April 24, 2001
I just love looking at scorecards from this time period. I know I say it every time, but just look at this team! Of course, I’m sure you remember, this is the time period that Nomar missed with his wrist injury. That deprived the Sox of what would have been a pretty decent heart of the order made up of Nomar-Manny-Everett. But, as it stood on this day, Everett-Ramirez-Bichette would have to do. And, in reality, that’s not terrible. Not quite Ortiz-Ramirez-Millar or Pedroia-Ortiz-Napoli, but not a bad starting point. It’s the rest of it that really falls apart. Chris Stynes is no Johnny Damon.
But, on this day they managed to put it all together, and really score some runs. That was handy because I doubt anyone was expecting Paxton Crawford to shut the Twins down. (Especially with David Ortiz in their line-up.) So it was nice when the Sox put up some runs early, thanks in large part to Not-Damon at the top of the line-up. Stynes was 2-2 after two innings, having scored two runs.
In fact, if I’m selecting my player of the game, I’d be tempted to give it to Stynes. He ended the day scoring three runs on three hits. But, then I scroll down a little farther and see Carl Everett’s second inning. His grand slam really set the tone. He may have only ended up with two hit, but he got on base three times, and drove in five runs. That’s what you need from the guy taking Nomar’s spot in the order.
The goat? You’d guess that there were plenty to choose from, despite the nine runs scored. You’d be right. Three people went hitless on the day. Both Scott Hatteberg and Shea Hillenbrand did so in four at bats. I was trying to decide who made their outs in the least opportune places, but couldn’t find a distinction. So, I’ll hang the horns on Hillenbrand, just because he also added a strikeout to the mix.
One additional note. Check out the pitcher’s box. The starter, Crawford, went five innings for the win. Tim Wakefield went the last four to earn the save after entering a 6-3 game. You don’t see pitching box scores like that very often.
Which is one reason the Sox came out on top. The pitchers combined to hold the Twins down just enough to let the offense pull away. It was really a whole team effort.
And the scorecard shows how it happened.