Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I Scored! July 31, 1999

Here’s another game from the great 1999 season. Looking at the top of the card, I can see that this was a great game. A walk-off win against the Yankees. Is there a better type of game? I doubt it.

Starting the game, the Red Sox appeared to be in a hole. It doesn’t show, but the Yankees starter was Roger Clemens. The Red Sox countered with Brian Rose. Not exactly the match-up Red Sox fans would have hoped for. As it turned out, we were half right. A look at the pitchers box shows that Rose got lit up. Five runs and eleven hits in four innings are not usually going to get it done against Clemens. Luckily for the Sox, in this case, it was just barely enough. Clemens wasn’t much better, giving up four runs of his own over five innings. That’s what set up the late-inning heroics.

Is it any surprise that the first Red Sox run was a Trot Nixon homer? Was there a more notorious Clemens killer than Nixon? His homer in the third allowed the Sox to sneak back into the game after an early hole.

I’d be tempted to give Trot the “player of the game” honors, but I can’t. Look at the day Jose Offerman had. He reached base all five times he came to the plate. He scored three runs, and drew three walks. His leadoff triple in the bottom of the ninth was enormous. If you can get a runner at third in a situation like that, it changes the whole dynamic of the inning. It made it easy for Valentin to knock home the game winner.

The goat of the day? Other than Rose? Has to be Brian Daubach. Something about Brians that day. Dauber went hitless in four at-bats on the day, striking out twice. Not exactly what you need from the third hitter in your line-up. (Wow. Daubach was hitting third!) Thankfully the Sox were able to overcome that performance.

So, the Sox won in exciting fashion. They stole a game that they lost easily on paper. They allowed their fans to go home happy, which is always the goal.

And the scorecard shows how it happened.

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