Mets throw left-hander Leiter in against Yankees

In a surprise selection, the pitcher Al Leiter will start for the New York Mets against the New York Yankees' Andy Pettitte in a battle of left-handers for tonight's World Series opener at Yankee Stadium.

In a surprise selection, the pitcher Al Leiter will start for the New York Mets against the New York Yankees' Andy Pettitte in a battle of left-handers for tonight's World Series opener at Yankee Stadium.

The left-hander Mike Hampton, who started the opening games of the National League play-off series for the Mets, was expected to open, but the Mets' pitching coach, Dave Wallace, said: "Leiter is pitching the first game because it's his turn."

Hampton is expected to start the second game tomorrow night against the right-hander Roger "The Rocket" Clemens.

Leiter posted a record of 16 wins and eight losses in the regular season, with an earned run average (the number of earned runs the pitcher concedes every nine innings) of 3.20. In the post-season, he did not get a decision but pitched well registering a 3.00 ERA.

Pettitte compiled a 19-9 record in the regular season with a 4.35 ERA. In the play-offs, he is 2-0 with a 3.50 ERA.

World Series Channel 5 coverage: Tonight 00.05-04.40; tomorrow 00.05-04.00; Tuesday 00.30-04.30; Wednesday 00.40-04.30. If necessary: Thursday 00.10-04.00; Saturday 28 October 00.05-04.40; Sunday 29 October 00.05-04.00.

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