Sunday, October 17, 2004

Game 3: Yankees 19, Red Sox 8

Nothing is more satisfying then watching your hated rival get embarrassed on national TV and exposing them for the overrated slackers they really are. The Yankees impressive offensive outburst obliterated the beleaguered Red Sox, tearing their pitching, their fan's hopes, and their goal of a World Series berth to utter shreds.


Last year, Game 4 of the ALC was rained out. This year, yesterday's Game 3 suffered a wash out. Down 2-0 in the series, Boston desperately needed an extra day off to regroup and buy time for their wounded ace Curt Shilling, who's health is still a big question mark.

Boston's offense needed to wake up from a deep slumber. The potent line up was held to just one hit in the first six innings of both games. Historically, Kevin Brown never pitched well at Fenway ... and is still not 100% after a broken non-pitching hand and chronic back issues. Would the crisp Autumn New England night air keep him from loosening up properly? Boston sent righty Brandon Arroyo to battle the Yankees who were looking to score early. Sox fans were praying that he pitches a lot better than his hair looks.

Just like the first two games, the Yankees got off to a fast start. Jeter led off the game with a walk. It appeared that Arroyo had "Meat Syndrome." He was too busy concerned with "announcing his presence with authority" than throwing strikes. He brazenly threw two inside pitches to Jeter in an attempt to brush him off the plate. All that did was allow himself to fall behind in the count and he walked Jeter. On a 3-2 pitch to A Rod and Jeter running on the play, Arroyo gave up a double down the left field line. On a poor relay throw from Many Ramirez, Jeter scored easily. The Boston crowd was eerily silent for the first pitch to Sheffield. After a deep sacrifice fly to center, A Rod moved up to third. Hideki Matsui had the best career numbers against Arroyo hitting over . 417. He was also destroying the Red Sox all season. That should have been an indication that something was going to happen. Arroyo hung a 1-2 fast ball and Matsui showed the entire Red Sox Nation why in his country, they fondly call him Godzilla. He smashed a long home run into a sea of red and blue in the right field seats and the Yankees took a 3-0 lead. Bernie Williams collected the Yankees third hit of the inning on a grounder through the right side of the infield. Arroyo ran into some luck when Jorge Posada bounced into an inning ending double play. It was just 8:25pm and the Red Sox were down 3-0.

Jeter beats the throw home to score the first run.

Even a haircut couldn't help the slumping Johnny Damon. He grounded out to Jeter to lead off the bottom of the first. Brown whiffed Belhorn who aptly led the league in strike outs. Despite a great stop from A Rod, Manny Ramirez legged out an infield hit in a close play at first. On a 3-1 count, David Ortiz rocked a single to right field. Thank God that Manny Ramirez is a dumb shit. He foolishly tried to take third base against one of the best arms in baseball. Sheffield threw a strike to A Rod who tagged Manny for the third out in another bang-bang play. It should have been first and second for the Sox with the Yankees and Kevin Brown on the ropes. Instead, the inning was over and the Yankees held a 3-0 lead.

Ruben Sierra led off the second with a double off the Green Monster. I love hearing the combination of the crack of the bat and the clank of rawhide and metal when the Yankees are up to bat. Alas, the Yanks stranded Sierra.

After a lead off walk, Kevin Brown served up a home run low and inside fastball to Trot Nixon to keep the game close. Everyone knew that the Sox would eventually start hitting. Bill Mueller doubled to right field. Johnny Damon finally woke up and singled. On a wicked smash towards first, John Olerud deflected the ball past Miguel Cairo who over ran the ball. Mueller, running all the way from second base, scored to tie the game. The ever steady veteran Cairo foolishly threw the ball home, while Damon made a great move continuing to second base. Cairo allowed the runner to advance. On the next play, a rattled Kevin Brown threw a wild pitch and Damon moved over to third. Brown had slowly unraveled over the inning and walked Belhorn. A Derek Jeter rare error allowed`a blown force play at second when Cairo bobbled the throw. Damon scored for the first Boston lead of the series. That errant throw from Cairo a few batters earlier was crucial. The bases should have been loaded... instead the Red Sox took the lead and seized momentum. The Yankees got lucky and only gave up four runs. Who knows what would have happened if Manny Ramirez didn't make the final out in the first inning? The Sox could have tacked on a few more runs. Red Sox 4, Yankees 3.

Arroyo gave the lead back up when he served up a chili dog to A Rod in the top of the third. He hung a breaking ball and A Rod knocked the fucker out onto Landsdowne Street with a towering shot over the Green Monster to tie the score at 4-4. The upbeat Boston crowd was silenced once again. Arroyo walked Sheffield. Matsui laced a double to right field, his second extra base hit of the game. With runners on second and third and no outs, the ineffective Arroyo got the hook. Former Yankee Ramiro Mendoza got the nod and quickly gave up an RBI bloop single to Bernie Williams. The Sox fans grumbled and cursed as the Yankees took the lead back. On a freakish play, Mendoza stepped off the rubber and threw a pitch home. It was an obvious balk and the runners advanced. Matsui scored his second run of the night and Bernie Williams moved over to second. Sox manager Terry Francona came out to argue to no avail. Another rollercoaster of emotions for the Boston fans, who sat in bewilderment over the third inning insanity. The dust cleared and the Yankees had the lead once again. Yankees 6, Red Sox 4.

Kevin Brown was sent to the showers. Torre called on Javier Vasquez to get the job done. I thought it was a good choice. He was bumped as a possible Game 4 starter in favor of El Duque and now had the opportunity to pitch when the game was on the line. If he could give the Yankees four solid innings, they'd be looking strong. After a lead off single to Varitek, Vasquez struck out Nixon, then gave up a shot of the Monster to Cowboy Up. Mueller walked to load the bases. On a deepfly ball from Cabrera, Sheffield misplayed the ball. Two runners scored to tie. Mueller trucked home for the go ahead run. Bernie Williams picked up the ball. Cairo cut it off and threw a bullet home to Jorge Posada who tagged the runner to get the second out. The Yankees and Vasquez blew the lead. With the game tied, there were two outs and a runner on third. Man, it was just the third inning, both ineffective starters were gone, and the two teams combined for 15 hits and 12 runs! I had a bad feeling this game was going to go way past Midnight. Yankees 6, Red Sox 6.

Mendoza carelessly hit the lead off hitter and a perturbed Francona went to his second reliever of the night, Curtis Leskanic. Trot Nixon robbed Jeter of a hit on a sweet snag, when he ropped a shot to shallow right field. After a walk to A Rod when he had him 1-2, Chef Leskanic fell behind in the count to Sheffield and served up a Green Monster home run. There was no doubt that it was gone because he hit it so hard. I have never seen anyone drive the ball with so much power and strength. Shef puts a whopping on the ball. With one swing of the bat, he silenced the crowd. The Yankees took a 9-6 lead. Matsui collected another extra basehit to continue the Yankee rout and his dominance over the Red Sox. Francona lifted an inadequate Leskanic and brought in scheduled Game 4 starter Tim Wakefield to pitch. Ruben Sierra smacked a knuckle ball to right centerfield. Two runs scored and Sierra ended up with a triple. The crowd's spirit had been broken again. Five runs and three hits later, the Yankees broke the game wide open. Yankees 11, Red Sox 6.

Vasquez struck out Belhorn and then battled against Manny for thirteen pitches only to walk him. He got out of the inning when Olerud made a snazzy unassisted double play. The saddest thing was watching the Red Sox give up and letting down their rabid fans. There was no more fight left in them.

In the top of the fifth inning, Wakefield walked Jeter and A Rod followed with another spirit crushing RBI double into the gap. Jeter scored. A Rod collected his third extra base hit of the night, and reached base all four plate appearances. Sheffield didn't let up the relentless pounding and smacked another hit into right field. A Rod scored his LCS record fifth run in the game. That was the 12th Yankees hit of the night. It was so quiet at Fenway, you could hear a nun fart. At 10:42pm EST, FOX announcer Joe Buck muttered, "This is a nightmare for Red Sox Nation." Yankees 13, Red Sox 6.

The blogworthy news about the sixth inning was that Sox retired the Yankees 1-2-3! First time all game.

Then ugly got brutal. If I were a Red Sox player, I'd be embarrassed to be blown out like that at home... in the playoffs nonetheless. Sheffield smacked another hit off the Green Monster. Hideki Matsui racked up another RBI double. Bernie Williams hit a record tying two RBI double. Posada followed with another RBI double to deep center. The Yankees set a ALCS record with 17 runs. The score resembled a football game. Yankees 17, Boston 6.

In the top of the seventh inning, Varitek jacked a meaningless two run homerun to bring the score to 17-8. A few innings too late, eh? Most of the fans had already began to trickle out and missed the action. The most hilarious graphic FOX showed was that the Yankees 17 runs would have outscored 7 NFL teams last week! My brother commented that the Yanks had more points than the Jets.

Matsui crushed his second home run of the night to bring the game to 19-8. Goji-san has been killing the Red Sox. That was his fifth hit and fifth RBI of the night. Yankees 19, Red Sox 8.

The Yankees routed the Sox in one of the craziest games I had ever seen. The game length was 4:20! Very few teams in any professional sports have ever come from behind 3-0 to win a series. The Yankees are one win away from the World Series.

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