May 19, 2002
Let’s go back quite a few years on this one. All the way back to the days when the Red Sox were still cursed. And with the players they put on the field that day, it’s not hard to see why people thought they were. Let’s take a looksee.
First of all, the pitchers box. John Burkett got the start on that day. He had himself a nice little major league career, but was not known for his time in Boston. On this day, though, he pitched very well giving up only two runs on his way to the win. Pretty much all you can ask for there. Tim Wakefield showed off his versatility by coming in next, before Ugueth Urbina came in to close the door. And, it’s a good thing too. After all, look at the line-up.
New addition Johnny Damon led things off. With Jose Offerman and Nomar Garciaparra following him, three all-stars started the line-up. Then? A bunch of garbage other that Jason Varitek floating towards the bottom. That’s pretty much exactly how this game played out. Damon scored two of the runs, and Nomar scored the other. Nomar had one of the two Red Sox RBI. The game was controlled by exactly who you’d expect.
The player of the game? Have to give it to Damon, although Varitek put up a fight. As a lead off guy, not sure there’s more you can expect than two hits and two runs. Without him, hard to imagine the game ending up the same way.
The goat? Amazingly only two players on the Sox went hitless on the day. But, the fact that Shea Hillenbrand did it from the five-hole seems worse to me. It’s one thing when your number nine hitter has a poor day. It’s another thing entirely when that performance comes from the meat of the order. So I have to give Hillenbrand the horns.
But, obviously, it didn’t matter. Thankfully the Sox were facing the Mariners on this day, so they were able to squeak out a visctory. The pitching kept a marginal Seattle line-up in check, and the Red Sox were able to do everything they needed to come out on top.
And the scorecard shows you how it happened.