The 1998 season had looked very promising for the New York Yankees. After all, they had won 114 games during the regular season, at that point the single season record, and had easily swept the Rangers in the first round of the playoffs. However, they would face their toughest test in the 1998 ALCS, the reigning American League champions, the Cleveland Indians.
After the Yankees won Game 1, Cleveland stole home field advantage in the 12th inning of Game 2 and took the series lead after swatting four home runs in Game 3. With their backs against the wall, Joe Torre and the Yankees had to rely on the unproven arm of Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez, or face elimination.