Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS

The Boston Red Sox had their backs to the wall, and people were either off the bandwagon or are precipiously close to falling off. It was a wild, tight game through and through. The Red Sox crowd was noticeably quiet (quieter, I should say) compared to regular season games and only woke up when Dave Roberts pinch-ran for Kevin Millar in the ninth inning. I was hoping he wouldn’t steal, in danger of being thrown out. Fortunately, he wasn’t thrown out when he stole. IMAGE:Dave Roberts after stealing second By all accounts, it was a very close play.
Then .. Bill Mueller steps up to the plate IMAGE:Mueller at bat against the greatest closer of all time, Mariano Rivera IMAGE:Johnny Damon on first/Mariano Rivera and promptly singles up the middle after making the Yankees think he was to bunt over. Roberts scores! IMAGE:Dave Roberts scores the tying run IMAGE:Dave Roberts congratulated
This was after the top ninth in which Hideki Matsui had come to the plate with Jeter on base. Matsui IMAGE:Hideki Matsui takes BP had been crushing the Red Sox all playoffs, and has always done well against the Red Sox. Keith Foulke, IMAGE:Keith Foulke Arrives he of the 2.2 shutout innings with no hits, promptly struck out Matsui swinging! It was beautiful. IMAGE:If we hadn’t tied the game in the 9th, this would have been the final pitch by a Red Sox pitcher in 2004 (Foulke K’s Matsui) – the ball is at the top of the Yankees dugout, the left end of the dugout, to the bottom left of the person wearing a bright blue/yellow jacket. There is a small white dot where there shouldn’t be. If you want the original (very large file) of any of these pictures, e-mail me.
So, the game started with the Yankees being held scoreless
IMAGE:The Fenway Park Scoreboard in the first inning (about time) to a win of 6-4 by the Red Sox in 12 innings IMAGE:The Fenway Park Scoreboard After the Game thanks to some heroics by the Designated Hero, David Ortiz. This guy just keeps delivering … IMAGE:David Ortiz on first base and IMAGE:Ortiz toes the plate for the final time in Game 4 delivering …
IMAGE:Pandemonium! and now it’s like we expect it of him. The celebration never gets old, though. IMAGE:Ortiz flies towards home IMAGE:Ortiz Celebrates with Teammates IMAGE:Celebrate! IMAGE:Celebrate some more! Here’s a video. VIDEO:Celebration Video (Quicktime Users Only)
Derek Lowe IMAGE:Derek Lowe in his final inning of work and Orlando Hernandez IMAGE:Orlando “El Duque” throws a pitch matched up quite well, each of them keeping their team in the game. IMAGE:Orlando Hernandez v. Derek Lowe Lowe pitched possibly the game of his life. Lowe was on from the get-go and was bringing the heat and rendering the Yankees (save for A-Rod) helpless. When he ran into trouble, Francona brought on the suddenly ineffective Timlin, and they had to turn it to Keith Foulke who held their bats at bay for 2.2 innings. (For a complete game recap, head here.)
Two other contributors I will note (because I have pictures of them) – Orlando Cabrera for stepping into the two-spot in the batting lineup and delivering what Mark Bellhorn cannot – hits, runs, RBIs. IMAGE:Orlando Cabrera on first base Also heads up to Manny who wrangled a walk out of Gordon to bring Ortiz up. IMAGE:Manny at bat
Interesting story now. I settled into my seats and was just looking around in the top first, when somebody turned around. I glanced quickly, and did a double-take. Was that Dan Duquette? I hovered around indecision for one and a half-innings, and then by-gawd, it WAS Dan Duquette! I was afraid to go meet him, though. I wanted to a) take a picture and b) give him my MVN card. Maybe I could score an interview. But what if he was a) not Dan Duquette and/or b) mean as hell? I shrugged off the indecision and went and asked him…
ME: Hi … are you Dan Duquette?
DD: Yes, I am Dan Duquette. IMAGE:Dan Duquette
ME: Nice to meet you (offers hand).
DD: Nice to meet you (hesitiation – shakes hands).
ME: (sensing he wasn’t too happy he was ‘outed’) Do you mind if I take a picture of you?
DD: Why?
ME: Wh…because I want to prove to people that I met you. (True, and also because he’s Dan Duquette the first General Manager of the Red Sox I can remember, and who I grew up with at the helm. True, he made some bad decisions, but all in all, I was a fan of Duquette and meeting him was meeting a childhood idol of mine. Growing up, I wanted to be Dan Duquette, the General Manager of the Boston Red Sox.)
DD: Where are you sitting?
ME: Two rows back (points) with my brother. (In the picture, my brother is the splotch of red to the right of the MVN logo. I have a larger picture if you want it.)
DD: (sighs) Alright, make it quick.
ME: (takes picture) Thanks. (Hesitation about giving him my card, decided against it.)
DD: (nods)
And there you have it. My encounter with a childhood idol of mine.
5:10 PM tonight, fellas. Vintage Pedro v. Overrated Mussina. Believe!
IMAGE:Go Sox! (sorry for blurriness)