July 26, 2003
There are several things I love about this scorecard, and one that will probably bug be forever. (I mean, as much as something on a scorecard can bug a person. I’m not spiraling down into an abyss or anything.)
The best part of the scorecard, of course, is that it documents a walk off win for the Red Sox during their ALCS season. But, let’s look a little deeper into that win. Check out the ninth inning. After Bill Mueller flew out, Jeremy Giambi walked…as he so often did. But, then he stole second base…as he almost never did. That’s right. It was Giambi’s legs that got the winning run into scoring position. A strikeout and a walk later, and things started to get interesting.
Here’s the part that’ll bug me. I clearly goofed with my scoring. Todd Walker was clearly lifted for the pinch runner (Jackson) in the eighth inning. How else would David Ortiz be able to pinch hit for Jackson in the ninth. So, instead of the double vertical line, I should have put one of them on the other side of the box. But, that doesn’t change what happened. David OrtizCame in to pinch hit, and drove home the winning run with a single. I remember at the time almost hoping Ortiz made an out. (Hey, I said almost.) After all, Ortiz was hitting for the replacement at second. If he doesn’t win the game…does he have to play second base? That would have been an interesting decision.
But, it ended up being a moot point. Ortiz, of course, came through in a clutch situation and the Red Sox won a game that almost slipped away. That made him a pretty easy choice as player of the game.
The goat? Really hard not to hang the horns on Jason Varitek. Even from the number nine hitter, three strikeouts are hard to swallow. Especially in that crucial ninth inning. He had a golden opportunity to be the hero, and let it slip by.
But, naturally, it didn’t matter. Once again David Ortiz carried the Sox on his shoulders. (well, of course, at that point it wasn’t “once again.”) He helped them snatch victory from the hands of defeat as he started to craft his legend.
And the scorecard shows how it happened.