August 29, 1999
I know. I say it too often when I look over these old scorecards from 1999. This team made it to the ALCS. A team that was starting Pat Rapp made it to the final four. Incredible.
I suppose, to be fair, the line-up did have two all-stars in it. Plus, Nomar was a legitimate superstar that year. (How he didn’t walk all four times to the plate instead of just twice is beyond me. Nobody knew what kind of protection Troy O’Leary could actually provide for another month.)
The Sox certainly tried to give this game away. They built themselves a safe 7-1 lead heading into the ninth. Then, things fell apart. Bryce Florie gave up a walk and four singles. Suddenly, the tying run was at the plate. Thankfully Derek Lowe was able to come in and strike out the final batter to stop things right there.
I do need to comment on Donnie Sadler’s first at bat. This is a good example of making sure you have all your scoring notations set out ahead of time. At first glance, I was trying to decide how I thought Sadler managed to steal first base. But, now I realize that in this case, “SB” meant “sacrifice bunt.” Usually that’s not so confusing. If you sacrifice, it would be obvious since the runner would be out. But, in this case the pitcher made an error, allowing Sadler to reach. I should probably consider using SC or SAC for a sacrifice bunt. I won’t…but I probably should.
The player of the game? Other than Lowe? Has to be Trot Nixon. Three hits, leading to three runs. Not a bad day at the plate at all.
The goat? Other than Florie? Easily the aforementioned Troy O’Leary. His one job is to give Nomar protection. Instead, he went hitless on the day. He needs to do better than that.
But, it didn’t matter. Rapp kept them in the game for six innings. The Sox scored enough runs to survive the late bullpen meltdown. Lowe closed the door on a surprisingly tense win.
And the scorecard shows how it happened.