A Haven for the Diehard Sox Fan
  Home > Departments > 2004 World Champions > Games > ALCS Game 5 Recap

American League Championship Series Game 5
October 18, 2004 • Fenway Park, Boston

Red Sox 5, Yankees 4 (14 innings)

Box Score

     1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14  R  H E
_____________________________________  ______

NYY  0 1 0 0 0 3 0 0 0  0  0  0  0  0  4 12 1 
BOS  2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0  0  0  0  0  1  5 13 1

Despite the late hour at which Game 4 ended, I wasn't tired at work the next day. I was energized by the win, and happy that the season wasn't over. People steered clear of me because they knew I had been to the awful Game 3 over the weekend, but instead I was upbeat, telling them, "All we have to do is win the next three, and then the fact that I went to the stinker of the series will be nothing more than a funny footnote." (They of course just answered with a sympathetic shake of the head, convinced that the Sox' one victory was merely postponing the inevitable.) I left work early, joking that with the 5:00 start at least the game wouldn't go till midnight tonight, and got home just as it was starting. I was too stressed to think about supper; I normally don't eat until 7 or 7:30 anyway, so I figured I'd just grab something when the game was over around 8:00...

Pedro Martinez started Game 5 for the Sox, with the chance to redeem himself after the way the deciding game of last year's ALCS turned out. He started off well, striking out two in the first inning. Mike Mussina started for the Yankees, and unlike Game 1, the Sox took an early lead off him. After Johnny Damon grounded out to lead off the inning, three straight singles by Orlando Cabrera, Manny Ramirez, and David Ortiz scored one run, and later in the inning a bases-loaded walk by Jason Varitek plated another. The Yankees got one run right back, when Bernie Williams homered to lead off the second, but both pitchers cuised from there. Both teams got two baserunners on in the third but couldn't score. The Yankees had one baserunner in the fourth, and both teams got a man on in the fifth, but the score remained 2-1, Red Sox.

In the top of the sixth, two singles and a hit batsman loaded the bases for the Yankees with two outs. On Pedro's 100th pitch of the night, Derek Jeter knocked a double into right field, clearing the bases and giving the Yankees a 4-2 lead. Here we go again! So much for the optimism I had felt all day! Living to see another day would take another come-from-behind rally, and there were only four innings left to do it.

The Red Sox went in order in their half of the sixth. Mike Timlin came in for the seventh and allowed only a harmless two-out infield hit. Mark Bellhorn doubled to open the bottom of the seventh, chasing Mussina from the game. Tanyon Sturtze got one out but walked Cabrera, making way for Tom Gordon. He got Ramirez to ground into a double play to end the inning. Timlin continued into the eighth, but a double, a sacrifice, and a walk put runners at the corners with two out. Keith Foulke was called in to face the dangerous Hideki Matsui, and got him to fly out to end the inning.

Manny's double play to end the seventh meant Ortiz would lead off the eighth. He was the hero of Game 4, and did his part to be one of the heroes of Game 5, quickly depositing a Tom Gordon offering into the Green Monster seats to make it 4-3 and pull the Sox within a run. Next up was Kevin Millar, who had started last night's game-tying rally with a walk. He walked again tonight, and again Dave Roberts came in to pinch-run. Roberts danced back and forth off the bag again. He didn't steal this time, but Gordon was so preoccupied with keeping him at first that he surrendered a single to Trot Nixon, and Roberts wound up on third. Gabe Kapler pinch-ran for Nixon, and Mariano Rivera came in to try to end the threat (again) and close out the game (again). But Varitek wasn't about to let that happen. He lofted a ball to center field, while Roberts tagged and raced home with the tying run. Again!

Foulke had thrown 2 2/3 innings last night, so it wasn't certain how long he could go tonight. He got two quick outs, but then walked Ruben Sierra. Tony Clark was next. He had played for the Red Sox a couple of years ago, but it had been the worst season of his career offensively. He was just the sort of player who historically has done in the Sox. This time he dumped a hit down the right field line onto the warning track, a sure extra-base hit that would allow Sierra to score the go-ahead run all the way from first... But it missed hitting the top of the wall and staying in play by mere inches, landing instead in the stands. It was a ground-rule double, and Sierra had to hold up at third! Foulke quickly got Miguel Cairo to foul out to first to end the threat.

As the game headed into the bottom of the ninth, Tim Wakefield, Derek Lowe, and Curt Schilling walked across the field from the dugout to the bullpen, to an emotional ovation. It was unlikely that any of them could see action tonight. Lowe had started yesterday's game and gone 5 1/3 innings. Curt was scheduled to pitch Game 6 the next day, and that was only if he was able to wear a shoe that was being specially constructed just for him to stabilize his injured ankle. Wakefield seemed likely to start Game 7, but only if they were able to win tonight's game first. But the idea was that these three starters - as well as everyone else on the team - were willing to give everything they had and do whatever was necessary to win.

Johnny Damon reached on an infield single to open the bottom of the ninth, but he was caught stealing and the inning quickly ended. Bronson Arroyo pitched a 1-2-3 tenth, finishing with a strikeout of Gary Sheffield, who was serenaded with "Who's your dealer?" chants all weekend - a perfect blend of the "Who's your Daddy?" chants from New York and Sheffield's admitted steroid use. When Ortiz led off the bottom of the tenth, everyone hoped he would come through again in extra innings like he had last night, but he struck out. Doug Mientkiewicz hit a ground rule double off Felix Heredia, but Paul Quantrill came in and got out of the inning. Arroyo had only pitched one quick inning, but somebody needed to be available for tomorrow's game in case Curt wasn't able to go very long, so with left-handed Matsui due up, Mike Myers started the eleventh. He struck out Matsui, then gave way to Alan Embree, who allowed a single to Bernie Williams but got out of the inning unscathed. Bill Mueller and Mark Bellhorn singled in the bottom of the eleventh, but Damon popped up a bunt attempt for the first out, and Esteban Loaiza got Cabrera to ground into a double play.

Wakefield came in for the twelfth, again sacrificing his chance to start a potential Game 7 for the good of his teammates. Cairo singled, but that was all the Yankees were able to do. Ortiz walked with one out in the bottom of the inning, but he was thrown out trying to steal second in a surprise move. Although replays showed that he had really been safe, it was a costly out, and the inning quickly ended. The thirteenth was an adventure for Wakefield and Varitek, who hadn't caught the knuckleballer much during the regular season. With two outs, Matsui reached base when strike three got past Varitek. He moved to second on another passed ball, and after Jorge Posada was intentionally walked, both runners moved up on the third passed ball of the inning. Finally, Sierra struck out and Varitek held on to end the threat. The Sox did nothing in the bottom half, and Wake and Tek had a much smoother fourteenth, retiring the Yankees in order.

Buy at
Buy this 8x10 glossy photo from
As the bottom of the fourteenth began, it was almost 11:00. The NLCS game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Houston Astros which had started at 8:00 was in the seventh inning. Our game was approaching the six hour mark, and I thought it would be funny if the night game finished before ours. Bellhorn struck out to open the inning, and Damon was next. He was hitting only .083 so far in the series, and had already been caught stealing and popped up a bunt attempt in tonight's game. But this time he walked. Cabrera struck out for the second out, bringing up Ramirez. Manny had yet to knock in a run in the series, but with the hitters at the top of the order struggling, he hadn't had many RBI opportunities. This time he walked, moving Damon to second. In stepped Ortiz, as the crowd chanted "Papi, Papi!" He swung and missed for strike one, took a ball, fouled off a pitch, fouled off another, and then launched a towering shot down the right field line that had home run distance... but hooked foul. After ball two, he fouled off three more pitches. Finally, on the tenth pitch of the at-bat, he hit the perfect bloop into shallow center field, just out of the reach of the fielders who converged on it. (In a moment of delicious irony, it looked just like Posada's bloop hit that had knocked in the tying run in the eighth inning against Pedro in last year's ALCS Game 7.) Johnny raced around from second to score the winning run. Big Papi had come through again - for the second time in the same day!

The game was five hours and 49 minutes long, the longest postseason game time in history, and it was an instant classic. Best yet, it let the Sox live for another day. The post-game show went until midnight, and naturally I had to watch SportsCenter afterward to catch the highlights one more time. (Hey, we can sleep in November!) It wasn't till I got up the next morning that I realized I had never eaten dinner that night. With all the tension and drama it had never crossed my mind. I don't usually eat breakfast, but I was hungry in the morning, so I grabbed a bagel - a big, poppy-seed bagel - in honor of Big Papi, of course.

<<< Previous Game       Next Game >>>

HomeDepartmentsFeaturesArchivesMore InfoInteractSearch 2004 World ChampionsRedSoxDiehard.comRandom page
E-mail the webmasterPost to Message Board
This page copyright © 2004-2005 by Kristen D. Cornette.