Balls, Sticks, & Stuff
10/20/2004
 
October Madness
Drama is drama, and it can come in many forms. And because people are naturally drawn to drama - no matter what the source - the American League Championship Series between the Yankees and Red Sox is garnering attention from baseball fans and non-fans (most of the time) alike.

After falling behind three games to none in the best-of-seven series, the Red Sox have battled back to even the series score, winning in extra innings twice. Tuesday night's performance by the injured Curt Schilling was nothing other than epic. Hampered by a torn ankle tendon last week in Game 1, Schilling was limited to just a few innings of work after allowing the Yankees to take a sizable lead, and set into motion the events that would lead to Boston falling behind in the series and was discounted from returning in the series due to the injury. But after several days of experimentation with medications, wraps, and footware, and his teammates beginning the improbable comeback (no team has ever been down three games to none and forced a sixth game, much less a seventh) Schilling and the Red Sox proclaimed him as ready to start Game 6.

And so, on a cold, windy, rainy October night in the Bronx, with his ankle wrapped tight, medicated, and bleeding, Schilling took the mound against the Yankees and turned in a performance for the history books, holding the loaded Yankee lineup to just one run in seven innings. Bronson Arroyo, normally a starting pitcher, was brought in as Schilling's relief in the eighth inning, with the score and 4-1. The Yankees started to rally, closing the score to 4-2. To add to the drama, the score was momentarily closed to 4-3, the umpires conferred with each other, and Yankee Alex Rodriguez was judged to have committed interference while running to first. The play was wiped out, returning the score to 4-2. Kieth Foulke came in to pitch the ninth inning, his third relief appearance in as many days, and allowed two Yankees to reach base before finally striking out Tony Clark to end the game and force a Game 7.

What the world is seeing in this series is certain to be retold over and over again for years to come. Mike Lupica, writing in the New York Daily News:


They will play a baseball game tonight at Yankee Stadium, the Yankees and Red Sox will, that feels as big as any ever played, in a World Series or anyplace else. They play a Game 7 that was never supposed to happen, but does. They play Game 7 because the Red Sox won again last night, because they have come back from 0-3 down to tie the American League Championship Series. They play a Game 7, and if the Red Sox win it, if they come all the way back to beat this $194million Yankee team at Yankee Stadium and take the pennant from the Yankees, this ALCS will become one of the greatest sports stories of all time.




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