Red Sox vs Yankees: My Top 3

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Boston is set to take on the division rival Yankees for a very important four game set.  New York is the class of the division, and it is going to be the Red Sox job to remind the Bronx Bombers that they are the returning World Series Champions.  It will not be easy for Boston.  The Yankees have been playing very good so far this year despite their injuries.  Rather than analyze the upcoming series, I want to send good juju the Red Sox way and talk about some of my favorite games this rivalry has given fans during my years on Earth. 

Photo courtesy of waaf.radio.com
Game 7 of the ALCS ‘04

The 2004 American League Championship Series changed everything.  It was the series where the Boston Red Sox began to shift from the lovable losers to the perennial contender.  I can remember how it was to be a Sox fan before the transformation.  Fans would watch Boston play and expect them to lose in the end.  Even when the team had a lead the feeling around Red Sox Nation was that something would go horribly wrong and Boston would come up short.  After Game 7 of the ‘04 ALCS, that era was over.

In a series where Ortiz delivered some of the most clutch hits in the franchise’s history, and Curt Schilling spun a gem with a bloody ankle, Game 7 was my favorite.  I consider that game to be my favorite of the entire series because it was the most fun to watch.  The final score was 10-3, but honestly it felt like the Red Sox won by a million.  

MLBshop.com The Official Online Shop of Major League BaseballThings got going right away for Boston.  They scored 2 runs right off the bat in the top of the 1st inning.  After Johnny Damon was thrown out at home plate on a Manny Ramirez single, David Ortiz came up to bat.  Ortiz hit a fly ball that landed in the stands for a 2 run home run.  That was the beginning of the end to the powerful 2004 New York Yankees.

In the top of the second inning the same Damon that was thrown out at the plate just one inning earlier cranked a grand slam that gave the Red Sox a big lead, and they never looked back.  Pedro Martinez did come into the game and gave up some runs and made things get tense again for a brief moment.  But that was just a small blemish on a great night.  Keep reading for a more positive memory of Pedro.

Game 7 on the 2004 ALCS was a lot of fun for Sox fans.  We were able to start celebrating the greatest series comeback ever pretty early on.  I think that it was deserved, if I may say so myself.  Red Sox Nation was due mainly because of the franchise’s history of failure, but also because games 1–6 were so stressful.  What a time to be a Red Sox fan on that October night in 2004.

Pedro Martinez 17 strikeout performance

I love Pedro Martinez, I mean who doesn’t right?  In 1999, Martinez had one of the best seasons a pitcher has ever had.  One of the highlights of that historic season was when Pedro Martinez went to New York and struck out 17 Yankees.  I was only around 10 years old so it is a distant memory, but a performance like that will always stick with you. 

Pedro was unbelievable that September night.  He was already the front runner for the Cy Young award, but that domination of the Bronx Bombers was the ribbon on the gift that was the ‘99 season.  Martinez had all his pitches working.  Martinez touched 97 frequently with his four seam fastball and even hit 93 with his two seam fastball.  And if you can remember Pedro’s two seamer then you know that pitch had some serious movement.  Pedro struck out Yankees with fastballs, he struck out Yankees with his curveball, and he struck out Yankees with his devastating change up.  I know I mentioned striking out Yankees an obnoxious amount of times, but it feels so good to say.  Especially the way the Sox are pitching this year.

If it wasn’t for a second inning home run by Chili Davis, Martinez would have tossed a complete game no hit shutout.  Martinez was one of the most dominant pitchers of his time, and it was a treat to watch him dice up the hated bombers from New York.

A-Rod versus Tek Brawl Game

This regular season baseball game in July of 2004 is hands down my favorite Red Sox versus Yankees game.  I remember watching it, I remember how it energized the Sox squad, and let’s face it…I love how this game will be remembered.  This matchup was the ultimate comeback game in the historic 2004 season.

At the time the Yankees had an 8.5 game lead over the Red Sox in the American League East.  After the brutal ending of the 2003 season, it seemed like Boston would forever play second fiddle to the Yankees.  In the top of the third inning Bronson Arroyo hit Yankees’ superstar Alex Rodriguez on the elbow and things went askew.  Rodriguez was pissed off to say the least.  He decided to start barking at Arroyo as he walked towards first and the Red Sox captain Jason Varitek wanted nothing to do with that noise.  In what seemed like a split second, they were all tangled up.

Admittedly it wasn’t an actual brawl, but it was awesome to watch Varitek shove his glove into A-Rod’s grill and attempt to body slam him.  Obviously the benches cleared and both teams met around home plate.  Pushing, yelling, and I’m sure trash talk filled Fenway Park.  The rivalry was turned up to an 11 that afternoon.  Boston was ignited by the scuffle and you could tell right away that their energy was turned up a few notches.

Now let’s fast forward to the bottom of the ninth inning.  The Sox were still down 10-8 but they weren’t about to give up.  Boston won the battle, now they were set on winning the game.  With the greatest closer on the mound, Mariano Rivera, it seemed as if the Red Sox were going to come up short.  Not today.  Boston’s third baseman Bill Mueller hit a walk off home run into the bullpen.  That homer gave Boston the win and I believe the confidence to compete with the Evil Empire.

Tonight the greatest rivalry in sports kicks off a four game series and I am pumped.  I will admit I am also nervous because the Yankees seem like a smashing machine and the Red Sox still haven’t gotten rolling.  Regardless of how either franchise’s season has gone, I am always excited to see Sox vs Yanks.

My top three favorite rivalry games all ended in Red Sox victories.  No surprise there.  Let’s root for four more.  Yan-kees suck!  Yan-kees suck!!  Yan-kees SUCK!!!


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Boston Sports Syndicate: Red Sox vs Yankees: My Top 3
Red Sox vs Yankees: My Top 3
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