safeco for Game 5.
Game 5, October 15 
|WP: Jamie Moyer (2–0) LP: Chuck Finley (0–2) Sv: Kazuhiro Sasaki (1)|
In a must-win game for both sides, Seattle came out on top and advanced to the ALCS for the third time in their history. The difference came in the second inning, when Mark McLemore knocked in two runs on a single. Jamie Moyer got his second win of the series by pitching six innings while giving up only one run.
For the Indians, it marked the third time in six seasons they had lost the ALDS, following defeats in 1996 and 1999. Cleveland, a perennial playoff team throughout the late 1990s, would not return to the postseason until 2007.
Composite box 
|Total attendance: 234,046 Average attendance: 46,809|
New York vs. Oakland 
Yankees win series 3–2, becoming the first team in MLB history to win the ALDS after dropping the first two games at home.
Game 1, October 10 
|WP: Mark Mulder (1–0) LP: Roger Clemens (0–1) Sv: Jason Isringhausen (1)
OAK: Terrence Long 2 (2), Jason Giambi (1)
NYY: Tino Martinez (1)
Roger Clemens, coming off a 20–3 regular season record, struggled in Game 1, lasting four innings while giving up two runs. Sterling Hitchcock, Clemens' replacement, gave up two more runs which contributed to Oakland's Game 1 win.
The Yankees trailed 5–1 in the bottom of the eighth when Tino Martinez blasted a two-run home run that brought the Yankees within two. Jason Isringhausen, however, sat the Yankees down 1–2–3 in the bottom of the ninth for Oakland.
Game 2, October 11 
|WP: Tim Hudson (1–0) LP: Andy Pettitte (0–1) Sv: Jason Isringhausen (2)
OAK: Ron Gant (1)
Andy Pettitte pitched well in Game 2, giving up one run in six innings, but Tim Hudson pitched better, pitching eight shutout innings. Oakland scored first on a Ron Gant homer in the fourth and tacked on an insurance run off Mariano Rivera in the top of the ninth. Jason Isringhausen got the save for the second straight night as the Yankees got the first two runners on base before wasting three opportunities to tie or win it.
The Yankees were now in a two games to none hole and the Athletics were just one win away from advancing to the ALCS for the first time since 1992.
Game 3, October 13 
|WP: Mike Mussina (1–0) LP: Barry Zito (0–1) Sv: Mariano Rivera (1)
NYY: Jorge Posada (1)
This series is notable for a defensive play in the seventh inning of Game 3. With Oakland leading the five-game series two games to none, on the verge of completing a sweep, the Yankees took a 1–0 lead into the bottom of the seventh inning behind a strong performance from Mike Mussina. With two outs and Jeremy Giambi on first base, Terrence Long hit a line drive into the right field corner. With Giambi rounding third base, right fielder Shane Spencer's throw missed both cut-off men. It appeared that Giambi would score easily, tying the game, when the shortstop Derek Jeter, while running across the diamond, reached out, cradled the ball, and shovel passed it to catcher Jorge Posada. Posada tagged Giambi, who attempted to jump over the tag as opposed to sliding around it. ESPN ranks this play as the 45th most memorable moment of the last 25 years. It would be replayed countless times over the following years, most recently as part of filmmaker Ken Burns's documentary The Tenth Inning in late September 2010. After the game, Jeter told the press that the team had been practicing this type of play all year as a result of a similarly botched throw in spring training. According to Jeter, the idea of stationing the shortstop down the first base line on balls hit to deep right field came from Yankee bench coach Don Zimmer, who was a shortstop and second baseman during his playing career; however, he stated that his initial intent was to throw the ball to third to try to get Long, and that his throw home was a reaction play. Zimmer confirmed the origin of the play's design in a conversation with Oakland's third base coach Ron Washington the next day.
This single play is often credited with changing the momentum of the series. The Yankees held on to win this game, and then finished off the A's by winning Games 4 and 5 as well.
Game 4, October 14 
|WP: Orlando Hernández (1–0) LP: Cory Lidle (0–1)|
With the momentum of the dramatic Game 3 on their side, the Yankees attacked early, scoring seven runs in the first four innings. Bernie Williams was the offsenive star, knocking in five runs on three hits. Scott Brosius, Jorge Posada, and Alfonso Soriano also drove in runs for New York.
Lidle lasted just 3 1⁄3 innings for Oakland, giving up six runs. Orlando Hernandez, with little pressure on him considering the big lead his team had given him, pitched 5 2⁄3 innings while giving up only two runs, and Mike Stanton and Ramiro Mendoza sealed the deal out of the bullpen.
Game 5, October 15 
|WP: Mike Stanton (1–0) LP: Mark Mulder (1–1) Sv: Mariano Rivera (2)
NYY: David Justice (1)
The Yankees completed their comeback in Game 5, winning 5–3. Alfonso Soriano hit a two-run single in the second inning, and David Justice homered in the sixth. Roger Clemens did not pitch well once again, pitching just 4 1⁄3 innings, but the bullpen pitched well, as Mariano Rivera closed it out to send the Yankees to the ALCS for the fourth straight season.
For Oakland, it marked the second straight season they lost the ALDS to the Yankees in five games.
Jeter also made another spectacular play (again with Terrence Long batting) that is often overlooked. In the top of the eighth inning of Game 5, Long hit a towering foul pop up in a two-run game. Jeter, running and following the ball at the same time made a backhanded grab and then turning his body, flipped into the stands. For a moment, no one knew if the ball had been caught. Here is Thom Brennaman's call of the play on Fox television:
|“||Popped up, third base side. JETER...DID HE GET IT?! DID HE GET IT?! DID HE GET IT?! HE GOT IT! HE GOT IT! HE GOT IT!||”|
Jeter would continue to play in the postseason despite a slight leg injury from the tumble.
Composite box 
|New York Yankees||0||4||3||4||2||1||0||2||2||18||40||4|
|Total attendance: 269,565 Average attendance: 53,913|
- "2001 ALDS - Cleveland Indians vs. Seattle Mariners - Game 1". Retrosheet. Retrieved 2009-09-13.
- "2001 ALDS - Cleveland Indians vs. Seattle Mariners - Game 2". Retrosheet. Retrieved 2009-09-13.
- "2001 ALDS - Seattle Mariners vs. Cleveland Indians - Game 3". Retrosheet. Retrieved 2009-09-13.
- "2001 ALDS - Seattle Mariners vs. Cleveland Indians - Game 4". Retrosheet. Retrieved 2009-09-13.
- "2001 ALDS - Cleveland Indians vs. Seattle Mariners - Game 5". Retrosheet. Retrieved 2009-09-13.
- "2001 ALDS - Oakland Athletics vs. New York Yankees - Game 1". Retrosheet. Retrieved 2009-09-13.
- "2001 ALDS - Oakland Athletics vs. New York Yankees - Game 2". Retrosheet. Retrieved 2009-09-13.
- "2001 ALDS - New York Yankees vs. Oakland Athletics - Game 3". Retrosheet. Retrieved 2009-09-13.
- "2001 ALDS - New York Yankees vs. Oakland Athletics - Game 4". Retrosheet. Retrieved 2009-09-13.
- "2001 ALDS - Oakland Athletics vs. New York Yankees - Game 5". Retrosheet. Retrieved 2009-09-13.
- Weinberg, Rick. "45: Jeter's backhand flip rescues Yankees". Retrieved 2012-04-06.
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