May 7, 1999
I remember this game quite clearly. A buddy of mine called, and said he had an extra ticket, and wondered if I was interested. A quick look at the calendar reminded me that this was my mother’s birthday. It was also two days before Mother’s Day, when I had Sox tickets of my own. So, the decision was an easy one.
Absolutely. I wanted the ticket.
Why was I so sure? Take a look at the pitcher’s box. Yup. Pedro Martinez was on the mound. Then look at the visiting team. Anaheim. That means Mo Vaughn would be returning to Fenway, to face Pedro Martinez.
Clearly that’s more important than my mother’s birthday.
Did the game end up being worth it? You tell me. Keep looking at the pitcher’s box. Pedro got the win. He went eight innings, only gave up six base runners, and struck out 15. Yup. Vintage Pedro, before we were sure that it was vintage Pedro. How about Mo? Pedro struck him out in his first at-bat, much to our delight. He also struck him out in his third at-bat, just for fun.
What about the Red Sox offense? They didn’t need much of it on that day. But, they scored six runs anyway. It was a balanced attack, with everyone getting at least one hit, and six different people scoring runs.
The hero of the game? I have to give it to Mike Stanley. He drove in three runs on the day, getting three hits. He was all the Sox needed to get the win.
The goat? It’s a little tricky with all those hits. But, I need something out of my number three hitter. So, I’m going to hang the horns on Reggie Jefferson. 1-4, no runs scored, and two strikeouts. That’s not going to get it done.
But, in the end it didn’t matter. As with most Pedro games, the offense was a secondary consideration as he let the Sox cruise to victory.
And the scorecard shows how it happened.
(Oh, and Happy belated Birthday Mom!)