October 20, 2014

Ten Years After: 2004 ALCS 7: Red Sox 10, Yankees 3

Wednesday, October 20, 2004
Red Sox - 240 200 011 - 10 13  0
Yankees - 001 000 200 -  3  5  1
Peter Gammons, ESPN: "The most anticipated game in baseball history."

John Powers, Boston Globe: "Seventy-eight years, it has been, since the last time the Yankees lost the final two games of a best-of-seven series at home. ... [U]nless the beleaguered Bombers can win tonight's American League Championship Series finale at the Stadium, they'll become the first ball club ever to blow a 3-0 lead and go down as the biggest chokers in the history of organized baseball."

Gordon Edes, Boston Globe: "Can 86 years of tainted history be swept clean by one sweet, absurdly improbable act of redemption, the likes of which has never been seen in hardball history? ... After what we have witnessed the last three days, is there anyone of the non-pinstriped segment of society who believes the Sox are not capable of finishing what will eclipse all the bitter disappointments of the past century as the defining moment of this franchise?"

Eric Wilbur, Boston Globe: "There is a Game 7 tonight. Keep saying that and let it sink in. These are unprecedented moments in Red Sox history that we're witnessing. Everything is going Boston's way in this ALCS against the Yankees, and not against the Olde Towne Team. They've already overcome a 3-0 deficit, something no team in baseball history has ever done. There are no records for what a team has done in the seventh game after completing such a historic turnaround because again, IT HAS NEVER BEEN DONE."

Karen Guregian, Boston Herald: "For the Yankees, this is no longer just about advancing to the World Series. It's no longer just about continuing to torture their archrivals, and their fans. ... Tonight, in Game 7, it's about saving face. It's about avoiding the biggest choke job baseball has ever witnessed. It's about sparing themselves the embarrassment of living with that dubious label for posterity: losers of a 3-0 lead. No team has ever coughed up that kind of lead in a baseball best-of-seven series. No team has ever come back from that deficit. No team has ever rallied to win from that far behind. Ever."

Thomas Boswell, Washington Post: "What are the stakes now? If the Red Sox, the team synonymous with collapses, misfortune and despair, win Game 7, then, in a blink, the blackest mark in Yankees history will actually be darker than any disgrace in all Boston annals. If the Red Sox somehow win one more game, it won't make up for the last 86 years without a world title, while the Yanks have amassed 26 of them. ... But it will, for at least the next decade, and perhaps the next century, allow every Red Sox fan anywhere to face any New York fan and say, without fear of contradiction, 'How does it feel to root for a team with the biggest payroll ever that has the biggest choke in the history of the game?'"

We scare 'em shitless just by showin' up alive!

Finally, here is a shot of Newsday's Long Island early edition for the morning after Game 4. I don't know if this was simply a planned cover which was then scraped when the Red Sox won in extra innings or if any copies were actually printed.

Joy of Sox

October 20, 2004: "The Most Anticipated Game In Baseball History"
October 20, 2004: They Need Help
October 21, 2004: ALCS Game 7: Boston 10, New York 3
October 21, 2004: With Apologies To Bob Dylan
October 22, 2004: Lifes Rich Pageant
March 30, 2005: ALCS 7: Red Sox 10, Yankees 3

October 19, 2014

Ten Years After: 2004 ALCS 6: Red Sox 4, Yankees 2

Tuesday, October 19, 2004
Red Sox - 000 400 000 - 4 11  0
Yankees - 000 000 110 - 2  6  0

Joy of Sox

October 20, 2004: ALCS Game 6: Boston 4, New York 2
March 28, 2005: ALCS 6: Red Sox 4, Yankees 2

October 18, 2014

Ten Years After: 2004 ALCS 5: Red Sox 5, Yankees 4 (14)

Monday, October 18, 2004
Yankees - 010 003 000 000 00 - 4 12  1
Red Sox - 200 000 020 000 01 - 5 13  1

Joy of Sox

October 18, 2004: ALCS Game 5: Boston 5, New York 4 (14 innings)
October 19, 2004: Get Me Rewrite!
March 26, 2005: ALCS 5: Red Sox 5, Yankees 4 (14)

October 17, 2014

Watch "Four Days In October"

I will assume most people reading this own a copy of "Four Days In October", but if you don't, or want to start watching it immediately, ESPN has posted it here.

It is also on YouTube.

Ten Years After: 2004 ALCS 4: Red Sox 6, Yankees 4 (12)

Sunday, October 17, 2004
Yankees - 002 002 000 000 - 4 12  1
Red Sox - 000 030 001 002 - 6  8  0

Joy of Sox

October 18, 2004: ALCS Game 4: Boston 6, New York 4 (12 innings)
March 26, 2005: ALCS 4: Red Sox 6, Yankees 4 (12)

October 16, 2014

NLCS 5: Giants 6, Cardinals 3

Cardinals - 001 200 000 - 3  6  0
Giants    - 002 000 013 - 6  7  0
Travis Ishikawa's three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth clinched the 2014 National League pennant for the San Francisco Giants, the team's third NL pennant in the last five seasons. The Giants will play Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday against the Royals in Kansas City.

The Giants had tied the game in the previous inning on a pinch-hit homer by Michael Morse. Although Madison Bumgarner (8-5-3-2-5, 98) trailed for much of the game, he retired the last 13 batters he faced.

The ninth inning rally came against Cardinals starter-turned-reliever Michael Wacha, who had not pitched since September 26. It was clear from the outset that Wacha did not have good command. After seeing three fastballs, Pablo Sandoval lined an off-speed pitch to right-center for a single. Hunter Pence jumped on Wacha's first delivery and flied to right. Wacha then walked Brandon Belt on four pitches. St. Louis pitching coach Derek Lilliquist came out for a mound visit and despite clear evidence of Wacha aiming, rather than pitching, the ball during Belt's AB - and two other relievers ready in the bullpen - Wacha stayed on the hill. Ishikawa looked at ball one, then ball two. On 2-0, he got an inside fastball and crushed it over the fence in right-center field.

Asked after the game about using Wacha, St. Louis manager Mike Matheny showed he was as dumb as dirt.

All of the Giants' runs came on home runs, despite not having hit any dongs in the first four games of the NLCS. After St. Louis took a 1-0 lead on Jon Jay's RBI-double (a routine fly ball that Ishikawa misplayed), Joe Panik homered down the right field line in the third for two runs. Morse greeted Pat Neshek with a pinch-hit homer to start the eighth. And Ishikawa ended the Cardinals' season in the ninth.

After San Francisco had taken a 2-1 lead, the Cardinals quickly got the lead back in the fourth on solo shots by Mike Adams and Tony Cruz.

Wacha was also the losing pitcher in the game that ended the Cardinals' 2013 season: Game 6 of last year's World Series, at Fenway Park.

Ten Years After: 2004 ALCS 3: Yankees 19, Red Sox 8

Saturday, October 16, 2004
Yankees - 303 520 402 - 19 22  1
Red Sox - 042 000 200 -  8 15  0


Joy of Sox

October 17, 2004: One
March 23, 2005: ALCS 3: Yankees 19, Red Sox 8

October 15, 2014

ALCS 4: Royals 2, Orioles 1

Orioles - 001 000 000 - 1  4  1
Royals  - 200 000 00x - 2  5  0
The Kansas City Royals are 2014 American League champions!

A fielder's choice and an error by Baltimore catcher Caleb Joseph led to two first-inning runs for the Royals. Jason Vargas (5.1-2-1-3-6, 73) and the bullpen trio of Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis, and Greg Holland made sure those two runs were enough.

The entire first inning belonged to the Royals. Omar Infante ranged far to his right to make a great play on Nick Markaskis's ground ball, leading off the game. Then Alex Gordon ran towards the corner to snag Steve Pearce's hard-hit ball for the second out. After Adam Jones fanned, the Royals quickly got on the board.

Alcides Escobar chopped a ball over the mound. Just as Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop was about to make a play, the ball caromed off the bag. Nori Aoki was hit with a pitch in the right thigh and KC had two men on. Despite being 8-for-12 in the ALCS, Lorenzo Cain was asked to bunt - and he did so successfully, moving the runners to second and third. Eric Hosmer then chopped a ball to first. Pearce fielded the high hop and threw it to the plate. Joseph gloved the low throw, and the ball was kicked loose by Escobar as he slid in safely. Before Joseph could track the ball down, Aoki had also scored.

Baltimore cut the lead to 2-1 when Ryan Flaherty began the third inning with a solo home run down the right field line. The only thing resembling a rally over the next six innings came in the sixth, when Schoop walked and took third on Jones's two-out single. Nelson Cruz ended the threat by lining out to Infante at second.

Holland walked Jones to start the top of the ninth. Cruz, who grounded into double plays in both the second and fourth innings, grounded back to the mound. Holland's throw to Escobar was off target, but the shortstop was able to grab the ball and drag his foot across the bag for the force out. Holland struck out Delmon Young and got J.J. Hardy to ground out to third.

And the celebration began in Kansas City.
Thirty-two baseball teams have been down 0-3 in a best-of-seven series (LCS or WS).
Series that made it to Game 5: 5 of 32
Series that made it to Game 6: 3 of 32
Series that made it to Game 7: 1 of 32

Ten Years After: 2004 ALCS 3: Postponed By Rain

Friday, October 15, 2004

Game 3 at Fenway Park, postponed by rain