Sox Make History Once, But Can They Win It All?By Yong-yi Zhu
This year was supposed to be the Year of the Red Sox. It was supposed to be the year when everything came together for them and they would finally beat the Yankees in the American League Championship Series and go to the World Series. It was supposed to be the year when Pedro Martinez and Tim Wakefield got to fix their mistakes of a year ago.
But until Sunday night, it didn’t look like any of that would happen. Then came the magic. Curt Schilling pitched on a broken ankle. David Ortiz smacked every clutch hit possible to tie and win games. Johnny Damon broke out of a slump of biblical proportions to have two homeruns in game seven.
The run to the World Series began with a win Sunday night on a blown save by Mariano Rivera. The Sox then went on to win in the twelfth on a homerun by David Ortiz in the bottom half of the inning. The next night was more chaos as Ortiz drove in the winning run in the 14th. At that point, it looked as though momentum had completely shifted towards the Red Sox side. They never looked back, winning on Tuesday 4-2. Finally, Wednesday night, the Sox completed their unbelievable run by routing the Yankees 10-3, including a grand slam by Johnny Damon.
The Red Sox victory is arguably the best comeback in sports history, since outside of two hockey teams, nobody else has ever come from being down 3-0 in a series to take the series. After watching the Yankees put 19 on the board Saturday night, it looked like the Red Sox were not about to be the first ones to do it. But they shut the Bronx Bombers down, keeping them to just under 4 runs a game the last four games of the series, when in the first three the Yankees averaged almost 11 runs a game. The Red Sox also had hits against all the right Yankee relievers. Mariano Rivera blew two saves (although one was not really his fault). Paul Quantrill and Esteban Loaiza pitched mistakes to David Ortiz, who made them pay dearly for it.
The MVP of the series? I would split it between Curt Schilling and Tim Wakefield. Schilling pitched despite having a broken ankle. He simply held it together and threw his heart out in game six. Wakefield on the other hand gave innings upon innings of relief work. He never thought about last year’s Aaron Boone gaffe and simply got hitters out. Without him, the bullpen of the Red Sox would simply have been devastated and been running on fumes. Instead, the Sox are sitting pretty as the winners of the American League.
And so game one of the World Series will be in Fenway Park Saturday night. That’s right, there is actually another series to play after the Yankees. But in the past three years, the team that has beaten the Yankees has won the World Series. Sox fans hope for nothing less. But fans, remember the curse has not been broken yet. Bill Buckner can still happen. Aaron Boone can still happen. 1919-2003 can still happen. Let’s hope it doesn’t.