|1998 American League Division Series|
|Dates||September 29 – October 2|
|Television||Fox (Game 1)|
NBC (Games 2–3)
|TV announcers||Joe Buck, Tim McCarver and Bob Brenly (Game 1)|
Bob Costas and Joe Morgan (Games 2–3)
|Radio announcers||Dan Shulman and Buck Martinez|
Eric Nadel Vince Cotroneo
|Dates||September 29 – October 3|
|Television||ESPN (Games 1–3)|
Fox (Game 4)
|TV announcers||Chris Berman and Ray Knight (Games 1–3)|
Joe Buck and Tim McCarver (Game 4)
WKNR (1220 AM)
|Radio announcers||Ernie Harwell and Dave Campbell|
|Umpires||Jim Joyce, Rich Garcia, Tim Tschida, Drew Coble, Terry Craft (Yankees–Rangers, Games 1–2; Indians–Red Sox, Games 3–4)|
Durwood Merrill (Yankees–Rangers, Games 1–2; Indians–Red Sox, Game 3)
Dale Scott, Joe Brinkman, John Hirschbeck, Larry McCoy, Dave Phillips (Indians–Red Sox, Games 1–2; Yankees–Rangers, Game 3)
Chuck Meriwether (Indians–Red Sox, Games 1–2,4)
The 1998 American League Division Series (ALDS), the opening round of the 1998 American League playoffs, began on Tuesday, September 29, and ended on Saturday, October 3, 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) New York Yankees (Eastern Division champion, 114–48) vs. (3) Texas Rangers (Western Division champion, 88–74): Yankees win series, 3–0.
- (2) Cleveland Indians (Central Division champion, 89–73) vs. (4) Boston Red Sox (Wild Card, 92–70): Indians win series, 3–1.
The New York Yankees and Cleveland Indians went on to meet in the AL Championship Series (ALCS). The Yankees became the American League champion, and defeated the National League champion San Diego Padres in the 1998 World Series.
New York Yankees vs. Texas Rangers
New York won the series, 3–0.
|1||September 29||Texas Rangers – 0, New York Yankees – 2||Yankee Stadium (I)||3:02||57,362|
|2||September 30||Texas Rangers – 1, New York Yankees – 3||Yankee Stadium (I)||2:58||57,360|
|3||October 2||New York Yankees – 4, Texas Rangers – 0||The Ballpark in Arlington||2:58||49,450|
Cleveland Indians vs. Boston Red Sox
Cleveland won the series, 3–1.
|1||September 29||Boston Red Sox – 11, Cleveland Indians – 3||Jacobs Field||3:16||45,185|
|2||September 30||Boston Red Sox – 5, Cleveland Indians – 9||Jacobs Field||3:25||45,229|
|3||October 2||Cleveland Indians – 4, Boston Red Sox – 3||Fenway Park||2:27||33,114|
|4||October 3||Cleveland Indians – 2, Boston Red Sox – 1||Fenway Park||3:00||33,537|
New York vs. Texas
|WP: David Wells (1–0) LP: Todd Stottlemyre (0–1) Sv: Mariano Rivera (1)|
Scott Brosius was the hero of Game 1, as Todd Stottlemyre faced David Wells. In the bottom of the second, Stottlemyre yielded two runs when Brosius singled in Jorge Posada after Chad Curtis doubled and Curtis scored when Chuck Knoblauch struck out and Brosius was caught stealing. Stottlemyre pitched a complete game in a losing effort. David Wells and Mariano Rivera limited the loaded Texas lineup, which had scored 940 runs in 1998, to only five hits.
|WP: Andy Pettitte (1–0) LP: Rick Helling (0–1) Sv: Mariano Rivera (2)|
NYY: Shane Spencer (1), Scott Brosius (1)
Rick Helling went against Andy Pettitte in Game 2. Shane Spencer started the scoring when he homered in the bottom of the second. Brosius then hit a two-run homer in the Yankees fourth. Texas scored their only run of the series when Juan González doubled and later scored on an Iván Rodríguez single in the fifth. Once again, the Rangers were limited to five hits by Pettitte, Jeff Nelson, and Rivera.
|WP: David Cone (1–0) LP: Aaron Sele (0–1)|
NYY: Paul O'Neill (1), Shane Spencer (2)
The Rangers were once again stymied by the Yankees pitching staff. Twenty-game winner David Cone faced Aaron Sele, and both were matching each other pitch-for-pitch into the sixth. Paul O'Neill put the Yankees on top by hitting a home run with one out in the Yankees sixth. Then, with two runners on and two out, Shane Spencer slammed his second home run of the series to make it 4–0. Cone left after a rain delay, but the Yankees' bullpen held Texas in check the rest of the way. Will Clark grounded out to end the series.
|New York Yankees||0||3||0||2||0||4||0||0||0||9||23||1|
|Total attendance: 164,172 Average attendance: 54,724|
Cleveland vs. Boston
|WP: Pedro Martínez (1–0) LP: Jaret Wright (0–1)|
BOS: Mo Vaughn 2 (2), Nomar Garciaparra (1)
CLE: Kenny Lofton (1), Jim Thome (1)
The first of many rough starts for Cleveland pitcher Jaret Wright in the 1998 postseason was in Game 1. Wright faced Pedro Martínez, and Pedro would get all the run support in the world. After leadoff hits in the first by Darren Lewis and John Valentin, Mo Vaughn slugged a three-run home run to put Boston up for good. In the top of the fifth, with Lewis and Valentin on and one out, Nomar Garciaparra also slugged a three-run home run. Jaret's night was done. A one-out single in the top of the sixth by Valentin led to Vaughn's second home run of the game to put Boston up 8–0. Cleveland responded with a two-run home run by Kenny Lofton in the bottom half of the sixth and a Thome home run in the seventh. Vaughn doubled in two more runs in the eighth as the Red Sox scored three more runs to make the final score 11–3. The win ended a thirteen-game postseason losing streak for the Red Sox dating back to Game 6 of the 1986 World Series.
|WP: Dave Burba (1–0) LP: Tim Wakefield (0–1) Sv: Mike Jackson (1)|
CLE: David Justice (1)
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Dwight Gooden faced Tim Wakefield in Game 2. The Red Sox scored two runs in a controversial first inning surrounding home plate umpire Joe Brinkman. After calling the first three pitches that appeared to be strikes as balls, Indians' manager Mike Hargrove was promptly ejected from the game by Brinkman. Later that same inning, with two runners aboard, Nomar Garciaparra doubled off the left-field wall. Darren Lewis scored as John Valentin tried to score on a slide. Omar Vizquel's relay throw appeared to be time to get Valentin, but Brinkman called him safe. Gooden had a meltdown at home plate and had to be restrained by his teammates as he also was ejected. Replays confirmed Valentin was out at the plate. Gooden was replaced by Dave Burba, who promptly retired the next two batters. David Justice cut the lead in half by hitting a sacrifice fly that scored Lofton in the Indians first. Then the Indians tied it when Sandy Alomar Jr. doubled in Brian Giles in the second. After Joey Cora walked, Lofton doubled in Alomar to give the Indians the lead. Wakefield left the game and, with two out, David Justice hit a three-run home run to put the Indians up for good. Garciaparra drove in a run for Boston in the third, but an Alomar double scored Travis Fryman to make it 7–3. The Red Sox came within two in the sixth, but the Indians scored one in the bottom half and one in the eighth on a wild pitch. That made the final score 9–5 Indians.
|WP: Charles Nagy (1–0) LP: Bret Saberhagen (0–1) Sv: Mike Jackson (2)|
CLE: Jim Thome (2), Kenny Lofton (2), Manny Ramírez 2 (2)
BOS: Nomar Garciaparra (2)
Charles Nagy faced Bret Saberhagen in the critical Game 3. The Red Sox struck first on an RBI-forceout in the fourth. It didn't take long to respond, as Jim Thome led the Indians fifth off with a home run. In the sixth, Kenny Lofton homered to put the Indians on top. Then Manny Ramírez homered in the seventh to give the Indians a 3–1 edge. Manny Ramírez would homer once again in the ninth, this time off Dennis Eckersley. The Red Sox wouldn't go quietly in the bottom of the ninth as Nomar Garciaparra hit a two-run home run to bring the game within one run. However, Mike Jackson retired the next two batters in succession to give the Indians a two games to one lead in the series.
|WP: Steve Reed (1–0) LP: Tom Gordon (0–1) Sv: Mike Jackson (3)|
BOS: Nomar Garciaparra (3)
Bartolo Colón went against Pete Schourek, looking to save the Red Sox. In the fourth, Nomar Garciaparra homered to lead off to put the Red Sox up 1–0, but they would squander the lead for the third consecutive game. In the eighth, with Tom Gordon pitching for Boston, Kenny Lofton and Omar Vizquel both singled with one out. Justice then doubled to center which scored both Lofton and Vizquel to put the Indians out in front 2–1. Not much happened afterwards, as Darren Bragg struck out swinging to end the series.
|Boston Red Sox||5||0||1||2||3||4||0||3||2||20||34||0|
|Total attendance: 157,065 Average attendance: 39,266|
Swing and a LONG drive into deep right field, Nixon back on the track at the wall...leaps up and GONE into the Boston bullpen!
- The higher seed (in parentheses) had the home field advantage, which for the first time was determined by playing record. Also for the first time, the team with home field advantage played the first two games at home, with potentially Game 5 at home as well; previously, the team with the home field advantage had played the first two games on the road, with the possibility of the final three games at home. The Red Sox were ineligible for home field advantage due to not winning their division.
- "1998 ALDS - Texas Rangers vs. New York Yankees - Game 1". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "1998 ALDS - Texas Rangers vs. New York Yankees - Game 2". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "1998 ALDS - New York Yankees vs. Texas Rangers - Game 3". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "1998 ALDS - Boston Red Sox vs. Cleveland Indians - Game 1". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "1998 ALDS - Boston Red Sox vs. Cleveland Indians - Game 2". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "1998 ALDS - Cleveland Indians vs. Boston Red Sox - Game 3". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "1998 ALDS - Cleveland Indians vs. Boston Red Sox - Game 4". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.