Barely 13,000 fans were in attendance at Fenway Park on April 29, 1986, a breezy, chilly night (but not unbearable at 56 degrees at first pitch) in which the Red Sox hosted the Seattle Mariners. From Baseball-Almanac.com:
That same night Larry Bird’s Boston Celtics, in the early stages of a march to the NBA title, were facing the Atlanta Hawks at Boston Garden in Game 2 of their second-round playoff series. The Red Sox were such an afterthought that their broadcast was moved to WPLM on the FM dial from its normal spot on WRKO-AM to make way for the Celtics.
Roger’s command was off in the early going, which wasn’t all that surprising. To that point, he had walked 10 batters in his first 24 innings of the 1986 season. Roger may have been shaking off a bit rust early on since he was also working on two extra days’ rest going into the start thanks to a rainout in Kansas City. Meanwhile, it’s interesting to note that Boston had begun the season with a four-man rotation and only incorporated the typical five-starter staff in late April as the schedule became more demanding.
Legendary broadcasters Ned Martin and Bob Montgomery had the call on TV for a small, subscriber-only cable channel called New England Sports Network (NESN).
00:31: Seattle’s starting lineup.
00:55: NESN’s first set of stats show that Clemens had a pretty good April leading up to this start against the Mariners.
01:00: …even though his expanded line (taking out things like “Wins”) wouldn’t necessarily suggest what was to come that evening.
3:03: Clemens’ former teammate at the University of Texas, Spike Owen, digs in at Fenway Park for the first time during the 1986 season in a Mariner uniform. He’d be a Red Sox by the end of the summer, coming over in the Dave Henderson trade.
6:20: The count would run full and Owen would foul off a couple offerings before whiffing on a fastball.
8:08: Phil Bradley also works a 3-2 count against Roger before swinging at a fastball up and away. Ball four, perhaps. But a tough pitch to lay off at that speed after Clemens set him up perfectly with a breaking ball the pitch before.
10:02: George Steinbrenner favorite Ken Phelps gets Roger into his third straight full count of the game before swinging underneath this fastball. Three full counts and three swinging strikeouts after one inning for Roger.
10:47: Boston’s starting lineup for Seattle’s Mike Moore, a No. 1 draft pick.
13:00: Leadoff hitter Dwight Evans chases a nasty slider off the plate from Moore.
13:09: Dewey isn’t in the mood to go down quietly though. He argues with the ump that he caught a piece for a foul tip into the dirt, but replays clearly show the catcher caught it cleanly. A ball-shaped divot near home plate isn’t enough to win the argument, unfortunately. Boston would go down in order.
17:50: After a Gorman Thomas lineout to start the top of the 2nd, Clemens gets Jim Presley to chase a curveball.
18:45: Ivan Calderon quickly gets down two strikes and the electricity in Fenway becomes audible. Clemens delivers with his first called strikeout of the game on a pitch that may have been a bit off the plate. (Note – The angle here is at least a little deceptive as the center-field camera at Fenway wasn’t as truly aligned with the mound and plate in those days.)
30:00: After the Red Sox fail to score in the bottom of the 2nd, Roger starts the 3rd by inducing Danny Tartabull to hit a ground out to second on a full count, drawing an air of disappointment from the crowd looking for another strikeout. He gets back on track quickly by dropping this backdoor fastball on Dave Henderson for a called third strike.
31:54: Steve Yeager manages to put a ball in play as well, flying out to center fielder and current NESN employee, Steve Lyons. Nine up, nine down and six strikeouts for Clemens.
41:39: The Sox go down quietly in the bottom of the 3rd. Martin describes the pitcher’s duel as a “silent movie” so far. But it gets a little noisier when Owen singles to right field to start the Seattle 4th. Owen gives Clemens a little smirk as the perfect game goes by the boards.
45:05: Owen’s presence at first is a factor as Roger checks on him at least five times and even tries a 2-2 pitchout to see if they can catch him going to second.
45:07: Ultimately, Roger is still able to make his pitch to Bradley for his seventh strikeout, the sixth swinging punchout.
48:42: A nasty outside slider makes Phelps look silly as Clemens tallies his eighth strikeout. Monty remarks, “Roger’s gone to the snowman.”
51:47: Gorman Thomas hit one on a line his first time up, but falls behind 0-2, works it back to full, then hits a fly ball to Don Baylor in foul territory and he obviously just catches it eas….
52:05: Oops. No non-strikeout end to the inning after all…Baylor drops the ball. Martin and Montgomery both talk about how he’s publicly admitted he hates making that play ranging to his left into foul ground.
52:44: Roger takes advantage of another shot at Thomas and the slugger can’t hold up on an inside fastball. (K#9)
1:00:21: The Red Sox’s half of the 4th ends with a hobbled Jim Rice being thrown out by a mile at second base on a strike ‘em out, throw ‘em out. Moore continues matching goose eggs with Roger.
1:02:08: On his way to a 10th strikeout, Clemens gets Presley to uncoil this awkward bid at a fastball that was at eye-level yet still too inviting after a nasty breaking ball to start the at-bat. Presley would ultimately get rung up on a backdoor fastball.
1:04:06: Roger gets ahead of Calderon quickly and again gets the call on the outside heater.
1:04:18: The bleacher crew loves it…
1:05:31: Tartabull lays off a 0-2 offering that is about a foot off the plate, but Clemens fools him (and Gedman, who had initially set up away) by coming back over the plate for an inside strike three call. Roger left the mound after five with 12 of the first 15 outs being K’s, including six straight to tie the team record.
1:08:06: Rich Gedman tries to get Roger some run support by stretching a hard-hit ball down the right-field line into a double, but Calderon guns him down easily at second base.
1:16:19: Clemens warms up for the 6th inning.
1:18:40: Dave Henderson becomes victim No. 13 on a fastball off the outside half of the plate. Seven straight K’s, a new team record.
1:20:28: Clemens gets ahead of Yeager as Monty remarks, “I don’t know about you, but every strike he throws sends cold cheels down MAH spine…” Yeager would go down looking for Clemens’ 14th as he finishes off the only Seattle batter yet to fan in the game to that point.
1:21:44: Spike Owen would fly out to center to end the 6th. 14 K’s through six innings is enough to get the bullpen up cheering like gleeful fans.
1:24:28: Dewey reaches on an error by Tartabull at second base to start the bottom of the 6th. But he is thrown out by a wide margin at second on a missed hit-and-run sign with Boggs at the plate. Whether it was Boggs or Evans who made the mistake is unclear.
1:28:25: After a Boggs walk, Buckner would finally break through for Boston with a ball that just sneaks over the head of left fielder Bradley. Second and third with one out for the Sox.
1:30:51: A Jim Rice grounder with the infield in keeps both runners in scoring position with two outs. Don Baylor would chase an outside breaking ball to end the threat.
1:31:55: As Fenway security chases down some rogue fans running on the field before the 7th, NESN shows a shot of the Seattle lineup’s box score thus far. Roger had thrown 92 pitches (60 for strikes) to that point.
1:33:29: Clemens makes quick work of Bradley to start the 7th for his 15th strikeout, a new career high.
1:36:43: Phelps chases a heater that trails ever so cruelly off the outside part of the plate for No. 16.
1:38:11: As Gorman Thomas gets his neck nice and loose, down in the count 1-2…
1:38:19: …The crowd rises to its feet.
1:39:31: And Thomas extends on a pitch over the middle of the plate and crushes a home run to straight-away center-field.
Martin remarks “one thing like that can ruin a whole night for somebody.” Then again, if the wind were blowing in even 5 mph harder, Lyons probably catches the ball as it only barely cleared the center-field fence. Boston now trails 1-0.
1:40:11: With another chance to notch No. 17, Clemens gets Presley down 0-2 but he grounds to first base to end the inning. Watching this replay three decades later, the obvious kneejerk instinct is to hope Roger flubs the feed from Baylor. He doesn’t and Roger now has six outs left to add to his strikeout total.
1:40:23: NESN cameras catch Roger slinging his glove into the dugout in frustration, clearly upset not only that he didn’t get Presley down on strikes but also that he’s now trailing in a game in which he has 16 K’s through seven innings.
1:48:30: After a two-out single from Lyons and a Glenn Hoffman walk, Moore begins to show some signs of fatigue. Dewey steps to the plate after a visit to the mound from the pitching coach and deposits a flat fastball over the middle of the plate over the center field wall.
Boston finally gives Clemens a lead, 3-1, as the game heads to the 8th.
1:51:06: Some enterprising fans have managed to string up an impromptu K wall above the center field bleachers by the time Clemens comes back out onto the mound in the top of the 8th, needing three more strikeouts to tie the major league record of 19.
1:51:52: Joe Sambito and Bob Stanley warm in the pen with Roger’s pitch count rising on a cold night.
1:51:57: Victim No. 17 is Calderon, who flails at a fastball that Martin notes probably could have been thrown anywhere and he was going to go after it.
1:55:32: Tartabull follows with solid contact, but it falls safely in center field for a base hit. It brings up Henderson, who gets to 2-2 before missing this fastball.
1:55:43: The crowd loves it. Martin: “It’s not a sellout crowd by any means, but they’re making sellout noises.”
1:55:52: A new Red Sox record.
1:57:29: Seattle sends contact hitter Al Cowens to the plate to pinch hit. He lifts the final out to Lyons in center and Clemens finishes eight innings with 18 K’s.
2:03:37: The obligatory shot of a manager standing in the dugout with his hand down his pants. Boston would put two runners on base but ultimately be held scoreless in its half of the 8th.
2:14:21: Roger takes the mound for the top of the 9th. This is what the CF wall looked like.
2:16:35: Strikeout No. 19 comes against the pesky Owen, who nearly put a ball in play down the third-base line but ultimately chases up and away like so many other Mariners hitters on this night.
2:17:55: With the count 2-2 on Bradley, the crowd comes to its feet. Monty remarks, “as a matter of fact, I’m gonna stand up…” Clemens paints the inside corner with a called third strike for his new major league record 20th K.
2:18:21: With the crowd in extended ovation, Roger isn’t quite ready to just grab the ball and move on so he lets it sink in by cleaning his spikes.
2:18:26: Roger composes himself quickly. Could he have enough left in the tank for No. 21 against Ken Phelps? Ned Martin lets out an “Oh Mercy…”
2:19:22: Determined to just put something in play, Phelps gets his bat-head out on 2-1 outside pitch and grounds to Romero at shortstop to end the game. Clemens can finally show some emotion.
2:20:03: The 20 Ks on the outfield wall.
2:20:50: A woman comes down to hug Clemens as he heads off the field. Efforts to confirm who that woman is were still ongoing at the time this was posted.
And it was pretty much definitely smooth sailing from there on out for The Rocket in Boston. A Hall of Fame career devoid of any complication, controversy and dissent? He is still to this day tied with Cy Young for the most wins in team history. He’d even strike out 20 batters again in 1996, his last year on the team – after which time he rode off into the deep red of the Texas twilight.
Boston took two of three in Baltimore against the Orioles and then lost a heartbreaker to the Devil Rays, 2-1, in a make-up game as David Price once again pitched a gem at Fenway Park on Monday. The Sox swept a three-game set against the Seattle Mariners, reclaiming first place in the process and notching a couple of the most dramatic victories of the season. The last two wins included a 15-inning win Wednesday night followed by a six-run, ninth-inning rally on Thursday to cap off the sweep.
Boston Plays Its Longest Game of the 2013 Season
Wednesday’s 5-4 win over Seattle was one of those games the media gushes over because it was gutsy(TM) and team-building. Don’t sleep on the significance of the bottom of the 15th inning hero being Stephen Drew only a day after shortstop understudy Jose Iglesias was traded to Chicago.
Particularly in the era of the Wild Card(s), these win carry an intangible cost that may not be all that worthwhile footing. Then again, for the sake of argument, if the Sox fell on their sword and had their relievers throw meatballs, the Mariners’ lineup is hapless enough at times to mess that up. NESN cameras caught the Fenway digital clock striking 12:00 and Don Orsillo delivered the line, “Welcome to Thursday,” which kind of felt cheesy at the time…
Then the Red Sox Scored Six Runs in the Ninth Inning On Thursday
A fantastic show of lineup depth resulted in yet another dramatic win for Boston. Everybody and their mother got a hit for the Sox in the bottom of the ninth facing Seattle’s bullpen. Boston also got a little help from Seattle’s interim manager, who forgot his lefties from his righties…
The swing in win probability during the bottom of the ninth inning via Fangraphs:
And here is the exact moment NESN’s Jenny Dell realizes that, yes, there was a camera trained on her when she took a few extracurricular squirts from the celebratory ice-water bath meant for Jonny Gomes. (Full video at Surviving Grady).
Jake Peavy Comes to Boston
On Tuesday night, Jose Iglesias was replaced in the field in the eighth inning during Boston’s 8-2 win against Seattle. An hour or so later, reports came out that Iglesias would be sent to Detroit as part of a three-team deal that landed the Red Sox right-hander Jake Peavy. The move has been well-regarded by fans and media. It seems possible Boston, Chicago and Detroit will eventually see this transaction as a winner in retrospect.
Of course, if you’re a younger pup trying to make a name, you find a different angle: Enter Boston.com’s hard-hitting, bone-crunching, numbers-running Stats Driven analysis of the trade, in which some dude points out that Jake Peavy’s two playoff starts SIX AND SEVEN RESPECTIVE YEARS AGO constitute a “problematic playoff past” (alliterative and asinine all in one!). When you’re posting something on a blog called “Stats Driven” and you begin a sentence with “Obviously his 9⅔ in two starts is a tiny sample size...” you should immediately stop writing that sentence, get up from your computer, leave your dormitory and talk to your career adviser about finding a new major.
Big Papi Loses His Shit
David Ortiz’s dugout tantrum on Saturday night in Baltimore is pretty well-documented at this point. And it seems like a quaint afterthought in light of all that happened with the team over the next five days. Papi’s rage fell just short of earning him a suspension and ultimately, it was a no-harm, no-foul situation. And like a true superstar, he went 4-for-4 with a home run the following day. We’re not even going to bother showing the video here again because, really, it’s almost like it never happened at this point.
Daniel Nava Forgets to Play it Halfway, Loses His Shit, Gets Ejected…
Yet another Daniel Nava base-running gaffe put Jerry Meals in the position to not be in position to make an obvious call. Nava slid safely into home plate on a sacrifice fly that would have tied Monday night’s game at 2-2 in the ninth inning. Meals’ bad call robbed Nava a shot at redemption for an earlier mistake the hitter prior. On a long fly to right field, Nava putzed around with some kind of crow-hop in between second base and third base (closer to second) that resulted in his being stopped at third base even though the ball went over the right fielder’s head. Nava admitted his mistake after the game, as did Meals, who said from where he’d set up he could not see Nava’s foot hit the plate under the tag of Jose Molina.
It’s hard not to like Nava, but he can’t afford to be bad at things like baserunning – particularly when he comes in as a pinch-runner in the late innings.
…And Then Redeems Himself A Few Nights Later
Nava capped off Thursday’s ninth-inning comeback with his line shot to center-field. It may have been a double or triple in its own right. But either way, it was enough to plate the winning run and ensure the team didn’t go into extra innings for a second straight night.
Frank Castillo Dies
The most bizarre piece of news during the past week was that former major league pitcher Frank Castillo drowned while swimming in a Phoenix lake on Sunday. The 44-year-old Castillo pitched for the Red Sox in 2001, 2002 and had a brief cameo in 2004. Watching pitchers like Castillo get by with smoke and mirrors can be an entertaining experience as a fan if you’re willing to embrace it. Castillo’s Red Sox tenure was poorly timed as fan angst probably reached a peak in volume during 2001/2002 as the team was being sold. Nevertheless, he took the ball and tried to make it work. Any true Boston fan should be able to respect that even if only in retrospect.
Roger Clemens Comes Back
The Texas Con Man made a surprise appearance at Fenway on Tuesday night as part of the team’s 25th Anniversary celebration of the 1988 “Morgan’s Miracle.” Other participants included Spike Owen, Dwight Evans, Joe Morgan and Oil Can Boyd. How great a week has it been for this team that Roger Clemens can set foot in Fenway and the whole thing is essentially a footnote?
John Henry Submits Independent Bid for The Boston Globe
Less than a year after he exited the futures trading business, news has emerged that John Henry may perhaps look to make a buck or two in the media business. There would be some pretty substantial conflicts of interest in the coverage of the Red Sox and, really, professional sports in general if Henry were to take control of the Globe. But frankly, the idea of owning a daily newspaper at all seems a bit quaint in this day and age, no? Are there any locally-based real estate developers out there that may be willing to convert a significant chunk of space on Morrissey Boulevard into, say, premium condominiums on the outskirts of a neighborhood that is gentrifying at an alarming rate?
Today we continue our look at Red Sox Classics on the MLB YouTube channel with a recap of Game 3 of the 1999 ALCS. Nine years after the 1990 ALCS marquee pitching matchup between Dave Stewart and Roger Clemens turned into a blowout, a similar result came from a hugely anticipated Clemens v. Pedro matchup. As it turned out, this was only Part I* of what would be several gigantic Red Sox-Yankees postseason games started by two of the most accomplished right-handed pitchers to play in the modern era.
*The 2003 ALCS featured two Pedro v. Clemens matchups — games that wound up being infamous for reasons other than the teams’ starters entirely. Game 3 at Fenway was Pedro’s showdown with an obviously psychotic Don Zimmer. And, of course, Game 7 at Yankee Stadium…otherwise known as Grady Little’s Last Game.
00:04: FOX starts off with the blimp shot from the Charles. It really is a playoffs must.
00:22: It had been three years since Roger skipped town. Some fans were still pretty bitter. It’s almost like Bostonians hold grudges for longer than most.
00:45: Simpler times for Keith Olbermann. His colleague Steve Lyons calls it the greatest pitching matchup Fenway has ever seen.
1:51: A very spikey Roger explains in a pregame interview it’s not “just another game”…
5:53: Pedro’s statistics in 1999. Even 14 years later, many Sox fans can come close to reciting these particulars verbatim. His 2000 season was nearly as good, but ‘99 has to be the absolute pinnacle considering what he did in the playoffs – especially five days earlier in Cleveland (as we recently rehashed here).
6:34: And of course, announcers rarely fail to mention the potential impact shadows and setting sunlight may have on batters and fielders. Extra points to Fox and Tim McCarver for mentioning the Lou Pinella play from the 1978 one-game playoff in which he nearly lost a Jerry Remy single behind him due to the sun.
9:05: Fans with K signs on a 3-2 count to Chuck Knoblach, who doesn’t oblige and flies out to right field.
10:31: Jeter singles to left with one out. There is audible disappointment that the chance for a no-hitter is done so early.
17:00: After a Bernie Williams strikeout, FOX forgoes a commercial break after the top of the 1st inning in order to air Fenway’s reception to Roger as he takes the mound.
19:03: “Sock it to Rocket”
20:08: With the crowd serenading him with a loud “Rooooger” chant, Clemens badly misses the outside of the plate to Jose Offerman on his first pitch. Offerman would hit a well-placed ball to the right-field corner for a stand-up triple.
23:54: John Valentin would follow that up with a two-run homer into the screen on a letter-high fastball.
26:16: Follow the path of Paul O’Neill’s glove here and you can see where the throw from Chuck Knoblach on a routine Nomar Garciaparra grounder would wind up. Just not even remotely close to the bag…A total of 15 of Knoblach’s league-leading 26 errors that season were throwing errors.
34:39: FOX’s producers were absolutely obsessed with the “sunsplashed Fenway” angle of this game right from the start. They just could not get over it. Meanwhile, those fans who weren’t blinded by the mythological light of the burning sun saw Pedro Martinez strike out Tino Martinez by throwing four nasty change-ups in a row.
37:47: The Pedro vs. Rocket “K” comparison. Martinez would eventually strike out Ricky Ledee for his fourth straight punch-out, ending the 2nd.
46:33: One out. Runners on the corners. John Valentin at the plate. Jimy Williams in his pants. Valentin would wind up driving in Trot Nixon from third on a fielder’s choice chopper to shortstop.
54:52: Nomar doubles down the left-field line to make it 4-0 Boston.
59:18: Pedro showing off what Tim McCarver describes as “unusually long fingers.”
1:05:25: Jetes does his trademark lunge over the plate to make sure the umpire is paying attention to a perfect backdoor curve.
1:08:17: It appears to blow Tino Martinez’s mind that Joe Torre has decided Roger’s had enough after putting the lead man on in the bottom of the 3rd.
1:08:42: Exit Con Man.
1:08:51: Enter Fat Toad Man.
1:11:27: Brian Daubach would promptly hook a Pesky Pole homer off Hideki Irabu. 6-0, Red Sox.
1:17:06: Excluding his infamous failure to hit three home runs for a boy on his hospital deathbed in a 1995 Seinfeld episode, this is THE signature image of Paul O’Neill’s career – his head turned so he can argue over his shoulder with the umpire on a called third strike on his way back to the dugout. Seven strikeouts for Pedro. He finished the 4th striking out Chili Davis for his eighth K.
1:31:32: Nomar gets some extra airtime to catch this liner.
1:43:19: Darren Lewis slides safely into home to make it 8-0, Boston, as the Sox begin to make it hurt.
1:46:33: With Boston up 8-0 in the top of the 6th and Pedro cruising, Fox makes sure it fits in the obligatory “Bambino” curse nonsense, complete with vintage Babe Ruth footage. Joe Buck goes deep with it and brings up Harry Frazee, No No Nannette and Ed Barrow.
1:47:58: No true Sox fan misses this nonsense…
1:49:30 / 2:03:23: Finally, Fox snaps out of the masturbatory “curse” rehash to roll out some useful, relevant graphics after Pedro strikes out Jeter for his 10th K of the game. One can only imagine what Pedro’s 1999 stats would have looked like if he pitched for a National League team. Thankfully, we’ll never know.
2:07:58: Up 13-0, Boston sends up the immortal Butch Huskey. Huskey wasn’t necessarily just a human victory cigar, though. He actually hit 22 homers with the Mets and Red Sox in 1999.
Martinez would finish the game with a line of 7.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 12 K (105 pitches). The Red Sox offense, meanwhile, set an ALCS record with 21 hits.
The 13-1 Game 3 win would be Boston’s only victory against New York in the 1999 ALCS.The Red Sox simply didn’t have enough of a staff around Pedro to get him another ALCS start on the road in New York. The much-hyped Pedro-Clemens match-up would be the last appearance of his historic ‘99 season.
As Jonah Keri recently wrote in this Grantland piece, MLB has finally relaxed its laughably strict copyright standards and posted some full-length broadcasts of old baseball games on YouTube.
Even after only a couple of weeks, it is becoming pretty clear that MLB was actually doing baseball fans a favor by withholding the goods for so long. These classics are mesmerizing. And with the outcome long since known and catalogued away in forgotten game stories, the nuances of a dated baseball broadcast can receive its full due.
As a service to Red Sox fans unable to devote three hours* to watching games that were played decades before, Fenway Pastoral will take some of the more compelling screen shots from some of the Boston games featured on the YouTube page.
*Amalie Benjamin and The Boston Globe will be happy to note that advertisements were edited out and the 1990 ALCS video runs a tidy two hours and 45 minutes.
Game 1 of the 1990 ALCS featured a starting pitcher’s duel between Dave Stewart and Roger Clemens for most of the night before Oakland scored seven runs in the ninth inning for the blowout. What, exactly, makes it a “classic” is probably up for debate.
20:08: You know it’s playoff time when the network goes to the establishing shot from a blimp above the Charles River.
28:10: Tony Pena uses the unconventional outstretched leg with the bases empty to receive a Clemens offering. Hurts the hamstring just looking at that.
29:58: With two strikes on the light-hitting No. 9 batter, Mike Gallego, this Boston-are priest knows it’s gosh-darn time to get flipping serious. His prayers weren’t answered, though. After getting ahead 1-2, Clemens got squeezed on a couple of close calls and Gallego eked out a walk.
(Clemens keeps cool though. It’s not like he’s going to get all bent out of shape about a couple tough calls in the early innings of an LCS game and jeopardize his team’s chances to win by getting run for arguing balls and strikes.)
36:23: Tony Pena with a completely unreasonable, out of control slide through the first base bag on a groundout. Judging by his grimace, he seems to realize it wasn’t such a fantastic idea maybe. Hindsight’s 20/20. Jim Kaat explains, “He almost caught that bag with his chin!”
37:52: All three of these guys would wear the Boston uniform after their respective heydays. Willie McGee was a lifetime National Leaguer aside from two partial-season cameos on AL playoff teams – the 1990 Athletics and the 1995 Red Sox.
38:18: The obligatory explanation by Dick Stockton, for the national audience, of the Red Sox’s “haunted” past. Even worse, the producers decide the Jimmy Fund logo is a fine backdrop for “September 4, 1918.” Have some damn respect…
48:17: After Carlos Quintana grounds out to start the bottom of the fourth…DIAMOND WIPE!
48:44: Moments later, Wade Boggs homers into the second row of the Monster Seats. Known very quaintly in 1990 as “the screen.”
55:00: Why the Red Sox really, really needed to win Game 1 to have a chance. Amazingly, Dana Kieker was actually 29 years old during his rookie year in 1990.
58:12: Note the left-field wall down the foul line still measured 315 feet in 1990. A few years later, a bored Dan Shaughnessy would measure the distance and convince the team to change the fraudulent reading to a more truthful 310 feet. It was easily the most (only?) useful thing he’s done in his professional career.
1:07:46: Tony Pena almost runs out from under of his helmet, but can’t avoid grounding into a double play. (Pena led the league in GIDPs that season.) On the bright side, he didn’t slide this into first base time.
1:10:29: For what it’s worth, the guy who the Red Sox acquired for Jeff Bagwell earlier that summer was first up in the bullpen when Clemens issued his third walk of the game in the sixth. On top of that, he met the thick mustache status quo, a prerequisite for membership on the ‘90 Red Sox.
With this development, Kaat begins questioning whether Roger’s shoulder tendinitis is flaring back up. This seeded a mostly absurd debate among some fans over whether Clemens’ Game 4 ejection after cursing out Terry Cooney may have been at least partially self-induced once he realized his shoulder was too sore to pitch effectively in Oakland.
1:12:25: Bill Fischer visits the mound. Clemens convinces him to let him stay in the game and ultimately works to a full count against Jose Canseco before walking his fourth batter. Thankfully, Harold Baines lines out to Jody Reed just hard enough that he is able to double off McGee at second base. Six scoreless for a reeling Clemens.
1:33:34: Jim Gray reporting from tarp alley, at least the third different spot in Fenway (other stand-ups were done from the right-field roof and the grandstand above the left-field corner), that the team told him Clemens was taken out solely due to pitch count, etc. and not because of any tendonitis issue.
1:45:04: Tony Pena tags Walt Weiss as he slides into home after tagging up on a fly ball to center. Unfortunately, the throw from Ellis Burks isn’t in Pena’s mitt at the time – it’s bouncing off Weiss’s shoulder blade. Tie game.
1:54:09: During this Canseco AB in the eighth, Dick Stockton relates Jose’s recent explanation for why he doesn’t speak to the media: “because everyone’s already formed their opinion of him…” Shortly thereafter, Jose must have decided to spend as much time as possible reinforcing all those negative sentiments. Anyway, he would wind up stealing third base and coming around for the deciding run on a Carney Lansford single.
2:09:15: Oh, look: The Budweiser roof deck, way back in the day when it was located in left field as a standing room-only section.
2:14:45: This girl is unimpressed with Mike Marshall’s pinch-hit single to left in the last of the eighth. Rightly so – the Sox strand him and go into the ninth down a run.
2:18:59: Ricky gets on base to start the ninth inning. Jeff Gray actually catches Ricky leaning after he measured out a very healthy lead, but Ricky still managed to dive back. Willie McGee also tries his best to give the Red Sox an out by bunting straight back at the mound, but Gray mishandles it. Oakland winds up scoring seven runs in the inning.
2:41:13: This is part of the reason listening to Eck fill in for Jerry Remy is hard to digest. He did some good things for the Sox earlier in his career. But Eckersley the Athletic is the lasting image from his career.
And the final score. Boston would wind up getting swept 4-0.