"You cannot let the Sox win today." 10th Anniversary of the 2004 ALCS.Game 4.
Jorge Camargo Contributing Writer
Photo by Getty
October 10th, 2004, the Red Sox are one inning away of being swept by the Yankees... an even more dramatic story than the one that happened a year ago. Little did Massachusetts know, that this game would end up being the beginning of the end of The Curse. Being an inning away from being swept, they ended up winning the World Series 17 days later.
Mariano Rivera on the mound, 9th inning, the score is 3-2 with the Yankees winning and Kevin Millar steps into the batter box. Millar didn't had an espectacular series, he batted .200 and had just 2 RBI. Rivera allowed Millar a lead-off walk that represented the tying run. "And there's light for the Red Sox" FOX Sports sportcasters said. Because Millar wasn't a good baserunner, Terry Francona chose Dave Roberts to pinch-run for him. The Sox were down to the final three outs and a baserunner in 1st could mean that the next play could be a double-play and the Yankees would be one out away from the World Series.
Photo by thisgreatgame.com
Rivera checked on Roberts several times before even throwing a first pitch to Bill Mueller, which gave the Red Sox the idea that Roberts would be able to steal second. On the very first pitch to Mueller and after several cardiac and intense mintues, Roberts stole 2nd base. The photo of Dave Roberts reaching 2nd and Derek Jeter being inches a way from getting him out will always be one of the most remembered images in Red Sox history. Eventually, Mueller drove Roberts on and the game was tied. One of the best closers of all time could not gave the Yankees the ticket to the World Series.
The game went to extra-innings and both team threatened to score, but it was not until the twelfth inning when a Large Father would be the hero. David Ortiz was (and still is) gold for the Red Sox. The DH already had a walk-off homerun in that postseason, when he homered against the Angels on the ALDS. The twelfth inning began with Manny Ramirez hitting a lead-off single of Yankees pitcher Paul Quantrill, and then Ortiz entered the batter box. It was only the second season of David Ortiz in Boston but his "King of Clutch" status was about to begin. Quantrill threw several pitches to Ortiz, but finally the Large Father sent one deep to right field, to the bullpen and gone. The Red Sox would not get swept by the Yankees and they would have to win the next three games to go to the World Series.
Pedro Martinez vs. Mike Mussina was the pitching matchup for Game 5, and come back tomorrrow to read my tribute to the 2004 squad.
Where were you when Dave Roberts stole second base? Do you remember when Ortiz homered? Leave your comments below.