You don't believe in ghosts? You should have been in Yankee Stadium on Wednesday night. Something supernatural took place as baseball's first Halloween turned into its first slice of November magic.
The New York Yankees were two runs down and one out away -- one out -- from falling into a 3-1 hole in the World Series. But Tino Martinez stunned Arizona closer Byung-Hyun Kim with a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game. With two outs in the 10th, at 12:04 a.m., Derek Jeter became the sport's first Mr. November when he won it with a solo shot to right.
Yankees 4, Diamondbacks 3. Series tied at 2-2.
An incredible treat for the Yankees and a delirious crowd of 55,863. A cruel trick on the Diamondbacks.
"It's a great feeling," Yankees outfielder Paul O'Neill said. "It was great to see the fans enjoy something like that. Too bad it was so late that kids missed it. When you're 5 or 6 years old swinging the bat in your backyard, these are the nights that you play out in your mind."
The incredible comeback, destined to push near the top of Yankees lore, has the teams even heading into tonight's pivotal fifth game (8, Ch. 29, Radio 1520, 1330 AM). Game One loser Mike Mussina will pitch for the Yankees against Arizona's Miguel Batista.
Arizona ace Curt Schilling, throwing on three days rest, handcuffed the Yankees again on three hits over seven innings Wednesday. Erubiel Durazo's RBI double in the eighth sparked a two-run inning that put the Diamondbacks up, 3-1, and seemingly in control.
With one out in the Yankees' ninth, O'Neill stroked a broken-bat single to left. But Bernie Williams struck out and the Yankees were down to their final out.
Kim fired a first-pitch fastball and Martinez swung. Hard. In an instant, the ball rocketed toward the right-center field bleachers. Center fielder Steve Finley tried to climb the wall, but it was no use. The ball was over the wall and Yankee players were hurdling the railing in front of their dugout in celebration.
"I was excited, fired up and the crowd was just nuts," Martinez said. "But I knew we still had more work to do."
Martinez had never seen Kim pitch, so he retreated to the Yankees' clubhouse to watch the sidearmer throw on television in the bottom of the eighth.
"I hit it as well as I could," Martinez said. "I figured it had to be a fastball, that he wanted to get ahead. I just wanted to make sure I took a good hack."
Martinez was 0 for 9 in the Series until his home run. Jeter was 1 for 16 when he stepped to the plate in the 10th. He worked the count full and drove Kim's pitch over the wall in right. Jeter pumped his right fist as he rounded the bases and got pounded on by his teammates when he reached the plate.
"We've been spoiled over the years, but this is huge," Jeter said. "No question, it's absolutely huge. We didn't give up until the final out."
It was the first time a team won a World Series game after trailing by two runs in the bottom of the ninth since the Philadelphia A's stunned the Chicago Cubs in 1929. The Yankees hadn't won a Series game when trailing in the ninth since beating Cincinnati in the 1939 opener, 2-1.
Schilling threw only 88 pitches (63 for strikes) and looked as strong as he had all night when he posted his ninth strikeout by whiffing David Justice to close the New York seventh.
But Diamondbacks manager Bob Brenly brought on Kim once Arizona took the lead.
"It was an easy decision to take him out, considering he was on three days rest," Brenly said. "We had a lead and we insisted all along we would go to B.K. (Kim) for two innings if necessary to close this game out. It just didn't work out."
"I know Curt was starting to feel like he didn't have the same stuff he had earlier," Arizona catcher Damian Miller said. "And B.K. was throwing great. He just made a mistake in the ninth that got them back in the game. It was a shame."
Since 1999, starters on three days rest had gone 1-9 with a 9.73 ERA in 15 postseason outings. Schilling put those numbers to shame.
He retired 14 of the first 15 hitters he faced and 19 of 23 overall as he lowered his ERA this postseason to 0.88. He struck out nine and walked only one, and he was one out away from becoming the first player in history to win five games in a single postseason. Then Martinez took Kim deep.
In the dugout, Schilling sat ashen-faced. Sort of like he had seen a ghost. Maybe he had. After all, this is The House That Ruth Built. And the place where Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle, Maris and Jackson all have created October magic for the Yankees.
"You're not done until the last out," Yankees third baseman Scott Brosius said. "But man, that was going to the wire tonight."
"There's such emotion involved in the World Series," O'Neill said. "You have to have fun. It takes you back to Little League. It was a phenomenal game. Absolutely phenomenal."So phenomenal, it was spooky.