The first thing I think of when I look at this card is, “So that’s why I made my own card!” Only room for two players per batting position? Only room for three pitchers? Only nine innings available, but room for 16 batters? Off the shelf cards just weren’t working for me. But, beyond that to the game itself…
What an exciting game was. I see a lot of back and forth action. The Sox had a lead, and gave it up. Had a lead, and gave it up. Fell behind, but crawled back in late. A 2-out rally in the ninth. A walk-off victory. Fantastic. Everyone played a role. The game was tied thanks to their superstars. Nomar walked and stole a base in the ninth. Manny drove him in to tie the game with two outs. Frankly I’m shocked that with the winning run on second, Ortiz only grounded out. No matter. The role players finished the job. Jeremy Giambi led off the tenth with a walk. Gabe Kapler stole a base as a pinch runner. Trot Nixon sent everyone home with a single. It was a complete team victory. Just the way you draw it up in Spring Training. I also look at the bottom of the eighth. Kevin Millar singled to lead off the inning, with the Sox trailing by a run. Damian Jackson pinch-ran for him. Everyone in the world knew he was only in the game to try and steal second. Like he did many times in 2003, he did just that. I’ve said before that the one thing I thought the 2004 team was lacking was a guy who could steal a base when everyone knew he was stealing. Until, of course, they traded for Dave Roberts.
The player of the game? That’s a tough call. The easy choice would be Trot Nixon for getting the game-winning hit. But, that’s ignoring all the efforts of everyone else to put him in that position. I’m going to have to go with Kevin Millar. He was on base three times, and had a solo homerun. That’s a big effort. The goat? Another toss up. I have to give it to David Ortiz. His two strikeouts put him below Todd Walkers one. Plus, Ortiz grounded out with the winning run in scoring position. All that adds up to a tough night.
In the end, it didn’t matter. The Sox pulled it out in dramatic fashion. The entire team pulled together to get a win when nobody had their best games. It’s exactly the sort of game you expect from a team that would go deep into the playoffs.
And the scorecard shows how it happened.