October 20, 2004: The Red Sox–Yankees ALCS

Dan Shaughnessy was as giddy as any Bostonian to see the Yankees lose in such a humbling fashion, but he cautioned his readers that the dreaded Curse of the Bambino would only be eradicated with a Red Sox World Series victory over the St. Louis Cardinals—the team that had crushed Boston fans’ hopes in October in both 1946 and 1967. Nevertheless, Shaughnessy recognized the ALCS victory for its historical importance:

“Mark it down: October 20. It will always be the day that Sox citizens were liberated from eight decades of torment and torture at the hands of the New York Yankees and their fans. [It is] Boston’s Bastille Day.” (Dan Shaughnessy, “A World Series Ticket,” boston.com, October 21, 2004.)

Bob Ryan, a columnist for the Boston Globe, after having seen numerous disappointing Red Sox collapses over the years, did not quite know what to make of what he had just seen at Yankee Stadium. He wrote:

Every once in a while an Oscar winner gets up there and wings an acceptance speech because “I never thought I’d win, so I didn’t prepare anything.”
That’s me. Right now.
Excruciating Red Sox losses, I’m familiar with, as both a fan and a writer. Game 7, 1975? Oh, yeah, I was there. Bucky Dent’s home run? Yup. Can’t claim that I eyewitnessed the Buckner game. I watched the fateful 10th inning in a Houston bar. I had just befriended a couple of locals and promised that I’d be buying as soon as this inning was over. When the ball rolled through Buckner’s legs, I just said, “Sorry, gotta go,” and walked out the door.
And then there was Game 7 a year ago. When David Ortiz hit the homer, I said, “That’s it. Can’t lose now.”
So that’s why I sit here in journalistic shock. I am trying to digest the fact that I have just seen the greatest team feat in the 101-year history of postseason baseball as we know it. A team that fell behind, three games to none, has come back to win a postseason series. That team is the Boston Red Sox, and the team they have just victimized is the New York Yankees.
The New Yorkers will regard it as the most colossal collapse in baseball history. George Steinbrenner will look at this as a personal catastrophe. I am certain he has made a private vow that the Red Sox would never win a World Series on his watch, and, of course, they haven’t done that yet.
But they have now taken a major step toward achieving that goal, and they have fulfilled the dreams and hopes of what I’m sure can only be described as a deliriously happy worldwide fandom… (Bob Ryan, “Story is Too Good for Words,” boston.com, October 21, 2004.)

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The headline on the front page of the next day’s New York Daily News was more succinct: “Hell Freezes Over.” But it was a heavenly evening for Boston Red Sox fans the world over.

Boston 10 @ New York 3
Game played on Wednesday, October 20, 2004 at Yankee Stadium
Boston Red Sox ab r h rbi New York Yankees ab r h rbi
Damon cf 6 2 3 6 Jeter ss 4 0 1 1
Bellhorn 2b 3 1 1 1 Rodriguez 3b 4 0 0 0
  Reese 2b 0 0 0 0 Sheffield rf 4 0 0 0
Ramirez lf 5 1 1 0 Matsui lf 4 1 2 0
Ortiz dh 4 1 1 2 Williams cf 4 1 1 1
Varitek c 5 0 1 0 Posada c 3 0 0 0
Nixon rf 5 1 1 0 Lofton dh 3 0 1 1
Millar 1b 3 1 1 0 Clark 1b 2 0 0 0
  Mientkiewicz 1b 1 0 1 0   Olerud ph,1b 1 0 0 0
Mueller 3b 4 1 2 0   Sierra ph 1 0 0 0
Cabrera ss 2 2 1 1 Cairo 2b 2 1 0 0
Lowe p 0 0 0 0 Brown p 0 0 0 0
  Martinez p 0 0 0 0   Vazquez p 0 0 0 0
  Timlin p 0 0 0 0   Loaiza p 0 0 0 0
  Embree p 0 0 0 0   Heredia p 0 0 0 0
  Gordon p 0 0 0 0
  Rivera p 0 0 0 0
Totals 38 10 13 10 Totals 32 3 5 3
Boston 240 200 011 – 10 13 0
New York 001 000 200 – 3 5 1


Boston Red Sox IP H R ER BB SO
Lowe W (1-0) 6.0 1 1 1 1 3
Martinez 1.0 3 2 2 0 1
Timlin 1.2 1 0 0 1 1
Embree 0.1 0 0 0 0 0
Totals 9.0 5 3 3 2 5
New York Yankees IP H R ER BB SO
Brown L (0-1) 1.1 4 5 5 2 1
Vazquez 2.0 2 3 3 5 2
Loaiza 3.0 4 0 0 2 2
Heredia 0.2 0 0 0 0 0
Gordon 1.2 3 2 2 0 0
Rivera 0.1 0 0 0 0 0
Totals 9.0 13 10 10 7 5

E–Loaiza (1).  DP–New York 1 Heredia-Jeter-Clark.  2B–New York Matsui (6,off Martinez); Williams (3,off Martinez).  HR–Boston Ortiz (3,1st inning off Brown 1 on 2 out); Damon 2 (2,2nd inning off Vazquez 3 on 1 out,4th inning off Vazquez 1 on 0 out); Bellhorn (2,8th inning off Gordon 0 on 0 out).  SF–Cabrera (1,off Gordon). HBP–Cairo (4,by Lowe).  SB–Damon (2,2nd base off Brown/Posada); Cairo (1,2nd base off Lowe/Varitek); Lofton (1,2nd base off Martinez/Varitek).  HBP–Lowe (1,Cairo).  U-HP–Randy Marsh, 1B–Jeff Nelson, 2B–John Hirschbeck, 3B–Jim Joyce.  T–3:31.  A–56,129.

 

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