April 19, 2003
This is an early look at the 2003 Red Sox. The team that would have a great regular season, only to crush us all at the end. How early in the season was it? Take a look at the number 8 batter. Yup. Giambi. This is before David Ortiz would make his presence in the line-up permanent. Ortiz would hit 31 HR in 2003. But, Giambi got the nod on this day.
Other than Giambi, though, this line-up looks a lot like the one that would be a mainstay for the championship team. Damon, Millar, Ramirez, Nixon, Mueller, and Varitek would all gets rings in 2004. (OK, Nomar got a ring too…but you know what I mean.) So, it probably should be a surprise that the second time through the line-up, this team just pounced.
Before I go any further, I have to point out the pitcher’s box. Want to know a big reason why I started printing my own scorecards? There’s a bit one. Three spots for pitchers. Three! Oh sure, that’s all I needed in this game…but in any of the others? The Blue Jays used five in this game. That’s much closer to the norm. I needed a new card, just to list pitchers.
The player of the game for the Sox? It’s a tough call. Both Walker and Nixon went 2-4. Both had 2 RBI. Both walked. I’ll have to give it to Nixon though, by virtue of his triple.
The goat? Two players went 0-4 on the day. But, Nomar didn’t even score a run. When you’re third in the order, in front of Manny Ramirez, you’re counted on to get a hit.
But, of course, in the end it didn’t matter. The Sox piled it on in a big third inning, and rode it out from there. It was a total team effort, which led to a great early season win.
And the scorecard shows how it happened.