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Thursday, August 13, 2020

The Perfect Schedule - Games 121-130

At least in one universe the Sox are a professional baseball team playing well.  They run their record to 130-0.  A bunch of personal memories here.

Game 121 - Sox 24 at Indians 5 - 1986 - I remember watching this one on my parents’ 10” black and white TV.  Against highly touted southpaw Greg Swindell making his MLB debut (and I remembered that off the top of my head) the Sox went bananas.  Spike Owen scored six runs, Tony Armas drove in six (Owen batted after Armas in the order) and on a day where they pounded out 24 hits Hall of Famer Wade Boggs went 0 for 5.
Game 122 - Astros 7 at Sox 10 - 2016 - The ‘Stros jumped to an early 5-1 advantage against Ruby De La Rosa but only one team in this game had David Ortiz.  The big man went off homering twice and driving in six while Alex Wilson (2.1) and Burke Badenhop (1.2) combined on four innings of shutout relief.
Game 123 - Sox 4 at Mariners 3 - 1982 - A pitchers’ duel between Gaylord Perry and John Tudor got interesting with Rick Miller at the plate and the Sox up 1-0.  A Perry pitch had a bit too much sink and umpire Dave Phillips deduced that Perry was throwing a spitball (heaven for fend!) sending him to the showers.  After a Lansford triple made it 2-0 the Mariners rallied for a 3-2 edge.  A Reid Nichols dinger gave the Sox the lead and Mark Clear held on for his 10th win.  He would finish with 14 and in a year when Bob Stanley would notch 12 of his own they would be the last Sox relievers with double digit wins until Brandon Workman picked up ten last year.
Game 124 - Sox 9 at Royals 7 - 2000 - There weren’t many days like this for Pedro Martinez.  He surrendered five in the first and another in the second to put the Sox in a 6-1 hole.  The Sox rallied to tie it and Pedro battled through seven.  In the 10th singles by Rico Brogna, Carl Everett and Lou Merloni gave the Sox a 9-6 lead and Derek Lowe fought through the bottom of the frame to make a winner of reliever Hipolito Pachardo.
Game 125 - Sox 1 at Blue Jays 0 - 1990 - Dude struck out 20 twice but for me this is THE quintessential Rocket game.  With the Sox holding a 2 game lead Clemens and youngster David Wells battled through a scoreless battle. Dewey homered in the 7th for the lead and with McGriff at second John Olerud grounded wide of first.  Carlos Quintana flipped to Roger who hurled himself feet first at the bag for the out.  In the ninth an error, a double and an IBB loaded the bases with one out but Clemens got a shallow fly from Greg Myers then smelling the finish line struck out Manny Lee for the big win.
Game 126 - Other Sox 2 at Sox 3 - 2009 - Ooh, I was at this one.  2009 was a tough year for Big Papi but he homered in the second to tie it at one then after an Alex Gonzalez homer gave the Sox the lead Ramon Ramirez surrendered it on a homer to Scott Podsednik to tie it.  No problem, Tony Pena was on to pitch for Chicago and after Kevin Youkilis fanned David Ortiz decided it was time for bed and slammed one down the right field line for the walk off and give reliever and new Rockies’ closer Daniel Bard his first MLB win.
Game 127 - Athletics 4 at Sox 6 - 1996 - Game 127s suck.  Anyway, Tim Wakefield and John Wasdin dueled to a 4-4 stalemate and Mike Stanley singled off Mark Acre to give Mark Brandenburg the win.
Game 128 - Angels 6 at Sox 7 - 1982 - This was a wild one.  Four Hall of Famers (Carew, Rice, Yaz, Boggs), two accomplished starters (Witt and Tudor) but the Angels built a 5-0 lead on a five run 6th.  The Sox rallied with five of their own in the 7th capped by a Dave Stapleton three run homer.  Reid Nichols made it 6-5 with a single but Mark Clear walked in the tying run in the ninth.  In the eleventh with the bases loaded and two outs Gary Freaking Allenson won it with a bunt single.
Game 129 - Sox 8 at Devil Rays 0 - 2000 - Here’s another one we all remember.    Carl Everett had four hits (2 homers), scored 3 runs and drove in 6 but we don’t remember it for that (I sure as hell didn’t anyway).  In the bottom of the first Gerald Williams got hit by Pedro…and it was on.  Williams got tossed and the Devil Rays went insane.  For some reason they decided Brian Daubach was the worst person ever and kept throwing at him.  Three pitchers got tossed and I believe manager Larry Rothschild and two other coaches as well as Williams joined them.  Meanwhile Pedro was just rolling setting down Devil Ray after Devil Ray until John Flaherty delivered a lead off single in the ninth to break up Pedro’s no hit bid.  The 98 game score equaled his career best.  Random note: from 1986 to 1990 the Sox won their 129th game of each season scoring 7 runs in each game.
Game 130 - Angels 7 at Sox 10 - 2004 - I think this is the right game.  A couple of Red Sox post-season heroes started (Lackey vs. Schilling) but Lackey didn’t have it and was gone before the end of the fourth as the Sox built a 10-1 lead.  Manny homered twice and Dave Roberts hit his first Red Sox homer.  What I remember though is being at the game with my mother.  After the game the Farrelly brothers came out and with Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore shot a scene for Fever Pitch.  Poor Drew had to run in from center to the Sox on deck circle then go back behind second base and do it again 3 or 4 times.  Poor girl was exhausted by the end of it.  There were probably about 10,000 people who stuck around and of all of them I’m sure my mother and I were the best.  I don’t understand why we don’t have our own IMDB pages.  I was working for ARAMARK at BU at the time and our HR manager was engaged to ARAMARK’s Fenway HR manager who told us the filming was a royal pain in the keester.

Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: August 13, 2020 at 09:23 PM | 2 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. karlmagnus Posted: August 16, 2020 at 11:08 AM (#5969943)
Once again, a very enjoyable read -- #129 is the one I remember best. I wonder what are the conditions for relievers getting 10 wins? (Game 123) Good hitting teams with pitching staffs that fall apart? 1982 and 2019 may have something in common.
   2. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: August 16, 2020 at 05:45 PM (#5969984)
That’s a good call Karl. I just looked it up on Stathead, those two years are 2nd and 3rd in club history in relief wins. Only 2018 had more with 40 though of course part of that is just the sheer number of wins. The other year that came to mind for me was 2003 and that was tied for fourth.

Hope I did this right, here’s the link to the totals.

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