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Home  >  Red Sox Diary  >  2004  >  October

Thursday, October 7, 2004

2 Up On The Halos!

We are on top of the world now. 2-0 going back to Fenway. Life is good!

Both games had lots of hitting, and some clutch pitching and a little bit of luck.

Game one was a blowout early, with a 7 run 4th inning keyed by some sloppy Angel defense
and a couple of longballs.

Game two was close all the way, with the Sox taking a 4-3 lead into the 9th, and the Sox
came up with 4 more runs to make it a cakewalk. Nice thing is we got the go-ahead run
off of K-Rod, and the 4 runs in the 9th off of Donnelly, their vaunted bullpen aces.

This series should be over now, and it would be great to sweep and get the pitching in
order for the ALCS. But we all know - this is the Red Sox.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Red Sox/Yankees 2004!

It was inevitable that it would come down to this. The season started with the Sox
wooing A-Rod, picking up Schilling and Foulke, and watching A-Rod go to the evil
empire. They played 19 more times this year, with some blowouts, and some memorable
games including another huge brawl and a miracle comeback by the Sox. Now it
Sox/Yankees for all the marbles again. Will it be glory this time, finally dispatching
those hated Yankees? Or another disaster?

Oh, yes. The Sox got here by an amazing game 3 against the Angels. Carrying a 6-1 lead
behind a wonderful 6 innings from Arroyo, Tito removed him in the 7th and watched it all
evaporate on a few walks, a dink, and a blast by Guerrero. Then the teams beat down
each others threats until the 10th, when K-Rod was taken out after 2 and 2/3 in favor of
Washburn their only lefty to face Ortiz. One pitch - into the monster seats and the
series was ours.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Red Sox at Yankees Game 1

It starts out really ugly. Schilling is not himself likely because the ankle is really
bothering him. He gives up 2 in the first and 4 in the 3rd and is out of the game. The
Yankees tack on 2 more against Wakefield and it's 8-0. Meanwhile, Mussina is perfect
through 6 innings. Ok, we concede game 1.

Not so fast, and this is what is great about the Red Sox. Mussina loses the perfect
game in the 7th and loses his stuff almost immediately. Varitek caps a 5 run rally with
a 2 run homer and it's 8-5. Then the next inning against Gordon, they get two more runs
as Papi misses tying it up by a few feet. Rivera, after returning from Panama with a
death in his family, is forced to come in and stop the bleeding at 8-7. Unfortunately,
the Yankees again tack on two more runs for 10-7, and the Sox cannot dent Rivera in the
9th.

It's never good to lose a playoff game, but to make this a game, to make them use Rivera
for 1 1/3 and to bash the rest of their bullpen has to be somewhat of a victory. The
downside? What's up with Schilling? Can we count on him for anything? He was throwing
up meatballs. He is not himself. This is troubling. What kind of drugs can they give
him to make him the pitcher who was 21-6 this season? So game 1 is down. We have to
come back and win game 2 now with Pedro going.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Going to game 7. We are going to game 7. Tonight and tomorrow I live in wonder of
whether once again my heart will be broken, or will we reach the holy grail and finally
beat those Yankees.

How did we get here? Lost games 2 and 3, game 3 in absolutely horrid fashion 19-8. To
top it off, Curt Schilling had left game 1 after 3 ineffective innings with his ankle
dysfunctional. We never thought he'd pitch again in the series, rendering our big
starting pitching advantage useless.

Then, we won games 4 and 5 in two grueling extra inning games. David Ortiz won them
both with walkoff hits, a homer in the 12th in game 4, then a bloop single in the 14th
in game 5. Amazing.

Through some wizardry of doctors and medical science, Curt Schilling took the mound for
game 6, and he was amazing. He pitched 7 innings of 1 run 4 hit baseball. Meanwhile we
got a huge 3 run homer (umpire got it wrong at first, but they got together and called
it right). In the eighth, with it 4-2, there was another disputed call, with A-Rod
hitting a dribbler, then swatting the ball out of Arroyo's glove. For a fleeting
moment, it was 4-3. Again the umpires got together, and correctly called interference
on A-Rod, putting Jeter back at 1st and the score back to 4-2. Phew! It stays 4-2
through the 8th, and Foulke gets us heartburn with two walks in the 9th but he gets them
out. It's on to game 7.

This is a unique day. We wait for game 7, a repeat of last year. This time both team's
1 and 2 pitchers are used up. It's going to be an all out bullpen battle. The Sox, my
team for so long, are looking at the greatest playoff comeback in history, and finally
putting down the hated Yankees. The Yankees are looking at once again sticking it to
the Red Sox and their fans by breaking our hearts again. Do I pray? I'm not
religious. Do I hope? Can I be optimistic? I want it so much. The Red Sox fans want
it so much. This is the Super Bowl. Again. Will we be at holy grail of ecstasy? Will
this be the agony again?

Friday, October 22, 2004

The game of the century. Game 7, Yankees/Red Sox for all the marbles. The Red Sox,
after winning 3 straight against all odds to knot up the series, have one more game to
win. Red Sox fans enter this game with the memory of last year's heartbreak, and long
memories of horrid endings and curses. No Red Sox fan was comfortable going in.

Well, it starts out like a typical Sox frustrating game. Damon singles, steals 2nd, and
Manny strokes a single to left. Damon rounds 3rd just as Matsui gets the ball, and
Svuem sends him somehow. Out by a mile after a relay throw. Ugh! What are you doing?
Just as Red Sox fans are screaming and stamping their feet, David Ortiz drives the first
pitch to him out of the park. 2-0. Quiets the crowd. Sox fans are celebrating, but
wanted 3-0. We had 4-0 last year and it wasn't enough.

Lowe mows down the Yankees in the first, and Brown is back in trouble in the 2nd. A
single and two walks with one out, and Torre loses patience. He brings in Vasquez. I'm
hoping for a single or sac fly so we don't waste and opportunity. On Vasquez' first
pitch, Damon pounds it into the right field seats. Grand slam! 6-0! We are on top of
the world. Still work to do. Curses and Yankee comebacks cannot be fooled around
with. We want more.

The Yankees get the crowd into it against Lowe in the 3rd as the ultimate pest, Miguel
Cairo, leans into an inside pitch and gets hit for about the 8th time in the series. He
steals 2nd and Jeter drives him home with a single. But Lowe is still throwing bee-bees
and A-Rod and Sheffield fail to continue the rally. In the 4th, Damon who has been
silenced the whole series, cranks the 2nd consecutive pitch he sees from Vasquez deep
into the right field seats for an 8-1 lead. We have this sewed up.

Lowe continues to be unconscious on 2 days rest. He gives up 1 hit through 6 innings,
probably 3 or 4 more innings than he should have pitched. Then Tito makes a curious
move putting Pedro in for the 7th. Not totally warmed up, he gives up 3 hits and 2 runs
to make it 8-3 and panic Red Sox fans all over. He gets out of further damage and the
Sox tack on another run right after on a Bellhorn blast. Timlin (a more appropriate
choice) gets 1-2-3 in the 8th and two more outs in the 9th. Embree gets the last out,
and the pennant is ours. 10-3, a blowout in the biggest game of the century.

The Sox have two days off and two days to savor this win. The Cardinals are the
opponent and it will no doubt be a tough series. Who knows. Even a World Series loss
will not take away from this ultimate bringing down of the Yankees. The Yankees hex
over the Red Sox is over. No longer will the Yankees have that edge in big games. The
Red Sox have accomplished the ultimate - down 3-0 to the Evil Empire, they took them
down. Obviously, finishing it off is the ultimate goal and the drought won't be
over 'till a WS win is ours. But this is still a big milestone.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Game 1 of the World Series - We Win 11-9

This game was the ultimate emotional roller coaster.

It starts out tremendous. Big Pappi comes up after a double and a hit by pitch and
slugs one over the foul pole for a 3 run homer. It's 4-0 after 1. The Cardinals nick
Wakefield for two runs with some small ball. The Sox make it 7-2 in the 3rd, but then
give it back as Wakefield loses the strike zone and a key error by Millar kills the
Sox. Arroyo comes in and does real well until the 6th when a 30 foot infield hit, and
error, and two doubles tie the game. It's a tie game 7-7.

The Sox take a 9-7 lead but again give it up, this time Manny makes two errors in the
outfield to allow the Cardinals back in it. But with the bases loaded, 1 out, and Rolen
and Edmunds coming up, Foulke does it again by getting a pop up and a strike out.

Bottom of the 8th, with a man on, Bellhorn first hits a promising drive to right only to
have it blown foul by the howling wind. But right after, he hits another deep drive
that clangs against the Pesky Pole for a home run. We have the lead once again 11-9
with the bottom of the order up for the 9th. This time Keith Foulke shuts the door and
game 1 is ours.

We kept coming back after they did with plenty of tough at bats and key hits. This was
a great one to come away with a W. But what drove us crazy is the errors and the
erratic pitching. Wakefield looked fine for 3 innings, but then completely lost the
strike zone and had to come out. Four errors in the game is simply unacceptable against
this team which takes advantage of everything.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

WORLD CHAMPIONS!!

I never knew how this would feel. Now I know. It feels great. This glow isn't going
to go away for months. No more curse. No more waiting until next year. This is the
year in 2004.

Tonight's win was pretty routine as they go. D-Lowe is amazing again just as he was in
game 7 against the Yankees. Johnny Damon leads off the game with a homer for the fourth
time, we score in the 1st inning to take the lead. Nixon gets a two run double a couple
innings later on a 3-0 pitch, and it's off to prevent defense for the whole game, 'cause
Lowe is tremendous. The Cardinals threaten to score once with a runner at 3rd, but
never get the tying run to the plate. As in every game this series, Keith Foulke is on
the mound in the 9th and he does the job, getting the last out on a grounder back to the
pitcher.

The celebration is unbelievable. This is a Dream Season (of course I'm very fond of
that title). No magic was needed to make this happen. This is just the greatest team
and greatest organization.

No more waiting until next year. This is the year!