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ALCS Game 4
2004-10-17 22:56
by Mike Carminati

Coming off one of the most pathetic pastings in playoff history, can the Red Sox mount any kind of comeback? The Yanks beat them in every facet of the game. The Red Sox players, coaches, fans (most of whom left before the final frame) all seemed demoralized. Do they give up or do they fight back even against a seemingly insurmountable lead. If the Yanks let them up, do the Sox at least expose their weaknesses for the Series? And if they sweep tonight, will MLB make them play tomorrow's makeup anyway?

Yanks 1st

Jeter—slaps on right back, off Lowe's tucchus, to short, out.

A-Rod—strike outside corner, barely say it due to in-game Bud commercial. Fouled off. Low sinker. Same low and outside. Jams him in, fouled to right. Again, tries to check, called strike on appeal. Pulled back but body went.

Sheffield—called strike, Flies to right.

Boston 1st

Damon—called strike right over plate. Low and inside—1-1. Outside—2-1. Lined to right of A-Rod on one hop, gets there quick but he digs it out, nice play.

Cabrera—change on inside corner, called strike, Cabrera ducks out. High, fouled to left. Brian Cahsman—digging the scene. High and outside—fastball Ks.

Ramirez—Outside. Off the plate—2-0. Borderline high—3-0. Takes, right over the plate, 3-1. low and outside, walks.

Ortiz—change too far off the outside corner. Farther inside. Lollipop on inside corner, too high—3-0. Called over plate. Foul tip. Bounces to plate. Walks. Scooter tells us about curveball—oh joy!

Varitek—ball. Foul. Foul. Ks on high and wide.

Yanks 2nd

Matsui—1-1 Ball inside, goes out, drives to left down line, double.

Williams—2-2, Grounds out to second, Mastui to third.

Posada-2-2, Matsui goes on contact, slides to outside, out at home.

Sierra—3-3, Ks on slider inside and low.

[More to come]

Yanks 5th

Clark—change, gets it as it breaks, past a diving Cabrera.

Cairo—wide, shows bunt. Bunt to Lowe, bobbles, but gets him at first.

Jeter—watches it wide, ground to third.

A-Rod—Varitek to mound. Two low balls. Called on outside corner, 2-1. Varitek to mound again. Varitek set up inside, moves outside, low and outside—3-1. change on the outside corner. Jammed inside, grounds out to third.

Sox 5th

Millar—Outside. High. Looking good but called ball (low?). Again looked good but called ball (Outside).

Mueller—High and outside. Again. Posada to mound. Inside, fouled off. Grounds to first, Clark to Jeter to get lead runner, no throw to first. Perhaps El Duque late to base, but of course no Fox replay to tell us for sure.

Bellhorn—low, High and outside. Third straight batter started 2-0. Another—3-0. Takes a strike on the inner half. Ball but looked good to me—I guess inside. Ump shakes his head, appeal to third—no dice.

Damon—Outside corner. Farther outside—1-1. Sinker low—2-1. Fastball off the outside corner—too late—2-2. High—full count. Outer half fastball-gounds to short, runner at second out, Cairo, double clutch on relay, safe at first by a stride. 1st and 3rd, 2 out.

Cabrera—throw to first. Curve on the outside corner, Cabrera thought it was low. Posada to mound. Curve off outside corner, way out in front, 0-2. Steps off, fakes to third, then to first. Nothing on. Low and outside—1-2. Again—Cabrera not going. Fastball, Damon going fouled off. Fastball outside, not far enough, slaps through on right. Yanks 2-1. Runners at 1st and 2nd.

Ramirez—Low and outside. Stottlemyre to mound. Heredia & Sturtze up in bullpen. Outside corner—1-1. Again outside—2-1. On outer half a bit down, but looked like a strike to me, called ball. "Baseball is a game of inch"—Tim McCarver—I hear he knows a lot about having just an inch. Low and outside, walks the bases full.

Ortiz—fouled back. I'm not sure why the Yankees are giving the Sox life here. Fat change inner half. Singles to right, two runs. Red Sox 3-2. first and third.

Varitek—High. swings but called ball inside. High and outside. Takes fastball strike on outside corner. Lollipop change—on outside corner (my grandma could hit that). Ks on curve in dirt.

Yanks 6th

Sheffield—It'll be interesting to see how the Yanks respond after giving up the lead with a three-game cushion. High and inside. High. Two strikes called outer half. Grounds to third.

Matsui—outside. High strike called. Low, goes down to get it, tomahawks it to right-center beyond Damon, Triple. Nice bit of hitting. Lowe gone.

Timlin in. Lowe leaves po'ed, left dugout.

Williams—ball low. Low outer corner, misses—strike. High and tight—called ball but may have been a strike technically—2-1. Fouled off, 2-2. Again. Same as #3—doesn't get second time either. High heat—fouled back. Chopped high to left side. Infield in, Cabrera tries to bare hand, doesn't get it, Mastui holds momentarily but goes and scores. Tied 3-3.

Posada—low. High. Bounces at plate inside, WP, Williams jogs to second. In dirt again, walk. Francona to mound. Second-guessing pulling Lowe in booth already. Frankly,

Sierra—Low outer half, called strike. In dirt again, gets away from Varitek, throw to third, close play called out. Mueller tags trailing foot, but blocks base. Should be safe. Slaps to right of Bellhorn, nice play to get to ball, but foolishly throws to first, Bounces, Millar blocks it. Safe.

Clark—first pitch to Bellhorn's left, knocks it down, nowhere to go. Run scores. Yanks 4-3, First and second. Cheers of "Pokey". If you pulled Lowe, don't you need to pull Timlin here.

Cairo—Low twice. Inside corner—strike. Fouled strike back. Guy with bag on his head a la old Patsies Patriots team. Fouled. Off the outside corner. Farther outside—walks bases loaded.

Jater---Nice strike outer half. Fouled off. Inside, fouled off plate. Just off the plate—1-2. Grounds to second.

Sox 6th

Sturtze in. How will Red Sox respond now that they've been slapped down?

Nixon—two outside and low balls. Same but outer half—2-1. Fouled back.High and outside—Full count. Inner half—pops to shallow left.

Millar—Low—ball. High and inner half—fouled back. Strike—fastball called over plate. Same but inner half—right into left. Single.

Mueller—low—ball. High and looked outside, but called strike. Grounds foul past first. Inside. Grounds into DP 6-4-3.

Yanks 7th

A-Rod—Ball low and outside. Again. Again. Fourth about a foot outside. Foulke up in pen. Why is Timlin still in? McCarver says that they are playing the 7th like the 9th due to Rivera's presence, but because about to be swept, and besides again why is Timlin still in?

Sheffield—Throw to first twice. Outside. Varitek to mound. High sinker at hands, Sheffield misses. Way high—2-1. Swings through another with more plate. Throws to first. High heat, popped straight up, Varitek behind the plate.

Timlin gone. Foulke in. Buck says Timlin was surprised, but what was he thinking would happen?

Mastui—High, in more than where Varitek set up. "I think he considers this the ninth inning"—McCarver on Francona. High and outside. Again pitch in and Varitek has to stab at it, somehow called strike. They never call that esp. when catcher stabs at ball. Throw to first. Fenway quiet until Buck says so, then "Let's go Red Sox" starts. Taps down first base line, Millar tags him.

Williams—high heat—called strike again. Over the plate, fouls strike back. Inside fastball low—called ball, may have been good. Again but sinking, fouled off. High and inside. Varitek to mound. High inside heat--Fists straight back. High—full count. Change inside—fouls off. Ks on high inside heat. Buck, "Got him in a high hard one, up and in." (And they fine Howard Stern?)

"God Bless America"—Jo D Massina—what's with the country sh*t in Boston. I lived there for five years and never heard one country song.

Sox 7th

Gordon up in pen. Rivera stretching.

Bellhorn—Balls low and inside. Fouled back over plate—2-1. way outside—3-1. Over the plate, fouled back. Full count. Inside corner—frozen, Ks. Booed by Fenway Faithless.

Damon—Called strike over plate. Grounds to Sturtze. Looks like he'll be this year's Grady Little, will take blame for debacle, and be shuttled out of town.

Cabrera—Off the outside corner. Lines other way to right-center. Williams makes nice play on slide. That was quick.

Yanks 8th

Posada—outside ball. Outside low—2-0. Rivera throwing in pen. Called strike. Fouled off same pitch. Low and outside—full count. Sox fan shaking head. High and off the plate, walk.

Sierra—Grounds to second to Cabrera for lead runner, too late for first. "If a doubleplay's a pitcher's best friend what's a force out, an acquaintance?"—McCarver

Clark—Ball high. Called strike. In the dirt, blocked, 2-1. Borderline high—3-1. Swings through high heat, may have been ball. Again—Ks.

Cairo—High heat, Fouled to right. Sinker in dirt, blocked. Again—bounced. High and inner half, flied to right, Nixon can't get it, in stands. Pops to short.

Red Sox 8th

Rivera in. "Sweet Caroline" in background. That Neil Diamond really gets fans going.

Ramirez—High and inside—ball. Rudy G.—takes the night off from shilling for the GOP. High and too much plate, bounces to left. Single.

Ortiz—called strike on the inside corner. Same but a little lower, fouls off. High and tight—ball. High strike, check swing, committed, out on appeal.

Varitek—swings throw heat. Fouled back, Posada runs out of room. Again, chops high to first. Clark stretches to get it.

Nixon—Too far inside. Too high—2-0. Topless man with bird-Dino the dinosaur head. Woman coverong face in horror. Called inside. Low—3-1. High chop to first, same pitch as Varitek—same result. Clark to Rivera.

Yankees 9th

Jeter—Inside—1-0. High heat, fouled back. Bounces at plate. High and tight, borderline, called ball. High heat, fouled back. Off the plate—walks.

A-Rod—inside—ball. Jammed, fouled back. Swings through high heat, but again not where Varitek set up. Throw to first. Pops behind second. Bellhorn has it.

Sheffield—throw to first. Inside-ball. No one up in pen. On inside corner—called strike. Ball in dirt, blocked. Throw to first, close but got back. Again, not close at all. Hangs heat outer half and high, Sheffield doesn't get all of it, lines to Ramirez going to his left.

Matsui—Throws to first. Inside corner low, called strike. Same, fouled off. Again to first—sixth time. High and outside. Steps out. Way inside—2-2. Ks on slider outside and low.

Red Sox 9th

Millar—Ball inside. High, fouled. Inside, ball. Again—3-1. Way high and inside—walks.

Mueller—Roberts PR at first. Throw to first, slides back. Again. Again, close. Throw 2 inches lower, he'd be out. Roberts goes, high and outside, Posada throws to wrong side of bag, too late. Shows bunt-strike on called inner corner. Right up the middle. Williams goes home, Rivera intercepts.

Mientkiewicz—PH for Bellhorn. Bunts to Rivera, out at first,

Damon—Ball outside. Chopper to first. Clark bobbles on transfer from glove. E3. First and third.

Cabrera—swing through heat. Again but higher. Same—last two not strikes, maybe all three. Ks.

Ramirez—Damon goes. Strike called over plate—no, called ball. SB uncontested. Low-ball. Inside—3-0. Should just walk him now. Embree now up in pen. Strike right down the middle, taking. Ks on high heat, way inside. Outer half, fouled off. Way inside and high, almost hits him, walks bases full.

Ortiz—High inside, fouled off. Swings through high heat. High and off the outside corner. Way inside, jams him, Pops to second.

Yanks 10th

Embree in. Mientkiewicz stays in at first. Reese at second.

Williams—called strike, fastball right over the plate. Called on the outside corner—was it low, Williams didn't like it. Rivera looks shocked in dugout. Inside, 1-2. Outside—2-2. Fouled twice, Lines other way, right to Nixon.

Posada—outside—ball. Low, flies to Damon.

Sierra—Gordon up in pen. McCarver calls Sierra, "Rivera". Ball. Buck emphasizes batter's real name. Strike. Fouled back. High heat, Varitek stands, fouls back. Breaks bat, flies to shallow right-center, Reese can't get it, single.

Clark—throws to first. Ball outside. Low—2-0. Fouled straight back, just missed it. Flies high to center, right to Damon.

Sox 10th

Gordon in.

Varitek—0-1, lined to short, Jeter jumps, out.

Nixon—called srike. Grounds to second.

Reese—Called strike right over plate. "Believe" chant. Swing through high heat. Steps out. Low and off outside corner—ball one. Inside corner, freezes him, called strike.

Yanks 11th

Cairo—Called strike outer half. Way outside, 1-1. Myers and Leskanic up in pen. Swings through fastball over plate. High heat, fouls back. High and outer half, goes other way, down RF line. Single.

Jeter—shows bunt, throw to first. High fatsball, gets it down, Embree to first. Runner to second.

A-Rod—strike inside. Embree turns to throw to second, Cairo is back. Again. Lines to short. Cabrera dives, makes catch right before ball would hit ground, Cairo back to second.

Sheffield—Inside—ball. Way inside and low—2-0. Low—3-0. IBB? Yes.

Matsui—Meyers from pen. Ball inside, Varitek outside. Way outside—2-0. Again. Leskanic back up. Walks on four pitches. Meyers gone. Leskanic in.

Williams—Slider over the plate, called strike. Wakefield in pen. Flies to shallow center.

Leaves bases loaded. Sneaky feeling…

Sox 11th

Mueller—two quick balls outside. Gets outside corner. Way outside—3-1. Fouled off—Full count. Grounds to first foul. Flies to left.

Mientkiewicz—lines down first base line. Clark guarding the line, snares it in foul territory.

Damon—low and inside. Called. High and inside. Slapped the other way, foul. Bounves to plate. Again—walks.

Cabrera—way in front of curve. Throws to first. Again. Damon goes, Ball, no throw. Low and outside—2-1. Chops to short.

Yanks 12th

Posada—low. Quantrill up in bullpen. Ball in on hands, pops to shallow left for a hit.

Sierra—1-0, called strike inside corner, Buck calls him "Rivera" bit corrects self. Outside again. Hits Leskanic on tuchus. Out at first. Posada to second. Trainers checking out pitcher. Flies to left.

Cairo—swings through pitch right over plate. Ball almost at his head. Ball off inside corner—called strike. Way out in front of change.

Red Sox 12th

Quantrill in and I'm dozing off.

Ramirez—singles to left.

Ortiz—low, high-gets corner, called strike, low, Blasts high/inside fastball deep over the RF wall, Red Sox 6-4.

The Yankees seemed not to have the killer instinct. They should have won this game. Let's see if it means anything.

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