May 8, 1999
I remember this game well. I remember it because of who you see in the top line of the pitchers box. I had been at the amazing game the night before, when Pedro Martinez welcomed Mo Vaughn back to Boston by striking out fifteen Angels. On the way down to the game, we were disappointed to hear that the pitching performance probably wouldn’t be all that exciting. Some kid was making his debut. Juan Pena. Who was he? Would he be any good? Oh well.
Of course, if you look at the box, you’ll see that I should have given young Mr. Pena more credit. All he did was go out and pitch six innings of two hit ball while striking out 8. Wow! Nicely done.
What else happened during the game? The Sox offered a solid, if unremarkable, line-up. The anchor was Nomar in the middle. Everyone else was just there to help. It’s certainly nothing compared to the projected 2012 line-up. They managed to put six runs on the board, thanks in large part to a four-run sixth inning. Just in time to let the kid qualify for the win. Oddly enough, the only person not to bat in the big inning was Nomar. Three doubles and two singles accounted for the scoring. It was a nice show.
The player of the game, other than Pena? Have to give it to Jose Offerman. He went 3-4, scored a run, and drove in two more. He got it started from the top. The goat? I’m putting the horns on Mike Stanley. Not only was he hitless, but struck out three times. Not much contribution on that day.
But, it didn’t matter. The rest of the offense plugged right along. They scored enough to get Pena a win in his major league debut. I’m sure it was quite a memory for him.
And the scorecard shows how it happened.