Five years ago today …
For those Red Sox fans — and there are a lot of you — bummed that you are not watching your team play in the ALCS, keep this in mind:
Think about it, the Red Sox were down 3-0, which used to be a death sentence in a postseason series. The Red Sox are still the only team in either baseball or basketball to overcome a 3-0 series in any postseason series.
And how it became possible? They came back against Mariano Rivera in the ninth inning of Game 4. Millar walked, Roberts stole, and Big Papi sent everyone home in the 12th.
That set the stage for an even wilder Game 5. Papi again started the trek back with a Monster Mash against Tom Gordon. Millar again drew a walk. Roberts again pinch-ran. Trot Nixon — who had made two game-saving plays defensively earlier in the game — came through with a hit-and-run singe to right, making it corners and nobody out, Sox still down by a run in the 8th. The Yankees went to Mo again. Varitek came through with a sacrifice fly to tie it.
Three white-knuckle innings out of the bullpen by Tim Wakefield — with Varitek catching him — and finally Papi sent everyone home again, this time a “little flair” as Jerry Trupiano called it. Then Joe Buck proclaimed, “Damon is running to the plate, he can keep on running to New York … Game 6 tomorrow night.”
And yes, Game 6. The bloody sock. The A-Rod slap. The Bellhorn homer off the chest of a fan that was originally ruled a double. And pure guts by Keith Foulke, who finished his three-day, 100-pitch stand by blowing a fastball by Tony Clark to set up Game 7.
Game 7, the Red Sox sent Derek Lowe to the mound on two days rest. And he was brilliant. So was Johnny Damon, clocking two homers.
By the time it ended, the Red Sox were spraying each other with champagne in the very same clubhouse they were crying in one year earlier after the Grady/Aaron Boone fiasco.
Remember five years ago. It is probably one of your greatest sports memories ever.